Optical illusion: Double Star Moment

Star gazers brace up for the spectacle “Star of Bethlehem” with the conjunction of rocky Venus and gaseous giant Jupiter in late June and early July of 2015 in earth sky!

It’s time to pull out the gears to capture the gleaming planets(both their discs are good reflectors of light due to their cloud cover) that will appear the roughly same size and will be closest (less than the diameter of the moon). These celestial bodies coming into the vicinity of each other with the nearest on June 30. We can catch this rare encounter through this month as they are aligned on nearly the same line of sight according to NASA

Their next closest coming will be on August 27,2016.

This unusual yet amazing show can be viewed shortly after sunset in the North-West/West horizon.

Astrophotography is all about catching the actions in our sky dome. With modest stargazing equipment and access to dark skies one can capture panoramic pictures. One can start with something familiar in the horizon like the moon and slowly explore the unexplored!

Type: Amateur Astrophotography

Coming close together

Venus & Jupiter EXIF: Aperture-f/4, Shutter Speed: 1/2Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:55mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

Venus & Jupiter

Venus(Brightest) & Jupiter EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:214mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Half Moon

Half Moon EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/250Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Basic Tips & Techniques:

  • Prepare well in-advance with the required gears for such big events as it takes time to set the right frame
  • Use telephoto lens with a focal length of 300mm and above for closeup photography & wide angle lens to capture constellation
  • Long exposure (>1″) with shutter priority mode or manual mode with large aperture to allow accumulation of light photons
  • Push your ISO(400, 800) as high to pick up finer details of the environments
  • Use heavy tripod or a stable platform for your camera to support the long exposure
  • Aim to shoot the visible planets (i.e., Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars & Saturn). Their visibility schedule & co-ordinates are available in many websites; few are listed below
  • You may use the app “Google Sky Map” on your smartphone to identify & track the celestial bodies
  • Of course at the end use post processing to correct any minor corrections

Following URLs are a good starting points for stargazers

earthsky.org

space.com

tonightssky.com

NASA APOD

My Third Eye on FB

How to Photograph

I’d love to hear what you think about this post. Let me know in the comments.

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Metal Birds

Air shows, present a wonderful opportunity to experience aviation up close and personal, to get familiar with some pretty cool metal birds in the static area between solo and team stunt shows in the skies. We get to see a little bit of everything, including war birds, home-built aircraft, ultralights and vintage planes. The exciting air displays combine military and civilian aircraft performing death-defying stunts, aerobatic passes by wing cats and dozens of aircraft-related demonstration. They look surreal and leave the crowd amazed & astounded. The skills of pilots and their amazing flying machines create exhilarating moves and stream across the sky in whirling, dizzy motions with color, sparks, smoke, fireballs, etc.

Air shows continues to redefine what is possible in the air and with a combination of precision, power and performance have thrilled millions of air show spectators.

Type: Aviation /Air Show Photography

Light Combat Aircraft - Tejas

EXIF: Aperture-f/9, Shutter Speed: 1/250Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:32mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

USAF Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker. In the background C-17 Globemaster III

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/1000Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:18mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

IAF C-130J Super Hercules

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/1000Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:18mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Indian Air Force Sarang Display Team with HAL Dhruv

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/500Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

The Breitling Wingwalkers

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/500Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

The Breitling Wingwalkers

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/1600Sec, ISO:200, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

USAF Boeing C-17 Globemaster

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/1600Sec, ISO:200, Focal length:154mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Scandinavian airshow.se team Skycat Wingwalker's Grumman G-164A Ag-Cat   Catwalk

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/2500Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Scandinavian airshow.se team Skycat Wingwalker's Grumman G-164A Ag-Cat   Catwalk

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/4000Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited LCH

EXIF: Aperture-f/16, Shutter Speed: 1/160Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

U S Air Force  Boeing C-17 Globemaster III

EXIF: Aperture-f/9, Shutter Speed: 1/250Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:32mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Bharat Electronics Limited Display

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/1600Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:28mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Yakovlevs Display Team with Yak-50 aerobatic aircraft

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/2000Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:55mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

switzerland Pilatus Aircraft PC-12 NG

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/1600Sec, ISO:200, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Light Combat Aircraft- Tejas in flight

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/2000Sec, ISO:200, Focal length:135mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

IAF Sarang Display Team with HAL Dhruv

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/2000Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Sukhoi Su-30MKI Tail Number: SB413

