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Vintage Weekend

This weekend was more or less governed by a lot of activity. Also, I realized that it had been over 2 weeks since I put up a post & much was overdue. This weekend started off with an awesome motorbike ride, then general guitar playing in the morning, post which we (Ekta, Rachita & me) went to Oh! Calcutta & had some awesome seafood – there was fried fish, steamed fish, awesome naans and some superb daal, etc. which was eaten. The evening was spent visiting the super car show at Mahalakshmi racecourse followed by alcohol & home made burgers which were spectacular. Also, what deserves a mention & please to note there will be a more detailed post on the same is the start of our own little business called Out of the Trinket Box – http://outofthetrinketbox.wordpress.com/ serving awesome cakes, cupcakes & more. Our 1st order delivered is as below “Hulk Cupcakes!”

Hulk Cupcakes

Hulk Cupcakes

Archie's Jalopy

Archie’s Jalopy

Classic Mini Cooper

Classic Mini Cooper

Sunday morning started off with a bike ride towards Nariman Point, though on the way, parked right opposite the Trident (what used to be The Oberoi) were some awesome Vintage Cars! So I parked my bike next to them, and decided to have a look; post further probing, I realised that the same were gathering there as part of a Vintage Car Rally with over 100 cars taking part so I decided to hang there for a bit & take some pics & videos. After a while, there were a few Royal Enfields & Bajaj Avengers that came in which were also going to be a part of this rally.

Super Awesome

Super Awesome

Saw a few women riders beyond Ekta for the 1st time riding Royal Enfields. There were Cadillacs, Mercedes,  Mini Coopers, Triumphs, Dodges, Aston Martins, Buicks, cars which looked like Archie’s Jalopy, Rolls-Royce & many more. Also, the cool part here was that the accumulated crowd was allowed to go near the cars, see the interiors, click photographs & all without any issue from the owners; some of the owners were more then happy to talk about their cars to the fans inquiring. Later on, once the place was filled with cars & people, there was a roaring sound like thunder which turned everyone’s heads towards Air India building as the sound came from that direction. En route towards the starting point of the rally came in the Harley Riders, only about 3 of them, though they sounded like an army. Immediately, everyone’s attention switched to these awesome bikes. I also checked them out, contemplated in my head a lot about buying one, though then finally got onto my Bajaj Avenger & rode back home. I am going to try & put up images of the rally in a slide show below this post.

Sensational Cadillac

Sensational Cadillac

Got home all excited, showed Rachita & Mihir the pictures of the rally, spent time with Astro, watched Stargate Atlantis. Also watched a crazy movie called Upsidedown which has an amazing concept – 2 Worlds circulating a single sun with opposite gravitational forces connected to each other, so in effect people in world 1 see the people in world 2 inverted & people cannot travel to opposite worlds otherwise they wont survive for more than 30 minutes, pretty trippy I tell you. Post a full-on family lunch, I passed out for a bit, woke up & decided to go for a random joyride with Rachita towards worli seaface to see the Worli Festival, got home went for a bike ride again past peddar road & marine drive, felt super cool about the same :-), got home had some super JD (Jack Daniels i.e.), ordered-in pizzas & watched a super comedy called Here comes the Boom to end the day and a super weekend. Don’t forget to check the awesome photographs of some crazy vintage cars!!!

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Helmets & More

 

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The Goa Getaway Again

One fine day, Ekta, Rachita & me met at gallops for a few drinks. The discussion revolved around going & seeing a house in Goa for their aunt. Randomly we all agreed & decided on a roadtrip to our most favorite holiday destination… somewhere through the week, we also convinced Vishal to come with us, a point to be noted here is we also tried to get Aashay to come with us, though he wasn’t allowed as his parents think we are a bad influence on him – this has definitely not gone down well with all of us…

