SAP Media Worldwide Ltd. publishes monthly magazine for Indian Photography Industry
 
 

Past Issue : August 2013

 

In this Issue

Transcend releases Half-Slim SATA III 6Gb/s solid state drive
Samsung launches the Galaxy S4 smartphone range
SanDisk launches suite of high performance products
Mazda Imaging installs first HP Indigo 10000 digital press in India
Talk to me - Part II
Oh the Wondrous Wild
Shooting landscapes
Refractography
Studio Portrait Photography
DIY ring light
Know your memory cards
Canon EOS 700D
Samsung NX300
Nikon AW 110
 
 
 
 
 

Transcend releases Half-Slim SATA III 6Gb/s solid state drive

Transcend Information, Inc. (Transcend), a leading manufacturer of industrial-grade products, recently introduced the HSD740 half-slim SATA III 6Gb/s solid state drive (SSD). Featuring the latest SATA specification, Transcend’s HSD740 SATA III half-slim SSD offers significantly smaller dimensions and longerterm reliability than 2.5” form factor hard disk drives. Transcend’s HSD740 half-slim SATA SSDs are comprised of toggle-mode MLC NAND Flash chips, providing good solidstate performance in a lightweight compact package that measures 54mm x 39mm x 4mm. In addition to the compact size, the HSD740 SSD modules feature a highbandwidth SATA III 6Gb/s interface that helps deliver speeds of 510MB/s read and 185MB/s write.

 
 
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Samsung launches the Galaxy S4 smartphone range

Samsung Electronics recently announced the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and the compact yet powerful, GALAXY S4 Mini in the Indian market. The unique Galaxy S4 Zoom combines the stylish heritage of the latest Galaxy S4 Smartphone with photographic capabilities. The Galaxy S4 mini delivers the performance and design of the GALAXY S4 in a highly portable, chic and compact design, trying to make itself an ideal companion for everyday life. Announcing the launch of the new devices, Manu Sharma, Director – Samsung Mobile said, "As communication becomes increasingly visual in nature, people wish to capture and share their moments in the highest quality possible and the Galaxy Zoom fulfils this need by combining the advanced functionality and connectivity of the Galaxy S4 with the high quality photographic experience you’d expect from a compact camera. The Galaxy mini on the other hand, provides consumers with a new way to enjoy the flagship Galaxy S4 experience.”

 
 
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SanDisk launches suite of high performance products

SanDisk Corporation, one of the global leaders in flash memory storage solutions announced the launch of additions to its high performance range of products. The SanDisk Extreme II SSD, SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 flash drive and the SanDisk Extreme microSDHC/ microSDXC UHS-I memory cards are aiming at offering better speeds and higher capacities to complement consumers’ smart digital lifestyle. "With the new range of SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Ultra products, we are sure to offer Indian consumers a faster and smarter host device experience,” said Rajesh Gupta, country manager India, SanDisk. "This new range of products delivers breakthrough technology and advanced performance to satisfy the most discerning users.” SanDisk’s latest products claim to offer state of the art design and memory engineering, and can be an ideal fit for power users who demand fast data transfer speeds.

 
 
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Mazda Imaging installs first HP Indigo 10000 digital press in India

HP recently announced that Mumbai based Mazda Imaging is the first company to install the HP Indigo 10000 digital press in India and is amongst the early customers to install the press in Asia Pacific. Celebrating the launch, Phiroze Havaldar, director, Mazda Imaging Pvt Ltd commented, "We are extremely happy and excited to be the first company in India and amongst the early adopters for the HP Indigo 10000 digital press in Asia Pacific. It is truly a revolutionary machine and this acquisition will open the doors to a host of new businesses for our company. The new B2 size, offset quality and huge capacity allows us to participate far more effectively in commercial printing and publishing spaces which were not possible earlier. Mazda Imaging is a big name in the local photo-printing industry and has seized the first mover advantage to enhance its printing capabilities by installing this press in its current digital set up. In the photo segment, Mazda will be the first in India to offer a new range of bigger photo books and other products to photo customers who are looking for something new to showcase their favourite photos in.

