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PHOTO March 2014

Issue 02

A Joint Initiative of Kunzum and ZEISS

THE COLOUR ISSUE

CELEBRATING SUGI IN KARNATAKA

THE COLOURFUL WALLS AND WINDOWS OF SHEKHAWATI, RAJASTHAN

COLOUR AND STICK-BEATING IN BRAJBHOOMI'S HOLI

APPS FOR PHONE CAMERAS


INDIA, THE LAND OF COLOUR We are feeling good. At the response we got to the inaugural issue of PhotoTalkies - the digital magazine designed to celebrate photography. Brought to you in a unique partnership between ZEISS and Kunzum. And this has enthused us to do more, and better. The March issue has aptly been designed as the colour issue. It is the month when India celebrates Holi, the festival of colours and water marking the onset of spring. Winters, often uncomfortable especially in North India, gives way to the season of flowers. The weather is just perfect in much of the country at this time - mild temperatures, occasional light showers, plenty of sunshine and clear starry skies. It is the time to feel happy. Holi is a legendary Hindu festival going back centuries, with different regions having their own flavours; it is usually celebrated by people from all communities. You have Sugi down south in Karnataka where masked dancers visit homes, getting gifts and money for their performances. Holi is all about playful banter between young men and women in Brajbhoomi near New Delhi. And of course, you have the no-holds barred Holi where you spare no friends or strangers in much of the country - mostly all in good spirit. Adding a slightly different touch of colour in this issue are the painted Havelis (traditional bungalows) in Shekhawati in Rajasthan - known for their frescos, and richly painted doors and windows. It is like a walk through an open air museum. It is for nothing that they call India a l and of colours It’s time we added more colour to our lives.

AJAY JAIN ajay@ajayjain.com


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PHOTO A Joint Initiative of Kunzum and ZEISS

PHOTOTALKIES IS A MONTHLY DIGITAL MAGAZINE. AND IT’S FREE!! DOWNLOAD AND READ ON YOUR IPAD, IPHONE OR ANY OTHER TABLET, COMPUTER AND SMARTPHONE.

CONTENTS

Holi with a Difference in Gokarna, Karnataka

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The Lathmaar Holi of Brajbhoomi

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Shekhawati, Rajasthan

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Postcards

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Super Snapper for Windows Phone 8

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Nokia Camera: One App to Rule all Lumia Camera

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Want to contribute to PhotoTalkies? Ping us at mail@kunzum.com


CONTRIBUTORS Ajay Sood

Ajay Sood (Travelure) is a travel photographer, travel writer, photo-educator, photo contest jurist and a photo-tour director who regularly does assignments with National Geographic Traveller, Travel Plus, JetWings, Smart Photography, among others. Someof his work may be seen at http://www.pixoto.com/travelure or at https://www.facebook.com/Travelure. Contact: ajay.travelure@gmail.com.

Nimish Dubey

Nimish has been writing on technology, music, sport and books for more than a decade now. He has been published in a number of leading magazines and newspapers, and has also written two books for young adults.

Ramit Mitra

Ramit loves to explore, and makes for a fine trip leader. Join him on any of his Delhi or outstation trips at www.delhibyfoot.in. Contact: delhibyfoot@gmail.com.

Gaurav Lovey Arora

Photography is Gaurav’s passion - he is a travel and fashion photographer who loves portraiture. He also administers DPEG (Delhi Photo Enthusiasts Guild), a highly active group for photography lovers. Contact: gauravarorag@yahoo.co.in www.facebook.com/gauravaroraji

Swati Malhotra Gehani

Swati is a photography enthusiast who just clicks anywhere - pun intended.

Meet madpaule, Our Art Director

Madpaule describes himself as a photographer, illustrator and manipulator. And he makes for an ideal choice as the creative force behind Kunzum. Madpaule has worked as an Art Director in leading South East Asian Ad agencies and exhibited his Art works in many galleries and festivals in India and Overseas including Arles Photography festival in France.

Disclaimer: All articles and photographs in this magazine are the opinions of the respective contributors. It is understood that they own the copyright to the same, or have the rights to offer the same under their bylines. ZEISS is not responsible for the authenticity of any of the articles and photographs, nor will be held liable for any disputes, claims and liabilities arising out of ownership or copyright issues of the content in the magazine.