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Banyan Soul

Banyan Soul

Moving on & now to the interesting part, we started the roadtrip by about 4 a.m. on a Friday, made good time as we didn’t stop anywhere except for the occasional bathroom breaks & reached Goa by about 2 p.m. This time around, we were on a tight budget so were staying at a place called The Banyan Soul, a relatively inexpensive place at Anjuna. The Hotel is built around a huge-ass banyan tree as you can see in the pictures. It was nothing to rave about, but considering in Goa we use the hotel only for crashing, it served our purpose. After resting for a bit, decided to explore the surroundings on foot, walked passed German Bakery which was 100 meters from our Hotel, had a beer there, then decided to go to Curlies which was about a 15 minute walk away.

German Bakery

German Bakery

A Must Visit Place...

A Must Visit Place…

The place was pretty crowded, though we did get a quiet corner to chill, beers & rum were ordered. Also ordered some food which pretty damn awful, though the whole angle of being in Goa & on the beach with alcohol made up for the same :-). Next day started off with some photography and playing the guitar under the banyan tree which was super cool! For breakfast we decided to go to Lila’s Cafe where the roesti, sandwiches, bacon, etc is phenomenal. Side by side, we ordered some beer, which by now you have figured is mandatory with meals as well as generally while you are in Goa. Post a superb breakfast, we went to see the house. Nothing exciting happening there, as in it was a nice property and all that, but too far from the beach & general activity & thus a definite no show. Then we decided to go to Calamari, a shack ahead of Candolim. More beer was drunk & some more good food eaten, post chilling for a while, decided to head back to the hotel, crashed for a bit; dinner plans for the night were at Florentine, one of the most awesome places for authentic Goan food. We ate awesome vindaloo, fish cafreal & egg curry with beers, rum & fried papads.

Super View at Calamari!!!

Super View at Calamari!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Next morning, Ekta & me went out for a drive for some photography & general chilling. We went around Vagator which has some awesome opportunities for great photography; for brunch, we decided to go to Calamari again. Post general lethargy & laziness through the day with beers & alcohol, we decided to go for dinner to Souza Lobo’s one of the oldest sea food eateries in Goa located at Calangute beach, we ordered some awesome crab curry……. this was the 1st time we ate crab & it was instant love….. we finished every last bit availaible in the curry bowl i.e. ekta & me did. We also ordered vindaloo which was superb. Beach photography started off the next day, post which we decided to go to the Casino. This was interesting because Casino Royale is located on  a ship away from the dock, in what qualifies as international waters, thus making gambling legal. In the casino,  played some black jack & slots with Rachita, won about 2k & then after a while got bored & went home, though decided that at some point in life, need to buy a boat which is kind of cool. For dinner, Rachita & I went to this shack at Anjuna called Seashore Bar which had super view of the ocean, had a few mojitos & beers accompanied by bhajiyas which was total awesomeness!!!

We were chilling here...

Shopping!!!

Shopping!!!

The final day in goa was spent having breakfast at this quaint place called Artjuna which had some great food & a brilliant ambiance. The concept basically is an eatery with a selected menu card, add to that pieces of art, sculpture & a lifestlye store in the open where you can buy whatever you like. Post breakfast, Rachita & Vishal decided to go finish some shopping, while Ekta & me went to Anjuna beach, got ourselves a couple of loungers & lazed there for a while. Shortly Rachita & Vishal also joined us as the area where we were living had no electricity so the breeze on the beach was more then welcome. Early evening, went shopping again with Rachita at Candolim. Finally, dinner was at a place called Sussee Cafe which was ahead of the Kingfisher Villa at Candolim. Ordered mussels, chicken, etc….. ate, chilled with beers, got back to the hotel & crashed. Next day roadtrip to Bombay was in full effect. Goa, this time around, was a revelation in terms of all of us trying & eating different kinds of seafood. Other than that, it also reconfirmed the fact that there is no other place in the country which is so super chilled out. Now we have decided to go there at least once every 3 months :-).

Susse Cafe!!!

