FRAME - A Photography Magazine by PhotoCommune - issue 2

Page 1

FRAME AUG, 2020 | 02





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Garima Bhandari INTERVIEW

Amit Sharma Hayath Mohammed REVIEW




EDITOR Idris Ahmed

ART DIRECTOR Rajnish Kashyap

CONTRIBUTERS Tanu Aroraa Dimple Choudhary Savi Bhushan

PRODUCTION TEAM Amit Kumar Gangal Yeashu Yuvraj Puneet Jain

Photography- Idris Ahmed Make up- Shreya Madan Hair- Mohd. Aadil Garments- Sugandha Retouching- Amit Kumar Gangal Shot on Olympus EM-1 Mark III

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EDITOR’S NOTE Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. - Khalil Gibran The Covid-19 crisis has unsettled the rhythm of life and things like traveling and meeting new people, which seemed so normal, suddenly seem like a nearly insurmountable challenge. Since this pandemic has infused new dynamics into our lifestyle we must mould ourselves accordingly and learn to move on‌ It is indeed a huge task to keep motivated and not give into anxiety or hopelessness. One way to do so is exploring your creativity. Occupy yourself with new projects (even self-assigned) and explore new mediums to express your thoughts! In this issue of FRAME we have intentionally chosen people who are inspirational in more ways than one. The stories of Garima, Amit and Hayath will motivate you and even the camera we have chosen to review will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and explore new things in photography. We do hope you derive as much pleasure in reading this edition of FRAME as we did while compiling it for you. Happy Reading!

Idris Ahmed



Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight Featuring GARIMA BHANDARI

At 37, Garima is a single parent to two beautiful kids, a certified image consultant, a National Yoga Evangelist on television, a lifestyle influencer and a beauty blogger. In short, a powerful package!


Her power comes from the strength that she

Her struggles in life did break her many

draws from her children. Her power combined

times but quitting was never an option. She

with sheer dedication towards her family and

remembers that how during those difficult

work will leave you awestruck.

times, she struggled to not let her mind dwell onto any resentful thoughts and stay

She says that securing a sound financial

focused to find peace and motivation to keep

position for herself and her kids has been

moving forward. She says yoga helped her in

her topmost priority. According to her, being

annihilating her fears and becoming a more

physically and mentally fit is important to

thoughtful person.

achieve this security in life. She adds, “Keeping financial security in mind, I started with an

Garima says that her strong mental state

unstoppable wellness journey. Today, people

was something that she knew she had from

see me as an independent woman known for

a very young age. Giving account of one of

her professional accomplishments.” She has

her experiences, she shares “I often ate lunch

won a number of awards including young

alone at school but I did not pretend to just

entrepreneur award.

fit with people who lacked appreciation and constantly bullied others. I have always stayed

When asked about her mantra for success,

true to what I am. People who criticized me

she says “There is no magical pill and success

then, can’t seem to see me in the eyes now”.

didn’t happen overnight. I had to work really hard and navigate through a lot of challenges

Today, she is thankful to the great Almighty

to be where I am today.”

who blessed her with beauty and brain, both


Images by Idris Ahmed

in equal proportions. However, she feels that

her esteem or her will. She is a self-believer

people around her made her feel guilty of

who knows how to beat the odds in life. She

her existence. They constantly showed their

says, “Life is too short for self-doubt. Everyone

disapproval of her. Her beauty also created

deserves to bloom. Don’t be scared, if the

hindrance for her as she fell prey to people,

surroundings are not conducive for you to grow.

she thought, loved her. She says, “I was too

Be the change you want to see and move on!”

naive to believe in people and could not see their real intentions”.

This larger than life, motivator left us mesmerized by her zeal. Her journey has been

Her life has been nothing less than a

inspirational and so are the lessons she learnt.

rollercoaster ride. While, she enjoyed the ups

She says, “Try to see the good in every new

in her life, she did not let the downs lower

person you meet and avoid seeking validation for things and thoughts you believe in. Try to love yourself and the ones around you. Start with small acts of love at home. Never forget what goes around, comes around.”

