How Photography changed our world

Issue No. 26
Thursday, 29 December 2011
How Photography
changed our world
Rania Salama
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you
aren’t close enough”
Any picture can speak 1,000 words, but only
a select few say something poignant enough to
galvanize an entire society.
Photography has completely changed the
world, our lives and our opinions on things.
Photography is world’s most popular hobby
and it is not just a picture on a piece of paper;
it is used in movies, television, and in the
newspapers. We use it to document family
milestones, capture beauty, reveal the ugliness
of war and stalk celebrities. Photography has
changed the world way more than any other
thing in the media. Our world no longer has
its focus on words and paintings but now it is
focused on the photograph. Photography has
completely changed how we perceive ourselves
and the world.
During the American civil war, the people
were shocked by the photographs of battle
when they were published in the newspapers.
This was the first time war had been
photographed for the public, and the first time
they had seen the reality of death. Before this
they only heard stories and were told of the
heroes but these stories were not always true.
When they saw the pictures, the fields of the
dead, the blood on the ground, people running
around with a gun in their hand and blood all
over their body, their ideas of war were totally
changed. They had heard of death but actually
seeing it was a whole different story. They
began to look at war as a more serious life or
death situation.
Although you may have never thought
about it, photography has had an incredible
impact on all of our personal lives. Shooting,
protecting and sharing our special memories
has never been easier than with photography.
However, the benefits of photos don’t end
with great vacation photos, it has helped to
improve far more than our ability to share
and store photographs, and for many modern
industries it is hard to remember a time before
it existed.
Four industries revolutionized
by digital photography and its technology:
During the last ten years, the internet has become a
new way to socialise. The internet was once considered a
great hangout for nerds but now has become one of the
most important communication tools in the world. A
large element of this communication is the uploading,
sharing, and downloading of photographs. In Facebook
alone there are over 10 billion pictures and growing
none of which would be possible without digital
cameras. Whether it’s sharing pictures of a wedding or
taking photos during a crisis, digital photography has
completely changed how people share their story.
Photo by Manal Al Dabbagh
Outer Space
has profited greatly from
the development of digital
photos. Thanks to the ease of
transferring digital images,
patient data can now be stored
with relevant photographs
and sent to any hospital in the
Space exploration is thought to be one of humanity’s
technology has enabled scientists to view things in
space that had never been seen before, and the digital
cameras mounted on the Mars Exploration Rovers
have helped to shed light on a planet once shrouded
in mystery. Without the ability to process images as
data and transmit them across space, our view of outer
space would still be very limited.
world. No film means instant
results for things such as X-rays
or reference photographs, and
photos can now be stored on a
hard drive instead of taking up
valuable space in a storage room.
Many endoscopic procedures
available today would not be
possible without the technology
of digital.
It’s easy to take things for granted- like digital photography- that we use every day and have
come to expect. But when you take a look back on all of the things that digital cameras have
made possible, it’s hard to image our lives without them. Everything from advanced medical
procedures to better study of the galaxy, digital has opened up many doors that wouldn’t have
otherwise been discovered.
Photography allows the world to share so much – from the depths of the oceans to the far
reaches of space. But it doesn’t have to be ‘inspiring’ to be great. Your own photography may
not be technically brilliant, it may lack the subject matter of the paparazzi but what makes your
photograph great is that it was taken by you. It records a place, a time or an event in a lifetime
that you can never physically go back to. It could be a view of the countryside or the most personal
photo – it doesn’t matter.
What matters is you took it and one day you may share it with someone else.
completely changed how we
capture sporting events and in
order to fully appreciate its impact
it requires a more thorough look.
With digital photography it doesn’t
have the limitation like 35mm
cameras as there is no difference
between taking a hundred pictures
and taking one. Now sports
journalists can take thousands of
images at an event and can increase
their chances of getting the “one in
a million” shot without risking the
high cost of taking hundreds of
shots using film.
Would it ever be possible to capture
the ‘Kodak’ moments of life without
the existence of a camera?
Obviously not! We all aren’t artists.
