Longitudinal India Trip part 4 – Chitradurga Fort by AB Apana

I first saw Chitradurga Fort as a child on a school trip. I recall being awed by the sheer size of everything within the Fort. I swore to return some day, and was finally able to do so.

The fort is situated atop a hill overlooking the town and the surrounding countryside, most of which is pancake-flat. It is known as the Fort of the Seven Rounds, since it is encircled by seven walls. Still further, keeping with defensive architecture, each wall has an independent gate. The approach to each gate is uphill and through passages that twist and turn, thus making it impossible to use elephants or battering rams to break down the gates. Additionally every wall had pigeonholes from where soldiers could rain down arrows on invaders. The facade of these pigeonholes presented just a tiny slit to invaders, thus preventing them from retaliating effectively.

Chitradurga Fort was the formidable fortress of the Nayakas of Chitradurga, the most prominent of whom was Madhukar Nayaka. Eventually the fort fell to the troops of Hyder Ali in 1799.

This is a ‘must visit’ fort’, and being a mere 120 kilometres from Hampi and 200 kilometres from Bangalore, it is certainly ‘visitable’. It lies on the route between Hampi and Bangalore.

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Making a Navigation Bar in PS

1 Make a new file in photoshop, about 500X200. Select the gradient tool, click
once on the gradient that shows up at the top to edit the gradient. Click once
in the middle of the gradient to set a new gradient point, select white color for
it and make the ones on the right and the left black. Try to make it look like
the one above as similar as possible. After you’re done editing the gradient,
enter “Metal” for the name, and click Save so you can use it in the future.

2 Select the rectangular marquee tool and draw a big rectangle across your layer as shown.
Now using your custom gradient tool drag from top to bottom, exactly as shown above. (note:
it’s important that you start and finish dragging just a little outside the selection edges).

3 Here is what your navbar should look like so far.

4 Make a new layer. Now make another selection at the top of your navbar as shown above.
Then use your gradient and drag exactly as shown above to fill it up.

5 Make another layer. Make a rectangular selection once again, this will be your button.
Using your gradient again, drag exactly as shown for the effect to be correct.

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Longitudinal India Trip part 3 – Representations of the Female Form in Hampi by AB Apana

Whilst looking through my files on Hampi, I realized that a myriad ways had been to represent the female form in Hampi.

These ranged from the sublime and near-religious representations, to representations of the female form as the fount of fertility, to the ‘ordinary’ women, the dancers and courtesans of the court.

The Vijayanagara Kingdom had a healthy attitude towards women, and thus there was a courtesans’ quarter of the town, the Shoolai Bazaar, the ruins of which may be seen even today.

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Photoshoot with E-cigarettes

On our last meeting (Dec, 5th) we were fortunate enough to learn how to make smoke photography from Rain Davidson, and Dave Homen gave a small lecture on what makes a great marketable product photography. This was a sponsored event by (****insert type of anchor text****), which provided us with electronic cigarettes and sent us hired models to be photographed. I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to learn types of photography that we weren’t so familiar with. A lot of our members came and left with much inspiration and new style of adding cool smoke in their photo works.
The marketing aspect of our photography class was very interesting too, and we learned how photography can be used effectively combined with ideas that encourage people to buy certain products. For electronic cigarettes, the successful marketing idea was that of using the increased awareness of the effect of tobacco on human health. Due to this idea, electronic cigarettes have become popular among the tobacco users, and even some of the top celebrities in Hollywood have been promoting it by using them. It is reported that the coverage of celebrities who is using electronic cigarettes is increasing. For example, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Federline, Tom Petty and Ryan Seacrest are all notable e-cigarette users. Photos of them and other celebrities using electronic cigarettes have created quite a buzz among fans. Hollywood observers believe the well known health issue of tobacco is at the root of celebrities using e-cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes provide an alternative for nicotine without causing the voice changes, wrinkles, yellowed teeth and other negative drawbacks of tobacco cigarettes for actors and performers. Moreover, e-cigarettes come in a wide variety of models, styles, and colors, making it easy to use them as fashion accessories. And this is where product photography became so effective in terms of causing the boom in electronic cigarettes. By advertising stylish photos of models with electronic cigarettes, and enticing smokes around them, it caught people’s attention quickly and boosted the sales.

Checkout some of the amazing photos that we took that day:


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Longitudinal India Trip part 2 – Golconda Fort by AB Apana

This is the fort which once held the Kohinoor diamond. Originally built and held by the Kakatiyas, the fort fell to the Qutub Shahi rulers in 1364, and then to Aurangzeb in 1687. The enduring legacy of this fort is of the love between one of the Qutub Shahi rulers and a courtesan. Eventually he married her and Hyderabad is named after her. Modern-day lovers also frequent Golconda. The graffiti on the walls bears testimony to their love.

