Fooggy Chennai

It’s really a cool Annual report by WordPress – Year 2014 review.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hello Dear Readers,

Have you clicked the above link for the full report? If not please do that and proceed further.

If you are reading this, than I think I have served something helpful to you in my earlier posts -Thanks for hanging around with me. If you havenot been earlier here and you are reading this Welcome aboard. This year will meet you with more posts.

Last year happened to be 20 posts, and 2 blank months – bad isn’t it? Not well planned though. This year will maintain 4 posts per month (minimum one per month and maximum nos. to maintain 54 posts in the year).

My very first post had got the most no. of hits last year. “The busiest day of the year was March 4th with 376 views” It is really awesome, you know.! Your very first post holds the most views. I am glad and the meaning of this blog is started appearing.

Stop – Have I told you what is my next post? “The most powerful toolbar in Lightroom”

Cheers and great Going Navanee – It’s to me this time. 😉

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Handicap is just a word.

Don’t do what you do not like – Period

Why one need to do what they cannot hold upon? In my case, it is photography. The answer is really simple. You don’t know what you are really capable of unless you try doing it. But your instincts or inner gut have somehow already know it.

Life Quote

Last week, I have attended one of my friend’s wedding. She is friendly, well matured and a good communicator. When I was working, we both were working together in a project where she would be able to make friends wherever she just walks in. But to me, it was her the only one friend. During that time, I was losing interest in the project and the work itself  for many reasons –  one reason was my immediate superior being a highly incompetent person. It was a sin to work under an incompetent person. Despite having many personal reasons to continue my work there, I started thinking about pursuing photography which I am doing it often then and now. And it was a call from my heart  – I should mention it here, some gut feeling, often my mind stays in photography.

 

I placed my resignation letter, the formalities were completed and I started pursuing photography as I wished. Similar to any startups or any creative person’s initial days, I have also faced turbulence in running it for living. Now have extended my photography to all commercial avenues, including candid Weddings, Industrial shoots, Facilities, Fashion, Fine art and I have also started conducting Photography workshops, Lightroom workshops etc. Now planning to open my own studio soon, waiting for the funds to flow in. More importantly, I can fix a routine to my work.

 

Now coming back to the friend’s wedding, I met another friend who was working on the other project then. She was interested in music & singing and had performed on stages at small level. Her mind was always in music, not in the excel sheets. In the wedding she came to me and said – “I also quit my job, got a scholarship in music course, going to full time music class to upgrade myself and you are the inspiration for me to quit my job”. I felt like I had no words to say anything to her. As it was a wedding hall, I kept myself quite with all my energies, and just said “All the very best for your future”. Though I had not achieved much except few wonderful photographs and really worth friends,  I am not doing what I do not like. I think not doing what you do not like is more important than doing what you like to do. Because you might not have come across the thing which might blow your head yet, so stop doing what you don’t like. Start exploring. After all, it’s your life. 🙂

When I was driving back home, I told my wife “I have inspired one and I am proud of it”.

Ansel Adams

The most favourite quotes of mine about Photography.

“…how you build a picture, what a picture consists of,

how shapes are related to each other, how spaces are

filled, how the whole thing must have a kind of unity.” – Paul strand.

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs”. – Ansel Adams

“The pictures are there, and you just take them.” – Robert capa

Universal language

“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.” – David Bailey

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer.” – Walter de mulder

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman.

 

“Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That’s the thing about painting, photography, cinema.” – David Lynch.

 

“Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease.” – Anonymous

When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.” – Wynn Bullock

photoquote

“I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today’s existence.” – Robert Mapplethorpe

 

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” – Peter Adams

 

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.” – Steve McCurry

“When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.” – Annie Leibovitz

 

“I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.” – Diane Arbus

 

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” – Elliott Erwitt

 

“Essentially what photography is is life lit up.”- Sam Abell

Quotes about Photography

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” – Alfred Stieglitz

 

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”- Destin Sparks

 

“To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.” – Edward Weston

 

“The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.” – Susan Sontag

 

“In the context of photography , there was a luck.But the luck will come, when the photographer is ready.” – Adithya Zen

 

“Would you hang it on your wall? Then it’s a good photograph.” ― Leslie Dean Brown

 

What’s your favourite quote? Post it as comments.

Flight, Greens,

Histogram is Nothing

There are many articles out in the web which explains Histogram in detail and technically as well. But this article is intended to demonstrate histogram in a simple way without going into in-depth technical details.

