I Love You - My Sweet StoneHeart!

I Love You
I sometimes go a little freaky and make crazy things like this. This is one of my arts on stone which I did some years back - of course during my renaissance year of painting to be precise.

Life was full of wonder then and I must have been one of the top person at wondering during those good old days. I might have been very mysterious for others but I was very simple and honest for myself. I was an introvert and used to plunge into thinking about the world when others used to enjoy the company of friends and were very frank. Most of them had an extrovert personality unlike me.

So, as an introvert it was obvious that I had no sweetheart. Guess what I came up with? Yes, I was a little less creative than Bramha, a Hindu God known as the creator of this universe, and therefore I could just make a stone-heart.

It was a cute idea to paint on stones. Not to mention that I want to try every things I come to know of. I have that instinct now and I had that instinct then. Either I had acquired that instinct from the environment I grew up on or I had got it integrated directly into my genes is hard to say. However, I think the latter one must have been the case with me. Whatever, the result is that I am very curious and want to do all the things which I find amusing. Painting on stones was certainly among one of the coolest idea and I did it!

There are many things at which I believe that I qualify nomination for Nobel prizes, and imagination is one of those things. I don't mean to say that I was good at imagination by the idea of painting on a stone - this idea wasn't unique. Here, I mean to say that I used to imagine and daydream a lot. Yes, I was a good daydreamer who didn't spare the night as well - that means I worked "overtime" at daydreaming!

And as the story of the good old days continues, I had sweethearts in my mind, carefully chosen, and secretly loved so as not to let others get a clue on the matter. I hope I had been successful. I dare not to name those whom I used to love back then because that will make a long list - they were not one, not two, not three, but many and one of the interesting notice I have made about girls is that most of the girls whom I want to talk to get the impression that I am in love with them but those whom I like are the ones to whom I actually can't even say a word and are often among the ones whom I need to talk to only occasionally and by chance. So, I guess those sweethearts didn't know that they were someone's (hey, this someone is me indeed) sweetheart but I believe that everyone has some mental sweethearts at some point of their life and that's a normal phenomenon. My God! I am normal - at least at one thing.

A little work on Photoshop. "Flash On" while shooting resulted the "Glow".

I told you my story all the way and nearly forgot my purpose. I was here just to say that I really love this "Stone-Heart" - that's what I want to call it - which I made myself when I was studying in grade nine and that I now want to share it with you, thanks to the digital technology which made it not only possible but really very simple as well.

So, how is it? Please have your say in the comments below.

Download Bis Hajari Taal Photo Album Absolutely Free!

Many DOS and a few DONT'S and there you get my first "Bis Hajari Taal Photo Album" absolutely free for download.

Here are some DOS about how you can use my images:
  1. You can use them to print post cards and send them to your friend, relatives or anyone you like.
  2. You can use them as your desktop wallpaper.
  3. If you are a website designer, you can edit them and use them to create banners, slide shows, background texture, etc.
  4. If you are a blogger, then you can use these images to enhance your blog posts. Link back (to this website) and credits mentions will be highly appreciated.
  5. You can use these images in any way you like for the personal purpose.
  6. If you are a graphics designer, then you can use these images in your graphics, and animation.
  7. You can edit and enhance these images in Photoshop or any other post processing software and of course make use of them.

And here are some DONT'S:
  1. Don't use them for commercial purposes like selling and making money out of them. These images aren't of high quality and hence selling them by getting them free from this blog is simply cheating. Instead you can direct them to this blog so that they don't have to pay for them.
  2. Don't re-upload them in your own websites to allow downloads to your visitors. Why clutter the web with duplicate content? So, just link back if you want to allow downloads to your visitors.
  3. Avoid any other uses which seem inappropriate, or which leads me, the photographer of these images, into trouble of any kind resulting from your misuse/abuse of these photographs.

How to download?
It's very simple. I have shared the album with everyone (meaning you as well) from my Windows Live Sky Drive at this link. Click the link and you'll get to view as well as download all the images from there. (Don't worry. You'll see a link where it will be clearly written 'Download' at the right panel.)

You can have a quick preview here.

As of now you can only download one image at a time. That's not bad for you as well in my opinion because you may not need all the images. Furthermore, you can have a full preview of the image before you download and that way you can be sure that you are selecting the right image for you and you avoid the unnecessary images.

