Friday, 6 November 2009

Testing The Mobile 2 Blog Service On My iPhone

Hi Folks!!!

Guess I'm upwardly mobile now. I can post articles from my mobile
now. No more excuses for letting my blog stay idle now.

I will be updating this site more often. Would love to hear from you

(Sent from my iPhone)

Charles Verghese
Charles Verghese Photography
+971 (50) 4959512
+971 (55) 4959512

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Strobist Boot Camp II - Assignment 1 (The Head Shot) it's on!

The first Strobist Boot Camp II assignment is up on the Strobist website. A simple head shot along with a self portrait taken in the same setting (rules apply). Access the site for more details.

Winner gets:

• One Speedlight Pro Kit (more info)

• One Strobist Lighting Seminar 8-DVD boxed set (more info)

• One set of Strobist Trade Secret Cards (more info)

Deadline is June 23, 2009 (your local time)

By the way...for all you folks registering in the UAE (or anywhere else where flickr is banned), please take a look at the following link to Access Flickr! 1.11.

Hope to see your pictures there!!!



Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Strobist Boot Camp II - Starts June 10 2009

Hi Folks!

Just in case you haven't heard, David Hobby (aka Strobist) is back in action and kicking our butts into shape! Yet another Boot Camp!! Woohoo!

The Strobist will be providing a series of 4 exercises/assignments with a few set of rules and with some wonderful prizes (shipped anywhere in the world). Assignments will cover four areas of flash photography. Open to anyone, this is a wonderful opportunity for any budding photographer to showcase his/her abilities (new or grizzled) in a (very) public platform.

So come on folks....get those cameras cleaned, batteries charged, strobes off camera and memory cards wiped clean!!

Strobist Boot Camp II - Starts June 10 2009

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Going The Strobist Way

Ever since I was introduced to David Hobby (aka Strobist) via Gulf Photo Plus (GPP) last year, I have been experimenting on and off with off-camera flash lighting techniques. The results always inspire me. Now, I'm not saying that my results are good or unique, but I always feel that I am taking one more step in the right direction.

After this years GPP '09 event I was yet again inspired to try out these techniques once again. While attending one of the Dubai Strobist events, I happened to come across a burned down warehouse. Not really sure what caused the blaze but, I wonder if it had anything to do with insurance as are quite a few blazes rumoured to be caused by here in the UAE. Anyway, I scooped out these 'spaces' that had the right mood and ambiance for a strobist style shoot.

A few weeks later I visited this place with my wife on the way back from a weekend outing. I convinced my wife to pose for me. 'Convinced' (though she loves to be in front of the camera), because she felt that I hadn't given her sufficient warning for her to get ready!

Her mood is reflected in the first picture. After a few clicks and showing her the result, she gradually warmed up to the idea of this style of picture taking.

Basically, my setup is one Canon 580 EXII flash mounted with an umbrella in reflective mode on a stand connected to a Pocket Wizard.

First picture taken with the camera at ISO 400, 1/60 sec, f5 shooting at about 58mm.

The second was taken using my macro lens as it opens up to f2.8. Since I wanted to freeze the jump, blur (as much as possible) the background and decrease the ambient by increasing shutter speed to 1/100 sec I captured this exposure at f2.8 at 100mm while sticking at ISO 400.

The last picture was taken at f4.5 @ 1/80 sec using the 100mm macro lens. I intentionally put up this snap as it just shows the umbrella on the top left of the frame.

Overall, this exercise helped me build up my confidence in the strobist ways. I have since used the experience and knowledge gained to apply in my paid assignments. I hope to post some of them soon....



Sunday, 19 April 2009

A Drop In The Ocean

A Drop In The Ocean - B&WA long time coming...this image was taken in March of 2007 but didn't know how & where to post it. It was left forgotten in the dark recesses of my hard drive. Always thought that this was in interesting image.

So when this image showed up in one of my keyword searches in Adobe Lightroom, I decided to take this image on by the horns. Lightroom is a great program once you know how to manipulate the buttons. I have over 65,000 in my catalog and I can find just about any image within a few minutes. I just cannot imagine what photographers used prior to these advances. Anyways...I digress.

A Drop In The Ocean - Selective ColourI like this picture and is the first attempt at a pseudo-artistic photo enhancement. Treated entirely in Lightroom, I wanted a sort of surreal look without loosing the authenticity of the image (whatever that means). This image consists of 2 versions. One is nearly black and white while the other has been desaturated a quite a bit and colours selectively added to certain elements.

So folks, please take a look at both the versions of the image and let me know which one appears stronger...basically which one is the keeper! Either way, I hope you like at least one of them. As normal, any critiques/comments/suggestions are welcome.

Additional Information: Photo taken in natural setting in Sandy Beach Motel in Fujairah (U.A.E.). Fujairah is weekend getaway destination and is about 1.5 hour drive from Dubai.

Oh...and by the way, here is the original
A Drop In The Ocean - Original

Friday, 17 April 2009

Out Of The Shadows....Into The LIGHT!

I have had my blog running for some time now. First on Wordpress (which currently on standby) and then here on blogspot/blogger. I used to think that there wouldn't be anyone interested in my 'happenings' and therefore chose to occasionally post something without announcing or even linking to it from my website. I still haven't placed a link from my site. I guess that will come in due time.

What do I do with a blog anyways???

This year I participated in the Gulf Photo Plus 2009 (GPP) event as an assistant to a Bobbi Lane, who happens to be a world recognized portrait photographer with a teaching experience of over 30 years. Great fun and learning experience. At GPP they have an event called 'Photo Friday' which offers a bunch of near entry level workshops that just about anyone can attend. I decided to attend one called Making the Web Work for You whose panel included the likes of Chase Jarvis, David Hobby & David Nightingale. Great contemporary photographers!