Photography- Idris Ahmed Make up- Shreya Madan Hair- Mohd. Aadil Garments- Sugandha Retouching- Amit Kumar Gangal Shot on Olympus EM-1 Mark III


In Conversation with Photographer Amit Sharma

“An image is a perspective bound by light and the lack of it. To fully experience the image, is to see it and contemplate the idea that the artist had thrust or restrained, when a few leaves of metal turn audacious enough to bite a slice out of eternity.� Amit Sharma is a Delhi and Bangalore based

Amit’s images hint at different facets of

photographer, working mainly in the field of

his human experience, his ease of artistic

lifestyle, advertising and travel photography.

collaboration and the vehement iconoclastic

HIs clients include all major publications

urges throbbing beneath the polished veneer

in the country and many national and

of a practical socalised existence

international brands. Also, shooting street life


and portraits has been his passion for over two decades.


You were always fascinated towards music

innermost thoughts and feelings and that

then how did photography happen to you?

started showing in my work. Before I knew, I graduated from simply taking good looking

Amit - Well! They say life happens when

photographs to creating thought-provoking

you are busy making other plans. Music was

images and even today, that remains at the

exposing me to a whole new world of diverse

heart of what I do.

cultures and since there was no internet and limited access to books, I found magic in the CD liner notes and photography, which turned

Being a self-taught photographer what has

out to be the beginning of my unforgettable

been most valuable to you in your learning?

journey into the visually dynamic world. Amit - (laughs) What is your background in photography?

Firstly, I think ‘self-taught’ is an oxymoron. We

Did you ever go to photography school to

all learn from something or the other…. In my


case it was the music imagery and some great books. But I can proudly say that figuring

Amit- I was always curious and enjoyed

out the practical stuff on my own helped me

looking at images with a desire to create

decode a lot of everyday issues and trust me

something of my own. In fact, I stopped

this problem-solving approach in professional

shooting landscapes, sunsets or anything

photography can take you a long way.

that remotely resembled the monotony of a postcard. And since I had no access to a school or formal education in visual arts or

What is the basic difference between

photography, I made friends with self-learning

lifestyle & Fashion photography?

and adopted the hit and trial approach. Amit - Lifestyle is a much broader term and Through the journey, I became more intuitive

fashion is a small facet of that genre. People

and started paying more attention to my

often address me as a fashion photographer,

but in the pure sense of the term, I am not. A

subject, what mood or emotion you try and

person wearing fashion when photographed in

capture or even create through interaction, all

a setting is essentially a lifestyle image. Though

of these go into making an interesting picture.

they both go hand in hand in many ways.

It’s much more than just learning three ways to light up and use of a portrait lens.

What are your favorite things to photograph and why?

Do you think social media platforms are corrupting photography?

Amit - My first love has always been portraiture. The interaction and the tension with the

Amit - I am not sure if corruption is the right

subject can make it challenging. And I firmly

word for it, but certainly, with millions of

believe that a portrait is as much about the

images being put on social media, a fatigue

photographer as it is about the subject. The

has set in . Nothing excites anybody anymore.

photographer indeed is very much a visual part

And most people shoot images for validation,

of the portrait that he creates.

which I personally think, is a corrupting

How you light up, how you engage with the



You are always guided by what people will

As a photographer what is more satisfying

“like� vs what you want to express. It is like in

for you; a random filched moment on a street

a gathering, everyone is given a microphone

or a well-crafted image created in a studio?

and everybody starts shouting. Nothing is heard or spoken. What comes out is pure

Amit - That is a rather interesting one Idris.

NOISE. We must stop using social media to impress people but to impact people.

I think it depends purely on the photographer’s nature and instinct. A controlling photographer will try to command

Commercial, lifestyle photography is

the elements on the street and a spontaneous

demanding & frustrating at the same time, so

photographer will try to create accidental

where does the drive/inspiration come from?

images in the studio. Personally, I am governed by neither. I feel the image, or the

Amit - Oh, inspiration comes from within

subject is supreme.

and everything beyond that. The fact that it brings food on the table and pays the bills is good enough a motive. The bonus is that you

Since the photography techniques and

feel relevant in the society and the fact that

equipment change quickly, it is important to

people enjoy working and interacting with

stay up-to-date. What do you do to always

you, you get to travel, explore and that brings

keep up with the times?

a lot of great stuff on the table. The most challenging part, in fact, is the

Amit - I think once you figure out your basic

business side of things. Everything before

genre, it also guides you as to what you need.

and after is where we need to bring out the

Once the basic setup is complete, I do not

manager in us (if only it exists). (laughs)

bother much about the latest updates.


In this day & age where millions of

What advice do you have for young

photographs are created every day where

photographers trying to make their way into

does the professional photographer fit in?

professional photography?