Susse Cafe!!!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Mumbai Museum

The Prince of Wales MuseumFor this week’s photo-walk, I decided to visit the Prince of Wales Museum; the idea to go there is basis the comfort of taking pictures without people bothering you, also it had been a while since I had gone to the Museum, so kind of 2 birds with one stone thing happening. Like most of my trips this one also was on a weekday, but it also was a public holiday so there were hordes of people there. From a search engine point of view must also add the new name of the museum  is called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya- Like VT now referred to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

The first thing you notice with tStone Sculpture 1he museum is that the ticket counter is very polished, not like the one at the Zoo, the people also are rather helpful, I walked in with my camera bag, the gaurd informed me I need to get a clearaStone Sculpturesnce for the same, hence I requested the ticket vendor, he quickly took out two passes one for mobile phone and one for my DSLR the cost for the same 300 rupees. The guard then wrapped a thin strip of paper around my hand this to inform all other guards that I can use a phone camera, they also tied a badge onto my DSLR this to further ensure I don’t get probed at every security zone, the only request they made is that I don’t use flash in the museum and disturb people. I walked towards the entrance shooting pictures of statues that areplaced all over the lawns, the entrance is deceiving and opens into the reception area of the museum, here you can rent translators and tape guides to help you through the museum, I have been here so quickly moved towards the stone sculptures exhibit. I was very surprised they had added lighting to most idols and they made for some great pictures, as with everything I got bored fairly quickly and moved to the 2nd floor, herThe Samurai Dolle there was an exhibit that I had not seen before, it had ornaments, dolls, cutlery, decorative items stocked in a room that looked like it was straight from Hogwarts. I loved the samurai dolls on display absolutely amazing.The Painting Exibit

From here I moved to the painting exhibit, this one is sponsored by the Tata group and is spectacular, they also have benches with paper and pencil for artist to draw inspiration from the paintings on display, they also have some awesome benches there, it’s quite a sight feel like you are in a Museum in Paris. Next on the agenda the 2nd floor and the weapons exhibit, this use to be my most favourite displays as a kid, I never got the sculptors, but stuffed animals and weapons always rocked. Unfortunately the weapons are encased in glass aThe Rhino nd don’t photograph to well so I moved on changed my lens to a zoom lens and went on trying to capture some raVintage Furniturendom portraits. While on my way out I also dropped by the animal/bird exhibit, missed the large whale there but the rhino compensated for it – from there I backtracked towards the exit, there I spotted a paint exhibition sign, unfortunately it said no pictures so totally avoided it, sat in the lawn for a bit taking HDR shots and then headed out (featured on the top). The museum in Mumbai is awesome, the exhibits are brilliant and the place is really well maintained. I would definitely recommend it to all, if you have not seen it it’s a definitely must visit.

Our trip does not end there,Statues Decorating the lawns froGreat Workmanshipm there I moved towards Jahangir Art Gallery which is about 1 minute away from the museum, the footpath is layered with artist who have some awesome pictures on display, as I moved ahead I saw a boy desperately trying to pose so some photographer (currently me) would take his picture, he had a wierd hat on but really I could not take his picture did not call out to me, what can I say too bad…from there on to my regular destination Rhythm House – its an old music store which has been in Mumbai forever, did not end up buying anything but going through the very large collections of DVDs was a lot of fun. Finally I took a cab and headed home. If you are in Mumbai and end up visiting the Museum, do take some time off to walk around that are, its called Kala Ghoda and has some awesome places to see , eat and just window shop. (The gallery plugin is not working to well so could upload all the pictures – if you have a solution to the issue please write back to us)

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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Crazy Car and Tech Expo

I am not that into cars, don’t get excited seeing many of them (Jaguar is an exception) or drool when people talk about speed, etc. This year however, I went to the Autocar Expo which showcases some of the most awesome cars and bikes across India. Of course, I had a hidden agenda here, the Stuff Gadget show was also in the same premise, the very lovely Mrs works for the magazine and hence would not miss it for the world.

