Macro Mania


The long weekend got over, It went by too fast and I was working half the time and no I did not play holi and yes Aasim did play holi albeit at his grandparents place.

This would be more or less the dull boring summary of past 2½ days BUT I redeemed parts of it by putting my 105mm lens through its steps. I took a whole lot of insect macros and I am fairly pleased with the results for the lens, I do wish that the AF on this would be a bit faster however the pictures are as sharp and as detailed as I would like them to be and at f32 the DoF is reaallly deep – no more thorax out of focus if head is in focus (well almost 😉 ).

Recently I also realised that I know very very little about the several dozen types of butterflies which can be found in and around our garden and have decided to rectify that in the coming weeks.

More than 500 entries on LJ

Just noticed that my last entry was my 501st entry on Live Journal and it has been shade over two years since I started…

For me writing on LJ has been mostly a personal issue which I use to keep track of my life and I don’t intend to turn it into a blog for social or technical commentary, but I am indeed wondering if it would be worth it to make make this into a Photoblog… right now I am not inclined to do that either, my site gets enough hits for boosting my photography karma and ego 🙂

LJ Drama

I feel like I’m so infuriated! that asshole mrinal gone and said that they saw me talking to zoneee and backstabbing achitnis. If I get my hands on them there’s paybacks!

Hey and know what? the other day at work I got in a huge fight with skjaidev.

Oh yeah. I don’t know why dhempe went all psycho over me and bluesmoon having a little fun.

What sucks is that it’s so not fair that I have Friday off but nobody wants to do anything :-(. I’ll just sit home alone and brood listening to “The Wall”.

Oh and jessyleen told me that thaths told n2kaja and msram that I got caught talking crap about bhatta. Don’t let me hear about that again or I’m going 2 whup asses!

This entry automatically generated by the LJ Drama Generator!

He He! long time since something made me smile

Pappu pass ho gaya!

Pond Heron, 1024x768, 274KB
Pond heron

This lens is N number of other things but it is not a lens for birds, however birds, butterflies and insects around my house do not know this fact and are happy to pose for perfect portraits despite my using the said lens.

In case you have not been looking at the EXIF info at my site, I upgraded to a Nikon D70 sometime last week. After several trial and errors and almost debunking the camera as useless I did manage to take the pic on the left of a Pond Heron basking in the late evening light. When I showed the it to you know who her comment was “Pappu pass ho gaya

I am waiting to get my TC 20e which right now seems like a needless investment but since I have the budget I might as well, it is not very often that I get to spend money anyways…

After about 2 days I realised that I can take a better (and faster) picture if turned off all the *auto* options, specially if I am shooting through some vegetation.

However I did commit a boo-boo when I shot nearly 40 pictures of a model in the studio only to realise that I had not switched back to auto-focus, needless to say the entire session was a write-off

With much better pictures on the way specially for birds and all the B-lettered creatures I am wondering if I should prune the older ones which were put on line just for record sake? Most likely I will not but I don’t like the clutter either….

1000th photograph at my site

It has taken me nearly 2 years and 3 cameras but this Common Baron – Euthalia aconthea‘s picture is the 1000th photograph on my site.

Meanwhile I have been toying about with and they give this funky animated images created from your RSS feed which can be used in signatures and avatars : Last Uploaded Pics

However I do not like the chunky base graphic and might roll out my own very very tiny version

Of Aquaria and conservation

After Aasim being gifted a few tropical freshwater fishes by a friend we decided that this would be a good opportunity to teach him how to care for an aquarium and revive a hobby which I indulged in when I was in school.