I have chosen a simple Black & White image to demonstrate it, because that is what the Histogram is fundamentally. Yes – “the graphical representation of luminescence level of each pixel in an any given image”.

Mountain and a waterfalls engulfed by mist.

Mountain and a waterfalls engulfed by mist.

Have a detailed look at the image, the top right portion of the image is covered by fog and it is bright. The bottom left of the image is covered by rocks and it is dark. Draw an imaginary diagonal line across the image from top left to bottom right. Now look again, it would be easy now to understand. The fog portion comes under whites and the rock portion comes under Blacks. Look at the respective Histogram below.

Histogram

Histogram of the above photograph.

If you look at the photograph – almost the dark & light pixels are equal(quantity wise). Isn’t it.? Now look at the Histogram, isn’t the same data displayed here in the histogram clearly? The light pixels are on the right side of the histogram and the dark pixels are on the left side. That’s it. In between, the connecting pixels are mid tones, which you can again see it on the image as well. Across the diagonal line, the tones on both sides of the line will fall on mid tones except the top left of the image, where it will fall under blacks.

HistogramOne more thing we have to understand is, any white area on the image will fall on the right side of the histogram, whereas blacks will always fall on the left side. For example, turn the image 180° horizontally. Now the fog will appear on your left side and rock on the right side but the histogram would remain the same.

The same photograph but flipped.

The same photograph but flipped.

Hope this article clear your initial blocks towards understanding the histogram. For a detailed understanding of Histogram and why should one push the histogram towards right, I would recommend reading this article in dPS. In another article will discuss about types of Histogram.

Cheers and Happy photographing. 🙂

Abbas Attar

 
 

“Abbas Attar” a Magnum Photographer born in Iran and migrated to France, a serious photojournalist who covered many wars and revolutions in many countries. You can find more information about him here in a Wikipedia entry and the magnum entry here.  The below photograph by him made me write this article.

\Belfast Fire - Meaning of life - Abbas

G.B. NORTHERN IRELAND. Belfast. A wall crumbles down after having been set on fire, presumably by the IRA.

This photograph was shot at Belfast by Abbas while the building was on fire, purposely been set on due to some enmities. Look at the action been captured in the frame. His many of the photographs are mostly plenty of action packed in it. This photograph is so famous due to the amount of action happening in the frame. No idea how many clicks Abbas made to get this perfect shot or this could also be the one and only shot! However, look at the actions happening in the frame; building wall is being collapsed and falling down towards the firefighter who was trying to douse the fire. The water from the hose reel is in harmony with the hose reel lying in the bottom right side of the frame, curvy! Abbas definitely lied down in order to include the hose reel in such a way, it adds value to the photograph overall. The lampposts are showing us a hint that this event is happening in a narrow street and additionally the eaves of the opposite building – top right side of the frame. The photograph is not perfectly vertical but that has overcome by the amount of action captured.

It is not what you know about photography, it is about being able to show off in a place at the right time with what you know already. No Questions, carry your camera with you all the time for maximum opportunities – you never know, where, what will happen. Regret is not an option, encountering an outstanding moment and unable to capture because you did not bring your camera with you is sad.

This photograph is a part of “The Meaning of life” a book compiled by the editors of the Life Magazine.

 

Steve – A living legend.

People who know about Steve McCurry, please do not read further as you might have read this earlier. What you are going to read further is an attempt of myself to understand few of his works, as I highly admire his work. Though there are/were many legends in this world, I admire him because of the following reasons. The first being that he has visited India 82 times so far in his life which eventually made him know about India better than any average Indian.  The second being the no. of photographs he included human elements in his photographs, the percentage is more or almost all of them. After all we are humans, we better perceive things if it is related to any human form.

Most of his photographs are highly evocative, in general his processing is a bit of boosting saturation, tonal curve adjustment to give the slight faded look and careful usage of vignette and most importantly his photographs are around half stop underexposed which are his trademarks. Another important thing is he doesn’t convert his photographs in to Monochromes often, very few images have had this transition. Many of his popular photographs have been discussed in many places and umpteen times, I have selected few of his less discussed photographs, at least relatively. His other interesting work is here in his blog.

