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Better Technique. Better Insight. Better Pictures

10 easy & tested remedies when your gear gets wet!

Capture streaks of rain, frozen droplets & splashes of water


Pages o and easy f expert reviews te unique id chniques PLUS eas & interv , advice iews


Vol. 14 • No. 2 • JULY 2010


Exclusive tests Fujifilm HS10 Canon IXUS 210 IS Samsung ST5500 Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II

Learn the art of capturing rain-drenched landscapes, still life objects and nature On Assignment

Create surreal effects with reflections in water indoors


A series that explores the effect of expanding cities


Remembering the forgotten maestro, Manoranjan Ghosh



S Ganapathi Rao talks about documenting tribal customs

July 2010






Book Review Anandyatra, A Travelogue of Joy


Website Review


Look Who’s Shooting Akshata Joshi





Canon IXUS 210 IS A touchscreen camera that gives great results


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July 2010 • Rs. 100



Better Technique. Better Insight. Better Pictures


VOl. 14 • NO. 2 • JUlY 2010

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II How does one improve a lens that was already so good?


Kata Bumblebee 222 UL A sturdy camera bag with an interesting design



pages of and easy expert reviews tech unique ideaniques plUS s, & intervieadvice ws



ExClUSIVE TESTS Fujifilm HS10 Canon IxUS 210 IS Samsung ST5500 Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II

Learn the art of capturing rain-drenched landscapes, still life objects and nature ON ASSiGNmeNT

Create surreal effects with reflections in water indoors


A series that explores the effect of expanding cities


Remembering the forgotten maestro, Manoranjan Ghosh


S Ganapathi Rao talks about documenting tribal customs

photograph: Krupali raiyani Design: pradeep kumar B nambiar CM YK

Samsung ST5500 A camera with new-age connectivity options

46 10 easy & tested remedies when your gear gets wet!

Capture streaks of rain, frozen droplets & splashes of water

Fujifilm FinePix HS10 A feature-packed 30x superzoom camera

Camera First Aid on Rainy Days Ten steps to save your camera if it gets wet





Still Life in the Monsoon Make the most of the drenched world around you!


Seven Secrets to Shoot Monsoon Landscapes Simple ways to capture dramatic landscapes



Splashes in Your Frame Make rain your subject and capture it effectively

Illusions with Water Use the optical properties of water to create surreal images.



76 ShowCase



A Rainbow in an Instant How about a fake rainbow in Photoshop!



S Ganapathi Rao A man who portrays the undiscovered tribes of India

102 Manoranjan Ghosh GREAT MASTERS

Tracing the life and works of a forgotten legend



Shooting walls, architecture and bokeh

181 Photography Lost 182 Innovate to Succeed DIFFERENT STROKES


Find out how niche ideas can be used to make a mark in the market

184 Lewis Carroll Captures Story Behind the Picture

the Real Alice

Look it is Raining, In Photoshop! Add rain to your images in a few simple steps.

110 88



New Town – The Veiled Hypocrisy Documentation of socio-economic changes due to emerging concrete jungles 

Regulars Feedback.............................................................14 PHOTOCRITIQUE................................................... 84 Q & A................................................................... 92 1000 WORDS........................................................108 Your Pictures................................................... 114 BP Buyer’s Guide...............................................166

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Mamiya RZ33

Adobe Launches Final Version of Lightroom 3

The Mamiya RZ33 is a medium-format camera with a 33MP 48X36mm CCD sensor. It is the first camera from the RZ series to have fully-integrated electronics for direct communication with a digital back. The RZ33 allows you to shoot images using 16bit/ channel RAW capture. The camera has an inbuilt rotating sensor that allows you to switch between horizontal and vertical framing without changing the orientation of the camera. It has an ISO range of 50-800 and shoots at 1.1fps. The RZ33 is priced at USD 17,990 (approx. Rs. 8,09,550)

Sigma SD15


After a delay of two years, Sigma is finally shipping the SD15 DSLR camera. This camera was showcased at Photokina 2008 and has been delayed ever since. This Foveon X3 sensor-based camera produces 4.7MP images with three pieces of colour information recorded at each pixel site, thus giving a final output of 14MP. The camera will be available at a price of USD 1443 (approx. Rs. 64,935).

