CHIP_INSIDER_OCT2011 by kmrz


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									YOUR GUIDE TO TECHNOLOGY TRENDS                                  Supplement to CHIP October 2011

        What to buy?
       Find the best cameras and
       equipment to suit your

        Play with light
       Learn painting with light to   The essential guide to cameras,
       create amazing photographs
                                      image editing and photography
        Revive your photos
       Don’t discard grainy shots;
       convert them into artistic
       silhouettes instead

        Enhance your shots
       Create awesome HDR effects
       with photos clicked across
       various exposure settings

     POINT AND SHOOT                      32 CREATE STRIKING
                                          SILHOUETTES                                                 MANAGING EDITOR
4 THE ART OF DIGITAL                      Convert you over exposed shots into                        Hatim Kantawalla
PHOTOGRAPHY                               silhouettes with Photoshop Elements 9.
                                                                                                        DEPUTY EDITOR
The equipment and skills you need to
pick up photography as a hobby.           34 PLAYING WITH LIGHT IN                                      Jamshed Avari
                                          RAW IMAGE FORMATS                                      SENIOR FEATURE WRITER
6  SHOOT WHEREVER                         Salvage pictures with excessive light
                                                                                              Kamakshi S, Priyanka Tilve
YOU GO                                    with Adobe Lightroom.
Some helpful tips to maximize the photo                                                                FEATURE WRITER
quality of your phone camera.             36 TOUCH-UP WITHOUT                                       Kushal Mamoowala
                                          GOING TOO FAR
10 CAPTURE THE PERFECT                    Learn how to make manual saturation                             COPY EDITOR
HOLIDAY MEMORIES                          and contrast adjustments in Photoshop.                         Sameer Desai
Use these handy travel shooting tips to
                                          38                                                      PROJECT COORDINATORS
create the perfect vacation album.           MINIATURE SUBJECTS
                                          CORRECTLY IMITATED                              Rajesh D'Souza, Gautami Chalke
14 BLACK AND WHITE                        Give any image the miniature or 'Bokeh'                  SENIOR ART DIRECTOR
PERFECTION                                effect with the 'blur' tool.
                                                                                                        Nirmal Biswas
Monochrome pictures can be stunning if
you know what, when, and how to click.    40   DRAWING WITH LIGHT                                     SENIOR DESIGNER
                                          Create artistic photos with some simple                   Hemali Limbachiya
                                          camera settings and light as your brush.
     SHOPPERS ' S TOP                                                                                    ILLUSTRATORS
                                          42CROPPING WITH                                 Sachin Pandit, Chaitanya Surpur
18   TOOLS OF THE TRADE                   PHOTOSHOP
                                                                                                     COLOR CORRECTION
Find the best cameras that suit your      Select and crop even the finest of
budget and your requirements.             details in your photos using Photoshop.                        Sanjay Shelar
                                                                                                          HEAD OFFICE
NEXT LEVEL                                          T ECH TALK                       Intelligent Computing CHIP, Infomedia 18 Limited,

Here's all that you need to know to put                                              'A' Wing, Ruby House, 2nd Floor, J.K. Sawant Marg,

together the perfect lens kit.            46 A VIEW FROM THE                                 Dadar (W), Mumbai - 400 028. INDIA
                                          VIEWFINDER                                  Phone: (91 22) 3024 5000, Fax: (91 22) 3003 4499
26   LOOK BEFORE YOU BUY                  Photography is an exciting career option
Some important points to keep in mind     for those with a creative bend of mind.
while buying a camera.
                                          48   HOW LENSES FUNCTION
                                          A look at what the perfect lens is made       SMS US
     DO I T YOURSELF                      of, and a few myths busted.
                                                                                     SMS your feedback to us at 51818. For general comments,
                                                                                     create the following message: ICCO <Your comments here>
28 USING HDR EFFECTS TO                                                              Example: ICCO The cover story was very useful

LIVEN UP YOUR PHOTOS                                                                 To rate a story, product review, etc look out for the story
Create magical photo effects using                                                   tag at the base of each article and type:
                                                                                     ICCO <Story tag> <Rating> Example: ICCO PWS 5
bracketed images in Photomatix Pro.
                                                                                     The “Story tag” is mentioned at the base of every story in
                                                                                     the magazine and the “Rating” is on a scale of 1 to 5.
30   CAPTURE THE SUNSET                            Cover Image Courtesy:
                                                                                     Please keep comments to 160 characters per message!
Enhance the color depth and the feel of            Arko Provo Mukherjee              Include your email address to help us reply.
your sunset photos in a few easy steps.

                      T        he festive season is the perfect time to buy
                               and gift gadgets, with lots of offers and
                               discounts coming up. In our country, Diwali
                      is the best time to find great deals. As gadgets
                      become more affordable, niche arts and hobbies
                      like photography seem to be gaining a lot of
                      prominence. With the sales of smartphones, digital
                      cameras with interchangeable lenses and entry-
                      level DSLRs on the rise, more and more people are
                      trying their hand at photography.
                          However, photography today isn’t limited to
                      just taking pictures; post-production and image
                      manipulation also help enhance your creativity.
  There's no better   If creating artwork from scratch is not your
                      cup of tea, you can use applications like Adobe
      time than the   Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom,
                      IrfanView, and other paid or free applications to
  festive season to   add effects to your pictures. While applications
                      like Photoshop and IrfanView help you manipulate
pick up the camera    images extensively, you can stick to proprietary
                      software, or applications like Photoshop Elements,
    and turn into a   Lightroom or Picasa for basic fixes, that let you
                      process RAW images, and also help you clear out
        shutterbug.   any distortion caused by the camera itself.
                          If you plan to take up photography as a hobby,
                      this seems to be the best time of the year to pick
                      up a camera or related equipment that you need
                      to expand your kit. But it’s not all about discounts
                      and cutting costs; the holiday season is ideal for
                      photography, be it some good memories with loved
                      ones or a long overdue vacation to an exotic place.
                      It is perhaps the best time to become a shutterbug
                      and get a new perspective on things!

                      kamakshi s
4    Point and Shoot

                                  the art of digital
                                   Becoming a digital photographer

                                   If you are a budding photographer or a photography enthusiast, the digital
                                   world has a lot to offer these days. With so much high-tech equipment doing
                                   the rounds, we show you what you need to know before you enter the world of
                                   by kamakshi s

                                          hotography has always been a popular            surroundings, and ask before taking pictures if
                                          hobby, and the digitalization of the art has    you are too nervous. Carrying your personal visit-
                                          ensured that the number of followers has        ing cards helps too, and it doesn’t cost that much
                                   multiplied considerably over the years. Photogra-      to design and print these days.
                                   phy isn't a cheap hobby by any means; entry-level
                                   DSLRs and even high-end point-and-shoot cam-               the technique
                                   eras are quite expensive, but the fact that there's    Photography is a lot like painting; no two artists
                                   such a big market for these products gives you a       would see and compose a scene the same way.
                                   fair idea of how popular photography really is.        Take time to compose your shots; you will never
                                   However, it’s not just the equipment that matters.     fall short of inspiration. If, as a beginner, you
                                   Photography is about the right choice of shots,        are feeling lost, there are several websites like
                                   what digital format to shoot pictures in, and also     '' and 'www.
                                   the tools you pick to enhance your images.   ' that can give you tips to
                                                                                          learn photography and build your style, but that
                                       the equipment                                      is something you can learn with time and practice
                                   You won’t be much of a photographer if you don’t       as well.
                                   have the right camera. However, what device
                                   you pick is purely a matter of personal choice.            the outcome
                                   You can buy a good smartphone or tablet with a         Most point-and-shoot cameras don't offer you
                                   decent camera, a point-and-shoot, a semi-SLR that      options to save your files in various file formats,
                                   lets you play around with lenses, or even a DSLR       but they do allow you to change the resolution
                                   depending on your usage and seriousness to pur-        that you can shoot your pictures in. Pictures shot
                                   sue photography. Any subsequent equipment you          at lower megapixel values are relatively smaller
                                   buy would ultimately depend on your primary            in resolution, size and quality. However, if you do
                                   choice of device, which means that if you plan to      have issues with space on your memory card and
                                   use a phone camera to take pictures, investing in      wish to compromise on quality, you can go ahead
                                   a tripod, or buying a flash gun for a digital camera   and play around. It's not so much of a worry as
                                   doesn’t make sense. So before you buy anything,        your pictures can still be printed without any
                                   make sure you know what shots you intend to            problems.
                                   take with the camera.                                     While JPEG is a lossy format, which means that
                                      If you wish to use the device outdoors, make        the images loses some of its quality every time
                                   sure you travel light. Familiarize yourself with the   you hit the save button, you can still post process

    octoBer 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                       Point and Shoot        5

l photography
 the images quite easily using any photo editing        to work on converting it to an Internet, printer or
 tool. Tools like Photoshop CS and Photoshop Ele-       PC-friendly format.
 ments do support RAW formats, but you need the
 adequate plug-ins for the formats to load in the       processing:
 software.                                              Here, RAW beats JPEG easily, but that doesn’t mean
     Unlike JPEG, RAW formats offer amazing poten-      you can post-process JPEG files, but the flexibility
 tial for those who like working on their own shots.    is much greater with RAW formats. If you are a
 Some photographers enjoy the fact that they can        Canon or Nikon camera user, then the proprietary
 control every aspect of their camera, right from       software lets you play around with image settings
 pointing and zooming the lens to managing expo-        similar to the image modes in your camera.
 sure and light balance to processing the final
 output. It doesn’t matter if you are not a profes-     speed:
 sional photographer; you can create some awe-          Again, JPEG and TIFF seems to be on top here. If
 some effects with your images with the flexibility     you plan to create stop-motion videos with con-
 that the format offers. RAW format files are not       tinuous still shots or need high speed shots, then
 images per se, but a collection of meta data that      you better get off the RAW mode. Since the sensor
 eventually holds information to make and manip-        needs to collate more details, it takes longer to
 ulate the image. RAW images are also referred to       save the file to your memory card, which makes
 as digital negatives. What this basically means        the camera processing slower by a few millisec-
 is that while the camera takes in the inputs like      onds.
 brackets, color balance, ISO levels, exposure and
 point of focus into account, the camera's sensor       Quality:
 doesn’t process the image. Usually, the camera's       If you don’t want to compromise on image quality,
 sensor features a color filter array (a color filter   RAW and TIFF are better formats to save pictures
 that transfers colors to the pixel sensors), with a    in. JPEG is a lossy format, so even if you can’t see
 2x2 matrix of red, green, blue and (second) green      quality loss, with time, it won’t remain ever-green
 filters to ensure color perfection. So the camera      as you would like it to be.
 reads only the information, but leaves the pro-
 cessing part to software on your computer.             space:
                                                        If you find yourself in a space crunch on your
     Which format is Better?                            memory card, JPEG would be the way to go. Both
 There is an age-old debate that pits most photog-      TIFF and RAW formats need a lot of space as
 raphers in the RAW vs TIFF or JPEG debate, but         compared to a JPEG file. A RAW file is almost four
 picking a format depends of several factors. Here      times the size of a JPEG file, so better go with JPEG
 are a few important ones:                              if you need to accommodate more shots.
                                                            If you are new and want the best of both worlds,
 Quick usage:                                           switch to the RAW + JPEG mode on your camera, if
 Here, JPEG and TIFF wins hands down. Since your        the option exists. You can see the difference for
 camera sensor has done all your work, all you          yourself and then pick formats accordingly. How-
 need to do is resize (if required) and share. The      ever, that way, each shot would take a consider-
 downside of shooting in RAW is that if you think       able amount of space on your memory card, so
 the image doesn’t need any work, you still need        you'll fill up the memory card much faster.

                                                                               intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  octoBer 2011
6    Point and Shoot

                                   mobile shooting

                                  shoot Wherever
                                  You go
                                   In this day and age, you can find a camera built into a multitude of devices
                                   and gadgets. From cell phones to music players, the camera has become a
                                   standard feature and can often be used to capture great photos.
                                   by kushal mamoowala

                                          ameras in cell phones are constantly                You never know when the opportunity to take
                                          increasing in quality, with the latest phones   a great photo will pop-up, and sometimes, you
                                          like the Nokia N8 and the Sony Ericsson         might not even have time to pull out a conven-
                                   Satio harboring up to 12 megapixel cameras. There      tional camera. At times like these, the easiest and
                                   are also a wide range of mobile phones with 8 and      best option is to shoot with your camera phone, so
                                   5 megapixel cameras that, if used effectively, can     it could be helpful if you learn ways to maximize
                                   capture photos of great quality.                       the quality of your phone captures.
                                       One of the biggest concerns with photography
                                   is the misconception that a phone camera will not       1   trY unconventional angles
                                   be able to take photos that can rival those taken           and framing
                                   from a digital camera or an SLR camera. There is       There are very few digital cameras and most
                                   no doubt that SLR cameras, with their wide range       definitely no SLR cameras that can compete with
                                   of lenses, and digital cameras can capture pho-        your cell phone where size is concerned. Your
                                   tos in a higher resolution than a camera phone,        cell phone is more maneuverable and can fit into
                                   but that is not all that is essential to take a good   areas that a conventional camera can not, so take
                                   photo. The advantage that camera phones hold           advantage of it. Professional photographers will
                                   over the more conventional cameras is that they        tell you about the conventional rules of photogra-
                                   are more compact, portable and easily accessible,      phy, the right angles to shoot, and how to frame
                                   opening the doors to a whole new world of strange      your subject. While it is important to know these
                                   angles and situational photography.                    basic rules, feel free to experiment with different

    october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                      Point and Shoot        7

                                                                                                                         Kamakshi S

angles, like shooting from the floor, the hip, over    low light. One option is to rest your phone or your
head and any other angle. You can also try fram-       hand against a stationary object until the image
ing your subject differently to include interesting    has been captured. You can also place your phone
backgrounds in your photos, like placing your          on a stand or support or even use a rig like the
subject in a corner to include a brilliant sunset in   GorillaPod to keep your phone still as it takes
the background.                                        photos.

