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June - July 2004


The Joy of Photography

by Krishan Gopal Dutt

Of the several creative hobbies I had the privilege and pleasure of taking up in my early school days in India, freehand pencil drawing, watercolor painting, letter-writing with international penfriends. Urdu poetry and photography, my penchant for photography has remained as strong as ever.

When I first held the good old Kodak Brownie Box camera in my hand, and was excitedly poised for my first picture taking adventure in our Mango grove, the effect was electrical, and the heavy "click clack" of the shutter was almost magical. While attending parties in London and during my overseas travels, I'm never without a camera!

Besides using photography as a feature and travel writer, I am very fond of macro (close up) work. t has a fascination of it's own. It's amazing how much beauty can be captured in a camera in one's own backyard and how tiny and mundane objects can appear glamorous in a photograph.


Prime Or Zoom Lens: In macro (close up, larger than life) photography, use a good quality prime lens with built in macro-facility; however whearas a prime lens is the most desirable, the modern zoom lens with its vast improvements has come a long way as a satisfactory lens for this purpose.

Tripod: The other important item is a tripod. In fact the mini tripod is a must for close up work and is useful when using different viewpoints.

Ring Flash: Keep a ring flash close at hand which is excellent as it gives flat, shadowless light and because of it's low power doe snot burn out details in say flowers and leaves.

Lens Hood: A lens hood for outdoor shots keeps out stray light reflections from hitting the lens and leading to possible flair.

Delayed Action Mechanism: To avoid any possible camera shake while exposing at close quarters, either use a long synchro cable or set and click the delayed action mechanism on the camera body to take the picture.

Lighting: When photographing still life like flowers, avoid a windy day and strong sunlight; a hazy day with diffused light is excellent.

Exposure: It is better to choose a small aperture (f/16 instead of (f/5.6) and accordingly use a slow shutter speed. . Here a tripod comes in useful.

Autofocus Camera: Since pinpoint sharpness is vital, an autofocus camera is preferable though not necessary. If one happens to be "Aadha Andha", half blind, (excuse the pun!), the greenlight is the viewfinder coupled with an audible sound will automatically ensure the object is in sharp focus.

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