Monday, 9 December 2013

DIY: Flaps to stop camera strap marks

I acquired mint condition Nikon FM2n and Pentax MX from ebay. Saw these tiny strap marks from the metal lugs of the camera and I decided to make flaps to protect the camera from such strap marks further. Actually I saw photos of old Leica and other expensive cameras with leather flaps and the idea is inspired from there.
My mother gave me this old leather bag and I decided to use the upper part of it and restore the rest of the bag as it is.
I must add that I don't buy leather products consciously since I love animals and the leather industry disturbs me. I do use some old leather stuffs which has been with me for a long time, mostly given by other or got them by mistake when I didn't know any better. Not using them at all would again be a loss to those poor animals who died needlessly for it. So I keep them well even if they are tattered. Okay, I don't want to sound preachy or be on the other side of the fence and since this is a DIY tutorial, here it goes.

The photos are pretty much self explanatory.

Multiple Exposure with Olympus E-PL2 and Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AI-S lens

Multiple Exposure Photos with Olympus E-PL2 and Nikon 24mm f/2.8 AI-S lens with my friend Ampi. In-Camera editing. Water marked in PS6

Taken by Ampi

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Random (Street) Photography

Few random shots:

There is a shopping complex in Naharlagun called Takar Complex. They usually sell various clothes and home articles imported from Thailand or China. It is like a flee market. Goods here can be bargained and are cheap but they are still more than their retail value. I went with my Mom to get few things and since I had my camera with me, tried few shots.
The below shots are taken with CCTV/ Fujian 35mm f/1.7 lens on Olympus E-Pl2.
Fujian/ CCTV 35mm f1.7 lens is a fun lens and not for serious Photography.
It has only centre sharpness and also it is not smooth or easy to focus beyond certain distance.
It does well with near distance subjects.
There was a lot of haze and lens flare too.
I tried to correct them in Photoshop PS6

Below Photos are taken with Pentacon 50mm f1.8 lens on Canon 40D.
I've read various lens reviews on Pentacon 50mm f1.8 lens and none of them were very positive about the lens.
I LOVE the lens! Pentacon 50mm f1.8 lens is a sharp and fast lens. The colours are also punchy and nice.

Photos taken with Olympus E-PL2 and Fujian/ CTV 35mm f/1.7 lens.
 The above photo shows the irony of Idol worship and superstition in India. You can see a small temple of Goddess Kali. The Goddess is locked inside and there is this large Donation Box which reads "Daan Pantre" in Hindi which means Donation Box. It was captured with Olympus E-Pl2 and Fujian/ CCTV 35mm f/1.7 lens

 Construction of temporary pavilion of Goddess Durga for Durga Puja.

Below Photos taken with Olympus E-Pl2 and lens that I don't remember....
Kids on the back of a pickup truck... Looks like they are from a Karate school.

 Decorations during Durga Puja at night

Sunday, 13 October 2013

DIY: Nikon/ Canon 50mm f/1.8 Focusing Ring Problem Solved!

I love using manual older lenses. The focus ring on the older lenses has either rubber grip bands or has ridged metal which are easy to maneuver. 
Modern lenses even though has better glasses on them (arguable), the body is plastic and the focus ring is not as well built like their older counterparts. This especially holds true for 50mm lenses of Canon and Nikon. Both Canon 50mm f/1.8II lens and Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8D lenses are plastic made and has very thin focusing rings which are not smooth to rotate. Most people shoot in auto mode these days so probably the focus ring is not much of a priority for the lens maker anymore.
Manual focusing is very useful for people who likes to shoot full manual or manual focus during macro shoots.
No problems!
I found a solution.

    After. It is smoother to focus now and also it looks cool and glows in the dark! 

I bought these cheap glow wrist rubber bands which you'll see many teenagers wearing or people wear during parties. I put the rubber band around the focusing ring of Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens and viola! The focusing ring is smooth as butter now (hmmm...not really) and the grip of the rubber feels good and easier to control. At least it doesn't feel so flimsy.
Now if you don't find such rubber band, you can be creative with strip of a rubber tire glued together or stapled together in the end or find something around you that will do.  