 2   Keep your phone steady                             3   Close in on your subjeCt
Having steady hands is the most obvious of rules       There is no doubt that most of the photos you
when it comes to taking photos and it is most          take from your camera phone will include people,
important when shooting with cell phones. Cam-         friends or family or even strangers when you are
era phones generally suffer from shutter lag - the     on vacation or at a party. A common mistake when
relatively longer period of time taken for an image    taking such shots is that the subject ends up being
to be captured after the shutter release has been      tiny or sometimes unrecognizable in the photo.
clicked. Shutter lag can result in the photo being     Camera photos are often small, due to lower reso-
captured as you lower your phone from the shoot-       lution, so it is important to get close to and fill up
ing position, giving you a blurry image. It is also    your screen with your subject to avoid having to
very important to have a steady hand when tak-         zoom in on the subject after the photo is taking.
ing photos in low light as cameras in auto mode        It is important to keep in mind, however, that
will delay the shutter speed to compensate for the     some phone cameras struggle to focus on very

                                                                              intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  oCtober 2011
8    Point and Shoot

                                                              close subjects, so you       is also worth noting that sometimes, the angle or
                                                              need to figure out the       intensity of your lighting can give you great pho-
                                                              perfect distance to keep     tos. Bright sunlight from the side can enhance the
                                                              you subject to avoid get-    wrinkles on an old lady's face or cause an appeal-
                                                              ting blurry or distorted     ing glow in dim lighting. If you wish to take more
                                                              photos.                      artistic photos rather than portraits for the year
                                                                                           book, you should explore the effects of lighting
                                                               4   Avoid digitAl           and how you can use shadows to play with your
                                                                   zoom                    images.
                                                          If you are, for some rea-
                                                          son, unable to get close          7   tAke chArge oF your photos
                                                          to your subject, you             Your photos are only as attractive as your sub-
                                                          might consider using             ject’s appeal, so go ahead and make your photos
                                                          the zoom function.               interesting. Instead of just standing by and taking
                                                          However, you must keep           photos of your friends or family, take control and
                                                          in mind that phone               choose your locations or backdrops or place your
                                                          cameras do not use               subjects to optimize their visibility and appeal.
                                                          optical zoom like digital        Instead of taking photos of your friends sitting
                                                          cameras and SLR cam-             around indoors, take them outside and make
          Taking photos from low angles can give          eras. Cell phone cam-            them pose. Whatever your subject, take charge
          you great perpective shots.                    eras use digital zoom,            and make it look more inviting and radiant.
                                                         which only enlarges the
                                 already existing image on your display, much like          8   tAke loAds oF shots with
                                 zooming in to a photograph that you have already               diFFerent settings
                                 taken. So photos clicked with digital zoom often          Camera phones have limited features when com-
                                 end up pixilated or blurry. If you are concerned
                                 about the distance between you and your subject,
                                 you can try taking a photo at a high resolution
                                 without zooming in, and then crop the photo
                                 using photo editing software like Photoshop to
                                 enlarge your subject.

                                    5   Find your FlAsh rAnge
                                   You do not have to use your camera flash only
                                   in low light. Your flash can come in handy even
                                   if you are taking photos of your subject against
                                   sunlight or some other light source. Lighting can
                                   often cause unwanted shadows and too much con-
                                   trast in your photos and in such situations, your
                                   camera flash can be used to eliminate them. One
                                   important requirement, no matter what sort of
                                   lighting you are shooting in, is to know the range
                                   of your flash. You can figure this out by taking
                                   experimental photos to learn how effective your
                                   flash is when your subject is at different distances.
                                   If your subject is beyond your flash range, your
                                   flash will light up objects that are nearer to the
                                   camera and your subject will end up even darker
                                   in the photos.

                                    6   experiment with lighting                             Lighting from the side can be used to
                                   Having mentioned the importance of the flash, it          enhance natural textures like wrinkles.

    october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                    Point and Shoot                                            9

pared to conventional cameras, but they have           wish them to be. Also
some interesting and helpful features nonetheless.     remember that some-
A decent camera phone will allow you to set the        times a blurry photo or
white balance, the ISO settings, focus mode, the       ‘mistakes’ can also be
resolution and sometimes even photo effects such       usable and appealing in
as sepia or negative. It is always good to experi-     an abstract way.
ment with the various settings and adjustments
your camera offers so that in the future, you know     10   explore the
which settings to use to get the best photos.               worlD of
   Take photos of the same subject with differ-             apps
ent settings, take photos of different subjects,       The biggest advantage
and take loads of photos whenever you get the          of mobile phone cam-
opportunity to get more acquainted with your           eras is that you can use
phone camera. You should note that the higher          a plethora of camera
the resolution of your images, the more space you      apps and photo editing

                                                                                                                                                            Kushal Mamoowala
will require to store them, so it is worth investing   apps to fix, manipulate
in additional storage for your camera phone and        and have fun with your
regularly transferring photos to your computer         photos. Almost all new
for viewing or editing.                                smartphone operating
                                                       systems have compat-
 9    Don’t Delete mistakes                            ible camera apps, both      Filling up the display with the subject
There is no doubt that being able to view your         free and paid, that you     prevents having dead space in your photos.
photos as soon as you have taken them is an            can use on your phone.
advantage, but with camera phones, sometimes           Android phones and the iPhone especially have
it isn’t. Cell phone displays are small, lower in      a wide variety of camera apps that allow you to
resolution and often lack the colour quality to        use many different effects and adjustments when
display your photos in their right hues and sharp-     taking photos. You can spend hours on the Inter-
ness. It is advisable to view your captured photos     net trying to find new and amazing apps for your
on your PC before you delete them as sometimes,        smartphone and you should regularly check for
a photo that doesn’t look to appealing on your         new apps to get the best out of your cell phone
phone can come alive on a bigger, better display.      camera. Some of the best camera apps for Android
You should also keep in mind that you can always       phones include Vignette, PicSay, Little Photo,
edit your photos using image editing software, so      Pudding Camera and Camera 360. For the iPhone,
don’t delete a good photo just because the lighting    you can check out Hipsatmatic,,
is poor or the colours aren’t as enhanced as you       ColourSplash and Darkroom.
                                                                                                                           Image courtesy: HCO ScoutGuard

  Digital zoom (left) causes more pixelation             This flash range test shows the effectiveness of a camera's
  and noise than a near range photo (right)              flash at lighting up subjects at different distances.
     Kushal Mamoowala

                                                                            intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011
10    Point and Shoot

                                    travel photography

                                   Capture the perfect h
                                    With the festive season and vacations just around the corner, it's time to take
                                    loads of memorable pictures. But have you ever thought about what you need
                                    and how you will carry things around as you travel?
                                    by kamakshi s and florian schuster

                                               ost people like to travel light and are    best if you also packed a small camera bag for the
                                               wary of carrying expensive equipment       day. Here are the essential and optional items that
                                               to an unknown location. If you are con-    you can consider adding to your camera kit.
                                    fused about what to take and what to click, here
                                    is a guide that can come in handy when you plan        1 CaMera
                                    your travel camera kit.                               Most of us don't have a wide choice of cameras to
                                                                                          pick from, but there are people who prefer car-
                                    the equipMent                                         rying a point-and-shoot, a smartphone with a
                                    The most important thing you need to sort out is      good range, and a DSLR. If photography is on your
                                    the equipment you will carry. Be it a point-and-      agenda, it goes without saying that there has to be
                                    shoot camera or a DSLR, you can still manage to       at least one camera in the photo equipment. If you
                                    get great pictures if you compose your shots right.   are looking at buying entry-level or mid-range
                                    One thing you should keep in mind as a tour-          SLRs, go for something that is neither too heavy
                                    ist is not to carry everything all day long. If you   nor too big. For example, the Canon EOS 600D (Rs
                                    are walking around a city, you could certainly do     49,460 with Kit I EF-S18-55mm IS II lens) or Nikon
                                    without a few pieces of the equipment. Unpack the     D7000 (Rs 74,950 with AF-S 18-105mm VR Kit lens)
                                    tripod and the remote release only if you're going    can be good options. However, hold the camera
                                    out for a night tour of photography. It would be      before buying it so you know how comfortable you
                                                                                          are with the grips.

                                                                                           2 MeMory Cards
                                                                                          You can never have enough of these! If you are
                                                                                          using a regular point-and-shoot camera, you can
                                                                                          take all the angles that you want the shot in and
                                                                                          sort later. For SLR users, especially beginners, the
                                                                                          standard RAW + JPEG format will give you better
                                                                                          photo editing options on post-processing, but this
                                                                                          will also need a lot of memory. As tourists, you
                                                                                          would find memory cards anywhere you go, but
                                                                                          the rates you find them might not be the bargain
                                                                                          you expected!

                                                                                           3 replaCeMent battery
                                                                                          Nothing is more irritating and disappointing than
           To capture the essence of you trip, make sure to take pictures that            finding out the you need to put the camera away as
           reflect the local flavor .                                                     the battery has run out. If you use a camera that is

                                                                                                                                     Kamakshi S
     oCtober 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                        Point and Shoot        11

holiday memories
  powered by standard pencil cells, you might still       8 cleaning cloth
  get lucky, but those with lithium ion battery packs    Most people use a t-shirt to clean the front lens.
  may have to be a bit more careful. Replacement         Before you do that, don’t forget to blow on the lens
  batteries are not reasonably priced and you would      first. However, it is a much better practice to use a
  not need them very often either. Having said that,     micro-fiber cloth to clean lenses.
  make sure you keep the charger handy.

   4 Selecting the tripod
  Considering that the festival of lights is just
  around the corner, you can be treated to some
  amazing night shots. Even if you use it for just
  a small portion of your photos, you might find
  yourself in situations where you will just have to
  depend on a tripod. Carry a tripod that is light
  and handy, and rugged too.

   5 Ultra-wide angle
  If you have a camera that lets you switch lenses,
  and you are thinking beyond the kit lens, you can
  opt for an ultra-wide angle zoom lens. It is fun
  and allows you to capture completely different
  perspectives. An ultra-wide angle zoom lens with
  a wide angle lens of 18 mm is useful not just in the     Watch out for shots that can help you experiment. Pictures like this
  city, but most places that you plan to visit, with-      would not just be rare but also add a charm to your album.
  out switching lenses often.

   6 remote releaSe
  You can still work with the self-timer if necessary,
  but for 'bulb' exposures, you will need a remote
  release. In principle, a reasonable model with
  cable or, if supported by the camera, infrared
  should do for occasional use for taking pictures at

   7 the right bag
  Depending on your comfort zone, you can decide
  between a backpack and a shoulder bag to carry
  yout kit. Keep in mind that whatever you plan
  to lug along fits in and should be well protected.
  Don’t forget to carry a guide and a bottle of water
  for good measure.                                        Night shots are the most relaxing as there is little disturbance
                                                           around you. Carry a tripod and take your time to compose shots.

                                                                                intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011
12    Point and Shoot

                                                                                            later to make them appear more prominent.

                                                                                             2 take your time While taking a
                                                                                            When you are on holiday, you would have all the
                                                                                            time in the world to take photographs. It’s the
                                                                                            perfect opportunity to combine exciting subjects
                                                                                            and lots of time. And the best time to do this is
                                                                                            at night. The family doesn’t miss you and you will
                                                                                            collect magical images that elude you in broad

                                                                                             3 the right orientation
                                                                                            If you would like to emphasize objects that are
                                                                                            far away, then use the landscape mode. If you
                                                                                            want to emphasize objects at a height, pick the
                                                                                            portrait format. This thumb-rule does not work
           You cannot do away with picture-perfect tourist postcard shots.                  all the time, since a landscape in the portrait for-
           They help you share memories with your loved ones.                               mat looks unconventional and can thus make the
                                                                                            subject seem interesting. Go ahead and try out the
                                                                                            variations and later decide depending on the situ-

                                                                                             4 Do not overlook subjects in
                                                                                            Often in the heat of the moment, you forget that
                                                                                            not only do you have the portrait and landscape
                                                                                            formats at your disposal, but even the focal length
                                                                                            can be adjusted. You can take pictures free hand,
                                                                                            which can be later composed in panorama on the
                                                                                            PC. Just adjust the average exposure, calculate
                                                                                            around one-third of the overlapping, and there
                                                                                            you have it - a panorama!

