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LUV ISRAN!

™ or a successful kid model — whose relationship with ihe camera started at a young age, it is quite easy to comprehend how confidence, and poise came to be a part of Luv Israni's demeanor However, Israni's eye for detail, and in particular his interest in Direction transformed th;s love ;nto a relationship with the other side of the camera. This resulted in the execution of two short documentary films in 2005 the first being 'Ihe Mumbai Serial 3omb Bias;', followed by another short documentary called 'Mumbai 4 AM to 4 AM! During the course of these documentaries, he realized a keen desire to experiment wiLh the other side of the camera, as a photographer.

Israni began his photography career in 2005 with executing and shooting assignments featuring kids since he easily understood the complex:ties ofsuch shoots. Over time, after covering various genres such as; editorial covers, nature, and architecture, he realized that fashion and celebrity photography was what he wished to pursue seriously. He gradually shifted from shooting catalogs for clients and productions to photographing Bollywood celebs. In a career spanning over 5 years and having worked with many of tinsel town's leading actors such as Kajol, Amrita Rao, Ra^ma Sen, Ceeta Basra, Anjana Sukhani, Sonal Chauhan, Ajay Devgn, Adah Sharma, Udita Goswam , Sophie Chaudhary and Tusshar Kapoor he has a vibrant portfolio to take pride in. In addition to this he has also done shoots with many notable tele stars like Rohit Roy, Shallen Bhanot, Deepshika Nagpal, Aashka Goradia, Anita Hassanadani and many others.

For a young man of 24, Luv Israni has achieved all the success and fame he desired for, by being a part of the fashion and glamor industry and his hard work. However, the one elusive dream that the Mumbai based photographer still intends to pursue is to independently direct a film. Considering his midas touch, this dream of debuting as a film director is not too far away.

Ell Mathew Ttiottungal

Arj" 2011 otogrop 47

Showcase

Adah Sharma Lens

Adah Sharma

Adah Sharma

Amrita Rao o

Amrita Rao mi

Amruta Patki

Arj" 201 1 ytogrnp 49

E-mail your images at [email protected]

If I Were You

Our Imaging Expert

No one can take a picture that everyone likes. But, almost every picture can have a scope of improvement. Many-a-times, we are not our best critic, while others can immediately point out the faults. In If I were you, our expert comments on how your pictures could be taken to another level.

The Temple

SPreader Nomeesh Dubey from Madhya Pradesh has sent us this picture for evaluation.

As a general guideline, we must ask ourselves as to what is it that has prompted us to take the picture? The answer will tell us where to focus the lens and the prominence we need to give to that element.

In your picture, Nomeesh, I take it that the temple "gopuram", along with the red flag, is your focal point. Tnat's fine.

You have used the tree overhang as a frame, which is good. But observe that the picture is underexposed and the dark areas, which cover almost 60-percent of the entire picture area, are devoid of detail. This makes the picture appear gloomy'.

So the first step is to brighten up the picture. (You could have done that with your camera exposure; I did that in post-processing).

Secondly, the "gopuram" which is your center of interest along with the red flag, is too small in the picture. Hence I have re-composed the picture to show greater emphasis to those elements.

Finally, I used Auto Contrast because I still wasn't happy with the overall scene contrast.

Edited Image

The Snail dreader John Ph lip has sent us this picture of a snail on a vertical wall. "The picture has been shot in. soft light, as can be deduced from the soft shadow under the snail t© Picture Info

Camera: Nikon D40X Shutter speed: 1/160 sec Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 400

The EXIF data shows that the lens used was 105mm, and hence I assume that it was a 105mm Micro Nikkor This lens is capable of very sharp pictures, so why is this picture not sharp? I'll tell you why

You have not used a tripod! With hand-held shots, it is very difficult to maintain the exact point of focus because we invariably move forward or backward (even up or down), ever so slightly, as we press the shutter release button. This movement is responsible for the lack of critical sharpness at the focused point. With a slow-moving creature like this snail, there is hardly any chance of subject movement.

