So I was all excited because my 7 year old Canon 7D just got sold online! Which meant I had successfully raised some cash for my next camera. Now my brain was battling it out where several cameras were running through my head and it was not an easy decision to make. The first question that ran through my mind was what applications am I targeting?. I do lot of wildlife photography followed by landscapes and very few portraits. This year I have also committed myself to get into some Astrophotography where I want to capture pretty Milky Way shots. That is where the decision got even more complicated. The challenge here was to find that one camera which can do everything for me. 

There are two types of DSLRs that companies like Canon and Nikon manufacture. A crop sensor camera and a full frame camera. A crop sensor camera has a relatively smaller sensor whereas a full frame has a larger sensor. Biggest advantage of a full frame camera is that it can draw more light into the sensor which in turn gives less grainy and noise free images at higher ISO levels. On the other hand the biggest advantage of crop factor cameras is that you can get closer to your subject. For example Canon crop sensor cameras have a 1.6x crop factor which means when you mount a 100mm lens to your crop sensor camera, it actually becomes a 160mm lens. This works perfectly for wildlife because you now get more closer to your subject due to the automatic 1.6x zoom. But then crop sensor cameras don't work well at higher ISO levels because of their limited sensor size. Crop sensor cameras have evolved a lot over the years. Older crop sensor cameras were no good beyond 400 ISO but these days you can shoot at about 1600 ISO with a crop sensor camera and get noise free image. But they are no match to a full frame. On a full frame you can shoot at 6400 ISO and still get a noise free photo which you can print on an extra large canvas and hang it up in your living room. When I looked at my budget there were two cameras that were fitting inside my wallet. The Canon 7D Mark II  which is a crop senor body and the Canon 6D which is a full frame body. Third option was to stretch my budget little bit and get a Canon 5D Mark III which is a full frame camera. Let us now look at these three cameras on an overall basis and what advantages/disadvantages they enforced for my applications:


The 6D would be a fantastic camera for Astrophotography and Landscapes because of its full frame nature. But that camera performs extremely bad when it comes to wildlife pictures, primarily because of these reasons: 

1. It shoots just 4 frames per second, which is not fast enough to capture a fast wildlife scene like an Eagle fishing. For something like that you need a camera that can capture more frames per second so you don't miss the action.

2. The ability of 6D to track a moving subject isn't that great because it has just 11 auto focus points. Ofcourse it was not manufactured to serve wildlife photographers so Canon wasn't really concerned about this feature. 

3. Since this is full frame camera you don't get that extra zoom on your lens so you are little away from your wildlife subject in the field. 

So say a bird is perched on a nice branch and light is low because of an extremely overcast day. The 6D would shine here where I can push my ISO to 4000 or even higher and get a really noise free shot of the bird, mostly because the bird is perched and not moving. But then under same conditions if I try to use the 6D for an eagle who is diving in to catch a fish, the 6D would fail terribly because it would not be able to keep good focus on the moving eagle. I can still get a good shot but it would be a hit or miss situation. 

So coming to a conclusion, the Canon 6D would be a good landscape and astrophotography camera but a bad wildlife camera. So the 6D was surely on a lower priority for me. 


The 7D Mark II is a crop sensor camera which shoots 10 frames per second and has 65 auto focus points which makes this my first choice for wildlife photography. The 10 frames per second rate is perfect to freeze the action. Also with 65 auto focus point system, this camera would be excellent to track moving objects and keep them in focus. The only camera that can beat the Canon 7D Mark II in this department is the Canon 1DX full frame. This is top of the line camera that Canon manufactures and it is almost 3 times the cost of Canon 7D Mark II. Also I would surely be able to take good landscape pictures with the 7D Mark II, probably at par with the Canon 6D (Landscapes don't require a high ISO value so both 6D and 7D Mark II would have almost same image quality at lower ISO). Now the astrophotography part is where it starts falling little apart. I can still get acceptable images at 3200 ISO from a 7D Mark II along with noise reduction in post processing techniques. Which means I can click decent Milky Way pictures with this camera. Looks like at this point this is my best bet under the price range that I am targeting. 

Now there was a third camera that kept popping up in my mind. The Canon 5D Mark III. Let us look at it in detail.


The 5D is a full frame camera so again like our previous discussion it performs very nicely at higher ISO levels. But, there is something that attracts me towards a 5D Mark III. It shoots 6 frames per second and also has a very decent auto focusing system with 61 auto focus points. When I compare it to the 7D mark II, it might fall a little behind at frames per second but then it gives you stunning wildlife photos when the light is super bad. Many experienced wildlife photographers say as soon as the light starts falling, they keep their 7D Mark II inside their bag and grab their 5D Mark III. So looking at my applications, this camera looks perfect as it does everything from Wildlife to Landscapes to Astrophotography. But then all good comes with a price! The Canon 5D Mark III is almost $1000 more expensive than the Canon 7D Mark II and Canon 6D (Canon 7D Mark II and Canon 6D are equally priced). I now started thinking that if I need to get this camera I will need to spend $1000 more. I can get everything out of my landscapes and astrophotography, but I have to compromise somewhere on the wildlife aspect. I wouldn't get the 10 frames per second and a fast auto focusing system, which is extremely important in wildlife (You just get that one opportunity which you can't miss!) Also another factor to consider is Canon 5D Mark III is getting old now. They already have a Canon 5D Mark IV out in the market which has better technology. 