EXIF: Aperture-f/6.3, Shutter Speed: 1/1000Sec, ISO:200, Focal length:200mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Above Photos were taken in Aero India 2015  “Asia’s Premier Air Show” @ Yelahanka Air Force station, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. For More photos, Please visit My Third Eye Albums

Tips & Tricks:

  • As Airshow happens mostly on sunny day, please carry drinking water, caps, sun glasses, ear plugs other than your photography kit (standby battery, additional memory cards)! Also be prepared to protect your gears from un-seasonal rains. Checkout the airshow web site for what is allowed to carry as many items are blocked for security reasons.
  • Try to visit on a working day as holidays & weekends are crowded. Plan to visit the show for 2 days so that you can use the first day for trial run… Get into the venue as early as possible to seat yourself in a best shooting spot & leave late!
  • Useful camera setting for such photography is 1/1000, f5.6/ f8, ISO-400. Use histogram to make adjustments required as these settings can be influenced drastically by the weather condition
  • Use fast shutter speed(~1/1000) is to capture the fast moving fighter jets and slow shutter(<1/125) is useful for propeller planes/ helicopters in flight. Slower shutter speed also gives background blur effect in aircraft landing or takeoff. Takecare of camera shakes in such slow shutter usage
  • Centre weighed/ spot metering mode is suggested for aviation photography as background will be grey or blue or white sky!
  • Select Auto Focus Point centre to focus the aircraft on the sky!
  • Turn on Auto focus with AI Servo enabled (in Canon) to enable you to track the flying object and keep them in focus continuously
  • Panning is another technique to be followed to shoot the aircraft on the move
  • Don’t loose the opportunity of clicking the crowd watching the moment or support/ground staff performing various activities
  • You may require, wide range of lens as wide angle are required to shoot the aircraft in static display area. Telephoto lens for jets in action! You may carry 2 camera bodies; one fitted with a wide angle lens and another fitted with tele-photo lens for variety of reasons
  • Protect your camera from dust, while changing lens
  • Practice makes perfect! You may experiment your skills by shooting the fasting moving objects before the show
  • Do post processing for sharpness, exposure correction, composition using crop & re-size the image if required

I’d love to hear what you think about this post. Let me know in the comments.

Natural Beauty

Flowers are nature’s wonderful creations. Their exotic bloom brings in freshness and fills our minds with hope and happiness. Flowers are the emblem of beauty and is the symbol of love, sacrifice, regard, respect, comfort and goodwill. The enchanting fragrance and the vibrant colors of the blossoms captivates and satisfies our senses and soul within. Flowers inspire us to live life fully and to be a source of joy to all!

Rudbeckia

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Exposure time: 1/160Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:100mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Selenicereus grandiflorus

EXIF: Aperture-f/2.8, Shutter Speed: 1/60Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:100mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

Poppy

EXIF: Aperture-f/3.2, Shutter Speed: 1/640Sec, ISO:640, Focal length:100mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

Water Lily

EXIF: Aperture-f/2.8, Shutter Speed: 1/1600Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:100mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

gerbera daisy

EXIF: Aperture-f/6.3, Shutter Speed: 1/200Sec, ISO:160, Focal length:55mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

Neolamarckia cadamba

EXIF: Aperture-f/14, Shutter Speed: 1/125Sec, ISO:160, Focal length:250mm Exposure bias:-0.7 step Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

Queen’s Flower

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/400Sec, ISO:250, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

candytuft

EXIF:Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/60Sec, ISO:200, Focal length:235mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/550D

Type: Floral/Flower Photography

Tips & Tricks:

  • Place the object(flower) appropriately in the frame (Composition)
  • Shoot as many as possible (in diff Perspective/ angle too)! You may crop & move as required in post-processing stage. Go down on your knees to take the shot at the flower level!
  • Look at the big picture and decide on the background or Isolate the object from background clutter & distractions. Also the lens (Macro/ Tele-photo/ Wide Angle)
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to capture natural patterns/ beautiful details
  • To have the object in focus stand out (highlighted), go for shallow depth of field /wider aperture(Small f-stop)
  • Lighting plays a major role in floral photography; Natural light is good. Otherwise go for reflector or flash with diffuser. On a sunny day during outdoor shoot, consider underexpose by -1 stop to capture the details of the object. ISO to 100 or so
  • If situation demands, focus abstract or macro photography
  • You may also use the wind effect on flowers for creative photography. Capture the dancing flowers with slow shutter speed (1s or 2s). Neutral Density Filter can be considered
  • Try time-lapse shot to capture the moments of flower blossom
  • Use tripod to avoid shakes

I’d love to hear what you think about this post. Let me know in the comments.