During the workshop I told Chase that I had a blog for some time now and was wondering what to do with it. Well, he basically kicked it into me that I was doing the 'Ostritch head in the sand' thingy (which I now found out isn't true). What he did was demonstrate that I had come to the social networking party and decided to stand in one corner, alone and with my face towards a blank wall!! The laughter of the class left me a little embarrased but i decided not to dwell on this and take from it as much positives as I could. Chase meant well and did force me to re-think my views about my blog postings.

Another few points brought by the panel were about Twitter & keeping my site/blog updated with updates/new postings. A great eye-opener for me.

Another thing noticed was the fact that many of these photographers offer or share their knowledge and experience in photography willingly and (to a certain extent) freely. I had up until quite recently wanted to keep my knowledge of photography as close to me chest as possible. But having watched and learned from these people, I feel that I would like share the little knowledge that I have to anyone who is thirsty for this cup. It will be my way of giving back to both GPP and the photographer/instructors that attend this annual event.

So, with that said, I have now decided to start, in earnest, regular updates to my site. I intend on first posting stuff about me, my life and some of my photography. Later, I will attempt to offer techniques I use in some of my set ups.

What would you like to see on this blog? I welcome your brickbats & roses and hope to learn from them as well. Stay tuned for further updates...


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Finally, A Strike !

Hi Folks!

It started to rain here in the UAE. Many of you might be thinking...WTF? This guy seems like someone who hasn't seen rain before. Well, 'course I have seen rain before, but living in the Emirates, rain in any quantity is a reason to celebrate.

The morning was showing around 38 degrees. I think every one was basically in a foul mood...something to do with the onset of summer, coupled with the general dismal outlook on the global financial front. Come evening, there was the usual honking and screeching brakes on the nearby signal. I decided to take my evening (if 8pm is considered evening) walk.

I was pleasantly surprised by the overcast skies. I think that put a smile on my face. During my first lap around the park, I noticed flashes of light. Lightning?? Naah! A few minutes later.....another one...definitely lighting. At this point the streaks were not visible, but I could see the glows. The frequency and intensity were increasing. 'Let me finish my first lap', I thought to might go unsettled weather does here in Dubai and Sharjah.

By end of the first round, it was still there. F**k the walk...I'm gonna go storm chasing. Well....not in the true Mid-Western US sense of the word, but more like a 'Hey...A perfect excuse not to finish my walk' sense of the word. So I decided to head back to the house. Pack my gear and head out. By gear, I mean, a tripod and camera. All excited at the thought of capturing my first lightning strike, I rushed out of my apartment only to discover a heavy downpour!

Not one to be deterred by foul weather I decided to go out for a drive in the rain....which as always is fun. Dubai & Sharjah have a well reputed clogged system (you might vaguely call it a drainage system) that allows paper boats and all manner of trash to float around for days. I love the puddles. The 4WD loves it. I mean, you have to only live here for a year to understand our love for water or basically, just wettness. I think it had started raining (heavily) for about 5 minutes now and already the 'little lakes' on or beside the roads were above ankle level.

Drove around a bit and decided to stop behind a local fish market. The rain decided to do the same. I could setup as originally planned. By now, of course, the streaks were taking on nature's true magnificence. I struggled to find a good composition for my FIRST LIGHTNING SHOT. This was something I had yearned to do for over a couple of years as a photographer, but either never got 'round to doing it and was lucky enough to capture on the sensor. Lightning or thunder storms come rarely in the UAE...much like it's sister - rain!

I setup the tripod and plopped my camera on it. I started clicking. I took several photographs of the scene. But each exposure revealed that I had just either missed the strikes or captured the glow of an internal streak. I was naturally quite disappointed. Decided to keep at it though. The rain was starting her second act.

My First Images Of A Bolt Of Lightning Streaking Across the Sky

Then I got one......My first picture of a lightning streak captured by my camera. I mean...not a great shot...but a small little trophy for me.

FIRST STRIKE - My first picture of a bolt of lightning hitting the groundThis next one is much better. It definitely shows a streak all the way down to the ground. This... I call my FIRST STRIKE! Not the best lightning picture I have seen....not even close to being good by my standards...but good enough for my first real attempt.

The weatherman says that it will continue to be unsettled over the next few days. I hope that it does and mother nature will give me a few more chances to dance in the rain and capture some beautifull lightning images.

Please let me know what you think and how I might be able to improve my shots.



Originally posted at on 2008-03-26 @ 05:01:41 pm (GMT +4)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

An Addition To My Cap

I have decided to add modeling and fashion photography to the list of my abilities as I am gaining confidence and experience in this area. The initial reason that I got into photography was because I loved taking candid photographs of people in a wide variety of situations. Back in the day, I used a simple point-and-shoot (PNS) and the results were interesting and people liked the results.As soon as I took up photography as a profession (around 2005), I found that these simple pleasures were not as easy as it was with aPNS camera. The main reason being personal friends and family didn't and wouldn't care about the quality of the picture. In a professional environment, you have to look at where the focus is, wonder if the lighting is adequet for the scene or subject, if the model is properly covered, is the angle and expression the best, etc etc. The more you leave things to chance, the more you end up either re-shooting or spending dumbening (is that a word) number of hours on the computer trying to fix flaws.

I am in the process of uploading new model/fashion related images into my gallery on the website. I should have the 'People' section updated within this week. Please take a look at the pictures and welcome any constructive criticism to help improve my results. I have received a few comments on previous images but neglected to approve them in time. I hope to keep this in check from now on.