Casio EXILIM EX-H5 Casio has launched a new superzoom camera. The EXILIM EX-H5 is a camera with a 10x (24-240mm equivalent) zoom lens. The 12.1MP image-stabilised camera comes with a 2.7 inch LCD, a faster EXILIM Engine 5.0 processor and can also shoot 720p HD video. The EX-H5 digital camera is available in silver, black and red and will be priced at £149.99 (approx. Rs. 10,000)


fter having released a Beta version for the past ten months, Adobe has released the final version of Photoshop Lightroom 3 for both Windows and Macintosh. The software includes all the features that were offered in the beta versions, and also borrows a number of features from the recently-introduced Adobe Photoshop CS5. Lightroom 3 is based on a new RAW processing engine that was originally introduced in its second Beta update and also used in Photoshop CS5. The software is equipped with 64-bit support and includes new features like tethered shooting and importing and management of video files. Another feature is a brand new Noise

Reduction tool, which claims to reduce noise more efficiently as compared to the previous versions. Just like Photoshop CS5, it also has a profile-based Lens Correction tool that automatically reduces optical aberrations by identifying the lens used and correcting it accordingly. The software has upgraded its overall interface with the option of syncing Flickr accounts to Lightroom. It also allows users greater degree of customisation, especially in terms of printing layouts and watermarks. Lightroom 3 is available as a free one-month trial from It is available for USD 299 (approx. Rs. 13,455) for first-time buyers and USD 99 (approx. Rs. 4455) for those who are upgrading from Lightroom 2.

My theory of composition? Simple: do not release the shutter until everything in the viewfinder feels just right Ernst Haas (1921-1986) Ernst Haas was an Austrian artist and photographer noted for his innovations in colour photography and his experimentations with abstract light and form. Haas was invited to Magnum photos for his acclaimed photo essay on prisoners of war coming home to Vienna. Some of Haas’s most famous images were deliberately blurred and out of focus. He used the dye transfer process to make many of his original prints, which yield richly saturated colours. Haas also published many photography books like In America—a tribute to his adopted country—followed by Deutschland and Himalayan Pilgrimage. He went on to receive the Hasselblad Award for his photography in 1986.

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Image source: IIPA

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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX70 Panasonic has announced the LUMIX DMC-FX70, the latest model in its slim FX-series. The FX70 is a 14MP touchscreen compact camera with a 5x zoom lens. The highlight feature of the FX70 is its Leica lens. It offers an equivalent focal length of 24–120mm and has a maximum aperture of f/2.2 at the wide end. The lens comprises of 7 elements in 6 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses with 5 aspherical surfaces and is also stabilised optically. The 3-inch LCD of the camera has a resolution of 2,30,000 dots, which is lesser than most touchscreen compact cameras in the market today. The FX70 also shoots 720p HD video using the AVCHD Lite format.

Leica Oskar Barnack Awards Announced T he Leica Oskar Barnack Awards 2010 have been announced. The first prize of this prestigious award has been bagged by Swedish photographer, Jens Olof Lasthein. Lasthein’s picture has won the award for his portfolio titled Waiting for the Future – Pictures from Abkhazia. The series portrays the story of the people of

the Republic of Abkhazia in the Southern Caucasus. He is to receive USD 6100 (approx. Rs. 2,86,000) or Leica equipment of the same value. Andy Spyra, a German photographer, was the runner-up for his portfolio on Kashmir. The awards will be presented during the photo festival in Arles, France.

Panasonic 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye lens for Micro Four Thirds


Panasonic has announced the first fisheye lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. The Panasonic LUMIX G Fisheye 8mm f/3.5 offers a diagonal angle of view of 180º, similar to a 16mm fisheye lens on full-frame. Being a Micro Four Thirds lens, the 8mm Fisheye is the world’s smallest and lightest lens of its type. This 8mm lens has an Extra-low Dispersion glass element to minimise chromatic aberration. It has a metal mount and can also be used with gelatine filters. The lens is priced at £729.99 (approx Rs. 49,500).

Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 25mm f/2.8 ZF.2 lens for Nikon Carl Zeiss has announced the ZF.2 version of its 25mm f/2.8 for the Nikon F mount. The lens is already available for the Pentax and M42 mounts. This wide-angle prime lens, like all other ZF.2 lenses, has an electronic interface (CPU) that enables full-time metering and allows you to use Program, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes even with cameras that do not have an AI-coupling lever. The CPU also ensures that all lens-related information is recorded in the EXIF data. As compared to the old non-ZF.2, this new 25mm f/2.8 lens allows you to shoot without needing to manually set the lens data in the camera. It also has a circular diaphragm to improve the quality of bokeh. The Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 ZF.2 lens is available at a price of €755.46 (approx. Rs. 43,000)

Better Photography

Jens Olof Lasthein

Sony Releases Two Entry-Level DSLRs S ony has released the A390 and A290, two new DSLRs targeted at entry-level users. The cameras have a brand new grip design, as compared to the older A230 and A380 models. Both cameras have a 14.2MP CCD sensor, which is the same as the one that was used in the Sony A380. Also, the A390 features the Quick AF Live View system that was first introduced in the A380. This system uses phase-detect autofocus even while using Live View for improved autofocus. Both cameras share a number of features, like in-body image stabilisation,

HDMI outputs and an ISO range of 100– 3200. The A390 and A290 will be priced at USD 600 (approx. Rs. 28,000) and USD 500 (approx. Rs 24,000) respectively.

