My Oil paintings :)

My Oil paintings :)

Well, not really… I recently upgraded the display card on my comp (supports DX11) and lo and behold… The mystical oil painting filter got enabled in Photoshop (CS6). At first I was a little skeptical using this… but it grew on me. Not all pictures take well to this filter, but once you get the hang of it… the processed images take on a totally new persona.

the filter is especially good at handling areas that are either blown out or under exposed… noise is not an issue :). Bring out those noisy, not so well exposed pics and try to blow new life into them. Monochrome/Black n white pics don’t really lend themselves very well to this filter (or it might just be that im not tweaking em just right 😉 ). Even on the color pics its better to do the normal processing on the pic to make it look as good as one can

The following is another good example of what one can get from the process
The woods
This image had the sky blown out and the tree trunk under exposed. The oil painting filter really made the image pop…

Here’s another good example of what the filter can do…
It really gives the picture a WOW factor 🙂

Do give the filter a try and don’t hesitate turning it on for pics with blown highlights or dark underexposed areas… even noisy ones… It takes care of all that for you 🙂


PS: Click on the images for higher res images, if you want to see full resolution images, just click on the “O” in the list of sizes (look at the top middle of the screen once you click on the images).

Lumia 920… the photographers camera phone…

Lumia 920... the photographers camera phone...

Images like the one above are the rule rather than the exception. Caught this at the gurudwara (indian temple) in san jose at sundown. The camera caught the scene pretty much like what I saw there. Its images like this that bring out the true value of the image stabilized camera in the phone. It just is a cut above the rest. Even in bright sunny situations, the images have a good balance b/w the highlights and shadows. Things like white balance, color saturation etc are generally none issues.

The following images are a good roundup of what the camera does on the usual scenarios


A lovely evening at this in the Almedan Quicksilver park, san jose.



Another low light shot taken in Santa Cruz… and edited in the phone to get this look



An example of a macro shot… Background blur can be achieved, but at really close subject distances


Here are two more sots that highlight how good the camera is in difficult light…

This one was quiet a bit after sunset… The camera did push the exposure here a bit, the larger sizes are not that clear, but the colors are pretty much spot on. In face even a few stars show up in the picture. The phone did definitely capture much more than what i saw with my own eyes… 😀

This one is another good example of how the camera handles extreme conditions, the exposure did come out pretty good here. (BTW I did use the auto fix tool on this picture to open up the shadows a bit. 🙂 )


Another in camera pano… The camera does a good job of balancing the highlights and shadows for most cases


The shots above are a small subset of what the camera on the phone is really capable of doing. This is not a substitute for a real camera, but it does beat the lower end point and shoots. In simple words, im loving it 🙂

Do come back for more…


To see more shots from the gallery click here

Grand canyon… in IR

Grand canyon... in IR

This photo, from Grand canyon, has been sitting on my computer for about 2.5 years now… The rendition that came out by default using the IR filter didn’t look very good, luckily I didn’t delete it in the camera itself (despite feeling strongly at the moment) :). Finally yesterday I thought about going back to this snap to try out some plugins in PS (wanted to see specifically what came out after processing it using Nik and OnOne). After about 10 mins of twiddling with it, i finally think i have a winner 🙂 (link to the original processing i did on it)

This is not the only one that finally got some love yesterday, i reprocessed some other snaps from the same trip. Here are two more examples :
First picture (original processed without PS and plugins) and
Second picture (original processed without PS and plugins).

God bless em developers of these plugins and PS… made life so much easier 😀


Do come back for more…

Sometimes you just gotta hold on n keep an open eye…

Sometimes you just gotta hold on n keep an open eye...

How many times have you bashed up yourself for a missed opportunity? I, on a recent trip to Mammoth lakes CA, had such a moment. I had scoped locations and found one at Silver lake (near the more known mono lake) silver lake. I did a quick check(enough time to get to the location n setup,camera, batteries,tripod, lenses, etc) and started to head out of my motel room, but as usually happens, got delayed (people with toddlers would know why ;)). Ended up reaching there just in time to miss the last ray of the setting sun vanishing on the mountain top as i settled in 😦

Man did i feel down n out, this was our last evening at Mammoth lakes, CA before we headed out to Lake Tahoe. The i just remembered a spot i had seen driving back from my scouting trip in the afternoon, i thought why not go there n capture some b/w shots cus the location had imprinted itself on my mind. I did push my drive a bit, but as i pulled up there, i was mesmerized by what i saw. I had to get onto the shoulder to get these shots, saw all the cars zip by. I was in for a treat… the most amazing n dramatic sky i had seen for quiet some time n a perfect backdrop to this tattered hut. I quickly got my cameras out, the light was fading fast, i had no time to setup tripods n all… I fired of maybe more than 200 shots… but i got results like this, this and the one i have posted above. Was i a happy man 😀

Moral of the story (for me really, more than any one else 😉 ) is, keep an eye out for secondary backups in case you miss your primary for any reason and have the ability to move on instead of getting stuck…


For the complete set click here…

My little champ…

My little champ...

Got this camera (pentax q) a couple of weeks ago. I was kind of skeptical about the purchase but once I got the package, I was amazed at how small and light yet sturdy the camera really is. I got it with the 02 zoom lens…

I loved the image IQ right out of the camera. I have a link to the galley form the pentax q at the bottom of the post. I don’t shoot RAW with this one, I found the jpeg mode to be good enough. In-fact, most of the time I find myself using the numbered dial on the front to shoot bold monochrome, vintage color or bold color images. Out of habit (I guess im kinda compulsive here 😀 ), I tweak the levels in LR, but never take the snaps into PS 🙂

This little guy goes with me literally everywhere (ok not to the loo :P, but most other places 😉 ). The battery is small so it does run out of juice kinda fast, but I still manage to get about 200 shots in one charge. I was amazed at the dslr like functions in the camera, for e.g.:
    Some awesome in camera filters (toy camera effect, an awesome b/w mode, vintage color mode)
    In camera RAW/jpeg editing with some pretty good results.
    The ability to modify the functionality of certain buttons
    In camera hdr mode (limited use)
    Custom settings

And above all, the killer feature, in body stabilization. I mount my canon FD lenses on the body and get stabilization, how freakin cool is that…

Having said that, Pentax q is no DSLR killer, the sensor is really small, and noisy… on a bright sunny day you can get the most of the 12 MPs but don’t stop down below f5.6, diffraction will kill the sharpness :). The results are really good for sharing online, you might be able to push your luck with prints up to 8 X 10, but that’s pushin it. This is good for being either a second or a third camera. For serious stuff I use my canon 7d/sony nex7…

Overall, I am highly satisfied with the lil gem (For the price its on Amazon this thing is an absolute steal). I use it as my street shot/hiking/biking camera when I know I am looking for the convenience rather than absolute quality. Here’s a sample of the stuff I have shot since I got it…

Hope you got smtin out of the post… do leave some feedback..