Action Photography generally is observed with Sports. Fast movements of sports activities are captured using special Tele-lenses of quality and calibrations. Outdoor activities  associated with kids while playing in parks or at sports practice and fun activities teamed with pets are some of areas giving scope to click action scenes. This picture was taken while moving around in Clement park one evening. A pet was made to run after tennis ball to catch by a local visitor and I captured this action using zoom lens at 110 mm focal length and f-stop at 5. ISO was set to 1250 and exposure time was 1/1000 sec. I guess, I got good frame since both the pet and ball are seen in same frame with clear details. Note the eyes of pet being on ball.

Frame-in-Frame. Village as seen from a Window. Painters veil..

Trick Photography? Nothing...When Over Exposed the calibrations fail and results in such trick shots...My son Dinesh tried to click against Sunlight with subjects in front.. Result is Eternal Walk...

Aerial Photography is very difficult from a moving plane. With altitudes, sun glare and cloud cover we have to put much effort to get best output from aircraft's glass window. Tried best to compose this unknown area (while traveling to India) and resulted in good example.

The Lattice work. Took without flash from the corridors of structure. Metered the light balance and the result is good expression of black and white.

Moon light photography...Requires high end zoom to catch details of moon. Here focus was made on capturing the moon light with subject in foreground at night in very low light.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Objects / Environment

Art of photography crossed its limits from studios (olden times) to outdoors and from people being subjects to various objects around us. It all depends on how you see various features present in different environmental settings around you through the lens of camera. Taking pictures with existing settings and modifying features in camera to abstract fine details is one point of view and capturing pictures arranging them in good environment suitable to subject’s appearance is another view. Everything around you and every little object we see with our eyes looks beautiful in pictures when framed with correct settings and exposure. Here, I tried to capture some objects in different Environmental settings, taking examples from both Indoor and outdoor locations.

This picture was clicked from flight. I tried to focus on various objects seen on a street environment with special emphasis on buildings and cars. Purpose was to get depth of objects like buildings and hence exposed at low altitude. Sunlight falling from behind the camera helped to get better picture. Moving objects like cars and stable features like buildings and parked cars were captured without any shake and blur. Lens: 35-80mm, F-stop: 8 and Exposure time: 1/200.

Environment was huge hall with multiple windows on top and high ceiling with several Chandeliers hanging in a pattern. There was sunlight passing through few windows adding nice backdrop at one corner and falling on chandeliers gave dramatic appearance to picture. Purpose was to highlight the length of chandeliers hanging from top. Beautiful architecture of hall added good environment to setting of Durbar Hall of Moghul Prince of Nizam Reign of 18th century. Lens: 18mm, ISO-100, F-stop: 3.5 and Exposure: 1/40.

I chose this floor design as object since it has beautiful contrast colors and design present on floor along the corridor (outside) at palace. I took the frame in an angle, since there was no elevated platform near the design to capture the top view.  Persian ceramic tiles in open environment with natural light became good example for object to click.

To click this bedroom picture it took some effort to get the desired lighting effect and environment. Focus was on table lamps emitting light to show the night time effect. Picture was taken in daytime. Closed environment with external flash utility and some lighting arrangement exposed at 1/60 seconds with ISO at 100 and f-stop at 4. 

Even simple corridor architecture can be chosen as objects in photography. Indoor environment with minimum lighting which is mainly tungsten lights of corridor helped to click this picture. As part of photography class we (all students) were asked to click this environment without flash. After few exposures, I got this balanced picture highlighting the wall as backdrop and seating space as stage with light focused on it. Lens: 18mm, Exposed at 1/20 sec and F-stop at 8.

During visit to one of the Mining shafts in Colorado, I noticed these Folders in book shape used for storage of letters received by miners during olden times. Mining authorities tried their best to preserve the antique look of these folders. Dust on table and low lighting around the folders in closed environment of shaft gave good setting for object photography. Used my 35mm lens and exposed the shot for 1/60 seconds at f-stop of 4.5

Simple feather too can be used as object for photography. Using clear and plain backdrop with balanced lighting arranged in all directions this feather was pictured using 18-55 mm lens with focal length at 40mm and exposed time being 1/60 seconds. I took the advantage of white marble stone present in room as backdrop and tungsten lights present above the slab. I used external flash at 45° angle to balance the faint colors of feather with smooth texture.

Indoor environment with focused lighting on object being the Buddha statue on raised platform. It is prayer hall for Buddhist faith in a calm and serene room. Yellow lighting on wood floor gave good appeal to picture with suppressed features like seating, surrounding the statue. I used only pop-up flash to balance the lighting.

