Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Months of silence

Hello All,
I apologize for the long silence and I promise this will not happen again. I was not well and now I am back. I was traveling a bit too. Meanwhile didn't I take any new photos? No way! I kept taking but didn't stretch myself too much. Now I will start posting those photos and discuss techniques. Hopefully it will be useful for you all.

Hope you like it :-) Please feel free to leave your feedback for all my posts.

Love you all

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My favourite

Welcome back Again!!

Click on the picture to see the real beauty!

As usual I started off for my lunch time walk one day - my back pack adorning my back once again! As many of my colleagues were walking too, I was hesitating to pull out my camera. My office buddy said - 'Oh Come on Raghu click this one'. Waited for others to pass, then pulled out my camera. This was just a wild bush. I had to pace around for some minutes before settling for this angle. It was a cloudy day and that added to the beauty too.

I just fell in love with it the moment I saw it on the LCD. Many of my colleagues liked it and used it as their desktop background. I really liked the bokeh. Hope you like it too..

Tech details: Canon XSI
Nifty Fifty - 50mm at 1.8
1/640 sec
ISO: 100

Spring showers

Welcome Back!
To see spring showers you really need to get down! Looks like misty dew! As I was walking taking pictures of flowers, I noticed these flowers. But then there was a hitch. They were pale and didn't look quite beautiful as to keep. What do you do then? Just click them anyway. And use some picture editing software! Took a couple of pictures. This seemed to fit in well with what I had in mind.

It was an overcast day and that added to the beauty. All I did was saturate it a bit. Then it looked beautiful. Click on the picture to see the details. Hope you like it!

The tech details:
Canon XSI
1/800 sec
ISO 100
Used Picasa to saturate

Pine Cone

Welcome back!

Ever since I read the strange importance of Fibonacci numbers in Photography, I wanted to take a picture of a Pine Cone. Incidentally we had kept a pine cone at home since I found it beautiful never knowing the scientific reason behind it's beauty! Two spirals go upwards in two opposite directions. Both these spirals have different frequencies - one goes 8 rounds when the other goes 13 rounds.

After having decided to take a picture, I wanted to take it in angled natural light - because I wanted to capture the contours of it to the maximum effect. When one day the late evening sunshine entered our living room, I set it on the floor, set the camera on the floor took some shots. This was the best of the lot. Hope you like it.

Technical details -
Canon XSI
50mm prime
ISO: 100

Friday, May 15, 2009

California dry grass!!

Beginning of the dry summer of California!

As summer advances in California, the green grass ends up like this - scary particularly because of the frequent fires that break out. Very soon they will be mowing the whole place to avoid any danger of fire. But now it has it's own silky beauty you can see above! 

This was taken during a photo walk to a location called DISH on the Stanford University campus.  I had to sit down to get this angle in the hot sun light. But it was worth the effort because, in a week it would have all gone and also because it was picture perfect!

Canon XSI
1/4000 sec
ISO: 100

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cherry Blossom!!

Spring time!
I found this tree right in front of my office. Though I noticed the white bloom a bit early, I was not satisfied with the light. I had to keep an eye on it for the right direction of light and amount of light for a FULL week. Also, I wanted to make it as discreet as possible - I didn't want to show off in front of colleagues. Finally I got the right moment in an afternoon. I quickly clicked a series of pictures - it was worth it - because, after one more week, this tree was completely green!! No trace of white.

Canon XSI 
55-250IS at 84mm
ISO: 100

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Respect the KIT lens

As I bought the 55-250IS along with the XSI, I never respected the KIT lens (18-55IS) and hardly used it for any shooting. But recently when I went to the meetup group of Southbay Photography group, I saw a photographer show off his work which was done using this KIT lens and I was clearly impressed. From then on, particularly when I travelled to Anaheim and Disneyland, I used it exclusively.  The result is I use it now regularly.

The above rose was captured during one of my walkarounds. I really loved the result - it is now hanging on my living room wall.

Canon XSI
18-55IS at 55mm
f/5.6   (I couldn't go to f/4.0 as I was already at 55mm)
ISO: 100 (lowest, it was a bright sunny day)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Canon 50mm 1.8 - cutting edge of creativity

Welcome back!

Hmm, being a lazy guy, finally I took the effort to walk around only to find this fabulous stuff just around the corner from my lunch time walking path next to a creek. Beautiful setting ofcourse..

So just to give a short intro - I finally got my canon 50mm 1.8 - the 'nifty-fifty' But was lazy to check it out around. Finally I took some pictures during my lunch walk.What I learnt about this lens is - it will keep ONLY ONE layer absolutely in focus. Whatever is 1 inch before or 1 inch behind will be out of focus. That is what I have learnt.

I really loved the result! Loved the Bokeh too!!

Technical data: Canon XSI(as usual)
                            50mm 1.8mm
                            1/1600 sec

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Portrait photography - Best suited lens

Welcome back!

Though I had an SLR for nine years, never experimented much because of, you know what! Cost!! Now that I moved to DSLR and three lenses - 18-55 + 55-250 + 50mm 1.8 - I have got enough resources to play around for free ( already paid for:-) )

I got the most flattering results with my 55-250 telephoto zoom at around 100mm WITH NATURAL LIGHT before noon - indoors. I stand next to the window and I ask my subject (so far only my wife) to stand facing me (window). I can not post these photos as she didn't agree to.

Cut the crap - my personal style is to focus as close as possible with just the face filling literally the whole frame - if that suits you. The results are usually very flattering. Try it.

General technical data I used: 
Canon XSI with 55-250 at around 100mm
1/2 sec - 1/50sec
ISO: 200
Without flash

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Moon Dance

Welcome to Digital photography discussion!

