The Mauritian sky from a little village

I live in the small village of Amaury and there are three things I absolutely love about my home (or the country in general I suppose):

  • A peaceful quiet environment
  • The sea is only 20 minutes away via car
  • A beautiful sky

I will try to show the sea on another day, for today enjoy the blue sky and the clouds that help me daydream. This is my second timelapse (i am hoping there will be more to come) and one of those partially bad, cloudy, rainy days. I had to stop shooting midway in order to protect my lens and camera yesterday. Still, It’s a beautiful sky. Alright, it’s time to head back to working now, enjoy the video.

Photography #3: Getting started with Time-lapse photography

Since I have had my camera, I had lots of fun taking pictures, experimenting in manual mode and doing small stop motion animation. I, however, had never tried time-lapse photography.. until last weekend.

Time-lapse photography is an awesome technique! In terms of storytelling, Time-lapse can let you do incredible things and provides an immersive experience.

Here’s one of my favorite video, 30 days of sailing experience in 10 minutes by Jeff. Ever wondered how 30 days of sailing would feel like? How the moon and stars would feel like at sea, how the change in weather would feel like? How it would feel to sail through a storm? Immerse yourself in this timelapse and the life of a sailor briefly:

I also did a little timelapse (my first one) – of far inferior quality and less cinematic that you can see below:

Both, however, works on the same principle. Here’s how you can produce a timelapse with the bare minimum if you wish to give it a try.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • A digital camera with interval option
  • A stabilizer (usually a tripod) to keep the camera still
  • A video editing software (blender which is opensource and free should do the trick)
  • Time and Patience (lots of it)

HOW TO PROCEED:

  • Identify your spot and set up your tripod
  • Mount your camera on the tripod
  • Configure the interval for automated capture ( up to you to decide how many pictures and the gap between)
  • Set the camera to start and let it shoot
  • Avoid manually shooting or adjusting the camera once it starts but keep checking regularly
  • Remember that point where I talked about patience, yup that’s where it comes in handy (bringing a book with you is a good idea and it works for me).
  •  It’s a good idea to have a lot of pictures – in the hundreds or thousands – if you want a long video else you will end up with regrets and a mere 2 to 3 seconds video like mine.
  • After you are done, export all the pictures so that it can be stitched together -if you are using Blender, select the video editing UI and add the images, select the framerate you want and hit render.
  • Annnd that’s it! (you can add music if you like, it’s fairly easy from YouTube itself)

Hope you enjoyed and found this useful. Please share your timelapse if you have made or will be making any. I will try to upload a timelapse soon.

 

 

Photography #2: Understanding histogram

The histogram is a basic, simple but very useful tool that can be accessed both on your camera or via the software you use for post-processing of images. It is essentially about exposure.

A histogram can help identify if a picture is overexposed or underexposed. It’s no longer a guesswork (or rather a more accurate guesswork). By using the histogram, you can ensure that the colors and lights are well represented in your photo. The histogram does not come with rules, so for each photo, your histogram should and would naturally be different. There are a few tricks to it though and once you understand those, you would understand your pictures better.

Here are two distinct histograms to help illustrate the concept better: n

Basically, the two patterns that would emerge from a histogram will be an “n” shape or a “u” shape.

A “u” shaped picture is likely to contain extremes and have contrast a lot. If it’s intentional it’s okay, if not, you might want to remedy that. Likewise, for the “n” you should look out that there is no washing out of colors, especially if the curve does not meet at one of the extremes. Why is it so? 

The right extreme represents pure white and the left extreme represent pitch black.

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So a scenery that had shadows and black objects in it but not showing an inclination to left extreme of the histogram suggest something is wrong. To better illustrate this, have a look at this beautiful night shot and notice how the histogram naturally inclines to the left extreme.

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Photo by Ferdinand Stöhr on Unsplash

Here’s another shot, this one I took on a bright day. No dark spots or shadows, so it naturally inclines to the right.

Capture1

Like I said earlier, there are no fixed rules. The histogram is a tool to help your photography not dictate it. It’s completely okay if some of your pictures have an inclination to both extremities like this very gorgeous photo by Vitaliy Lyubezhanin on Unsplash.

Capture2

That’s it for histograms (to get started), don’t be afraid to experiment. That’s how each of us finds our own styles and most importantly that how we improve.

The visiting butterfly

A Saturday morning, I woke to find a butterfly in my room. Strangely the windows were still closed so I assume the butterfly spent the night in my room itself. Initially, I took a few pictures and then opened the window because clearly our little friend was pressing himself against the glass and flapping its wings (making me feel guilty). After opening the window and bringing our tiny little friend to it though, turns out it was in no rush to leave. Maybe it was the wind that caused it to take shelter inside, whatever the case, I was happy by the visit. Take a peak in the life of our little ephemeral friend through this short movie.

Wandering birds

After an endless wandering, the birds finally found what they were searching

The tree was barren but “it would do”, they said to themselves

At last, they will be free from the shadows of the previous tree

Away from all the commotion…

Away from all the worries…

Away from the constant noise…

 

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Ephemeral flights

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If he didn’t grow wings, how else would he carry this heaviness?

If he didn’t grow wings, how else would he fly away from this darkness?

If he didn’t grow wings, how else would he cope with this twisted reality?

So he dreams and he flies and he stumbles and he falls.

But he does it again and again and again…