My Decision:

After a lot of thinking I came to the decision that I will buy the 7D Mark II as of now. That gets me going with my wildlife and landscapes. I can get some astrophotography as well with this camera. My thought process was that rather than spending $1000 extra for the Canon 5D Mark III, I would save up that money and add some more to it after a few months and get the Canon 6D. That way I will have two camera bodies in my bag. One for wildlife and the other for landscapes and astrophotography. Rather than holding a 5D Mark III which is relatively old now, I'll be holding two bodies which are newer and better in terms of technology. So that was my final analysis. I got my 7D Mark II this week and I absolutely can't wait to take it out in the field! 

NOTE: Sometimes the decision to buy a camera also depends on what lenses you own. Sometimes all the lenses you own only work on crop sensor cameras so if you upgrade to a full frame, all those lenses become useless. So it is always advisable to buy lenses that work on both type of camera bodies. 

Hope this write up helps you in some or the other way when you make your next camera purchase! Happy clicking!

[email protected] (PRITHVIRAJ BHOSALE PHOTOGRAPHY) Fri, 10 Feb 2017 22:09:00 GMT
Triangle of Exposure in Photography
The Triangle of Exposure in Photography


Understanding exposure is one of the most essential elements of photography. Expensive cameras can take beautiful pictures by default is a definite myth! You might carry a $10,000 camera in your hands but if you don’t know how to play with your exposure, you cannot click astounding pictures!

There are basically three basic elements of exposure i.e. Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Changing one of them affects the other two. To understand this better, let us consider our camera as a window with two flaps. Now lets relate our exposure elements to this window. Consider Aperture as the size of the window. Bigger the size, more light will enter through it. The shutter speed is basically the time for which the door remains open. More amount of time it remains open, more light will enter the room. Now imagine you are standing inside the room. If you wear sunglasses you will see a darker imagine. Which means you have a low ISO. If you keep the size of the window same and remove your sunglasses, you’ll see a brighter scene. That is high ISO. 

Let us now look into details of each one of them.


As we saw, Aperture is the size of the window. When you click the shutter button of you camera, a small hole opens up in your lens. Using an aperture value, you can basically control the size of this opening when the picture is taken.

Aperture is measured as ‘f-stop’ or ‘f-number’ i.e. f2.8, f4, f5.6 etc. Changing from one value to the other either doubles or halves the opening of the lens. Large aperture means more opening and smaller aperture means less opening. Make an important point here that smaller the f-stop number, larger the opening. Which means that f2.8 will result in a bigger opening than f5.6. Which means f2.8 will have more light coming into the lens as compared to f5.6.

Concept of Depth of Field (DOF) and its relation with Aperture:

Depth of field can be either larger of smaller/shallow. Larger depth of field means all of your imagine will be in focus. Shallow depth of field will result in only a smaller area of your picture in focus and rest of the picture will be blurred. If you are taking a landscape photo with nice river and mountains in the backdrop, you’ll need a larger depth of field. On the contrary if you need to take picture of a flower and want everything else in the background to be blurred, you’ll need a shallow depth of field.

Now if you have understood the definition of large and shallow DOF, let us relate them to f-stops. Larger aperture means shallow depth of field. Which means if you want to take picture of a flower with the background blurred, you’ll need to stick with a smaller number of f-stop i.e. f2.8, f4 etc. Now as you will start increasing this number and click the same picture, you’ll start noticing that the background has started to get visible. In short, you are moving from a shallow DOF to a larger DOF.

Let us compare set of pictures so you’ll see this with a better perspective. The two pictures below illustrate how DOF changes with aperture value. You can clearly see how the background is visible at f40 and blurred at f3.5

Aperture v/s DOF

Let us look at a few more pictures and their relative f-stops.

Monument Valley Utah, f22
Monument Valley, Utah; Aperture f22

Bleeding Heart; Aperture f4

The topmost landscape picture is shot at f22 because I needed a larger depth of field. That way I have all of the objects in the frame clearly in focus. On the contrary the ‘Bleeding Heart’ picture above was shot at f4. This was because I needed a shallow DOF. In other words, I only wanted the flowers to be in focus and everything else in the background blurred. There were bunch of green bushes in the background but they have been blurred because of the aperture value I chose. That way I kept the viewer’s interest locked on the flowers. A visible busch in the background would have been a distraction.


As discussed in our opening paragraph, shutter speed is the time for which the flaps on the window remain opens. In other words, the time for which the shutter remains open. Shutter speed is calculated in terms of fraction of a second or seconds i.e. 1/10, 1/500, 1/1000, 2 secs, 5 secs etc. Remember larger the denominator, faster the shutter speed. And faster shutter speeds means better freeze of the action. Acceptable action freeze happens at 1/60 shutter speed. Anything below that (1/10 etc.) will result in shaking of the image. If you want to freeze a biker or a moving car, you will need a higher shutter speed, somewhere around 1/200 or higher.

Let us now look at the relation between aperture and shutter speed. Imagine the amount of light that will enter through the window. Say you have a higher shutter speed. Which means the flaps on the window open and close pretty quickly. So there is a pretty thin margin for the light to enter into the room. Now what will happen when you keep the shutter speed same as before and increase the size of the window? Obviously more light will enter into the room. In short to get the same exposure out of a picture, you have to simultaneously adjust shutter speed and aperture i.e. if you increase your shutter speed by one stop, you’ll have to decrease your f-number by one stop as well. For example, say you clicked a picture at 1/30 and f5.6. Now say you increased the shutter speed by one stop to 1/60. Now you are keeping the opening of the lens same but keeping the shutter open for a shorter time, hence less light would enter the camera. So to compensate and allow the same amount of light into the lens, you’ll have to increase the opening of the lens. In other words, switch from f5.6 to f4.

 Let us now look at a few examples of shutter speed and its application.