Happy Downloading! Happy Sharing!

How I digitize my arts using photography!

In this post, I am going to describe the activities that I perform before I come up with my arts ready for publishing. I hope this will help satisfy your curiosity about how I digitize my arts. Plus if you are also trying to digitize your arts and paintings but are unsatisfied with the outcome here's my approach.

  • At first I place my arts in a place where there is adequate light (I usually do this on the rooftop).
  • Then I support them with rulers or any other appropriate things. This helps them to get stretched and prevents them from being blown by winds.
  • You can prepare more for lighting as well as many other things. However, I do just that. Then I try to shoot my best. But with nominal instruments the photos don’t come out good at once. So, I take more and more shots often varying ISO settings.
  • After the shooting part is over I select some good images and then import them into Photoshop. I use Photoshop mainly for two tasks.
1. Perspective Cropping
Since the images of our arts don’t come rectangular as we desire, we have to crop them using perspective.

You can correct the irregularities of your arts by using the perspective while cropping. For that, check the checkbox labeled “Perspective” on the toolbar just under the menu-bar. Note that this option doesn’t appear unless you select the “Crop” tool in the Toolbox. And also to learn how to do it right requires a lot of practice. So, take time to experiment this feature unless you understand how to do it right.
2. Enhancing using Auto Levels
Now after you have cropped the image, it’s time to enhance it a bit. For this, I use the “Auto Levels” command which automatically adjusts brightness, contrast, light, temperature, etc of the image.
To use this: Go to “Image” menu in the menubar. Then Point to Adjustments and then click on Auto Levels. Alternately, press Shift+Ctrl+L keys simultaneously.

This works well most of the time but not always. So, if you aren’t satisfied with the enhancement then, Undo the Auto Levels command, save the picture and import it to Picasa.

Actually you can adjust the brightness and all other settings manually within Photoshop itself but since Photoshop has a lot of features it is very complex to do that. And moreover, even if you are good at Photoshop then still I would recommend you to check out the two software tools: Photomatix Pro (It is useful to create HDR images by Tone mapping) and Picasa from Google. Perhaps you may find them easier or more useful!

Alternate Method to Enhance Images: Using Tuning Feature in Picasa

Picasa allows you to adjust light and shadow; it involves no complex terminologies and is simple to use and that is why I am talking about this.

Here’s how you can adjust light in your images using Picasa:

After you have imported the above image in Picasa click on the “Tuning” tab as shown in the picture. There are only four options. Among them ‘Fill Light’ and “Shadows” options are the most useful ones and these will help you add adequate light to your picture. This also needs your own experiments to understand it fully. I use this to add light to my art images and other photos as well.

Slide the “Fill Light” slider and watch the effect on your image. The image becomes brighter and clearer. However, at some point it starts to become washed. At that point add some shadow. Increasing “Shadows” makes the shadows darker and heals the washed-out effect. Test the look of the image by varying these options. Finally choose the setting at which the image looks most beautiful.

After the enhancing is done, the image becomes ready for publishing. This is how I do it. However, if you have more instruments then try to make appropriate use of them. You can find out how to make best use of them along with other information you’d want to know from the Internet. Therefore, don’t hold yourself back. Instruments are just one aspect of photography and knowledge, creativity, post processing techniques, experience, etc are the other. So, be proactive and go ahead in your career.

Finally Some Tips worth Regurgitating

Finally I would like to reiterate some tips you have been hearing often but are impeccably true.
  • Learn to make best use of the resources you have.
  • Read as much as you can about Photography.
  • Take as many shots as you can and take some time to select the best photos.
  • Use varieties of post-processing softwares. This is especially useful if you have no good equipments, like me, for photography.
  • And most importantly, follow some great photographers on Google+, Facebook or on their blogs.
If I’m trying to do photography with just a 6MP digital camera there’s no point that you can’t do it!

Happy Photographing!!

More Photographs from Bis Hajari Taal Photo-walk!

This is the second post where I am sharing you the photographs from my Bis Hajari Taal Photowalk. Here's the first post where I shared some images and introduced you to my first photo-walk and first serious photography. I hadn't been able to process all the images by that time which is why I am here with this second post.

As I am moving along with photography I am learning a lot of things which I would be sharing with you in this post. Read the rest of the post and figure out the point I'm making here by yourself.

