Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow

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Photography is all about lights; introduce a little light from the right angle, and you start to see something totally unexpected. I was playing with some LED lights a few days back and I thought I’d experiment with how lights interact with fruits. Since oranges are translucent and the only fruit readily available then, using them was a natural choice.

Little did I know that this would yield in some interesting shadows enhancing the pulpy texture of the fruit. A slice of orange and some twenty photos later, I got this shot. Hope you like it as much as I do!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curve

 

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Tornado

This photo was one of my first ever experiments in light painting and whenever I look at it, I find myself lost in these colorful curves.

Taken using a Nikon D7000 without a tripod using a 105mm macro lens. In response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge.

Light Painting at Barkers Funfair

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Light Painting is a photographic technique that has been around for quite some time now, the first samples dating back to 1914 by Frank and Lillian Gilberth. A lot has evolved since then and with the advent of the digital camera, practically everyone who owns a decent one (some point-and-click and most DSLRs) can help you accomplish this.

The idea behind light painting is to take a camera, keep its shutter open for a duration longer than is required to take a single static photo, and capture the movement of a light source(s). You can use LEDs, Christmas lights, flashlights, laser pointers, burning balls of steel wool (dangerous – requires great care), etc. to paint with light. I personally think that objects that have a natural rhythmic movement make excellent light painting subjects. These include amusement park rides, fireworks, children’s toys, etc.; the more symmetric, the better. For best results, I recommend the use of a tripod, however, randomness can yield interesting results too; chaos theory, baby!

In the pictures that follow, I captured the movement of some rides at Barkers Funfair in Coventry, UK using my trusty Nikon D7000 at a shutter speed that was anywhere between 1 to 3 seconds. Considering that these photos were taken without a tripod, I am more than satisfied with the results. Hope you like them too.

After all is said and done, It’s really not that difficult. Just take your camera into a relatively dark space, use the settings mentioned above, grab a few LED lights and paint away. I’m always here for you if you need help with this. Just comment on this post and I’ll get back to you.

Cheers!

p.s. If you aren’t using a tripod, don’t forget to hold your breath and try not to move for the entire duration of the exposure. 😉

Light Painting Basics

Over the years, especially with the advancement in digital imaging, I have seen some amazing photographs using lights as paintbrushes on very high shutter speeds. This was my first formal trial (with a DSLR) and I thought the results could have been better, had my daughter not been chasing me around while I was ‘painting’ with light. Anyways, the photos below shows how easily one can coordinate his/her movements to make interesting effects. If you own a DSLR camera, you can have fun with these techniques too in just a few simple steps:

  1. Get a hold of some LED or Laser lights; these seem to work best as the light emitted from these is relatively focused on one point. Having said that, I suggest you try using some other light sources, like toys, to get some really interesting outputs.
  2. Set your DSLR camera to Shutter Priority mode (S mode), and choose a shutter speed; you may need to experiment a little with the speeds depending on what you are trying to paint, but generally, anything between 10″ and 30″ should do the trick. Remember: the higher the shutter speed, the more time you get to paint on one exposure.
  3. Set up your camera right in front of a dark wall, and take a test shot with the room lights open to gauge the ‘canvas’ area that you’ll be getting to do the painting.
  4. Turn off all the lights in your room; stand in front of a relatively dark wall, if possible, so as to eliminate any light bouncing back from it.
  5. Press the shutter release button, run and take position in front of the camera.
  6. Paint your heart out till you hear the shutter close again, signified by a barely audible click.

It was about 12 am when I started and I went through with it even though I could see my wife’s angry gaze piercing through me. So naturally, I wanted to write ‘I love you’ for this test to show my wife that I loved her more than I loved my camera. Then midway through the shoot, I decided it was more interesting to draw a heart and write the word ‘love’ in the center. I took these four photos in sequence at shutter speeds between 10 and 15 seconds, and the end-result was not bad at all, given that it was my first time (kind of). Enjoy!

First Attempt

Second Attempt

Third Attempt

Fourth Attempt

Here are a few other images I have done using my Nikon D7000 DSLR as well as my trusty old Cybershot DSC-W130, and they were creating using some of my daughter’s toys.

Outta Control

One of my daughter’s favorite toys – may it rest in peace (or should I say ‘pieces’?)

Cacophony

WeldonMoms’ Chocolate Festival 2011

“Hello Everyone! My name’s Yousuf and I am a Chocoholic. I have been sober for three whole days now, give or take a few hours, but the craving keeps getting worse. Thinking straight seems like a chore. Everywhere I look, I see naked chocolate bars waiting to be devoured. The seats in the bus, the ice cubes in my drink, the brown furniture in my room, everything reminds me of chocolate. Time is a healer, or so I’ve heard people say; but in this particular instance, every second I stay away from it is more painful than the last one. Must…….. have……. chocolate……”

I dread seeing myself like this and that’s the reason I stay away from Chocoholics Anonymous or any other cocoa-abolishing movement for that matter. Interestingly though, there are people who actually celebrate their love for chocolate and support chronic chocoholics like me (we never give up now, do we?); the 3rd Annual WeldonMoms Chocolate Festival 2011 is testimony to such communities. In a rare moment of calmness, the otherwise self-proclaimed tornado named Anila Weldon (founder of WeldonMoms) came up with idea to gather like-minded people in one place and celebrate her love for chocolate, along with all the feelings associated with it. The first two productions were such a huge hit that she just had to do it again; only this time, it’s bigger, better and full of fun activities designed around this brown confectionery.

This year’s festival shall showcase some of the most talented chocolate fans from across Karachi. So to truly make this festival a sight for sore eyes, WeldonMoms has teamed up with students from The Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, who’ll be showcasing their passion for the dark side through brilliant works of art including Chocolate Paintings, Chocolate Sculptures, and a Cocoa-Collage; better watch out Picasso!

Apart from being good recreation for the entertainment starved Karachiites, this will be a golden chance for them to Compete in the Chocolate-Challenge™ (yes, it’s trade-marked), with their best cocoa-based creation; Cakes, Desserts, Truffles, Brownies, Mousse, Fondue, Cookies, Muffins, Cup Cakes, Home-made Chocolates are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Since each contest yields prizes for the winners, this one’s no exception.  Celebrity Chefs and Popular Cooking Experts will judge participant entries based on creativity, use of chocolate, presentation and taste, and unleash a hoard of prizes for the winners.

Other attractions at the Festival include special chocolate hand and foot massages, a creative corner for kids to learn the art of making edible crafts (sugar flowers, cup-cake decoration, etc.) and an all-you-can-eat chocolate fountain. If this doesn’t get you drooling, nothing will; it’s one family event you shouldn’t miss for the world!

For further details, please visit the event page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=162204937164065

About WeldonMoms: Targeting the progressive women of Karachi, especially those juggling between career, home-making and motherhood, WeldonMoms® (www.weldonmoms.com) is a support group for mothers, new mothers, and moms-to-be whose aim is to facilitate, empower and support women during the transition to parenthood.

Hope to see you all there!

Cheers,
Yousuf

p.s. Calorie-conscious people and anorexics are strictly not allowed!