Look at the harmony and the perfect balance in this photograph, two humans & two ships, two poles near by the persons & two poles where the net tied, everything is two except the umbrella and the net. Importantly the horizon is not at the dead center and his view point is bit off center, may be in order to not interfering the ships by the poles.. Could have been a late evening and drizzling too, careful selection of high f no, he must have boosted ISO for obvious reasons and the grains too are obvious to support in this photograph. Even if these two persons were motionless this photograph could have been a very good one, but he let some action happening between the persons, so that the viewer expands his thoughts. And most importantly Steve chose not to convert it in to a Monochrome which we often choose to do and give a lot of explanation to that. If you look at it in a layer based visualisation, firstly two persons – the distance between them is little. Second the poles, in relation with the persons it is wider. Next in relation with the poles the ships are slightly wider. Who knows? Steve might have different idea altogether and that is what is all about photography or for that matter any form of art. Isn’t it.?
The Tailor
You might have seen this photograph earlier, but let me tell you why this photograph is important. After this photograph published in National Geographic magazine, the sewing machine company found this old man in India all the way from USA and gave him a new sewing machine.! Have a look at this man, he is under crisis, his home must have been devastated by the floods. But he holds a smile with his toothless mouth (may be Steve cracked a joke!). No wonder Steve categorised this photograph under Universal language.
The boy and the foot ball
Sheer power of simple composition – If the kid stands upright, this photograph would be a normal one. The staircase balustrade line, the staircase slab line and the human body inclined with somewhat parallel to the above two lines makes this photograph an interesting one. The ball above his head is adding value and makes sense to his inclination.
Soldiers
Correlation – The soldiers on the wall painting, people inside the bus. Soldiers have gun in their hand, all those people’s hands are either supporting or holding, in other words all the hands are visible to the viewer. And the two ladies on the wall and the two persons outside the bus. The red colour patch on the wall and the red colour band on the bus.
Few of his other works, which I find difficult to write an insight kind of.
Prayer
Hunger

 

All of the above photographs has been taken from his website. If you have an opinion/insight about his above works do share in the comments section. I have made an earlier attempt here. An interesting article here about how digital photographers have fetishized sharpness and detail.
Cheers.

A place called Agumbe.

Agumbe

Golden rays

We were a bunch of 22 people from CTC, thought of going to a research centre, even though it is a bit of contradicting to usual treks and trips. Where a man does research about King cobras (Ophiophagus hannah). You know Gowrisankar just loves kings.

Agumbe

The research centre is located in mid of forest with basic facilities (Mobile phone, Electricity and Internet are not yet basic facilities) with a decently sized hut with a desk and timber bench on both the sides. On one adjacent side there are two timber almirah with books inside which are related to snakes and wildlife. Behind the almirah there is a small sink cum wash basin for obvious reasons. Now you may conclude that the desk cum bench arrangement is for reading, dining and sleeping at times.  🙂

Agumbe

Do not disturb. !

At the morning you woke up from the tent by hearing the melodious sound of Malabar whistling thrush. During the day time you roam around inside the jungle under the thick tree canopy, trying to understand the bio-diversity prevailing there. Insects, Reptiles, Amphibians, Mammals, Birds and Ferns, Flora all in one place.

Fern

Fern

 

Once you woke up in the morning either you go for a small hike cum trek to the near by mountain or explore the bio-diversity. Before I forget to mention the restrooms are really neat and clean. Important one, isn’t it. 😉

Agumbe

Life everywhere.

If you go there with an agenda it will be good for you and the agenda too, you study / learn / research or what you are intended to do to. I have a plan to go there again probably with my best buddy to chat, read books and to star-gazing also.

Agumbe

Food will be prepared by the local cook and you will be getting a yummy and tasty Malanad dishes, you don’t need multi cuisine food to learn or study the nature. Isn’t it?

There is a stream in the premises where you can have a dip and enjoy the natural water. Since we visited the place in the initial time of summer the water was slow moving. During monsoon it must be wild and non-swimmers must stay away.

Colours of the Spring.

Colours of the Spring.

During the nights you can have a night walk with the volunteer from the centre. You will have an opportunity to sight the nocturnal life inside the jungle snakes, frogs, insects etc.,

You will be asked to switch off the small light in the hut at 10:00 PM which is been powered by a small UPS, to not to disturb the wildlife. After that you may go to your tent or you may watch the stars for sometime in between the areca nut trees. It’s a wonderful sight.

Agumbe trip-004-2

If Gowri is around, you can extract as many information from him about the Kings. I suggest not to ask many questions to him, he will share everything he knows in the workshops. 🙂 Simply putting, those three days were beautiful days.