Worldwide Photowalk to be Held in India T he third edition of the Worldwide Photowalk will be held in India on 24 July 2010. Simultaneously, the photowalk will also be held in countries as diverse as Australia, Chile, Portugal, South Africa and many more. Each country will have the Photowalk in select cities. In India, these cities include Mumbai, Pune, Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Initiated by Scott Kelby, the editor of Photoshop User and Layers

magazines, the photowalk is a unique activity which will unite thousands of photo enthusiasts across the world. The winner of each Photowalk gets a photography book by Scott Kelby. There is also a Grand Prize of USD 1000 (approx. Rs. 45,000) of Adorama Gift Certificates and a one-year subscription to Kelby Training Online, a web portal of tutorials. For more information, visit: www. J u ly 2 0 1 0

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How We Test Product Categorisation We first segregate products into categories for the purpose of equitability in testing. The DSLR is divided into entrylevel, semi-professional and professional categories. For compacts, we distinguish between advanced and basic compact cameras. Similarly, we also test consumer and pro lenses, flashguns, printers, and other photographic accessories and gear.

The Process We primarily test for features, performance, build, ergonomics, warranty and support. While this remains constant, the weightage we give to these parameter differs from category to category, because different types of consumers have diverse expectations from products.

Final Ratings Under each main parameter, we 34 list out hundreds of individual variables (for eg. colour accuracy for individual colours in different lighting, individual features, dynamic range, center-to-edge definition, light fall-off, etc.) against which we either give points or simply mark ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Thus, we arrive at a score for that parameter, and then, the final score, denoted as a percentage. Additionally, based on the current pricing of a product, a star rating for ‘Value for Money’ is considered. Value for Money does not affect the final percentage, because prices for products change constantly.

Fujifilm FinePix HS10

Master On Paper Raj Lalwani tests the 30x zoom Fujifilm FinePix HS10 to see if its vast range of features come at a cost.

Our Seals of Approval Any product that scores 80% or higher in individual tests gets Weightage of ‘BP Recommended’—a seal parameters of approval from our team. In comparison tests, we also tag products as ‘BP Best Performer’ 5% and ‘BP Best Value 15%for Money’.


BP Excellence Awards

20% At the end of the calendar year, 30% the five highest rated products in each category automatically gets nominated for the ‘Better Features Photography Excellence Awards’. Performance A panel of experts then decide the Build Quality winners. This is BP’s recognition of Ergonomics the very best products launched Warranty & in the course of the year, and the Support companies that made them. Better Photography

Weightage of parameters 10% 20% 15% 15%


Features Performance Build Quality Ergonomics Warranty & Support


henever a new camera is announced, it usually takes a few minutes to read the press release and identify the main features. But one look at the Fujifilm FinePix HS10’s release and I actually started wondering when the long list of features would stop. With the HS10, it is the first time that the company has decided to enter the market of cameras with a zoom range of over 20x, and it surely does so in some style. I remember thinking to myself that if this camera performs even half as well as some of the company’s recent cameras, it will be a brilliant buy.

Features That is exactly what we intended to find out when we received this 10.3MP camera in office two months ago. The Fujifilm FinePix HS10 is a 30x zoom monster, with an equivalent focal length of 24–720mm. While Olympus introduced their own 30x zoom camera on the same day, the Olympus counterpart only begins at a focal length of 28mm, thus making the HS10 more versatile. The HS10 also has a wider range of features. The camera can shoot at a speed of 10fps at full resolution, with motion-tracking AF. Its fast speed allows you to use some j u ly 2 0 1 0

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Canon Digital IXUS 210 IS

A Pocketful of Fun


Ambarin Afsar tests the Canon Digital IXUS 210 IS, the company’s latest touchscreen camera to find out if this compact camera manages to impress.