Even large structures like these sheds in park can be chosen for object photography (Take selection process to outdoors and look for different objects). I took this picture during dusk in a park. Just then lights were on in the sheds and I noticed a couple sitting on bench at one corner to these sheds adding good element to picture. Green grass in foreground with contrast blue on top with glowing light under sheds gave nice balance to picture for framing into camera. Lens: Canon 55-250mm, f-stop: 5.6 ISO: 1600 exposure: 1/30 seconds.

I took this picture while passing through streets of New Mexico. Vendor was selling these Chile Ristras/Garlands (which normally are seen hanging as decorative garlands in shops and homes in New Mexico, with a belief that brings good luck) hanging them to wooden rails on foot walk. Green and red combination grabbed my attention and forced me to click immediately using my point and shoot camera HP Photosmart R812. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cool Colors & Contrast

From the dawn of black and white pictures to modern gadgets cum techniques with bright contrast colors, art of photography grew leaps and bounds. Old portraits of great grand parents to latest baby photos we see millions of color combinations embedded in photographs. It is very hard to differentiate several minute color variations through common eyes. Computer techniques, software programs and latest camera lenses allow us to capture the vibrant colors of nature and objects through our photographic skills. It is always wonderful to look at these colorful pictures and relax for few minutes from our hectic schedules. I tried to show few examples here taking Red, Yellow, Green and Blue as dominant colors in my photographs.


 Good example for bright red in velvet texture. I took this Rose picture immediately after evening showers in a garden. I made careful effort to capture the water drops on petals to shine bright on dark red tone of flower. I got the desired result by taking exposure for 1/60th seconds and by keeping flash at distance from flower. Blood red color against dark backdrop gave good contrast in picture.

Nature always shows us the excellent colors, tones, variations and patterns around us, everywhere. Especially during sunset and sunrise times the sky colors are beautiful in clear Colorado. This is one such picture showing blood red skies during sunset times near my home. Could not believe that sky turned into such bright red color and stayed for only few minutes to enjoy the beauty. I used zoom lens with pattern metering mode and low ISO settings.

I took this photo when lorikeets were sitting silent after their afternoon meal in an open enclosure. Contrast colors of bright red, yellow, green and blue were seen on these birds and with intention of highlighting the Red, I subdued other features selecting complete zoom at 300mm with 1/60 exposure time and setting aperture at 5.

This picture was taken during July 4th Fireworks display at our neighborhood. I don’t say this is cool fireworks picture but gave good contrast with Red tones against dark night as backdrop. I settled just at the ground zero for exposure which is not a common practice for fireworks photographs. I just want to capture fireworks from origin point at ground to exploding point at sky. The dust and smoke emitted from fireworks (chemicals) displayed good red color with long exposure settings of 6 seconds with f-stop being at 11 and ISO at 200 and focal length at 18mm.


Contrast color to match with Red is Yellow and it is all time favorite combination. To capture yellow during bright day light is somewhat difficult since there is possibility of over exposure in balancing the tones in frame. Took less effort for this picture since I used fixed lens point and shoot camera at 6mm focal length with 1/1000 seconds exposure time and ISO setting at 400. Notice the combination of Red, Yellow and Black colors giving good contrast in picture.

This picture is my favorite and I always look at the yellow frill of petals on stalk against light purple background. It took some effort to isolate the single flower and its features against empty background in a garden. Saturated Yellow color leaving behind the green stalk and stamen made striking balance and effect on capturing the smooth yellow tones of flower in a dusk daylight. I used 250mm lens with f-stop being at 5.6 and ISO at 1250. Exposure time was for 1/250 seconds. 

To show an example of Yellow color on object in outdoors in panoramic mode it is difficult. Getting an environment with dominant yellow color is easy in closed enclosure with arranged settings. But this picture of Jalmahal at Jaipur in India, was good example for outdoor settings. We see entire structure with smooth yellow color against blue sky and waters. Dark Green foliage on top of the building added contrast setting and color to picture. Lens: 80mm, ISO: 100, F-stop:8 and Exposure time: 1/400.


What a color ! It is very hard to get this mix of blue and can be seen only on this bird in entire world. Peacock blue has royal luster, shine and grace in colors and shades and is liked by one and all. Blue tone mixed with Purple shine on this bird allowed me to click at close encounter one fine day. This bird gave plenty of time for me to shoot at several angles. I liked this innocent, fearful look and I adore this picture all the time. Used Canon 300mm lens with 1/250 seconds exposure time and ISO settings at 1250.

