Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bokeh Experiments - How To

Seasons greetings everyone.

After my earlier post of Instant miniature studio many had left comments saying it was useful. Thanks for your comments and feedback. With Christmas and the new year aproaching, here is an interesting walk through to make your photographs more interesting this season. This time we are going to play around with the bokeh.

Its fairly simple to get a bokeh like the below one. You need to keep the lens in a low aperture like f/1.8 and with some back ground light. 

But what do to when you want to make it more interesting like the one below? 

Here is how to do it. You can easily try it at home. You will need:
1. Camera and a low aperture lens (50 mm f/1.8)
2. Chart paper, preferably black.
3. Compass and Scale.
4. Paper cutting knife and scissors. 

Measure the diameter of your lens or simply go with the measurement of your filter that you got for the lens. Use that measurement to make circular rings in the chart paper using the compass and scissors. Make sure the ring exactly fits in the lens (one would need to remove any lens filters attached, for this experiment). Now draw shapes(hearts, square, clove, anything) in the center of the circular paper ring and make sure the shapes are exactly at the center. Use the paper cutting knife to cut out the shape that was drawn.

Now it's almost done, fit the circular rings in front of your lens and start clicking. Enjoy the custom bokeh shapes. 

Technical mumbo-jumbo or How It Actually works:
Technically the shape of the bokeh is controlled by the shape of the aperture. Ideally the aperture is made of multiple blades to form a near circular shape. As the number of blades differ from lens to lens, by keeping a high f-number like f/5.6 the bokeh produced might be polygon in shape. Here since the light entering the lens is controlled by a custom shape which overrides the default circular ring of the aperture, it gives the bokeh a custom shape. This said, it is left to each one's creativity to decide the shape and the kind of picture to use these techniques on. 

P.S. It was fun to use the compass after eight years, last I used it was in the Engineering drawing class in the first semester of college.

Monday, October 4, 2010


My photograph has been selected for display at Bangalore Photography Club's Fifth annual photography exhibition, Frames of Mind - 2010.

If you are in Bangalore on the Oct 22-24 weekend, do come and check out the photographs in the exhibition. There are interesting photography sessions as part of Fotocamp. Meet you there!

Here is the selected entry. This was shot from the 6th floor of Novell's office. If you look closely, you'd see the reflection.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lalbagh Flower Show

Was visiting my friends place in Bangalore a week back, also knew there was a flower show happening at Lalbagh. Somehow managed to loop in Srihari and his Aunt for the photo shoot on Sunday morning. We reached there early and walked around the park. When the gates opened we had a good 45 mins shoot in the flower show in spite of the crowd and police whistling to move fast. It was a colorful shoot.

For convenience I have uploaded to
Let me know your comments.
Happy Clicking!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Art & Science of Photography - Kalyan Varma

Last weekend I did a trip to Bengaluru to attend a workshop conducted by Kalyan Varma (Kalyan Varma is a well known wildlife photographer.) - The Art & Science of Photography. It was a two day workshop covering a wide spectrum of topics. Both the days were well structured that one could learn and also test the skills learnt. Course content was chosen such that it would neither intimidate someone who is very new to Photography nor bore anyone who was skilled relatively.

Day 1:
The first session was about the Science of Photography. Like the school days physics classes, it was on fundamentals, fundamentals and fundamentals. Kalyan gave a very good perspective and understanding on the topics. Even after all the reading I have done on these jargon, I can say, "I have never understood them better than now!". Immediate hands-on in the classroom for some of the concepts were the highlights.

Second session of day 1 was on Art of Photography. It was very crucial to understand the art side of photography. Kalyan handled it well with the approach of "learn by example". He talked about composition of pictures. In the later half of the first session, he spoke about camera gear including body, lens, tripods, flash and bags.

Day 2:
Ah! Saw 6 am in my clock after several months. :) Got up and headed to Lalbagh for a photoshoot with Kalyan and others. It was interesting to have a hands on at Lalbagh with the various subjects present there: people, rocks, dogs and flowers. After a portrait session, we headed back to the classroom where we had a session on post processing. We had an interesting session as to what should be done in the name of post-processing and what should not be, as learning post-processing will give you a total control of your photographs.

