Originally this started as a collection of photos I wanted to post. I was a novice photographer when I started this blog. Now I have learnt some of the tricks of the trade and can call myself an amateur. I will use this blog to highlight some of my works and also some tricks/tips which I think may be useful to others.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Shooting Flowers

Flower photography is probably the first step many people take, in their journey from becoming a trigger happy point and shoot, to an amateur photographer. Flowers are beautiful, and we can take stunning flower photographs quite easily. To have a good flower shoot, I would recommend using a camera with "aperture priority" (or full manual), so that you have more control on the depth of field.

Few small tips: however, be prepared to break them at your will.

  • Use a shallow depth of field
    This will make your flower stand out from its background, and also create interesting bokeh in the background

  • Take an unusual viewpoint
    If you shoot flowers at an angle in which we normally don't see them, it will create a stunning composition.

  • Shoot on a black background
    Black background will make your flowers more vivid and powerful. For example, you can hold a black cardboard or cloth in the background. Being a purist though, I do not follow this tip myself: if a black background is not available naturally, I shoot with the available background

  • Dew drops on flowers improve the beauty of the flower
    Again, though personally I have never created artificial dew, you can do it by spraying some water on the flower before you shoot

Now, some of my flower shots.
Flowers and vegetables
In this photo I have broken the convention that a flower should be shot in color. In the original shot, the flower was white on a green background. Converting it to black and white has created more impact I believe.

Happy Holidays!!!

I have shot this one with a black background. I framed the flowers against a black water tank.

Cognizant Team Picnic 2008: Hibiscus flower

I have shot this one against an overexposed sky as background, turning it into white. The depth of field is not very shallow, so the leaves are also in partial focus.

A thing of beauty is a Joy Forever

This was taken with a prosumer "point and shoot" camera. Olympus SP510UZ, which I used before buying my Sony A300 SLR.

From Blog

This is a hibiscus flower shot in the warm evening sunlight during sunset.

Let me know if you liked this post. Show me some of your own flower shots

Friday, February 13, 2009

Photography Project: "The Moon"

One evening, after coming back from office, I was lazing and looking out of the window, when I saw the full moon rising. There was a cloud cover, and the sight was spectacular. I immediately got my camera and tripod, and started to shoot. For the first few shots, I noticed that I have been getting horrible camera shakes. I immediately figured out that it is my tripod and shutter assembly. I use a cheap Walmart brand tripod ($28 or so) which was not sturdy enough to support my heavy Alpha 300 camera and its 75-300 mm Zoom lens. The slight vibration I was getting from me pressing the shutter, was enough to blur out the photo at 300 mm Zoom. The tripod was not helping me either by damping out the vibrations.

I don't have a remote cable release, so I remembered a tip from one of the photographic books: (I don't remember the book, but I am thanking the author all the same, and I think will be a very useful tip to everyone who does not have a cable shutter release) I started to shoot with a 2 second self timer, so that the vibration arising from my pressing the shutter is dampened by the time the shutter opens. I got mixed results (curse my tripod which was not dampening the vibrations in 2 seconds). And finally I shot with a full 10 second self timer.

I ended up with 40 shots. (Including the ones with the camera shake). I tried various ISO and shutter speed combinations, keeping the aperature at F5.6 (Widest my lens has at 300 mm ). I was heavily biased towards ISO 100 though, being my favourite speed.

Finally the results I want to show. The first shot shows the moon riding the clouds. Buy prints from deviant Art

The moon was a ghostly galleon by ~Shubhrajit on deviantART

The second shot is similar, except shot at a slower shutter speed, so the cloud motions have blurred, giving it an impressionistic look.

From Blog

The third is a close up shot, with light reading on the moon, showing the terrains and textures on the moon. Heavily cropped so the size is small.

From Blog

Let me know what do you think?