T Weightage of parameters 10% 15% 15%



Features Performance Build Quality Ergonomics Warranty & Support Better Photography

he Canon Digital IXUS 210 IS is Canon’s second foray into the touchscreen camera category. It is an upgrade of its predecessor, the IXUS 200 IS and shares a lot of features with the earlier camera. With most camera manufacturers adding touchscreen cameras to their list of products, we were keen to see whether the IXUS 210 could deliver on the promised capabilities and make its presence felt among other cameras in the market.

Features The main features of the IXUS 210 IS have not changed dramatically from the earlier model, though resolution has been increased to 14.1MP (previously 12.1MP). The lens remains the same, offering 5x optical zoom, starting at 24mm. The IXUS 210 IS is a feature-packed camera and has features such as highquality 720p HD video with an HDMI output connection. The video functionality

of the camera is better than that of the IXUS 200, due to the inclusion of a stereo microphone and the ability to use optical zoom during video capture. The camera is equipped with optical Image Stabilisation, but the IS lacks the Panning mode that is found in other compact cameras by Canon. There are various Scene modes, including a few fun modes like the Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect and Creative Light Effect. In addition to a Blink Detection function, the camera has a Smart Shutter mode, which shoots an image when the subject winks or when a new face enters the frame. While users cannot set exposure values for the flash, the camera has a new feature called Smart Flash Exposure. This controls the intensity of the flash depending on the nature and distance of the subject.

Handling The IXUS 200 IS had attracted a fair share of criticism due to the inclusion of some

What’s in the box • Canon IXUS 210 IS • Wrist Strap • Charger • Battery • AV Cable • USB Cable • Software CD • Warranty Card • Camera Manual j u ly 2 0 1 0

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Samsung ST5500

A Futuristic Camera


Neha Mutreja tests the Samsung ST5500, a touchscreen camera with new-age connectivity features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.


ouchscreen cameras have flooded the market oflate, which is why Samsung has tried to differentiate their lineup by including a number of interesting connectivity technologies. An update of the ST1000, the ST5500 is equipped with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and DLNA to facilitate easy sharing of images. Weightage of parameters 10% 15% 15%



Features Performance Build Quality Ergonomics Warranty & Support Better Photography

Features The ST5500 is a 14.2-megapixel camera that has a 7x zoom lens (31–217mm in 35mm parlance). While this is not as wide as a number of present-day cameras, it is still good enough for everyday shooting. The camera features Optical Image Stabilisation and can also shoot 720p HD video. The highlight features of the camera are the various connectivity options. Wi-Fi technology allows you to email photos and videos and also lets you directly upload data on sharing and social networking websites like YouTube and

Facebook. However, while transferring data through Wi-Fi, the images are downsized to 2MP—this makes the transfer fast, but basically restricts the sharing of high-resolution images. The camera also features DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) technology to share images among network devices inside your home, such as widescreen TVs. Along with a number of regular scene modes, the camera features three unique Smart Filter lens effects—Miniature, Vignetting and Fisheye. Each of these effects is efficient and helps lend an artistic edge to your pictures. You can also introduce filters while shooting video.

Handling The camera sports a minimalist design with just Playback, On/Off and shutter release buttons on the top panel. The 3.7inch touchscreen covers the entire back of the camera. A particularly useful feature of this camera is the Smart Gesture interface.

What’s in the box • ST5500 camera • Charging cable • Instruction manual j u ly 2 0 1 0


Canon EF 70–200/2.8L IS II USM 46

As Good As a Prime Lens Shridhar Kunte takes a close look at the Canon EF 70–200/2.8L IS II USM to find out if it is a worthy upgrade for the working professional.

N Weightage of parameters 10% 15% 15% 25%


early ten long years after the launch of the EF 70–200/2.8L IS USM lens, Canon has announced its upgrade in the form of an IS II version. It is really difficult to replace a lens that already has top-notch performance and is a workhorse for most professionals and serious hobbyists. When we received this new 70–200mm lens for test, we realised that there are very few physical changes. In fact, at first sight, it is really difficult to find the difference between the old and the new version.

Features Features Performance Build Quality Ergonomics Warranty & Support Better Photography

The optical construction of the 70–200mm f/2.8L IS II lens has been completely redesigned. This new lens uses as many as five Ultra Low Dispersion elements and a high-performance fluorite element to improve contrast and control aberrations,

especially while shooting against the light. A new high-speed CPU and an optimised AF algorithm help you match this lens to the autofocus capabilities of the EOS 1D Mark IV and EOS 7D. The minimum focusing distance is 1.2m; this is an improvement over its predecessor, whose minimum focusing distance was 1.4m. The magnification has also been increased to 0.21x, thus making the lens really useful for close-ups. An important upgrade comes in the form of image stabilisation—a 4-stop advantage means that you can shoot sharp images at a shutterspeed of 1/30sec even at the telephoto end.