                                                                                             5 images narrate stories
                                                                                            There are many reasons why you should take
           Local customs and people color the travel destination more than                  photographs of signs every now and then while
           the monuments you see. Cherish such scenes with your camera.                     travelling. Firstly, they give orientation and help
                                                                                            you remember the names of the places. Such pho-
                                    What to shoot?                                          tos do not have to be beautiful, but just serve the
                                    While money can buy all the equipment you need,         purpose of documenting the journey. If you can
                                    clicking meaningful pictures that capture the           produce an artistic photo of the sign, all the bet-
                                    mood perfectly is really up to the photographer.        ter! Sign boards tell you a lot about the place. If
                                    Here are a few things you can keep in mind when         someone was there before, he would recognize
                                    you go exploring new locations, or even known           them immediately, and who knows, you just might
                                    ones.                                                   manage to capture some beautiful or witty sig-
                                     1 take photos in all Weather
                                    Do not feel let down if you see a couple of clouds.      6 capture the essence of the
                                    You can leave the sky out of the picture if it is too   place
                                    grey for your liking, and concentrate on other          No photographer should miss out on an elephant
                                    details. Alternatively, you can edit the photos         striding on an open road in Kerela, or a local train

                                                                                                                                       Kamakshi s
     october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                   Point and Shoot        13

in Mumbai or Chennai. It is all about the clichés.
This probably isn't everyone's cup of tea, but do not
underestimate the effect they have as long-lasting

 7 Do not forget your travel
The memory card is now full of photos of monu-
ments and landscapes. Have you forgotten some-
thing? Don't forget to take plenty of pictures of
the people who made the trip with you. It does not
have to be the classic “I was here” images either;      Rains and fog cover are not the most ideal situations to take
you can get creative and think of an innovative way     pictures, but try such shots too. The outcome might amaze you!
to capture them.
   Aside from your companions, however, chances
are that you will also bump into many interesting
people on your travels. Talk to the people, and if
you ask them to politely, they just might oblige and
give you a great picture. Apart from the memories,
you will also end up making some new friends.

 8 PostcarD PhotograPhs
You shouldn't miss pictures like these. You don’t
have to Photoshop them; you can just position the
shot to the effect. A vacation album is incomplete
without such moments; just concentrate on the
'artistic' subjects. You will not be disappointed!

 9 always keeP the camera reaDy
There are opportunities that come by without
warning. If you keep your camera tucked away, you       Look for pictures that let you narrate your travel tales with ease.
might just miss the moment. Keep your camera            They help you make your trip worthwhile.
handy, with the lens attached, and just keep your
eyes open to capture fleeting masterpieces!

10 use exPosure time anD iso to the
If you wander the streets at night, then you should
know your camera inside out: What exposure times
can be handled without a tripod? What does the
image stabilizer do? If you know the answers to
these questions, then you will keep the ISO sensi-
tivity low and not bother about image noise later.
Adjust the sharpness on the display at the scene
itself (zoom in!) for most of the subjects; you will
often have enough time for a second attempt.
    When you are on vacation and are using a digi-
tal camera, take as many pictures as you can. You
can always discard and sort them later. If you have
enough memory or a back up device like a netbook
or a PC handy, you can enjoy your trip without wor-     Keep your camera ready everytime you step out. Chance shots are
rying about how many pictures you can take.             hard to come by, but can lead to brilliant results.

                                                                           intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011
14    Point and Shoot

                                   black and Wh
                                    Shooting SubjectS in monochrome

                                    Not many are comfortable taking away colors from images, but try
                                    monochrome photography and you will rediscover the world of lights,
                                    shadows, forms and patterns. All these play more important roles in black and
                                    white images. Here is how you can appreciate colorless images without losing
                                    their original spunk.
                                    by sebastian lang,              juliane weber and kamakshi s

                                                                                        y using just deep black and pure white,
                                                                                        you can get fascinating contrasts in your
                                                                                        monochrome images. The power of digital
                                                                                photography lets us create black and white images
                                                                                by getting rid of chroma or saturation values from
                                                                                an image to make it look original. However, there
                                                                                is more to black and white photography than just
                                                                                taking the saturation values away. When you take
                                                                                monochrome images, it creates sharp contrasts
                                                                                between the deep black and the shining white
                                                                                areas of an image. When you shoot images in
                                                                                monochrome, it’s not just specks of dull gray, but
                                                                                an array of sharp differences in brightness cre-
                                                                                ated by the depth of the color that you see in real
                                                                                life. The more pronounced the transitions are, the
                                                                                higher is the contrast and the harder the subject

                                                                                Working With color filterS
                                                                                In analog photography, you work with real color
                                                                                filters in order to get sharp and rich contrast
                                                                                images. A red filter is used for a deep black sky.
                                                                                When you go digital, things get easier; the colors
                                                                                of the image can be transformed into the desired
                                                                                gray shade specifically and individually. Photoshop
                                                                                provides a number of preferences, including ‘Image
                                                                                | Adjustment | Black And White’, which suits most
                                                                                of the subjects as it also enables you to fine-tune
                                                                                the outcome in greater detail. If you dwell deeper
                                                                                into colors you will figure out how each color in
           While not all architectural shots look good in monochrome, they do   the color channel individually affects an image.
           prove to be a good subject to experiment with.

                                                                                                               Kamakshi S / Anand Tuliani
     october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                       Point and Shoot        15

hite Perfection
  What can you Shoot in
  black and White?
  Black and white photographs give a very different
  feel to the same images in color. While missing col-
  ors create a sense of nostalgia, some photos tend
  to appear a bit too pure, which often gives the sub-
  jects an additional appeal in black and white. While
  not everyone prefers monochrome shots, there are
  some things that you can click better void of color
  than with the original hues. However, in case of
  uniform color gradients, the effect that the image
  creates can be lost when you get rid of colors. Thus,
  it goes without saying that not all images are suit-
  able for desaturation. Here are a few desaturated
  experiments you can try for starters.

  Due to their clear-cut lines, buildings fit the bill for
  black and white transformation. Modern buildings           While some cameras provide you with color filter options, tools like
  appear classier while the old ones retain a nostal-        Photoshop help you add specs of color to your desaturated pictures.
  gic touch.

  While portraits do seem stunning in monochrome,
  a lot depends of the subject of the photograph and
  the backdrop in question. You will have to make
  sure that the model here stands out distinctly
  against the backdrop of your shot. However, if you
  are shooting a very colorful outfit or make-up,
  color is a must.

  Try doing away with the blue sky and green grass
  picture once in a while. Scenic black and white
  photos work well in high contrast locations like
  dark rocks in light water that appear particularly
  impressive in a black and white image. Just make
  sure that there are a few clouds for better texture,
  otherwise your picture would look very dull in
  black and white.                                           Monochrome shots add to the nostaligia factor to your captures. It
                                                             works well with objects that remind you of old times.

                                                                               intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011
16    Point and Shoot

                                                                                 best avoided if color makes the
                                                                              image appealing
                                                                              A transformation to black and white is not appro-
                                                                              priate for all subjects. If you look at the image of
                                                                              the chappel on the previous page, the coloured
                                                                              portion adds character to the scene. If it were
                                                                              converted to a complete grayscale, the transforma-
                                                                              would make the image boring instead of giving it
                                                                              an old world charm.

                                                                              5 ways to your black and
                                                                              white image
                                                                              You decide which method is the best for your

                                                                                 black and white directly from
                                                                              the camera
                                                                              Contrary to popular belief that a black and white
                                                                              images should be taken in color first and then
           Expressive portraits often serve as good subjects for monochrome   transformed afterwards, you can expect better
           shots, as the focus is taken away from the attire.                 results if you use the monochrome mode on your
                                                                              camera directly. Make sure that you have set maxi-
                                                                              mum contrast levels on your camera for the deep
                                                                              black and pure white image effect. This way, the
                                                                              image loses the soft grey fog and gets a sharp con-
                                                                              trast. Preferably use the RAW format while clicking
                                                                              the image to play with the exposure better during
                                                                              post-processing of images.

                                                                                black and white with photo-
                                                                              shop layer settings
                                                                              You can easily give your image a B/W look via the
                                                                              layer palette by using the layer settings 'channel
                                                                              mixer' or 'black and white'. Firstly, the image looks
                                                                              somewhat dull as it appears merely gray. Now, if
                                                                              you select one of the different filter options apart
                                                                              from the 'Standard' setting, you get a strengthen-
                                                                              ing of individual colors that increase the contrast
                                                                              in a black and white transformation. Just check
                                                                              which filter setting is the most appropriate for your
                                                                              output image. Even finer shades can be attained
                                                                              with the help of the control bar.

                                                                                black and white by using photo-
                                                                              photoshop’s 'greyscale'
                                                                              Transform your image via 'Image | Mode | Gray-
                                                                              scale' in a grayscale image. At first, the image
                                                                              looks dull even here. Contrasts can be attained by
                                                                              applying a tonal value correction without change
                                                                              via the layer palette and setting the layer to 'Mul-
           When you are shooting porttraits in black and white, the focus     tiply'. Repeat this process and this time only set
           needs to be on the subject and not his surroundings.               the fill method to 'Multiply Negatively'. In order to

                                                                                                              Kamakshi S / Anand Tuliani
     october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                   Point and Shoot        17

intensify contrast even more, subsequently create
one more 'Gradation Curve' layer with 'Medium

  Black and white with Raw
If you want to convert color images to black and
white, you should take photos in RAW format. You
can eventually develop these files using the soft-
ware provided by the camera manufacturer. In
case of Canon and Nikon, the converter promises
optimum outcomes. However, not every manufac-
turer provides the appropriate RAW conversion

   Black and white with SilveR
efex PRo 2
The plug-in for Nik Software can be integrated into
Photoshop CS, Photoshop Elements 9 and Light-
room. It has a variety of transformation settings,
which can be controlled precisely. Even sepia-tint-
ing is possible. In addition to the histogram, a scale
is provided, which displays the individual bright-
ness regions within the zonal system. Visit 'www.' and try it for yourself.

Keeping sparKs of color alive
in your shots
If there is a picture perfect to take in black and       Landscape shots that are high on pure white and dark black
white, had it not been for that one stunning and
                                                         contrasts appear striking in monochrome.
lively subject in the middle, you can actually
accentuate it better with this simple trick in Pho-
toshop. Just click the image in color and open it in
Photoshop for editing. Go to 'Image | Adjustment |
Desaturate’. Select the History brush option from
the toolbar and just bring the color back to the
areas that you want. You can play around with the
brush size for better detailing.

                                                         The image here highlights how color creates a sense of contrasts
                                                         for colored regions when converted to a grayscale.

                                                                           intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  octoBeR 2011
18    ShopperS' Stop

                                    What to buy

                                   tools of the trade
                                    The camera market is flooded with new products frequently, so keeping track
                                    of the best camera and the latest features can be difficult. Whatever your use
                                    or your need, there is a camera out there that will suit it perfectly.
                                    by kushal mamoowala

                                           hotography has grown in popularity by          of digital cameras. Targetted at users that fall
                                           leaps and bounds since the advent of digi-     between professionals and general consumers,
                                           tal photography technology. The market         Fujifilm’s latest prosumer enables you to take SLR
                                    is flooded with digital cameras and DSLR (digital     quality photographs without the extra lenses,
                                    SLR) cameras to suit various budgets and boasting     camera bags and expenses. The Finepix HS20 was
                                    a variety of different features. To add ever more     introduced at CES 2011, featuring 16 megapixel
                                    to the confusion, manufacturers are now add-          resolution, Back Side Illuminated (BSI) EXR CMOS
                                    ing features like 3D photography, projectors and      sensor, 30x optical zoom and ISO setting of upto
                                    weatherproof bodies to tempt buyers.                  12,800. The 16 megapixel resolution combined with
                                        Manufacturers like Sony, Olympus, Nikon,          Fujifilm’s image stabilizer feature gives you sharp
                                    Canon and Panasonic are front runners in the          and crisp images and the lens’ effect range of 24 –
                                    camera industry and launch new products at reg-       720mm enables you to take photos from up close
                                    ular intervals, which can make choosing the right     or far away without having to move. Fujifilm’s EXR
                                    camera for you a very tough task. The enormous        CMOS sensor is extremely sensitive to light so that
                                    number of cameras available in the Indian market      even in low light conditions, it can capture great
                                    today can be intimidating for someone who is not      shots without any noise. At Rs 25,000, the Finepix
                                    sure of what he/she wants, so it is best to have      HS20 EXR is a great option for amateur photogra-
                                    a certain idea of the different types of cameras      phers that know their way around camera func-
                                    available and the features they pack.                 tions and do not wish to spend on a DSLR and all
                                        We have put together a list of some of the most   it’s accompaniments.
                                    popular digital cameras and DSLRs to suit differ-
                                    ent budgets as well as covering a range of features
                                    to give you a better idea of what sort of camera
                                    would best suit you.

                                        Point and shoot cameras
                                    Digital point-and-shoot cameras are compact,
                                    easy to use and require few adjustments and set-
                                    tings to capture good photos. Most decent digital
                                    point-and-shoots will also give you some level
                                    of manual adjustment, but even with automatic
                                    mode, you can capture your memories via great
                                    quality photos.

                                    FujiFilm FinePix hs20 exr
                                    Price – Rs 25,000
                                    Category - Prosumer
                                    The Fujifilm Finepix HS20 EXR is the Ferrari

     october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement

                                    CAREERS IN PHOTOGRAPHY

                                    A VIEW FROM THE
                                    Photography is an exciting career option for those with a creative bend of
                                    mind. But while it may seem glamorous, bear in mind that there is a lot of
                                    hard work involved.
                                    BY PRI YANK A T ILVE

                                                                            "Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it
                                                                            feels like. "
                                                                                                          - David Alan Harvey

                                                                                    othing can express the essence of
                                                                                    photography better than this quote.
                                                                                    There is no big deal when it comes to
                                                                            clicking pictures; anyone with a decent camera
                                                                            can do that. What makes for a great shot is
                                                                            whether the picture effectively communicates
                                                                            the photographer’s vision. And to be able to
                                                                                     achieve this, you need to have the eye for
                                                                                        photography and passion that drives
                                                                                        you to do your best.

