Frozen In A Pause

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Between Shades and Shadows

To create a set of compositions in the grains of black of white realms is a rare and unique habit. In the world today photography has moved from its first inhibitions of influential international design movements. If Bauhaus gave us clean sculptural lines of buildings, Henri Cartier Bresson and Irving Penn and many others defined a period in which the look itself would become a signifier of urban modernity and of modern life.

Here in India the relics of S.Paul and Raghubir Singh give us contrasting studies to contemplate upon. Photography means different things to different people. For the commercial photographer Ravi Dhingra it is a kind of oasis when he takes off from assignments and goes in search of quiet corners and explores the shades and shadows of nooks and crannies to create a suite of works that are at once limpid notes on a dulcet tranquil tapestry of time.

Perhaps at the end of the day, it all depends on one’s personality. If you prefer to have more of a goal, structure, and pattern– then working in a project-based mindset may be advantageous to you. However if you consider yourself more of a free spirit and don’t like to work feeling restrained- the natural way of just reacting to what you see may be better for you.

These images are not about the portraits or moods of people but they are about manifestations of people, it’s the things/spaces that are created by people that become subjects of Ravi’s vision.

So when Ravi steps out or into interior spaces he does not just focus all his attention and energy to people. Rather, he looks for elements that might juxtapose each other and make statements about society. This can be manifested through objects of things you find on the ground, urban landscapes, and other messages he might find.

For someone who shoots most of his commercial assignments in colour when asked about his penchant for black and white Ravi states: ” We are surrounded by colours, everything around us is colourful which at times makes our visual experience a bit monotonous. The absence of colours in an image helps in breaking the monotony, the boredom. Colour photographs are too obvious, whereas monochrome ones provide a different perspective with each colour depicting a different shade of grey.”

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Light and Shadow

The act of seeing is at the heart of his language of images. The window is as much a sentinel as the chair that is merely throwing its shadow against a wall. The dancers moving in synchronized rhythm as vital as the pigeons that sit or fly off the wall of the ruins of a fort. The puddles and dark silhouettes of human form as brisk as the silhouette of the wrought iron chair that stands in front of the shutter. Light becomes the fulcrum around which he captures his compositions.In his quest for light and shadow Ravi looks for a visual experience.

Each image tells a story, that starts with a single scene: its like a brief, imagined film clip unspooling through projector light and developing into a story on the screen of his brain. That unfolding scene often begins with an object or image Ravi is drawn to and had captured within and without. I am reminded of the great architect Louis Kahn who presented a treatise on light.  It was the central element in Kahn´s philosophy because he regarded it as a “giver of all presences”: “All material in nature, the mountains and the streams and the air and we, are made of Light which has been spent, and this crumpled mass called material casts a shadow, and the shadow belongs to Light.” For Kahn light is the maker of material, and material’s purpose is to cast a shadow.

As identified by Leonardo da Vinci, we often encounter three types of shadows: Attached shadow, shading and cast shadow. The attached shadow falls on the body itself – like a cantilever roof causing a shadow on the façade. The second type belongs to bright and dark contrasts, which are inherent to the form and depend only on the source of light, e.g. a ball shaped pavilion, which even under a cast sky shows a darker zone in the lower part. The third, cast shadow, could be the result of a high house generating shadow on the street due to the projection of the building outline. These images personify the passion that Dhingra has when he shoots his compositions in the right inclinations of sunlight.

Ravi presents his own rumination on light.
” Some chase light but I prefer to chase shadows. Shadows create volume, add another dimension, and this interplay of light and shadows can make an ordinary object look extraordinary in the photographs. It is all about using the available light for lighting the subject to create shadows.”

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Time of day

Indeed when you look at these images its as if the photographer is out to explore the secrets of shadows during different times of day. Only when you study light in the context of gradations of light and dark do you learn that the dark shadow is a natural part of light, interestingly Ravi never attempts a pure dark space for a formal effect. For him, a glimpse of light elucidates the level of darkness. A good composition in the tones of light and dark should be read like a harmony of spaces in light.