Handling I tried this lens on two different camera bodies—an EOS 30D and the full-frame EOS 5D Mark II. The lens balances well on both bodies. I can easily say that the

also look for • Canon EF 70–200mm f/2.8 L IS USM • Sigma 70–200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM j u ly 2 0 1 0

Imaging: Pradeep Kumar B Nambiar

Fe atu r e


A Simple Guide to Camera First Aid on Rainy Days

Sukruti Staneley lists out the 10 crucial first-aid steps that you need to take to save your camera after it has fallen into water, or gotten wet in the rain.


our camera is a delicate marvel of mechanics and electronics. If it falls into water or gets wet, it could get badly damaged. However, it is possible to prevent damage and rescue your camera. A cardinal rule is to be speedy. If you act quickly, you stand a greater chance of saving it. Be it a compact camera of a DSLR, the methods for preventing damage are almost the same. Ideally, you should show your camera to an authorised service center before you Better Photography

Never give up on your equipment after it gets wet. It can be saved!

begin using it again, even after you have followed the first-aid steps listed here. Following these steps, however, will ensure that there is very little or, possibly, no damage to your camera caused by water.

1. Remove the Batteries Water can damage batteries and the contacts within the battery compartment, if it seeps in. Wipe of any water, open the compartment and remove the batteries. If you have regular pencil batteries, J u ly 2 0 1 0

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6. Then Use a Hairdryer Use a hair dryer set on cool air and mid-low power so that it dries the camera gently and

dispose of them. They may already be damaged by the moisture.

2. Store the Memory Cards Separately Similarly, make sure you remove the memory cards and place them in a safe

does not push the water in deeper. It will help dry out nooks and crevices that are hard to reach with a cloth.

Go Out in the Rain The rain is a great time to shoot people and their expressions, different animals and lush landscapes. Do not let the showers stop you from getting outside and shooting. Make sure you take the prescribed precautions so that you can be out in the rain and photograph the wonders of this season.

7. Remove Moisture Using Silica Gel Sachets Place the sachets in a plastic bag, along with the camera. Seal this bag and allow


place like a card case. This is so that you do not lose any data.

3. Do Not Switch Your Camera On Do not re-insert your battery or memory cards and switch the camera on. Doing so may cause short circuits which may damage your camera badly.

it to absorb any remaining moisture. Keep the camera like this for 24 hours.

8. Or Ensure Full Dryness with a Light Bulb

4. Check for Saltwater Dangers If your camera has fallen into saltwater, be extra careful because salt results in the corrosion of internal parts. Gently rinse the body of the camera with fresh water, but remember to be quick about it.

5. Dry the Outer Body With Cloth Use lint-free cloth to dab away the moisture on the body of the camera. This will stop the water from seeping in further.

If your camera has fallen into salty water, be extra careful because salt can corrode any metallic parts.

If silica sachets are not available, place your camera close to a bare light bulb. Do not place it too close. The heat can damage it.

9. Alternatively, Use Rice Grains Wrap the camera in a muslin cloth. Keep it in a container of rice to absorb the moisture.

10. Finally, Detach and Dry the Lens Detach the lens from the camera, inspect it for seepage. Allow it dry in sunlight. 

5 Precautions To Take While Shooting in the Rains 1. Plastic Bags: Always have a plastic bag with you, so that in case of sudden rains you can wrap the camera in the bag and safely secure it with a rubber band. 2. Rain Cover Bag: Try to place your camera equipment in a rain bag, which will protect your camera form any water that may enter and cause damage. 3. UV Filter: UV filters prevent any water from entering into the lens, so make sure you attach it to your lens.

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4. Lint-free Absorbent Cloth: Always have a paper towel or lint-free absorbent cloth in your camera bag, so that you can dry off any water that may settle on your camera and ruin it. 5. Carry Less Equipment: When you know the condition of the weather, carry less equipment so that you can take appropriate care of the few lenses and the camera you are carrying.

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Sho ot ing T echniq ue



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StillLifeintheMonsoon Explore drenched objects in the rain

Illusions with Water Learn to see the magic of water in the studio

Create A Rainbow in an Instant Photoshop!




Splashes in Your Frame When it pours, there is an exciting and rare theatre waiting to be captured by you. Digantika Mitra shares some easy ways to seize rain effectively. Experiment with Shutterspeed As rain is a moving subject, you have the option of either freezing the raindrops mid-air or capturing them as blurred streaks cutting through the frame. To freeze rain, you need to have a fast shutterspeed of at least 1/250sec. While shooting such images, a wide aperture like f/2.8 will help you constrict the depth in your image effectively. You can choose to focus only the frozen raindrops, so that it appears like a thick translucent curtain over your main background. This can be used effectively to portray a soft-focus feel, especially if the background is vibrant and colourful.