The glow bands look good even on older manual lenses.

Bands glowing in dark.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Ziro Festival of Music (September 2013)

Hello everyone!

Photo courtesy: Dibit Tatak
I am back from Ziro Festival of Music ! Actually I came back on 23rd of September and left for Aalo/ Along on 24th and came back to Itanagar on 29th night and have been very busy ever since with Office work. I am yet to convert my RAW images to JPEG and upload them on my blog and here (Updated).

I went to Ziro Festival of Music 2013 (20-22rd Sep' 2013) with Dinu Tatak, Dibit Tatak and Reekam Bengia. Reekam Bengia dropped us in Ziro and headed off to Koloriang (his hometown) from there.

It's been a very good experience. Met many interesting people. 

I met Shiv Ahuja- a concert (and everything in between) Photographer who came with the band Manwhopause. He uses 50mm lens mostly while traveling.
And then there was Rohan Pandit, a research student who is staying in Eaglenest (West Kameng) for last couple of months shooting birds and frogs for his study. I met him when Dibit and I went for Bird watching on 22nd of September. 

Ziro people are honest and hard working. I must add that I met one of the member of my facebook group "Arunachal Film and Photography Lovers"- Mr. Kojmama Taman who is the President of Arunachal Pradesh Birding Club  He embodies the true spirit of Ziro people! I lost 2 of my memory cards- a 16 GB class 10 and a 4GB class 4 Memory cards and had been very upset over it. Viola! Mr. Kojmama found it in his car and contacted me for the same and soon I'll get it back! If you are reading this, Thank you from my heart! 

I took along Olympus E-PL2, Canon 40D and GoPro Hero2 cameras.

The lenses that I took along were-
  1. Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 (to be used on Olympus E-PL2. It doesn't work in 40D and gives error message!),
  2. Nikon Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AI (used mostly)
  3. Nikon Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI,(used fairly)
  4. Minolta MC Rokkor 58mm f/1.2 (used fairly)
  5. Super Ozeck MC 135mm f/2.8 lens (used fairly. Surprisingly very good lens for an unknown brand)
  6. Cosinon Auto MC 200mm f/3.5 (used only once for Birding)
  7. Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 on Canon 40D (hardly used)
Packed various lens hoods because I knew I would be working a lot under the sun. Hoya Polarizing filter was a must and came handy. 

Photos from GoPro Hero2 is not it's greatest strength.

I ended up using mostly Olympus E-PL2 and Nikon 24mm f/2.8 lens as my workaround lens because it was the only lens which gave me a bit of wide angle (not really... 48mm) and also I used Minolta 58mm f/1.2, Nikon 105mm f/2.5 and a bit of Cosinon 200mm f/3.5 lenses. The later telephoto lenses were usually for concert photos of the artists on the stage.
I also used GoPro Hero2 for videos and photos. I don't know if it is just me but my Hero2 doesn't give very good photos unlike what I see online.
I hardy used Canon 40D which had Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 lens on it because it weighed me down and my friends didn't wanted to be the camera hanger.

I am a manual lens girl- totally- 100% (yeah almost if you minus the photos taken from GoPro). I take photos mostly in Aperture Priority Mode (90%) and in Manual Mode (9%) and 1% other modes such as Programe and Auto with full manual control over the lenses since all of them are manual lenses... I don't have high-end lenses but I am pretty happy with my glasses.
Also I am preferring small and light Mirrorless cameras more and more... Small cameras for a small girl like me. I will have to save up for either Olympus OM-D E-M1 or the future full-frame Sony Mirrorless camera! (updated: Sony A7 and A7R, announced on October 16 2013) :D

Ziro gave me ample opportunity to escape my mundane life and take photos.

I didn't take photos of all the performing artists, only whom I found a bit interesting otherwise stage photos looks the same and boring anyways except for their individual fans.

