Smugmug redesign…

Smugmug redesign…

I was kind of skeptical to see what kind of an update smugmug had in store, but this is a pleasant change. A change for good…

One can customize their site pretty easily, with most of the stuff being just drag and drop. Witching 20 mins I had a great looking site… much better than what I had previously. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there is plenty of room for improvements, but the current set of changes was a breath of fresh air…

I would love to see the site become more customizable with more templates available for those of us who are not pros yet and cant afford the more expensive subscriptions as yet. The displaying of images in the galleries could use more formats and the slideshows could use more options (randomize for one)…

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Puffing Billy… What a pleasure riding this relic of an era gone by

Puffing Billy... What a pleasure riding this relic of an era gone by

What a trip to Australia we had… AWESOME fun :). Just got up from editing the snaps from the trip. This post is specifically about the fun filled amazing day trip we did on board the Puffing Billy Its a bit pricy, but for all day fun i think its ok to splurge once in a while now 😉 The opening shot is an accidental double exposure. In the rush to click i had accidentally flipped the switch on my mamiya 645. Nonetheless, i guess it did turn out interesting… Luck by chance 😉

Here are a few more from the trip… I tried to create a nostalgic look in the pics… cus it sure did remind my childhood riding in steam engine pulled trains back home (India) in the early 80’s(1980’s i.e 😛 i am old… not THAT old).
puffing billy black and white shot nostalgia melbourne

Another one, my wife tryin to relax once our kid went to sleep.. He was super excited and then i guess ran out of sugar… luckily she got some cooling off time too 🙂
wife relaxing in puffing billy melbourne

Coaches resting after takin us all the way up.. i guess they need some rest too 😉
spare coaches of puffing billy the steam train melbourne

The pickup… Our ride back
puffing billy in light flare captured on medium format film melbourne

Thats how you know it was worth it… That look :).
I hope we created some good memories that day 🙂
my kid enjoyinh his rinde on the puffing billy, steam train melbourne

Green means go…. Thats it folks…
black and white photo of puffing billy pulling out of the station, steam train melbourne

Stay tuned for more… i’ll post more from the Australia trip…

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For more snaps from the trip go here

SFO in film…

SFO in film... Street car waiting for passengers in San Francisco

Just out of sheer excitement i took my family on a day trip to SFO (San Francisco) to try out the film camera. I did tag along my small Pentax Q as a light meter :), but didnt need to use it. The metering on the otherwise fully manual Mamiya 645 seems to work just fine 😀

Here are a few more from the trip:

In the tram:
view from inside a tram in San Francisco captured on medium format film

Walkin by the sea:
San francisco in film, walking along the coast

Here’s one in color :
San francisco in film, color photo of my wife and kid
It was the last exposure on the color film in my camera. I (on a hunch) put in the B/W film to get street shots from SFO. I think i like the shots i got form the trip in B/W… the images seem to lend themselves to monochrome much more than they would have to color.

Here’s another one in color I captured biking around the Bay trail in Mountain view.
bay trail mountain view ca in film

This time i scanned the negatives at 3200 DPI (on my Epson V600) and imported the files at 48DPI as tiff files. Each negative scans in at a cool 32MP… Beats the pants off my NEX7 or 6d in terms of both sharpness and resolution… This is indeed going to be fun 😀

Have fun..

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P

Heres a link to the rest of my film gallery…

My first film photographs :)

My first film photographs Sunrise over Golden gate bridge with San Francisco in the backdrop

A week or so back I was lucky enough to chance upon a used Mamiya 645 film camera. It came with a std 80mm f2.8 , the tele 150mm lens, metered prism, 120 back and a grip. Its a beast compared to all my other cameras, but I just loved it… What a beautiful piece of machinery 😀
For my first few reels I got a b/w negative Kodak 400 ISO and a color negative Kodak 100 ISO film.
Just got back my first sets of color and monochrome film developed… I was eagerly awaiting to see if I had completely blown the first few roles…
The results were not all bad, they were not all good either 😉 I had managed to squeeze out some winners the first time around 😀

Having said that, I had tons of shots with missed focus (I am still getting used to the focusing mechanism, though its much easier to manually focus than my digital cameras, but I guess I need a lot of practice before I can focus fast in dynamic conditions .)

