Monday, 5 November 2012


There is this wonderful Photography blog called by Akshay Bhoan. 
It is a great blog to check film roll reviews and reviews on Photography Books, Photographers, camera, lens etc... Also I love the healthy discussions and inspiring articles. 
Today I got a parcel consisting of 4 film rolls; Lomography Slide/ X-Pro 200, Fujifilm REALA 100, ORWO B&W, Kodak 200 from Akshay Bhoan!!! Cool! 

Since 2004 I am actively into Photography but became more serious with my first DSLR- Canon 40D in 2007. I grew up with film photography but we never had the professional or even remotely good camera in our home. We had those plastic- automatic- commercially mass produced Konica/ Kodak film cameras which my mother used to buy year after year since it never lasted longer... She herself likes to take pictures but she clicks without knowing any technical basics; in automatic mode. 
I liked Photography since childhood but I never got the result like the ones I saw on magazines so I took it for granted until later I realized that it takes a good camera to get good result; best a manual camera and whole lot of technical know-hows...
Since I come from a remote place, exposure to Photography and information was limited...

2000- A new world of World Wide Web opened up to me... much later it became my Photography teacher. I am a self taught but at times I feel that I should have joined a Photography class to makes things easier and quicker. 

I got into film photography very late- 2010-2011. I read up a lot from the net... 
Hopefully one day I'll get to have my own darkroom and stocks of film rolls...

Till then I thank Akshay Bhoan for encouraging a newbie like me by his thoughtful gesture. Thank you.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Ziro Festival of Music (September 2012)

Ziro Valley is known for it's scenic beauty and a well known place of Arunachal Pradesh. A music festival and a joint Art and culture festival was organized by few people I knew. My friend Dinu and I planned on going for the 3 days days music fest (14-15-16 Sep'12) to Ziro. 

I carried my Olympus E-PL2 with Cimko MT 28mm f/2.8 lens and Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 lens. Both the lens doesn't give me infinity focus and it was a very bad idea to carry them for traveling to a place which is known for lots of beautiful sceneries. Cimko MT is also particularly not a very nice lens. The one I have is on MD mount. I realized my folly much latter when I struggled for infinity focus. I tried my best with the lenses and tried "focus free" technique most of the times.
M43 Olympus gives 2X crop so Cimko MT 28mm f/2.8 lens becomes 56mm focal lens (kindly correct me if I am wrong). I post processed some of the photos in Adobe Photoshop CS4 and tried retaining the details of the sceneries and also by sharpening the photos.

We stayed in Dinu's uncle Mr. Tilling Dole's lodge. It was a pleasant co-incidence because Mr. Dole was also a Govt. commissioned photographer but now turned organic farmer and Entrepreneur.
A friend of ours had set up tea stall. We helped her run the stall and meanwhile I also did Tarrot reading for fun. The music was great. We had our own North-East celebrated artists (barefoot rock singer-Lou Majaw) and other performing. There were bands from Delhi and other part of India such as Manwhopause, etc. My favourite was the punk-rock girlband- Vinyl Records where 4 of the members are my juniors from Arunachal Pradesh. It is my bad that I don't have their photos or much of the concert photos since I was helping in the store and had limitations with my lenses...  

We also went sight-seeing to a local Hindu (Shiv-ling) temple.
I had lots of fun but I do regret not taking much photos or doing much. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sad child and smiling woman

Street/ People Photography: 
This morning I went to Ganga Lake for a group cleanliness drive and after returning back, on the way I saw this child sitting alone in front of a small closed shop. The kid looked sad and aloof. She didn't even once raise her head and sat like this even after I took 3 snaps of her...

Exif data:
Camera: Canon 40D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6

ISO- 400
Focal length- 20mm
Aperture- f/6.3
Shutter Speed- 1/250
Shot in aperture priority mode

The lady with a bucket:
ISO- 400
Focal length- 20mm
Aperture- f/6.3
Shutter Speed- 1/1600

Monday, 2 July 2012

DIY: How to convert your film negatives into digital positives

Step 1: 
I made a film holder of paper and glue paper on a clear glass. One can slide the film negatives from the side.