We stayed in Mr. Tilling Dole (Uncle)'s place once again. In the same cottage/ room like last year. This time around, he wasn't around and left for Itanagar with his wife. Our common friends and our host Mrs. Anjela Bado and Mr.Jento Gadi (married couple) who are staying in Uncle Tilling's house as tenants were the most gracious host ever! Will always remember them in my good memories. They took care of our everyday basic needs.

This is a photo of their 6 months old baby- Topo:

All in all....We had FUN, I had fun.

The only and most let down was that they were selling dog meat!!! I wish they stop commercializing Dog meat! It's a sham actually...


Well it took me hours to convert about 2000 Raw Photos to JPEG. To make it easy to share, I divided the photos into folders according to the taken dates so now I have 5 folders from 19 to 23rd of September 2013. Maintaining a tour diary- I have randomly selected few photos for sharing.
The photos below are unedited and as it is. Resized in Adobe Photoshop CS6.

P.S.- I have not watermarked my photos. Kindly do not take/ use them without permission. 

JOURNEY TO ZIRO 19.09.2013:

With Reekam bengia, Dibit and Dinu Tatak.

The above photo is of Yazuli NEEPCO Hydropower project.

Had tea and paratha on the way. Photo by Reekam Bengia

Hindu Sadhu looking on. They travel around hitchhiking and often with the charity of good Samaritans.  We shared our breakfast with him.

 Above Photo courtesy: Reekam Bengia

  Above Photo courtesy: Reekam Bengia

Above: Dibit and Reekam's driver

The burnt mountain above is just before reaching Ziro. Dibit said that it looked like a cake.

Reached Ziro- (L to R)- Me, Jento, Dinu, Reekam, Angela and Dibit. Photo by Reekam's driver.
From there without resting, went to Mr. Tilling Dole paddy field:

Ziro Paddy field

Fish farming in Ziro paddy field.

Us in the paddy field

The above photo by Tilling Uncle

The host: Mr and Mrs. Tilling Dole

From their farm we went to the Ziro Festival of Music ground. The ground was being prepared for tomorrow's event... Stalls were still under construction and people were seen arranging for the next day.

Construction of food stalls for Ziro Festival of Music 2013

People playing High Jump

Tired worker sleeping

Bamboo cane conical basket as dustbins

Shiv Ahuja

Full moon over paddy field

IP Singh (Guitarist of Menwhopause) and Jento Gadi got beers... had beer with dinner at Angela and Jento's and went to sleep...

=============END of 19.09.2013=============

DAY ONE of Ziro Festival of Music. 20.09.2013

Woke up to a wonderful day.

My brother-in-law (My second brother's wife's younger brother) Dayut who is friends with Angela along with Angela's younger brother- Kardak Bado and other friends came from Itanagar to Ziro for the fest. Dayut took us ladies around the town and also chauffeured us to and fro from the Music festival field.

The above is Maan yaluk (in Adi-Galo language)/ Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia in Assamese) is one of the world's hottest pepper. It is commonly found and grown in Arunachal. 

The below is a view from the window of the cottage where we stayed:

Dayut took us around the outskirts of Ziro town:

Ziro is actually a marshy area and it doesn't have any river body. It has streams like this though. 

There was this small hillock and we decided to climb it. The view from above is very good. Also it was a windy day. Good place for picnic.

Dibit, Dinu and Dayut

LOL at my dress... Photo by Dayut.

Photos by Dibit Tatak

Some of these photos, I'll have to work on the saturation and tweak a little on PS and share on flickr and FB... Many of the photos here need some sort of tweaking but since I don't have time, I have shared them as they are.
Great thing about manual lenses is that I can control the aperture but the older the lenses, lesser the multicoating so the photos can look washed out. Sometimes I love the looks and at times I prefer the colours of modern lenses with good contrast and colour.

I have been observing these marking on the culvert, jungle woods and on the road...wonder what it means....