Ravi elucidates: More than the time of day, the desired effect in a photograph is more relevant , a high contrast image will need bright afternoon sunlight whereas early morning or late evening Sun will help in getting long and soft shadows. I also work a lot with light coming through windows, doors and other openings which give a different glow according to the time of the day.”

Between the debates and descriptions of light and dark zones we know that even a space intended to be dark should have just enough light from some mysterious opening to tell us how dark it really is. Each space must be defined by its structure and the character of its natural light. As a result, the light as a source is often hidden behind secondary walls, thus concentrating attention on the effect of the light and not on its origin.

The “mysteriousness” of shadow in photography is also closely linked to evoking silence and awe. For in a composition while darkness evokes the uncertainty of not being able to see, it also inspires deep mystery. Then it is in the hands of the photographer to capture compositions that evoke silence, secret or drama with light and shadow – to create a “treasury of shadows.”

When asked about his thoughts on the power of composition and its impact Ravi provides his insight. ” Composition is the art of photography and very subjective and there are certain laid out rules also for composition. For me simplicity in the frame is the key, I generally avoid including too many elements, a straight forward approach works for me. A balance between various elements is very important in a photograph, the process of inclusion and exclusion help in maintaining the right proportions.”

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In an age where cellphone photography has inundated all visual culture and everyone is trigger happy it isn’t always easy to find a formal set of works. This collection belongs to that category.

Ravi adds his perspective. ” Photography is much more democratic now in the cellphone age and technically these smartphone camera produce decent images. This has made photography more challenging, to create a photograph which not only is good but also different is a tough task.There is nothing called  good or bad photograph, it is all about interesting or boring photograph. The viewer’s attention will still go to a visual which is different from others and yet effective in getting the story across.”

Ravi admires the works of Raghu Rai & Rafique Sayed and finds inspiration from their oeuvre. Among International names Yousuf Karsh is one of his favourites besides the historian and epic colossus of human studies the invincible Sebastio Salgado.

Critical essay by Uma Nair, Art Critic & Curator

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The book is available online on  Amazon and Flipkart

Click here to order Frozen In A Pause

Buy artworks online at Mojarto

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Coverage in Hindustan Times, HT City, 25th October 2017. Click here to read

Hindustan Times e-Paper - Frames that captured poetic moments - 25 Oct 2017 - Page #40

Click here to view the video by Art Explore 

Coverage in Millennium Post 6th November 2017. Click here to read

MillenniumPost6.11.17

Coverage in The Asian Age dated 9th November 2017. Click here to read the article:

AsianAge

 

 

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Photographs from the Exhibition Opening & Book Launch on 31st October 2017

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Ramayana

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Ramayana in Mudras by Kuchipudi exponents Raja and Radha Reddy 6

Click on the photograph above or the link below to view the ebook.

http://www.youblisher.com/p/982885-Ramayana/

Option to download as PDF also available.

Character Portrayal

Rama: Raja Reddy

Sita: Radha Reddy

Ahilya: Kaushalya Reddy

Ravana: Rashmi Vaidyalingam

Lakshmana: Tamal

Hanuman: Stans

Shurpanakha: Yamini Reddy

Jatayu: Bhavana Reddy

Kaikeyi/Garud: Shloka Vaidyalingam

Deer: Mahesh

Canon EOS RP Gold

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To celebrate Summer Olympic Games 2020 hosted by Tokyo, Canon Japan has announced production of 5000 ‘limited edition’ camera EOS RP Gold likely to be launched mid-March.,

There will be two variants- body only and bundled with RF35 mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM Lens. The Control Ring Mount Adapter EF – EOS R and an Extension grip EG – E1 will also be offered.

Another exciting product on offer is memorial Olympic 2020 leather bag with leather strap.

And the buyers of the camera get an opportunity to witness one Olympic event, to be chosen by draw of lots.

The catch- only for Japan. Rest of the world will have to wait.

Canon EOS RP

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Another addition in Canon mirrorless camera family, full frame sensor EOS RP is placed in the middle of EOS R, the first full frame mirrorless from Canon and EOS M 50, a crop sensor camera.