Holi with a Difference in Gokarna, Karnataka Holi, the festival of colours, is a big event in north India, and in many other parts of the country. But it is not so prevalent in the south. In many parts of the southern state of Karnataka though, it is celebrated with a difference - and it is known as Sugi there. It is usually celebrated in March every year; the dates keep changing though. I happened to witness the same around Gokarna and saw something unique: groups of men and women wore costumes and masks, and did themselves up in bright colours – and were seen visiting houses where they would dance. And expect the owners to give some money - no fixed amounts, whatever the families wished to. These groups can be as small as three – or going up to a score or more. I noticed at least five such groups just in the villages around Gokarna. They made for an interesting and fun sight. Enjoy the imagery. Happy Holi / Sugi!!

AJAY JAIN 06

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Catch a glimpe of Sugi / Holi in Gokarna on YouTube. Click here to start playing. (You will need to be connected to the Internet. A separate window might open.)

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The Lathmaar Holi of Brajbhoomi

Photo credit: GAURAV LOVEY ARORA

TEXT BY RAMIT MITRA; PHOTOS AS CREDITED

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Holi is the festival of colours, and celebrated with a lot of energy and fun in India in March. Each region has its own unique way of celebrating the same - but none come close to the colour and gaiety of Brajbhoomi, the areas around Vrindavan, Mathura near New Delhi and the mythical home of Hindu Lord Krishna. If you must witness and participate in this festival, join the men and women in the twin villages of Barsana and Nandagaon, situated near Vrindavan; both villages lie on top of small hillocks at a distance of about 10 kms (6 miles) from each other.

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Happy Holi!!!

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Photo credit: GAURAV LOVEY ARORA

T

he Holi festival there is known as Lathmaar Holi. Mythology tells us that Lord Krishna, jealous of the fair complexion of his beloved Radha, was advised by his mother Yashoda to use the occasion of Holi to smear dark colors on the face of Radha and for one day in a year be happy that even Radha is as dark as he is! Legend has it that Krishna heeds his mother’s advice and goes to Barsana, Radha’s village, along with his friends to smear gulaal (coloured powder) on Radha and her friends (Gopis). The ladies obviously take offence to this and drive away the men by beating them with wooden sticks or Lathis! Since then this tradition of Holi is known as ‘Lathmaar Holi’ (Stick-beating Holi). The next day the men of Barsana went to Nandagaon (Krishna’s village) in search of the village belles and Lord Krishna himself seeking ‘revenge’, but were met with stiff resistance by the women of Nandagaon; they got a dose of their own medicine with a lot of ‘Lathmaar’ or stick beating. Thus, this is another of Krishna’s ‘Raas Leelas’ or the balance of playful banter between Krishna (men) and Radha (women) that has endured over time!

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Photo credit: GAURAV LOVEY ARORA 30

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Photo credit: SWATI MALHOTRA GEHANI


Fast-paced throwing of gulaal powder and drenching the people on ground with colored water from the terrace takes the festivities to fever pitch! Photo by RAMIT MITRA.

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Mounds and mounds of ‘Gulaal’ powder thrown in the air complete the flood of sensory inputs...putting you in a trance that is indescribable! Photo by RAMIT MITRA.


Two parties of the opposing villages of Barsana and Nandagaon face-off during a symbolic ‘Sangeet Sabha’ as the day nears an end. Songs are sung by one village party and they are countered by the other side with their songs. This game of matching wits via music with liberal doses of abuse and innuendo continues for hours, just like the centuries old playful banter of Krishna and his beloved Radha. Photo by RAMIT MITRA.

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The women rain their blows thick and fast, as the men from Nandagaon take turns to hold the shields over their heads! All in good jest! Photo by RAMIT MITRA.