Fishing Eagle; Shutter Speed: 1/1000; Aperture: f5.6

In the picture above, I wanted to freeze the action when this eagle picked up a fish from the water. A higher shutter speed of 1/1000 did a perfect job. The aperture was kept at f5.6 so that the bird is in focus and the background is decently visible (Remember here my focus is the bird and not the background. So I wouldn't mind blurring the background a little bit).

Badwater Basin; Shutter Speed: 1/2 sec; Aperture: f22

While taking this picture at Death Valley National Park, I was not worried about freezing any motion so I stuck to a lower shutter speed of 1/2 sec. Also, as this is a landscape picture I needed a larger DOF hence I chose an aperture value of f22.

After shutter speed let us now get to the final element of exposure i.e. ISO.


As we saw in the introduction, ISO is the amount of sensitivity to light by your camera. If you leave your camera on Auto ISO, darker the environment, your camera will try to push the ISO to a higher value. Although a very important factor to note here is that higher ISO values lead to a grainy/noisy image Every photographer always strives to keep the ISO value on the camera as low as possible.

There are several situations when you’ll feel the need to push your ISO to higher values like an indoor sports event, museums, indoor concerts etc. In a darker scenario if you want to keep a low ISO (to avoid grainy image), you’ll have to compensate on shutter speed and aperture. Lower aperture values will give you better results with acceptable ISO. Similarly lowering the shutter speed will also yield better results. Although lowering shutter speeds wouldn't work in many situations. Imagine you are shooting an indoor sports event and you don’t want to have a higher ISO value. In that case you will have to lower your shutter speed as well.  But then shooting a fast moving basketball player with lower shutter speeds will result in a shaky image. Hence in situations like these keeping a lower aperture value is the best alternative. All lenses have a minimum f-stop value that you can use. Lower the aperture value, more expensive the lens (Because you can use that lens in a better way in low light situations). For example, a 50mm f1.8 lens is more expensive than a 50mm f2.8 lens.

Here is an example of a low ISO night image:

Brooklyn Bridge; Shutter Speed: 30 sec; Aperture f16; ISO 100

The above picture of Brooklyn Bridge was taken at ISO 100. Because of that, the image turned out to be noise/grain free. But to achieve that, notice I had to use a shutter speed of 30 sec. If I would have used a shutter speed of 1/500 and kept the ISO 100 and aperture f16, this image would have been an extremely underexposed image, almost dark. To make the image visible, I would have had to raise the ISO. But again higher ISO means more noise. Again, since the shutter speed was 30 sec, I had to use a tripod to get this shot. If I had tried clicking this hand held, it would have been a shaky image.

To sum things up, the world of exposure entirely revolves around three elements; Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Each of them is inter-dependent on the other. Changing one element hampers the performance of the other; hence it is important to understand the balance between values of all three. Every photographer strives to come to an acceptable shutter speed, aperture and ISO, which would give him/her a perfectly exposed shot. With my personal experience, I would say you would understand these elements in a much better way when you’ll go out with your camera on field and try different settings. Try an indoor sporting event or a night shot. Try the same shot with different settings and see how your output varies. Every camera has an inbuilt digital meter which shows you whether your shot is under or overexposed. Adjust your settings until you get a perfectly exposed shot.

Exposure/Light Meter

Note that the meter runs from -2 to +2. A perfectly exposed shot will have the scale at 0. Minus values represent underexposed shot while the positive values indicate an overexposed shot. 