 
 
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Talk to me - Part II

It comes without question that clear communication is also needed when discussing styling, make-up and hair. Here visual aids are very effective in communicating the ideas of the look you are after, so everyone is clear on what they are supposed to do. However, good verbal communication is still needed to express the little nuances that make your shoot yours. One other very important reason for making sure to properly brief your stylist, make-up and hair people is money. For female models in particular, prep time with make-up, hair and dressing can take up to two hours or more depending on the concept. You don’t want to be wasting anytime on clarifying ideas or confirming important points on the shoot. An ill prepared make-up artist can cause hours of overtime by trying to figure out the intricacies, and the same goes for the hair. Any communication barriers will have you wasting time with a fat chance of a model come out to the set looking completely wrong, and might spin your shoot in a very unfortunate direction, and you might not get to work with that client again. To avoid any unfortunate situations like this I spend a good amount of time talking to everyone on set, including making a few trips to the make-up room to be sure we all are on the same page.

 
 
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Oh the Wondrous Wild

From wanting to be a wildlife researcher to steering instead towards wildlife photography, nature and its wilderness has fascinated him ever since he can remember. His sharp eye and innate talent deliver images that are sure to make you forget the clichés of this genre of photography. In a candid interview Kalyan Varma speaks about his work and what he hopes to achieve from it, and of the days he had to wait over 12 hours in a forest for two weeks to get the perfect shot. Kalyan Varma has loved photography from as far ago as he can recall. When he was young, his parents would not give him enough money to buy a film roll, so he had to wait till he started working to buy a SLR camera for his journey as a photographer to begin. He tried his hands at all types of photography for three years to come, and realised over time that wildlife photography gave him the biggest thrill as it involved two of his dearest passions – wildlife and photography. His images are proof that it pays to follow your passion; in his case, two of them together.

 
 
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Shooting landscapes

The idea of a landscape is an old one; treating the land and its views as a subject for art. Earlier, landscapes were merely a background for people and events. The notion that a landscape can be admired and celebrated by itself proved game changing for the art of painting, and it gradually came to be admired as a genre of its own. With the advent of photography this art form took shape, perhaps stemming from the urge to show and represent in pictures what places looked like as accurately as possible, especially the exotic ones, using the landscape as raw material from which photographers began constructing images in their own unique style from. We’ll give you some quick pointers on how to go about it. Despite landscape painting being a very different art from digital photography, landscape painting and their history have a lot to teach us, whether it has to do with how to arrange the different elements in the frame, or the colour palettes they use. However, unlike in paintings, physically rearranging the elements of the landscape isn’t possible. That freedom is largely available only with still life photography or in studio setups. What can be done is that the view point can be changed. It might sound like stating the obvious but a lot of beginner photographers choose to shoot a landscape from where they first see it, without even considering moving about to find interesting elements to include or exclude from the landscape.

 
 
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Refractography

Light is an important element in any visual medium. In photography, as well, light plays a major role in not just freezing images but also in creating unique formations and patterns. In previous recent issues we shot through glass surfaces and through a magnifying glass. This month we pass light through glass and capture the refraction of light with our DSLR. Refraction occurs when light passes through a medium where its speed becomes different, a glass of water for example. Refraction can be observed at an angle. We are sure you took your physics lessons seriously, but here is an example, when you dip a spoon in a glass of water you see refraction taking place, when the spoon in the water looks different in shape and size. To experiment with this technique in photography we are going to make full use of refractions. Shooting and blending light waves might sound like complicated work, but it’s rather simple to accomplish this photography effect. The effect can be achieved in different ways and each method renders a unique result. 

 
 
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Studio Portrait Photography

For the past few months we have been experimenting with photography mostly under natural light situations. With the faithful rains in the city, we thought that this would be the best time to get back to the studio and capture some portraits. While looking into the topic of portraits for this month, we had the chance to evaluate a few things in terms of presentation in a studio set up. This article is going to cover the basic and essential parts of shooting portraiture in a studio. Working in a studio set up is always exciting as everything needs to be created and planed beforehand. It all starts with the planning before you take that first shot. In a studio you can have control over everything; backgrounds, light, temperature, weather, subject etc. As we mentioned before, everything in the studio needs to be created from scratch, which is also one of the primary challenges faced in setting up the studio. Studio lighting is also an art, where practice definitely makes one perfect.

 
 
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DIY ring light

A ring flash (or ring light) is a source of light which is very common in the fashion industry these days, where they are used to provide a glamorous look. The ring flash was originally invented for use in dental photography, where a circular flash around the lens was used to photograph close up photographs of the teeth. A ring light, as the name suggests, is a light source which is shaped like a ring and provides illumination with even a few amount of shadows visible in the photograph as the light surrounds the lens. In last month’s issue of Asian Photography Magazine (Vol. 25 No. 7), we carried an article "DIY Modeling lamp” where we showed you how to make a continuous source of light to illuminate your subjects. This months’ DIY project will help you make your own ring light which can be used both for photography as well as videos.