We started off early to avoid the mad crowds, got to the venue by about 10:30. As soon as I walked in, the first thing that caught my eye were custom bikes – a company called Verdanci – I had seen their work before online, but was very impressed with the quality of bikes they were making. As a promotion activity, they had decided to build a bike at the expo and launch it on the last day. I spoke to one of the promoters there and he told me the bikes cost anywhere between 5-10 lakhs basis customer requirement – a bit expensive if you ask me, but then again, the bikes look kick ass! Further on, there were more bikes – BMWs to start with – they look like cheetahs ready to pounce, I quickly took a few shots and then moved towards the cars…. the first few Porsches, Audis, Mercedes – while I was shooting the Porsche, a gentleman approached me and asked me for my email, he apparently forgot his batteries on his Nikon and wanted pictures of the event; this was a first for me also so I happily obliged (just sent him all the pics last week). Moving on, I stopped at the Jaguar booth for about 10 minutes and just stared at the car, that is one car that I would love to own in my life :-). Post the foreign cars, there were the standard India brands on display; what impressed me was how they had setup their booths and were rallying people around with contests, pictures, etc., something international brands definitely need to learn.

Moving further, reached the Ducati booth, 4 monsters parked there, that’s about it no flash lights, no booth babes, nothing – just 4 bikes and it was spectacular – these are monsters, not ordinary bikes. Post these, I did catch a glimpse of a Harley, but the crew there was rather unfriendly, they had issues if people came close to their bikes, so I said thanks but no thanks and moved on. By now, I was getting impatient as I had not yet reached the Stuff enclosure, I quickly asked someone and he directed me towards it. On my way there, caught a glimpse of some awesome car systems – they looked like they are straight out of The Fast & Furious… beautiful. Just before the Stuff enclosure, I ran into the Bat Mobile, well not really the Bat mobile but the Lamborghini Aventadore – hands down the greatest car that I will ever see in my life time – pity the Lamborghini booth was very small and restricted movement for Photography.

Finally made it to the Stuff enclosure – the walkway towards the expo was lit up and paintings of movies with gadgets lined the walls, my favourite the Godfather and the Guitar on display; from there the first store I caught was the LG TV booth. People! the booth babes in there looked like aunties, but the products on display pretty much killed it. The Stuff gallery had Bruce Lee guarding it and had some really fancy Lomo cameras, speakers, television and video game rigs on display; talking about rigs, the car simulator was suspended 4 feet off the ground and moved basis the steering wheel, please note even the screen moved giving the user a visual like none other. There were people riding Segues, trikes around the area and the sound system on display were to die for, they cost a crore+ so yes to die for. The mandotory smartphone displays drew in crazy crowds. I did hear a rumour that the Iphone 5 was going to be made available for display, but did not end up confirming the same. Another interesting toy/gadget was qaudrocopter or A.R Drone. It was in this huge enclosure and was being flown around by some very talented kids, it moved in all directions and could hover seamlessly in one place. After all the gadget porn, I went to meet the Mrs and all her collegues at the show. As usual, they were all working tirelessly for days but greeted me with a smile and offered to take me for a whole lot of demos, etc. I politely refused, have one policy in life if I can’t buy it, I don’t try it. After exchanging pleasantries, I decided it was time to leave, I had had a late night due to a kickass office party.

Going out, I noticed car companies had created drag, dirt and mountain tracks for people to try. There were also ATVs available to ride, honestly I was very impressed with the setup. All in all, it was a great experience. I definitely look forward to the Stuff show next year, Autocar may be but only for Photography. DO check our slide show for all the pictures from both the expos and don’t forget to favourite the blog 🙂

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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Zoo Visit

For the longest time I have wanted to visit the Zoo in Mumbai. Over the last year I regularly passed by it while coming back from work, but never visited it. Finally, over the weekend, I decided a little photography needs to happen and hence the visit to the Zoo was planned. For people who want to visit the Zoo, it is open Tues-Sun 9:00am to 6:00pm.

