Can’t get more concise than that I suppose:
The best, most concise instruction manual in the modern world comes on the back of shampoo bottles: lather, rinse, repeat. So here’s the camera manual equivalent: learn, experiment, control, repeat. Pick one feature or option to learn about, experiment with it to see what the range of things it does might be, figure out how you want to control it, then repeat the process.
Might as well post about the movie that I ended up watching 3 times in the absence of better alternatives:
“Bagwati” actually is credited on screen – it’s the last one in the actor list and credited to Hermes (wikipedia explains how the bags are made & the extensive service network).
A superb showcase for Spanish tourism, albeit for the ultra rich. TOI seems to have taken a sudden liking to covering the festivals shown in the movie (check out their mobile apps in particular for the coverage)
Farhan Akhtar continues his track record of having his hand in some of the better movies in the last decade. He also has something about father-son relationships (remember Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya?).
It was a nice showcase for Javed Akhtar’s poetry
Pretty sad usage of a Canon EOS 550D by Abhay Deol throughout the movie. Firstly, he was using it as a Point & Shoot (even had the flash up during some daytime shots!). Secondly, he seemed to be still using the kit lens (EFS 18-55mm IS). Last but not the least, given the way they splurged money throughout the movie, he should have been using a higher end DSLR model (the 7D at the minimum, if not as full frame like the 5D).
Saw the movie last night. Some thoughts:
- One of the better, or at least entertaining yrf movies in recent times (watching a movie in the night show definitely lets you gauge its entertainment value)
- It has the usual references to previous yrf movies, plus a bunch of old hit songs being used throughout the movie
- It could have done with fewer songs
- The movie turned out to be quite different from the impression made by the trailer, and for the better
- Imran Khan is getting stereotyped, but then again these types of roles seem to be the one that make his movies click
- Regarding the gadgets:
- Apple continues to feature in the movies – this time with an iMac (for video chatting through a matrimony site, no less) & iPhone
- They showed a bunch of different phones being used in the movie – iPhone, Blackberry (used to take a crucial video at that)
- They finally showed a photographer who was serious about his equipment – Imran carries a Canon EOS 1D with an L series lens – which is quite unlike Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, where a zillionaire like Abhay Deol carries around a Canon EOS 550D and uses it like a Point & Shoot
Some shots of insects that I took during a picnic in Bangalore some time back. Not bad output using a point and shoot camera (a Canon Powershot A630). Notice the excellent camouflage of the grasshopper in the first photo and the praying mantis in the last.
I had stumbled upon the CHDK firmware for Canon cameras through a Wired article some time back, and finally got around to trying it out on my PowerShot A630 today. I also discovered that it is possible to create HDR images by shooting images at different exposures and subsequent manipulation through appropriate software (tutorials: Photoshop / CS2, GIMP / GIMP using a script, Paint.NET or Photomatix).
So, the first thing I did was to download the CHDK build for my camera (I used the AllBest one – usage instructions). Then, I followed the instructions and copied the files to a spare SD card I had, and put it into the camera. I started the camera in play mode and used the menu to activate the CHDK firmware (this is only temporary, and needs to be activated every time the camera is switched on). Once activated, I could switch between the two versions using the Print button. There are a ton of options in the CHDK menu including support for scripts (written in uBasic), enabling additional shutter speeds and indicators among many others.
With the firmware nicely set, I went ahead and started shooting for making HDR images. Initially I tried an HDR bracketing script available to shoot some of the photos. The script seemed to have some problems focusing at times, but I managed to get some shots. I also discovered the ability to do exposure bracketing in the continuous shooting mode, which I also used to shoot a few photos.
I then used the trial version of Photomatix to create the HDR images as I was feeling too lazy to go through all the steps to create HDR images in GIMP (there is a contrast blending script which takes of this though) or Paint.NET. The only drawback of using the trial version is that it inserts a watermark into the end result. This is ok since I was experimenting with HDR imaging, and I’ll switch to GIMP or Paint.NET for serious photos. One of the things I noticed in the resulting HDR images is that they can tend to look a bit cartoonish or unnatural. Anyway, here are a couple of results.
I have created a collection on flickr for the HDR images (both sources and results are included). I’ll be adding to the collection as and when I get the opportunity. There are quite a few HDR groups on flickr too, and they do have some good looking photos. For something more interesting, have a look at this (not by me).
I was in Bangalore for the last two weeks visiting my parents and attending the Durga Puja festival. During this period I took quite a lot of photos and played around with my Canon Powershot A630. A review of the camera had mentioned the colour accent feature, and I wanted to give this feature a serious try. This mode allows you to choose a colour, and all other colours are grayed out (as in a the above photo which has the colour red selected), kind like in many advertisements.
The mode is quite interesting and makes for some pretty different looking shots. This effect is of course possible by modifying regular photos through image editors as illustrated in this PC World article. You can really make your subject stand out with this effect (though I didn’t really focus on a single subject in most of the photos).
There’s also a colour swap mode that lets you switch one colour for another, but it does not work too well. So, what are your thoughts on such special effects? Have you experimented with them using your camera, or do you prefer to use image editors?