But every Tom, Dick, and Harry can
click a photo.
Photography isn’t only about
recording moments or clicking
images. It is a form of expression, a
form of communication, a form of art
and sometimes a form of craft.
A photograph offers us a glimpse
of the world through the eye, and
in many ways through the heart, of
other beholders.
It is only through a photograph
that we are able to see things and
people, situations and landscapes,
perspectives, angles, colours and
shapes that we might never have
noticed on our own.
The more we look at photographs,
the easier it is to perceive what we’re
accustomed to ignoring. Photography
creates a bridge between what we
expect to see, and all there really is
to see. It is literally an eye opening
evolutionary process that brings the
unseen into the light.
Bloom throws light on this
yet another true form of art that
has excelled with technological
advancement in the arena.
It was indeed a pleasure to receive
some interesting propositions from
our readers. We thank you and wish
to see a lot more of the kind in future.
Continue writing to us at [email protected] Your feedback is
always welcomed. So be it science,
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Health Thursday, 29 December 2011
A ‘healthy’ camera for summers
Keeping your gear clean and in working order is
one of the easiest ways to ensure your photo shoots
go smoothly this summer. By cleaning and testing
your camera before each use, you’ll catch problems
before they become an issue.
There’s nothing like an annual tune-up to keep
things in tip-top condition. For photographers, it
makes sense that now is the perfect time for an
annual tune-up of your camera gear. Summer is
just around the bend, so this is the perfect time to
perform your annual camera tune-up.
Whether you’re planning a trip to some scenic
location, or simply planning a backyard party,
you’ll want to have your camera ready to record
your adventures. So before the plan is on, make
sure your camera is in its best condition to capture
the special moments.
Here are a few easy steps for keeping your camera
in good condition and ensuring your photos come
out crisp and clear.
Battery check-up
Rechargeable batteries for digital cameras
eventually lose the ability to hold their charge. For
this reason, you will need to replace them every few
years. Consider buying a second battery for your
camera so you can stay ahead of the game and always
have a fresh battery at the ready to replace the one
you are using in your camera. Professionals always
carry spare batteries for their gear. If you are taking a
longer trip, don’t forget your charger. There are even
car chargers that work in most rental vehicles for
long road trips.
Checking sensor dust
your camera
To clean your sensor, scroll over to the sensor
cleaning option in your camera’s menu. Then
select clean manually. After this, you’ll hear
your camera’s mirror flip up. Remove the lens
or body cap and flip the camera upside down
with it above you. Very gently brush the
sensor with one or two strokes at a time.
Every now and then, take the Butterfly out of
the camera and activate the spinning action
to get dust and specks off of it. Repeat this
process until you no longer see any specks in
your image.
A bag helps
A bag is likely to provide much better protection
for your camera and other equipment than if you
keep your camera loose in your suitcase, handbag, or
briefcase. There are lots of soft and compact bags you
can use
to protect your camera.
Just follow these
simple tips, and
your camera will
be ready for all
the great photo
that summer
has to offer!
The one part of your camera’s exterior that you must keep clean is
the lens. Dust and fingerprints will compromise the optical efficiency
of your lens. That brings us to the most important subject related to
cleaning your camera — before you clean your camera or any other
photo equipment you own, remember one thing: Keep it simple.
For most cleaning chores, the below mentioned tools are used:
t Microfibre cloth
Almost any photographer will tell you that one of the best items
that you can keep in your camera bag is a Microfibre Cloth. It is small
and inexpensive, and when used properly does the job of keeping your
lenses and screens smear-free.
Directions for use: simply apply light pressure to the smear and
wipe it off. Sometimes, it is best used with a cleaning solution, like the
Purosol Optical Cleaner.
Memory cards
Particularly if you have plans for a summer vacation,
family reunion, or other big event in the coming
months, it makes sense to stock up on memory cards
ahead of time. Don’t wait to buy them at airports or
expensive tourist stores — if you do that, you’ll
pay much more than you would from a photo
specialty store or online vendor.
t Purosol optical cleaner
The Purosol Cleaning Solution is environmentally safe and it will
not harm your lenses. The cleaner has an enzyme-based formula which
quickly disrupts the molecular bonds that salt, grime, grease, dirt and
mineral deposits use to adhere to surfaces.