Post lunch, we had a critique session where various shots taken by us over the morning photo shoot was discussed and critiqued. Finally we had to call it a day with a conclusion speech by Kalyan, I have a lot to take from the workshop. 

- Kalyan's command on the subject and the ability to carry on for two full days without boring the trainees :-)
- Ganesh and Harsha, who were part of Kalyan's team in conducting the workshop. Along with Kalyan they helped out folks in the classroom as well as the photo shoot. Special thanks to Ganesh for the ride to lalbagh in the bullet.
- "Food" - serious kudos to Casa de Bengluru who fed us some yummy food :-)

More on the workshop here.
Photos from the workshop in Flickr

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Instant miniature studio - How To

Two weeks down the Nikon D90, its so tempting to keep it down and she hates it. :-) Last weekend I got a Shrek toy as part of the Happy Meal. Soon after coming home, I wanted to take few snaps of it. So quickly thought of home studio lighting setup to take photos.

All you need is
- A note book, preferably plain white sheets in them.
- Alternate source of light, like table lamp.
- Tripod (preferred)
Nikon D90 on the tripod + table lamp + note book with 50mm lens as the subject
Place the note book like a slanting 'L', this gives white flooring and white background (laptop and few white sheets will also do). It would be nice to slide a paper over the edge, so that there are no sharp curves on the background. Make sure there is no folds in the paper that's used (since it will caste shadow). Set the tripod in front of the notebook with the camera mounted. Now place the table lamb between the tripod and notebook, such that it does come inside the frame of the camera. Also make sure the table lamp does not flare the lens. No place the subject in the tip of the paper that stands sliding and start shooting.

Keep the light at different angles to the subject to get various effect on the subject and control how the shadow is cast. Prefer using the timer shutter to avoid any chance of camera shake. 

Here are some samples and more photos at flickr

Go ahead and comment your feedback and questions.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To vijesh, as per your wife's orders

From: Revathi Priya <> Wed, May 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

To: Vijesh K <>, Abirami Rajendran <>

Rava dosa recipe
1tsp of oil
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Dry red chillies(broken into small pieces)

Heat oil in a large pan(you end up making the batter in this one). Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, broken dry red chillies and asafoetida and let it splutter a bit and then switch off the gas immediately.

Measure out equal proportions of Semolina/rava and Rice flour(with one normal sized cup, you can make upto 8 dosas). Mix them both with the seasonings that is already there in the pan(Make sure the gas is turned off). 

Add 1 cup of butter milk(or diluted curd) to it and keep mixing. Add about 2 glasses of water(approx) until you get a really watery consistency

Now comes the fun part. Add 2 large tbsp(15 mls approx) of Diet-Coke to it. One that has a lot of fizz. This helps to set the batter quick.

Keep it aside for 10-15 mins.
Diet-Coke Rava Dosa

Heat the tava real well. And pour the batter on it. Since this batter is very very watery, you are not going to get a perfect circle and the batter wont spread well like normal dosa-batter. So when you pour it will form small holes on the surface, which is okay. Pour more batter and lift and move the tava to spread the batter(DO NOT trying spreading it using the laddle that you use to pour the batter coz that wont work. It will form lumps. So spreading the batter is only by pouring more batter and shaking the tava itself). Let it cook for a good 3-4 mins and turn it when you notice that it has browned.

Enjoy :)

I was given the sample photo that needs to be kept as bench mark. Such is life!
Diet Coke Rava Dosa recipe rights: Revathi Priya

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nikon D90

After pressing the shutter release button ~13,000 times, I was strongly convinced that it was time for an upgrade.

Why did I need to upgrade? - Simply the point & shoot was not fulfilling my need. The need of total control over the composition of the picture and the lens focal rings were not doing what I wanted them to do. A need for bigger and better sensor. Less grains on a low light photo even after cropping. Options for variety of shots from wide angle to telephoto.

