Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Handling RAW files : Canon DPP or Adobe Camera RAW

Photography is my first passion. Travel complements my photography. My favorite genre is wildlife photography which made me spend lot of time in various jungles of India. As I had started writing about my photographic journey and shared it on my facebook page (Rupankar Mahanta Photography), I felt that sharing it on my blog will connect to a different sets of readers. Following is excerpt from the first article I am sharing here :

Handling RAW files : Canon DPP or Adobe Camera RAW

As I was transiting from flim SLR to digital technology, I acquired a Canon A540 which was a prosumer point and shoot model with full manual control. It was one of the best pocket cameras I had ever owned, much better than the pricier Canon IXUS 120IS which I bought couple of years later as replacement. Being a point and shoot, it could capture only in JPEG format. I hope jpeg do not sound too esoteric here. It stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and is a commonly used method of LOSSY compression for storing digital images. Read the word LOSSY which actually means what it is. When an image is saved as jpeg some original image information is lost and cannot be restored, possibly affecting image quality. However I was not bothered at all about this then as I had no other options. As I went on to acquire a DSLR, starting with AUTO mode and continued with JPEG for some time. As my understanding of digital photography expanded, I found that technically JPEG is not the ideal form for a photographer. So what to do? Shoot RAW was the ubiquitous advice on net.

Everything has a learning curve. JPEG continued through my transition from the AUTO mode to Av (Aperture Priority). Those days I was not a wildlife photographer and hence never used Tv (Shutter priority) mode.  After couple of months of study I solved the conundrum of RAW. Since then I have been shooting in RAW. There is no loss of data in RAW format images. Almost immediately I was offered with another riddle –what colour space. Digital photography had become too technical!

Leaving aside the subject of colour space for another day, let me continue with handling of RAW files...........................

Here is link to the full article -

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Gentle giants of Corbett grasslands

This April, I was on my second visit this year to Corbett National Park. This place is heaven for wildlife photographers. I can keep going there whenever time and finances permit. This visit was special because of the conglomeration of almost 50 fellow photographers as part of the Canon Wild Click Season-V. Major part of the event was hosted at the Infinity Resort at Dhikuli with nature trails along the Kosi river at both Dhikuli and Mohan, and also at Sitabani range under Ramnagar forest division. The event was organised by Nature Wanderers and was sponsored by Canon India, Sanctuary Asia, WIldcraft. The Forest Deptt of Uttarakhand also extended its support to the event allowing access. Part of the event was conducted at Dhikala with one night stay and 3 safaris at the Dhikala range.

The participants were required to shoot photos for 5 themes and submit 1 photo in each category. It was evident that subjects for some of the themes were to be found either in the nature trail or in the sprawling Infinity campus and subjects for some of the themes were to be found either in the saal forests or grasslands of Dhikala.

As we had entered into Dhikala zone very early into the second morning, the sweet smell of the  saal forest greeted us. The vehicles moved in such a way to avoid a convoy.  Most of the roads wore a carpet of falls leaves resembling a mauve carpet stretched as far as you can see. We took the detour via the deep forest road to Gairal. En-route, we had one of the best moments of the trip when a small group of elephants crossed the main road giving us opportunity to shoot them with classic background of saal forest of Corbett.

The second safari post lunch was fantastic. We were warned about not to run after tigers because of the danger of ending up the day without any photo to show. It was prime time for elephants. We were advised to reach the grassland, known as chaur, in search of pachyderm by 3 pm. I took a trip a trip in March expecting to shoot elephants. But because of an extended winter the herds were yet to arrive. As the news of arrival of elephants is confirmed, I got excited. And what an evening it turned out to be.  We could shoot elephants from as close as 15 feet. The herd had been very patient and enjoyed being photographed by another herd of photographers. By the end of the day, almost all us had some dream shots of elephants. I had elephants in the river, having mud bath, tossing up grass, display of emotions, group dynamics, etc. This was an evening not to forget for a lifetime.

Back at the Infinity resort, we got involved in the race against time of the event. This edition of wild click was won by young Daanish Shastri. I am happy to have made some fantastic images over those 3 days for my collection. As usual made some new friends from different parts of India. Looking forward to going back again to Corbett in June this year before the park closes for monsoon.