So don't wait! Get out there with your camera and play with it! That is the best way to have fun and learn at the same time! I hope you liked reading my post. If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to write to me at [email protected]. Happy clicking and happy learning! 
[email protected] (PRITHVIRAJ BHOSALE PHOTOGRAPHY) Wed, 09 Oct 2013 15:07:55 GMT
A Road Trip to National Parks of the West!
It was time to plan another photography trip and I was wondering where to go. Last time I chose Maine and New Hampshire over Florida. Florida was under consideration this time as well but after thinking for a few days, I realized two things. Firstly Florida isn’t too far from where I live and I can always squeeze in a quick trip down there. Secondly it would have been a purely birding trip. Wildlife and birding is always an uncertain equation (You have to be at the right place at the right time!) so flying so far and getting disappointed wasn’t on my plate!  I wanted to do something big that wouldn’t be possible to repeat. After a few days of research I thought the best place I can hit would be National Parks of the west. There were a few reasons why I chose those National Parks. First, it would be purely landscape based trip so no fear of luck. If you make there for sunset or sunrise you are surely getting that shot! Mountains and Trees don’t fly and run like wildlife! Another factor being that since all those parks are usually dry during this season, I could book tickets early and I didn’t have to fear about heavy rains (Plus in some situations Rain and Storm add to a much better effect for Landscape Photography). So it was decided! Landscapes it is!
Next part was research. I went through several days of research with reading two books and a few blogs. Finally came up with my travel route which was the following:
Las Vegas --> Arches National Park --> Horseshoe Bend --> Antelope Canyon --> Monument Valley --> Zion National Park --> Death Valley National Park --> Las Vegas
I planned to take two lenses with me along with my Canon 7D. First lens was the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 and my second lens was Canon 70-200 F4 (Just in case I needed little zoom). Flew out of Baltimore and reached Las Vegas around 7:00PM in the evening. Picked up my rental car. Although a little pricey, I got myself an all wheel drive Jeep which would make off road travel easier for me. I dropped my bags at the Vegas Hotel and took the hotel shuttle for the Las Vegas Strip. Spend the next 4 hours doing some night photography and I got some fantastic shots of the cityscape! Here is one of the shots from Las Vegas:
 I came back to my hotel room at 1:00AM the next morning from the Vegas Strip. The air travel and 4 hours of walking on the Strip had made me dead tired! It was time to doze off! Woke up at 6 AM and this was going to be a long day. Seven and a half hours of drive to Arches National Park! Major attractions at Arches were Balanced Rock, North and South Windows, Delicate Arch and a few more to name. Delicate Arch is the most attractive photographic point at Arches and you require a good hour of strenuous hike to get up there! Started my hike at 6:00PM and took one hour and five minutes to reach to the top. I was exhausted! Climbing the mountains with your camera bag, lenses, water and tripod isn’t easy! The view from the top was breathtaking! I felt as if every step and breath I took to be here was worth it! The red rock glowed beautifully under the setting sun! Here is a picture of the Delicate Arch at sunset:
After a long day and strenuous hike at Arches National Park, it was time to doze off! I found a nice diner near my motel, ate to my satisfaction and went off to sleep with another day of excitement in my dreams! Woke up next day before the sun rose and headed towards the morning session of Arches National Park. The weather wasn’t going to be co-operative that day with clouds forming above me. It was probably going to rain. Cloudy sky wasn’t an issue but carrying you gear and hiking for half a mile becomes difficult when it starts raining in the middle of your hike. You have no place to hide in a deserted park and you surely don’t want to wet your expensive gear! I didn’t take any chances that morning. I did take a lot of pictures but definitely stayed close to my car just in case it started raining. I did get some interesting shots that morning! Here is one of them:
After completing the morning session it was time to head out to Page, Arizona. The drive was about 4.5 hours and my aim was to cover three locations around Page: Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon and Monument Valley. I reached Page at 4:00PM. Checked into my motel, took a quick shower and I was all set to hit Horseshoe Bend for sunset. The hike to Horseshoe bend is a medium leveled hike. You don’t strain yourself as much as the Delicate Arch Hike but you do have to take quick pit stops to catch some breath. Checked the weather and my jaw dropped! Winds close to 40 miles per hour were on the agenda! Horseshoe Bend needs to be captured from the edge of a cliff so standing at such elevation with winds would be extremely difficult. Plus the desert sand would be a pain in the eyes. Also with the sand, we have to be extremely careful with the camera gear because if the sand goes into your lens or camera, it is very difficult to blow it out. In fact there are chances that the sand particles might go deeper into your camera while you are trying to clean it. I hiked and reached at the horseshoe bend. I was expecting a cloudy sky but to my dissatisfaction, it was a clear sky. With sun setting in front of you on a clear day, light becomes extremely harsh. Plus the wind made it worst to stand on the edge of the cliff. I wasn’t happy with my overall sunset setup and I decided I needed to be back at the same location next day for Sunrise! So called it a day and headed back to my motel. When I woke up the next day, the weather was much better. Winds had calmed down and I had a smile on my face! Hiked back to the cliff and what a wonderful setting it was! I’ll let my picture do the talking here:
Quickly competed my morning session and heading back to the place from where my booked tour to Antelope Canyons was supposed to leave. Antelope Canyon is an extremely beautiful location and you cannot drive your own car here due to sand. There are tours available which take you into the canyons using special vehicles equipped with tires that can handle the sand. My tour left at 10:00AM and it took us about 30 minutes to get to the canyons. The canyons are deep into the sand and while you walk through them, there is sand falling constantly from above! So if you plan to change your camera’s lens while in the canyon, FORGET IT!! Your camera will end its life after that! Anyways. After my shirt full of sand, I was happy to have clicked one of the most unique places on earth! It was an awesome feeling. Here is one of the shots from Antelope Canyon:
After completing my tour, my destination for the evening was Monument Valley National Park which is two hours drive from Page. Again, the roads inside this park are curvy and full of bumps and rocks! I have heard people having three flat tires at one given point in time, blowing out their engines and what not! And with very limited cell phone coverage, there are changes where you’ll be stuck inside the park for hours!  I didn’t want to take a risk so I booked a tour with one of the tour guides at Monument National Park. They have special vehicles that take you into the park. The guides have Satellite phones with them so they can communicate outside the park in case of an emergency. My tour guide was from the native Navajo tribes who have stayed in the park for many decades. He knew every inch of the park and took us deep into Monument Valley. I got some wonderful photo opportunities while I was there and all thanks to him! Here is a picture from the monument valley:
Came back to my motel after my trip and called it a day.
Started for Zion National Park the next morning. The drive is about 2.5 hours from Page. Reached Zion and the sky couldn’t be more co-operative!! Beautiful clouds added up to a great setup for my landscape shots! I spent an entire day at Zion National Park. You have to walk a lot inside Zion if you want to explore its beauty. I did a few hikes inside the park and it was breath taking! If you want to hike and cover the entire park, you need to stay for at least 3 to 4 days! I just had one day with me so I covered major attractions throughout the entire day. In the evening I made it up to a famous sunset point in Zion, the “Watchman”. This location is considered to be one of the most photographed locations inside the park! Again, I’ll let my picture from the “Watchman” make all the talking!
Here is another picture from Zion:
So after a great day at Zion, it was time to call off a day and head towards Las Vegas! I just had one day left now and the destination was Death Valley National Park. I started for Vegas the same day I left Zion and it took three hours to reach to Vegas. Checked into my hotel and dozed off. I had to wake up at 3:00AM for Sunrise at Death Valley National Park! So as planned started at 3:30AM the next day for Death Valley after a mere 3 hours of sleep. Reached just before sunrise at a place called Bad Water. This place is below sea level and there are salt accumulations all over the place! In fact this place is considered to be the lowest place below sea level in the entire world!! And above all, this is one of the most photographed sunrise locations in Death Valley! Here is a picture from the Bad Water:
After Bad Water, I drove around a place known as Artists Drive in Death Valley National Park. The name says so because at any point on that drive, you can just stop and paint a picture of the beautiful road, sky and rocks! Here is a picture from the Artists Drive:
Light got harsher later in the day so there was very little chance of getting a good photo in the desert. I had to wait for the sunset. Spent some time reading a few books about Death Valley at the visitor’s center. Gave me some time to take a deep breath too as my past few days were extremely hectic. Laid down on the bench inside the visitor’s center’s shade (Caring less about what people think!) and took a good afternoon nap. Felt like heaven!! At sunset headed to the famous Sand Dunes of Death Valley National Park. The evening light made the sand dunes shine like diamonds! It was a wonderful sight! Here is a picture from the sunset at Sand Dunes in Death Valley:
I had no intentions of waiting at Death Valley for night shots as there is very little cell phone coverage and driving at night is be risky. But since the sky got clearer as day ended, I decided to stay for a night shot. And the decision paid off!! My picture will explain the rest!
Came back to Vegas that night. I had my flight at 6:00PM the next day. I decided to relax for the last day and keep my camera aside. Spent some time in Vegas that day just chilling on the streets and enjoying some street shows around Vegas. And finally my trip came to an end. What a beautiful experience it was! I would say one week is very little time if you want to explore all of the National Parks in Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. But we as working professionals have hard time finding more than a week just for a road trip! I’ll have to win a lottery for that so I could retire from my job and do road trips for the rest of my life!!
Anyways. I hope you enjoyed reading my post and above all the pictures I took! I would cut the story short now, as this has already turned to be a larger post than I anticipated! Do visit some or all of the places I mentioned in my post. It is worth every penny you spent on visiting these places! My website is Please feel free to visit my site and explore some more pictures from this as well as other trips of mine. Also, if you need any additional information, feel free to drop me an e-mail at [email protected]
Thanks for visiting my blog!