                                                                                             BEYOND GLAMOUR
                                                                                          Photography is a field that’s consid-
                                                                                         ered glamorous and a lot of people
                                                                                         are attracted to it for this reason. But
                                                                                      ask any professional photographer and
                                                                            they will tell you that there is no glamour in pho-
                                                                            tography. This is a highly competitive field that
                                                                            requires long hours of hard work. Mexy Xavier,
                                                                            chief photographer at Infomedia18 Ltd, is quick
                                                                            to dispel the glamour part of photography, say-
                                                                            ing, “Photography is not all glamour; you need
                                                                            to have passion for it to be able to survive and be
                                                                            successful. Most of the time, the shoots take place
                                                                            in utter chaos, with things lying around, lots of
                                                                            people, etc. One would wonder how we can get
                                                                            good shots from this, but getting the best out of it
                                                                            is the job of the photographer.”
                                                                                Girish Mistry, dean of Shari Academy, seconds
                                                                            her views. He says, “Glamour is not a part of
                                                                            shooting. Glamour, if any, is after the shots are
                                                                            done, but at the time of shoot, it is hard work,
                                                                            sweat and guts. You need to know your job, espe-

                                                                                                                      Mexy Xavier
                                                                                                                   ShopperS' Stop         19

NikoN Coolpix p500
Price – Rs 20,950
Category – Mega-zoom
The Coolpix P500 is a new offering from Nikon,
with a mouthwatering 36x optical zoom lens that

                                                      on the lens barrel allows users to make changes
                                                      to the settings by just twisting the ring to the
                                                      left or right, eliminating the need to press a lot
                                                      of buttons on the 3-inch display. You can use the
                                                      ring for manual focus, aperture settings, shutter
                                                      speed and many other features with ease. The 10
                                                      megapixel CMOS sensor and 3.8x zoom allow you
                                                      to capture high resolution macro and wide shots,
                                                      and it even offers RAW image format, which is a
                                                      plus for editing.
justifies its placement in the category of mega-
zoom cameras. The wide angle lens has a focal         olympuS StyluS tough-8010
range of 22.5 - 810mm, which lets you take pan-       Price – Rs 19,000
oramic photos of the ocean and zoom in on a little    Category - Rugged Compact
boat with just a twist of the wrist. The 12.2 mega-   The Tough-8010 from Olympus is the perfect cam-
pixels Back Side Illuminated CMOS sensor with an      era for taking photos in pretty much any sort of
ISO range of 160 to 3200 helps take high quality      condition. The waterproof, shockproof and freez-
photos in low lighting. The camera also packs fea-    eproof rugged body gives users the opportunity
tures like burst mode, which takes five continu-      to shoot in extreme conditions without having to
ous shots at 8 frames per second and also slow-mo     worry about the safety of their camera. The 8010
video recording at 240 frames per second. The         is loaded with a 14 megapixel imaging sensor, 5x
P500 also lets you capture video at 1080p (full HD    optical zoom, 2 GB of internal memory and one-
resolution) with stereo sound. The P500 is a great
choice for amateur or professional photographers
and travelers who like to capture both panoramic
scenes as well as macro shots.

CaNoN powerShot S95
Price – Rs 21,995
Category - Compact camera for enthusi-
The Canon PowerShot S95 is a compact digital
camera for serious photographers. The S95 is
an improvement over Canon’s S90, which is still
a very popular choice for professional quality
digital cameras. With a large array of manual
controls and improved handling and image sta-
bilizing functions, the S95 packs a punch even in
its small form factor. The innovative Control Ring

                                                                           intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  oCtober 2011
20    ShopperS' Stop

                                    touch video recording in HD. It also has an in-
                                    built manometer for water pressure calculation
                                    for those who wish to shoot underwater. One very
                                    handy feature for use in extreme conditions is the
                                    tap control that allows users to change settings by
                                    simply tapping on the body of the camera. It also
                                    has a 3D accelerometer that allows you to view
                                    photos and change modes by simply tilting the
                                    camera. The Tough-8010 is not the fastest of cam-
                                    eras, but it can withstand a fair amount of rough
                                    handling, so its best only for someone looking to     lens with a range of 24 - 120mm that can capture
                                    use it in extreme conditions rather than for day-     extremely low light images. It also packs full HD
                                    to-day use.                                           video recording, high speed burst mode and slow
                                                                                          motion video recording, 32 scene choices for opti-
                                    Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-hX9V                              mal photo capturing and other creative shooting
                                    Price – Rs 16,600                                     modes. The camera is the best option for someone
                                    Category – Compact Mega-zoom                          looking to take photos in varying settings and
                                                               Earlier this year, Sony    scenes without having to break the bank for a spe-
                                                               launched the HX9V, a       cialized camera.
                                                               feature-packed, mega-
                                                               zoom camera that is            SLr
                                                               perfectly suited for       SLR cameras are more professional and give you
                                                               travel enthusiasts look-   great flexibility as far as camera settings such as
                                                               ing to capture great       exposure, shutter speed and focal length are con-
                                                               photos without having      cerned. SLRs are compatible with many different
                                                               to lug around bulky        types of lenses, which you will have to purchase
                                                               SLRs. The HX9V, with       separately. So to get the most out of an SLR, you'll
                                                               its 16.2 megapixel CMOS    have to make a large investment.
                                                               sensor and 16x opti-
                                                               cal zoom, is capable of    Canon eoS 5D Mark II
                                                               reproducing brilliant 3D   Price – Rs 1,39,000
                                                               images and high resolu-    Category - High-end DSLR
                                    tion panoramic images with camera sweeping. The       The EOS 5D Mark II is one of Canon’s most success-
                                    panoramic shots can be taken in HD with the 42.9      ful high-end DSLRs. The camera scores highly for
                                    megapixel high resolution mode and it even offers     resolution and features, with its 21.1 megapixel
                                    HD video recording with stereo sound, which is        CMOS sensor and full-HD video recording at 30 fps.
                                    aided with the Optical SteadyShot Active Mode         The single-lens SLR has an ISO range of 100 - 3200,
                                    that reduces camera-shake when shooting in HD.
                                    Other features include built-in GPS tracking with
                                    a compass, 10 fps burst shooting mode and full
                                    manual shooting modes. All in all, the camera is
                                    versatile and packs some great features for cap-
                                    turing great shots in difficult conditions.

                                    Canon IXUS 220 hS
                                    Price – Rs 10,995
                                    Category - Compact
                                    The Canon IXUS 220 HS is an ultra-portable, fea-
                                    ture rich compact digital camera that is an afford-
                                    able option for beginners as well as advanced
                                    users. The sleek and stylish camera features a 12.1
                                    megapixel CMOS sensor with a 5x optical zoom

     oCtober 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                     ShopperS' Stop         21

which can be expanded up to 25600 in manual            captures. The 1100D is
mode for capturing photos in different lighting.       also armed with Can-
The camera is armed with a DIGIC 4 processor that      on’s DIGIC 4 processor
can handle extremely heavy 14-bit RAW images           that can handle large
with easy and a 3-inch LCD display with live view.     14-bit RAW images. It
The body-only price is very reasonable when com-       even offers 720p video
pared to other cameras in the same category.           recording at 30 fps. The
                                                       camera is easy to use,
NikoN D7000                                            is fairly compact for a
Price – Rs 59,450                                      DSLR, offers a continous
Category - Mainstream DSLR                             shooting mode at 3 fps,
The D7000 is a mid-range alternative to the more       advanced       exposure
expensive high-end DSLRs without compromising          metering and 9-point
much on features or quality. Like any DLSR, the        auto focus system for
D7000 offers manual, semi-manual and automatic         sharper photos. At
options along with two custom setting modes            Rs 38,990 including the
and 19 different scene modes for shooting. The         18-55mm lens, the 1100D is a great buy for someone
                                                       who hasn’t had much prior experience with DSLRs.

                                                       SoNy alpha NEX-3
                                                       Price – Rs. 22,900
                                                       Category - Mirrorless camera
                                                       Sony entered the fray of mirrorless interchangeable-
                                                       lens cameras with the NEX-3 in 2010. The Alpha
                                                       NEX-3 is a compact mirrorless digital camera capable
                                                       of producing high quality images and video without
                                                       the bulky size of an SLR. The camera features a 14.2
                                                       megapixel APS-C sensor with 25-point autofocus sys-
                                                       tem and advanced exposure metering. The camera
                                                       can also capture fast moving action with 720p video
                                                       recording at 7 fps. The NEX-3 is capable of giving you
                                                       near-DSLR quality photos as well as shooting modes
                                                       like sweep panorama and 3D panorama. The camera
                                                       itself is extremely compact and portable and there is
features that make the D7000 stand out, however,       a wide range of E-mount lenses compatible with the
are its 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, its rugged,        NEX-3, including wide-angle, ultra-zoom and fisheye
lightweight body, dual memory card slots, and          lenses.
low-light shooting options with an ISO range of
100-6400 expandable up to 25500. It also offers full
HD video recording with autofocus and manual
exposure setting at frame rates from 24 to 30 fps.

CaNoN EoS 1100D kit
(EF S18-55 iS ii)
Price – Rs 38,990
Category - Budget DSLR
The EOS 1100D is the perfect basic DSLR for first-
time SLR buyers or users looking to upgrade from
their compact digital cameras. The 12 megapixel
CMOS sensor with ISO sensitivity ranging from
100 - 6400 gives you great flexibility in captur-
ing images for larger prints and low-light image

                                                                             intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  oCtobEr 2011
22    ShopperS' Stop

                                    lens buying guide

                                   take your dslr to
                                   the next level
                                    If you wish to capture a dynamic array of pictures, these five essential types of
                                    lenses will help you click any kind of subject.
                                    by kamakshi s

                                            he greatest advantage that a DSLR offers
                                            is the option to change lenses. You can
                                            expand the scope of your camera with dif-
                                    ferent focal length areas. The new creative options
                                    will be endlessly fun.

                                        Fixed Focal length
                                    These lenses are specially used for specific shots
                                    that demand top image quality. If you are used to
                                    zooming, it will take time to adjust to fixed focal
                                    length. Although you need still subjects at a par-
                                    ticular range to shoot, it does not prove to be a
                                    handicap when clicking creative photos.

                                    Points to be kePt in mind while                                      Fixed focal length
                                                                                          tial aperture. While 1:1.8 is reasonable, you need
                                    The correct focal length:                             to check the image quality as you might find low
                                    If you are looking for something that is good, yet    depth of field for portraits in certain settings.
                                    affordable, pick a 50 mm lens, as anything beyond
                                    that will get expensive. While the Nikon AF-S NIK-    Compare lenses:
                                    KOR 50mm f/1.8G will cost you about Rs 13,450,        If you plan to invest a sizable amount into fixed
                                    you can pick up the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II for a      focal length lenses, make sure you try out lenses
                                    more economical Rs 7,000. There are other cheaper     and compare results before making an investment,
                                    alternatives that you can look at as well, but make   especially if you are buying premium lenses.
                                    sure that it mounts well with your camera body.
                                    If that is not good enough for your needs, under-         standard zoom
                                    stand what you would need the most so you don't       If you have picked a camera that features a kit
                                    end up investing in the wrong lens.                   lens, the focal length range is quite good, but the
                                                                                          image quality may not be up to the mark. If you
                                    The correct speed:                                    want to capture wide-angle shots and have a tele-
                                    the biggest benefit of using fixed focal length       lens option without buying specialized lenses, the
                                    lenses is that they have high speed due to the ini-   a standard lens becomes an essential component.

     october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                    ShopperS' Stop         23

                                                      wide-angle can be fun to work with. Most of these
                                                      images are captured using a standard focal length,
                                                      which is usually at the photographer’s eye level.
                                                      However, photos taken with a short focal length
                                                      from a different angle will always stand out.

                                                      Points to be kePt in mind while

                                                      The initial focal length:
                                                      18 mm is mandatory (15 ideal) in case of small
                                                      images. The widest angle of view is seen in the
                                                      Sigma 8-16mm (around Rs 37,000) and the Nikon
                                                      AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED (Rs
                                                      66,210) when converted to a small image.

                                                      The zoom factor:
                                                      An ultra wide-angle zoom provides the photog-
                                                      rapher with a lot of flexibility. Most of the time,
                                                      the ultra wide-angle is suitable when the zoom
                                                      factor and the focal length range is big enough,
                                                      for instance the Tamron SP AF10-24mm Di-II (Rs
                 Standard zoom

Points to be kePt in mind while                       Speed:
Purchasing:                                           Even though the speed factor plays a vital role in
                                                      other types of lenses, you can't ignore or compro-
High speed:                                           mise on it for this lens either.
If you can’t carry a tripod along and wish to shoot
in poor light conditions, you can increase the ISO
range, but that tends to create image noise. For
that reason, it is better to have a high-speed lens
that can control exposure time with the help of
other open apertures. These lenses are perfect for
portraits and with the open apertures, you can
get good sharpness in the background.

Concentrate on the focal length:
If you are looking for something that offers both
wide-angle and tele lens option, you can opt for
a 17-70 mm lens with f/2.8. The lens will cost you
between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000 depending on the
make and model.

Compact style:
When you're buying a lens to replace your kit
lens, it should be compact and something that is
not too big or heavy to carry around.

    ultra wide angle
If you want to capture wider subjects like a dra-                     Ultra wide angle
matic sky scene from a special angle, the ultra

                                                                            intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011
24    ShopperS' Stop

                                                                                          The weight:
                                                                                          The main feature of the travel zoom lens is its
                                                                                          compactness, making it easy to carry around.
                                                                                          With the advances in technology, these lesnses are
                                                                                          getting even smaller without compsomising on
                                                                                          quality. The Tamron 18-270mm with Piezo ultra
                                                                                          sonic motor lens (Rs 33,990) is a perfect example.