AJAY SOOD

Bhangra (Kila Raipur)

Bhangra is an energetic dance form from Punjab. This colourful image has been captured during the annual Kila Raipur Rural ‘Olympics’. These dancers perform as filler entertainment during the otherwise popular rural games that include bullock cart races, tug-of-war, etc. Since this dance involves dancers jumping above the ground, the best way to capture it is by keeping the camera almost at the ground level, pressing the trigger at the right moment (preferably in a burst mode) and using a wide lens at an around f/8.0 to ensure the background also coming through reasonably sharp.


AJAY SOOD

Pulikali (Tiger Play) during Onam Image

Pulikali, or Tiger Play, is an integral part of Onam celebrations in Kerala, India. The makeup takes up to three days per performer. Here’s a glimpse of the culminating procession (final contest) amongst tigers from different localities. The contest is judged by judges as well as the public through uproarious applause with which they greet the different teams. Key to capturing large gatherings is finding a vantage, at least 8 feet above the ground.


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Super Snapper for Windows Phone 8 NIMISH DUBEY

One of the most talked about devices of the past few weeks has been the Nokia Lumia 1020, the phone with the 41.0-megapixel camera. While that device has yet to land on Indian shores (it is expected any day now), you can now use the app that Nokia has designed for using its camera on other phones, or to be exact, the Lumia 920 and Lumia 925. There will, of course, be those who will say that such an app is unnecessary and they are quite happy with what their Lumia phones offer right now. Well, good luck to them, but for us the very fact we can now touch to focus - without taking a picture every time we touch the screen in viewfinder mode - using the Nokia Pro Cam app is a huge bonus. We also love the camera interface, which not only lets you tweak shutter speed, white balance, ISO and focus modes (yes, you can get into manual mode if you wish), by simply sliding your fingers up and down an icon, instead of fiddling your way through menus. What’s more, you can also actually see the effect your changes will have on the picture even before you take it. Round that off with a handy feature like slide upwards to zoom in and downwards to zoom out (much more convenient than the pinch-to-zoom option), and we think that this is an app that every Lumia 920 or 925 owner should make their default camera app - yes, you can do that through the camera settings. No, it is not perfect. It does not let you access all your pictures in the gallery from the app itself and seems to have some orientation problems, but it performed very smoothly for the most part on our test Lumia 920 device running the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor.

App: Nokia Pro Cam

Works with: Nokia Lumia 920 and 925 (after the Amber Update) Available from: Windows Store (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-in/ store/app/nokia-pro-cam/bfd2d954-12da-415c-ad99-69a20f101e04) Price: Free

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BNHS Flamingo Bird Festival, Mumbai

March 29, 2014; 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Meet ZEISS Sports Optics Team with Binoculars and DiaScope Contact: Mr. Hari / +91.99301 55660 / haririaenterprises@gmail.com Mr. Amit / +91 998190 46742 / amit@tinnuinternational.in Mr. Umender / +91.98118 26751 / umender.shah@zeiss.com

Exhibition : Photo Today, Codissa Trade - Coimbatore

Visit ZEISS at Stall No. P57 Contact: Mr. Panneer Selvam / +91.9790825687 / panneer.selvam@hansagroup.in Mr. Anil / +91.94440 85508 / anil@hansagroup.in Mr. Sujith KR / +91 98805 26331 / sujith@zeiss.com

ZEISS Camera Lens Tour, Annapurna Studio - Hyderabad

ZEISS EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS

JOIN US

Workshop: ZEISS Camera Lenses - Bangalore

March 22, 2014; 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Conducted by Ms. Kirti Lokhande, ZEISS Camera Lens Ambassador Contact : Mr. Sujith KR / +91 98805 26331 / sujith@zeiss.com

Workshop: SONY ALPHA Wedding Photographers Workshop - Bangalore

March 25, 2014; 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Conducted by Mr. Sundeep Bali, Lens-based Artist, ZEISS Camera Lens Ambassador Contact : Mr. Sujith KR / +91 98805 26331 / sujith@zeiss.com

Exhibition: Photo Expo 2014 - Hyderabad

March 28 - 30, 2014 Contact: Mr. Rajkumar / +91.93999 739350 / rajkumar@srishtidigilife.co.in Mr. Sujith KR / +91 98805 26331 / sujith@zeiss.com