[email protected] (PRITHVIRAJ BHOSALE PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:41:56 GMT
'नेचर आणि वाईल्ड लाईफ फोटोग्राफी', एक वेगळा छंद...
निसर्गाची साथ कोणाला आवडत नाही? श्रावणात हिरव्या गार झाडीतून चालताना जो आनंद मिळतो, त्याची तुलना कशाशीच करता येणार नाही. सकाळी उठल्यावर असंख्य पक्षांच्या मंजुळ आवाजात चहा घेण्याची मजाच वेगळी आहे. दररोजच्या धावपळीच्या आयुष्यातून थोडासा वेळ मिळाला की आपण शहरातल्या गर्दी पासून लांब पळायला बघतो, आणि अश्या वेळी निसर्गाची मैत्री खूपच गोड वाटू लागते. निसर्गाशी मैत्री करण्याचे बरेच मार्ग आपण शोधत असतो. काही लोक ' ट्रेकिंग ' आणि 'हाईकींग' ची संधी उचलतात. ज्या लोकांना खूप शाररीक श्रम झेपत नाहीत ते आपल्या 'मॉर्निंग वॉक' मध्ये निसर्गाचा आनंद घेतात. अश्या अनेक मार्गांमध्ये एक खूप वेगळा मार्ग आहे जो आपल्याला निसर्गाशी खूप निखळ मैत्री करण्यास मदत करतो. तो म्हणजे 'नेचर आणि वाईल्ड लाईफ फोटोग्राफी'.

ऑगस्ट २००६ ला मी अमेरिकेत पुढच्या शिक्षणासाठी आलो. अमेरिकेचा भूगोल खूप बहुरंगी आहे. एक राज्य आपल्याला बर्फाची ओळख करून देतो तर दुसरा राज्य वाळवंटाची. जशी माझी अमेरिकेतली भ्रमंती वाढू लागली, तसा मी नैसर्गिक सौंदर्य असणाऱ्या जागा शोधण्याच्या मागे लागलो. अमेरिकेत येणाऱ्या प्रत्येक माणसाने कोणती निसर्ग सौंदर्य जपणाऱ्या जागा न चुकता पहाव्यात याची यादी मी बनवायला लागलो. 'येलो स्टोन नॅशनल पार्क', 'डेथ व्हेली नॅशनल पार्क', 'ग्रांड कॅन्यन नॅशनल पार्क', 'शेनंदोव्हा नॅशनल पार्क' अशा अनेक जागा माझा मनात आता घर करू लागल्या. जसा जसा मी ह्या जागांच्या विषयी पुस्तकं वाचायला लागलो, इंटरनेट वर त्यांची माहिती मिळवायला लागलो, तसा मी लोकांनी त्या ठिकाणी काढलेले फोटो चाळायला लागलो. माझा नझरेत अनेक अप्रतिम छायाचित्रांनी आपला ठसा उमटवला. मी असा विचार करायला लागलो कि मी ही असे छान फोटो काढू शकेन का? फोटोग्राफी चा छंद जोपासला तर त्या निमित्ताने नव्या जागा ही बघणं होईल आणि फोटोग्राफी पण शिकता येईल. प्राण्यांची आवड लहानपणापासून असल्याने 'वाईल्ड लाईफ फोटोग्राफी' कडे मला विशेष आकर्षण वाटू लागले. अश्या रीतीने मी 'नेचर आणि वाईल्ड लाईफ फोटोग्राफी' कडे एक सुरेख छंद म्हणून बघायला सुरवात केली. २००६ साली शिकत असताना माझ्याकडे 'डिजिटल एस-एल-आर' कॅमेरा घेण्या इतके पैसे न्हव्ते. मग मी एका साध्या 'पॉइंट अँड शूट' कॅमेर्यानी सुरवात केली. 'डीगीटल एस-एल-आर' आणि 'पॉइंट अँड शूट' मधला फरक मी लवकरच तुम्हाला सांगेन. कोणत्या ठिकाणी कशा प्रकारचा फोटो काढता येईल ह्याचा विचार मी करायला लागलो. २ वर्ष बराच सराव केला आणि त्या नंतर मी माझा स्वतःचा पहिला ' डिजिटल एस-एल-आर ' कॅमेरा घेतला.