When shooting rain, adding a rain related subject, like an umbrella, in the foreground. It will help break monotony and add a dash of colour. Exposure: 1/4sec at f/5.6 (ISO 400)

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Better Photography

Relaj P


hen it is pouring, you may try to capture a drenched landscape that looks rather refreshing. Alternatively, you may photograph people running frantically for shelter. Or you may gaze towards the horizon and capture the theatrical, looming clouds. But wait a second. Why not shoot the rain itself? Your subject could be as simple as droplets of water hanging from the branch of a tree reflecting the objects around, or the rain enveloping the cityscape. We tell how you can make the best of these photo opportunities.

Sho ot ing T echniq ue


Still Life in the Monsoon W

hat comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘rain’? It could be a paper boat, a few umbrellas or even dripping shrubbery. You associate rain with these objects and each of them acquires a fresh, new identity during the monsoons. You can Better Photography

use your interpretation of rainfall and use the drenched world around you to make stunning pictures. Even the simplest of objects can provide innumerable photographic opportunities on an overcast day. We tell you how you can capture unique aspects of various elements—a gleaming pavement, a wet

Overcast skies and dramatic clouds can be used to frame solitary subjects as they make for an ominous, gloomy background. Exposure: 1/160sec at f/2.6 (ISO 50) J u ly 2 0 1 0

Egidio Bacigalupi

When it rains, everything comes to a halt . Ambarin Afsar shares how you can shoot inanimate objects covered in rain and give them a new identity.

Sho o t ing T echnique

The simplest of objects can provide innumerable photographic opportunities on an overcast day.

Ordinary subjects like a row of trolleys take on another character when they are drenched in rain. Exposure: 1/125sec at f/4.2 (ISO 140)

bicycle or even the parapet of a window covered in droplets—and create stunning still life images.

In Your Sanctuary Observing your own house can give you an entire photo-series on the idea of rain. Start with something as simple as the window. You will find rainwater collected in the grooves of the windowsill, dripping down the wall and creating a unique pattern. Glance outside and you will see little droplets of water clinging to the clothesline. Take a quick look back inside your house and you might see an umbrella left to dry, nicely backlit by the soft light pouring through the window or even a pair of muddy shoes kept askew. Go on an exploring spree within the house and you will find innumerable subjects to keep you engrossed all day.

Just Around the Corner Outside your house, children might have left a vividly coloured ball and a few toys

Egidio Bacigalupi

rolling around the compound. You could even find paper boats sailing in a puddle or a drain. Frame the vividly coloured toy against a muddy background or the solitary paper boat against a rippling puddle and you will be able to make pictures that remind the viewer of the rains. Look out for vibrant clothes fluttering and flying off in the wind for a brilliant capture. Similarly, a pile of scrap papers and plastic bags stirred up by the wind on a stormy day can provide a dramatic image. Interestingly, the surface of pipes, drains or poles covered with wet, peeling posters can lend a graphic feel to the image.

This capture of droplets clinging to the handle of a door effectively communicates how everything is washed anew by the rain. Exposure: N/A


Lars Sundstrom J u ly 2 0 1 0

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Sho ot ing T echniq ue


Seven Secrets to Great Monsoon Landscapes A rain-drenched landscape presents us with the opportunity to create images with dramatic mood and ominous overtones. Digantika Mitra shares seven ways to aesthetically capture monsoon landscapes.

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Choose the Right Location Monsoons breathe new life into natural landscapes as it turns them into fresh, green and vivid landscapes. Make it a point to choose the right place to shoot. You could explore the countryside, national parks, wide fields or similar natural surroundings to make the most of monsoon effect.

Blues and greens look saturated during the monsoons. Capture these colours to add a refreshing touch to your image. Better Photography

Brian Lary


hen most people think about landscapes, they think of calm, serene and passive environments... lush greens, colourful flowers, brown mountains. However, photographing the same landscape during the rainy season is sure to add drama, mood and create a new point of interest in your photographs.

o n a s s i g nm e n t


Illusions with Water Brian Oglesbee experiments with water and reflections to create surreal visual metaphors—directly in the camera without any manipulation..

The optical properties of water allow me to play with reflections to create a surreal effect. Better Photography

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o n a s s i g nm e n t

Legendary flutist Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia has inspired this series greatly—his music inspires my vision, both while shooting and also in the darkroom.


