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

In God’s own country with Canon EOS D200II

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After buying my first Mirrorless camera Canon M5 along with 18-150mm lens, I stopped using my full frame DSLR while travelling as the small and lightweight Mirrorless serves most of the purpose. Now I use the DSLR only for my professional shoots, otherwise M5 has become a companion for street and travel photography.

Sometime back when it was time for a family vacation travel to Kerala, I had the choice of either taking M5 or the new launch from Canon, a  DSLR, EOS 200DII with 18-55mm & 55-250mm lenses and I decided on taking the DSLR.

 

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EOS 200DII is one of the smallest and lightest DSLR with a vari-Angle LCD, Weighing just 449gm with memory card and battery, the camera incorporates DIGIC 8 image processor with 24MP CMOS sensor. In terms of specifications of camera, these are very similar to EOS M50 which is the Mirrorless version, both are capable of 4K video recording. The camera also happens to be first Canon DSLR to support Eye Detection AF with Live View shooting.

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EOS 200DII is an entry level, easy to use camera featuring the selfie mode, Guided UI display and Creative Assist functions, which are useful for people who are not experts in photography, want to take better photographs than smartphones.

So here I was, in God’s own country, staying in a picturesque sea facing beach resort in Palayambalam, Kannur with my EOS 200D II kit consisting of 18-55mm and 55-250mm lenses. When I joined classes to learn photography, when cameras were not common and smartphones non.existent, our esteemed instructor made a statement that when someone picks up a camera, the tendency is to click either of the two subjects- kids or flowers. The statement, made more than 20 years ago, finally made sense to me, my first reaction after checking into the beautiful resorts was to pick the camera and take photographs of flowers in the well-manicured lawns.

 

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Canon has always been known for the accuracy of colours and this camera just matches the high standards and brings out vibrant photographs.

 

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The vari-angle LCD in the camera really came handy when I was trying some late evening shots at the beach. I wanted to take some low angle photographs at slow shutter speed and I was not carrying a tripod. Placing my camera on low lying flat rock on sea-side, with 10 seconds timer, at ISO 100 on Tv mode, the vari-angle LCD was a boon for the angle I had chosen. The shot would have been very difficult  without this option in the camera.

 

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The Auto Focus in the camera surpassed my expectations, though it is an entry level camera the focus detection was extremely fast and I hardly experienced any focus-hunting. The only issue where I feel the camera could have done better by providing more AF points in the optical viewfinder, there are just 9 AF points. Whether it was a still object with very low contrast or when the subject was moving, the Auto Focus worked well in all situations. 

 

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The 24MP CMOS Sensor in the camera is instrumental in bringing out the finer details in the photographs, besides the accurate colours, the other details like texture are also very nicely captured.

 

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More than the sunset, it is the time immediately after which fascinates me, the time before darkness prevails, just before twilight. This time produces magic in the sky and its reflection on water. The light dims very fast and in this situation low light performance of the camera matters. At ISOs equal to 1600 or more, the camera helped in capturing these surreal moments.

 

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Kerala is known for its beautiful beaches and amazing variety of seafood but this is the first time I saw fruit cut and dipped in salt water in big jars topped with green chillies and coriander. The amalgamation of “sweet & sour” flavours of fruits and spicy flavours of chillies surely create a mouthwatering recipe. The camera cannot describe the taste but visuals attempt to do some justice.

 

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Being a hot and tropical area, Laterite rocks have been used extensively in the architecture in Kerala. The rust-red colour brings out the vibrancy in buildings and structures. The kit lens EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM works well for most of the architectural photographs.

 

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As mentioned before, this camera is DSLR version of mirrorless EOS M50 having almost the same features. For photographers who are still not comfortable with using the EVF(Electronic View Finder) and prefer Optical View Finder, this small and lightweight camera is a good option. The Guide Assist feature explains the features of most of the settings with visuals which will be of great help to people who are in the early stages in photography.  Now a days, even the photographers who shoot still images are seeking an option in the camera to record high quality video and EOS 200 II does not disappoint here with the facility to shoot 4K video. Overall, it is a features packed DSLR in small and lightweight body, definitely not an entry level camera but a step ahead.

