Saturday, November 01, 2008

Photographing diwali firecrackers


Of late everyone seems to be buying and flaunting their expensive DSLR cameras with an array of wide-angle / super long focal length lenses and filters ... and all they talk about is the relative merits and demerits of Canon EOS vs Nikon DXXX, how best to use lenses, filters, other accessories and post-processing of the "RAW" format pictures ... enough to give me a headache.

I was travelling with one of these guys the other day and the weight & size of his camera kit was actually more than his laptop bag. He had to literally beg the airport staff to let him carry both laptop and camera as cabin baggage ... at one point he was even considering checking in his laptop bag and holding on to his precious camera stuff !!!

Finally they relented and he was allowed to carry both laptop and camera kit as cabin baggage. Throughout the flight he bugged me with his tall camera tales and exploits ... I suspect he thought of himself as the next Gautam Rajadhyaksha. 

According to this GR wannabe getting a perfect shot of firecrackers was the hallmark of a good camera and the holy grail of photography ... he showed me a few he'd taken with his Nikon D4ox.

Now I have a Canon Powershot A620 which is a point and shoot and though its supposed to have some manual controls I'd never used any of them in the 2 years I've been using the camera. So this Diwali I decided to experiment with aperture and shutter speed and take pictures of firecrackers ... of course I had no special lenses and worse I could not even find my tripod. 

Anyway I took a few snaps propping my camera on the window grill and the results are not too bad !!! So I guess I'll just stick to my trusted point and shoot and pass up the temptation to upgrade to a DSLR ... at the very least I'll never have to worry about checking in my laptop bag :-)


  1. Perfect pictures of fireworks being the holy grail of a DSLR is such BS :D No wonder he was a GR wannabe. Reminds of the ACP we would hear in some classes :)

    What an SLR gives you is a lot of flexibility at the expense of convenience. The picture quality is undoubtedly much better, but to appreciate the difference you have to take large prints.

  2. There are multiple factors that go into the creation of a good photograph - the camera is only a small part of it. You do not become a better photographer just by buying a more expensive camera. Some of my best shots have come from an ancient 2 Mp powershot. At the same time, you are truly a better photographer when you recognize while taking or reviewing a shot - oh shit, i wish I had my fish eye lens- or I wish I had shot this in RAW so that I could have adjusted the contrast,etc. Most serious photographers do not "upgrade" - they carry what they need depending on the situation - which might be 8 Kg of equipment if the purpose is to spend the day in the Serengiti for that perfect shot, or just a point and shoot if just walking around the city with the hope of capturing something interesting, or a combination if the occasion permits. Your needs define your equipment, not your aspirations and delusions.

  3. was trying to reach you more than a couple of times.
    then indepently thought of taking fireworks snaps myself...

  4. @ milinda ... for a minute i had to rack my brains to recall what was the A in ACP ... the Arbitness got promoted to Desperateness in Prof. Vipul's classes ... coz he used to give CP marks !!! ACP-->DCP ( there's a correlation to police ranks here !!! :-o

    @ pradipta ... couldnt agree more with you ... and as my probability of spending a day in serengati tends to zero I'm better off with my point & shoot :-)

    @ peyote ... and ditto here as well ... much more than a couple times but you seem to have changed your mobile # :-(