Pelican Travels

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I went out trying to capture the ocean and learn more taking outdoor camera settings.

I am quite happy with these pelican shots. Did not see them coming and was a surprise. However, the camera was on¬†monochrome mode instead of standard ūüė¶ ¬†I cannot work any more on them in terms of color and enhancing them.

So, working with color pictures and then converting them to monochrome would be a better option than having it in monochrome. Lesson for a beginner at photography.

Feel good to have captured the pelican’s travelling !

To have the pelican’s come in a row like that was a chance. Wonder about some of the amazing shots of National Geographic, like the leopard running straight towards the camera. Those must have required thousands of try’s. First, the camera’s need to be placed correctly, second the leopard should be in a mood to chase some animal around that area. Third, the light and the settings of the camera. To have all these aspects go together is pretty tough.

We have never seen the ones that could not be captured in a photograph…

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Note: No editing attempted on any of the pictures. The pictures were taken in monochrome mode with polarizer and uv filters.

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Pattern & Pines

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Reading some more about black and white pictures and looking at few of the famous ones.  Trying with these pictures adding as many texture, patterns and color gradients.

Some articles recommend shooting in RAW+jpeg mode and converting the picture from color to monochrome using photoshop/gimp. There is also recommendation of taking shots with both color and monochrome to understand the subject matter and how it would render exactly in monochrome.

Note: The pictures was shot with monochrome mode and is unedited.

Prime Lens

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There is a type of lens called “Prime Lens”. Plainly speaking or in simple term, these lenses have no zoom. They have a fixed zoom or view.

Some of these lenses are very expensive and but there are others for around 100-300$. The most commonly used prime lens is 50mm with f/1.4 or f/1.8.

To make the money worth, these lenses have superior quality material and it is configured for a single configuration, 50mm in this case, which makes the optics cater to one need and not many configuration like in a zoom lens.

These lens will help you take get great photographs. True in the case of things that are close to you like, almost hands reach as the prime focus object.

This lens should be all that you should take to a county fair, flowers, ocean and flower fields. The colors and the rendition of the background objects in a haze (bokeh)  for objects that are out of focus is just great. It is unmatched to what you get in a lens that zooms.

There is a lot of material on the web about these lens. Do read !

The lens that I have been using with my Nikon D90

http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-50mm-Nikkor-Digital-Cameras/dp/B00005LEN4/ref=sr_1_cc_2?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1416768401&sr=1-2-catcorr&keywords=nikon+50mm

 

 

About the pictures : My chopstick collection; the pretty ones are from Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon. The second picture is Ikea study lamp. Pictures are unedited and lens used is 50mm at 1.8 and 100 and above shutter speed. I also changed the ISO to  2000.

Basics of Indian Cooking – Curry

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The basic theory of Indian food mainly the curry or a semi liquid dish. I am breaking it down to phases such that the sequence and the expectations is understood.

Phase 1

Seasoning the oil. This is usually mustard seeds, jeera seeds, red chilli, curry leaves etc. This is the first step. This flavors the oil. The seasoning is always added to hot oil and they should pop, but not burn.

Phase 2

The onions. This is the base for the powdered spices to be added to. There can be other additional aspects to this base, like garlic and ginger. This is what gives body to the liquid/soup. The onions are usually cooked until it starts to brown at the edges

Phase 3

Adding the spices. This is key to the flavor. There are some basic types that are used everyday. The others are special spices that are either specific to certain dishes or added as additional flavors. The mix and match and changing the quantity of these spices change the flavor of the curry completely.

  • Tumeric – The yellow spice and has a deep yellow stain. This has medicinal properties. It is an antiseptic and can be directly applied on wounds. The quantity is always 1 portion. For most curry or dish, about 1/8tsp or 1/4 tsp is all that should be required.
  • Red Chilli/Paprika Powder – There is a huge variety of these available. Mainly concentrate of 2 types. One is for the color red and the other is for the spicy level. The red color one is usually called kashmiri chilli and is mild. When used, it gives¬†the curry a bright red color. Use another variety of a spicy one. I sometimes mix 2 types to get the color and the spice level. The kashmiri one should be the staple Chilli powder.

The quantity of the chilli powdered is three times the spoon used for tumeric powder.

  • Coriander Power – This is a powder of the coriander seed. It has a strange smell and has medicinal properties. The purpose is to add body the gravy and has a thicking effect. This is added in twice the quantity of the chilli powder.
  • Jeera Powder ¬†– This is grind version of the jeera seeds. They have a distinct smell and is used in limited quantity. Something like 1/4 spoon. This has the capacity to overpower the dish. It is used in few dishes exclusively.
  • Other special curry powder like chicken curry masala, sambar powder etc. ¬†These should be used sparingly. They add the special smell and taste¬†to the dish. About¬†1 and 1/2 spoon along with the above spices. These special spices can be blended using a coffee grinder, but probably buying a good branch is so much easier.

Phase 4

Add the food that is being cooked like chicken or lentil. If it is lentil, pre cooked lentils is a faster option. After adding the lentil or chicken, it is cooked until it just boils. This makes sure every spice and the ingredients is blended for a well rounded taste.

Phase 5

Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

The food should sit for a while.  Atleast 15 minutes or more.

This is the format and the bases of most Indian curry cooking.