Yes Moon dance! What do you do when you get a DSLR and you can control the exposure? Play with long exposure times! That's what I did. When I just got my XSI, I was playing around with the long exposure times. 1 sec, 2 sec, 20 secs etc. Did you see the sunset pic with 20sec? Just check it out.

By the way, when I was heading back home one day, I noticed Moon & Venus so close to each other and bright too. As soon as I reached home, pulled out my XSI, hand held it and set it for 4 sec and manually moved it to make a pattern. The result is this witch face :-)

Canon XSI with 55-250 at 250mm
4.0 sec
ISO: 400

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Palm Tree on a rainy day

Welcome to Digital photo talk again!

What do you do when you have to just wait in your vehicle doing nothing but staring into the sky and it is raining heavily? Just pull out your camera!  That's what I did. I focussed on the sun roof of our X5.  The rain drops made it an interesting composition. I took a couple of shots (power of digital!). This one had the palm tree clearly in a number of drops. I really loved the way it came out. By the way this photo is absolutely un-edited! Taken at Anaheim, california.

Data: Canon XSI with 18-55IS at 20.0mm.
          ISO 800

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beautiful sunset at Orange county, California

Welcome to Digital Photo Talk !

When I visited the Newport beach in Orange county, I had nothing much to do. So I wanted to enjoy the sunset in this beach. By the time I reached there the sunset was over. But the colors were so beautiful. Since it was getting too dark, I decided to use a long exposure with a high ISO.

I used my Canon XSI with 18-55 IS at 55.0mm, ISO 800
Shutter priority - Shutter speed 20.0 sec, f/29

It was so windy I had to hold the tripod -I was afraid it might fly off. But when I saw the result, I was really thrilled. It was my first sunset picture. The long exposure also caused a glitter to the lights. The pier added a eye-guide into the picture and the beach added foreground.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lonely Autumn Tree

Welcome to Digital photo talk !

Autumn trees always fascinate me - may be because of their bare bone structure. You can see everything they have! And they are not covered up by the leaves.

I had stopped at a red signal while driving home one day. It was a waiting time of around 1 1/2 minute. Hence I was lazily glancing around. When I noticed this tree, just jumped up and pulled out my camera and clicked it. Took only one shot in 
AV mode.
Equipment: Canon XSI
                      55-250 at 55mm
                      1/2000 sec
                      ISO: 200

Only hitch - there were electrical wires running just behind the tree. That was a spoiler! I used MS paint to manually remove the wires. Later, I added some saturation using Picasa 3.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bedroom window Bokeh

Welcome to the Digital Photo Talk !

I was playing with my brand new canon tele-photo 55-250 IS to focus on a distant home through the gaps in this tree. Later I noticed that this tree itself was beautiful. I shot the picture in the header above using my XSI with 55-250 IS at 250mm using Manual focus, f/5.6, 1/10sec, ISO:200. Taking the picure at f/4.0 was keeping only some leaves in focus. So had to turn it down a bit to keep more leaves in focus.

I really loved the shades of green in this picture.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What to read in Digital photography

Welcome to Digital Photo talk !

I am sure there are many like me - just stepped into the world of digital photography. I have been reading a lot of books, blogs, websites, magazines and the list goes on. Let me list them down so that you too can get benefited - I am not listing useless books which waste your time.

1. Most important: Read your camera manual. You should know how to handle your camera completely. Trust me. I know the manual is small in size and not easy to read. You can download a soft copy and read it - this is a lot easier. Handling your camera should become your second nature. Particularly Canon models where many settings go by menus unlike Nikon where there are buttons on the back of the camera body.
Also the canon online resources for the cameras are very informative. Check out - 
--> tips and techniques & EOS digital sections
--> it also contains videos explaining stuff.

2. Scott Kelby's Digital photography vol 1 & 2 : This is the set of books where he tells you exactly what to do in a so-and-so situation. You don't have to buy them. I borrowed these books from my local library repeatedly.

3. KODAK digital photography books: If you really want to understand why some photos work and some don't, I found KODAK books to very authentic. I never thought I would read about Fibonacci numbers in a photography book.

4. National Geographic publications - Field guides & magazines.

5. YouTube: Can you imagine, YouTube contains tons of videos explaining everything you ought to know about photography using YOUR camera. All you need to do is search for your camera model and some one there will be explaining how you can do this and that using YOUR camera. For example search for Canon XSI and in the list, look up for what you want to do, like for instance - setting custom white balance (pretty easy), recompose a shot using exposure lock etc.

6. Blogs: 

http://digitalphototalk.blogspot.com/      <-- you are already here!!!

7. Websites:

8. Your own vision: develop a sense of photography. You have to start to see things differently - as if you are always looking TTL :-)

Welcome! An intro about me and my camera(s)..

Welcome to Digital Photo talk !
Welcome aboard ! I hope to entertain you with my photography talks, discussions and titbits.
(Updated on June 29th 2010)

About me -
You can call me Raghu. Born in India. Lived in India and Germany. Currently living in the sunny california.

Always been interested in Photography ever since I remember. Got into Film SLR around 2000(around 9 years back). Didn't dare to experiment with film because of cost. Recently moved to DSLR. I have always been a CANON guy.
Camera's owned:
Film SLR: Canon EOS Rebel GQD with Sigma 28-80 with Macro at 80 (used mostly while in India & Germany)
P&S: Canon IXUS 40 (used mostly in Germany and US)
DSLR: Canon EOS XSI with EF-S 18-55 IS f/3.5-5.6
+ EF-S 55-250 IS f/4.0-5.6
+ EF 50mm f/1.8 II (ordered recently)
Bag: Lowepro Nova AW 170

Tripod: Dolica Proline AX620B100 (updated on June 29th 2010)