Sometimes the most interesting pictures develop in unexpected places. Like this lady who was seated with her two magnificent dogs in the Golden Gate park, SFO. Nobody paid any attention to her, but her composure and the background were arresting. Great test for my Nikkor 70-300 lens which I recently bought. Came out in flying colors. Great sharpness considering I was shooting from the other side of the road.
White lions are mostly found these days in zoos and wildlife preserves of Africa. They are native to the Timbavati region of South Africa. These are not albino lions but colored white due to a recessive gene with no disadvantage to them. The pair in this picture was shot at Cincinnati zoo on an overcast chilly day in March. Make no mistake, these are as majestic as their golden yellow cousins. They were patient enough for me to get some great shots. This was also my first outdoor series with my new D7000. The new 75-300 lens was tack sharp as seen here and was a great tool for shooting in the zoo.
Yes there is a safari park in Ohio. The best kept animal safari secret of OH, just minutes from Zanesville, called “The Wilds”. Was there on a photo tour with other shutter friends. There was a jeep tour into the bowels of the park which culminated in the rhino feeding time. These guys were too busy eating and never paid attention to us, which was very fortunate. 2 things stand out in this picture. 1. I cannot get any closer to a rhino without being damaged. 2. Cannot get a rhino picture with this natural background anywhere in the US, possibly.
Time and light – the critical ingredients for kids photography. If the lighting is right the kid is not ready and vice versa, when shooting outdoors. This was one of those occasions when both the soft ambient light and my nephew were both ready, albeit for a few minutes. Got enough shots in that window. The mothers of the models are of immense help in keeping the subjects happy and cooperative.
Kuchipudi is a classical Indian dance form from Andhra Pradesh, India. The dance is accompanied by song which is typically Carnatic music, a south indian classical kind. It shares many classical elements with Bharatanatyam, another south indian classical dance form. These images were shot at a cultural festival in Cincinnati a couple of months ago. Shooting events with stage lighting is always a challenge and fast lenses are always a relief. The key ingredient in capturing these images, aside from technical know-how, is the composition. There are innumerable poses and moments in a dance like this which make it very hard to select and shoot the right moment.
I will do it myself with a little help from iphone apps Instamatic and Shockmypic.
Next to kids, butterflies are notorious for giving the run for your money. A long lens is useful in these situations to capture the focus of attention and blur the background. This winged friend did give me a few seconds to get a sharp one. Papilio – latin translation for butterfly.
I timed the drive from Phoenix to Sedona so that it coincided with the sunset. I had to slightly curtail my shooting at Montezuma castle so that I would miss this event. By the time I reached Sedona, it was well worth the hassle. The sun soaked mountain range stood shimmering against the blue sky. I shot them to my heart’s content. I stayed and shot pics till the sun went down and the noise in the pics became unacceptable. A lot of spaghetti western movies with their magnificent vistas came to mind. I could almost hear the ballads of Ennio Morricone…
Beachy Head, in Eastbourne, on the coast of East Sussex, has this amazing chalky cliffs lining the beach. It is hard not to marvel at the landscape which is so unique. The nearby Seven Sisters is a series of such cliffs with beautiful walking paths. The green fields suddenly dip into these white cliffs which in turn end in the blue sea. I love this picture just for the interplay of colors. It was taken in the evening an hour before sunset. Memorable trip during the summer of 2010.
This pano was shot at a cricket ground near Sheffield Gardens,UK. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and the county cricket match was being played with a few watchers. The greenery of the field contrasting with the deep blue sky was too much to pass. This was what I call a perfect day. If only I had that lager with me…
Photographing babies is not easy. These are defiant models with a fierce mind of their own and plenty of attitude. Younger the baby, more problems. For starters, the window of opportunity for shooting a smiling baby is usually 30-45 min tops. Then the grimacing, whining, facial contortions and finally, crying starts, punctuated by pooping somewhere along the line. I am not even gong to discuss reflux and vomiting. The best time to shoot would be early in the morning when the baby has been well rested. Afternoons are a slippery slope , usually culminating in a torrid session of colic. I prefer to shoot babies in daylight, though I have shot some kids with a softbox as in the one below. The flash helps if you are looking for a high key effect. But I like the soft morning light through the window or drapes with some reflection to light the shadows.