I haven't been into photography for long and I'm already realizing that my photos aren't of good quality. However, quite a significant part of the problem is technical where I can't help myself right now! The digital camera I own isn't good when it comes to landscape photography. It's great to shoot people nearby but when it comes to shooting the landscapes at some distance it falls flat. By the way, my camera is a Cannon IXY 6 MP Digital Camera with the lens range of 5.8 to 17.4mm. That's definitely not a good camera for a photographer. But since I am not a professional photographer and don't have money to buy a good camera which is really very expensive that's okay with me.

Now, you might be wondering why would I even like to share my images when I clearly know that I am not a good photographer and don't even have a good camera? Why? But I have my reasons.

First of all, even in the absence of good instruments I'm trying to make something happen. That's a great thing for me. People can do anything when the circumstances are really good and when they can get everything they need.

Second, I'm showing you the places and things which you might not have seen before. This is one of the best reasons why people photograph travelling around the world, to the unexplored and undiscovered lands even at the stake of their life. In another way, I'm also showing you my perspective. For example, if I like the view above probably you might also like to see it even if the quality of image isn't quite good. The lake I'm covering in this post, Bis Hajari Taal, is really very beautiful. As you can see above, it is very uneven and is branching into all the directions out there and that's really amazing! Should I wait until I buy a good camera to capture this beautiful landscape? I might have to wait years for that and I have some more beautiful scenes below!

Moreover, I am learning a lot of things about photography and me doing it on my own has helped me experiment whatever I learn. That's the best thing one can do with photography, learn something and immediately test it out to confirm whatever you have learnt. I didn't have much knowledge of ISO settings and all that when I went to shoot these images. However, I discovered later that we can change ISO settings to shoot photos in the conditions when there's not enough light or when we have to shoot it without using a tripod. I don't have tripod as well and I could have made two photographs of each scene with low ISO and high ISO settings if I had its knowledge then. When I came to know about these settings I immediately took photographs varying the ISO settings and was surprised to see the difference. After I have experimented and used these techniques it will be easy to cope up with the good cameras when I get one. So, if you are a casual photographer then explore out all the settings or functions that your camera has and experiment with them. It's a great way to learn things and will help you do better even with the minimum equipment.

Another reason why I must be doing photography is that photography is an essential skill for bloggers like me. Why? Our intention is to engage our audiences. However, to engage them first you need to draw their attention. Images in our posts help us do just that. Aren't you more likely to read the articles which have attractive images whenever you are browsing through?

Furthermore, I was able to digitize my arts just because of photography. The different techniques I learnt while pursuing photography enabled me to publish my sketches and paintings in my blogs. The most important part of digitizing those arts was post processing. The images of my arts never had enough light, however, I adjusted light in those images using post processing techniques. So, I'm thankful to my own pursuit of photography for being able to do that. I finally got to expose my arts to the world!

Even when the quality of images might not be good, some images turn out to be really beautiful. Would you get such images without trying photography once? So, getting along by making the best use of whatever you have is my working strategy that really lands me up with amazing results sometimes. The above photograph is one of my work that I really love. It could have been better, I agree, but couldn't it have been worse? So just do something if you can without worrying what the outcomes will be. They will be really rewarding sometimes.

So, there are reasons for you also to photograph even if you don't have good skills, equipment, or whatever. Another matter of fact is that the demand for photography will probably never decline. Why? Okay, if you are a commercial photographer then it might be the case but otherwise it will simply won't decline. Isn't speaking or writing essential? Then, so is photography! Photography is a medium of communication. Here, you communicate your perspectives, you communicate your emotions, you communicate your mood and you can communicate many more things. Doesn't a beautiful photo drift you into the imagination of that place? Doesn't some photographs make you utter "Wow!" effortlessly in an excitement? How is that possible without photographs communicating you something?

Finally, I must admit that I have ranted so much about photography, while in fact, my photography journey has just begun. I'm quite a learner still and I never hope to perfect it because I know that it requires me to do a lot of hard work. I love hard work but I'm planning to do it elsewhere for most of the time. However, wherever and whenever I'm free for a moment and I have a camera around me I'll be more than happy to have some fun with photography.

And lastly, I'm planning to create an album and allow you to download the full size images in their maximum quality for free! I hope that these might come use to some people even if they aren't of high quality.