Mother Nature again showing its beautiful and vibrant blue tones during dusk times with Rocky mountain ranges as backdrop. I took this picture near clement lake one evening when entire sky was bright blue with few white openings. Brush of orange shade here and there added beauty to picture and I immediately framed this scenery. Lights and bright sunlight from openings in sky reflecting in waters also gave wonderful touch to photograph. Lens: 18mm, ISO: 100, f-stop: 4, and exposure time: 1/25.

Apart from sky another feature that reflects bright blue is swimming pool water. When outdoor lakes, ponds and other water bodies emit mix of blue and black tones, swimming pools (due to blue paint of swimming pool floor) always reflect bright blue water. I captured this photo during one morning practice sessions at a pool to highlight the splash and calm waters.


Truly this grass is so green, it is hard to believe. A perfect example for Green color we normally see around us at several spots. Green vegetation is common with different shades and tones in photographs. This bright green is something rare and is strikingly different with its settings around the practice fields at Airforce Academy at Colorado. Way to say….Go Green….

This is another example for green in photos. These grass shoots which are at low level on ground with fully grown crowns caught my attention and I clicked this picture lying flat on ground. I Used 300 mm lens with f/number at 5 and ISO at 400.

Attractive green color is usually seen with broad foliage/vegetation. This Aspen Pine tree showed good contrast with bright green blades against clear blue sky, handling the pine cones as candles at every twig of tree.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


In Photography, taking shots at Fireworks Display (mostly during summer time) at night is fun activity and a very interesting learning curve for photographers. Several photo enthusiasts try to capture fireworks using their special lenses and techniques besides common folks using their point and shoot cameras during the event of fireworks. Little care and attention will give very good results showing fine details on fireworks and foreground subjects like buildings, ponds, lakes or vegetation. In capturing the details on fireworks step-by-step approach of technical details (like long exposures, using remote controls, tripods etc.) is generally practiced. Several people try to capture fireworks display using single shot/exposure method wherein you get only that particular instance of burst in photo. It is good to settle with tripod and selecting nice foreground to reflect with fireworks in picture while capturing the bursts of fireworks using manual flash and remote controls. 

Here, I followed unconventional technique, in capturing the details of bursts in fireworks. I used manual techniques of long exposure with different ISO settings and focal lengths while creating the movements on camera in handheld position. Unlike, photographers settling on good location at distance, I settled just under the burst at ground zero to capture the fireworks burst from ground to sky and trying to show in single picture the path of event. In this process, I get streaks of fireworks, fumes of smoke and colorful bursts in single shot though certain fine details of sharpness and contrast are missed. It is worth trying but risky since the dust from fireworks can damage your lens as you are right under the burst zone (I took special permission to be at firing zone).

See some examples of pictures I took at local fireworks display. These are not fantastic pictures of fireworks but Unconventional Trick Pictures like painters canvas with colors radiating in thin lines…

Click on each picture to see in large format

Focal Length: 18mm, f-stop: 8, ISO: 200 and Exposure: 6 seconds.

Focal Length: 18mm, f-stop: 11, ISO: 100 and Exposure: 8 seconds.

Look at the burst showing different emissions exposed for 6 seconds.

Streaks originating from small source at center…Bang…


Streaks of neon rays…diffusing from center.

Example to show when there is burst with fully filled, fast burning, bright white showers.

Red flames and smoke…f-stop:11, ISO: 200, Exposure 6 seconds.

Contrast streaks at burst against dark black backdrop.

Dancing Bouquets in the sky…White florets…

Another burst from start…

Friday, September 23, 2011


This is an interesting topic in photography to experiment and learn. Pictures look simple with one or two subjects appearing completely dark with bright and colorful backgrounds or entire picture is with dark outline showing details of subjects and scenic presence. There are several stunning silhouettes photographed by several famous photographers available online to view and learn the cool tricks and compositions.

Sometimes taking pictures of silhouettes gets lucky with point and shoot cameras in low light and bringing out well balanced photos. It’s common with several tourists taking pictures at beaches or mountain tops during sunset times. Aiming at bright backgrounds with subjects in foreground with compact digital cameras in Auto Mode gives nice results of silhouette pictures unknowingly. Exposure in Manual Mode with a good DSLR having small aperture setting and enough depth of field gives good results in silhouette shots.

Few pictures I took on Silhouettes are shown here. 