Amit - This is the biggest challenge in today’s

Amit -Let me put on my thinking hat (smiles)

time and age. In fact, all the artists whether

I would say get an MBA or a degree in

musicians, designers or even new age

business, management, or marketing.

bloggers are facing this pressing issue. On

Photography is the easy part. Remember

one hand the internet and technology have

before and after would require the manager

lowered the entry barriers but on the other

in you, so prepare yourself. Also, work, work

it has reduced the shelf life of any artist and

and work on basic skills.

even the art. Self-belief and originality are the keys to Unless you are original and consistent, it is tough sticking around,

success and survival.


In Conversation with Photographer Hayath Mohammad

Mohammed is an IT professional who takes to nature to keep the sanity levels in check. Born and raised in Bangalore, finding open areas during the development of the city fuelled his interest towards insects and butterflies. He now uses macro photography as a means of exploration and as a mode of showcasing the many wonders of the arthropod world to the human How did you start with photography

access to a lot of open areas - and that

and what fascinated you to do Macro

allowed me to observe the many life forms


that thrive just out of sight.

Hayath- Nature and it’s beauty has always

It was not until I was gifted a Sony point and

fascinated me. Growing up in Bangalore

shoot that I could present my fascination of

when it was still “developing” meant I had

the natural world to friends and family. The


reactions I would receive would often border

choose flight over fight, this can be overcome

on amazement, and that’s when I realized not

with studying and understanding subject/

everyone pays attention to the hidden world.


I noticed a dearth of fish images from our

Lack of light in the undergrowth presents it’s

country, I moved to a DSLR to help with that.

own set of challenges - safety from venomous

A lot of images have made it to publications

critters should be given enough attention,

and papers. Adding a dedicated macro lens

their bites can vary from mild allergies to

to the kit allowed me to get close and observe

deadly consequences. Forming small groups

at never before detail. The fascinating and

to shoot together helps!

amazing interactions within the arthropod kingdom coupled with the intricate beauty in

As much as the tropical climate blesses us with

their build continues to inspire.

diversity, there are also enough blood-sucking mosquitoes and horseflies to truly make this

And now, with the reach of social media, I

“blood, sweat and tears” experience. You might

realize I’m not that “odd”. I truly enjoy sharing

be wondering why the “sweat and tears”, well,

my work :)

try getting to the eye level of a spider on the leaf litter, only for it to then scurry under a log ;)

What are the common challenges a macro photographer would face?

In macro photography, it is quite difficult to get your subject completely in focus. Is there

Hayath- As with any genre, there are several

a specific procedure that you follow?

challenges ranging from environmental to gear-related. Insects and invertebrates, by

Hayath- It pays to understand the concept

design are built to avoid predators. Often they

of what is referred to as “focus slab”.


Experimenting with still objects with varying

kick in making it a counterproductive

apertures, working distance, etc. does help.

measure, and the resulting image becomes

It is critical to get as perpendicular to the

soft. As stated earlier, it’s a fine balance.

subject/area to make use of the often razor

Vast majority of my macro images are single

thin focus slab.

shots, with a co-operative subject and right

The inverse square law applies to the focus

conditions, I try to stabilize myself and take

slab as well, choosing an appropriately narrow

several images with slivers of focus which I

aperture while working against diffraction

stack using Photoshop/GIMP layers.

is an art by itself and like any art form needs applied practice to perfect. Experimenting with your gear will help you understand the

Do people require any special tools or

“sweet spot” of the lens.

software to focus stack? If yes, what program would you recommend for beginners?

Depth of field is critical for macro subjects. Do you stop down or use special software

Hayath- With the razon thin focus

to ensure good depth of field in your

slab / Depth of field, working at higher


magnifications focus stacking is the only practical solution to show maximum detail.

Hayath- To show enough detail, this is the

There are several software ranging from open

single-most factor. Aperture needs to be

source to licensed. The focus stacking options

chosen based on magnification, narrow

in Photoshop/GIMP work well provided there’s

as we reach close(r) to 1:1 and wider as the

enough overlap/alignment between images.

magnification decreases. One could argue

CombineZP is free and easy to use, other

that shooting at f22 should give us enough

stand-alone programs like ImageJ, Zerene,

detail, however, the optical laws of diffraction

Helicon focus are used widely too.


