Revising post “Life is not all black and white”

Raj from XDrive has commented on my earlier submission based on a topic “Black and White“. Today I managed to improve my images according to what Raj has suggested. I hope I have understood what he wanted to convince.

Pic1: Beautiful landscape there! I can see the details of the sky which is also preserved nicely. Reflection is good too. The tree in the foreground also contributing to the scene. But I see lots of dark area in the picture. I would bring out the shadows and reduce the contrast a bit if needed. Basically, there are more blacks here.

Pic2: it’s very difficult to do a justice to a rose in black and white! It’s a great capture, I can see the fine details on the petals too. But picture overall is a bit underexposed. Also, the black background is making the picture look dark. You have to do the balancing of shades of grey carefully in post-processing.

Pic3: Since your intention is to show the statue, I feel you should have taken the closeup shot. Slower shutter speed also caused the softness to the image. Here the story is “mother and the son” other details are not required. Only need to have the sharp and closeup view of the statue.

Pic 5: Great shot and nice details everywhere. The picture looks sharp all around with the chosen aperture. As an improvement, you could try bit more contrast to the image?

Learning something new increases curiosity and later gives satisfaction. I am happy for now.

Comments are welcome. Help me learn more.

Playing with lenses

It’s time for a post on another session of learning photography. In his 11th lesson Raj discusses issues related to various lenses. It’s a very informative post and I was quite happy to learn about different lenses.

I own an entry level DSLR Nikon d3200 and have only two sets of lenses. One the kit lens 18-55mm and a zoom lens 55-300 mm. I am very glad that I bought this zoom lens as I travel a lot and also I enjoy taking birds photographs. Here I show the way I use my lenses in different situations.

The first picture was taken on our way to Marleshwar Shiva temple. I was glad that zoom lens was attached to the camera.

1/125 sec. f/5,6, 98mm, ISO 280

A note: One of the moeny is looking at prasad in a thin plastic bag which he snatched from a girl. A big challenge of dealing with monkeys near our temples from north to south in India. May be there is not enough food in forests now a days.

During our journey I saw these small red-yellow flowers. Most of the time they were hidden in heavy green vines but I managed to capture this one photo.

1/500 sec. f/5,6 300mm, ISO 200

The next shot of a sunset, I tried with zoom lens but it did not work (I am not sure of the reason). Within no time I changed the lens.

1/2000 sec. f/7,1 55mm, ISO 400

Next image was taken at Mandu. To capture wide angle image I used the kit lens.

1/400 sec. f/32 40mm, ISO 6400

Whenever I am out around lakes to captures birds. The zoom lens is a must. You see the result here “for a morsel of bread”

1/2000 sec. f/7,1 260mm, ISO 400

And lastly, for capturing the scenic beauty around Villa d’Este  in Tivoli, near Rome I used the kit lens.

1/250 sec. f/8 18mm, ISO 100

Time for your comments Raj!

Life is not all black and white

I love black and white photography and love to watch work of others but for me it’s a very difficult task. I try to avoid. I tried to work on it in my earlier days and even particiapted in Leanne’s Monochrome theme but then I was not satisfied with my own work. In a way I gave up on that.

In the 10th lesson of learn photography series, Raj has discussed various issues related to black and white photography. I decided to give it a try.

I like to take pictures while travelling even though the conditions are not often supportive but then it is easy to get a black and white or at least a monochrome  photo during winter. HEre is my first photo taken on Monday while travelling. The blur tree is the proof.

1/320 sec. f/4,5 34mm, ISO 3200

I tried to work on flowers but could make it with only one rose. When the colour of petals and stamen are similar it is difficult to get a perfect balance of grey.

The second is the statue of mother with her dead son by Käthe Kollwitz taken in Berlin.  Tourist are not allowed to enter the room and respect it. I kept the space around the statue just to show the size of the room.

Next is a bright colour perfectly locked bicycle.

1/10 sec. f/5,6 55mm, ISO 100

The top and the roof.

1/40 sec. f/8 48mm, ISO 100

I took this picture for the bright colours and I don’t want to miss the fun by converting it to black and white. Would you like to turn it to black and white???

1/200 sec. f/8 45mm, ISO 100

Now it’s time to listen to Raj.

Focussing right!

Another wonderful post by Raj@Xdrive inspired me to dig into my photo archives and share my thoughts/images with my fellow bloggers.  Lesson no. 9 on Learn Photogrpahy  is all about focus .   Raj says “…our focus point is of greater importance as for as the final output is concerned.”  OMG, this is what I learned in early days of photograpy. I was quite happy with this little finding 2 years ago.  Presenting two images from the past:

Next is to show how things change when we crop a picture. The first picture looks OK but after cropping I ralized that it was not properly focussed. The image details are  f/5.6, 1/125sek. and ISO 100

Below are some shots to illustrate “focus” with photo details.

1/125 sec., f/5.6 55mm, ISO 220

1/160 sec. f/6.3, 55mm, ISO 100

1/40 sec. f/4.2, 31mm, ISO 400

1/15 sec., f/5.6, 55mm, ISO 400

Hope you all enjoy this post. Now it’s time to listen to Raj!

Learning about closeup/macro photography

Here are my submissions for Raj’s lesson on Closeup/Macro.Yes, focusing is important. Pictures taken with Nikon D3200.

When it is about focus distance, I am so much comfortable with mobile than camera. “…Mobile phone cameras have very close focus distances such s 5 cms which is excellent for closeup shots.” Excellent point.