I often use tanks made of glass panels to allow light to pass through.


hotography has two distinct modes. In one, the photographer selects his subject and composes the image by deciding what to exclude—a ‘subtractive’ process. The other is to start with nothing and build an image. This ‘additive’ process represents the true spirit of my water series.

My Perspective Water is essential for the very presence of life. It is a remarkably compelling subject, j u ly 2 0 1 0

My Assignment Description To play with the optical properties of water and create a surreal world of illusions.

Duration The first image in this series was made in 1993. Since then, I have been experimenting with the concept and making my images more elaborate.

Notes Water is actually transparent. The form it takes and the way we see it depends on the manner in which light interacts with it. Better Photography

Prof i l e



The play of light and shadow attracted Rao to this early morning scene. Better Photography

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Manoranjan Ghosh Lost and forgotten

Indranil Das Documenting concrete jungles



Your Pictures

A showcase of your P r o f ile best images!


S Ganapathi Rao

• He is a doting father. For him, photography comes a distant second to his 12-year old daughter. • To educate others about tribals, he conducts workshops in tribal areas, and lectures in schools. • He attributes his success to famed lensmen Hari Mahidar and Jagdish Agarwal, the founder of Dinodia Photo Agency. 97

A Friend of the Tribe His vision to show an undiscovered India and its varied tribes makes S Ganapathi Rao truly different. He speaks on his love for photography in a chat with Neha Mutreja. j u LY 2 0 1 0

Better Photography

Manoranjan Ghosh Ambarin Afsar revives the forgotten story of the life and works of Manoranjan Ghosh, an exemplary man with a scientific bent of mind.


After Ghosh met Subhash Chandra Bose in Puri, Orissa, he went on to shoot him a lot more. Shown here are Netaji and the then Shankaracharya of Puri.

he city of Patna has seen many highly skilled painters and artists rise from strength to strength. However, the name of a great photographer slipped down this list and was gradually forgotten— Manoranjan Ghosh. I first came across Manoranjan’s name, fleetingly, in a tiny newspaper article on his contribution to photography. A quest to learn more led me to his son, Rajat Ghosh, who resurrected his memories of his father.


The trip down memory lane transported me to the days when photography was taking its halting steps in India. I felt the intensity of the Independence movement and got acquainted with the fervour and the single-minded zest, which marked Manoranjan Ghosh’s remarkable life and stayed with him till his last breath.

A Character Develops Manoranjan Ghosh, born in 1909 and schooled in Patna, was one of seven


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103 This self-portrait aptly paints Ghosh as an unconventional man for his times.

children—three boys and four girls. A quiet, pensive person, Ghosh walked with a limp as a heavy block of iron had injured his leg when he was four. But, he refused to use a walking cane or a crutch and staunchly made his way through life. Interestingly enough, he was fond of fragrances and collected them all his life.

An eager learner, Ghosh learnt the basics of photography from his brother-in-law, but experimented on his own extensively. He would shoot in and around Balurghat, making a subject out of everything his eye could see. Later, he would take the help of his brother-in-law to process these photographs with whatever little material

Early Inspirations An involvement with the creative arts began in Ghosh’s childhood—he used to paint and sketch extensively as a child. Teenage years saw him procuring various books which would help him analyse Western painters and their styles. It was perhaps this early understanding of the world of imagery that helped him learn the art of capturing fleeting moments.

An Encounter with Photography

Ghosh would make a subject out of everything his eye could see. j u ly 2 0 1 0

Ghosh’s first encounter with photography can be traced back to his frequent vacation visits to his elder sister’s house in Balurghat, West Bengal. His brother-inlaw, a hobbyist photographer, introduced Ghosh to the world of photography and lent him a Field View camera to tinker around with.

This rare portrait of a young Geeta Dutt (then Roy) was taken when she was visiting her brother-in-law Subodh Roy, in Patna. Better Photography


Innovate to Succeed Out-of-the-box ideas and niche services can do wonders for your business. Ambarin Afsar tells you how to execute these low-cost wonders.

U Niche ideas can help you branch out your business or even create a new trend. Better Photography

sually, photographers specialise in a certain genre such as fashion photography, food photography or travel photography. You can take this specialisation even further and concentrate on shooting only one particular product such as bottles, cans or even glasses. Shooting only pets or providing portraits on a budget are other niche concepts that can become a ticket to making it big. The idea is to master one kind of photography so well that the moment somebody wants to shoot a particular kind of product, yours is the first name that they recall. Niche ideas can help you branch out your business or even create a new trend. However, you need to consider a few factors which will ensure that your unusual idea is well executed and proves to be lucrative in the long run.