Do you have any special season or time of

added magnification (2x compared to a Full

the year for shooting macro subjects?

frame sensor) and the increase in apparent Depth of field

Hayath- Contrary to belief, there is no particular season for macro. The diversity in our tropical part of the world ensures there’s

What is one piece of advice do you have for

enough all round the year. Barring this

young photographers!

lockdown period, I’ve shot macro for 3+ years straight - all around the year. Each season

Hayath- Learn to observe and makes notes

bring it’s own unique set of conditions and

(mental or otherwise), it helps in making

subjects that make use of it - has helped

engaging photographs consistently.

me understand and fall in love with this

It was supposed to be one piece of advice, but

fascinating world

it’s free, so here go a few more a) Practice ethical photography - there is no joy in making a stunning image of the subject

What is the current set of equipment you are

that was made by inadvertently destroying it’s


habitat/progeny. Vantage points for hunting or nesting are

Hayath- Olympus OMD EM10 M2, 60mm

selected on a lot of factors, altering those to

macro (with the addition of extension

make an image just isn’t worth it!

tubes and/or Raynox DCR 250, based on

b) Try documenting and reporting

magnification). The Godox TT350O speedlight

observations. Social media and technology

and the DIY flash diffuser is important for me,

have made citizen science a reality, and that’s

allows me to work with narrow apertures.I

brought a lot of new species / fascinating

chose the Olympus system specifically for the

behaviors to light.



It’s Portable, Robust and Swift! Review by IDRIS AHMED


Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III has something for everyone. Suitable for Travel or Studio or be it Wildlife

been weighed down by how heavy it is,

or Vlogging- this camera addresses diverse

especially on my travel shoots. E-M1 Mark

needs for various genres of photography.

III comes as a much needed, lighter, yet

With 20MP sensor powered by all new

powerful alternative while travelling.

TruePic IX processor and distinctive features

I was pleasantly surprised by its performance

like ‘Live ND’, 7EV Image stabilization, Starry

in the studio and chose this over any

Sky AF, Handheld Hi-Resolution mode,

other options available for my latest studio

Improved Dynamic Range, Face selection

shoot. Hence this review – an impartial &

feature, Live composite and many more,

independent review, so you may not find

E-M1 Mark III is certainly a fantastic piece of

detailed comparisons with various camera

equipment and a photographers’ delight!

bodies from Olympus and other brands.

For someone like me, who swears by Nikon

The first thing which impressed me in

for the last two decades, I have frequently

E-M1 Mark III was its grip and the optimum


weight. Ergonomically well designed, it

knob for swift adjustments. Some of the

holds well (even into bigger hands) and

features on this body are matchless, making

despite hours of handling and shooting,

this camera a very special one, especially

doesn’t make your hands tired. As

if you are an outdoor photographer, who

mentioned earlier, I have been using Nikon

travels light and loves shooting at night!

D-850 (weighing around 1000 grams) which after a point of time, becomes tough to

The E-M1 Mark III uses 121-point all-cross-

carry, in comparison to the E-M1 Mark III

type on-chip phase detection AF system

(around 580 grams-literally half the weight!)

and offers excellent AF point across the

which is a relief while trekking, travel

frame. With an AF area that covers 75%

shoots & for wildlife. Also, what is incredible

vertically and 80% horizontally, even moving

about Olympus cameras is their ‘weather

subjects can be tracked across a wide range,

sealing’ and E-M1 Mark III, has only raised


the bar. I have tested E-M1 Mark II & E-M1x in extremely challenging situations, while

While handling, EM1 Mark III is designed

shooting Holi festival this year and it came

to be used in extreme conditions and

out as a winner!

is perfect for wildlife, sports, astrolandscape photography, portraits, studio product photography and experimental



EM1 MARK III is easy to handle and its ‘super

In this review I will highlight some of these

control’ panel comes really handy, with

distinctive features and share images shot

almost all major controls on the display

on this camera.

screen. It has a joystick, which makes maneuvering smooth, and a dedicated ISO


High Resolution mode

system built into the camera body, providing

EM1 Mark III offers two ‘High-Res’ modes,

stunningly stable images no matter what

a tripod version that can produce up to

lens is used.