Firstly I was aligned with Canon or Nikon, because they were the top two brands and nothing outside it pleased me. Second I needed to carefully list down my needs, so that I can pick the right camera. This was a long process. Finally shortlisted these camera bodies,

  • Canon 50D
  • Canon 7D 
  • Nikon D90
  • Nikon 300s

My wedding photographs were a deciding factor in selecting the brand, body and the series of lens that I would go for. The photographer we hired had a Nikon D300, Nikon D700, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 50D and a whole lot of lens. But after carefully studying the output, I totally fell in love with Nikon.

Finally I got a Nikon D90 body and 18-105 kit lens. This camera had all features that I was looking for including 12.4 megapixel, well built body, controls and video capabilities. Nikon 300s and 18-200 lens pair was over shooting the budget and the learning curve is pretty steep. So far I'm pretty happy with the output and the performance. 

Thanks to my wife for this.She has started to love the sound of the shutter. 
Image Source

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Longest substring 0's & 1's

Given a string containing 0's and 1's. One would need to find the longest sub-string such that the count of 0's is equal to the count of 1's in the largest sub string.

0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0

Here solution is either 0 1 0 1 0 1 or 1 0 1 0 1 0.

Monday, May 17, 2010 #fail

After the sudden spree of agents booking of tatkal ticket, it has become an easy thing to see 64 odd tickets vanish around 8:03am (sigh!). So we decided to book the tickets in for the travel to my home town. Soon after the failed attempts in IRCTC, we queried, few tickets available in one or two buses. One travels called Sangita, claimed in bold letters, "executive A.C. bus with 2+2 seater". Price of the ticket was Rs 930. First, I have never seen a bus ticket so pricey, second never booked bus ticket for ages. So we took the call and booked the tickets.

Friday, 9:45 PM Koyembedu bus terminus.
As the auto was nearing the bus terminus, traffic started to move inch after inch, we got down and decided to take a walk. (nostalgia of Majestic, BLR traffic). A mob of people were waiting to board their respective buses. Soon our bus was announced and we moved to board it.

On the first sight of the bus, I did not believe it was our bus and I started to look around for another volvo. Didn't spot any. Soon I inquired about the bus and where it was heading. Was shocked, when he said 'Yes, it was the bus'. It was a normal bus with sliding window and the interiors forcefully remodeled to work as A.C. bus. Sigh! Normal push back seat. Adding to it, AC duct right above our seat was broken and it was chilling the spine. Soon I had to stuff my hand kerchief to control it. Seats that bend unevenly, broken air conditioner from which the defrost water started to drop on the head, -cramped leg space and ...

Trouble did not stop there, one passenger learnt that he had got a high priced ticket (Rs1200/-) and started to yell that he was cheated. But no one listened, soon he demanded that they screen a movie on the t.v. since he had paid so much money. So they started it at 11:00 PM, and movie ended at 1:30 AM and we had a pit stop at 2:15 AM for break. Finally tried to sleep around 4 AM and the bus reached at 8:00 AM.

So who is to be blamed for these high priced tickets?
One thing is clear, the Sangita travels guys said that he got Rs 450/- for the ticket, rest the agent kept for himself. So is it to be blamed to hike the price on demand? Unknown! Bottom line, start planning early, sucks and I don't recommend it and I will try avoiding it at any cost.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Array of single & double bytes

@arun_ragh asked me this interesting question.

Given an infinite array containing single and double byte entries in random order. A one bit flag is used to identify if the given entry is single or double byte. If the first bit is set to '1' then its double byte number else if its set to '0' then its a single byte number. Given a pointer to a number somewhere the middle of the array. One needs to find if the previous entry is single or double byte.

Note: There are cases where one would not be able to find out the solution. But assume there exists a possible solution.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Using my wife's credit card is Fraud

I ordered a merchandise from a popular vendor using my wife's credit card and shipped it to Friend1 and gave Friend2's address of billing.


My account was blocked and I get a response:
we believe it may have been accessed and used by a third-party to make purchases without your permission, but it appears they did not use your credit card to make these purchases.
I learn my lessons the hard way.

Ehh, Whats up doc?