I picked Friday to go there, I thought it was a weekday and there would be less people, unfortunately that was not the case; due to it being Friday, there were schools and menacing kids waiting outside, yelling and creating general hooliganism. I manoeuvred through the crowds and managed to reach the front gate; it took about 5 odd minutes before they opened. I quickly ran to the ticket counter, out running about 50 kids and waving my hands as if I have won the 100 meters world championship. It cost about 5 rupees to enter the zoo and another 20 if you have a camera, I had 2 cameras so cost me double. As soon as you enter the zoo, the first thing you notice is all the greenery and vast space. I was surprised to see a dedicated work force of people running to keep the place clean and also take care of the animals in the there. I moved clockwise. The first thing I came across was a green house, the same can only be seen from the outside, visitors can’t actually walk through it, next on the cards the monkey cages; please note our zoo is prehistoric we don’t have open areas for animals we still have cages, which is very sad. It was early so there was limited activity in the cages just a guy cleaning the place. From there I moved on to the deers, these guys had it set, large open grounds where they can move around; unfortunately, taking pictures was a challenge, purely based on my distance but managed to sneak a few in courtesy the zoom lens. Next on the cards the elephant enclosure and the crocodile enclosure. The elephants were kept very far away and were having their breakfast so could only spot one of them, the crocodiles were lying in a dirty swamp motionless, onlookers watching them kept saying they’re dead……I wanted to throw one of them in the pond to test the theory 🙂

From there, I moved to the Hippopotamus shelter. There were two large hippos resting in the water all I could see was their backs, I was disappointed I was really looking forward to seeing a hippo in all its glory. As I moved away from the enclosure, I heard a loud noise that startled me a little, moving towards the sound I saw there was another enclosure where a Hippo was eating. I quickly grabbed a picture of the enclosure with a smile on my face. From there I moved to the lion cages, unfortunately there were 2 domestic cats sitting in the cage, the cleaner informed me the lion had passed away. Next was the birds, the smaller birds are kept in small cages which is sad, the silver lining here is the cages are clean and the birds are fed well. The bear enclosure was massive, but unfortunately I could not spot the bear, he probably was trying to avoid the morning sun. While I was near the bear enclosure, some kids yelled out “UNCLE, UNCLE”. I walked there, they called me to show me a Porcupine cage, where they had spotted an albino Porcupine, I quickly took a few shots and moved towards the last exhibit in the Zoo.

Final destination in the Zoo the very large Bird cages. While on my way there, I noticed a few large statues, placed in the middle of floral arrangements – these immediately reminded me of Gears Of Wars, do have a look at the picture to your left. After a fairly long walk and empty enclosures I reached the massive bird cages, these were birds that lived around water, Flamingos, Swans and so on, I was fairly impressed with the way these birds were kept, of course I could only stand a few minutes near the enclosure, annoying kids came and started going “Uncle one photo, one photo”. After not taking their pictures finally decided to exit the Zoo, all in all I was disappointed with the experience, not only the photography, the Zoo has become a barren place with hardly any animals; I would not recommend a visit here unless you want to be very depressed. Do check out some of the pictures around the blog and comment or send us feedback in the section below. All images shot using Nikon D5100.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Weekend , Bike Ride & Food Update

Sausage & Meat Yummmyness!!!

Goo!

