A Bimbo’s guide to Photography

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Pre-Script (If that’s a thing, anyway) : It’s strange how I get an idea in the middle of the night and start writing. How throughout the unending hours of daylight, volcanic thoughts entangle with the mundane colours of life and splash into nothingness. And suddenly, like meeting a stranger on a rainy Paris street, it strikes you, that you have known this person even before discovering their existence.

Similarly a quirky mélange of ideas at the devil’s hour meets me and I pull the pencil off my hair bun and just-start-writing. My thoughts aren’t  processed much, they are raw and honest!

Quick downpour: Read this only if you are a willing shutterbug. Going to a photography school and learning photography are two very different realms.

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Remember, a camera never clicks a picture, a visionary does. If you are still there, you need to grow beyond the auto mode.

Here’s what it is:

That picture, up there, makes me feel that I am learning. You grow as a photographer, just like you grow as a person!

So here’s what I started with, the three pillars of photography:

1) Shutter-speed: That sound your camera makes, every time you click a picture is because of the camera shutter. The camera shutter opens and closes for a set interval of time (that you decide). The amount of time your camera shutter remains open is your shutter speed.

Example: I need to freeze the movement of fluttering prayer flags/birds. Since my subject is moving fast, I need my camera to capture the movement quickly, without blurring the picture. So I choose a higher shutter speed (let’s say 1/350). Now, 1/350 would mean 350th part of a second.

On the contrary, say, there’s dark room and I want more amount of light to enter my camera to click a well exposed picture. I will set a shutter speed of 1/30. Now, that means 30th part of a second.

Get that?

2) Aperture, the tricky F guy: It’s just a goddamn hole! No, don’t confuse! It’s a hole in the camera lens that allows light to enter the camera. The larger the aperture, the more light enters the camera. It is measured in “F stops”.

Example: It’s a bright sunny day in Paris, and you are out in one of those cafés. When you decide to click a picture keep the F around, say, 13, or so.

On the contrary, let’s say you are again in Paris, it’s raining and you are in one of those nostalgia shops with those hazy tungsten lights, keep the F around 4.5 or so

Also, if you are reading this carefully, by now you should have a question, how is F 4.5 bigger than F13. It’s like Phoebe, it works the other way around. You’ll get a hang of it!

Take a look at this, Photo Credit:  Wikipedia

Aperture-f-Number

3) ISO: Helps create artificial light. In those dingy times, when you don’t have enough light to expose a frame, increase the ISO. But, life ain’t that easy, my friend, ISO increases the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO makes the available light more abundant to the camera. However, the higher the ISO, the grainier the picture!

Pro Tip: Composition matters! Never cut the feet or hands, be it a human subject or a monument! That’s not even amateur!

So I am saying: You’ve wasted good 10 minutes reading and understanding this, go play with your camera, only then can you understand photography!

 

 

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27 thoughts on “A Bimbo’s guide to Photography

      1. I already learn this hard way, you are dead right with the quote you shared, it takes 10,000 pictures to start to know about taking pictures.

        O yes still the chusnee was in your mouth 8 years back. Chota saa bachaa paala saa 😄😄😄

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  1. This was not a waste at all, silly. You’ve taught me more about photography in this post than anything in the rest of my life ever. 😊 On top of that, your prescript words are worth a thousand pictures. Beautifully written – I found myself on that Paris street, picturing you walking towards me, smiling, camera in hand. I loved this! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You picture it better than I did! It was playing in my head like a flash of images while reading your comment! The Paris streets… ohh so wonderful!
      Have you seen this film by Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”?
      I’d really want to know if this post brings about any difference to the reader’s pictures!
      Thank you, love!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t – I need to watch that. I have a feeling that you would enhance any view of Paris, with your words, your photography or your presence. 🙂 You are welcome – and thank you for the photography lesson. ❤

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  2. Hi Ambika, quite funny, to read your essay on photography, coming to you in a fit of inspiration ‘in the middle of the night!’ — reading your photographic process is cool, because you take us outside of the confines of the science of photography, one learns in school, and really opens it up, to figuring out how to do it, in the wilds and unpredictably of natural shooting situations. That’s where photography is most challenging and exciting. And your photograph shows it. great work! 🎥

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  3. Paul,I have this feeling, often when I read your blogs that you are some famous filmmaker in disguise! I know this is hilarious! But the way you describe your experiences with the camera, it’s so intricate. Almost as if you share a relationship with cinema!

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