                                                                                          Image quality at its peak:
                                                     Travel zoom                          When you use greater zoom range, the quality
                                                                                          of image is often compromised. Zoom not only
                                                                                          reduces the lens speed, but you can also see imag-
                                        Travel zoom                                       ing performance drop when using greater focal
                                    Travel zooms have been popular for a few decades      length. So the zoom is not such a great feature to
                                    now. These are good enough for wide angles as         have if it doesn’t get you good shots.
                                    well as for tele-range. They are quite versatile so
                                    you won't have to spend too much time changing            Tele zoom
                                    lenses frequently. However, they do not match up      Sometimes, you can’t get as close as you wish to
                                    to the fixed focal length lenses and short zoom       the subject you want to shoot. This is where a
                                    when it comes to image quality.                       good tele zoom lens can come to your rescue. With
                                                                                          a suitable focal length, just zoom into the subject,
                                    PoinTs To be kePT in mind while                       while retaining the flexibility to manipulate shots
                                    Purchasing:                                           later.

                                    The zoom factor:                                      PoinTs To be kePT in mind while
                                    While most of the travel zoom lenses cover a range    Purchasing:
                                    between 18 to 200mm, that is converted to small
                                    image of 27 to 300mm. This works well as most of      Affordable or expensive:
                                    the shooting situations cover an optimal range of     You can get a lens that suits your budget, depend-
                                    18-125mm or 16-105mm. You can pick up the Canon       ing on the speed and the equipment that has an
                                    EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens for Rs 32,195 or a    image stabilizer or an ultra sonic motor lens. You
                                    Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR        can go for something economical if you don’t plan
                                    II Zoom Lens for Rs 47,495 for this purpose.          to use it often. A 70-300mm lens would more or

                                                                                 Tele zoom

     ocTober 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                   ShopperS' Stop         25

                                                     The image stabilizer:
                                                     A greater focal length is fun to work with only if
                                                     the lens has an image stabilizer. Also, these lenses
                                                     require a tripod as free-hand shooting can be very

                                                         Special lenSeS
                                                     At times, special images need different type of lenses.
                                                     Certain wide-angles, details and effects are possible
                                                     only with special lens. Unfortunately, they are quite
                                                     expensive and not recommended for amateur pho-

                                                     Macro: getting up cloSe
                                                     The term 'macro' is misleading in case of many
                                                     lenses. You can get extreme close-ups, but if you have
                   Macro lens
                                                     a genuine macro, which gives you a 1:1 image ratio.
                                                     These have special fixed focal lengths of 50, 60, 100
less fit the bill. The Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor     or 200mm. Prices for such lenses start at around Rs
70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED (4.3x) will cost around    6,000, but the entry level lenses may not give you
Rs 29,450, while the Canon EF 70-300 F/4.5-5.6 DO    good quality macro images.
USM Lens will set you back by Rs 85,000.
                                                     FiSheye: the world in a circle
The speed:                                           You can capture shots at unusual angles and desired
If you are looking for professional level results,   distortions with the help of a fisheye lens. Whether
you need a lens that offers consistently high        a circular (round) or diagonal (image), both fisheye
speed; 70-200mm with speed 1:2.8 is considered       options are used with a fixed focal length. The Canon
the standard. The AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED      EF 15mm f-2.8 Fisheye Lens is priced at Rs 48,095,
from Nikon costs Rs 115,875; too expensive for       while the Nikon AF DX Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G ED
hobbyists but ideal for serious photographers.       would cost you Rs 42,510.

                                                     tilt ShiFt:
                                                     Straight or
                                                     out oF FocuS
                                                     images are possible
                                                     by shifting and tilt-
                                                     ing the lens system
                                                     at the sensor levels.
                                                     You can even play
                                                     around intention-
                                                     ally with the blur-
                                                     riness property
                                                     for miniature
                                                     effects. The Canon
                                                     Ts E 90mm F 2.8 Tilt
                                                     Shift Lens will cost you
                                                     over Rs 90,000.
                  Fisheye lens                                                         Tilt shift lens

                                                                           intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011
26    ShopperS' Stop

                                    Things To keep in mind

                                   Look Before You Buy
                                    There are lots of things to consider before purchasing your next camera. From
                                    adjustable settings like manual focus, shutter speed and exposure to the form
                                    factor, image quality and battery life, there are a multitude of factors that will
                                    influence your buying decision.
                                    by kushal mamoowala

                                            uying a camera can be quite a daunting        The most important of all factors, however, has to
                                            task considering the number of products       be the photo quality itself. Think about what you
                                            out there to choose from. The next cam-       are going to do with the photos you are taking
                                    era you buy will probably stick with you for a        and how well the quality of photos from different
                                    few years, so you want to make sure you choose        cameras matches your requirements. Along with
                                    wisely. There are cameras specific for many dif-      these most basic factors, there are more details to
                                    ferent uses and audiences so it is best to do some    look into before you make the leap.
                                    research before going to the store and even play-
                                    ing with the camera at the store before you buy it.       are You wiLLing To
                                    There are many reviews and user comments that             spLurge?
                                    you can find on the Internet or in magazines, but     Figuring out a budget will help you cull the list of
                                    at the end of the day, what suits one user might      camera options considerably. Low budget cameras
                                    not suit the rest, so having a hands-on test with     up to Rs. 10,000 include basic point-and-shoot
                                    your camera is quite important.                       models that are good enough only for home use,
                                        The biggest decision you will have to make is,    with low quality sensors that will not be able to
                                    of course, how much money are you willing to          give you photos that can be enlarged. The mid-
                                    spend. That itself will dramatically reduce your      budget range, between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000
                                    list of probables as there are many cameras fit-      is made up of advanced point-and-shoot cameras
                                    ting into many different budgets. Apart from the      that offer more features, manual settings and bet-
                                    budget, you should also consider what use you are     ter photo quality as well as the more expensive
                                    going to make of your camera, as certain cameras      compacts, prosumers and mega-zooms, that give
                                    are more suited to professionals and some are         you near-DSLR quality in small, portable bodies.
                                    best for just casual shots taken when on holiday.        The high-end range, upwards of Rs 25,000

           The Canon PowerShot A495 is a               The Canon PowerShot S95 is a mid-           The EOS 5D Mark II from Canon is a
           budget camera under Rs. 10,000              range camera with more features             high-end DSLR

     ocToBer 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                     ShopperS' Stop         27

                                                       the amount of access you will have to utilities
                                                       such as electricity and data storage as this will
                                                       help you choose a camera with the right battery
                                                       life; one that runs on rechargeable batteries or
                                                       replaceable ones, and the amount of storage your
                                                       camera offers.
  Some cameras offer preset shooting
  modes for different settings.                            What features do
                                                           you Want?
includes some of the latest and best compacts and      A common misconception is that the more mega-
ultra-compacts that have great functionality, as       pixels, the better the image quality. The number
well as DSLRs ranging from basic DSLRs all the         of megapixels only determines the maximum
way to professional DSLRs that could cost over Rs      resolution of your photos, but does not affect the
1,00,000. You should also keep in mind that there      colour quality or the sharpness. Another common
are a lot of extras required for DSLRs like lenses,    mistake people make is with zoom. Always choose
tripods and carry bags which could add to your         optical over digital as optical involves the actual
expenses.                                              mechanical movement of the lens to zoom into an
                                                       object, while digital zoom only enlarges the pix-
    What are you going to                              els of the image. You will get better quality and
    use it for?                                        sharpness with optical zoom, so if you plan on tak-
Different users will find different uses for their     ing photos at a sporting event and zoom in on the
cameras. Some might want one to just capture           players, digital zoom will not do you any favours.
moments at home or at parties to make up their         You should also look at the shooting modes the
photo albums, for which you can opt for a basic        camera has to offer. Some point-and-shoots have
point-and-shoot that will let you capture photos       presets for shooting motion photos, photos in dif-
quick and easy. Amateurs might want to take            ferent conditions as well as some photo effects.
portraits, panoramas or macros for which a more        If you enjoy manipulating your photos on your
advanced point-and-shoot that has added features       computer, a camera with such built-in effects will
and lets you make some manual adjustments is           come in handy.
well suited. Professionals on the other hand will
probably want to capture high resolution photos            get a hands-on
that can be enlarged for posters or exhibitions,           experience
and for such uses, a specialized point-and-shoot,      The most important thing to make sure of is that
like a mega-zoom or an ultra-compact, or DSLR          you are happy with your photos. Apart from the
should be the preferred camera.                        ergonomics, you should take photos in different
                                                       lighting, different colors, with the subjects at dif-
    What kind of access do                             ferent distances and even shoot videos.
    you Want?                                             You should compare white balance settings for
The functionality and performance of a camera          the best contrast in your
plays a great role in determining if it matches the    photos, ISO settings that
needs of a user. For instance, a traveler or a tour-   give you the least amount
ist will not want to lug around a bulky SLR and        of noise at high ISO set-
all of its accessories wherever he goes. So for such   tings, the color depth
uses, a point-and-shoot with a few decent features     when it comes to repro-
should be alright. An amateur photographer             ducing a wide array of
interested in sports or wildlife will want a camera    colours and also the focal
that can start-up quickly and can capture photos       length of the camera lens
at a fast rate so that he/she doesn’t miss out on      so that you can capture
the action. Wildlife enthusiasts might want to         images in macro mode as
consider a camera with a large focal range as they     well as with your subject
will be hoping to capture subjects in the distance     far away without chang-         An ISO comparison of the Canon EOS 7D
as well as from up close. You also need to consider    ing lenses.                     and EOS 5D Mark II at high ISO setting.

                                                                             intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011

           Kamakshi S


        If you are having trouble with your spot meter and don’t know whether your images look good,
        over exposed or under exposed, you can try taking shots across exposures and create magical
        images using HDR effects.

                DR refers to high dynamic rang-       darkest possible image to the lightest       put when your pictures are at the same
                ing imagery, and is usually asso-     possible image. Thus, the higher the         angle and share the same point of focus
                ciated with light-based virtual       range of illuminated images, the better is   across several variations. However, you
        or 3D imaging. It deals with a wide and       the depth you can expect in your output.     can take HDR shot based on any image,
        dynamic range of luminance or bright-         Usually, images of the sky serve as the      and the ones dealing with light elements
        ness and contrasts starting from the          best subject, but you can get better out-    are best suited for such experiments.

                                                                                                                         Do it yourself      29

      getting started                                                      Loading pictures
 1     You'll need a camera that captures pictures across lumi-       2     Click the 'Load Bracketed Photos' button in the 'work-
nance levels. You need a minimum of two images, which can be         flow shortcuts' window. Check the 'Align source images' option
JPEG images. Here, the pictures are bracketed at -1, 0 and +1 on     and ensure that they are matched by features. Click 'Load'. The
the spot meter. Make sure you have a tripod so that your pictures    'Reduce ghosting artifacts' feature takes care of images with
are aligned. With RAW images, you not only get better lighting,      slight motion blur, while 'Reduce noise' helps control high ISO
but you can also use just one image to get the HDR effect.           images.

      picking effects                                                      Mapping tones
 3     Once you have your images converted to JPEGs, pick the         4     Once the base image is ready, select 'Tone Mapping'. Set
effect you desire to see on your picture from the list of effects    the strength value to 100, and set the color saturation and con-
from the tray at the bottom. There is no right or wrong here; just   trast as per your needs. Try not to over saturate or create very
go with your instincts. Since the image has specs of illumination,   dark contrast. Check on the ‘Light Enhancements’ option to add
we have picked ‘Default' settings as the base to further enhance     light effects. Use the ‘Sureal+’ option with caution, as it can make
the image.                                                           your picture look fake.

      processing the fiLe                                                  Working With singLe raW fiLe
 5     If you don’t enjoy tone mapping, you can play around with
                                                                     tip    If you don’t have a tripod and or the required bracketed
exposures, color balances and compressing tones. However, tone       images, you can still try HDR effects on Photomatix Pro with a
mapping is a good way to familiarize yourself with HDR tech-         single RAW file. Just click the Batch Single Photos option, load the
niques. Once you are happy with the output, go ahead and hit the     image and apply the required settings and click RUN. The only
'Process' button. When the HDR formatted image is ready, just        downside is that you won’t really be able to see how the settings
save the file, and you’re good to go!                                make a difference to your image, until it is converted.

                                                                              intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011
30    Do it yourself

                                    image editing

                                       capture the
                                    The beauty of the setting sun is something anyone with a camera would
                                    like to capture, but those photos often end up dull. Image editing tools can
                                    help you enhance photos to capture sunsets just as you remember them.
                                    by judith jensen and kushal mamoowala

                                                                                    unsets have always been an exciting subject
                                                                                    for many photographers, but often, the image
                                                                                    captured is not as impressive and bright as
                                                                             the actual scene. If you point the camera directly
                                                                             towards the sun, the image may get overexposed
                                                                             or underexposed, or it could get defaced due to
                                                                             intense lens flare. The perfect moment to click a
                                                                             photograph is when the sun has just disappeared
                                                                             behind the horizon.
                                                                                In this example, the sunrays penetrate through a
                                                                             thin cloud just above a distant mountain range and
                                                                             paint the atmosphere in beautiful shades of red.
                                                                             However, in spite of that, the image still appears to
                                                                             be lifeless and low-contrast. With the tools in Pho-
                                                                             toshop CS or Photoshop Elements, you can correct
                                                                             the colors and tonal values as desired.