Nature photography requires patience. If ¡were you, I would have waited till the snail was reasonably out of its shell and then focused sharply on the snail. "I he aperture that you have used (f/5.6) is not adequate for this type of photo. Note that you have mentioned the aperture to be f/10, but the EXIF data says that it was f/5.6. The EXIF data also shows that at the magnr cation you were at, the effective aperture was f/5. Hence you could say that you used the lens at almost wide open aperture, which can not give you the depth of field that you would require. You shot the picture at ISO 400, but you could have gone to ISO 800, which would have given you one stop faster shutter speed for reducing camera movement during exposure, or 1 -stop narrower aperture for better depth of field. I take it that you must have felt that ISO 800 would be 'noisy! This brings me back to the use of a tripod. If you had to use one, you could have narrowed down the aperture to f/11 with a corresponding shutter speed of 1/40 sec. And since the snail is a snail, there was no question of subject movement even when using that particular shutter speed.

The next problem is about your composition. Why did you choose to have so much of the wall on the left? Observe the composition in the edited image.

I also brightened the snail using Levels n Photoshop, and sharpened the main subject.

t© Picture Info

Camera: Nikon D40X Shutter speed: 1/160 sec Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 400

I Original Image

'ifAH

April 20111 Smart Photographyl 51

Edited Image

Edited Image

The Coca Cola Loving Monkey

Most people love Coca Cola. And so does this monkey! SPreader Kaushik P from Bangalore, Karnataka, was quick enough to snap this brief moment. The monkey seems to be sitting by the side of a rough road. Observe how his right foot grabs and balances the bottle.

The picture was shot late in the evening. This is not a flash photograph. The illumi nation is from the setting sun. The composition is quite okay and I don't mind the tail being cut off in this case. I wish the monkey's face was turned somewhat to the left so that we could have seen his eyes and possibly the expression on the face.

So, is there any way to improve this un-posed picture? What would I have done if / were you?

I first re-composed the picture as shown. This makes the subject more prominent. It also shows a small portion of its eyelid which was otherwise difficult to notice. You can now also see some cola that has dripped onto his leg.

The light blue highlight on the road, next to the monkey's seemed disturbing and so I toned it down in Photoshop. And finally, I added a bit of sharpening.

C©l Picture Info

Camera: Sony NEX 5 Shutter speed: 1/125sec Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 200

The Spillway

This picture, of what appears to be a spillway, is sent to us by SP reader Dr. Mousamjefferin from Dhamtari, Chhattisgarh He wants to know how the picture could be improved. He says "I feel something is missing. After much thinking 1 can only find that the shadow details of the tunnel needed to be opened up. What is your opinion?"

You are partly right. The photo is underexposed. The light meter in the camera is designed to turn whatever t is pointed at, into a mid-lone, the camera 'saw' the predominant white water and turned it into a mid-tone. Hence the lower values (the arch and more so, the insides of the tunnel) got further darkened.

The solution is to 'open up1 the shadow details (in Photoshop) till you are happy with the rendering. This action will cause the water and the archway to become too light in tone. Hence, after the tunnel area was brightened, the required tonality was brought back in the water and the archway.

Here's how you can do that:

1. Using Levels in Photoshop, open up the dark shadow area (move the m ddle slider to the left) to get the required details.

2. Click in the white mask in the Layers palette (just to make sure it is selected) and press 'B' on the keyboard to select the Brush tool (the foreground color should be black), and paint away on the areas that got too light in step 1. You can control the density of the brush tool by adjusting the Opacity from the Task Bar at the top.

TIP: Be careful when you open up the shadows as too much detail in the tunnel will look false.

Ayr 2011 otogrop 53

Ask Uncle Ronnie

Setting up a studio

I am a wedding photographer. I have a Canon 350D with 18-55mm kit lens, but plan to start my own business of shooting model portfolios.