This project was inspired by

This is a cheap alternative to negative scanner which is expensive. 

Camera used: Olympus EPL-2
lens used: Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5 lens with +10 macro filter.
Software used for editing and conversion: Adobe Photoshop CS5

Step 2: 
Fit a dedicated macro lens on your camera. I don't have a macro lens so I used a macro +10 lens filter on the existing lens. Macro lens gives better sharpness and resolution but the macro filter is also workable.

Note: When taking pictures of the negatives, use "manual setting" for the lens. 

I used this setting while taking photo:
Camera in Aperture priority and Aperture set to 8
ISO- 200 (lesser the better for clarity. The minimum in Olympus is ISO 200)
Shutter speed: 10-30
Lens in manual focus.

Step 3: 
Open "Notepad" and maximize it. We need a bright and white background.

Step 4:
Set the glass negative holder in front of the computer screen. Make sure no extra reflection falls on the glass/ negatives or the camera lens. I realised that best is when done during the night time.

Step 5: 
Use something so that the glass is not so slanting. I used a hair clip but later *not shown in the photo* I kept a small box in between the glass and the screen so that the glass stood straight.

Step 6: Open the file in photoshop and crop out the sides especially the punched white portion.
After this use this short cuts: Ctrl + I and this way the negatives will be converted into positive. 
The photo may have a blue cast and simple use of " Ctrl+shift+L" will remove the blue cast. 
From here you can do what you want with the photo processing or leave at this stage and save the photo.

Photos developed with this method:

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Street photography: Delhi

I am a shy person by nature. I used to think that I am reserved but at times I can be quite extrovert so I guess I am just plain shy. Once my initial inhibitions are gone, I can be quite open. This is same for me when it comes to Street photography. I used to fret a lot earlier and by the time I make my mind up, the subject moves away or the frame is gone... These days I have a renewed confidence on Street Photography. I am still very much a novice but I did try clicking some photos and coming out of my shell. I hope you enjoy the photos or rather chaos of Delhi/ India.These are just random and few but since I have a renewed my confidence in Street Photography...more to come soon. Please watch out!

 Photos taken in Sarojini Nagar Market in Delhi, India. Look at the never-ending crowd! Wish I could be in a more higher ground to show the flow of the crowd.
 Shopkeeper arguing in front of Murals and Statues sold for cheap.
 Cheap Jeans
 Boy selling "Papad" (Rice crackles).
 vegetable vendors in Sarojini Market

Momos! This a Nepali or Tibetan variation of Chinese dimsums sold on the road side in many cities/ towns of India. It is cheap and tastes good.

Taken with GoPro HERO2 Camera in Chandni Chowk, Delhi. Not the sharpest photo and even the colour looks less saturated. I came here looking for old camera and found Zenit 11 camera. Updated here:

Dog eating outside a Hindu temple in Chandni Chowk. Many street dogs strive well in India because most Indians are religious and spiritual and believe in greater kindness towards animals and birds. they often leave food for street dogs and cows on the road side or outside their homes.
Photo taken in Connaught Place. I came here to get my canon 40D serviced. Very bad service I must say. I had some fungus issue on the inside of the camera and dust on the view finder. The technician at the Canon centre said that I need to change my sensor and viewfinder for Rs. 27 thousand something (about 28,000!!!). I got my camera back and had it cleaned in Chandni Chowk for Rs. 1500! Didn't get the dust off the viewfinder but it is workable as of now.

This photo was taken in District Park, opposite Saffdarjung Enclave.

Look at the crowd again! I am not used to seeing such a large crowd as I come from a small town so it actually intrigues me to see flow of human beings at one place: strangers. The photo was taken in Nehru Place, Delhi. I came here for to get my laptop serviced. This is the largest wholesale place for electronics in Delhi.

