“We can’t all be photographers, musicians and graphic designers when we grow up.”

I read a lot. Some people have lots to say.  Some say little bits in short beautiful sentences. Everyone wants to express. Nobody really cares how their opinion may affect or influence others. I think its a wonderful thing. I like all the openness and freedom.

I stumbled across a tumblr of a 17 year old American guy and this is what he had to say:

“We can’t all be photographers, musicians and graphic designers when we grow up.”

It obviously goes out to the western generation [I really don’t see many young Indian folks doing the same thing as them, but that just may be me]. My friends are busy learning physical theories and mechanical operations. That is a completely different story to get into. However, I want to address the statement made above for the lesser few of us who are into photography, music, designing, etc alongwith being caught up in the science web.

Dear fellow teen soul [above], when I first read your statement, it radiated negativity from all directions. It seems like an unpleasant thing to say to the hundreds of other aspiring young photographers, musicians and designers who are a little bit behind.  Your view is based on ignorant generalization that everyone doing it aims to make it their career in the future.

Yes, many people may do it because it is a huge ~trend~ right now. We do it not because we aim to earn our living by clicking pictures or producing tunes. We do it because that is our way of expressing ourselves. We don’t really care if you like it or not. We don’t care if nobody is ever going to like it. All we care for is having to let our emotions flow out through this medium. It is our way of a creative let out. Some people want to pursue a creative profession because its their passion. That doesn’t mean the ones doing it as a hobby are not passionate about it. People will always underestimate the importance of art as a professional field, may it be in any form. It is entirely an individual’s choice to become whoever the fuck they want to. Or at least aspire to.

Lepakshi Photo Walk

I woke in the morning with a lot of excitement. Met Prashant at Vijaynagar at 7 [he was already there, waiting, surprisingly!]. We reached the station in 20 minutes and met others. As we walked towards platform No.2, a lot of folks joined in. We were 14 of us on our way to our first photo walk outside Bangalore city.

The train journey was fun. Arvind and Akshay discussed all Geeky stuff. People pulled their legs. I got ‘enlightened’ with all the talk. I learnt how to create HDR images. On the way, Zeeshan reminded us that it was exactly one year back that we’d been on our first photo walk to Lalbagh! [I can’t believe a whole year passed by! I remember making a post about our first photo walk!] We reached Hindupur at around 10:45. Hindupur is a small town in Andra Pradesh, around 120 kms from Bangalore. We walked till the main road to find some place where we could have breakfast. After some walking and searching, we fond this little joint sort of a place run by a couple who could speak Kannada and were happy to serve us Dosas, Idlis and Pulav.

Lepakshi is ~15 kms from Hindupur. We were waiting for a bus on the main road when someone randomly mentioned how much fun it would be if we climbed on top of the bus. Just then, an open matador passed by and Natesh with his amazing whistling skill stopped it. We climbed on it and had one of the most memorable, best rides of our lives. We passed by lakes [where we spotted many rare birds] and villages [where we merrily waved at the villagers].

We reached the famous Veerabhadra temple in a while. It was HUGE! And photography is allowed inside the temple premises so everyone shot happily. I personally loved the architecture and design of the place. It is spread out on a large area and there is ample space around. The ancient paintings on the roof are beautiful. We marveled the famous hanging pillars for a while. Arvind, the film maker, created stop motion and time lapse. He even showed it to us on spot on his Mac :D Everyone were impressed. We stayed in the temple premises for till around 3, shooting and talking. We came out and hogged on cucumbers and ice creams. We then walked towards the huge Nandi bull, made of a single granite stone.

We walked back to the main road [well, somewhat of a road] to get back to Hindupur. We wanted to catch the 3:30/ 3:45 train back to Bangalore. We took 2 open auto ricks. It was a bumpy ride, but fun. Everyone seemed high :-|

We reached the station in some time only to realize that we’d just missed the train to Bangalore. The next train was scheduled at 6:30 pm. We immediately took the same autos to the main bus stand and boarded a KSTRC. Everybody almost immediately fell asleep in the bus. Woke up after 2 hours and hogged on some junk. The awesome music on my phone entertained everyone on the way back :P

It was ~7 when we reached the Majestic bus stand. Everybody bid adieu to each other. Nishanth and I took a pre-paid auto and spoke about photo processing, lightroom, etc etc on the way back. I reached home within 40 minutes with a contented heart and mind.

Stay tuned to my flickr for more photographs from the trip & everybody’s pictures on our group pool.

Stop Motion Tutorial

I made this tutorial for the college photography club. Just thought would put it up here too.

“Stop Motion is the art of making movies by capturing each image, basically one frame at a time.”

I must tell you that stop motion is 95% photography and 5% videography.

Though that there are different types of stop motion, the basic concept of every stop motion is the same. That is, to capture EACH frame one by one and put them all together as a movie.

