Goodbye, Little Light Box

Only 90s kids will get this is one of the more common edicts pillared across the internet. Image macros of Walkmans, Swat Kats, and the ever menacing Furby dolls stay true to ensure the integrity and legality of this rule of law. Video clips of NSYNC and Seinfeld are regularly circulated just so that the internet reminds itself that yes, it is indeed, the 90s kids who get it. The fondness for the decade, which was well endowed with parachute pants and a thinner Mariah Carey, stems from a multitude of good reasons apart from the two listed previously in this sentence. Keeping today’s society under the lens, it’s easy to note that the majority of the workfoce-without-work enjoyed the best years of their life during the very same decade. The ill-fated children of the baby-boomers saw their lives head up the roller coaster, up into the clouds, at the very precipice of the steep fall that was to come.

Recent studies, however, indicate that the last of the most loved decade ever is now 14 years past the present day. As natural trends would have it, it is not long till a new generation, with their own tribulations find themselves reeling and yearning for the days of old.

From what is known, this has probably begun.

Just as floppy diskettes eroded towards mainstream obscurity and VHS morphed into a rare collector’s item, the point and shoot camera has become no more than an unnecessary electronic home and travel appliance, if it’s ever bought that is. With a growing industry of mobile photographers and an already established network of DSLR enthusiasts, the need for an intermediary photography unit is at a steady decline. From a purely technical point of view, the only visible intermediary per se would the toxic combination of teenagers, SLR cameras and Facebook accounts.

The point and shoot digital cameras were a marvel in its heyday as they provided casual means for photography. It was lightweight, compact, travel friendly and easy to use. It provided amateur photographers such as your every day Japanese tourist a way to make a running gag out of themselves on the internet. The first few camera phones, as hyped as they were, proved to be very diminutive competition for the little light box. The grainy VGA cameras embedded in the phone’s body accomplish very little as far as compelling a consumer to give up their cameras were concerned. At the same time, the market was rife with activity, innovation, and vaguely made advertisements as Sony-Ericsson and Canon began to launch high end point and shoot units.

Japanese Tourists
Courtesy Yuval Haimovits

And then, entered the duopoly of Android and iOS, putting an end to the peace and stability. They weighed even lighter, were more compacter, more travel friendly and easier to use. The effects of the two operating systems were not exactly as direct as one would imagine. The pictures taken with these phones were initially quite underwhelming but the amount of things that could actually be done with the pictures allowed the smartphone to claw its way up the technology ladder. As the quality of the pictures got better, the idea of networking with them surfaced. People could now take a picture, add some filters onto them as they please, put them up on a social network or just intimately send it to a friend. The traditional 2000s camera could take the first of the above steps and it would just as much end right there.

The trusty point and shoot was once a staple for capturing the happy moments of birthday parties, casual family nights, road trips and general every day events. Now though, this little light box is something which only the ‘00s kids will get.


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Lenses and Lights

Photographs and videos are two things the present generation would crash without.  Photographs are a way of recording memories and looking back to old times, because even if people change, photos do not. While photography involves the process of freezing an instant of time, videos are successive moments of time captured as a series of frames, exploiting the attribute of persistence of vision.

Photography is a field which is radically rising to popularity now, with a large population now possessing high-end cameras, SLRs and DSLRs. However, the essence of photography lies in capturing a single instant accurately, deciding the depth of field, exposure as well as timing. An appropriate combination of these factors is usually the secret behind an aesthetically appealing photograph. However, several other parameters are also imperative, and their role cannot be overlooked. These would include contrast, highlights and shadows, hue and saturation to name a few. As usual, they redirect our thoughts to one of the fundamental aspects that photography revolves around. The essence of colour in paintings has already been seen in this article. Colours are back to haunting us here too! Exploring one of these parameters, namely hue, we see that in simple terms, it refers to a pure colour, without tint or shade. Most colours fall into one of the four unique hues, Red, Green, Blue and Yellow; where two colours of the same hue are distinguished by appending adjectives like light, dark and vivid. Generally, individuals interested in photography and photo-editing concentrate on adjusting these aspects of colour and exposure to attain the desired aesthetic appeal. Bokeh is one fascinating aspect of photography. It refers to the blur and its aesthetic quality in an out-of-focus area of an image. Blurring irrelevant parts of the background to give focus to the subject of the photo immensely increases the beauty and clarity of the photograph.

