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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 Winter Bike Rides & More

The weather in Bombay at most times is at an average of 28 to 32 degrees celcius, Come December into January & February is the only time the weather cools down a bit going to an average of about 24 to as low as 18 to 16 degrees Celsius. All times are good for a bike ride but these 3 months are the best 🙂

Early Winter View of the Moon

Early Winter View of the Moon

This is my first winter (if you can call Bombay climate & temperature winter) with my Bike, so the last few days of November where the temperature dipped have been absolutely brilliant for Bike rides. More often than not, I leave for a bike ride early in the morning between 5:30 am & 6:00 am – yup! a lot of you may think this is crazy but trust me, this is the best time to ride on the streets of Bombay which go crazy with traffic post 8:00 am. The weather around daybreak is absolutely amazing, add to that the roads have absolutely no traffic & its just you & your bike cruising, the wind has a brilliant chill & you can hear some awesome birds & sounds other than cars honking away & people abusing. Also, it’s not yet sunny considering Sunrise is at its peak post 6:45 am.

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Awesomeness!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Most of the time, the route I take is from my house towards Nariman Point past Marine Drive. This, according to me, is one of the most scenic & open view places left in Bombay; cruising past Chowpatty & the different Gymkhana’s (Club Houses) towards Pizza by the Bay is absolutely brilliant. Nariman Point itself offers a great view with people jogging, walking, exercising right next to the sea. Also from NP you can see the complete Queen’s Necklace which is what the stretch from Nariman Point to end of Chowpatty looks like when seen from a vantage point :-). Heading back from Nariman Point, you are riding next to the sea & the breeze literally moves the bike…. this is a super feeling! From there, I take the route towards Walkeshwar & past Hanging gardens down Malabar Hill, this is by far & I kid you not, the best part of my bike ride in the morning. The descent from Hanging Gardens & Malabar Hill towards Peddar Road is like you get transported into another zone, there is a clear drop in temperature by about 5 degrees, lush greenery around & the peace & quiet. You have to ride this stretch, it is an absolute must for all whether you are on a bike, car or taking walk do visit this area in the morning it is an experience you will love…

The Queen's Necklace

The Queen’s Necklace

The Best Place for a Bike Ride...

The Best Place for a Bike Ride…

Worli Seaface

Worli Seaface

From the Malabar Hill descent I move past Peddar Road, stop below my in-laws building (in my mind at that point I am stalking them 😉 ). Moving on from how my devious mind works, to the bike ride past Mahalakshmi temple towards Haji Ali & Worli Seaface, the Haji Ali Stretch past the racecource towards Worli is again highly recommended, not for any other reason except the wind which literally smacks you in the face & the trafficless 5 lane road. Worli seaface, again like Marine Drive, is an experiance as you ride next to to the sea. Also, the view overlooks the Sea Link Bridge which is totally spectacular. This is where my ride ends & I head home passing the Atria Mall where the BMW & Ducati bikes’ showroom forces me to stop & stare aimlessly at some stupendous bikes. From there, riding past the race cource always is special considering I learnt how to ride at this place i.e. in the parking lot of the race course which is massive & totally empty in the early hours of the morning. For people who want to learn how to ride a bike in Bombay, I strongly suggest you come here to learn & practice.

The Sea Link

The Sea Link

All in all, I ride for about an hour in the morning which is also kind of therapeutic. Over a period of time, I have realized I have 3 really good shrinks 1) My wife 2) My bike 3) Alcohol  ha ha ha ha ha seriously twisted I am :-). Having said that & before I end this article, let me just reiterate to all reading this blog & are planning to visit Bombay or are living in Bombay, you have to take your ride out past the mentioned route whether the same be a car, bike, shoes or flip flops in the early winter morning, Trust me, you wont be disappointed with the awesomeness you experience!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Drinks, Diwali & Pune