     OctOber 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                            Do it yourself      31

      reproduce detailS                                                       Select gradient tool
 1      Open your image captured in RAW file format, via 'File |         2     Once you have opened your image, create a new layer by
Open' in Elements. Change the format to 'Camera Raw' and click          selecting 'Layer | New | Layer' and confirm with 'OK'. Set the
'Open' (if you are using Photoshop CS, click 'File | Open As', select   layer mode to 'Multiply' and the 'Opacity' to '75%'. Now, select
the image and select 'Camera Raw' in the 'Open As' tab). Now            the gradient, either from the toolbox or by pressing [G]. Click
reproduce the depth details by changing the settings for 'Bright-       the gradient preview to the upper left in order to open the 'Edit
ness', 'Clarity' and 'Vibrance' to enhance the colors.                  Gradients' window.

      adjuSt color diScontinuity                                              define gradient colorS
 3     Create a color stop controller positioned at '50%' by click-      4     The color picker opens when you double-click the color
ing in the center below the gradient bar. The controllers above         discontinuity controller. You should select colors for the three
the bar define the opacity and those below the bar define the           controllers based on the colors in your image starting with the
color and position. If you wish to change the settings, click on        sky on the left most controller ranging across to the ground ont
them to call up their values. Delete the controllers by dragging        he right most controller. We used '#b7b1d5' for the left, '#fff38f’
them out of the gradient bar with the mouse button pressed.             for the middle regulator and '#c6a6ab' for the right.

      uSe gradientS                                                           correct the levelS
 5     Make sure that the 'Opacity' of the discontinuities is set to     6    Create a new adjustment layer of type 'Levels' in the layer
100%. Now, draw a small vertical line in the horizon part of the        palette using the 'create adjustment layer' icon in the bottom
image using the 'Gradient tool'. The colors in the image would          of the layers panel. For stronger contrast, drag the black-point
begin to brighten at once. If you are not satisfied with the posi-      controller to the right till you are happy with the contrast. For
tion of the gradient, draw another line. For the next step, acti-       brighter colors, create a new setting layer 'Hue/Saturation' and
vate the background layer.                                              experiment with the saturation value.

                                                                                 intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011

           Kamakshi S


        Taking pictures against the sunlight, especially with the sun low, is not easy when you want high-
        contrast photos. Here is a simple trick that converts your foreground into a silhouette instead.

                  hen you have a lot of exposure,     effect. With the help of applications like    and the image quality is lost in the process.
                  there are chances that your         Photoshop Elements 9, you can create sil-     Thus, the foreground looks over exposed
                  subject looks washed out, and       houettes using tonal correction and color     as the light is fading. With some creative
        the same goes for pictures that are grainy    blending tools. If your DSLR is adjusted at   finesse, the tonal value in the foreground
        and over exposed. If you don’t want to        matrix measurement, then it tries to do       can be reduced by which the buildings can
        discard the picture, you can salvage the      justice to the dark foreground as well as     be changed to silhouettes. This ensures
        shot by giving emphasis to the back-          the bright background. This unavoidable       that its dynamic form appears stronger,
        ground instead and creating a silhouette      action leads to the picture being exposed     and you get a golden sunset too.

                                                                                                                                 Do it yourself     33

       adjusting tonal value                                                     Colors and printing teChnique
 1     Open the image in Photoshop Elements 9. Adjust image                2     Next go to the ‘Enhance | Adjust color | Adjust hue/satu-
tone by using ‘Enhance | Adjust lighting | Levels’ menu com-              ration’ menu command. Check the ‘Colorize’ option. Set the
mand. In the Input Levels section, set the black control (the             ‘Hue’ to 28 a warm orange and increase the Saturation to ‘40’.
first option) value to 75. Set the second controller value to ‘0.82’      Click ‘OK’. You can further darken the outline with the ‘Burn’
to set the mid tones. Leave the final value unchanged and click           tool, using a big brushstroke. Set the mode to ‘Darken’ and
‘OK’ to continue.                                                         strength to ‘10%’.

       seleCt sky                                                                refine options
 3     Since we are trying to create a golden sunset with the              4     If objects in your image are getting left out, you can add
image, we next need to select the sky to process it. Since the            them using the ‘Select | Similar’ menu command. The pixel fields
color of sky is across different tonal values, it is easy to select the   not selected in the foreground are largely reflecting image ele-
dark foreground elements and reverse the selection. Afterwards,           ments which belong to the sky. Once you are done selecting the
set the ‘Tolerance’ of the ‘Magic Wand’ tools at ‘48’ and click in        black elements of the image, go to ‘Select | Invert selection’ to
the black of the outline.                                                 select the sky instead.

       Create behavior                                                           replaCe Colors
 5     Next set the foreground color to yellow with a white back-          6     Deselect the image using [Ctrl] + [D]. Now, a green cast is
ground. Add a new layer using the 'Layer | New | Layer' option.           seen in the first bluish area of sky. Select the ‘Enhance | Adjust
Select the ‘Gradient tool’ and set it to activate ‘Radial gradient’       color | Replace Color’ menu command. Set the ‘Fuzziness’ value
and the check the ‘Reverse’ option. Drag the gradient to create           to ‘50’. Replace the selected color with a ‘Hue’ value of ‘-6’, a
a sun, setting the opacity to ‘45%’. If your picture has a sun, you       ‘Saturation’ value of ‘25’ and ‘Lightness’ value at ‘+9’. Click ‘OK’ to
can just define its color instead.                                        complete the process.

                                                                                   intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  oCtober 2011
34    Do it yourself

            Kamakshi S

         Using expOsUre effectively

            playing with light in
            raw image fOrmats
        While taking landscape pictures in broad daylight, there may be times when there is too much
        light obstructing a clear view to your intended subjects. With Adobe Lightroom, you can control
        and play around with the exposure value to get a clean and picture-perfect image.
        by kamakshi s

               AW file formats are generally          cessor that determines these settings.       a clear blue sky with the sun coming
               recommended for images that               In this workshop, you will learn the      up from behind tall buildings, with the
               come with higher brightness and        advantages of RAW formats and how to         harsh and random sunrays blocking the
        contrasts. When pictures are shot in the      set the brightness of the captured shot      clear blue skies with excess light, thanks
        RAW mode, the camera stores the maxi-         optimally. Finally, you'll only need to      to a high aperture of f/5.6. We have used
        mum dynamic range of information that         remove a few dust specks from the image      Adobe Lightroom 3.4.2 to edit the expo-
        its sensor can photograph. Thus, as a         to make it picture-perfect. For this work-   sure settings and refine the image using
        photographer, you can pick and choose         shop, we have picked an image that shows     a gradient filter. You can also use Photo-
        the tone values and details that are          the primary source of outdoor light,         shop CS 5 or Photoshop Elements version
        important. In JPEG, its the camera's pro-     the sun, in the foray. The picture shows     9 instead.

     OctOber 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                            Do it yourself     35

      setting backgRound bRightness                                          RestoRing details in the sky
 1      Import the image in Lightroom. Go to the 'Develop' module       2      The image appears very bright and poor in details in the
from the top right and then to the 'Basic settings' option in the      region around the sun and in the clouds. Press [J] to mark all
panel on the right of the screen. To reproduce the overall impres-     tone values as 'clipped', that is, without any design. Now move the
sion over the clouds, increase the mean tone value by moving the       'Recovery' control to the right to make the red regions smaller.
'Brightness' control to the right. Don’t use the 'Exposure' control    The sun rays as well as the clouds stand out clearly again. Avoid
as it causes the brightest regions to be "eroded” even more.           filling light to make the image brighter at this stage.

      incReasing the depth effect slightly                                   diffeRentiating coloRs
 3     The histogram shows that dark tone values are missing,           4     To amplify the slight morning blue on the horizon, switch
especially over the clouds, making the photograph a bit boring.        to the 'HSL' register card and click 'Saturation' instead of increas-
To make the image crisper, move the 'Black' control minimum to         ing the saturation directly. Move the controls for 'Red', 'Yellow'
the right. For a 3D look, move the 'Clarity' control to the right; a   and 'Blue' to the right. If saturation is increased strongly, it can
common practice for most landscape shots.                              cause pixelization of colors. Trial and error is the best way to go.

      adding gRadient filteR                                                 coRRecting dust specks & vignettes
 5    You can accentuate the rays dissipating from the sun with         6     Open 'Spot Removal' with the [Q] key to remove the dust
a gradient filter. Click the graduated filter symbol and drag the      specks. Set the brush a bit bigger than the specks and simply
gradient filter from the upper edge of the image up to the lower       stamp these from the photo. Finally, click 'Close'. Lighten the
edge. Now decrease the value for 'Exposure' to the minimum and         somewhat darker edges of the image with 'Lens corrections |
increase the value for 'Contrast'. Click 'Close' when you think        Manual' by dragging the control under 'Lens vignetting' to the
your image is where it should be.                                      right to fill in light around the edges.

                                                                                intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  octobeR 2011

                                    PHOTO CORRECTIONS

                                       TOUCH-UP WITHOUT
                                       GOING TOO FAR
                                    Photo-editing software are packed with filters and effects that you can use to
                                    make amendments to your photos, but sometimes, the corrections can make
                                    your image look overworked or unrealistic. Manual corrections always work
                                    BY MARGIT HOFGÄRTNER AND KUSHAL MAMOOWALA

                                            here's no doubt that you can get unbeliev-       Image editing is just a tool, using which the
                                            able effects using Photoshop. However,        image is optimized cautiously in the last step. You
                                            those who go too far with the bag of tricks   will need to know which function is the right one
                                    and overuse the regulators end up changing the        to work with and which one will have the least side
                                    nature of the image – most of the time making it      effects. You will also need the ability to 'see' and
                                    worse. Over-ambitious touch-ups give rise to unre-    interpret the image taken in the right sense so as
                                    alistic colors and contrasts and flat themes, which    to retain its original theme.
                                    eventually take off the liveliness of the image.         Before you start editing your image, it will cer-



                                                                                                                    if the saturation is
                                                                                                                    increased more than
                                                                                                                    needed, you will see a
           Tweaking the dynamics makes the colors appear bright without giving a made-up effect.                    bright red tone, giving
                                                                                                                    it a sunburn effect.

                                                                                                                        DO IT YOURSELF       37



                                                                                                               A very high contrast
                                                                                                               can have a harsh
                                                                                                               effect on the image.
                                                                                                               The details go for a
  Bright areas are lifted slightly and dark areas were faded a bit, thus lifting the contrast.                 toss with shadows
                                                                                                               and highlights.

tainly help if you work on images similar to the       color can select 'Cyans' from the drop down menu.
theme and then ask yourself, “How is my image          You may select the desired colors using the color
more unique than the others?” Those who find an         bar given below or make an exception to satura-
answer to this and execute it in the edited image      tion.
are on the right path.
SATURATION                                             A high contrast makes every image look dramatic.
The Photoshop saturation controller modifies the        Instead of applying the 'sledgehammer method',
pictures really fast to an exaggerated and colorful    we preferably give a better crisp-effect by selective
postcard theme. But who would wish to do that?         correction without destroying any details.
Thus, we recommend the dynamic controller and a
bit of moderation.                                         GRADATION CURVES
                                                       The best contrast tool was and is always the grada-
  DYNAMIC INSTEAD OF UNNEC-                            tion curve. Using this, you can brighten or darken
ESSARY SATURATION                                      the tonal values independently. The easy 'S-curve'
The color intensity can be increased using the         works wonders, especially in dull images. Pull it
'Dynamic' controller from Photoshop CS4 onwards        upwards in the upper area and downwards in the
– nothing can get better. This mainly affects the      lower. A tip for Photoshop CS4 and higher ver-
unsaturated colors. At the same time, it even takes    sions: if you wish to brighten up an area, activate
care of the red tone since it is particularly sensi-   the 'Hand', click the image, and drag the mouse
tive in human eyes. Incidentally, 'Dynamic' has        upwards, keeping the button pressed.
nothing to do with HDR here.
                                                           SOFTER WOW EFFECT
    HUE/SATURATION                                     Once you have finished increasing the local con-
In case you are using an older Photoshop version,      trast over 'Unsharp Mask', you can brighten up the
we would recommend the 'Hue/Saturation' func-          central and bright area of the image using a low
tion, which may be limited to speci c color tones.     value for 'Magnitude' and an extremely high value
Those who would like to darken only the sky-blue       for 'Radius'.

                                                                              INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT  OCTOBER 2011
38    Do it yourself

                                    Making Miniatures

                                       Miniature subjects
                                       cOrrectly iMitated
                                    Creating depth and soft focus in your photos depends on the type of lens you
                                    are using, but with Photoshop, you can make almost any photo look like it’s a
                                    miniature, making the main subject stand out more with the Bokeh effect.
                                    by margit hofgärtner and kushal mamoowala

                                                                                     ou will always see themes in advertising
                                                                                     campaigns that portray a lovely model
                                                                                     landscape with people. Only at the second
                                                                            glance will you realize that this is not really a nor-
                                                                            mal picture, even if it appears to be an extremely
                                                                            good one when it comes to sharpness, which is
                                                                            quite typical for macro and Tilt-Shift photography.
                                                                            A subject can easily be distorted using the 'Blur'
                                                                            filter in Photoshop.
                                                                                This filter simulates the 'Bokeh' of lenses – that
                                                                            is the focusing range measured while recording
                                                                            with a completely open aperture. This range dif-
                                                                            fers completely depending on the design of the
                                                                            lens. The effect goes beyond the scope of a soft
                                                                            focus: this highlights specific spots in blurry areas.
                                                                            Sometimes, it even reproduces the outline of the
                                                                                The best example for demonstrating this effect
                                                                            is a road theme from top view, an angle that even
                                                                                                              an observer of
                                                                                                                  model     land-
                                                                                                                  scape would like
                                                                                                                 to capture. The
                                                                                                                 trick works well
                                                                                                                 even with pho-
                                                                                                                tos having high
                                                                                                                spatial depth - a
                                                                                                                good     mixture
                                                                                                               of near-by and
                                                                                                               remote objects.