Analyse Your Strengths and Weaknesses If you have a studio already, then it will act as a strong point towards formulating any idea

that requires studio lighting such as product shots or even portraiture. The existence of a few commercial clients would help in ideating a small commercial venture. Similarly, for a standalone individual, an interest in a particular genre could act as a plus point. For instance, if you really enjoy fashion photography, you could consider shooting only formal apparel or only kids clothing. If interior design interests you, then concentrating on shooting the dĂŠcor of only restaurants or eateries could work favourably for you. Formulate an idea which will not be compromised by the lack of certain factors.

Calculate Your Resources Make an estimation of current resources at hand and the amount of time you are willing to invest in any sort of venture. Are you prepared to spend money on the travelling involved in shooting pets in different locations? Alternatively, can you deal with the costs involved in the transportation of perishable or j u ly 2 0 1 0

Shiresh R Karrale

M a rk e t Sense

M a rk e t Sense

Promote and market your niche idea well enough to grab attention.

fragile goods like chocolates or glasses? Based upon your willingness to procure resources, develop an idea that will be realistic and executable.

Devise the Actual Idea You could start doing pet portraits in your studio or you could photograph the pets outdoors, in action with the family. You could even start a themed portrait service, where clients can choose from various themes like a rustic village fair, a spooky house or a fairytale land. There is a multitude of such ideas to choose from so, list out possible ideas and scenarios and research them. However, remember that an understanding of the market is necessary, so tailor the idea specifically for your local target audience.

Build a Brand Identity Once you have settled on a service, create a logo and form a brand identity. The brand identity needs to reflect what you wish to communicate to your client. The USP of your service could be an inexpensive, tailor-made shot of a product like a bag or a wallet, which cannot be found on stock photography websites. Ensure that your logo reflects these aspects in the best possible manner.

Design Promotion Strategies No matter how amazing an idea, it needs to be promoted and marketed well enough to grab attention. Create a poster and put

Great Ideas that Have Succeeded Custom Pet Portraiture: Australian photographer Lesley O’Donnell’s We Shoot Pets,offers custom pet portraits. Lesley offers to travel all over Australia to take pet portraits in different locations for a nominal fee. Clients can also customise bags, coffee-table books and other collectibles with photos of their pets.

Niche Product Photography: A Yorkshire, England-based studio called Red Photography has started a successful venture called We Shoot Bottles, with clients like Baileys, Listerine and more. They take photos of all sorts of bottles—from gin bottles to fabric softeners. The service relies on its website to attract clients.

Portfolios on a Budget: Another photographer targeting a specific need is Noah Wolf from Minnesota, USA. He takes well-lit, nicely composed portraits of people at low costs. Clients get a pre-shoot counselling session, where they can choose the concept of the shoot. Later, Wolf helps them choose one great image, which can be used anywhere. j u ly 2 0 1 0

it on prominent display around your area. Put up an attractive signboard or issue pamphlets in the local newspaper. Also, make a free listing with a directory and on Google so that potential clients know that you exist. You could even create a webpage to generate buzz about your service on Facebook or Blogspot for no cost at all. If you are shooting only shoes, take a few dummy photographs of different kinds of shoes and arrange them in a PDF file to show clients what you can do.

Formulate Terms and Conditions of Use Make a contract or a document that explicitly states the terms and conditions of purchase, use and resale. Mention the price you intend to charge for one image or a set of images. State whether your images are royalty-free and can be used again and again without paying royalty for each use. Make sure that the document answers questions like whether the images are meant for a one-time use, whether they can be resold to other clients or whether they can be used for your self-promotion.


Deliver on the Promise If you have promised a certain quality to the client, ensure that you deliver on it. Refrain from haphazard or shabby work. Even if you are charging a minimum price, ensure that your images are the best that money can buy. Stick to your promised delivery date and do not default on any aspect or give the client any reason to complain. You need to consider the fact that niche specialisations like shooting only shoes, wallets or even cellphones may not generate a lot of response initially. Make an estimation of how much time it will take for people to start responding. Do not be disheartened by a small number of clients. If people are trickling in, that means that the idea is working. Reassess your promotional strategies and see how you can improve on attracting more clients. If you have a primary occupation or business, do not neglect it, but do not let go of this niche project either. Remember that consistently good work and persistence can be the key to unlocking a largely untapped market.  Better Photography

Better Photography July 2010 Issue Preview  

A preview of the July 2010 issue of Better Photography magazine