In terms of built, it is a minimalistic design. Very few buttons and with the similar user interface of EOS 200D, it is one of the ‘simplest to use’ camera.

It is a lightweight and compact camera with RF lens mount, EF lenses can also be used with the adapter . It will be an affordable full frame camera almost in the similar price range of high end crop sensor DSLR cameras.

Click here for full specifications

Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens Review

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With the launch of full frame mirrorless camera EOS R a few months back, Canon,  almost after 30 years after introduction of EOS and EF mount,  brought in a new lens mount – RF mount exclusively for R system cameras.

What’s new in RF Mount

In terms of technology, the diameter of mount remains the same at 54 mm but the distance between the mount and sensor plane has come down to 20 mm which in future will help in designing better quality compact lenses with wider aperture like f 1.0. Also, there is significant elevation of the electronic communication in the new interchangeable lens-camera system increasing the number of contact pins from eight (current EF) to twelve.

Like any other camera company, Canon is also planning to make a big impression in the mirrorless cameras which will rule the photography profession in times to come.

 

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Image Source: Canon USA

When it comes to choosing a lens, 50mm focal length is a very versatile range which produces a “normal” perspective and field of view similar to the way our eyes see a scene. The images with 50mm appear more natural, without any optical distortion, as compared to photographs clicked with focal lengths which are higher or lower than 50mm. A fixed 50mm lens is ‘must have’ piece of glass in a photographer’s kit bag. 

The fixed lenses have another advantage of offering a much wider aperture as compared to zoom lenses where there is a limitation to maximum aperture.

Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM lens is one of the lenses which was simultaneously launched with EOS R. Though the previous versions of Canon’s 50mm (f1.2, f1.4, f1.8) can be used with EOS with an adapter, RF 50mm has certain advantages over its predecessors.

 

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One of the major feature is the programmable  “Control Ring” built in the lens which allows change of exposure settings. There is an option to set the ring to change Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO besides exposure compensation. It helps in clicking the exact photograph as seen in the viewfinder.

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Bokeh and Star Burst

RF 50mm has 10 diaphragm blades as compared to 8 blades in EF 50mm f1.2L USM lens which makes a difference when it comes to aesthetics in photography. The bokeh produced with 10 blades is more artistic and more round which adds to the whole feel in the scene the camera captures.

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64  Aperture f1.2  ISO 200

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64  Aperture f1.2  ISO 100

Not only the bokeh, the star burst is also more artistic with this lens when the aperture is smaller. 

 

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Shutter Speed 1/125  Aperture f16  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/640  Aperture f14  ISO 100

 

Minimum focussing distance

The minimum focussing distance of 40cm in RF 50mm which is 45 cm in EF 50mm F1.2L USM.

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Shutter Speed 1/125  Aperture f2.2  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/80  Aperture f9  ISO 640

Ultra wide aperture

The ultra wide aperture is not only helpful in low light conditions, allows shooting at lower ISOs, it also creates a nice background blur (shallow depth of field).

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64  Aperture f1.4  ISO 640

 

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Shutter Speed 1/640  Aperture f1.8  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/80  Aperture f1.2  ISO 160

 

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Shutter Speed 1/3200  Aperture f1.2  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/2656  Aperture f1.2  ISO 100

Edge to edge sharpness even at f1.2 with strong resolution and good contrast

The lens is impressive here with edge to edge sharpness in the frame at different apertures including f1.2, the resolving power and contrast are undoubtedly excellent.

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Shutter Speed 1/640  Aperture f1.2  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64  Aperture f5.6  ISO 125

 

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Shutter Speed 1/640  Aperture f7.1  ISO 100

 

Excellent rendering of colours

Canon cameras and lenses are known for reproducing accurate and pleasing colours and this lens is no exception.  Even with minimum editing of jpeg files, the colours have been depicted very nicely.