' डिजिटल फोटोग्राफी ' साठी दोन प्रकारचे कॅमेरे वापरले जातात. 'पॉइंट अँड शूट' आणि ' डिजिटल एस-एल-आर '. 'पॉइंट अँड शूट' कॅमेरा आपण दररोजच्या फोटोग्राफी साठी वापरतो. सोनी, पानासोनिक, कॅनोन, निकोन अश्या बर्याच कंपन्यांचे कॅमेरे आपल्याला बाजारात बघायला मिळतात. 'डीगीटल एस-एल-आर' कॅमेरे मात्र 'पॉइंट अँड शूट' च्या तुलनेत महाग आणि आधुनिक असतात. 'पॉइंट अँड शूट' कॅमेरे ५० डॉलर्स पासून बाजारात उपलब्ध आहेत. पण ' डिजिटल एस-एल-आर ' ची किंमत ४०० डॉलर पासून सुरु होते आणि ती ५००० डॉलर्स पर्यंत जाऊ शकते. जगातले प्रसिद्ध छायाचित्रकार ' डिजिटल एस-एल-आर ' कॅमेऱ्यांचा वापर करतात. आपल्याला आता असा प्रश्न पडत असेल की मग हे कॅमेरे बाकीच्या कॅमेर्यानपेक्षा इतके महाग का? ह्या प्रश्नाचं उत्तर तुम्हाला ह्या कॅमेऱ्यांनी काढलेल्या छायाचित्रांकडे बघूनच कळेल. ही छायाचित्र इतकी उत्तम दर्जाची असतात कि तुम्हाला त्यांची मोठी 'पोस्टर्स' करून घेता येतात. 'पॉइंट अँड शूट' कॅमेऱ्यांनी काढलेले फोटो मोठे करायला गेलं की धुरकट दिसू लागतात. 'डीगीटल एस-एल-आर' कॅमेर्यामध्ये एका डासाच्या किव्हा माशीच्या पायावरचे केस टिपण्याइतकी क्षमता असते. अश्या बार्कायी दर्शवणार्या फोटोंना 'मॅक्रो फोटो' म्हणतात. मी काढलेल्या ''मॅक्रो फोटोग्राफी' चे हे एक उधारण. ह्या फोटोत आपल्याला सापाच्या अंगावरचे पाण्याचे थेंब ही दिसून येतात.

'डीगीटल एस-एल-आर' कॅमेऱ्यांना त्यांची स्वतःची 'लेन्स' असते. आपण कोणत्या प्रकारचा फोटो काढतो आहोत त्याप्रमाणे ही लेन्स बदलता येते. म्हणजे 'मॅक्रो फोटोग्राफी' करता खास 'मॅक्रो लेन्स' बाजारात उपलब्ध आहेत. अश्याच प्रकारे 'वाईड अँगल लेन्स' (सूर्योदय किंवा निसर्ग
सौंदर्य टिपण्यासाठी), 'टेलीफोटो लेन्स' (लांब असलेला पक्षी किव्हा प्राण्याचे फोटो घेण्यासाठी) अश्या अनेक लेन्सेस आज बाजारात मिळतात. ह्या लेन्सेस ची किंमत १५० डॉलर्स पासून तब्बल १०००० डॉलर्स पर्यंत जाऊ शकते. हे सगळे आकडे पाहता आपल्याला अंदाज आलाच असेल की हा तसा महागडा छंद आहे. पैशाची गोष्ट थोडी बाजूला ठेवली तर ह्या छंदासाठी खूप संयम ही हवा. जर तुम्हाला वाईल्ड लाईफ फोटोग्राफर बनायचं असेल, तर तुम्हाला त्या एका क्षणाची वाट बघावी लागते. मला एकदा 'ऑस्प्रे' पक्षाचा माशा बरोबरचा फोटो टिपायचा होता. मी त्यासाठी सकाळी साडे सात वाजल्यापासून वाट बघत होतो. शेवटी मला दुपारी चार चा सुमारास तो फोटो टिपायला मिळाला.


जसा संयम हवा तसाच ह्या छंदासाठी प्रत्येक गोष्टीकडे एका वेगळ्या दृष्टीकोनातून बघण्याची क्षमता ही हवी. उदाहरणार्थ वाळवंटातल्या एका ओसाड ओंडक्याचा छायाचित्रासाठी कसा उपयोग करता येईल, हा विचार आपण करू शकलो पाहिजे. हा फोटो मी कॅलिफोर्नियाच्या 'डेथ व्हेली नॅशनल पार्क' मध्ये घेतला आहे. छायाचित्रात ह्या एका ओंडक्यावर सगळं लक्ष केंद्रित केलं आहे. फोटो मुद्दामच संध्याकाळच्या वेळी घेतला आहे कारण मावळत्या उन्हात वाळूचा रंग आणखीन खुलून दिसतो. अशा काही गोष्टींचा खूप विचार केला की फोटोग्राफी आपल्या आपणच आवडायला लागते.