Next photo was taken with iPhone 5 and when I showed this to my colleague. Her reaction was, “you must have scared the bee”. I said why? And she literally put that mobile on my nose and said “so how do you feel now”?


As Raj suggested, I took multiple shots. I did check a few of them but due the fact that I was running out of time (it was during my training time and bees were always on move).


Light or bright light is “a” problem. A very bright sunny day made it almost impossible to capture this butterfly. Also the background and the butterfly were like on matching day parade. This picture was tken using Samsung GT-19305.


Capturing an object inside a glass is challenging. The movements of fish, the light system inside the tank and the reflections on the glass wall were main obstacles. Taken with D3200.

The rain drops were captured with Samsung and the flower core was captured using iphone5.   One thing I realized that mobiles are very handy to use but the clarity with Nikon is much better. I thought about buying extension tube but would love to buy a macro lens next year. We tried few shops in Japan but could not get original nikon lens. Seriously, I am not joking 😀

Now it’s time to listen to Raj’s comments.

Experimenting with blurs!

I can’t explain how much have I learned in last two days.  Let me be honest and tell you one thing, for me getting a blur image was only related to a water fall or river. Just to get that soft touch on water. I never though of getting soft background or dreamy image in general setting. I was using shutter speed to capture the cases with fast movements, especially for birds.

Here are my entries for Raj’s lesson on “blurs” in photography.

This image was taken this autumn. The leave was hanging very high up on the tree. The details for image: 1/500 sek. f/5,6 300 mm, ISO 320

learnphoto6_1  The second image is very interesting. The credit for blurring effect goes to the snow fall. The picture was taken from inside a bus. The details are 1/1000 sek. f/4,5 62 mm, ISO 400


On sunday, we got few hours (not exactly) of sunshine. It was very cold and there was strong wind but still I went out and tried some autumn shots by changing shutter speed.

The details for next image: 3.1/500 sek. f/11 92 mm, ISO 320


and the last one with aperture setting. The details are 1/4000 sek. f/6,3 85 mm. ISO 6400


After taking photos yesterday, I realize it really matter if you are looking at the light or against it. The amount of light already available makes a difference. Raj has opened a whole new world of “dreamy images to me”. There is so much to explore and enjoy.

I hope you enjoy the images!


Sharpness of image and not of tongue!

My schedule for the photography lessons is all messed up. I know one should make an effort than making excuses but I have too much on my plate. Anyways, lets come to the the point.

I like Raj’s post on sharpness though I am still not quick to decide on shutter speed or aperture settings. I know I should practice more but then again.  At least now I ask myself before a click what I want to capture and how I want it to be. If it turns in what really wanted is another story 🙂

The day I chose to work on assignment is a rainy day, and so I shall not be taking any new photos today instead will try to use images with different settings.

  1. As you see the subject was much closer to the camera. In the background is Victoria harbour in Hong Kong. The technical detals are F-stop:f/6.3m, exposure time: 1/160sec, ISO-100 and focal length: 30mm

This image was taken in garden in Hong Kong where sculptors of stars of Hong Kong are displayed. This garden is situated very close to harbour on Kowloon side. I decided to keep full background to show the exact place.


The details about second photo are 1/200 sek. f/5 22 mm, ISO 100. I crop the photo and check if the image was still sharp if I crop it.

Next image shows the effect of little disturbance. The image got blurry. The details are 5.1/100 sek. f/5,6 55 mm.


I like the sharpness of the foloowing images. The technical details of the first one are  6.1/320 sek. f/9 55 mmlearnphoto5_6















Next image was taken in  a Botanical garden during summer. What I like about the image is even though the focus was off centre I am able to capture the details of flowers and the bees. It looks pretty sharp!  The details are 1/200 sek. f/7,1 55 mm, ISO-100.


The my final imge was taken on an Italian Beach. I tried to capture breaking of waves. The details are  8.1/3200 sek. f/25 116 mm, ISO 6400


Now we shall be waiting for comments from Raj!

Exposure: Learn Photography 3

I am back in town and I was expecting some time to explore more about “exposure”. BUT our default weather is back and unfortunately I might not get chance to take my camera out for next 10 days (according to trusted weather forecast sites 😦 ).

I like the explanation on “Exposure” by Raj@XDrive and would love to go in field for practicals with birds as my subject. For time being I am using my old clicks from 2 years ago.  I had seen some pictures of blur or milky effect water falls and I was eager to capture such impressions. I read some articles and blogs. Due to the complicated explanation (and lack of patience on my side at that time), I decided to try different apertures and shutter speeds, and to learn a little bit on my own. I knew nothing about ISO then, not much even now as I have not experimented with it. In all my images it is 100.

It was a bright sunny day. learnphoto3_1 The settings were 1/125 sek. f/5,6 55 mm. Lens was set at maximum aperture and hence so much light. (Am I correct?)


Example of changing the shutter speed but keeping aperture constant. (please click the images for a better view and to check the settings).

And my final photo for this session. Here I used Shutter priority.

Getting blur effect and being happy!

The settings were 3/10 sec.,  f/36,  55 mm

All these pictures were captured using 18-55 kit lens. What shall be the difference if we use another lens? say 55-300 mm.  How to make good use of 55-300 mm lens? Will there be any post about various lenses and their uses?

Happy Teacher’s day Raj!