Friday, January 6, 2017

Take Multiple Shots from Different Positions

I was doing my daily power walk. I pass this tree almost everyday but somehow today I looked up and it looked beautiful. I turned on my phone and took a snap. I stopped for may be 3-5 seconds! The photo was a bit dark because of the Sun was in front.

Photo against the Sun
 I walked past the tree and took another photo. I can not move the tree but I can definitely move myself so in such situations, without putting much thinking, I always take multiple photos.
Photo with Sun in the back
If I had stopped and put some thought into my photo, I would have been able to take a better photo. However I was on a power walk. I didn't have a real camera. All I had was a cell phone camera and 10 seconds! However Trial and Error Photography is to make your photos better- at little cost of equipment and time. By these photos I wanted to highlight that when you can not move the subject or change the light- change yourself, change your position/angles and take few photos. Then pick the best! We are not a professional photographer who wants to get paid by his photos, or an amateur who wants to win awards! All we want is some better photos for our pleasure, or to share with friends to get some Likes ;)
Have a great 2017! 

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Sun is not always an enemy in photography! Sometimes you can use it to your advantage.

It is Christmas time and my 10 year old son Arian wanted to wear a Santa hat to school. On the busy Monday morning, he put it on his head and we were ready to leave home. As always, we were late and we were in rush. However I wanted to take a photo of him in the hat! I didn't have much time to take out my camera. If I tried that, he would be late to school, or he would have walked out of the home. As we say, the best camera is the one that is with you. I had my cell phone Samsung Note 4 with me. I turned it on, told my son where to stand and I quickly took 3 shots! Why not only 1? In case if eyes are closed or face has weird expressions, I can discard those problem photos. Also having 3 photos would let me choose a better photo.

It was a sunny morning. The room had some parts very dark as curtains were still rolled down. However near the backyard door, it was filled with morning sunlight. It was a very high dynamic range situation. As we generally try to take photos in shadows to eliminate over- or under-exposing associated with HDR (High Dynamic Range) associated with direct bright sunlight, I was thinking to take photos inside the home but in a spur of the moment, to get nice bright colors in beautiful morning light, I had him stand such a way that the background would come darker. One the screen, I touched and held the area around his face. This way I told phone camera to meter off of his face and ignore total light in the frame. This 10 seconds shoot-out worked perfect!

Arian Patel
So some quick lessons:
1) There is no hard and fast rule to avoid direct sunlight! Like all other rules in photography, this rule can be broken too!
2) You really do not need expensive cameras in all situations. There are times when a phone camera would do as good as an expensive full frame camera!

Friday, December 2, 2016

From cell phone camera to expensive full frame cameras- does money matter?

We get a camera almost free when we buy a smartphone. On the other hand, there are cameras which cost in thousands of dollars. Does money matter in photography? My answer is: it depends. For taking photos in good light to share on social media or with friends, many times it does not matter. However if you want to take nice photos, or want to get an award or like to get paid, yes, money does matter. Also, when the light is low, the expensive cameras can let you take some photos while a cell phone camera will fail.

I was in Athirapally, Kerala. I was staying at Rainforest resort and had a view of the famous falls from my room. Around 4 o'clock, I woke up and decided to take photos of the falls in almost dark. Luckily I had 2 cameras and a cell phone so I decided to take photos for sharing with you all.

1) Here is a photo I took with my cell phone- Samsung Note 4. (This has one has a real good camera compared to most other smartphones.)
Athirapally water falls.
2) Here is another photo that I took with Panasonic FZ200- it is a fixed lens camera with a Leica lens.
Athirapally Waterfalls, photo with Panasonic FZ200

3) Finally, here is a photo taken with Canon 6D full frame camera
Canon 6D Water falls photo

You can compare the photos which are taken around same time, in same low light. As you can see, bigger sensors, expensive cameras, are able to help better in low light.