Bombay Pune Expressway

So the Diwali celebrations for us started on the 11th of November 2012; Rachita, my parents and I left for Pune as we were celebrating the festive season with the in-laws at their Pune house. We over packed, as always, stuffed the luggage all over the Ritz added 4 people to the same & started the journey. The weather was awesome & there was no traffic so we made some good time, reaching our destination in about 3 hours. Reaching there, we realized the house was in chaos – too many people and too little space, so quickly freshened up & then decided  to head out with Aashay, Ekta & Rachita. This is when the fun began…

Awesome Decor at Hidden Place

The Tower of Power

Day 1- Also, please note, going forward we will refer to Aashay as Alpana because he in Pune is the equivalent of the house help whose name is Kalpana; in effect, he is the male Kalpana – Alpana!!! So Alpana decided to take me to this pub he has been raving about called Hidden Place. Reaching the destination i.e. HP we realized it doesn’t open till 12:30 & we’d reached by about 11:45 am so we requested the manager to allow us inside a bit early considering I had travelled all the way from Bombay. The guys were kind and let us in by noon :-). The place, overall, had a superb feel to it; nice retro decor with posters on the wall & bottles used as lights, also good music playing. We went in and ordered the King Fisher Tower which is about 3 litres of Beer; side by side, we ordered some chicken wings also which Alpana had highly recommended. By the time we went through the Tower of Power, the girls had also joined us and by now food & alco was flowing seamlessly :-).  We decided to have a pint of Stella & moved to another Japanese brand, the name of which I cannot remember. Ekta was having some cocktails while Rachita & Analushka were ordering food & more food. The afternoon was well spent being drunk & catching up on all the happenings in Ekta, Alpana & Analushka’s life!!! The evening was then spent with family at home eating Dosas & generally chilling.

Tower of Power & Mojito Pitcher

Day 2 – Post getting up the next day, decided to chill on the terrace for a bit considering the weather was a lot cooler than Bombay, played the blues, felt pretty awesome about it then made waffles for breakfast for all & then decided to go a new place at Koregaon Park called Kebab Studio; this was where Turtulia was originally. Reached the place & ordered another King Fisher Tower; also there was a super happy hours scheme wherein Pitcher of Mojito was availaible for Rs. 499/- so like, defo dude, ordered the same as well.

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Kebab Studio

To accompany the crazy amounts of alcohol, we also ordered some Crispy Roomali Roti with Kheema & a Choora Paratha which were like totally out of this world…the kheema just melted, actually disappeared in your mouth & it was like marinated in super masala. An absolute must try if you are visiting this place. Post a crazy drinking session (considering we ordered another pitcher of Mojito), we headed home totally drunk, chilled at home for a bit. Then Disha decided to learn how to ride the Bike; Ekta’s Royal Enfield aka Goo was there so taught her the basics of the same. For dinner there was barbecue, though by the time things were ready, I had passed out as post coming home from KS, I was OD’ing on Millers…

Tower of Power for Day 3

Day 3 – The last day in Pune, went over to the Taj Vivanta to meet the parents & check how the Hotel has been treating them; post which, intiially we decided to go to Machester United Cafe though, after a few discussions & miscomunications with Ekta who went of in the direction of Man U Cafe, we decided to go to this place called The Ship; as the name suggests, the decor of this place is like a Ship. Here also & for the 3rd consecutive day, Alpana & me ordered a Tower, Ekta, who had gone in another direction came back and ordered a few cocktails. For food, we ordered some Nachos & Onion rings which were pretty decent, also this was Diwali day, so there was lots of crackers being burst on the roads etc. Got home, crashed for a bit. In the evening, there was a full on celebration happening with Bhajiyas, some awesome Grilled Non-Veg & Icecream on the menu…..obviously unlimited alcohol & crazy bollywood music was also part of the POA. The Non veg included masala sausages, salami, bacon, chorizo & seekh kebab which were absolutely amazing. There was also masala khichya & fried papad with the alcohol. All in all, the evening was a lot of fun; a few crackers were also burst to celebrate the occasion…

The Ship

All in all, the Diwali Pune trip went off well. Next morning, left for Bombay early & got home. The places in Pune to eat & drink were sensational, also considering it was Diwali time the water holes were empty and we had the places all to ourselves. It was great catching up with Aashay & going drinking with him, Ekta & Rachita. I also strongly recommend Hidden Place & Kebab Studio for anyone visiting Pune & looking for good places to chill at. Closing the article with a slide show of our experience of the 3 days & the awesome 3 places we visited in Pune & the festive Celebrations!!!