This weekend was pretty crazy, with a lot of things happening beyond the normal R & C (resting & chilling). Beyond thee pictures attached, do also check out the slide show below for all the brilliant & yummy pictures. Started off the same early Friday afternoon, wherein post work from our fort office, Vishal & I decided to head to Mocambo’s which is a restaurant opposite our office and have a few pints. Reached there, zeroed in on Miller, which we had drunk in Goa, though now the same was in Bombay so happiness happened! We had a few pints; from there, we decided to head to Kobe’s for lunch. Mihir & Rachita also joined us for lunch. Sizzlers were had which were pretty awesome – Sausage Sizzler, Hamburger Steak Sizzler & Nasi goreng which is a rice based Sizzler were devoured. Post this, we finished some work and then were going to crash at our relevant homes. Please note, Ekta wasn’t there as she was in Sanpada and post that was heading to Baroda. In the evening, I got a call from Ekta saying she is not going to Baroda and that she will be going the next day on her bike… Full on drinking session happened post that with Rum & beer, post which we passed out. Ekta got up the next day by 4:00 a.m. and left for Baroda.

Basilico

Miller!!!

Saturday morning started off with deciding a brunch date with the Mrs. We decided to go to Colaba & then figure a place to go and eat. Post loitering across Colaba Causeway we decided to go to Basilico. Reached Basilico by 11:30 a.m., the place was pretty empty. Rachita ordered a Ginger Cooler & I had some Orange Pekoe Tea (Yup! I had tea, as Basilico doesn’t serve Alcoholic Beverages); also by then we had called Anushka & asked her to join us. While waiting for her, we ordered a Cajun Chicken Salad which was superb! Once Anushka aka Anus arrived, we bitched about a lot of general things and then ordered some Chicken & Steak for our mains. Also ordered some insanely yummy Pizza & finally ended the leisurely brunch with a New York Syle Cheese Cake. For those who don’t know the difference between Philedelphia & New York Cheesecake, Philly is Baked while NY is steamed :-). The afternoon was spent sleeping, woke up and then went for an awesome bike ride past Marine Drive & Nariman Point, got home & figured Rachita had made some awesome burritos for dinner. The dinner spread was awesome – there was sour cream, guacamole, salsa, refried beans & tortilla’s for dinner. Also to top all of that, Rachita made some super duper cheesecake (eggless, that too!). Post the crazily awesome dinner, we watched a few episode of Game of Thrones Season 2 & passed out.

Worlds Best Burrito!!!

Baked Cheese Cake!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Sunday morning started off with Astro’s walk, then bath as always. Then there was a session of personal grooming in the bathroom, accompanied by some dhinchak regional music. Played a session of Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360 with Mihir before heading to the inlaws for brunch. Please to note, Rachita had baked cheesecake for the brunch as well :-). There were some awesome dosas made for brunch which were eaten; again, overate so went home and passed out. Woke up, went for bike ride, which was superb considering Sunday evenings Marine Drive & Nariman Point is always packed with people so sights & sounds were ever so intresting. Came home, played NBA2k12 & UFC Undisputed on the Xbox360 while listening to some Blues & Jazz by Muddy Waters, BB King & Eric Clapton. Dinner was some chinese ordered from China Gate at Atria Mall. On the ordered list was some Hunan Wanton Soup, Crispy Fried Potatoes, Burnt Garlic Pot Rice, Shezwan Mein foon (Rice noodles), Sui Mai & Stir Fried Chinese Greens. Post dinner, watched some UFC on Sony Six & finally ended the day with a few episodes of Game of Thrones season 2. Woke up Monday morning, realized the weather was good and went for a bike ride & some photagraphy which is featured in the slide show below. All in all, a great weekend which has set a precedence for the others to come 😉

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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HDR for Beginners

High Dynamic Range Photography – this has been the debate basis the ever growing photographer community for the past few years now. HDR, as it is popularly known, is definitely gaining momentum; pictures taken using this method are regularly displayed in museums (Trey Ratcliff’s famous fireworks picture at the Smithsonian) and considered works of art. Then there are the DSLR snobs, people who believe that manual mode is the only way to go; if you use a photo editing software you are a scar on their perfect portrait, they noise police pictures and so on. My take on this is fairly straightforward I love HDR, I also use a lot of editing tools and 99% of the time I don’t shoot in manual mode. I am what you may term as the rogue community; please note this community is much larger than the DSLR snob community. I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience with HDR on this post; also have added a few tips in there so you can get started with HDR if you are already not an addict.