Photo of my niece Moni and her young maid Sapna with her pug, Mango. She is a student of Tourism in Delhi. Photo taken outside her flat.
Many young students from the North East of India like her stay in Delhi as a Paying Guest, in Hostels or flats for higher studies. Students from good family usually stay in flats with helpers brought along with them from their home. India is a developing country with many poor people. The Rich and the Poor of India has a huge difference in their capital income. It is easy and cheap to find domestic helps in India. Even the middle class people of India keep helpers.

An old man resting in District Park, Delhi.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Zenit 11 : Camera review and test photos

I am not any camera expert but I decided to do a little review on Zenit 11.
I got the camera with 5 lenses and couple of other things in a brown leather box from the old camera market in Chandi Chowk, Delhi for Indian Rupees 5000 (around USD $100)! Quite a deal! The camera and the lenses were in pristine condition without any use marks or dust or fungus. I guess the previous owner hardly used it.

The stuffs that came in the box are: 

Zenit 11 Camera

SOLIGOR AUTO-ZOOM 1:4.5 F=75mm-260mm lens
HELIOS AUTO 1:2.8 f=135mm lens
HELIOS-44-2 2/58 lens
HELIOS-44M-4 58/2 lens
M42 Macro extension 3 rings tube set

67mm lens hood
52mm lens hood
49mm lens hood

Cokin 49mm mm kit with A.061, A 056 and 58 mesh filters.

Above all in pristine condition. Quite deal for Rs.5000!
Getting into the bit of history behind Zenit 11, it was produced from 1981 through 1990 by KMZ and MMZ in Russia. Zenit 11 is the last of E series of Zenit cameras. 

I don’t have much experience in film SLRs having my Canon 40D and Olympus EPL2 and couple of other electronic toy cameras. This is my first film SLR camera and I think that Zenit 11 is a pretty little robust camera. The camera has black glossy finish and on hold feels heavy and metallic. The ergonomics are neat and the camera is quite pretty to look at. The buttons are placed where they should without any obstruction. It is coupled with a selenium meter which works perfectly fine. The shutter speed varied from B, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/1250, 1/500. It has 50, 100, 200, 400 and 500 ASA (ISO) film speeds. The camera makes a loud clunky sound when clicking pictures. I got the camera in April 2012 and it has not been even one month but I see slight paint loss already on the camera. 

I took few photos with the lenses and realized that it needs lens hood/ FDL/ ND filters on the lens because the strong Indian sunlight leaves a white smoke like lens flare on the photos when taken towards bright sky. Also in almost all the photos the sky usually came over exposed. 
I used 2 rolls on the camera- Kodak ISO 200 and Kodak ISO 400 and didn’t know any better while taking photos. Even though it has a selenium meter, in indoors the meter hardly works so taking photos was solely intuitive. I did some search online and learnt about Sunny 16 rules and tried applying it. I felt that the lens focused much better outdoor than indoors. The reasons could be many- such as my first time shooting, my eye sight, not knowing from A to B initially, lens, etc. It will take me couple of more clicks to actually know how the camera and the lens work and understand their strength and drawbacks. 
I got the negatives developed and scanned and was super excited with the result. At first I was actually happy that the photos even showed! I was afraid that the roles were all blank… After my initial excitement waned, I actually saw the photos in a new light. The photos are less saturated and being a digital user I thought it could do better with the colour saturation and contrast but the again it could be various reasons- the film roll or the way it was processed and scanned. Also the photos were exceptionally sharp on few photos and soft on others which again could be because of various reasons. I don't mind the soft pictures, in fact I've learnt to love it in a different way. 
Over all I am in love with Zenit 11 at the moment and the lenses. The 5 lenses are also quite an addition to my Olympus PEN EPL2.
I am a happy owner. 

Last March I went to Delhi for some personal work with my family helper Tulsi. So after getting the camera and the lens we went around shooting in District Park and these are the photos from there...

Pekinese name: Milan. Unsharp and photo which was hard to focus in the dim light

I set my aperture to 8 and focused to infinity/ 30 and shutter speed to 250-500 with ISO 400 Kodak roll to just point and shoot in Chandni Chowk.