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Sakthiyuvaraja Sakthivelmurugan





September 23rd, 2008

silence room

My visits to the Hale library at KSU was almost zero in the last semester. Studying at home was one of the reason and I didn't have a very tight schedule where each miniute was important.

Gaurav forced me to the library yesterday and I realized I was able to study for 2-3 hrs without distraction. This made me to push him to the library today. He took me to the SILENCE ROOM at hale. It was nice to have such a quite place. One can hear even chairs creeking. I should make freequent trips to do better in the only course I take this semester.

technical paper

Finally wrote a technical paper with my professor. Its been submitted for the conference hopefully it should get selected. Though my contribution towards the paper was a few pages, it helped me to learn on writing techincal papers. I also had a chance to improve my writing skills. I definitely need to practise writing and reead to write better.

June 5th, 2008

Well, I have been spending a lot to buy photography gear and accessories, the expenditure seems to be a never ending process. I have to check my expenses as its not going to help me continue spending with the frugal salary I get paid for. When I checked my account balance yesterday, I got really scared and decided not to check it again :P.

I have more expenses lined up I need to pay my tuition for my next semester (Isn't this funny to think how to pay for the sole reason I'm here, while spending on other things), my flight ticket to India which seems to be going up due to the increasing oil prices and the wonderful gifts which I have planned for my loved ones back home.

With so many commitments on my head, I have decided to ask for opinion to control my expenses. Please contribute your answer as comments.

One option I have thought of is to request generous donors to start gifting me photography gears or pay lavishly for my not so impressive photos.
I bought a new bag to carry my 300mm :) I was thinking about the lowepro mini trekker which seems to be everyones choice. But I didn't like it since its a little small for my height. I was looking for other options and found the KATA R-103 to have got some really good but very few have owned it. There where very few reviews but from what little amount of literature I read I found the bag to suit my needs. I loaded the bag with all my gear and had space for 3-4 lens, I also hooked up the heavy tripod on to the bag. With all this, I biked for a mile to reach the KSU Gardens and spent a couple of hours shooting some birds. I found the bag to be very comfortable and durable. I would recommend it to any one who want to fit a 300mm with 4-5 lens.

May 22nd, 2008

I got my sexy new 300mm today :) Ordered one for B&H Photo. The lens is around 1500g and weighs heavy for me since I haven't used any other lens than the 50mm and 1870mm.

Will post some pictures of birds soon.. I had to return the 90mm macro since I didn't find much use of it and the rebate expried :(

Will probably consider to go for a 180mm macro since it has a better working distance.

May 3rd, 2008



Panning, originally uploaded by ~sakthi.

Tried a few shots with panning today!

April 30th, 2008

The lens has a good feel. Remember, I haven't used any other lens than Nikkor 50mm and Nikkor 1870. The lens is RAZOR sharp. And has a very good bokeh. The DOF is very small even at f5.6, so need some time to get adjusted to the handling.

The lens extends significantly at 1:1. That isn't a big deal, but have to be careful when you get real close to the subject. You might hit on the front element. And at 1:1 its only 5.6f wide open, so hand held shots can be difficult at low light.

RAZOR sharp, Excellent DOF and handling is the key!

April 29th, 2008

Yey! I got my macro lens today :) After thinking for a while the 90$ mail in rebate seemed to be very good offer.

April 23rd, 2008

My RAW Workflowi

I just want to compare my current workflow of converting my RAW image to JPEG for sharing on WEB.

0. I import the files into my MacBook using iPhoto. I properly name the folder in which I want to put them. This is an example file extension I use 20080413-15-Trip, which means the trip photos taken between 13 and 15 of the 04, 2008. For random pictures I create a folder every month :P

1. Use RAWKER to set contrast, exposure, gamma, sharpness and white balance. Safe it was JPEG with no compression. Unfortunately GIMP on MAC doesn't support the 16 bit tiff files. I need to see if there are any patch or newer version which does.

2. Crop the image

3. Clone if needed

4. Adjust curves and levels

5. Adjust Brightness and Contrast again

6. Sharpen with 20 radius

7. Resize for web

8. Add borders and copyright.

Safe for web!

Looks simple need to fine grain things. Unfortunately there is no neat image for mac either.

Here is an Image I processed few days back

April 21st, 2008

Shootin RAW

I always wanted to see what difference could a RAW image do. Earlier I was too lazy to do it since its a pain to do all the processing and handle huge memory constraints. I usually ran out of memory in a couple of hours of shooting if I go RAW.

But recently I had tried shooting a function on RAW+JPEG. I barely could make 130 pics in my 2GB disk. Even then I didn't regret since the output of the RAW format images where amazing, I had a larger control over editing by setting the color balance and exposure. Immediately, I decided to start shooting RAW. I will probably order a few Gigs of Ultra 2 SD cards, they are quite cheaper than the Extreme III cards.
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