Cute Children

Children make for one of the most adorable choices to be photographed. Though this kind of captures are challenging, the spontaneity they offer makes photography enjoyable and fun.The simple, earnest and the relaxed atmosphere produce amusing poses worth treasuring. The warmth and emotions expressed with the imperfections makes it memorable and invariably presents pleasing results. Children bring in variety of possibilities and create magic on ordinary moments…

SLK-6

EXIF: Aperture-f/4, Shutter Speed: 1/60Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:70mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

26.IMG_6075-

EXIF: Aperture-f/8, Shutter Speed: 1/200Sec, ISO:3200, Focal length:185mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

IMG_1955 (2)

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/60Sec, ISO:400, Focal length:55mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Type: Children /kids Photography

Tips & Tricks:

  • Manage to get natural light(Soft Window) on them so that you can get flash-less photos as they are not aware of being photographed
  • Shoot with Shallow Depth of Field
  • Try to capture their every action in their natural poise without asking them to pose!
  • To catch the action live use Shutter Priority mode with 1/250Sec or above
  • Capture their innocence

Different Phases of Moon

The mystical celestial body hanging out there in clear sky is the nature’s sweetest offer to mankind. Though the silvery orb
battered by asteroids is so pale and lifeless it continues to illuminate the artistic interest in all. The mesmerising effect of staring on kindles variety of emotions as little children sit round their grandmama to hear the fairy tales or the tales about the wizards and even the old remember their green youth when they sit alone in moonlit light.

The full moon serves as various things for different people like moon becomes a toy for kids, memories for every one of us, a perfect cheesecake for my daughter:-) and never fails to fantasies our views and ideas.

I’d love to hear what you think about this subject… Let me know in the comments

IMG_9927

EXIF: Aperture-f/7.1, Shutter Speed: 1/640Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

IMG_0583

EXIF: Aperture-f/5.6, Shutter Speed: 1/250Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

IMG_0480

EXIF: Aperture-f/7.1, Shutter Speed: 1/100Sec, ISO:100, Focal length:250mm Camera- Canon EOS Rebel T2i/ 550D

Type: Lunar Photography

Tips & Tricks:

  • Use camera’s highest resolution for the image and a Telephoto lens 200mm+
  • ISO 100 and White Balance to Day light as moon is lit by Sun 🙂
  • Set to Shutter Priority mode [TV(Time value) in Canon or S(Shutter) in Nikon] with a speed equals to at-least 1/focal length or faster to get sharp image; You may also follow the Looney f/11 rule to estimate the exposure settings
  • During initial shoots, if you face problem with exposure settings, use the camera Bracketing option, choose the best out of it (Or HDR merging in post processing)
  • Set Metering mode to “Spot metering”
  • Shoot moon at its different phases (Waning, waxing, crescent, quarter phases as mounts and craters are illuminated from side and casts shadows). You will be stunned to see the results! Usually in full moon, photos are flat and featureless
  • Shoot on a night with clear sky
  • Avoid using UV filter to Lens

Yellow winged Darter

Dragonfly with their mosaic eyes and sheer wings pose with pleasure .In flight the adult with its powerful wings can propel and dart in all directions.These agile fliers with iridescent colors and graceful poise is any photographer’s delight!

IMG_5434_1

Dragon

Type: Closeup or Macro or Insect (arthropod) Photography 

Tips & Tricks:

  • Get as close as possible to the subject (Be in safe distance from the object, if you are shooting a dangerous creature to avoid an attack 🙂
  • Background plays a major role in macro photography. If your subject is dark colored, try to have a lighter background and vice-versa. You may use the Flash to get dark background
  • Shoot the object with Shallow depth of field. i.e., low f/stops supported by your lens (Full /Big Aperture). For example, f2.8 makes all except the object out of focus(Blurred)
  • Use macro(prime) or Telephoto lens; For better lighting, you might go for ring flash with macro lens or Telephoto lens which provides enough room to add external flash( if required) between your camera & object
  • Decide on the point of focus as it will change scene entirely different
  • To aviod shakes, go for tripod with remote shutter release or camera self-timer
  • Shoot in the twilight or dusk as these species move slow and provides time to focus
  • Review your shoot in LCD and if required shoot again; Be patient too!!!

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