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Shutter Speed 1/1600  Aperture f1.2  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/2656  Aperture f2.2  ISO 100

 

Versatile lens for various genres of photography 

This is one lens where Canon has really worked hard and the result is a masterpiece, one of the best lenses the company has manufactured. Though heavy weight wise considering the fact that it is built for mirrorless EOS R system, but it fits well on the body in terms of ergonomics and balance. In terms of quality, this  lens will surely give the competition a run for their money.

The lens features ASC (Air Sphere Coating) which improve image quality when shooting into backlight to reduce lens flare or ghosting and also come with Fluorine coating on foremost and rearmost lens surfaces to repel dust particles, moisture and water droplets. The coating also makes smears and fingerprints easy to remove without using any lens cleaning fluid.

From portraits to product, landscape and nature, street and travel, wedding, this extraordinary lens is extremely versatile for all kinds of light situations. The fast autofocus(USM), brilliant resolution, ultra-wide aperture, weather-sealing makes the lens  a forerunner in this category.

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Shutter Speed 1/80  Aperture f1.2  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/2000  Aperture f1.2  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/80  Aperture f3.5  ISO 160

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f7.1  ISO 1600

 

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Shutter Speed 1/80  Aperture f3.5  ISO 500

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64  Aperture f3.5  ISO 400

 

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Shutter Speed 1/80  Aperture f11  ISO 1600

Technical Specifications

Image Size

Full Frame

Angle of view (horzntl, vertl, diagnl)

40°, 27°, 46°

Lens construction (elements/groups)

15/9

No. of diaphragm blades

10

Maximum Aperture

f/1.2

Minimum aperture

16

Closest focusing distance (m)

0.40

Maximum magnification (x)

0.19

 

 

© All Rights Reserved Ravi Dhingra 

 

Canon EOS M50 First Impression

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EOS M50 is the latest offering by Canon in the series of crop sensor mirrorless cameras and undoubtedly have the best features as compared to the previous models. Having used M5 and M100, EOS M50 appears to be cross between the two in terms of design and build.eos_m50_m15-45_003

 

Design and build

As far as first look is concerned, this compact body camera is equipped with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, large grip, and Vari-Angle touchscreen. The Vari-Angle touchscreen is really beneficial in situations where angle for taking photograph is awkward  like extremely low. The screen can also be rotated around to function as a selfie screen, handy for vlogging.

 

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The small body has an advantage over the  DSLRs as it does not draw any attention especially while shooting on streets. The camera comes with a silent scene mode for shooting with no shutter sound. The “silent” shooting along with vari-angle screen work wonders for candid photography. 

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Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f6.3 ISO 800

Sensor and Processor

The 24.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor in the camera along with DIGIC 8 image processor ensures high resolution images processed at a very high speed, extremely useful for continuous shooting (upto 10fps) and seamless videos.

 

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Shutter Speed 1/400 Aperture f9 ISO 100

Auto Focus

There are 143 AF points(with compatible lens) which cover 88% horizontal by 100% vertical area of the screen and include Eye Detection AF(One Shot AF). Auto Focus is fast and accurate because of an improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF system.The touch and drag option on the screen helps in selection of focus points using the touch screen while looking through the EVF like a touchpad.

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Shutter Speed 1/100 Aperture f6.3 ISO 640

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Shutter Speed 1/100 Aperture f6.3 ISO 320

CR3 RAW and Compressed RAW format

The camera for the first time introduces CR3 RAW format replacing the CR2 Raw Format existing in the previous models since 2004. EOS R is the other camera as on date using the CR3 RAW format. With this C-RAW (compressed RAW) is offered where the file size is 40% smaller that of a regular RAW file with very less drop in quality. 

 

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Shutter Speed 1/200 Aperture f9 ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/100 Aperture f5  ISO 100

Connectivity

EOS M50 camera provides an option to send images to smartphone while shooting through the app or EOS utility. The camera is also the first EOS M-series camera which works with Canon’s EOS Utility software, which allows the camera to be tethered to a computer and use the large screen of computer. Almost all camera functions are available with EOS Utility software.

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Shutter Speed 1/100 Aperture f6.3 ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f6.3  ISO 100

Low Light Performance

In low light situations, at higher ISOs, the camera performs quite well and noise is not really noticeable.