आणखीन एक उदाहरण म्हणजे पोर्तलंड गावातल्या ह्या समुद्र किनाऱ्याच. सूर्योदयाचे सुरेख रंग ह्या छायाचित्राला एका वेगळ्याच प्रकारची झालर चढवतात. हाच फोटो जर दुपारच्या उन्हात काढला असता तर तो आकर्षक दिसला नसता. फोटो काढताना टेकडी वरचं घर फोटोच्या डाव्या कोपऱ्यात घेतलं आहे. तेच जर फोटोच्या मधोमध असलं असतं तर फोटोतल्या रंगाचं महत्व कमी झालं असतं.

कॅनॉन आणि निकोन हे डिजिटल फोटोग्राफीच्या बाजारातले सर्वात मोठे खेळाडू. कॅनॉन पेक्षा निकोन चांगला किंवा निकोन पेक्षा कॅनॉन असं म्हणणं खूपच चुकीचं ठरेल. दोन्ही कॅमेरे अप्रतिम आहेत. आपलं मन कोणत्या कॅमेर्यावर येऊन बसतं ते महत्वाचं. माझाकडे सध्या कॅनॉन कंपनीचा ७ डी हा कॅमेरा आहे, त्याच बरोबर दोन लेन्सेस आहेत. एक वाईड अँगल लेन्स आहे आणि दुसरी टेलीफोटो लेन्स. वाईड अँगल लेन्स मी निसर्ग सौंदर्य टिपण्यासाठी वापरतो. टेलीफोटो लेन्सचा उपयोग मला लांबच्या पक्षाचा किव्हा प्राण्यांचा फोटो काढण्यासाठी होतो. उदाहरणार्थ ह्या घुबडाच्या जवळ जाण मला शक्य न्हवतं. माझी थोडी जरी चाहूल लागली असती तर ते उडून गेलं असतं. अशा वेळी मला माझ्या टेलीफोटो लेन्सचा उपयोग झाला.


निसर्ग व पक्षी पाहण्यासाठी खूप लांब जाण्याची गरज अजिबात नाही. आपल्या घराच्या आजू बाजूला असलेल्या पार्क्स मध्ये बरेच "बर्ड फीडर्स" असतात. ह्या फीडर्स जवळ थोडा वेळ घालवला तरी आपल्याला भरपूर प्रकारचे पक्षी बघायला मिळतात. रेड कार्डीनल, रॉबिन, वूडपेकर असे अनेक पक्षी ह्या फीडर्स जवळ दिवसातले बरेच तास घालवतात. आपल्या घरामागे छोटं अंगण असेल तर तुम्ही तिथेही "बर्ड फीडर्स" लाऊ शकता. घरात लहान मुलं असतील तर त्यांची अमेरिकेत आढळणाऱ्या बऱ्याच पक्षांची ओळख होईल. खालील फोटो मी माझ्या घराजवळच्या "ऑरेगॉन रिज पार्क" मध्ये घेतला आहे. हा पक्षी अमेरिकेत "रेड बेलिड वूडपेकर" म्हणून ओळखला जातो.


फोटोग्राफी बद्दल लिहाल तेवढ कमीच. खरतर फोटोग्राफी फक्त इथेच थांबत नाही. लोकांना 'पोर्टरेट', 'ट्रॅव्हल', 'एरीयल' अश्या अनेक प्रकारच्या फोटोग्राफीत रुची असते. तर तुम्ही पण चालता चालता दिसणार्‍या एकाध्या सुंदर फुलाचा, समुद्रामागे लपणार्‍या त्या सूर्याचा किव्हा फांदीवर बसलेल्या एका देखण्या पक्षाचा फोटो काढून बघा. निसर्गाशी आपण मैत्रीचा हात कधी मिळवला हे तुमच तुम्हालाच कळणार नाही!



[email protected] (PRITHVIRAJ BHOSALE PHOTOGRAPHY) Fri, 24 May 2013 05:03:01 GMT
The "Maine" Experience

Memorial Day 2012 weekend was on the corner and a lot of destinations ran through my mind. Southern Utah, Florida, West Virginia to name a few. Finally I got myself locked onto Maine and New Hampshire. I read forums/reviews and people had some fantastic experience along the Maine coastline, especially photographers. Another reason for hitting Maine was because a fish named "Alewife" runs across the rivers along Damariscotta area in Maine. A count of around 200,000 is noted every year around first week of May through mid June. Lot of birds are definitely attracted at this event mainly Raptors including Eagles and Ospreys. I didn't have a clue that Sea Gulls will be there as well and boy I was provided with some spectacular action from them too.
I started my journey on Saturday afternoon (Tickets were way expensive on Friday and I had no intentions of over-spending on the trip).  Had a dual thought initially whether I want to take a flight or drive. Drive would have been a total of around 20 hours two way and would surely have had my energy sucked big time. I had to preserve it for my Hiking and other expeditions in Maine. So finally decided to fly to Boston from Baltimore and drive from there. After doing my Math, I came to the conclusion that at any given day of my trip I wouldn't be driving more than 5 hours. That was reasonably doable for me and I was confident I would be able to drive as well as hike in a single day. 
Reached Boston at 4:30PM on Saturday evening. My plan was to start driving at 5:00PM and hit Portland Head Light for Sunset around 7:30PM. Expected sunset time for the day was 8:10PM.  Portland Head Light has much better shots at sunrise (because of eastern coastline) but going there for sunset was good because that way I could explore the place and spot good locations from where I could take my early morning shots for the next day. As planned reached to Portland Head Light at 7:45PM. Photography was not my first preference at that time of the day so explored the area. I hiked for about 30 minutes along the cliffs and discovered a spot where I can photograph for tomorrow morning. So I had my next day morning's location locked down! Had a long day the next day so slept early at my Motel (Around 9:30PM)
DAY 1:
Alarm rings at 3:00AM the next day! Started towards Portland Head Light at 3:30PM. Expected arrival time was 4:30PM. I needed 30 minutes to hike to my locked spot. Since sunrise time was 5:05AM, I had to make sure I reach there by 4:50AM. I had absolutely no traffic issues at 3:30AM plus I pushed a little harder on my car's accelerator to reach earlier at Portland Headlight House. Got there around 4:15PM and hiked for 30 minutes to get to my spot. I set up the tripod, took some test shots and waited for the orange light to come out of the sea. And then it was one of the most beautiful sunrises I had ever seen!!! Wow I wished that the moment should stop here and everything should just freeze forever!! I'll not speak much but let my photograph tell you the story:
Well you saw what I actually experienced which I feel is beyond words so I'll move ahead with my story. I had a 45 minute drive to  Damariscotta area in Maine where the Ospreys were located. I reached Damariscotta at 6:30AM. Took me a while to explore the area and I finally settled down at a spot after an hour. I waited waited and waited. A lot of fish activity was going on in the river, but no Ospreys. There were a bunch of Sea Gulls that entertained me for a few shots. Some photographers came, stayed and left so had company while I was hanging out in the area. Here are few of the Gull photos I clicked:

So coming back to my wait, it was now close to 6:00PM. I had seen Osprey activity but way far away, beyond my camera's reach. I was losing hope and thought my luck hasn't supported me as far as Ospreys are concerned (I was keeping myself happy by telling myself that I have seen a wonderful sunrise today and have no reason to get disappointed). I hoped for magic to happen and it did happen around 6:30PM. Out of nowhere, here comes a beautiful Osprey with Fish in it's talons!! I had just a second of reaction time. I focused through my viewfinder and my shutter went "Bang Bang Bang"!! All of this lasted for less than 30 seconds! Here is the outcome:
So I looked up and thanked God! I told him I was extremely thankful to him because he cared for my patience and efforts!! And there my Day one ended in style! Came back to my room smiling and went off to bed. Next day was a big and long day too!
DAY 2:
Woke up at 3:30AM and started for Acadia National Park. It was a 2.5 hour drive from where I stayed. So I knew my total drive time back and forth would be 5 hours. Plus I knew I had to hike in Acadia National Park. I was mentally convincing myself that I want to do this at any cost throughout the time I was driving to the park. Reached there around 6.30AM. I knew my spots since I had studied the Park's map (The park is around 47000 acres in area so I had to pick my spots before I drove there). There was no way I could go there and then explore the park!! I would have to write another blog post if I start speaking in detail about Acadia, so I'll cut it short and tell you that I visited around 7 spots in Acadia and hiked for more than 4 miles in the woods and along the lakeside. Here is one of the shots from Acadia National Park:
Started driving from Acadia National Park after lunch. My plan was to hit Pemaquid Light House by sunset. While coming back I had ample time so took some intermediate stops at places where I thought I should stop and enjoy Nature or click snaps. Here is one of the spots that I stopped and took a photograph:
Took me nice 4 hours to come to Pemaquid Light House. It is a wonderful place along the coastal cliffs and the sunset view is phenomenal ! I hiked a little bit along the cliffs (Had very less stamina left from my hikes in Acadia National Park). Came across a place along the cliffs where a small portion of water had accumulated in the rocks. I realized that at a certain position, the Pemaquid Light House has its reflections falling into the water. I had to take a snap !! That was my final shot of the day and I headed to my room after that. I'll write less and let my picture speak for you! Here is the photo:
DAY 3: 
It was supposed to Rain the whole day on Day 3. The only place where I was thinking to be was Damariscotta for the Ospreys....Again!! Reached there by 8:30AM. It was raining cats and dogs outside!! I had no choice but to sit in my car and hear the rainfall. Weather said the rains might open between 12:30PM to 3:00PM and start again after that. So I had a 2.5 hour window. Plus the sky was cloudy and light was too bad for a decent photo. I still decided to go for it and changed my Camera settings to make sure that I get an acceptable image in low light situations. So rains opened around 12:30PM and I sat with my camera waiting for action to happen.  I had already waited 4 hours in my car and was mentally preparing to wait for another 2.5 hours. No action whatsoever. I told myself: "Lets go home and take an afternoon nap". I needed rest. I started driving back to my room. Drove for about 5 minutes and my mind said: "Go back man. This is your chance" (My wife says I make a lot of last minute changes which I feel is true!!). I drove back and sat again with my camera. Five minutes and this guy fishes right in front of me!!!! I am smiling from inside and saying: "WHAT THE HECK! I am glad I came back!". The light was very low but I managed to get some good shots out of this guy. Here are a few examples:

Again, looked up and thanked god !! (I always do that when I get a great shot)!! And so my Day 3 ends in style...Again!! Started the next day early morning and flew from Boston to Baltimore. Had to log into my office computer that day! I had almost forgot in the past few days that I have a job and duties to perform!! 

Finally, I clicked a picture of myself at the coast of Maine and when I saw it, I realized I was actually following my passion of Photography and Travel and had enjoyed every moment of it. I had even forgotten about the fact that I stay in Maryland! Thought I should relate this picture to "Life" in some or the other way:

So here is my story of a wonderful trip to Maine! I hope you guys enjoyed reading through the post. I would highly recommend Maine especially in the Fall season when leaves turn to Yellow and Orange. Maine and New Hampshire have one of the best falls in the United States! And please do remember me and this post when you visit the area!! Chao!


[email protected] (PRITHVIRAJ BHOSALE PHOTOGRAPHY) Fri, 24 May 2013 04:59:03 GMT