Archive for November, 2008

I had amazing fun on this project. I never looked through the viewfinder.

Shoot from the hips: Photoshoot - 1

Shoot from the hips: Photoshoot 1


Read Full Post »

Street photography

Street Photography

The streets of Pilani are one of the most interesting I have walked on. It’s full of life; the morning tea, the evening hukka or the dusk time ritual of pooja. It’s been a long time now since I last stepped on to those familiar roads, but somehow going thourgh my backup made me want to share some tips and experiences on street photographny.

  • Get down and dirty.
    The most important thing; this is about the street and not the sidewalk. Don’t be afraid to sit down on a tea-stall with the locals and talk on the politics.
  • Know when to draw the line.
    However, bold you must play, know your limits. You MUST realize when the person in front of you is feeling uncomfortable. When in such situations, here’s what I do:
    Look at my previous snaps, smile at everyone around me, and give the person in front of me time to get used to me.
  • “Jaisa desh Waisa Bhesh”
    Try being that perfect chameleon. I know this might sound funny but it makes a lot of difference. As I realized @ Dharamshala that walking around in a shawl and fur caps give you better results than Woodland shoes and a pair of jeans.
  • Shutter – Aperture – ISO and all that jazz.
    The first thing I do before I start pounding the pavement is to set my camera to Aperture Priority mode and adjust my exposure (EV) for the available light. I generally choose a wide aperture such as f4 or f5.6 and try to keep my shutter speed at 1/125 or higher. Having a slightly faster shutter speed helps reduce camera shake (since I shoot most of my images hand held) and it helps freeze the portrait.
  • What rules?
    The coolest thing; there ARE NO rules. Just you and your good old instincts.


  • What to do with a point-and-Shoot camera?
    There’s usually some shutter lag in these, and pictures become very grainy in low light conditions. So, clicking during the day is a better option. If you do decide to move out at dawn/dusk; try using the slow-synchro flash. This is less harsh than the normal Fill flash and helps to retain the depth with visible backgrounds/DOF. These options are there in all cameras and consult your Camera Manual for more details.

    So go out and capture the magic, all those moments.

    All the stories. Just waiting. For you.


Read Full Post »

Essentail SEO tips for photographers

First of all, let me confess that I am no expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimization); but a project for eSpecial Softech and years of Googling have made me appreciate the power of Search Engine Marketing and its relevance in the 2.0 world.

Wiki says:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic“) search results.

In plain terms, it’s telling Google about your web page. It’s description, title, main keywords etc. It’s the way the SE (search engine) spider bots recognise a web page. The  more optimised the page is, the more Google will like it. Of course the ranking also depends on inbound links etc. (which I don’t wanna go into). This ranking ultimately helps your page succeed over all other pages with the same kind of content.

This very week I was surprised to see SE traffic onto my blog; with the following keywords:

So, I have decided to share some very basic SEO tips that are a must for any photoblogger or travel writer. Following are the variables (meta tags) which define the images and pages for Google, and optimising them must be the only aim to get right and quality traffic to the website:

  1. The Keywords tag
    <meta name=”keywords” content=”jaisalmer, road” />
    This meta tag is no longer given priority by search engine’s except Yahoo!
  2. The Description tag
    <meta name=”description” content=”Road trip to Jaisalmer. Milestones and places to see.”/>
    This is the most important variable for any SE robot.
  3. The Title tag
    <meta name=”title” content=”Road trip to Jaisalmer.”/>
    Describes the title for the page.

Following are the important Image optimisation variables with screenshots for wordpress image uploaader.

  1. Page URL
    Use _ to separate the important keywords. Make sure that they describe your post entry.

    SEO optimisation for URL

  2. The Alt attribute
    Always add the ALT attribute to your images. You can access it through the image Title option in the upload options.

  3. The Title attribute
    Include the TITLE attribute only if the image is a link. e.g. if it points to your Flickr image or something,or to some other blogpost. You can provide the external link in ‘Link URL‘ option.
  4. The Image name
    The image name should also be renamed according to the associated keywords. e.g. road_jaisalmer_trip for the image in the being discussed blog entry.

Image SEO optimisation

All these may seem very trivial right now and maybe time consuming too,but in the end it’s these which will get you to first page results on Google.

Drop me a line on your personal experiences.

Read Full Post »

My girls – II

There really is no difference between my granny and an 8 year old when it comes to being in front of the camera. They take time to open up and wants to see the LCD preview after every shot. Continuing with the “My Girls” series, Part-I , I am covering some of my best shots with her.

About her:
Fire breathing dragon. Gossip loving. Beautiful. Feels young at 70.

When I'm sixty four -1

When I'm sixty four -2

When I'm sixty four -3

Read Full Post »

Call me feminist if you have to. I am in some ways.

I was going through my archives today and I realised how much of it is filled with portraits of the fairer sex. There’s my mom, granny, random females on the road and of course friends from college. This series is for the girls in my life who make it spicy, the ones who keep it stable and the ones without whom I wouldn’t be writing this.

The first one’s for Nimmo bhai (bro in Hndi); don’t ask me why I call her that!

About her:
Whacky. Pretty. Bro. Totally cool. Workaholic.




Read Full Post »

Jaisalmer puppets

Jaisalmer puppets

Any visit to Jaisalmer is not complete without allowing yourself to get lost in the cobbled streets of the main fort or the narrow pre-independence ‘gallis’ in the main bazaar. Taking a left turn from the gate entrance gives you the first sight of the bazaar and the ‘Governemnt authorized‘ Bhang (processed Marijuana diluted and served with milk or juice) shop.

The dingy German Bakery opposite to it is not a very good option for a stop. A right turn from there takes us in to the heart of the local business community. The shops can range from barbers to spices to traditional shoes. The thing which really fascinates the outsider are the elaborate wall paintings and colours. The people of the Golden city are famous for painting walls for weddings, holidays or just good crops. The horde of advertisements just blend in to the religious symbols all over the city walls.

Wall writing Jaisalmer

All in all, not a very good planned city; but it’s this chaos which gives the beautiful rhythm to the place. For some moments there you tend to forget that outside these walls there’s the endless desert waiting for you.

Read Full Post »

My creative block

On top of Institute building

On top of Institute building

Once again, I break past the everlasting circle of exams to reach the now very familiar dead end.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »