Sunday, 24 May 2009

Long Time No See

Its been a while since I dropped in on my blog. Again. This time, there were more compelling reasons than just my laziness. Considering the fact that the last post was way, way back in October of the earlier year, I have a lot of time to account for. And I shall do just that.

I seem to have completely forgotten what I was doing in October and November of the aforementioned year. Same goes for most of December as well. I do remember one thing from December though. Tata Consultancy Services Limited finally realised that they had offered me a job over a year back and decided to train me in Trivandrum. Starting from the 29th of December! Timed perfectly to ruin everyone's New Year's plans. More on that later.

After spending a little over (or was it under?) 2 months in God's own country, I came back to Madras sometime in March. After sitting around in TCS' cafeteria and playing TT for aroud 3 or 4 weeks, I managed to get into a project.

Those are what I have been upto in the intervening period after my earlier post. More details of the training will follow soon (hopefully).

Saturday, 4 October 2008


I have heard of this but never realised how bad it can be.
Pictures really do speak a thousand words.......

A bigger picture here.
To do your little bit to help, go to

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Lens Reversal Result #1

After spending a considerable amount of time and energy making an extremely simple lens reverse adapter, I realised that my fingers were in no state to hold the camera and take shots safely. So I waited a couple of days to ensure the safety of the camera, and built up the nerve to reverse mount a lens. And when I finally managed to reverse mount it, it fit perfectly! Like fingers (your own, preferably cleaned with an olfactorily enhanced soap) in your mouth.

Only after mounting the lens did I realise that I had no idea what to shoot. In my search of a suitably micro subject, I stumbled upon a bunch of roses floating on water filled in a brass or brass-looking vessel placed on a suitably unstable, foldable thing about a foot high. Upon closer inspection I noticed that all that dead flora had a very living faunal companion. A worm was cradled inside one of the flowers.

Spotting the worm was a lot easier than shooting it. First there was the lack of light, which was soon taken care of by the careful placement of a rarely used, extended reading lamp. Next was the focusing on the subject. With a depth of field reminiscent of the edge of an aerobically oxidised razor blade, even a deep breath would put the freaking worm out of focus. As a result, the fans were switched off and I started holding my breath while shooting. Thank God for the tripod... Soon, both the worm and I started losing a lot of water, me in the form of sweat, and the worm in the form of worm sweat as a result of the significantly "warm" lighting. After spraying some water on the worm to prevent it from drying up in the course of the shoot, I shot it. Worms are by far the most cooperative subjects I have ever shot.

More pictures here.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

It's About Time............

It has been a while since I dropped in on my own blog to post something. This is what I have been doing these days…….

• Running a little, some working out in the gym and some swimming.

• Running the Chennai Half Marathon despite promising myself I wouldn't run it ever again as long it was held before sun down and then wishing I had kept my promise.

• Spending an unhealthy amount of time reading a lot of stuff online.

• Shooting some time lapse videos.

• Hearing The Song about a hundred and seventy three million times and wondering why I did not listen to Nada Nada earlier.

• Wondering how I could make some money from pictures I have shot.

• Hoping to post something soon.

Basically, life has been in the doldrums the past few months and it finally looks like I may be heading towards the trade winds. Taking into account the fact Geography was never one of my stronger subjects in school, I could be completely wrong. Anyway, it's about time I started posting again and hopefully, more regularly than before.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Reversing a Lens

The Why

Although I am extremely happy with the Sigma 18-200mm lens which I have been using since the day I got my camera, I do at times feel a little guilty for never, ever, using the 18-55mm kit lens the camera came with. After contemplating the various uses it could be put to such as a visually appealing paperweight, a chew toy for my almost-one-year-old cousin and even as a replacement for the Frisbee on the beach, due to various reasons such as me not having papers to weigh down, my almost-one-year-old cousin's undiluted hatred for the black, lumpy thing with markings and its aerodynamic inefficiency, I finally decided to use it as lens.

But this was completely against what little common sense I still have left. Why use an 18-35 when I have an 18-200 which does everything the former does and even manages to do it better?! And then in a moment of geniosity, reminiscent of Archimedes' overused "Eureka" episode, I realized I could reverse the lens and use it for macros! After searching around Madras for about 3 days and spending an unwise amount of fuel in the pursuit of the above mentioned adapter, I finally steeled my heart and decided to make one myself. I knew I had a Better Photography magazine somewhere which told me how I could make one of those for the price of a few packs of peanuts. Then there were those golden words by the cult philosopher Clarksonius to spur me on – "How hard can it be?"

The How

To reverse a lens and use it, all you have to do is remove it, turn it around and hold it with your hand. Although the simplest method, this would require the use of three hands, which not many of us have managed to evolve as yet, to operate comfortably.

To reverse a lens, you need something that would fit the front element of the lens and something which would fit the hole in the center of the camera body and some glue to stick them both together. I got a conversion ring for about 45 rupees and spent over 2 days looking for a body cap only to be told at the Canon outlet that I cannot get one of those unless I bought a new DSLR. Realizing that this would exceed my modest budget of 50 rupees by over 30,000 rupees, I decided to use the body cap which came with my camera.

Since Canon did not have the foresight to provide me with a perfectly transparent body cap, I had to make a hole in the body cap big enough to not obstruct the sensor. I should have listened to my mum and used the services of a professional cutter of hard things to get a proper hole cut out of the body cap. But instead, I decided to use a soldering iron to melt out a hole in the plastic in the true spirit of DIY. Bad, bad idea. To better control the iron, I kept trying to hold it resulting in multiple burns on multiple fingers, some of which looked uncannily like miniature crop circles.

About an hour and 8 burns later, I had the hole melted out of the body cap. A few minutes of filing to smoothen the edges, and I was almost done. Some Fevi Quick (anything is ok as long as it can stick plastic and metal together) on the conversion ring to stick it to the body cap and you are done. Do keep in mind that in case you manage to adhere the side which threads onto the lens to the holed out body cap, soak it in warm water to unbind them and do it correctly the next time.

The Result

Shot with the 18-35mm kit lens mounted normally

Shot with the same lens reverse mounted

More pictures here.