Too many things, simply too long to write. To summarise I can call it - Change

Not just the fact that I got married. I moved to a new city with a new job. So I have enough challenges everyday to keep me busy from logging into Gmail. Fortunately I live in a locality close to Electricity board minister Arcot N. Veeraswamy and that give us no power failure, despite the who of Tamilnadu celebrate Earth hour daily. But I'm yet to receive my first EB bill. The city I live in is hot, super duper hot. Like the ganges that flows from shiv's head, sweat starts tickling down. (FYI: Agni Nactachitram is yet to start). Work is fun. I will not talk about the rest, since I need to come back home everyday for my food and shelter.

My office is nearly 18kms from home. So I spend nearly 3 hours in commuting. Been listening to all the radio stations and even know the program schedule for the hour across channels. Slowly learning the road routes, Its a big city you know!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Update post: Vocabulary

Original post here.

After all the writing the above post author blurts out, "Ayoo, intha Tablet ah kudikanuma! Ena 'kudikanuma', paaru un kuda senthu ipidi aiyeten."

Me: job done for the day! :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Now with this post I can officially call the sabbatical I took from this blog is over. Guess I need not give more reason.

Friday, January 29, 2010

6 more days to go

That means you got 4 more days to make a decision if you want to book tatkal tickets. Let us know if plan changes.

Do not miss to visit the Big temple and take few clicks. After all the Big Temple is celebrating its 1000th year. See it (a 360) for yourself. (Rent a wide angle lens I say, its worth it) :)

Myself, I find me most active ever in all the social networking arenas. In the triangle of eating, sleeping and talking. Preparing huge checklists of items that I should take. Help filling the marriage registration form and answer questions like, Are you married? If yes, how many wifes are alive? More than all spending valuable time at home and in spare time reading 2 states.

Oh yeah, just in case you missed it. When Vijesh met Abirami.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tomato Rice

If you had seen this tweet, here is the follow up post of how to prepare it. Tomato rice is easy and fast to prepare for a meal. It goes well with a small curry (potato, brinjal) or papad or curd. Also if you are off to a friends family picnic its good on the menu. The below will serve a meal for two.

Tomato - 7
Rice - 1 and 1/2 cup
Turmeric power - 1/2 tsp
Chilly power - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 and 1/2 tsp
[last 4 items qty as required]

First smash the tomato in the mixer to liquid state. Then pour the smashed tomato in a pan and heat it for a while, until the raw smell of tomato is gone. Keep stirring it in the pan so its evenly cooked (it becomes slightly thick). Pour it in a cooker along with 1.5 cups of rice, 7 cups of water (or as required), add turmeric, chilly power, garam masala and salt (qty mentioned above). Stir the mixture well. Let the rice cook. Its ready!!!

When taking it form the cooker, just add two teaspoon of oil and mix the rice well in it, so that the rice does not become sticky.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whats the plan guys?

Well, a ping that bring smiles for people in my home, "Whats the plan guys?". We had been planning and executing them cleanly. I can say we had the best time in Bangalore in the last few weeks. Things have changed then, we got new plans. 

Santy will be going to the guitar classes promptly after a month, since he is travelling until then. Bon voyage! Also decided to read two thirukural per day. I hope he does not stock the book in his usual place.

Gethu has decided to pull the hand break. Be on diet and hit the gym. He has promised me a new look in my wedding. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Dams, is busy searching places for santy to visit in US. :) Sure still keeps him busy with the multiple legiyam and podi's.

Kishore still claims being part of the investigation team and keeps him all busy with the sms and calls. Also will soon get his six pack done.

JK would be going to Asha nikethen and taking the lead in cooking. Will continue to be a Vijay follower and wait for his next release too. Also being a good neighbour he would be getting new guy or gal for the home due to retention rate in our home.

Jr Santy has moved to Chennai for good and promised that there would be change since he is with his family. But yeah we also got the updates of his first day in office. :D

I would still keep my plans going. :)

Pasangala, Enjoy Das anna's food, DJ's music, those debates, street cricket, Anjappar and don forget about the hike we planned for the high performing maid. :D

P.S. Called them now, they are watching ayirathil oruvan again.

Wedding Invite

All credits to The Bride. :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ayirathil Oruvan - missing the magic

It's a Selvaraghavan movie. Rated 'A'.