 

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© All Rights Reserved Ravi Dhingra

Canon EOS RP- First Impression

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Canon 5D Mark II was a game changer for photography industry, with almost one third price of a full frame DSLR camera offered by competition, the camera took the market by storm. Many professional photographers switched to Canon including me, cost of replacement of system with lenses was a cheaper option than buying a full frame camera of the existing system. And there was no compromise as far as quality and features were concerned.

The latest offering from Canon, EOS RP where P stands for Populaire or Popular intends to become a camera for masses, a full frame mirrorless camera, offered almost at the price of a high end crop sensor DSLR. Full Frame sensor offer fine image quality, better low light performance and shallower Depth of Field as compared to crop sensor and is a minimum benchmark for professional photographers.

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Build & Quality

Weighing only 485 grams (including battery and memory card), EOS RP body is made of magnesium alloy and is is engineered to provide dust and moisture resistance. The camera is very compact and comfortable to hold, however for photographers who prefer a four finger grip, an extension grip can be attached (sold separately), the grip is useful and functional when a big or heavy lens is mounted.

 

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Simplicity is the key design feature of this camera with very few buttons. Mode dial on the top and lay out of other control dials makes it very minimalistic. The vary angle LCD, similar to EOS R makes it easy to shoot at difficult angles.

 

 

 

 

 

Auto Focus

The EOS RP is equipped with Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus (AF) system, where every pixel on the entire image sensor is used for focus detection. With 88% horizontal coverage and 100% vertical coverage there are upto 4779 auto focus positions. The touch and drag option is similar to EOS R where choosing a focus point is enabled while seeing through the viewfinder. One feature which I found really handy is the “Spot Focus” option in AF which really helps in precise focussing especially working with tiny objects.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Quality 

The EOS RP features a new 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor with approx. 26.2 megapixels and with a faster DIGIC 8 processor, the image quality is excellent.

 

 

Digital Lens Optimizer (DLO) enables corrections with respect to optical aberrations and any loss of resolution caused by the camera’s low pass filter. The Canon EOS RP is able to access lens profile information directly from RF lenses and use it in-camera for real time optimisation as soon as the photograph is taken which not only provides ready -to-use images but also results in saving time while editing the photographs on computer. For subjects like architecture where getting the lines straight is crucial, DLO is a boon taking care of barrel distortion while using a wide angle lens.

 

 

 

 

Low Light Performance

In all the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) protected monuments in India, tripods are not allowed without prior permission because of which taking photographs inside becomes a difficult task. The only way to get sharp photographs  is to increase ISO to get the safe shutter speed which results in noise. With a maximum ISO of 40,000, the camera performs quite well with very less visible noise.

 

 

Colours

Canon is always known for excellent reproduction of colours in the photographs and EOS RP is no exception. The brilliant colours of nature are captured with finest detail and vibrance.

 

 

Focus Bracketing

This feature undoubtedly is the highlight of EOS RP. While photographing objects at extreme close ups, the Depth of Field even at lower aperture is less which results in out of focus areas in the image. Also shooting at extreme low apertures, especially below f11 results in diffraction which may increase DoF but make the image softer.

The extremely simple to use “Focus Bracketing” optio, when enabled, take multiple shots at various focus points automatically and the images can be stacked using an editing software. Say bye to complicated traditional manual focus bracketing option when similar result is possible by a simple touch of a button.

 

 

 

 

Images on the left are taken at f11 where depth of field is less  and images on right are taken with focus bracketing option in the camera which has resulted in high depth of field making the objects sharper throughout.

 

Canon EOS RP is priced very competitively, At INR 1,10,495/- (body only), the camera is an excellent buy for someone planning to buy a full frame sensor camera. The pricing is almost in the range of a high end crop sensor camera and the added advantage is compatibility with all the existing EF and EFS lenses(with the adapter). Though some of the features which are present in EOS R are missing here but considering the price, EOS RP provides value for money. Lightweight, easy to handle and use, the camera is handy for all genres of photography and all kind of light situations. The photographs below are taken with the camera hand held and in available light coming through the window. 

 

 

Happy Clicking!

© All Rights Reserved Ravi Dhingra

 

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.

 

B&W2

 

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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.

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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.

Click here for more information:

Profoto B10

Happy Clicking!

©️ All Rights Reserved Ravi Dhingra