Saturday, December 25, 2010

Home Photo Studio !!!

Studio 3 Lights Softbox Plus Backdrop Stands Kit! NEW! 600W - $360

 (This is my colleague & Friend Masato)
I bought a home photo studio -  a full fledged package at an amazing price - $360 - can you imagine? This is all it takes to set up a studio - perhaps in your garage or one of your rooms.  I love the results! I never knew the soft boxes transform the results so much - in combination with Photo shop. I dragged in a couple of my friends and colleagues for photo shoots after my family got tired of posing for hundreds of photos :-( The results were, as expected, very impressive.

Here are the details -

Brand: Aiki Photo (never heard of it before)

This New system has 3 Three 200w/s strobe lights, at GN 150 feet at ASA 100:

It features: Built-in reflector and power cable. Remote slave sensor (For cordless strobe Slave effectiveness 33 feet. Sync voltage 6-9V Stepless 1/8 to Full power setting options. 75W Halogen Modeling light. Recharge readylight. Two-way fixing stand adapter. Built in umbrella holder. Easily changeable fuse holder. Fast recycle time:1-3 seconds. 5600K color temperature.

One Backdrop Stands kit included:

High quality background stand with 3 section cross bar, 4 section stands.
Cross bar junction tension Adjustable.
Suitable for both paper and fabric backgrounds.
Assembles in minutes without tools.
Collapses down into an 27" long package.
Supports backgrounds up to 90" wide.
Maximum stand height is 90".
(copied and pasted from the craigslist ad)

You can search for this brand on amazon & ebay and of course on craigslist!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

HDR Play ground

HDR seems to be the new mantra
Sunset@Rancho San Antonio, Cupertino
Having seen a number of stunning HDR pictures, I was really determined to do a HDR picture myself. Every one seemed to be using photomatix. At this stage, I didn't want to spend any money on it. So I looked around for free software. Ended up downloading qtpfsgui (mouthful to pronounce and remember). It is quite simple to use. My huge inspiration for HDR stuff is - - yes wierd name, but really good stuff for all things HDR.

To start off, I just went to the nearest park - Rancho San Antonio in Cupertino, California. Just set up the camera for 2 stops either way. Took 3 shots at -2, 0, +2. Got home, used QTPFSGUI. Experimented with number of output settings. I wanted something surreal. This seemed to fit the bill.

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Las Vegas back alley

Las Vegas! the city of excess! Every thing here has to be beyond normal, beyond luxury, beyond riches! While going through the casinos one by one, seeing the money madness gripping everyone around you, you either end up loving it all or hating it all. I was slowly drifting into the later. In that mood when friends were at the 'machines', I slowly wandered off into peace (if only to be found in Vegas!). Suddenly I found this location which was completely off for Vegas. Idyllic and beautiful, this alley definitely needed capture..

(click on the image to see the original size)
18-55 at 18mm
ISO 400

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Grand Canyon grandeur

This is another of those on the 'must see in my life' list. When I first saw Grand Canyon, I was simply overwhelmed. This is something beyond my wildest expectations. Nature at it's Grandest. It simply mocks you to show how small you are in this world.

Took this picture after savoring the scale of the canyon for a couple of hours. Took it at the golden hour.

18-55 at 18mm
ISO 1600

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Photo editing softwares

From the beginning, I have been using Picasa for editing all my photos (typically for adding my signature). I always wanted to move to Photoshop - but is too expensive :-( Photoshop Elements seemed to be the only option. I started looking for deals even on the PSE!!
Finally I got it for $29 from !! But I am yet to learn it fully even after several months. But I found you tube to be immensely helpful -

I found the software to be quite advanced and useful.

But here is the good news - have you even heard of GIMP? I heard it from my son! It is actually as good as Photoshop elements. But the best part is - it is FREE!! Open source package.
Try it out -

Some help -

Download it and play around. It is fun!

If you are intimidated by complex softwares - then Picasa is the way to go - really easy to use while being able to do most stuff about photos -

Let's edit and change some faces!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boston Cityscape

Dear All,
I am back again! This picture is from a trip back to Boston from Niagara. We were driving back after our trip, we were tired, it was late in the night. Not many cars on the road and we were passing on this bridge to our friends' home. I suddenly pulled over, jolting my kids from sleep :-( That's a factory that we see in the reflections. The location is Malden (Boston,MA)

Tech settings: Canon XSI
18-55mm IS @55mm
1/5 sec
ISO 400

Monday, March 22, 2010

Niagara falls splendor!

(click on the picture to enlarge it)

Hello All,
After a long drive from Boston, we arrived at Buffalo and checked into the Hotel around 8pm. Instead of hanging around, we thought we should make a trip to Niagara falls in the night itself. When we arrived there, the first thing that got our attention was the clouds of vapor raising out of Niagara! Then the sound, then the sights!

The night view was impressive. Saw a lot of photo geeks going gaga over the picturesque location. I didn't carry my tripod because of weight (we were flying to east coast). So I rested my camera on one of the railings and started firing away pictures.

Tech: Canon XSI with 18-55 IS @ 24mm
ISO: 800

Hope you like it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On Road - Boston to Niagara

(Click on the image to enlarge)

Hello All,
Welcome again! Last year, during my East coast trip ( July 2009), we were driving from Boston to Niagara. While driving we stopped for lunch some where on the roadside restaurant. After finishing mine, I grabbed my photo hoping to get a quick shot or two. While clicking, a passerby - an old lady who lived there, remarked she never noticed how beautiful the place was until then! How true!!

I really loved the shot and it is unedited. Didn't see a need for editing.

Tech: Canon XSI
18-55 @ 55
ISO 400

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fireworks - July 4th 2009 - one more

Click on the picture to see the real beauty!

Hello All,
Welcome again! I think I should get over more of my laziness in sharing what I am doing! Anyway this is one more shot which I took during the last July 4th celebration. I was sitting with a group of friends in the lawns of the nearby school watching the fireworks. I was holding the camera in my hand clicking away.. Since I was exposing it long enough, it came out wavy beautiful. Hope you like it!

Canon XSI, 55-250mm at 96mm
ISO: 800

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fireworks July 4th 2009, Cupertino, California

This is one photo that eluded me for months! Finally I could fish it out. I casually went to the July 4th fireworks when one of my friends invited me over to the nearby school grounds. Since there were many people with not enough space to even walk around, let alone setup a tripod. I sat on the ground and started clicking away. Some shots made the cut. This is what I really liked! Hope you like it too! Click on the image to enlarge it. When you enlarge it, scroll up and down quickly using the scroll wheel of your mouse while watching the picture for a special effect.

Tech: Canon XSI with 55-250 IS - Hand held
15.0 sec
ISO 800
Thanks for visiting.