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Shutter Speed 1/64 Aperture f3.5  ISO 1600 

 

EOS M50 comes across “an easy to use on the go” camera, compact and lightweight offering excellent image quality with useful connectivity features. It is an ideal choice for street and travel photography and the improved Creative Assist options(presets) makes it simple to operate and get creative shots without worrying about the technical aspects.

 

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Shutter Speed 1/200 Aperture f10 ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/100 Aperture  f7.1  ISO 100

 

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Shutter Speed 1/64  Aperture f3.5  ISO 250

 

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Shutter Speed 1/80 Aperture f8 ISO 400

Click here for EOS M50 specifications

© All Rights Reserved Ravi Dhingra

Why clicking in ‘Monochrome’ in Camera is not a good option

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Most of the digital cameras come with the option of shooting in monochrome or black and white picture style. A lot of photographers choose this option for taking black and white photographs, but the in-camera conversion into greyscale is far from satisfactory. Black and white is not just pure black or pure white, is also about grey tones. Ansel Adams  and Fred Archer devised the “Zone System” for film exposure and development where zero is pure black and ten is pure white, one to nine denotes different grey tones.

Colours are easily differentiable in colour photography, the art of black and white photography lies in differentiating the grey tones. When different colours are converted into grey tones, the conversion should depict individual grey tones for each colour. This, most of the times, is not achievable when photographs are taken in monochrome picture style, the camera fails to work with individual colours and produce a greyscale image lacking in tonalities.

Here are two examples,  one colour photograph taken in standard picture style and another taken in monochrome picture style, both are unedited and SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera).

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Red and Green are dominating colours in the colour photograph but in black and white option, the grey tones depicting the individual colour are almost identical and appear flat. This is a major drawback when in-camera processing takes place.

While post processing the colour photograph in the editing software, each individual colour can be worked upon depending on personal preferences. Even while shooting with black and white film, colour filters were attached to the lens to change the tonality of grey in the final output. Same principle is applied in the editing software, where intensity of each individual colour is increased or decreased to get the desired grey tone.

 

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In the above photographs, the red colour is increased resulting in a lighter grey tone and green colour is reduced to produce a darker grey tone, the two grey tones are easily identifiable. Also some colours like yellow and magenta which are not noticeable in the photograph, have also been worked upon to get the desired output.

 

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In the above photograph, Red has become a darker grey and green a lighter one by just playing with the individual colour sliders.

The above colour photograph is in jpeg format, where the image has already been processed in the camera and is compressed. This at times, may restrict in getting the finer tones. Shooting in RAW is always the best option if the photograph has to be converted into black and white.

 

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The RAW convertor in the editing software give better options for converting into black and white, in the RAW the range of tones is much more wider as compared to a jpeg file.

It is time to stop using the “monochrome” or “black and white” picture style in the camera and start shooting in RAW format, if possible. Otherwise shooting jpeg in colour in camera and converting into greyscale using an editing software is a better option any day. Shooting in colour also gives the option of retaining the colour version and creating a separate  black and white version, it is not an easy task to add back colours in a ‘monochrome picture style’ image.

 

Happy Clicking!

© Ravi Dhingra 

 

The Roadside Ear Cleaner

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My first attempt, my first upload on YouTube, a small video shot and edited by me.

Click here to watch the video:

https://youtu.be/9SYp4BeQEi4

Canon EOS R First Impression

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It is almost 2 years since I am using Canon EOS M5, a crop sensor mirrorless camera. This I generally use for street and travel photography but for professional photo shoots my gear consists of two full frame DSLR camera bodies including EOS 5D Mark IV and a variety of lenses. Having extensively used both the versions, mirrorless and DSLR, EOS R did not bring up any element of surprise in terms of usage. Even without going through the camera manual, the camera was ready to use with my individual preferred settings in no time.

In terms of battery and memory cards, the existing ones in the camera gear are all compatible. Canon EOS R uses the same battery LP-E6N which powers EOS 6D and EOS 5D Mark IV DSLRs which means no extra spending on additional battery. In terms of lenses, all EF and EFS lenses can be used with an adapter, so no more worrying about full frame body lenses or crop sensor body lenses.