     OctOber 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                       Do it yourself        39

       duplicAte BAckground                                                  Apply the Blur filter
 1     Open a single suitable image, preferably of RAW file           2    Adjust the 'Octagon (8)' shape under 'Iris' for a harmoni-
format in Photoshop and duplicate the layer by right-clicking        ous bokeh. Set the amount of soft focus under 'Radius'. You can
on the 'background' layer in the layer palette, and select the       even out the edges using 'Blade Curvature'. You can highlight the
'Duplicate layer' option. Select the new copy of your back-          main spots using 'Specular Highlights', where you can increase
ground layer and apply the 'Lens blur' by clicking 'Blur | Lens      the brightness and reduce threshold values (Note: this threatens
blur' in the 'Filter' menu.                                          the artifacts). Click 'OK' once you're done.

       effect By limiting lAyer mAsks                                        increAse contrAst And sAturAtion
 3     To begin with, the entire image is a blur. Click the mask      4     Adjust colors and contrast to make the delusion look per-
symbol in the Layer palette and press [G] to activate the 'Color     fect. The image can appear to be manmade, after all, miniature
blend tool' option. Set white as the foreground color and black      models are also painted in rich colors. Mark the background layer
as the background color. Select cylindrical distribution and move    and apply the adjustment layer for 'Hue/Saturation' and 'Curves'.
the mouse over imaginable line through the theme. Experiment         The corrections affect only the sharp layers, by means of which
using the masks and find a realistic sharp layer.                    the Tilt-Shift effect is enhanced.

tips from the experts
Blurring with alpha channel                                          After

Experts recommend that the bokeh effect must further be
refined in case of a few subjects. Provide an alpha channel
that defines the extent of blurriness of the selected image
area in grey scale. In order to provide an alpha channel, copy
the background layer, toggle to the 'Channels' palette and click
the paper symbol in the lower area. After this, it’s all manual
work. Superimpose the RGB channel and mask all the areas
that are not to be distorted. Subsequently, mark just the RGB
channel and apply the 'lens blur' filter. If you enter 'Alpha1' as
the source under 'Depth map', the filter will show its effect on
the created mask.

                                                                              intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  octoBer 2011
40     Do it yourself

                                                                     light painting

                                                                        draWing With light
                                                                     You know those photographs of red taillight trails on a highway or a bridge, or
                                                                     the wonderful patterns created by sparklers? You can capture such photos too,
                                                                     and all you need is a decent camera, a light source and some spare time.
                                                                     by kushal mamoowala

                                                                           ight photography has become something of           painting photos is that your primary subject, if
                                                                           an art-form in recent times and there is a         any, will be required to stay still during the entire
                                                                           growing number of photographers dedicat-           exposure time or he/she will appear blurry in the
                                                                     ing their attention to painting with light. Light        photo, which is why the best light painting photos
                                                                     painting or light graffiti involves taking photos in     either use inanimate stationary objects as the sub-
                                                                     the dark or extremely low lighting by delaying the       ject or have the models in a comfortable and often
                                                                     shutter speed of the camera and filling the frame        seated position.
                                                                     with designs created by light. The effect can be
                                                                     used to created designs or text in the air or on a           What you Will need
                                                                     wall or even around a subject and all it requires is a   The camera, quite obviously, is the most important
                                                                     decent camera, a simple light source like a torch or     tool for light photography. You will need a mid to
                                                                     a camera strobe and a lot of creativity. Light pho-      high range camera that offers manual mode in
                                                                     tography can also be used if you wish to light up a      which you can adjust the shutter speed. The longer
                                                                     subject in a unique or unorthodox manner, creat-         the exposure time, the longer you have to create
                                                                     ing sharp shadows at odd angles or even lighting         vivid designs with your light source. Some cam-
                                                                     your subject differently when you cannot change          eras also have a feature called ‘bulb’ mode, which
                                                                     or move the natural light.                               lets you keep the shutter open for as long as you
                                                                        One thing to keep in mind when taking light           have the capture button pressed so you can have
                                                                                                                              a prolonged exposure time. Professionals also use
                                                                                                                              remote shutter release cables or wireless remote
                                                                                                                              controls so that they can open and close the shut-
                                                                                                                              ter without any delay as soon as they are done with
                                                                                                                              their light designing.
                                                                                                                                 Apart from the camera, you will need a tripod
                                                                                                                              or a mount to keep your camera steady, as shoot-
                                                                                                                              ing handheld with such long exposure periods will
                                                                                                                              most definitely give you a blurry result. If you do
     Image courtesy: Hyper7pro from Flickr

                                                                                                                              not want to use a tripod, you can simply place your
                                                                                                                              camera on a table or shelf, depending on where you
                                                                                                                              are shooting, to keep it stead, but this will restrict
                                                                                                                              your framing. Finally, for the graffiti itself, you will
                                                                                                                              need a light source; something portable and bright.
                                                                                                                              Torches, camera strobes, LED lights and glow-sticks
                                                                                                                              have all been used to get good results. If you’re feel-
                                                                                                                              ing adventurous, you can even try and use a mobile
                                             You can use light painting techniques to artificially light up a subject         phone’s bright display.
                                             like this car has been lit up in a dark setting.

     october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                         Do it yourself                                           41

                                                         then you should have a fair idea of the confines of
                                                         your frame so that you do not end up writing or
                                                         doodling off the frame. You should also frame your
                                                         shot in such a way that none of the light you intend
                                                         to capture is blocked by any foreign object, yourself
                                                         or your subject. So having a relatively clear space
                                                         to work in is a plus.

                                                             oTher Tips To keep in mind
                                                         The timing of your shutter speed will vary depend-
                                                         ing on the amount of exposure you want and the
  Use bulb mode or delay the shutter speed
  and use manual focus for best results.                 amount of time you will need to capture the light
                                                         patterns. Either way, it is best to time your shot so
    The camera seTTings                                  that the shutter opens as soon as the light source
The camera settings for light photography will           enters the frame or you begin drawing, and the
differ from camera to camera and depend on the           shutter closes as soon as the light leaves the frame
location and situation you are shooting in. You will     or you are done drawing. The longer there is no
definitely have to take a few test shots with your       light while your shutter is open, the dimmer your
camera in different light, ranging from pitch black      photo will get.
to dimly lit, and also using different light sources         You will also notice that at a low ISO, a subject
for your light painting. The general rule when it        that you are lighting up will have blurred edges.
comes to painting with light is to have a long expo-     If you wish to get sharper edges on your subject,
sure, with delayed shutter speed and a low ISO to        you can increase the ISO, but keep in mind that the
avoid having any noise in your photo.                    higher your ISO setting, the more noise you will
    The aperture will vary based on the lighting and     get. You can also try and add texture to your photo
brightness of the light you are using. You can start     with varying the intensity of your light source. If
at f5.6 and take a few test shots. If your image is      you have a torch with different brightness settings,
too dark or underexposed, open up the aperture to        you can use the varying intensities to get brighter
f4, and if your image is overexposed, try closing the    patches in your photo. If you are drawing using an
aperture further to f8. You will need to experiment      LED light or a strobe, then the closer it is to the
with the aperture to get the ideal setting for your      camera, the brighter it will appear. Similarly, the
photo. You will also need to set the camera to man-      slower the light source moves, the brighter it will
ual focus as it will try to refocus in auto mode when    appear in the photo.
you press the shutter button and it will struggle
to get the focus correct as you will be shooting in
little or no light.

    Framing your shoT
With the camera settings in place, you now have
to set up your shot. Photographing light trails is
not hard but framing your photo and creating the
right setting can enhance your image a lot more.
                                                                                                                                        Image courtesy: Sean rogers from Flickr

Although you will get best results for your draw-
ing in pitch dark conditions, a dimly lit background
can add texture and depth to your image. If you
look at the best light graffiti shots, you will notice
that they are taken from perspectives rather than
normal standing height. Find a terrace with a view
of a busy street or set up your camera close to the
ground to get unique angles and patterns in your
photos.                                                    You can use light drawing photography to add effects to a subject.
   If you intend to do your own light painting,            The best option is to use a stationary object to avoid blur.

                                                                                intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  ocTober 2011
42    Do it yourself

                                    Cut out with aCCuraCy

                                       Cropping with
                                    One of the hardest parts of image editing is correctly cropping
                                    out your subject if it has a smooth or detailed edge such as hair
                                    or fur. This tutorial will show you how to crop out your subject
                                    with precision and ease.
                                    by mario wüstenberg and kushal mamoowala

                                            hotoshop provides different methods and       with its help, you can get the best results with non
                                            tools for cropping image objects. If you      homogenous subjects like fur and hair.
                                            have to work on sharp edges like those of a      Photoshop offers more useful tools for sub-
                                    table, you can make a selection using the Path tool   sequent editing, such as the “Background eraser
                                    and subsequently create a layer mask. It is harder    tool” which eliminates only pre-defined colors, for
                                    when dealing with objects having soft, detailed       instance a brighter and peeking background. For
                                    edges like hair or fur. Very often, only a combi-     editing layer masks, Photoshop offers the “Burn”
                                    nation of different methods can give satisfactory     and “Dodge” tools. This way, certain areas can be
                                    results.                                              emphasized and others can be erased in the layer
                                       A tried and tested way is the 'Extract' filter,    mask.
                                    which is no longer available as a standard feature       Keep the following in mind even when select-
                                    since CS3. However, one can install it later via      ing an image: the cropping method in Photoshop
                                    ''. In the new CS5 version,         works according to the contrast principle. There-
                                    the 'Improve edges' selection tool is available,      fore, choose images with a homogenous back-
                                    using which you can define and later generate the     ground against which the object to be cropped
                                    selection.                                            is set off in terms of color and contrast. Avoid
                                       The method chosen in this workshop using           subjects having uniform color scheme or a very
                                    'Channels' turns out to be the most complex, but      uneven background.

                                                                                  Creating the neCessary layers
                                                                              1    Open your file in Photoshop and create two copies of the
                                                                            background layer. Name them 'Original' and 'Hair'. Leave 'Back-
                                                                            ground' as a backup in the layer palette. Now, open your substi-
                                                                            tute background image and create a copy using [Ctrl] + [A] | [Ctrl]
                                                                            + [C], which you add as another layer with [Ctrl] + [V] and place
                                                                            over the 'Background'.

     oCtober 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                           Do it yourself     43


                                                                      layer mode: normal                 layer mode: Multiply

      Working out hair ends
 2      The focus should now be on the 'Hair' layer. This layer is
supposed to retain the delicate hair ends, which would other-
wise have been lost during retouching. For this, change the layer
mode to 'Multiply' and hide the 'Original' layer to see the effect.
Though the 'Hair' layer has taken on the color of the background,
it will no longer interfere later on.

channel: red

channel: green

channel: blue

      the poWer of (color) channels                                         increase contrast of the channel
 3     View the 'Original' layer and activate it. Change from the      4    copy
'Layers' palette to the 'Channels' palette. Select the channel that   Select 'Image | Adjustments | Curves' – the 'blue copy' channel is
best separates the foreground from the background and contains        then pre-selected. Drag the lower curve point towards the right
as many details as possible. The selection of the channel depends     for a greater contrast and click 'OK'. With the 'Burn tool', edit the
on the subject – the channel 'blue' in our example. Create a copy     freemask so that it becomes as dark as possible. For our subject,
of the appropriate channel you are currently working with.            we select the “Midtones” as the “Range” for the burning.

                                                                               intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  october 2011

         Before                           After

                  MAKING THE SELECTION                                                  COMPILING THE SELECTION
          5     Retouching areas such as the face, parts of clothing, or            6    While keeping [Ctrl] pressed, click on the image of the
        flash reflexes on the hair will require great effort using the 'Burn        'blue copy' channel to create a selection. Switch to the layer pal-
        tool'. It is easier to use the brush: select black as the color and fill   ette again, where you create a layer mask on the 'Original' layer
        in those areas that are not yet sufficiently darkened and have to          by clicking the 'add layer mask’ icon in the bottom of the layers
        be cropped later on. As soon as you are satisfied with the result,         panel. The mask will not crop the hair to your complete satisfac-
        reverse the image with [Ctrl] + [I].                                      tion. Therefore, we have created the sub-layer 'Hair' in which the
                                                                                  details can now be worked out.

                                                                                        WORKING OUT THE FINER DETAILS
                                                                                    7   Create a group using the 'create a new group' icon in the
                                                                                  bottom of the layers panel and move the 'Original' layer along
                                                                                  with the mask into the group by dragging and dropping it. Name
                                                                                  the group 'Original' and create a layer mask here as well. You can
                                                                                  now use a black brush tip to paint over those areas of the hair
                                                                                  that have been messily cropped by the mask. The 'Hair' layer
                                                                                  below it becomes visible. With this, the editing is complete.

