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Main > Photoblog

May 16, 2005

Golconda Fortress I

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron EX 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 28mm
Shutter / Aperture1/125s / f/9
ISO (Adj.)100 (-0.30 EV)

Golcanda Fortress on the outskirts of Hyderabad is way cool. It is even more interesting and magical if you use your mind to try and imagine what this fortress and the city contained within were like.

The name Golconda derives its name from the Telegu for "Shepard's Hill." The hill is a about 120 meters high and made of solid granite. Although the fort was established by earlier Hindu rulers, Golcanda was expanded into its grand and golden period under the Qutb Shahi dynasty who's tombs we explored earier on this site.

This picture is of the ramparts standing in front of the main gate which tourists are marched through on their entrance into the fortress. Even though the sun was quite strong, I really liked how the shadows were interplaying with the architecture.


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May 15, 2005

Fall Rebirth in the Abstract

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CameraSony DSC-S70
LensCarl Zeiss 7-21mm f/2 @ 21mm
Shutter / Aperture1/470s / f/8

So I've decided I like sticking to a theme during the week and switching to a different theme on the weekends so I can get a chance to pull things from my recent shooting about town, from my life, or deep from within the archives. After posting the image from yesterday I figured I was safe to find an image for Sunday.

I could have posted one of the many boring but pretty Velvia shots of fall leaves but that would be boring. I don't want to do that. Anything is better than boring. We'll save the boring for when winter reaches Minnesota and all of us living in the Northern climates forget what color looks like.

I reached back to 2000 when digital cameras were for early adopters, shaped like bricks, and buying flash memory required taking equity out of your home. Ah, how times have changed. Luckily, my processing ability has improved too.

I purchased my trusty DSC-S70 in Akihabara in a dodgy cash-only shop with my friend Fujii. It weighed in at a handsome 3.3MP (2048x1536!) and was my best friend until I did not lock the tripod key into the tripod properly while taking a self-portrait and it took a tumble to the black-top of the driveway below. The lens never quite moved correctly after that.

I've recropped, removed noise, adjusted levels, added grain and a slight vignette. I have a feeling you'll either like this shot a bit or hate it a lot. Let me know what you think!

Have a happy sunday!


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May 14, 2005

Last Fall

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It had been awhile since I had picked up the camera and it felt like forever since I had put an actual roll of film through my SLR. I had been working my butt off to be able to afford a Konica-Minolta 7d and yet I knew I was out of practice. I had moved and not even re-setup my darkroom I worked so hard to collect equipment for.

I knew that before I departed the country I would need to get back into the habit of taking some pictures so I asked my good friend Jeremy if he would like to go for a long walk through Minneapolis and snap some pictures of anything we happened to find photo-worthy along the way. One of my favorite things to do!

For a sunny fall day in late October, it was positively ass-kicker cold. The temperature was right around freezing but the wind was the real killer. We made pathetic little whimpering sounds crossing the Stone Arch Bridge only to be passed by a bunch of clucky older rotund women walking in sweats. If you heard them and saw with what nonchalance they cut through the wind you would have sworn they were enjoying a stroll on a nice summer day. Minnesotans are a tough stock.

All the leaves were peaked along the Mississippi. I took this shot, auto-metered on Provia 400 using my Minolta 9 with my Minolta 50mm lens which actually looks wide to me now. Damn, I hate that digital SLR cropping factor.

Apologies for the quality of the scan. I had this quicky scanned from a local camera store and their quality isn't the greatest. The highlights on the buildings in the background are blown on the scan, but fine on the film. One day, I'll do the scanning.

I am still waiting for the right moment to pickup a good quality 35mm/120 dual-format scanner. I am sure one will be able to pick them up for nothing in about another 9 months. Anybody got one they want to get rid of?


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May 13, 2005

Dog Day Tomb

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron EX 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 28mm
Shutter / Aperture1/250s / f/8
ISO / Metering100 / Spot

Considering the phrase "a dogs life" doesn't mean the same thing in India. Dogs have it hard. All of the strays I saw were flee-bitten, dirty, rotting scavangers. Poor guys.

I once saw a medium sized dog with cow utters that dragged on the ground. A cow-dog. You don't see that in Minneapolis.

A friend of mine once remarked, "it'll change your thinking to go someplace without a social safety net," which is true. Considering this, it surprises me to realize that we even have a social safety net for animals. Animal shelters are a wonderful thing.

Like yesterday's shot, I think this one has the funk. I necessarily spot metered on the dome of the tomb so it wouldn't overexpose and handled bringing out the shadows in post-processing.


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May 12, 2005

Humble Tomb

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I am playing with some new code that will allow me to dynamically change the stylesheet in order to pick a better color scheme for each image. Let me know if this is a good thing, a bad thing, or if it doesn't work. The white sky of this image just looked horrible against the gray background.

CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron EX 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 35mm
Shutter / Aperture1/300s / f/3.5

I tried to take a photo of every tomb I came across at the Qutub Shahi tomb complex but I couldn't get a decent photo of this one. The sun was really high in the sky and everything looked so horribly washed out. I nearly purged it.

After I got back to the 'States I started playing around with images that were similar to this one: more-or-less decent except for a region of blown highlights. I found that for some of the images I could breathe a little visual interest back into them if I converted them to black and white and gave them a little funk. I think this one has the funk.

My funk recipie is pretty simple: convert to black and white using favorite technique, add contrast, add grain and tone. Voila!


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May 11, 2005

Qutub Shahi Tomb Carving Detail

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron EX 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm
Shutter / Aperture1/160s / f/11

Despite some of the tombs being in rather poor states of disrepair some of the features of the tombs are positively remarkable. I could not stop marvelling at the carving work.

Creating a hundred meters or so of this seamless carving must have been quite a task!


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Main > Photoblog

May 10, 2005

Qutub Shahi Tomb Archways

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron EX 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 28mm
Shutter / Aperture1/160s / f/8

Yesterday, the site surpassed 100 comments. Thank you! Your comments mean a lot to me!

I swear I saw this exact picture in one of the other many fine photoblogs featuring shots from Hyderabad but I really liked mine so I decided to post it anyway. Not like repeating archways are anything new but...

...alright something more interesting tomorrow I promise!


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May 9, 2005

Qutub Shahi Tomb

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter / Aperture1/250s / f/8

...and we're back in Hyderabad.

The Qutub Shahi Tombs are one of the must see sights to be found within Hyderabad. Although they have fallen into disrepair, they are now sufficiently guarded by the state against further vandalism and are still quite the site to see. I will always remember them for being my halfway marker seen on the horizon when I was coming out of Jubilee Hills on the way to Gachibowli.

Srikanth took Jim and I to the tombs and we were impressed. But then again, we are always impressed by big old things.

This was, in my opinion, the grandest tomb of them all. I forget exactly which it was. I think it may have been the one erected in memorium for Hayath Bakshi Begum daughter of Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah...but I could be wrong.

The guys at left were making fun of me while I was taking the photo. Every time locals would make fun of me for taking a photo I would start laughing and then pretty soon we were all laughing. I guess I just find that picking on me is funny too!

I would have really liked to have a camera with bellows to correct the convergance on this picture. I guess that would have made me even more worthy of being heckled!

That little orange man near the entryway into the tomb is Srikanth. Hi Srikanth!


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May 8, 2005

Happy Mother's Day The Britt

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13:15 CDT: the color was bugging me, so I read did the image and reduced some the saturation. Much better!

CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensMinolta 50mm f/1.4
Shutter / Aperture1/15s / f/4
ISO / Metering3200 / spot

We jokingly refer to my mother as "The Britt" sort of like how Madonna and Cher only have a single name. And like Madonna and Cher, she has a knack for reinvention. She's been a model, a published artist, a toy inventor but always an inspiration. Happy Mother's Day The Britt!

I took this shot last night at her workplace—Alfred's Grand Petit Magasin—at a party intended to promote the store to their good customers.

I took my camera along last night because I thought there would be plenty of opportunities to capture candids of people shopping, eating, dancing to music—and there were—but I forgot to charge up my battery before I left and my camera pooped out shortly after I took this picture. It was only the third shot of the evening.

It was dark. I cranked the camera up to 3200 ISO, flipped on the spot meter and crossed my fingers as I turned on anti-shake. The shot looked decent enough on-camera. First stage processing included processing the RAW image to try and reduce all of the nuclear-hot highlights from overblowing in the backdrop—only some of which was successful as you can see— then applying manual white balancing and finally some noise reduction.

Then into Photoshop for more color re-balancing (which I still am not 100% happy with), a light unsharp mask, and the application of an adjustment layer to Mom to have her pop out a bit more. Not one of the best shots in the world but hey, it's Mother's Day! Definately the artist's fault here for not getting a true enough capture of a true beauty, inside and out!


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May 6, 2005

Happy Birthday

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensMinolta 50mm f/1.4
Shutter / Aperture1/60s / f/4
ISO / Flash (Adj.)400 / Yes (-0.25 EV)

So I'm going to do a new thing around here on the weekends; I am going to break with the present arc of photos on the weekend and mix it up with stuff from my very recent backlog or from the distant past. That way we'll get some variety around here.

I learned a little while ago that there is a special town in Wisconsin named Eagle River that produces only two kinds of people: geniuses or doorknobs. There is no middle ground. It's odd. I've been there.

Ryan here is a genius. Writer, musian, artist, "one of God's finest creations," and a good friend of mine. He's always doing something quietly funny. I wish I could have been the one to spot him posing in the corner of the room like this, but it was my Dad that said, "somebody better get a picture of that." I was all too happy to step in and make that happen.

Thank you Ryan for coming to the party; I miss you man. You've got to come into Minneapolis more often.


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