To keep it simple, I will take the example of this work and explain the steps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBCDleTqXtM

Requirements:

1. Camera – Any type will do.

2. Tripod or Rest – The camera *has* to be still during the whole process. Any disturbance will cause discontinuity in the video.

3. Subject(s) – It is very important to choose your subject, ie, what you want to move/change/etc. [example of subjects: book, toy, sock, etc].

4. Figure everything out – Yes, figure out the story or what exactly you want to happen in the video. [example of a story: make a pen move form one side of table to another]

Sure these may sound simple, but along the way it can get very confusing if you don’t have a good firm idea.

Procedure:

1. Mount your camera on a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod, wedge your camera in between big books on a table [it should Not at any cost, move] or make a custom base for it. You get the idea.

Important Camera Settings:

~ Shoot in JPG mode. This is to save all the space.
~ Set White Balance to Manual mode. This helps all the photographs to have the same tone/look.
The idea is that the settings must not change throughout the shooting process.
~ Make sure the batteries are all charged up. Shooting a Stop Motion is a LONG process [mine lasted for 4 hours in all]. You don’t want to run out of energy while shooting.
~ Make sure the memory card is empty. A one minute stop motion movie may consist of around 300 photographs!
~ Since you won’t be printing any of the pictures, set the camera to lowest size image setting.

2. Shoot your animation. Now this is complicated to explain. Let me try my best. At first, shoot your first frame.

In the above video, my first frame was the empty open book. Then I wrote an “I” and clicked.
[at first, I made a small line and clicked, then elongated the line and clicked].
For the “W”, first, I wrote a \ [click] / [click] \ [click] / [click] == \/\/
Did you get it? You should write a little, then click. Write again, and click.
Continue this step FOREVER!

Yes, it is a VERY LONG PROCESS. That video took me an hour to just write and shoot 3 lines.

You can make this more creative by adding other things to your frames [I added paper clips, the heart, etc].

If you make a mistake while shooting, delete that image and take the right one. This will save you from editing your frame later.

3. Make the Video. I have used Windows Movie Maker for this.

Download all your images into an empty folder. Make sure all the photographs are numbered in order [the camera would’ve done this for you]. Open them all in Movie Maker.

Before you add them all to the timeline, you will have to change the Picture Duration and the Transition Duration. This is a very important step.
Tools >> Options
Reduce the Duration to the least time [0.250 seconds].

Now add all the images to the Video Time Line. Play the movie, to get an idea. Add audio if you wish to. Personalize it as you wish.

Save the video! Don’t forget to show us all what you made!

VERY IMPORTANT:

~ Shooting a Stop Motion is a LONG and TIRING process. Be prepared. Have patience. Don’t hurry.
~ More the number of images, the better.
~ Always have what you want in mind.
~ You can take breaks in between but DO NOT change the lighting, exposure, etc. Always shoot one scene at one session.
~ Always shoot more frames than what you need.
REMEMBER: The 1:08 minute video consists of 300 frames and was done over a period of 4 hours!
~ Always test out things before you finally go-for-it.
~ Don’t get frustrated or irritated if you end up with a very small video. Anyone who knows what it is will understand and appreciate all the work gone behind making it! Even a 30 seconds movie is worth it!

My first stop motion.

This is all I’ve done since morning. Thus it deserves a special post on the blog. I’d always wanted to try it. I read around 10 tutorials everywhere on stop motion. My advice would be to follow any ONE only. You can get mixed up with different things easily.

The first step was to the decide the kind of stop motion. It is important to have ideas and implement them. I spent a lot of time in choosing an appropriate song. I just randomly happened to listen to this one on grooveshark today morning for the first time :P Its a very sad song to be honest. Like a mother singing to her child or something. Bleh.

So yeah, next was the set up. This was crazy. I didn’t have a blank page book so used a lame quality small ruled notebook. My handwriting sucks. I had to draw a 2 cm line and click. Elongate the line and click. This went on forever. I completely lost interest in the middle of the process [it was too monotonous].I almost put glitter on the camera too. Nearly killed myself for it. I used the 50mm prime lens with auto focus which made things a lot easier [it will be easier with a remote #justsaying].

There are many flaws in it too. I have missed out on 2 frames [heart picture] that skips continuity. The last line “where will you go?” actually belongs to the last stanza of the song which is not even included in 1 minute. I also misspelled “where” and couldn’t do anything about it. Correcting it would require deleting ~30 previous shots and doing it all over again from there. I didn’t have a music editor [or whatever its called] so I downloaded some cheap shit off the web and later realized it would do only half of the things I wanted as it was a free software. So I expanded the song to 2:14 to get 1:07 minutes while saving. Phew.

I used Windows Movie Maker to finally put ~280 shots together. Making a stop motion is time consuming. One needs to be patient all the while and not get upset by the result. A 3.5 hours attempt worth 280 shots gave me only a 1 minute video :-\