So we went to buy him a larger tank – In the shop I was immediately smitten by the beauty of the tropical marine aquarium and it was a surprise that the prices for the same have come down to affordable levels – however behind the veneer of beauty lies the harsh fact that tropical marine fishes are not bred but rather caught from the wild and most often using the unscrupulous method of cyanide poisoning…. which not only kills a large number of fishes but destroys the complete eco-sphere of the place where they are hunted. The fact that prices are affordable means that the hunting is now more extensive 🙁

Have planned that about two months down the line we will invest in a huge freshwater tank – am yet undecided on the theme or kind of fishes – the choice is between the large Chichlids or the teeny weeny Tetras

Yesterday we also went for a birdwatch walk – this time near a small lake about 5 mins drive from where we live – the portion where we went was not known to me previously and we were regaled by lots of water bird spot-tings – Swati might post a complete list. Sorry no pictures… yet… but soon.. very soon…

Of hobbies and life

Hue and ColorsMy hobbies till now have mostly followed a common life cycle – The seeds of its birth are sown by a combination of boredom and an itch to scratch, from there it usually rapidly grows to become almost an obsession which ultimately metamorphoses in to profession of sorts at this point the hobby, passion and obsession part invariably withers away and ultimately dies. All that remains is a corpse that is just a job to be done. I know that there are a lot of people who would say you need to love your job and thats the happiest part and blah – believe me, I have been there and done that several times. The withering away usually starts with small compromises that you make to get the job done in the given set of parameters, as soon the freedom is lost death is inevitable.

Right now I am resisting the same seduction for photography – there are several enticing assignments which will let me do a whole lot of great photography and right now it is the kind of photography that I like but I have firmly decided that I am not going to take them up. For once I can afford to refuse – I like that freedom a lot 🙂

Keeping a checked out copy – CVS over SSH

The CVS manual talks about keeping a checked out copy with every commit in another directory – most common for us being the webroot. However I could not find on the web how to do the same when you are using CVS over SSH (and only SSH)

In loginfo put

^cyclic-pages (date; cat; (sleep 2; cd /u/www/local-docs; cvs -q -d :ext:$USER@localhost:$CVSROOT update -d ) &) >> $CVSROOT/CVSROOT/updatelog 2>&1

Instead of what is recommended in the manual.

It took us a while to realise that $USER would work and yes the caveat is that all valid $USER@localhost should be able to login without having to provide a password, but I am sure everyone know how to generate ssh keys.

P.S. Yes I am still using CVS

Sunday Blah!

Abrus Precatorius - click to enlargeNagpur Chapter of BNHS was kicked off by people who, till now, have been members but never got together. After the first meet on 2nd March, the first event was very quickly planned – A bird watching trail walk for today morning 7am at VNIT campus. Once again the blessing of being in a small town came forth, VNIT happens to be exactly 5 min walk from our house and you can spot birds starting from sunbirds right up to peacocks and almost every known size in between.

More people than expected, read as – in two digits, turned up and the walk was a complete success for me, I saw a bird, previously unrecognised by me – “yellow eyed babbler”. We have also started a Yahoo group for keeping the members in touch, may be Swati will post a more detailed account somewhere.

Photography for a few days is likely to take a backseat 🙂

Lots of other small changes have taken place around the house about which I have not written in this journal earlier over past couple of months – We have a new sofa, a new dining table, fed up with incessant, serial destruction of our rose crops by monkeys we have ripped out all the rose plants and completely re-designed the garden. We are very pleased with the cumulative effect of all these changes.

Change of plans

No more new Bodyscapes on my site for next few months, simple reason being that 95% of my other pictures are being ignored – pretty much what I wanted to begin with but now is the time for change of plans!

However that does not mean that I am not shooting any of those – with model scarcity for Bodyscapes greater that that of electricity I will continue whenever I have an opportunity, so my faithful fans can expect them to be there some day 🙂

Despite the fact the my 5700 is a poor performer in several situations I guess it will be the Cam which gets carried around the most for candid photography, it is a pain to lug around the massive D70 as I discovered while in Mumbai but again this not going to prevent me from getting a DSLR , I just have to get a fix on the set of lenses that I want to have. I do not want to do what most people are recommending – buy the body with normal lens and then keep adding lenses. I want to have a long zoom and a macro right away.