Role of Optics in Photography, Cinematography and ZEISS Camera Lens April 11, 2014 Conducted by Mr. Sundeep Bali, Lens-based Artist, ZEISS Camera Lens Ambassador Contact: Mr. Rajkumar / +91.93999 739350 / rajkumar@srishtidigilife.co.in Mr. Sujith KR / +91 98805 26331 / sujith@zeiss.com Mr. Umender / +91.98118 26751 / umender.shah@zeiss.com

Workshop: ZEISS Camera Lenses & Application in Weddings - Hyderabad

Park Hotel, April 12, 2014 Conducted by Mr. Sundeep Bali, Lens-based Artist, ZEISS Camera Lens Ambassador Contact: Mr. Rajkumar / +91.93999 739350 / rajkumar@srishtidigilife.co.in Mr. Sujith KR / +91 98805 26331 / sujith@zeiss.com Mr. Umender / +91.98118 26751 / umender.shah@zeiss.com

Workshop: ZEISS Cine Lenses - Hyderabad

Andhra Pradesh Film Chambers Association, July 13, 2014 Contact: Mr. Rajkumar / +91.93999 739350 / rajkumar@srishtidigilife.co.in Mr. Sujith KR / +91 98805 26331 / sujith@zeiss.com Mr. Umender / +91.98118 26751 / umender.shah@zeiss.com


Nokia Camera One App to Rule all Lumia Cameras NIMISH DUBEY

Nokia has been busy tweaking its camera apps of late. When it unveiled the Lumia 1020 a few months ago, it also showed the world a new camera app – the Nokia Pro Cam, which came with a number of neat features that the default Windows Phone camera app lacked, such as touch to focus, and the ability to adjust settings like White Balance and ISO right from the viewfinder itself and even seeing the impact these changes would have on the image BEFORE you took a shot. Then there was Nokia Smart Cam which took a quick series of shots and combined the best features in them to give you one super shot (you had the option to tweak it if you wish). Pretty cool, eh? Now imagine Nokia Camera: One App to rule all Lumia cameras. BOTH those apps being blended into one, saving you hassle of switching between them. Well, that is the new Nokia Camera app, which is available for the Lumia 1020 and 925 handsets at the moment and is expected to arrive on other Lumia devices in the coming days. The app is a 12 MB download and once installed (we tested it out on our Lumia 1020), it replaces Nokia Pro Cam (Smart Cam remains available). Launching the app, however, shows that things have changed. For one, there are now three instead of two shooting options on the right side of the display – still, video and (the newbie) smart. For another, the icons on the top of the screen seem a bit smaller, and what’s more, can be compressed to be made even more so. The most important thing, of course, is that you now have two of the most powerful Nokia camera apps in one compact package – you can also access other apps from within it using the lenses option, if you so wish. Pretty much all the regular suspects are there, from tweaking focus from auto to manual, to choosing the best of many facial expressions, to sharing the results over mail and social networks. It is cleaner, and more convenient than before. And of course, on the Lumia 925 and 1020, is infinitely more versatile than the default Windows Phone 8 camera app. If you have one of those two devices, this is a must-download. If you do not, we would suggest praying that it arrives quickly to your Lumia. Because this is simply the best Lumia camera app of them all. Download from: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/ nokia-camera/bfd2d954-12da-415c-ad99-69a20f101e04 Price: Free

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About Ajay Jain

Ajay Jain is a full time writer and photographer, and has authored eight paperback books and over 30 e-books. He promotes his photography as collectible art, runs the popular Kunzum Travel Cafe in New Delhi and publishes e-magazines on travel and photography. He is also a regular speaker on Mindful Travel, Personal Branding, Photography and Business Networking. All his creative ideas came to the fore only after he started travelling - mindfully. He has pursued careers in Information Technology and Sports Management before he took up journalism and writing. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Business Management and Journalism.

More on Ajay Jain at http://ajayj ain.com. Connect with him at ajay@ajayja in.com +91.9910044476. Or call his offic e at +91.9650702777.


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PhotoTalkies Magazine - March 2014  

PhotoTalkies a monthly e-magazine and is all about celebrating photography, and telling stories through images. In a joint venture between Z...

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