A film that had a good start and a bad ending. The whole film is split into two parts. Part I (first half) is fun, adventurous and entertaining. Part 2 (second half) is an art film with a clashing cultural script. It looked like selva ran out of ideas to complete the movie. The 32 crore budget is predominantly spent in graphics and animation. Certain places there are glitches, but over all it is a good effort. Selva shows his psychotic nature in this film again. His earlier films were on similar lines too. One about adolescent gags and teenage capers and another on psycho boy in love. If you had watched the trailer, it exactly tells only one half of the movie, the remaining is the untold story. The films dialogs go from vulgar words that were beeped by the sensor board to historic Tamil. Many places the script seems broken. Lot of scenes and actions are left for the audience to interpret. This raises many questions at the end of the movie! Also selva copied many scenes from movie 300.

Andreya - not up to the expectations. She would have spoken 10 lines of dialog in the movie and all the 10 lines were spoken in the first half. Second half she just had to appear with the crowd.

Karthik - Another different try, but still less role in the movie.

Parthiban - Featuring as an old king, he did a good job in the one half of the film that was given to him. Carrying the majesty of the kings and his expression in betrayal are good.

Remasen - She is the pivot role in the movie. A good second starting for her in the film industry. Did a neat job for the role that was assigned to her. No doubt she will bear few awards for the movie if at all they give one for it.

Why not to watch the movie?
Too many unwanted scenes on killing, war, blood and women.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


After many years I'm being jobless. Seems like an intermediate childhood state. I don't know what I will do tomorrow. May be will sleep the whole day. Ok, whats after that, sleep more. Watch TV, spend time reading all the blogs that I follow. Still I will be left with more time. A good break from buzilla, V1 or clarity. Life is calm. 

It was a busy day where you give those 200 odd hand shakes and bid farewell. Dumped all the messed up cubicle things in two carton boxes, submitted cupboard keys and ID card to the security. It was a wonderful stay in Novell, Bangalore. 

As to celebrate my joblessness, we had booked tickets to Avathar. Mind boggling stuff from Cameron. The movie raised the bar for modern day pictures to next level. I wish others keep up with it. Else these directors will be in the next generation. Though the 3D was not as great (could be because of the small screen) it was a block buster. Until next post, sleep tight. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Moving on

Today is my last working day in Novell. 

What next? The Wedding.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An appeal

On behalf of a fellow Tech'ian. Please do the needful. If you are interested let me know will help you in getting the bank details.

Thanks in Advance...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Camera & lens - learning links

Off late, I had been researching a lot to upgrade my camera to DSLR. I came across many interesting links to help better understand the DSLR and Lenses. Since one needs to know what those numbers are on the lenses and what the DSLR is equipped with before investing on buying them.

Credits to Nikon to have such learning materials for people to know their lenses.

Lens Simulator - Best place to try out the lens before you buy.
Lens positioning map - Compare focal range & f-number of the lenses.
Terms - All the jargons explained.
Camera labs - Nice video reviews on body and lens. (When tired on reading, listen to the video and relax)
Lens review - user reviews
Photozone - Show me the numbers style.

P.S. Will soon publish my learnings. If you got more links, let me know will update it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome 20TEN

Firstly, Happy new year 2010. Have a fabulous 365 days to come.

I had a quiet start for 2009. I did make up some resolutions. I did reduce my caffeine count, but office steps were steep as days went and took a lot of time too ;-). Though I was not able to go around with BWS, will have to try after I upgrade my camera. So with many pending resolutions, there will be none this year. Life has been like taking a roller coaster ride. I became so obsessive about this blog that I got this t-shirt. Few tags to take up. Also the best tennis match of this decade was witnessed last year.

As responsible guys, we had many weddings to attend. We did them promptly one after the other after the other and the other until I realized that I was next in the queue. To fulfill the new year resolution, tried out new things with the camera from nature to ghosts and some yummy cakes. Those debates on weddings, love and many more.

Well, I think all your wishes in the beginning of new year had come true. I had to shed my tag as bachelor. I will be getting married early next month. So come there and sing a song.

Its a new year, an Year of change to me. Wishing everyone all the very best. Also many thanks for all the readers, who patiently spend time on this page and took effort to write a comment.