I happened to stumble on HDR by chance, a couple of years back when I bought my first camera. I was looking at tutorial videos online and just happened to catch a video showcasing HDR images, I was hooked from that point on. Unfortunately, I used a bridge camera then and hence could not really work on the technique. About a year ago, I bought my first DSLR – and that’s Tip 1 also, when buying a new camera, get one with a bracketing option it’s a must for HDR. Moving on, it’s been a year now and I do believe I have the basics down and am moving in the right direction basis the technique. Below are a few standard questions and answers which will get you started on this awesome technique:

1) What is HDR photography?

Putting it simply, HDR is a photography technique where images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to faint starlight. In normal English, it shows you what the eye see but with enhanced colours and lights.

2) Do I need a special camera for shooting HDR?

Not really, any camera will do, but it helps if your camera has a bracketing option.

3) What is Bracketing?

Bracketing is basically when you take pictures at multiple exposures. Most entry level cameras allow you to take 3 such pictures – normal, over and under exposed.

4) Do I need a special software for this?

Unfortunately yes, there are tons of them available in the market; I would recommend Photoshop and Photomatix for the same.

5) How do I get started with HDR?

The following is a simple guide to start using HDR in your regular photography. I have tried to keep it simple and easy to understand, but if you do have questions, please add them to the comments below. Start with setting your camera to multiple shots, then go to the bracketing option it will be listed as exposure bracketing in most cameras. Set the value to 2. This will take 3 shots at different exposures once you press the shutter down. If you are like me and your hand is not very steady, use a tripod. Another tip here: shoot in Raw mode, the flexibility raw images give you while editing is amazing. So now that you have your first images, what do you do next? Download the images on your PC and import them into Photoshop or Photomatix, you will have to use the bridge option in Photoshop and then select merge to HDR; in Photomatix, load Bracketed pictures will do the same for you. Now this will open Pandora ’s Box for you, I will briefly touch on Photomatix options here to give you an idea of what each does and how it will shape your pictures; in Photoshop the same happens but for some reason it is not subtle and images tend to look un-natural. This holds true for CS5… I have not yet used CS6. Note: this part of the tutorial only covers the first few options, I will be covering others in a more detailed post. The first options you will see once Photomatix merge options, you can align pictures here, remove ghosts and reduce noise. Once done the following options will show up:

Strength

Controls the strength of the contrast enhancements; a value of 100 gives the maximum increase in both local and global contrast enhancements.  I prefer this to be at around 80 as 100 makes certain colours bleed.

Color Saturation

Controls black and white to colour settings; the greater the saturation, the more intense the colour. A value of 0 produces a gray scale image and 100 pushes colour all the way up.

Luminosity

This controls how light or dark your highlights are in the image. Moving the slider to the right boosts shadow details and brightens the image. Moving it to the left has the opposite effect, and gives a more “natural” look to the resulting image.

Detail and Contrast

This is self explanatory; this will increase detailing and contrast giving your picture a smooth or a hard feel.

Lighting Adjustment

When you’re just starting, I would suggest you click the check box in this option and use the preset tools – natural for a natural look, surreal for a look which is more HDR like with Halos and medium for a combination of both.

Once you are done playing with these settings and happy with the image you have, select process and you will have your first HDR image. I hope to put up a more detailed article on HDR in the future, but the post above will get you started in a short period of time. I have put some HDR images on this post. These were shot during our recent Monsoon Roadtrip. One point of advice: first try HDR in the day time, night has its sets of challenges and you will need a lot more equipment to get it right. Like with everything, the more you practise HDR, the better you get at it. Do share your pictures with us via comments or on twitter. Enjoy shooting! Incase you’re wondering which camera I use?  Nikon D5100.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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