1. Is my camera and lens good enough for the purpose?

2. How many and which lights should I have at first?

3. What should be the studio measurements? My room measures 10 x1 Oft.

4. Which and how many backdrops will I need?

5. What will be the starting cost (ap-prox. investment)?

6. How should I get the contacts and clients? Can any photographer or agency or organization help me?

Rajib Mukherjee, Kolkata

1. Initially, yes.

2. Depends on your skills. Portraits can be lit with just one light, or with one light and a reflector, or with as many lights you may like. Budget permitting, I suggest you try to get at least 3 studio lights. Even if you manage with just one, prospective clients coming into your studio should not feel that you lack equipment. This is sometimes referred to as 'showmanship' and it has something to do with human psyche. Also, in case one light conks out, you'll have a stand-by. Do get a couple of good reflectors. Since I have not used every make of studio light available in the market, it is difficult to say which you should go in for. At a personal level, I use Prolinchrome and ! am more than satisfied with them.

3. If you plan to do close portraits or head-and-shoulders, 10x10 feet may just suffice.

Ideally, a portrait studio should be at least 12x18 feet.

4. To start with, I suggest you get 3 backdrops: White, Gray and Black. At the risk of confusing you, note that a white backdrop can be made

Did you know... Ronnie has over 30 years of experience in photography?

In fact, he has taught several thousand photo-enthusiasts in various institutions and through workshops, as well as judged many national and international photo contests, including the prestigious International Photo Contest held at Colombo, Sri Lanka. So, if you have any photo-queries, whether conventional or digital, don't hesitate. Just go ahead and

Ask Uncle Ronnie at [email protected], 'cause he knows it all!

to appear gray or even black, but that would not be possible in a small size studio. 5.1 don't have the latest prices, but I suppose 3 studio lights with stands, reflectors, white umbrellas and miscellaneous items may cost around Rs.30,000 to 40,000. You could always buy second hand but such a decision could possibly prove unwise.

6. Marketing a product - any product - is the most difficult part. I doubt if anyone can help you in this regard. It will lake time to gather a good clientele (will depend on your photographic skills as well as your marketing skills). Make sure that you have reserve funds to help you keep going during the lean period. Good luck.

Should I replace my lens?

When I take pictures with my 70-300mm zoom lens at 70mm, my pictures are very sharp. But when I shoot at 300mm, my pictures are mostly blurry. Can you suggest me a lens that is sharp at both ends?

R S.Jain, Amritsar

This is a problem faced by most beginners. It is not the lens, but your technique that needs to be updated. I assume that you are using a APS-C size sensor camera If that is so, then at the 300mm end, the equivalent focal length, is 450 or 480mm (450mm ifyou are a Nikon user; 480mm if a Canon user) This means that for hand-held photography, your minimum shutter speed should be at least 1/450 or 1/480 sec respectively (I am ignoring image stabilization). I am sure that ifyou follow this advice, you will not have a need to replace your lens. Note: I admit that some telephoto zooms are not very sharp at their longest end (as compared to their mid-range performance), but chances are, its more a problem of the inadequate shutter speeds rather than lens resolution.

Why not TIFF?

I notice that you never recommend shooting in TIFF. Being a lossless format, does it not provide the most detail in all the shots?

Ramesh Walia, Porbunder, Gujarat

I believe that shooting in TIFF is a waste of time, money and energy It's true that TiFF is lossless, but it provides the largest file size (compared to JPEG or RAW) which fills up the buffer / memory card faster than you could imagine. Secondly, it takes a hell of a time to write to the card. You'll also need a very large hard drive to store all those super-heavy files. It takes a long time for each file to open in Photoshop (and also takes longer when closing the file). No wonder then, latest D-SLRs don't allow you to store your images in TIFF.

And would you be able to look at a print and then say whether it was shot in TIFF, or JPEG, or RAW?

Ask Uncle Ronnie

Ayr 2011 otograp DO

Macro Lens

What points should I keep in mind when buying a macro lens?

Prem Sarkar, Kolkata

Assuming that purchasing power (finance) is not a problem, here are my suggestions in the order of importance: Focal length:

Buy the macro lens with the longest focal length. (A true macro lens provides a magnification ratio of 1:1, i.e. life-size). The longer the focal length, the further away the front of the lens will be from the subject (this is also known as the 'working distance1) for the same magnification. This in turn provides some degree of safety when photographing dangerous subjects like scorpions or snakes. The greater working distance also means that your shadow is less likely to fall on the subject. So, if you have say, 3 macro lenses hav'ng focal lengths of 60mm, 100mm, and 200mm, then go in for the 200mm. (if the main use of your macro lens is for copying using a copying stand, you may be better off using a macro lens with a shorter focal length).

