Thursday, July 18, 2013

What I would have in a SLR if I can..

I am an amateur photographer taking pictures of various architecture or natural things like flowers and animals etc etc. I have a Pentax-Km which is an entry level DSLR. When I am using my auto focus lenses I mostly try using the auto-focus facility to take images faster. The results vary whether I pointed exactly at the subject or the camera picked up some other point for focus. Mostly it is difficult to say whether your focus was great or out of focus slightly on the small LED screen of the camera. It is only when you put the picture on a big screen that you find that your focus was few centimeters ahead or behind the subject you wanted. So, I felt that it would be great if my camera could automatically store data in one file for a picture where the focus has been varied few tens of centimeters say 20cm in front and back of my desired object. That way when I have the raw file on the computer I could just by sliding the focus bar can get my object of desire in focus. You can get rid of a bit of softness in the image by sharpening but it does not give you the same image as you may have got with the right focus. It might take out a lot of fun for people who want to do all the focusing and things but for some like me getting the end result right without doing too much photoshop or gimp is fun. Well, just an idea I had may be someday such cameras would be available at an affordable price.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Inferno - Dan Brown not Dante

Inferno is the latest book involving the Harvard University professor Robert Langdon. I got the book on the first day of its release having pre-ordered. I must admit, that in the series of books involving Robert Langdon Angels and Demons and Da Vinci Code were really interesting and as far as I am concerned I was hooked to the books from page one. Even the third book, that is, Lost Symbol was good but not as nail biting as the other two and the ending was really disappointing. Felt like Dan Brown was making up for the controversy he created by writing Da Vinci Code. Anyway, based on the wonderful experiences I had reading Dan Brown's books, I had big expectations from the latest version involving Robert Langdon and even so more considering the fact that it shared the name with Dante's first part of Divine Comedy. Judging from the cover and design of the book available in UK, I must say I was impressed, specially the reproduction of Botticelli's Inferno was quite nice, which by the way is not there in the American edition (Got to know from a friend). With great anticipation I started reading the book, a man shot in the head stumbles into a hospital and a chase begins. In few words the whole book is about a chase and felt like reading the German movie Run Lola Run by Tom Tykwer. At times the author goes way off the plot to explain the city in which the plot is taking place and it has nothing to do with the plot. While reading, it feels more like reading Frommer's travel guide to Florence or Venice with a pinch of thriller. In fact, while pre-ordering the book from WH Smith, my local book store, they gave away Sanctus by Simon Toyne for free. I felt the free book was way better than the book I actually wanted to buy. Just for sake of information, Sanctus is about some secret hidden from the masses by the church and if it comes out Vatican's influence will be gone or something to that effect, I will not spell the story in case somebody wants to read though the plot is there on Wikipedia. In the end, I felt Dan Brown could have done much better job than writing a thrilling Frommer's travel guide. I would like to point out here that the concept of the new virus in the book is quite interesting and I believe a much more crisp story could have been woven around that concept without the boring details of Florence or Venice. So, next time another Dan Brown thriller is round the corner, I am not buying it without reading at least first fifty pages. (The opinion on this page is mine and others are free to disagree)