80MP images and a handheld version that produces 50MP images. It was interesting to

I shot and tested Olympus’s claim that 4

see how, by pressing shutter release control

second handheld shots are possible and was

‘High Res’ mode, it takes 16 images and

surprised by the sharpness & stability

blends them together. So basically you have 16 images (20MPx16) reduced back to 50MP

Pro tip: Stabilisation works even better when

or 80MP and as a result you get the reduced

combined with some dedicated M.Zuiko lens

noise and a 2EV tone quality boost. Both


the ‘Hi-Res’ modes work well with static subjects. However, it doesn’t capture moving objects as well and the processing time can

Advanced Face Priority & Eye Priority AF

bother you if you want to shoot fast.

On E-M1 Mark III the ‘face detect AF and tracking’ works amazingly well. You have

Pro tip: Use this mode for architectural

a choice between various modes like ‘face

details and ‘flat lay’ set up for product

priority’, ‘face & eye priority’ and dedicated


modes for a situation where your subject might turn to a side!

7EV image stabilization

In case there is more than one face in your

Interestingly Olympus’s interchangeable lens

frame- you can either use touchscreen to

camera system has its image stabilisation (IS)

tap on the face you would prefer to focus


otherwise you can set a button to ‘Face

Live ND

Selection’ and hold it down and use the

Neutral Density (ND) is used for exposure

camera’s dial to shift between the faces.

reduction when you want to open the aperture in bright light or step down shutter speed.

Pro Tip: Must use while shooting portraits.

While open Aperture assists in reducing Depth of Field, slow shutter speed helps you achieve motion blur even in bright daylight.

Starry Sky AF The E-M1 Mark III has new exciting

EM1 Mark III allows you to achieve the

AF mode designed particularly for

same effect without using physical filter

astrophotography. Shooting starry sky

at 5 different ND steps, from ND2 to ND32.

means one has to deal with low light,

During the process, several images are

which further results in ample image

composited to virtually extend the exposure

noise. This is a problem for a camera

time and best thing is, that you can watch

sensor as sometimes, it gets confused

the simulated result on your screen!

between noise dots and stars. That is the

However, this wonderful feature can be used

reason why astro-photographers have

only for still images and not for videography.

been relying on manual focus. With ‘Starry Sky AF’ photographers can relax and trust

Pro Tip: Include moving objects to create

the ultra-high-precision autofocusing.

interesting effect.

There are two modes in with ‘Starry Sky AF’ –Speed priority & Accuracy priority.

Live Composite

Accuracy priority uses a fine tuned focus

It is one of my favorite features in Olympus

and is effective for shooting specific stars

cameras. Basically in ‘live composite’ mode

with telephoto lenses. On the other hand,

the camera shoots a series of images

speed priority relies on the camera’s

continuously with the same exposure time,

powerful image stabilization, to ensure it is

it then combines all the images together

still assessing the same part of the sky.

into a single image which also results in

Comparison of jpeg files shot on Handheld Hi-Res mode

Normal jpeg (20MP)

Handheld Hi-res jpeg (50MP)

Image at 100%

Normal jpeg (20MP)

Handheld Hi-res jpeg (50MP)


Macro Images by Lucky Jaiswal

noise reduction. While doing this, it records


only the first image for ambient exposure of the scene and after that only the brighter

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a

pixels are recorded.

versatile professional camera and indeed a great value addition to OM-D series!

This means that while the illuminated subject won’t change (for example in this

One might complain about not having dual

shot I had exposed for signature bridge

UHS-II card slots but frankly this shouldn’t

and then added bright LED lights for each

impact your performance much and having

letter and a finally it resulted in a composite

one slower UHS-I slot won’t hurt you at all.

image where bridge was rightly exposed! I like the convenient USB charging which Pro Tip: Try light painting with different

comes very handy when you are on the

types of light and watch it live as it builds up

move! Pro capture and live compositing

into a final image.

along with 50MP & 80MP High resolution shooting are my favorites too!

Studio Performance

With 7.5 stops of IBIS this is a fantastic

I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with EM1

choice for wildlife & sports and with excellent

Mark III in my studio, as I could shoot while

features like starry sky AF it is certainly

my model was moving around without

the best option for astro photographers.

worrying about missing the focus which I

I recommend this for studio & macro

had set the camera on face & eye priority!

photographers who heavily rely on fast focusing and on stacking in post processing-

Another great feature for studio

with the inbuilt image stacking, E-M1 Mark

photographers is faster wireless

III saves incredible amount of time.

communication. E-M1 Mark III uses higherbandwidth 5GHz Wi-Fi 5, which allows for

With the OM-D E-M1 Mark III, Olympus have

faster wireless tethering and image transfer.

truly pulled a rabbit out of a hat!


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