Since the launch of EOS R around two months back, the camera has received both bouquets and brickbats. Here is my first impression of the camera in terms of handling and quality of still photographs. 

Size 

Size wise the camera is smaller than EOS 5D Mark IV and obviously bigger than M5 but despite smaller than 5DIV, the grip is able to accommodate four fingers resulting in better feel and stability which other mirrorless cameras do not offer. 

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Auto Focus

Almost the whole screen, 88% horizontally and 100% vertically, is usable in terms of auto focus positions, a simple touch while using the LCD screen for shooting enables auto focus and “Touch & Drag” option while looking through the EVF performs the same action. In terms of number, the camera has 5655 AF positions to pick from. The “Touch & Drag” preferences can be changed depending on whether right hand or left hand is being used for selection of AF positions.

EOSRAF

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Digital Lens Optimizer(DLO) System

The Digital Lens Optimizer system built into the EOS R camera performs real- time corrections for a number of optical aberrations and distortions encountered over a wide range of shooting conditions which means SOOC (Straight-Out-Of-Camera) photographs can be used without going through the process of editing on computer.

A point light source that travels through a lens system encounters numerous aberrations — both monochromatic and chromatic — that tends to spread that light 

When Digital Lens Optimizer is used, high image sharpness with minimal aberrations can be achieved even with maximum aperture which otherwise may result in degradation of resolution in the focal area. The small aperture results in softening of the image caused by diffraction effect, DLO takes care of this too.

With the Digital Lens Optimizer, the entire range, from fully open to minimum aperture, can be used without worrying about the aberrations and distortions.

All the photographs appearing in the article are SOOC except for reduction in file size for web upload.

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Processor

The camera is equipped with the latest DIGIC 8 image processor which enhances the shooting experience with minimal shutter lag because of extremely fast processing of data. This is more noticeable in continuous drive mode, where there are almost no black-outs while shooting.

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Image Stabilisation

The camera produced sharp images even at slow shutter speeds when hand held. The IS system in the camera works extremely well with the RF lenses which are connected to the body through 12 points in the RF Mount. Due to interactive data communication between the lens and camera system and fast DIGIC 8 processor, the camera shake information is processed at high speed and compensation control signal is generated to counteract the shake.

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Focal Length : 61mm, 1/8 sec,  f 9, ISO 100

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Focal Length : 105 mm, 1/20 sec,  f 9, ISO 100

Control Ring

The control ring on the lens before the focus control ring is really helpful as it enables the change in exposure by adjustment of  either Aperture, Shutter, ISO or Exposure Compensation which comes quite handy  while shooting the scene through EVF. This can be programmed in the set up menu as per personal preference. I have set the same for ISO, the other two dials are used for Aperture and Shutter Speed.

ControlRing

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Low Light

The low light performance is quite good where noise levels are acceptable at higher ISO even at 100% size.

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Focal Length : 96 mm, 1/125 sec,  f 7.1, ISO 5000

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Focal Length : 65 mm, 1/80 sec,  f 4.0, ISO 2000

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Focal Length : 65 mm, 1/80 sec,  f 4.5, ISO 1600

All the photographs are takin with Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens which is great general purpose and extremely versatile lens, a perfect choice for Canon EOS R.

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Having used the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) in SLR cameras for many years now, there was an initial mental block for switching to Electronic ViewFinder(EVF)  but the wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) feature really changed the viewpoint. The battery performed better than expected, even after 270 still photographs and approximately 75 minutes of video, there was still some juice left.

Overall it has been a great experience shooting with the camera, produces similar quality of photographs as in EOS 5D Mark IV but with a smaller size and lighter weight camera body.

Click here for more details & technical specifications:

Canon EOS R

Video Performance review coming soon in a separate post.

