January 5, 2009 at 1:05 pm (DX 7590, raxeffect) ()

Av: F/8; Tv: 5s; f: 6.3mm (35mm-equiv:38 mm); ISO: 80

I am a fan of black and white photography because I feel it brings out a lot more depth and meaning to the photo when compared to a similarly-shot coloured one. That was exemplified in this photo, in fact. I originally shot it in colour mode, but as soon as I tried it in B & W in Photoshop, my mind was set on using B & W for this snap.

Coming to the process of taking this snap :

I started this photo shoot with the idea of taking a snap of a busy traffic light from a high altitude with the trail-of-lights effect. So, I used a tripod and that gave me the liberty to bump up the shutter speed to as high as 5 seconds which resulted in the beautiful trail of headlights showing a bustling and dynamic look to the traffic.

I achieved the stars-around-the-light effect by the least possible F-value (or Aperture value) with my Kodak DX 7590 which is F/8.

Next the fine tunings with Adobe Photoshop CS3 – Along with conversion to B & W, I also worked around with the levels to adjust contrast & brightness to achieve pitch black in the dark areas and thus highlighting the lights. I cropped off the sides to position the photo better and avoid the mess of the numerous banners.

Some of the things I would love to improve in this snap :

The lighting from the lamp post should have been better defined, with a star-effect around it as well.



  1. Subhanjan Sengupta said,

    You came to the actual flaw at the last line and I am glad that you are aware of it. In order to improve, one needs to identify and then learn from his mistakes. personally I have already experimented with these kinds of pictures and have stopped doing it. You see, one has to understand the scope of one’s equipment and stay within its limits. And the kinds of camera that you and I are using in not at all made for manual operations. That is why you simply would not get a star effect around the lamp post. But if you had used a D60, you would have got that as in D60 you have a filter impeded in the camera that gives star like effects to any light source. Moreover, even with that filter you will not get star like effects if you are using higher exposure.

    Apart from the disturbing lamp post, what I did not like much was the main subject of the picture – streaks of light. Does not the streaks seem too broad and dense to you? To me, they do. But this could have been managed with much longer exposure. In that case you would need to crop from the top to remove the lamp post from the frame. But the picture would have been better.

    But I appreciate your willingness to learn by experimenting. Because I personally learn in that very way. You are the best teacher of yourself. Keep on attempting such things. You will reach perfection some day.

    I would be glad if you use your skills for photography that contributes to mankind. I know this is high-sounding. But it is true for any famous photography. Tricks like this one is a quality of the camera. But does it show any quality of the photographer? Does it make a photograph that can make me ponder on? Because I want you to improve, please do not mind my words. I am merely trying to show you what I think might be good for you. Why not use such tricks of exposure for taking thoughtful photographs? The more you try, the more you will climb up the ladder of art. Apart from table top, nature and fashion photography, the only other significant type of photography is the one that questions our deeds. I tried to use the exposure trick when I was in Chennai. And I got one of my favourite images.

    Rakshith: Thank you for your valuable feedback. Pretty good points you have made. A very nice and meaningful photo you shot at Chennai. Yes, we must be on the lookout for moments like those while trying to make full use of whatever little camera resource we have at our disposal.

  2. Subhanjan Sengupta said,

    I will give that picture of Frooti some other time. It is a simple table top. The current picture has a different and much more important mood. I will upload table top images sometime later.

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