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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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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Our Own Food Festival Part 1

While the country celebrates the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, we have been celebrating our own food festival which is totally in sync with the Ganpati festival as the elephant god also loved food & sweets!!! So since last week, there have been multiple places visited & also loads of great food cooked at home by the lovely Mrs. (Rachita). Do continue reading for the details of the same its yummylicious!!!

Best Cheesecake Ever!!!

Yummyyy!!!

Cinnamon Rolls to Die For…

Last week, we were working from our fort office & right next to the same is a quaint eatery called Lalit Refreshments which serves fabulous value for money food. We ordered some awesome rotis, paneer in a red gravy, papads, pickle and dosas from there for lunch! As you can see in the picture, the food was pretty damn awesome!!! The next day was a holiday, as it was the start of the Ganpati festival. For the same, Rachita baked an awesome cheesecake with cinnamon dusting on it…. matlab post eating that we are totally clear about our patisserie business 🙂 The next day we decided to make Cinnamon rolls. Please note I was there helping Rachita a.k.a. The Food Magician in making this piece of awesomeness; for a 1st attempt, the rolls were delicious & we made a lot of them & kept aside and ate them regularly till end of the week. For dinner that night, was Samosa Chaat which was courtesy my very lovely mother; needless to say it was totally killer… In this whole thing, I forgot to mention that the Bike Rides were also happening regularly considering the weather has been super awesome, I mean no rains. How awesome is that!

My Prized Possession!!!

Hand Tossed Home Made Pizzas!!!

Then came the weekend & full-on party mode was in progress as Ekta was back from Baroda so Beers, Rum, etc. flowed like the Nile… In the morning, Rachita & me had made preparations for hand tossed Pizzas. Do check the pictures in the gallery below. Also then there was some super sensational chocolate cake with yellow butter icing which was in the shape of modak (ladoos) ha ha ha ha! Our tribute to Ganpati 🙂 Next day post morning bike ride & general chilling, Rachita & I decided to go & check some speakers at Phoneix Mills. Visited JBL, Croma & also Bose, the experience at the Bose showroom was the best! They showcased  a demo of the crazy Video Wave Experience which was the greatest sound experience of a television ever!!! If you guys are around a Bose showroom, do walk in and check out the demo its sensational.

You have to taste it to believe it…

Delicious!!!

Droooooooooooooooollllllllll!!!

Post the retail therapy session, we decided to go to Cafe Zoe as we had never been there with Analushka / Anus who’s picture is also featured in the slide show below. The place has a nice decor – is very spacious. Post being seated, we checked the menu. Immediately I ordered the steak burger which was extremely inviting also added some bacon to it, Rachita ordered a basket of breads, fries and also some vegetables with red and white quinoa, also ordered some Hoegaarden. Post a leisurely lunch and a gossip session, we decided to head home and crash for a bit. In the evening, I decided to go out for the bike ride. While riding, figured it’s Gauri day which is part of the Ganpati festival where in a statues of the Goddess Gauri are also bought home & immersed in to the water in a day’s time. There was crazy traffic across the roads but on the bike it was totally a breeze, en-route also visited the in-laws house which I was stalking through the day as it was my random activity of the day (stalking the in-laws building). Ekta rode the bike home with me after the in-laws meet & greet. For dinner there was some crazy super awesome Enchiladas. You have to check the pictures of the same in the slide show. All in all, we been eating awesomeness and just thought the same needed to be posted on the blog. Hope you have had fun reading this post as much as we have had eating the food 🙂 Don’t miss the Slide show below it has some delicious & yummy pictures!!!

