Aiming for the Difficult


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When looking at prize winning images or the ‘perfect’ images, we read about the number of image uses to achieve the desired shot. Sometimes, this number is in the hundreds, sometimes in the thousands.

Recently, a bird was making nest in a tree near my apartment. I wanted to grab a picture of the bird in mid-flight. The tree lies between two buildings and is in shade most of the day. Only when the sun is overhead does it get direct sunlight.

I tried many settings and got many blurred shots. The shade adds to the problem. Initially using RAW + JPG output. getting less frames. I switched to JPG expecting more frames. The camera is supposed to shoot 5fps but I doubt that. After the initial burst of 3 shots, the camera seems to shoot at 1fps.

The max setting is 1/4000 in shutter priority. I got a few grabs, but in most cases, the frames are empty. I am amazed at the speed with which the bird flies – particularly when leaving the nest. While landing on the nest, the speed is slower (obviously).

Then I had a brilliant idea. I thought of taking a video of the bird with the idea of extracting frames from the video. While shooting at 30fps, I was hopeful of getting some good freeze shots. but it did not work that way. In fact, I found that the bird was a blur in the video. But the video was of the bird leaving the nest. I need to try a video of the bird coming into the nest.

With this experience, I am able to appreciate the effort needed in taking that ‘ultimate’ shot.


Dilemma 3


The third dilemma I am facing: To resize or not to resize.

Given that an 18 mega-pixel image is very large and rarely do I view it at 100% resolution or intend to print them larger than a 4 inch by 6 inch print, I wonder if I should resize the images, this saving on valuable disk space.


Dilemma 2


The second dilemma I am facing is: To crop or not to crop.

Many of my photos still continue to have the object in the centre. While I do change the composition after getting focus, many photos are ‘centered’.

So, my second dilemma is, should I crop the image to make it more ‘artistic’ or should I preserve the ‘original’ image?


Dilemma 1


After I purchased a DSLR in mid of 2015, I am facing three dilemmas.

The first dilemma is: To delete or not to delete.

Earlier, I never deleted any photo – irrespective of the quality. Now, sticking to that decision is becoming a problem as the size of files has gone up siginificantly with the DSLR.

F/stop for long telephoto lenses

Recently I read a review of the Canon G3 that has a lens that goes from 24mm to 600mm, my ‘zoom’ grouse immediately came into play. While I am happy with the image quality and flexibility of my Canon 700D, I am still to overcome the fact that it still goes only till 250mm, while my older Kodak could reach up to 380mm.

A part of the review mentions that the picture goes a bit dark at the longer end of the lens (higher zoom). This aspect of lenses using a larger f/stop (smaller aperture) has always been a puzzle for me. Based on what I have read on the Internet, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 has a constant f2.8, but is quite expensive. Apparently, maintaining a large aperture on longer mm lenses is hard and very expensive.

Some time later, I thought I got the answer. Here is my explanation for the higher f/stop on longer zoom. Let me know if it is correct.

The reason for a higher f/stop is due to plain simple physics of light. When the aperture is small (large f/stop), light focuses properly on the sensor. When the aperture is large, light from a wider area can enter the camera and its focus will fall short of the sensor, unless a lot of management is done in the camera.

The Java hangover in Scala


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A couple of weeks ago, I started reading up on the Scala programming language.

Before even referring to a book, I downloaded all the tools, namely the Scala compiler, Eclipse for Scala and IntelliJ IDEA for Scala. The next step was to look for samples on the Internet. Having found a few samples, I copied them and executed them successfully.

Then I decided to try out a simple application on my own.

I defined a class, added the ‘main’ method and a few statements inside ‘main’. I tried executing the application, but was not able to do so. I tried for quite some time, before giving up and picking up a book. It was while reading the book that the penny dropped.

My mistake was simple. I had put the ‘main’ method inside a class. To run the application, the ‘main’ method has to be inside an ‘object’.

Thus, my Java background proved to be a hangover while programming in Scala.

Design should be natural


I have been noticing these two panels in my office elevator for many days. One panel is on the left side and one panel is on the right side. Here they are

left panel

left panel

right panel

right panel

I have a problem with the design of these panels. Why? The right panel has the door closing button as the left-most button in the bottom row, but the left panel has the door opening button as the left-most button. This, as per me, is a design problem. When you are inside the elevator and someone wants to enter the door while the door is closing, you want to ensure that the doors open. But, this design makes you think. If you are standing on the left side, you need to remember to press the button on the inside, while you need to remember to press the button on the outer side if standing on the right side.

FBReader text selection


I was reading a book and wanted to copy some text from it. In FBReader, a long press brings up text selection.

I dragged the right side marker to expand selection. While dragging, my finger went into right bottom corner and I was surprised!!!

The screen scrolled one line. I was intrigued. I grabbed the selection bar once again and repeated the action. But this time I did not let go. The screen continued to scroll and I managed to select a large portion of text.

Very nice feature. Love it!!!