Overall I am really satisfied with the results the film gave me, its got micro contrast and tonality nailed right out of the bat…

Here’s another one from the color film… Both this and the one up top are taken at the Golden gate national recreational area near SFO…
Golden gate national recreational area captured in medium format film

The following two snaps are from the monochrome ISO 400 film… Again the results are just plain awesome…I can foresee a long love affair with film 😀
playing on the swing in monochrome medium format film

cafe pro bono palo alto downtown captured in monochrome medium format film

As a disclaimer, I would like to mention that I have post processed the images once they were scanned into the comp… but the results from the film cut my work in about half, because of the already awesome tones and local contrast from the film 😀

On the topic of scanning, I purchased the Epson v600 scanner to scan my film (getting the developing outlets scan is kind of an expensive proposition, even more so for the higher resolution scans I did.). I would break even on that guy just in under 10 rolls… Its a good scanner, but not a pro.. I had to color balance a lot of the color pictures scanned in from it and both the b/w and color scans needed quiet a lot of sharpening to be useful… Its still a pretty good scanner for the price. The accompanying software is ok and functional, but please do not turn on Digital ICE… it just craps all over the pics. The first roll I scanned was the monochrome, and the pics had weird artifacts in them with digital ICE. I turned it off at that pint and did not try it with the color film.

In the coming days I intend to shoot more and hope to learn to develop the b/w film at home… So stay tuned… This seems to be a fun journey 😀

I recently came across this blog… what an amazing artist. I hope some day i can come up with stuff that is half as good :D. Seeing images like the ones on the blog, my decision to step back into film seems a step in the right direction 😉

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P

For the rest of the pics click here

Golden gate national recreational area…

Golden gate national recreational area... sunrise over Golden gate bride with San Francisco in the backdrop

A really beautiful national park just moments from SFO (San Francisco) and a short drive from most of the bay area…
I have lost count now as to how many times i have been here… Sunsets,sunrises, afternoons, just about anytime. There’s just so much one can do here… hiking, biking,relaxing on the berach or just enjoy the awesome views (especially at sunset and sunrise)

Here are a few more i was lucky enough to get to this weekend… The purpose of the trip was to give my newly acquired medium format film camera a try… but I did have my 6d with me. I am eagerly awaiting the results from the film camera. The negatives are being developed as of now… Fingers crossed 😀

Sunrise looking out to the backwaters of the San francisco bay

looking out towards the golden gate bridge with San francisco in the backdop at sunrise

San francisco and golden gate in the beautiful gentle light at sunrise

Wish me luck for the outcome of my film trials, i am super excited 😀

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P
Heres the link to some pics i got from the past trips as well as the rest from this one…

The one that almost flew and more…

The one that almost flew and more...
Some great moments from the recent family trip down to Seaworld, San Diego. What an awesome place to spend a whole day at… plenty on fun for the whole family…
The opening shot is one of the killer whales at the Shamu show fully airborne during one of its acrobatic moments 🙂 For all the ones i manages to catch, there were plenty of even more amazing moments that i missed to capture just cus of the sheer thrill of the moment 😀

Next we headed over to the dolphin pond…. Boy did my lil one enjoy this 🙂 The dolphins were within reach and some kids even managed to touch them on a few occasions…
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This one is of the dolphin almost reaching for the red ball 😉

The cameras rested for a long time after the dolphins 😦 Theres just so much to do out here. Dolphin and bird show, otters, turtle bay, sea lion show… I just forgot my cameras in the bag 😀

The final exhibit we checked out was the arctic expedition… Awesome setup this is… lovely views of the walrus, beluga whale and our personal favorite… the Polar Bear 🙂
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Here he is after getting rid of all the cold water fresh out of a swim 🙂

Amidst all our runarounds at Seaworld, one thing does need a honorable mention… The tower.
Not just is it a great ride, it also helped immensely in guiding us to and from the various shows/ehibits 😉
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Thanks for your time…
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P

Heres a link to rest of the gallery…

San diego zoo…

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I cant tell you how happy my kid was on seeing an elephant… He saw one for the first time at the San Diego zoo… and he couldn’t take his eyes of it.
I have seen the SFO zoo and thought it was great but this beats it hands down. Took us a whole day to look at all the exhibits…

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Now I am from India and I have seen plenty of camels… but i have never seen this kind before. The camels in India look like this… It was quiet amusing for me my wife (our kid has never seen the indian camels… so he’ll be in for some amusement once he sees the ones back home 😉 )

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Next we came to the Jaguar enclosure… what a beautiful cat it is… Seeing it sit like this did make me think how caught up/tied down these guys would feel in the zoo…

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Next we happened to come up on the Lions when they were feeding. Made my kid super excited… and i had the opp to get some nice clicks too 😀

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Last but not the least… we met the newest member at the zoo (or so we were told)… this guy was just 10 days at the time the pic was snapped…

I did enjoy the lovely animals at the zoo… but every time i go there i have this haunting feeling of the incredible loss these poor souls are at… They should be roaming the wild instead of being trapped in these cages 😦

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P

For the rest of the shots click here