 
 
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Know your memory cards

Data storage devices have transformed completely over the years. Solid-state drives are more popular than ever today, as they are less susceptible to physical shock, run a lot more quietly, have lower access time and less latency, and are proving to be superior in most respects than traditional electromechanical magnetic disks such as hard disk drives (HDDs) or floppy disks, which contain spinning disks and movable read/write heads. Today personal computers, PDAs, digital audio players, digital cameras, mobile phones, synthesizers, video games, scientific instrumentation, industrial robotics, medical electronics; everything uses flash memory. In addition to being non-volatile, flash memory offers faster read access times. Its mechanical shock resistance helps explain its popularity over hard disks in portable devices, as does its high durability, being able to withstand high pressure, temperature, immersion in water, etc. Over the 90s, a number of memory card formats arrived, including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, and Miniature Card. The desire for smaller cards for cell-phones, PDAs, and compact digital cameras drove a trend that made the previous generation "compact” card look huge in size. SmartMedia and CompactFlash were two formats that had been very successful with digital cameras. CF cards were particularly popular with professional digital cameras, and the last decade saw SD/MMC almost completely take over SmartMedia’s spot. However, there was still competition coming from Sony’s Memory Stick format as well as the CompactFlash cards.

 
 
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Canon EOS 700D

We’d reviewed the EOS 650D in September last year, the much awaited successor to the EOS 600D, which stood out thanks to the touchscreen interface it offered for the first time in a DSLR. It hasn’t been very long since its launch, and Canon is already out with the EOS 700D, an almost identical\ twin of the EOS 650D. Barely anything has changed, and the differences, if at all, are minimal and not of any significant importance. It isn’t any less competent than its predecessor, but we wonder if there’s anything that will make the consumer choose it over the EOS 650D. But that still doesn’t take away from the fact that the 700D is an efficient entry-level DSLR. Apart from the redesigned 360 degree mode dial and the textured body finish, not much has really changed in terms of basic design. The dimensions of the camera are exactly the same, the camera has retained the same look, and the textured body makes the camera look solid and rugged while at the same time giving you a better grip when taking pictures. The camera features a 3 inch fully articulated vari-angle touchscreen capable of recognising multitouches, the same as in the EOS 650D.

 
 
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Samsung NX300

Samsung’s recent launch, the NX300, a 20.3 megapixel Compact System Camera, is a replacement for last year’s NX210. The retro-styled NX300 includes a bunch of updates that hint at an amalgamation between its line of cameras and its line of smartphones. The latest entrant in the NX series includes phasedetection focus elements to allow a Hybrid AF system for faster focusing, a faster processor for continuous shooting, and allows 1080p movies to be shot at 60fps. Read on for a detailed review. At a glance, the Samsung NX300 shares its similar looks with its predecessor, the NX210. Unlike the previous Samsung cameras, however, the NX300 is built in a metal body which attributes to its good build quality. The faux leather and brushed metal body give it a pleasing mix of retro looks and modern design. The curved handgrip in the front is textured, where your fingers rest comfortably and thumb grip on the rear panel allows for a firmer grip of the body. The front of the camera has a f3.5/18-55mm OIS kit lens with the proprietary Samsung i-Function feature, which allows manual controls to be accessed quickly via a button on the lens body. The plastic built kit lens doesn’t march up to its overall styling though.

 
 
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Nikon AW 110

For the longest time I wondered why "Multipurpose Cameras” or "Tough Cameras” didn’t sell well in the market. In order to get more into the details we did a research-based article in this month’s issue of the magazine to find out more. I am particularly a fan of these types of cameras, and when Nikon sent us their follow-up on the AW 100 I took up the task to put it through the paces. I wasn’t that keen on seeing the results that the camera delivered under regular conditions, but the primary point of buying a camera of this sort is to take it to your snorkelling, scuba diving or mountain biking trips. Since most of these things are difficult to find in our geography, I did the next best thing and rather ran it through our checklist.  The easiest way of putting the changes from its predecessor is NOTHING. The new body doesn’t seem to have any changes in terms of the looks, material, and layout from what the AW 100 was. The only noticeable change one can find in the body is the toggle zoom in and zoom out button instead of the regular toggle press buttons found more commonly on the DSC cameras .

 
 
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