Those towering antennae is called "Babo" is the remains from Apatani's Myoko festival where ropes are tried to such poles and people hang or play on it... One can Google further on it. Even I have not seen the game in person, just photos of it.

Cute boy standing on his traditional varandah

South American looking man.

Small shops like this are seen everywhere in Arunachal. The pink shawl is tied to keep away from direct sunlight.

On the way to the Ziro Festival of Music ground 

People especially visitors and bikers pitched their tents inside the Music Festival ground for a minimal fee

Done my nails...okay look away from my fat fingers...that's the ZFM 3 days entry band. Thanks to Mithy Tatak- drummer of The Vinyl Records.

Line up of performing Artists on his back.

Watching on...

Media from Delhi.

Shutter bugs

Omak Komut Collective: The singer here is seen holding a machete and wearing few other traditional ornaments. He is usually in the garb of a Adi-Minyong Shaman. The singer is Omak Komut, who is a folk singer of Adi-Minyong tribe. The guitarist seen in the right is Getem Apang, a known brother. Getem Apang is also the founder of the girlband- The Vinyl Records and the very band Omak Komut Collective. 

   Also seen (even though not obvious) India's got talent- 1st Runner Up- Drummer Toko Taji.

 Tao Mary and Getem Apang. Getem is wearing a traditional Adi-Minyong vest worn by men in general.

Not many people on the first day and first show.

Dibit and me, we bought Ziro 13 tees from Hage Mamung (my friend Ampi's cousin) seen here in the photo.

Dibit and Minam Teksing, bassist of The Vinyl Records.

Purple Fusion – Dimapur, Nagaland:

The singer was very good... She has very strong and powerful vocals.

Banu Jini- Guitarist of The Vinyl Records watching Yesterdrive.

Yesterdrive – Arunachal Pradesh:

Bobby Hano- one of the organizer

Girls of Vinyl Record- L to R- Mithy Tatak, Boy from a band, Cheryyn Bark and Minam Teksing

The Vinyl Records: 
4 member all girls band from New Delhi. Cheryyn Bark, the singer is from Assam, Minam Teksing as the bassist, Banu Jini as the guitarist and Mithy Tatak as the drummer. The last three girls mentioned are my juniors from Arunachal.
The Vinyl Records has released their first album- WHIMS and they played their original songs from there and one cover song. 

Pretty guitar. Love the flying birds details on the guitar.

IP Singh the Guitarist from Manwhopause was super excited for the next performance from Peter Cat Recording Co. Jento and Dinu looks equally excited!

Peter Cat Recording Co.
The lead singer was tripping...his profile complimented the stage especially for photography. I was looking forward to his gig since everyone around me were hyping over the group, but I was a bit let down. Music was good but his drunk/high act was just too oblivious and took something away from the stage. Artists should respect their art and stage... Also his voice broke so many times, guess he was just too high.... Maybe next time... 
He started with a Hindi fusion no...Don't really remember which one it was but I believe it was a Mujra song from a Bollywood film. He warmed up with showing bills...and people got hooked on....

Guess Peter Cat Recording Co. moved this fan into tears...

...and made this one break into a dance routine...

 :With girls from The Vinyl Records and artists of Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth).
Photo is by Gary Ligu I believe.

 :With ___________kindly fill in the blank. Photo is by Gary Ligu I believe.

 ZFM Tees being sold... Gary Ligu, Dibit and Dinu

The Vinyl Records! L-R: Banu Jini, Cheryyn Bark, Mithy Tatak and Minam Teksing

============= END of Day One of ZFM=============

DAY TWO: 21.09.2013

This is the Lodge where we stayed

Had breakfast outside. Mithy stayed over and left with Dayut and others for Itanagar on 21st of September 2013. Seen in the photo is Dayut, Dibit, Dinu, Angela and Mithy

Dayut, Mithy and Angela's brother Kardak.

Frisky Pints – Mizoram (correct me if I am wrong)

Gandu Circus:

The act was fun and he rapped in Bengali which was not that great but got people moving... He looked like an uncle wearing his nephew's clothes and specs...Funny but interesting

The guitarist looked like a politician or some student union leader than a guitarist which was actually interesting to note...

