December 28, 2013

ND filter on the cheap!

Following a tutorial I found on the web, I bought a Welding glass from a hardware shop and drove to my favorite 'waterfalls', the Dummugudem Irrigation project!

I secured the glass to the lens with a piece of Insulation tape and covered it with a piece of cloth to reduce light leaks.

Being the Bum that I am, I forgot to carry my Tripod and had to place the camera on rocks. I had a hard time finding good spots and managed to scratch the camera in a couple of places.

I used a shutter speed of about 30 seconds at f8 and above.

The results were very pleasing though:

I compensated for the green cast by adjusting the curves on Photoshop.

The results look best on Black and white though. Will experiment more on my upcoming trip to Marredmilli.

December 18, 2013

Mixed results from XA4 and pack of Profoto

This post will make no attempt at excuses for not having posted anything in the last few months.

Instead, I will post some recent pics from my Olympus XA4. Results are a mixed bag.

I was expecting better from the ProFoto XL 100 but it can also be the 50mm macro I'm using to scan. Or the scan mount. Too many variables.

November 26, 2013

In oblivion they remain

She stood at the doorway with a stick in hand. Short, frail, with wrinkled skin; she shook with every little shudder of the fast moving train.

A closer look revealed half her face was caved in, an empty hole where there was once an eye. The dark, recessed mass casting a scary gloom on what was just an old, worn face.

Her remaining eye was glazed, weak and devoid of all expression. I might as well been staring down a black hole.

As the train started, she slowly moved through the compartments, her arms stretched, one small step at a time lest she lose balance.

I realize there are many who make money by begging on trains. Islam approves helping old people who can't fend for themselves. If this lady doesn't deserve help, I don't know who does.

I handed her a 20 bill. She deserved more.

November 22, 2013

Waist level shooter, Canon Sure shot Ace

So I finally bought a camera with a waist level finder! Arguably one of the uglier cameras in my collection, I will put it to the test coming Sunday on a roll of Kodak ProFoto XL 100.

Post to be updated with images and video soon.

August 17, 2013

Ne'u'pan...our very own Indian ripoff

On a tip off from a friend, I drove all the way to RP road through traffic, smoke and rain to grab what I thought were Neopan acros selling at cheap rates.

I ended up with a Neupan, a cheap Indian fake. To add to the injury, they expired in 1997! Wow.

The guy promised they will develop but with a  foggy cast. Nothing to lose experimenting with one considering it costs 50 bucks apiece.  

June 30, 2013

Poor man's Leica : Canon Canonet QL17

I scored another awesome camera on my last trip through the streets of old Old city. The Canon Canonet QL 17 is regarded by many as one of the best cameras ever and despite being one of the most sold cameras, this is the first copy I've come across.

A brief overview of the camera below:

June 21, 2013

Minolta Hi-Matic 11

I scored another good film camera. Range finders are not very easy to come by and this one didn't come cheap. The condition is very good and the one trial roll I shot looks good. Video and pics of the camera below:


June 12, 2013

No Lemp Brewpubs in Hyderabad!

Sometime in 2011. We were visiting Aqua at The Park and I was seated at the empty ground floor lobby as I waited for my friends.

I saw this guy surrounded by a couple of hotel staff and a bouncer.

He was dressed in a modest shirt and faded trousers. He must have been in his 40s...he had graying, unkempt hair and a small mustache. He wore a pair of rubber slippers for footwear and a thin bag over his shoulder. It had seen better days for it was soiled and torn in a couple of places.

I could hear the conversation clearly. He'd gatecrashed a corporate event and had free lunch. The younger of the two staff politely asked him for his credentials and ID. He didn't have any. He insisted he was part of the event. Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn't. At least he didn't look the part...

He then produced a newspaper clipping from his bag and showed it to the staff. They were polite again and told him he couldn't use a newspaper clipping to enter a private lunch and asked him to pay up for the meal, which amounted to around 800 rupees. He made a face and announced he didn't have money on him.

I knew it would get ugly from here on. I was wrong.

The two guys from staff then went in to get the manager. They left the guy with the muscular bouncer. He suggested he pay up SOMETHING and be off. "Yeh log chodenge nahi tumhe. Kuch do aur nikaljao " The guy was adamant and insisted he didn't have any. The juniors returned with a guy in a suit... he looked like the manager. He started with "Sir, aap aisa nahi kar sakte.." A little later, the bouncer escorted the guy out of the building.

At no point in the almost half hour ordeal was he mistreated or dealt with strongly. There was no crowd in the lobby for this exchange to disturb the decorum of the place. I was the sole witness to the whole incident. They could've easily roughed him up and nobody would've known.

The recent trending topic on the Lemp brewpub case where a group of youngsters were harassed by a wealthy hotelier and the police stirred up a lot of debate on the state of affairs in Gurgaon, which, to be honest, is in the news for all the wrong reasons. Read all about it here.

While, some people find fault with stereotyping a whole city for an incident like this, it does look like cultural and regional factors do play a role here. My experience at the park actually shows a stark contrast in social behavior. Kids who were willing to pay got abysmal service, were roughed up, and even got a ride to the station in a Police van. On the other hand, a guy who'd clearly done wrong was dealt with respect and dignity.  The other side of the story is not clear though. The hotel staff has accused the youngsters of high handedness and misconduct, though that looks like an effort to save face.

This post is NOT to glorify Hyderabad by the way. My hatred for some foul mouthed, uncivilized people here goes way back. Dicks are everywhere. Maybe there are less here.

The Lemp episode highlights the glaring socio-political divide and how the the rich people-police nexus is proving to be a real challenge to normal folk like us.

I have just a handful of readers on this blog so asking questions is a waste but I'll leave one anyway. Has a hotel in Hyderabad ever treated you like crap? Have you had the misfortune of running into goons for hoteliers?

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