           EXPERT TIP
          Photograph a freemask                                            This photo of a
                                                                           blonde model is
          In addition to Photoshop, would you also like to use a photo     photographed
          studio and photograph models that later serve as a basis for     with high
          freemasks? If yes, you can simplify your work by following       sharpness and
          a few useful pointers. Photograph with a relatively closed       is perfectly
          aperture. In this way, you can expose the model sharply          illuminated
          throughout - right up to the finest hair ends.                   against the dark
          Select a serene background in this case, which is in contrast    background.
          with your model in terms of color and brightness. Use an         This makes
          additional light source which illuminates the background         subsequent
          nicely in case of a dark-haired model. On the other hand, light- cropping very
          absorbing surfaces such as dark materials are recommended        easy.
          as backgrounds for light-haired models. For taking photos in
          the open, isolate your model optically from the background              Dark haired models can be easily separated from
          with the help of a long focal length, because of which this             the background if an already bright background is
          background becomes a blur.                                              illuminated using an additional light source.


                                    CAREERS IN PHOTOGRAPHY

                                    A VIEW FROM THE
                                    Photography is an exciting career option for those with a creative bend of
                                    mind. But while it may seem glamorous, bear in mind that there is a lot of
                                    hard work involved.
                                    BY PRI YANK A T ILVE

                                                                            "Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it
                                                                            feels like. "
                                                                                                          - David Alan Harvey

                                                                                    othing can express the essence of
                                                                                    photography better than this quote.
                                                                                    There is no big deal when it comes to
                                                                            clicking pictures; anyone with a decent camera
                                                                            can do that. What makes for a great shot is
                                                                            whether the picture effectively communicates
                                                                            the photographer’s vision. And to be able to
                                                                                     achieve this, you need to have the eye for
                                                                                        photography and passion that drives
                                                                                        you to do your best.

                                                                                             BEYOND GLAMOUR
                                                                                          Photography is a field that’s consid-
                                                                                         ered glamorous and a lot of people
                                                                                         are attracted to it for this reason. But
                                                                                      ask any professional photographer and
                                                                            they will tell you that there is no glamour in pho-
                                                                            tography. This is a highly competitive field that
                                                                            requires long hours of hard work. Mexy Xavier,
                                                                            chief photographer at Infomedia18 Ltd, is quick
                                                                            to dispel the glamour part of photography, say-
                                                                            ing, “Photography is not all glamour; you need
                                                                            to have passion for it to be able to survive and be
                                                                            successful. Most of the time, the shoots take place
                                                                            in utter chaos, with things lying around, lots of
                                                                            people, etc. One would wonder how we can get
                                                                            good shots from this, but getting the best out of it
                                                                            is the job of the photographer.”
                                                                                Girish Mistry, dean of Shari Academy, seconds
                                                                            her views. He says, “Glamour is not a part of
                                                                            shooting. Glamour, if any, is after the shots are
                                                                            done, but at the time of shoot, it is hard work,
                                                                            sweat and guts. You need to know your job, espe-

                                                                                                                      Mexy Xavier
                                                                                                                             Tech Talk       47

cially in fashion photography. There are too many      a food photographer; you should decide that later
people involved and the set is highly charged at       in course,” says Mistry
that point of time. It’s not easy. People think that      He states further, “The course you opt for
there is a lot of glamour there, but actually there    should be a structured course, giving you an
is a lot of hard work involved too.” Based in Mum-     insight into each and every genre of photogra-
bai, Shari Academy was established in 1991 and is      phy. It should be in-depth; a long term course and
India’s premier and first Adobe-accredited pho-        not something that finishes in two months. Like
tography institute.                                    in school you had to learn everything, you may
                                                       have liked certain subjects and hated the others,
    SkillS RequiRed                                    yet you had to study them, and later on you could
Every human being sees the same object differ-         select one. Similarly, you need to have an in-depth
ently. The beauty lies in how you see it and how       knowledge of photography as a whole and then
well you are able to communicate the same to           select a genre that you feel you are strong at."
others through your pictures. You need to have            "We get a lot of students who opt for fashion
an eye for photography. “The mark of a good pho-       photography and they join the diploma, but the
tographer is the way he perceives things and it’s      first time they are asked to photograph a model,
not merely seeing the object with your eyes, but       we find that they start getting nervous. This could
also with your mind. If you ask a couple of people     be because he/she is an introvert and finds it dif-
to photograph the same object, then each of them       ficult in that environment. On the other hand, I
will come up with different kinds of shots. Also,      have seen that people who have come to me for
you require lots of patience to get that perfect       fashion have turned out to become fantastic food
shot," says Xavier.                                    photographers, etc,” Mistry adds.
   According to Girish, it's important to study your      As for choosing an institute, Mistry says that
subject, only then will you be able to bring out the   you should always look at the institutes' track
best. “First, one needs to have a passion to cerate    records. “If I were to look for a school, then I will
images. You need to be teachable and you need to       be looking for two things. One is what kind of fac-
be willing to work hard. It’s not like just quickly    ulty it has and how strong the faculty is. Then I
point and shoot, then try to turn it around in         will see what kind of track record they have. For
Photoshop. Even for that to work, your basic shot      example, have they won any awards, etc. Most
needs to be good. If it’s not, then no software can    importantly, I would want to know how many of
make it otherwise. So you need to have patience,       the students that have passed out of the academy
and you need to be a people’s person. Most impor-      have made it big in the industry. There may be
tantly, you need to build a rapport and make your      dozens of schools, but if they don’t have a good
subject comfortable. You need to study them in         track record, they are best avoided,” he advises.
short and get to know them, only then will you be
able to bring out the best in them.”                       CReating a PoRtfolio
                                                       Another important aspect of learning photog-
    ChooSing a CouRSe                                  raphy is the internship. Select an institute that
There are many institutes, both government-run         offers you internships as this is the opportunity
and privately, that offer diploma or degree courses    to learn from the best and also establish contacts
in photography. Usually, an in-depth course in         that will help you get started in the industry.
photography is quite expensive. Opt for one of         Mistry says, “The second most important part
these courses only if you have the passion and the     after studies is the internship. Once you have
aptitude to get into photography and are prepared      gone through a genre of study, and would want to
for a lot of hard work. “If you have a passion for     explore it thoroughly, that is the time you find a
something, then you usually end up doing a good        photographer who is shooting in the genre that’s
job. So the most important factor is that you must     close to your heart and assist him for a year or two
have a passion for photography. Secondly, you'll       at least. This ensures that you learn from the best
have to see if that the passion gives you hundred      and pick up handy tips and tricks that will add to
percent returns. You will need to study photogra-      your knowledge and even develop contacts in the
phy in-depth. You shouldn’t get into a course say-     industry. Once that is done, make your portfolio
ing you want to become a fashion photographer or       and go out there to give it your best shot.”

                                                                              intelligent computing cHip insider supplement  oCtobeR 2011
48    Tech Talk

                                    inside the camera lens

                                    How Lenses Function
                                    We look inside the lens to understand the extent of technology and skill that is
                                    involved in creating the modern camera lens.

                                          onvex lenses first appeared in the telescope   combine with electronic components to make pho-
                                          way back in the 17th century, which proved     tography a very simplified art. But while photog-
                                          to be a turning point in lens technology.      raphy itself is quite simple today, the technology
                                    Today, that same technology forms the basis of       within the cameras and lenses isn't. Here's a look
                                    complicated systems as adjustable lens groups        at what goes into making a great camera lens.

                                                                                                             image stabilizer
                                                                                                             If you have slightly unsteady hands,
                                                                                                             the gyro sensors present in the
                                             focusing ring                                                   lens are recognize the slightest of
                                             The sharpness can be manually set with                          the vibrations to ensure that your
                                             the help of the focusing ring when using                        images are blur-free. The adjustable
                                             the manual focusing mode (MF). When the                         lens works based on this informa-
                                             ring is turned, the lens groups move as                         tion. While some cameras need an
                                             well. However, you can adjust sharpness                         additional stabilizer, some SLRs fea-
                                             manually too in the AF mode by pressing                         ture an in-built image stabilizer in
                                             the trigger halfway.                                            the body like a movable sensor.

 auto focus motor
 Most lenses today are
 equipped with an auto-
 focus motor. The lens
 groups move this motor
 in the AF mode to adjust
 sharpness. Ultrasound
 motors are softer and
 quicker as compared to
 the normal AF motors.
 You can identify the kind
 of motor with the lens
 names, that include HSM,
 SWM, USD and USM.
                                                                                                                            The aperture width
                                                                                                                            can be changed
                                                                                                                            using the lens iris
                                                                                                                            aperture, which is
front lens                                                                                                                  made up of several
The biggest lens placed right at the front                                                                                  blades. The aperture
is called as the front lens. Along with                                                                                     is somewhat circu-
the usual optical tasks, this lens also                                                                                     lar irrespective of
protects the actual lens face and hence                                                    zoom ring                        the set magnitude,
requires utmost care. A single scratch                                                     You can change the focal         where the central
on this part of the lens can make it com-                                                  length by turning the            point remains at the
pletely useless. Nowadays, front lens are                                                  zoom ring. This action           same position.
coated not just to minimize reflections                                                    moves the lens group
but also to keep dirt from settling on it.                                                 inside mechanically.

     october 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement
                                                                                                                            TECH TALK      49

No lens is perfect. There are certain physical properties that destroy the image quality when you try and focus
on the details.

Natural vignetting makes image borders appear
dark in case of physical objects and usually occurs
based on the subject quality. You can make these
out quite obviously in wide-angle shots. While
anything up to 1/3 of the aperture stop won't bring
out any dark edges, this phenomenon usually
occurs in low-priced entry level lenses. You
can remove the vignetting effect using spe-
cialized image editing software, and you can
add it intentionally too. If your camera sup-
ports lens correction, the time taken to save
images also increases considerably.

                                                                                   In case of simple lenses, the greater the distance
                                                                                   to the image center, the stronger is the optical
                                                                                   distortion. There are two types of distortions -
                                                                                   pulvinated and barrel-shaped. A good lens covers
                                                                                   up the flaw with a combination of different curved
                                                                                   lenses, which makes them more expensive. You
                                                                                          can see this mainly in wide-angle and tele
                                                                                          zoom lenses. However, if you can't source
                                                                                          expensive lenses, it is advisable not to use
                                                                                          the farthest part of the lens to photograph.
                                                                                          Even a few millimeters here and there can
                                            Pulvinated Distortion-free Barrel-shaped      amount to lesser distortion. For perfect
                                            distortion     picture       distortion       intentional distortion effect, you can use a
                                                                                          fisheye lens instead.

Chromatic aberration is the color error that the
lens may cause. Various light refractions having
different wavelengths (colors) are the main cause
of chromatic aberration. Reddish or greenish color
fringes are commonly visible on hard edges. The
chromatic aberration starts increasing as we
go up towards the edges. Better the coordina-
tion in the elements of the lens, lesser is the
chromatic aberration. You can eliminate dis-
tortion and vignetting easily by editing, but
changing the chromatic aberration may cause
pixel-level issues. The automatic mechanism
might not give you desired results to get rid of
chromatic aberrations completely.

                                                                            INTELLIGENT COMPUTING CHIP INSIDER SUPPLEMENT  OCTOBER 2011
50    Tech Talk

           foCal lengths, aperture & depth of field
                                                               To capture perfect pictures, you need to know how
                                                               focal length and aperture depend on each other.
                                                               Many photographers mostly use zoom to avoid
                                                               walking. If you are one of them, then selecting
                                                               the focal length becomes more vital than the
                                                               detail of the subject from your standing position.
                                                               Short focal length widens the scope, which makes
                                                               everything appear far away. The foreground is
                                                               overemphasized in the (ultra) wide-angle range,
                                                               which gives the image a span. The objects appear
                                                               to move closer with wider focal length as the spa-
                                                               tial effect is condensed. The value of the aperture
                                                               also changes along with the focal length. On one
                                                               hand, the depth of field is very high in wide-angle
                                                               with aperture value 8, but on the other hand, it
                                                               just drops down in case of a tele-zoom lens.

                                                               Wide aperture means
                                                               more light
                                                               The aperture decides how much light falls on the
                                                               sensor. The amount of light to be let in is halved
                                                               at every aperture level (1 / 1.4 / 2 / 2.8 / 4 / 5.6
                                                               / 8 / 11 / 16 / 22). Double the amount of light is
                                                               let in on the sensor in case of aperture 2.8 (open
                                                               aperture equals the small aperture number) as
                                                               compared to the amount for aperture 4 with the
                                                               same exposure time.

           Crop faCtor: a lens, different foCal lengths
          Most of the SLRs do not have a full format
          sensor, but a sensor that suits the APS-C          full format
          format. The value of the focal length changes
          due to the small sensor, in practice called the
          focal length multiplier. Thus, the travel zoom              aps-C-sensor
          on a typical SLR covers a nominal focal length
          range between 18-270 millimeters, that
          when converted to the small image format
          (i.e. full format) corresponds to 27 to 405
          millimeters. You can get comparable data by
          converting the focal lengths, but this data is
          not dependent on the type of camera that is
          used. The typical conversion factors are 1.6 for
          Canon, 1.5 for Nikon, Samsung and Sony, and
          2.0 for Panasonic and Olympus cameras.
          Pros or cons?
          A smaller image frame moves the focal length
          effect in the tele-direction - good when
          you go close but not so good if you want to
          photograph at a wide-angle.

     oCtober 2011  intelligent computing cHip insider supplement

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