Tuesday, 23 September 2008
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 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
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?"
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.
More pictures here.
Monday, 12 May 2008
No, its not a book based on the English term catch-22. THIS is the book that fathered and mothered the term (Is that biologically possible?). The book, by Joseph Heller, revolves around Yossarian, a bombardier for the Allies, whose primary objective is to stay alive (what’s the point in winning The War, if you’re not around to enjoy the spoils…), and those around him. This seems quite obvious to us but Yossarian’s superior, Colonel Cathcart, seems to think otherwise.
So, Yossarian does all he can to ensure that he stays out of sight of a million strangers trying to kill him. Unfortunately, he is trapped by a clause in the hilarious Great Loyalty Oath Crusade which states – “A man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.”
Initially, you might believe that for Yossarian insanity is not an excuse to stay away from flying, but is the essence of his being. But soon, you realise that the only fault with him is that he is dangerously sane. The only man on the planet who can clearly see through all the pointless madness and wants nothing to do with any of it.
This is the by far the most bitter and funny book I have ever read. In fact, bitter does not quite fit the bill. Its wickedly funny. Its so wicked that it would make the fairy tale witches cringe.
More pictures here.
PS – KK, I finally found your book!!!
Wednesday, 23 January 2008
More pictures here.
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
Left to right-Tan, Nari, The Cameraman, Dr. Cowboy, SKP, The Cook.
Above- Our Driver.