© Text and Photographs Ravi Dhingra 

Profoto B10 – The Power of Small

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Profoto launched B10, an off camera flash, in Delhi today. Almost the size of a 28-70 lens, this surely must be the smallest and lightest in this category. With maximum power of 250 watts, equivalent to 5 Speedlites, it is powerful enough to work in harsh sunlight and unlike Speedlites it gives the option of continuous light with the facility of changing colour temperature which means that this can also be used as a video light.

The simple and minimalistic design with just 3 buttons makes off camera flash photography a cakewalk. With the Profoto app (currently available for iOS) the light can be operated through a smartphone too.

The battery operated flash can fire 400 flashes when fully charged and it takes maximum one and a half hour for charging to maximum power. No more working with electric cables running around in the studio or outdoors.

The light is part of the Profoto system which makes it compatible with other models, all light modifying accessories and also the Air Remote.

In studio or outdoors, B10 is a perfect light source for most of the genres of photography-wedding, portraiture, fashion, food, product…. and here size actually doesn’t matter.

These photographs are taken with the continuous light option and at different colour temperatures.

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Profoto B10

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©️ All Rights Reserved Ravi Dhingra

Permission for photography at ASI protected monuments

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Many a times photographers especially with big cameras are stopped by guards at ASI ( Archaeological Survey of India) protected monuments citing signage prohibiting photography at the entrance to take photographs.

Here is the copy of permission letter issued by concerned authorities. This has been tweeted by Dr. Mahesh Sharma who at present is the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for- Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.

Though still photography without using tripod was always allowed but it was difficult to find the office order stating the same and it was at the discretion of guards to put various kinds of restrictions which even included carrying DSLR inside the monuments as it can be used for video, videography without prior permission is not allowed.

It is advised to either take a print out of this and always keep in camera bag or save it on the phone.

Happy clicking!

The Digital Photo Copy Cruiser

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The year was 2003 when I purchased my first DSLR, spent ₹ 1.75 lacs on the 6mp camera body & another ₹16000/- for 2 Compact Flash cards of 512 mb each. Thankfully the existing SLR lenses were compatible. It was the time of transition from film to digital technology for professional photography . With film cameras editing was taken care of at client’s end, there was no real need of laptops/computers at the time and location of shoot.

This was also the time of shooting with both technologies, film as well as digital, the clients were not sure about the output and quality of digital cameras. The camera which I was using, Fuji S2Pro, had the option of clicking in TIFF mode besides JPEG, RAW processing was not common as editing software were not very advanced unlike today.

On a 512mb memory card, there was a possibility of storing only 28 images, each file size being around 18mb, lesser than a film roll with 36 exposures and almost double than medium format film rolls. Two memory cards were always insufficient for the days shoot considering exposure bracketing.

Buying more memory cards was not a cheap option and laptops were not inexpensive either.

As a standby during that time I requested my friend to bring the Digital Photo Copy Cruiser by Alera Technologies from USA, it was never launched in India and I paid around ₹10000/- for it. I read about this product in an international photography magazine, not much of information was available on internet during those days.

This product was revolutionary which enabled the copying of digital photos directly from camera memory cards to CD without a computer. Each CD can store 700mb data which was more than sufficient for one memory card of 512mb.

This device with two memory cards and lots of blank CDs became an integral part of my camera kit bag and served my purpose for many years till the time memory cards started coming with higher storage capacity and became affordable.

Photos from memory cards could be added to the CD in multi-session format so the full capacity of the CD could be used, though I never used this feature . It could also be used as a USB 2.0 36x CD recorder when connected to a computer. The Digital Photo Copy Cruiser supported the following Digital Memory Card formats: CF Type I and II, SD, MMC, SM, MS, MS Pro, and Micro Drive.

I read somewhere that this device became very popular with intelligence and detective agencies as it didn’t leave a trail since no computers were used to transfer the images from the memory card resulting in utmost secrecy.

The technological advancements in last fifteen years or so has made a tremendous impact on photography, cameras have become much more affordable resulting in democratisation where more people are able to pursue the craft either as hobby or profession. The initial days of transition from film to digital was a great learning experience, things were changing at a rapid pace as compared to present. It is now the time again to concentrate on the art of photography rather than worrying about the changing technology.

©️ Ravi Dhingra