Digital Suicide from Assam:
My favourite band of the night. I really like their music! Heard for the first time, a fan already! I wish all the performing artists sold their CDs.. I got The Vinyl Records' debut CD with signed autograph from each one of them for myself and my friend Ampi who unfortunately couldn't come.

I Spy Manmohan Singh! 

This was COOL!!!
Wish I could take sharper image of them but guess I was just so engrossed with their performance! 


Shaa'ir and Func:

Monica Dogra is phenomenal! Just loved her! One of the best acts I've seen!

Pretty skirt by Jenjum Gadi, designer from Arunachal Pradesh. He is the older brother of Jento Gadi.

I spy a blue hair!

After the concert ended we headed off to Paradise Guest House, A Urban Department built guest house for After party dance. I didn't take that many photos  but these are from there:

Charles' Angles: Dibit Tatak, Mari Tao and me. We went to the ladies room and I thought of having some fun and had us three do some silly stuffs... Set 12 Secs selftimer.

========END OF DAY TWO.21.09.2013=========

DAY THREE: 21.09.2013 

Dibit and I were supposed to wake up early and reach the meeting ground at 5AM in the morning to go for Bird Watching but we got up at 7.30AM, thanks to After Night party! Luckily when I called the organizers, they were good enough to send us on a 2nd round and sent a pick up car. The person who came to pick us up turned out to be the President of Arunachal Pradesh Birding Club. Mr. Kojmama Taman who is also a member of my facebook Photography group "Arunachal Photography and Film Lovers".

  Above Photo by Dibit Tatak

Mr. Kojmama Taman, Dibit and Mr. Bamin Baro

Had bread and potatoes. The milk tea flavoured with spices was just very yummy!

Very innovative. Heard it was inspired from online.


OKAY! This is the only bird I could capture while Birding!!! Hahahaha.... We saw 7 species of birds (don't remember any of their names) and all of the were just too flighty even with naked eyes and also since we came in an odd hour (daytime), we hardly saw any birds sitting in one place for long... Anyways it turned out to be good hiking trip! Next time, it's definitely going to be a morning trip...

I had on those bird calling instruments, a gift from my Korean friend Seung Woo Lee. Tried them but no birds responded because I guess those birds are not found on these part. At least I made Rohan Pandit laugh with the Duck calling instrument because it sounds like a fart!

...with Rohan Pandit- the Researcher and Photographer, Dibit and Chada- our guide.

Lovely wild flowers on the road side

Back to the field!

Your Chin/ Sky Rabbit :
This was definitely one of the best bands after Digital Suicide and Shaa'ir and Func, and I am already a fan. The singer Raxit Tewari is a multi-talented artist. He was also the DJ for the previous After Party.

These guys are one of the main organizers of the Ziro Festival of Music with Bobby Hano.

"Randy" Randeep

Anup Kutty

IP Singh above...

Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth):
They are very talented and quite famous in the circle. Especially I loved how Lee Ranaldo played the guitar with a bow. Respect. 

He looked bored... lol... Maybe tired...

================END OF DAY THREE==================


Dayut returned from Itanagar on 22nd night and we left with him and Bakin Darang-his friend for Itanagar.

The above mural of Jesus Christ was done on wooden fence and it looked so lovely...Saw it, when Dayut stopped the car to buy water. It is near the entry gate of Ziro. Whoever the artist is, she/he has done a lovely work!

Photo post processed in PS6
I had motion sickness and got off the car and walked few distance on foot with Dibit. I don't know the name of the village/ town. It looked very lovely. Those zig-zag roads are common in Arunachal, Pretty to look at but it gives motion sickness.

Below is Yazuli NEEPCO Powerplant in late evening...

Dibit, Self, Dinu and Bakin

Taking home all the good experience of Ziro.

P.S.- I have not watermarked my photos. Kindly do not take/ use them without permission.