The fort has the normal elements of defensive architecture, huge gateways with narrow walls and a winding approach (to prevent elephants from battering the gates), but the one famous feature here is the clapping portico. If you stand under this portico, at the main entrance to the fort, and clap, the sound is heard at the highest point in the fort, almost a kilometre away. Additionally, the audience chamber has interesting elements. The ruler sat in an alcove high above the supplicants, but at such an angle as to make it impossible for a weapon of that day to be hurled at the ruler. The ruler was often accompanied by his consort, but her alcove was positioned to allow her to seen the chamber, but none from the chamber could see her.

This fort is impressive. And for me, personally, the Baradari is my favorite building in all Hyderabad. It seems to be representative of the Hyderabad I have grown to love. More so than the Charminar, a building I hardly see. The Baradari, on the other hand, may be seen from several parts of Hyderabad.

The State Tourism Department has a sound and light show at Golconda in the evenings. This is quite decent and worth attending.

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Define Photoshop Patterns

1 This tutorial will show you how to make your own photoshop patterns. Make a new file with 4×4 pixels in dimensions. Select the zoom tool. Right click on the background and select fit on screen. This will zoom your file to the limit.

2 Select the rectangular marquee tool.Select “Fixed Size” for the Style in the marque options. Choose 2px for width
and height. Click anywhere in your file, it will make a 2px by 2px selection. Use the arrow keys to align it in the center (see picture for details), fill your selection with black.

3 You are now ready to define the pattern. Go to Edit>Define Pattern…Name your pattern anything
you want. Make a new file (about 300X300 pixels) and go to Edit>Fill.. From the Use box select Pattern and from the Custom Pattern box select the big black dot that we just created, click OK. Your layer is filled with pattern.

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2017 Profoto Awards top images selected

After three rounds of severe judging, top images in the 2008 Profoto Awards, presented by Sony (pronounced Alpha), were selected on Saturday, 7 February. The final judging was done live on Sony High Definition BRAVIA LCD TVs at Sony Bristol’s head office.

Four international judges formed part of the judging team, which comprised specialists in various fields. The judging process started on 23 January and reached a climax on 7 February when the award winners in each category were selected from over 4 000 images. The Image of the Year has also been selected, but will stay a secret until 19 March, when all the winning images will be announced at a Gala Dinner at the Wanderers Club in Bristol. Tickets for this event can be bought at Computicket.

The public are invited to predict which image was selected by the judges as Image of the Year. The person who predicts the correct image stands a chance to win a Sony 350 DSLR kit, which include a camera body and a lens. If more than one person selects the Image of the Year, a draw will take place to determine the winner of the camera.

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Longitudinal India Trip part I – Clocks of Hyderabad by Veeresh Babu

Photographed between 1996 and 2000, this series on Hyderabad clocks shows how important public clocks were before the watch became something every man and woman could afford.

Most of the older Indian cities which had a strong British presence have several public clocks, many of them works of art in themselves.

This series also demonstrates the role of time in our lives; everything we do is dominated by seconds, minutes, and hours, a necessary part of our modern culture of pursuing greater wealth. All of this is, of course, tied to mutability, the passing of individuals and the passing of empires.

Also, here’s the video I’ve been watching to take more quality photos in India. Check it out!

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6th Dec: Image of the Year 2012

The mono print section belonged to Ralph Snook and Jason Eastham. Jason took first place with Winter Steam** and The Final Gallop; Ralph took third place with Coqui Heron with Catch. Highly commended: Arctic Glacier and Flight Pattern (Ralph Snook); Auschwitz Poland and Bristol Cathedral (Jason Eastham).

First placed in the Colour Print section was Ralph Snook’s Flamingo Race, which also won Print of the Year. Second was Peter Ruck’s Late at the Office**, and third was Porpoising Penguin by Sandie Cox. Sandie also had three Highly Commended: Detail Recoleta Cemetery, Rock Pipit and Spotted Deer. The other HC was Ralph Snook’s Play with me please.

**bright artefact caused by photographing the print in its mount

Peter Ruck won Projected Image of the Year with Time for a Pipe. Sandie Cox was second with Arctic Landscape and Ralph Snook third with Leopard Adult and Cub. Ralph also had three HC: Flamingos at Dawn, Jabiru Stork with Fish, and Kittiwake Frenzy. Marian Hilton was HC for Starlings Filling the Sky.

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Oct 10th: We make it to the dockside!!

Eight of us made a successful excursion to the dockside – for once, an NWBCC outing when there wasn’t rain! It was too late in the year, and there was too much cloud cover, for any light in the sky, but we had lots of fun experimenting with high ISO and long shutter times. More than once we wandered unknowingly in front of someone else’s open shutter, but the exposures were long enough that it rarely mattered.

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