Heaven!!!

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Posted by on October 2, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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The Ganpati Photowalk

It’s that time of the year when everyone in India welcomes the Elephant God into their house, fondly known as Ganpati. 10 days of every Indian’s life revolve around the worship of the God.  Ganesh has been an annual feature in our house for as long as I can remember, we don’t get in the clay idol, we have an idol made of silver which we offer prayers to. As kids, mom would make us clean the idol and also decorate temples made of cardboard or Styrofoam. We would also get a whole lot of guests who came to our house during these 10 days to offer prayers and generally socialize with the family.  Over the years our beliefs have changed, we are no longer actively involved in the ceremonies pretty much Mom, Dad, Uncle and Aunty who manage the same. We on the other hand definitely go to see the awesome idols around where we live and take pictures creating our very own unique Ganpati Photowalk.

The biggest challenge with the photowalk is the crazy and erratic Mumbai rains, I personally don’t like my camera and gear getting wet and hence have to wait for the right time to get out there. Saturday began with crazy rains in the morning but eventually the day turned out to be sunny, at about 4:00pm I decided to head out for the photowalk, please note the objective was clear take pictures of Idols, a few minutes away from our house is Grant Road vegetable market, this also houses the biggest Ganesh idol in our area – I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was no security in and around the Pandal (temporary temple), people moved in an out easily and it was not mad crowded, I quickly setup my camera and started taking shots, to my surprise nobody disturbed me or said not to take pictures, instead they were more than happy to let me keep shooting, the kids there also volunteered to look after my bag so I could move around easily -Absolutely awesome

From there on every pandal I went to I was extended the same courtesy, my next destination was Grant road station, the Ganpati there was lit up, so time to crank ISO and shoot, note I hate using flash, I think it takes away from the reality of the image. I retraced my steps from the station towards the BMC station at D-Ward, this area has always had very creative idols, I was surprised this time around instead of going creative, the committee there had gone for a simpler much larger idol, it was very impressive. This pandal also had some kids playing carom; they were very excited when I took their picture. Next destination Papanas Wadi, this is a small lane next to my house, their theme eco friendly Ganesh, I did not realise I had friends here, these were kids who I had grown up with, in turn I was treated like a star, they cleared the floor and let me take pictures and fed me a whole lot of sweet meats. Next I moved onto a lesser known destination, this is a small bylane near Nana Chowk, they generally get a small idol but it is always very unique, this time around was exactly the same. Moving uphill I got to Kemps Corner, the Pan Gali idol was a black and gold idol and was huge, post taking pictures I moved towards my final 3 destinations August Kranti Maidan (Tejpal)  and Geeta building and old Gamdevi.

The final destinations are also the oldest as far as we are concerned, they have been housing idols long before it was fashionable to host them. The Tejpal idol was simple but they had surrounded it by envelopes of Ganpati, to my suprise there was nobody around the mini pandal, forgot to mention, I missed the Ganpati which use to be there at the Kharegat intersection, don’t know why it was not there. Anyways moving on the Geeta building Ganesh, was mounted on the shoulders of Hanuman, very different from anything I had seen so far. The volunteers there let me get close to the idol and take pictures, by now I was losing light so cranked up the ISO even more. From here I quickly rushed to Old Gamdevi, this idol was surrounded by women who were waiting for the evening Aarti, I did not waste time here, moved quickly and shot a few images and headed home. All in all the photowalk was an amazing experience the pandals are amazingly peaceful and people don’t bother you, also there are no annoying kids going ‘uncle take photo, my photo please’ and so on.  Really enjoyed this walk, and will definitely do this again on the day of immersion, this time around with my zoom lens.

Do check out our awesome Slideshow of Ganesh Pics below – Shot using a Nikon D5100 with a 18-55mm lens

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Posted by on September 24, 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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