I am lucky to have the ATP tournaments at Mason,OH which is about 20 min from my home. Trying to shoot Federer with a not so fast lens is like grilling on a summer afternoon without any meat. With what I had, a measly 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 VR Nikkor, I set about doing the impossible. I did get some fairly decent shots and a lot of crappy ones. But at the end of the day I had some pictures of Roger. So I guess the best camera is the one you carry and the best lens is the one you have in the bag. One of these series hangs in my office as a poster. Actually the title, Roger and me, belongs to Michael Moore who did the documentary with the same name, about GM’s plant closure in Flint, MI.
Burano is an island in the Venetian lagoon. It is inhabited by fishermen,lacemakers and artists. It is known for it’s colorfully painted houses which turn the island into a palette of pastels. It is truly a photographer’s delight. This picture was taken on a Sunday evening when everyb0dy had retired indoors with almost no activity in the streets. As the sun went down, I metered for the skies to get this nice textured skyline. There was just enough light to bring out the detail in the houses and the canal. It was a surreal trip.
The vista at Eden park looked deceptively easy to shoot, while sitting inside the warm car. A drive inside the park quickly brought a ranger behind me to remind that there is no parking. A walk to the park and around the lake looking for a scene like this one ended almost in a frostbite. The first few minutes of excited shooting masked the effects of cold, but within 10 minutes physical pain transcended visual pleasure. I should have bought those special gloves for shooting. This shot cannot be anything but monochromatic in my view since the muted colors did not add anything positive to the picture.
After years of ranting about the iphone camera, finally found bliss with the camera in iphone4. It is a decent 5 mp camera with HDR capabilities. The real test came when I went to the Detroit auto show last weekend without my camera (gasp!) and only my iphone. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the pics which rivaled my DSLR quality. Amazing sharpness and color capture. The ability to tap focus in any part of the picture was great. It was odd that I did not miss my camera which always accompanies me in any trip. Now I know that I will have a fairly capable camera with me at all times.
1.a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
This gentleman was playing violin in the streets of Florence without paying attention to the bustling crowd. His rapt attention to his job and the background graffitti made for a great portrait. I had to kneel down to get the POV I wanted.
Always wanted to capture the Niagara in its entirety, but have never been able to do it until this time. A quick trip to the Canadian side solved the crisis. It was a sight to be seen. Hit the shots with manual settings and stitched ‘em in Photoshop for a decent panorama. I realized I did blow some highlights in the mist, but hey, you can’t be perfect all the time. Next time I will kick myself if I don’t look at the histogram in the camera.
I tried my best to make a lemonade out of this iphone lemon. Did not carry my SLR for the reception, but couldn’t resist this picture. Sure enough my iphone spit out an embarrassing low light, noisy, smeary image. It was salvageable with some help from PS and Nik Color Effex. I kinda like the final ”polaroid transfer” version.
You can see numerous temples with their affiliated priests all over India. Noticed this “temple” while driving near Mysore, India. The priest did not have any problem posing for the picture after I made some “offerings”. In retrospect, the portrait would have been great with some fill flash from the side, which in turn would have bounced into the deity’s chamber and given better illumination. Well, you learn as you go…
This is why I choose window seats. No fancy schmanzy DSLR here. Just a Canon Powershot with 10 x zoom. Shot just before landing at San Juan on a beautiful, bright April day. Enhanced contrast and sharpened. I was surprised at the quality of a picture taken through a beaten up and immensely scratched commercial airline window. I could have gotten more contrast and punch if the freakin window was clear and clean.