The longer the focal length, the less of the background will be covered This can be a great advantage in nature photography when the background is disturbing.

Accuracy of manual focusing:

Macro lenses are often used with manual focusing to avoid autofocusing motor noise (which could disturb some subjects). Also, in the event of a low-contrast subject, AF may not latch on quickly and cause the lens to 'hunt' for focus. If the lens has a manual override for AF, it is easier (and quicker) to fine-tune the focus manually.

Lenses that go from mihimum to infinity focus with a short twist of the focusing ring may not prov'de the same degree of accuracy of focus.

Flare Control:

If the lens causes flare, contrast will go down and the images will not appear crisp. Hence the lens must have good control over flare

Shake reduction system:

Optical shake reduction (like Canon's IS or Nikon's VR) in any lens is an important feature. But since I always recommend macro shooting using a tripod (I know it is not always convenient or possible), this feature is not as important to me as the earlier mentioned features.

Corner darkening:

All lenses exhibit some amount of corner darkening at wide open aperture (at the widest zoom setting with zooms). Obviously, the lesser the darkening, the better.

Build quality and handling:

It goes without saysng that the build quality should be good for better longevity. Handling should be easy and convenient too.

Ayr 2011 otograp DO

Ask Uncle Ronnie -O

Camera limitations

I own a NIKON COOLPIX L-110.1 have a problem in controlling the shutter speed. If I anyhow try to control it by varying the aperture, the picture quality deteriorates.

Dhananjay Ingle, Nagpur.

The Coolpix L-110 does not offer Aperture / Shutter Priority modes. Neither does it offer a Manual exposure mode. So the only way you may be able to increase the shutter speed (in a given lighting situation), is to increase the ISO sensitivity I take it that when you say "... the picture quality deteriorates", the picture is very 'noisy'. Well, that is the penally you pay for using a camera with a very small sensor. The only solution, whenever possible, is to use the lowest ISO. In low light, try using a tripod, but again, at the lowest ISO setting.

New to photography

1) I'm a newcomer to photography, using a Canon EOS 5D. Now I'm going to buy a 5D Mark II. I've read about EOS-1 Ds Mark III. Most of the features are similar. Mark II

is also an advanced camera, so why is there a major price variation between them and which is the better one for me?

2) Is EF 100mm f/2.8 a better macro lens for portrait photography?

Shreenath Solanki, via E-mail

1. In my opinion, both, the 5D Mark II and the 1 Ds Mark III are superb cameras. The Mark III has a better build quality

EOS IDs Mark III

Magnification woes

1) How can I calculate magnification?

2) Does magnification vary as we change focal length of a zoom lens?

3) Do we get reciprocal magnification after reversing the lens?

4) Do we get control over DOF after reversing the lens?

Sandeep V. Khambait, Nashik

1. Size of the subject divided by the size of the image. If the subject is 1 nch long and is recorded as 1 -inch on the film/sensor, the magnification is 1x. If the image size is 1/2 inch, the magnification is 0.5x. If the image is twice the size of the subject, the magnification is 2x.

2. If you don't change the camera position, yes, the magnif cation will change as we change the focal length.

4. As you narrow down the aperture, DOF 'will increase (theoretically) but at such magnifications, at a practical level, the control is hardly worth talking about.

and is better on the specs. Mark III has 45 focus points, 63-zone exposure metering, 5 fps maximum firing rate, and +/- 3EV exposure compensation. Mark II has 9 focus points, 35-area focusing, 3.9 fps maximum firing rate, and +/-2EV exposure compensation. On the other hand, the Mark II has an LCD with 920,000 dots, whilst it is 230,000 dot LCD for the Mark III.

Readers are requested to limit the questions to one or two

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