Click on each picture to see in large format

This picture was taken in San Francisco. Intention was to click both person and background. It turned out into silhouette with good background in bright colors.

This location is on Route 1 along beach shores of California. Clustered foliage of trees with clear light blue sky at background formed good setting to click this photo. Centered Metering Mode was applied with no flash and at focal length of 6mm.

This is Interesting picture. Though frequently Silhouettes are well balanced with bright backgrounds mostly being sunlight, I preferred to show this example which has bright colorful background and taken at dusk. I categorize even such colorful decorated arrangements at background with subjects in foreground showing dark outlines as Silhouettes which is unconventional.

This is a beginner’s example to show how foreground elements appear dark against bright background with no flash and small aperture settings. Dry branches of a tree gave ghostly appearance and resulted into Silhouette composition.

This is wonderful example for Mobile Photography. Several people are using their cell phones as cameras to point and shoot whenever an interesting event or location is seen. It got handy and easy to click instant pictures and share with modern cell phones. One such picture is this Silhouette composition photographed with iPhone. Deepesh my second son was enjoying the fun event of Rock Climbing at a fair and I clicked this picture using my cell phone. Some expert photographers say instead of closing entire features of subjects in foreground into outlines, if we allow little light to pass on subjects, it will turn into a good Silhouette picture when taken at dusk. It is true. Since it is low resolution camera the quality may not be good but gave good result on Silhouette topic we are dealing here.

These are few Silhouette examples against clear sky as background. Birds sitting on lamp post/ramp/fence, with bright light as backdrop formed good setting to click these photos. 

These are common natural landscapes photographed during low light time at outdoor with no flash and low aperture settings. Outlines of vegetation and rock outcrops in foreground with bright background resulted into Silhouette pictures.

Up in the Air...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Walk around Photography

This is most common topic in photography. Everyday we see so many incidents, pass through so many subjects and interact with several people at different Instances. All these go unnoticed while we are doing as routine. Same functions if we look through Camera using different lenses and techniques they result in fantastic pictures. This is what generally photographers are doing. Curiosity and Interest will generate excellent pictures and a touch of humor/logic will surely create top class photos. Latest simple point and shoot cameras are available in market with several features of high end DSLR’s and can be used for walk around photography. A walk in street market will generate plenty of shots if mixed with Interest and Ideas. Experts say that a nice lens of 28-150mm focal length should do well for walk around pictures (you can use special lenses too if time permits to click nice instances quickly) and the time of picture taking starts from sunrise to dark at night.

Few pictures I took on Walk around theme are shown here.

Click on each picture to see in large format

I took this picture of showy milkweed displaying its wilting status with fruit and seeds. You can see the thin hairy strands clearly against blue backdrop and seeds from the opening of fruit. I took this picture at 150mm focal length, f-stop at 9 and exposure time at 1/800.

I got this snap at dusk time. The opening between rocks showing light blue sky and the curves on rock gave nice dramatic appearance. Used flash and angled to highlight the light on top rock to create difference of bright and dark shades on rock beds.

I liked the horizontal lines, vertical columns and diagonal lights showing depth and pattern in picture with lush green vegetation seen from openings. 

Mix of vibrant colors and shapes against plain blue sky are assets to this picture. Light reflecting in one direction is showing both bright and dark sides of color in single picture.

Moon is always beautiful even if we see everyday in different crescents. I got this Cheesy Moon with pitch black sky captured at 250mm focal length. We need good zoom lens to capture the surface of moon but still we can notice few in this picture. This is one of my favorites.

It’s wonderful to see Maple leaves changing colors. Lens: 80mm, f-stop: 5.6, ISO-400 and shutter speed 1/800.

Can you guess what this is? I took this picture of small swirl in water when I was sitting by a swimming pool. You can notice the floor of pool at the center and constant layers of swirl in radiating pattern. This is one good example for walk around photos.

I liked the way plane was soaring into sky leaving smoke against red sky during sunset. Nice dramatic background for evening picture.

Peek-a-boo….I see you….Got this snap when my kid was taking bubble bath…He was trying to see I am there or not to do some mischief…snapped this moment instantly…

I took this picture of Icicles to show the formation and water drops. Unlike timed sequence, I captured this shot using fast shutter speed at 1/3200. Looks like Jurassic park logo?

Up in the air and I clicked from down below. Tried to capture Helicopter’s propeller rotating action.

Nice walk around photo showing evening sunset skies with naked tree (I mean leafless…).