Photo-editing is one of the most creative fields which encompasses everything from slightly tweaking a photograph to making radical changes to its colour scheme. Right from adjusting the brightness and contrast, to experimenting with monochrome and colour-splash, photo-editing is responsible for it all. Gone are the days of film photography, where a minor error in shooting could potentially ruin a priceless memory. In the present digital era, a DSLR can take every necessary precaution from auto-focus to blemish fix! As thought this was inadequate, several photo editing websites and apps like Picasa, Picmonkey and Pixlr Express endevour to produce outstanding, eye-catching masterpieces which make heads turn. From cross-process to colour-splash, from blemish-fix to weight-loss, from inseting text to encasing a picture-perfect time stamp in a suitable border, your photo-editor lets you produce a perfect picture which would receive scores of likes on Facebook in a matter of minutes.

Although photo-editing is not a traditional form of art, its nature and features make it apt to classify it under art itself; certainly off the trodden path. What we need to realize is, the world around us is magical, and one does not need DSLRs and Picasa to appreciate it. These accessories only help accentuate its beauty.

Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see, and everything to do with the way you see them!

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Say Cheeeeeezeee !!!

Staring into the morning sky, with the delicious sun making its entrance into the phase of earth, even though a lazy Sunday dawn, there I was standing with my martial arts stick, clad in my shorts and waiting for my teacher to make his entrance to the grounds. His far residence delayed him .Mesmerised by the sheer beauty of the silver lined clouds and the golden hue of the sky , a hand as if guided by a mentor automatically slips into my pocket picking up my mobile and takes a few amateur snaps of the eye grabbing scenery .  And after my master had arrived I pained my muscles out into practice of stick fighting . I do not know what intrigued me but I put up those picture , around a couple of snaps on facebook and behold! I received a lot of good comments !  I simple chuckled as my MotoRokr E8 phone my parents gifted me in my 10th grade was merely a 2 Mgpxl phone and it struck a wonder to my “fans”.

Say Cheeze!

An unconscious interest built up in me since then, I named my album as “on cloud nine” and begun an effortless capture and posted many more fluffy and puffy cloud picture I captured often and in places I travelled. I had people  rejoicing the angle, the subject of the pictures and also praised a few technical details I hit by luck and something that naturally came to me. It was amusing but at the same time motivating too.  What I hardly realised was photography was slowly becoming a hobby for me.
As a year progressed, my father bought a better camera, Sony cyber shot 16.1 digi camera and I could work wonders with it. I Used the panorama view to get a wider range and digital zooming and motion capture features to obtain a better quality image. After I purchased by DELL Inspiron laptop I begun using Picasa and Photoscape softwares , where basic photo adjustments were possible and not any illegal editing that completely shattered the pride of a photographer.  I begun realising how sapia , black and white and other modes sometimes made the photos more appealing. The simple tools like, brightness enhancement, sharpening, saturation levels, gradients, text insertion and auto fix had all come to my aid and taught me how technology can play a major role in helping you to correct your mistakes and provide a better platform to improve my photography. Well folks, even though I use software for my snaps that receive an acclaim, I still stick with my moto  “ photography isn’t  about the camera, Its about your skill, the capture, thats where true talent lies. “  With many of my college friends in the photography club with a DSLR , here I am, the only on inducted with my sony cyber shot for having impressed them with my skills and using my primitive software tools. From 2 to 16.1Mgpxl, facebook to college club, no software to editing tools, well thats how technology brought a photographer in me!

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