Saturday, February 20, 2010


Ever since I first held a digital camera in my hand in 2003, I have been sold on photography - the reason is not far to seek - the cameras are so capable that one doesn't have to do anything. I have been clicking away with gay abandon and keep admiring the results. I never did realise that there is more to photography than just point and click. To me photography has always meant capturing moments for reliving them at leisure when one has nothing better to do. They say a photograph is worth a thousand words... why write a thousand words when one can make do with one click of a button.

I was leafing through a photography book yesterday, and read some words of wisdom there. It said that one needs to understand the three important basics before one can aspire to click a good photograph. These are, the subject, the composition of the picture, and the lighting. I wanted to put this advice to good use and thought of taking pictures of the sunset. I love sunsets - the various hues and colours that are splattered on everything around, by the setting sun, are sometimes absolutely breathtaking. I had gone for a walk this evening, and the sun was at its Western most travel, just about touching the horizon. I started taking pictures with various subjects and compositions - I did not do anything about the lighting, except select the camera to 'sunset' mode. I tried the upper 1/3rd, bottom 1/3rd and also some close-ups too.

I started to click at 17:52, when the sun was just about vanishing below the horizon and continued to click upto 18:18, during the entire twilight period. The results are reproduced - your opinions are solicited.

click on the photographs to get a larger view

There is a small wooded area behind the house in which there is some wildlife in the form of squirrels, birds, cats and a few other species. These three squirrels keep playing around in this area throughout the day. About once a day these come and play around in the backyard of the house. I caught these squirrels on camera.. the first one is licking an icicle, and the other one resting with the bushy tail vertically up resting against a branch... probably trying to shield the body from the cold wind that was blowing that morning.

Now that you have admired my photography skills, could you please tell me if I should concentrate on wild life photograhy or nature?


Balvinder Singh said...

JP, that's the beauty of technology that you can not only share with others what your eyes have experienced but also relive the same moments, many days months or years later. Sometimes the lens does a better job than the eye which is subjected to so many other human factors. And yes you are right, with the advent of digital age the photography has become so easy not only in clicking but also in later viewing on different mediums and even sharing and preserving the same.

Lovely pics, both sunset and your captive wild life.

BK Chowla, said...

What can one say.
Both are equally good.

J P Joshi said...

Balvinder: You are so right.. technology has indeed made it simpler for us to preserve memories that can be relived later. When I see our photographs that were clicked decades ago, the entire scene can be relived, leading upto the clicking moment.

BK Chowla: Thank you for your generous comment.

Renu said...

main advantage of digital photography to me is that i dont have to look after the bulky albums:)

all the pictures are beautiful.

J P Joshi said...

Renu: You are so right. I can carry many album loads in a small pen-drive now. Thank you.

Swati said...

Very nice pics ...loved the colours of the sky

J P Joshi said...

Swati: Thank you.

Reflections said...

I loved both....tho I marvel how u manged to catch the squirrel so accurately. They r usually so quick in their movements tht its hard to get a good pose.

J P Joshi said...

Reflections: Thank you. I was lucky - these squirrels were the patient kind.. waited to be clicked, and were then on their way.

Piper .. said...

Nature. The sunset ones are fabulous. I also love the one with the city lights.
Tell me Sir, so you edit the pictures online? Or is it the composition itself(like adjusting the shutter speed and aperture etc).
Beautiful pictures!

J P Joshi said...

Piper: Thank you for your very encouraging words. I donot do anything other than click. I did consciously select the positioning of the setting sun on my LCD display - 1/3rd from top/ bottom etc. and also varied the optical zoom from zero to 5x upto 10x. Selected the 'sunset mode' on the camera, and clicked at the most interesting spots on my walk route. I enjoyed myself, and am trying to learn more. Everyday, I realise that photography is more than just point and click.

indianhomemaker said...

I think both are absolutely amazing!! Personally I enjoy looking at wildlife pictures - animals in the neighbourhood - there is so much information in such pictures.

But your sunset pictures are fantastic too... maybe take all kinds of pictures as the mood strikes.

I would love to see more pictures of the wildlife around your house and neighbourhood - birds, rodents, insects ... changing seasons.

Digital cameras are amazing - I remember my reaction when I first saw one where you could change a floppy after twenty very low resolution (no resolution images, each was a few kb :))

I had a collection of floppies then because I never wanted to run out of space :) But the fact that one could capture an image - delete it and take another one - no developing and no surprises after the pictures were developed - was such joy!

I am no good at taking pictures, but I go everywhere with a camera in my bag :)

Look forward to seeing a lot more of your amazing pictures :)