Use it in combination with your microfibre cloth, and remember—
less is more in this case.
Keeping it clean
t Rocket air blower
The most important thing is to try to
avoid the need to clean in the first place.
Try to keep your camera away from the
elements that cause the most harm:
dirt, dust, sandy grit, and saltwater
spray are the mortal enemies of
most types of cameras. Keep your
camera protected if you’re on a windy
beach and the sand is flying. Don’t get
too near those big waves to take the
picture of your son frolicking in the
surf. Use your zoom lens instead.
It goes without saying that it’s best
to keep your camera off the picnic table
or other spot where it might be vulnerable to a
spilled drink or a glob of jelly from a passing
The Rocket Air Blower is a favourite of many photographers for
getting rid of dust, especially when shooting in environments where
dust and debris are common.
Squeezing the blower emits a burst of compressed air which blows
away any dust. To clean your sensor, set your camera to manual cleaning
mode, in order to expose the sensor. Hold the camera above you with
the sensor facing downwards, using light squeezes from the air blower
on the sensor to clean it.
Arctic butterfly
photographers are scared to touch their camera’s sensor, as
it is very delicate. The Butterfly is a special brush that one uses to
gently sweep the sensor of dust. When you’re finished, you activate the
button on the brush to make it spin, getting rid of particles that may
be stuck on it.
Lenspen, which can accomplish most of what a microfibre cloth
can, is housed in a convenient and portable package. The non-liquid
cleaning compound contained in the brush is good for eliminating
dust, grime and fingerprints from your filter and other parts of your
camera. As an added bonus, the tip of the Lenspen is small enough to
fit into those hard to reach areas of your viewfinder as well.
Fitness Tips for
If it is physically challenging
for you to move around or lug
your camera equipment on the
streets or through the woods,
perhaps you should think a bit
about fitness.
It’s great if it’s easy to
move around with your
gear. And if not, these
tips will help you keep
that ease of movement
long into your twilight
Back, legs/knees, hands/
fingers, eyesight and
balance are the key areas
for photographers. These
tips will concentrate on
these specific areas and
will help you get and
stay in photography
If you’ve ever carried a
camera bag around for more
than one hour this needs little
explanation - your back has
explained it to you. What to do?
Well, the key to a strong and
stable back is a strong stomach.
Not many of us like sit-ups or
crunches but they are two of
the best exercises for your back.
Recent science has shown that
even better than doing simple
stomach exercises to strengthen
your back, is to focus on your
“core” muscles. A ten to fifteen
minute regimen twice a week
on these core muscle exercises
will do wonders for you, your
back and your photography.
You need good legs to get to
those fabulous photography
locations, as they are usually
well off the shoulder of the
highway. Going for a 20-30
minute walk right out your
front door is the best thing
you can do to keep your legs
and knees in good health. Add
some simple exercises and some
stretches to your daily routine
and you will be in good shape.
Ever tried to hold your
camera over a ledge by grabbing
the camera by hand and
stretching your arm out? Did
you worry about dropping
the camera? Or have you ever
dropped a camera or lens while
changing lenses? Having strong
hands and fingers can keep that
camera safely under control
(and stable). Get a simple and
inexpensive grip exerciser and
do some hand stretches.
Good eyes are critical for
focusing and framing. You also
need good vision to see the
tiny dials and settings on your
camera and to read those many,
many menus on the display
screen. Doing a few, simple
eye exercises can help prevent
eyestrain, keep your eyes
healthy and maybe even delay
the inevitable loss of visual
You need good balance to
carry your camera gear and
keep steady while handholding
for a shot. You really need good
balance if you’re out on the
trails or in the wild. A twisted
ankle, dropped camera gear or
fall off of a cliff will ruin your
photography experience. The
concrete jungle poses the same
hazards. Well, maybe not falling
off of a cliff, but falling off of
a curb into oncoming traffic
because you were unbalanced
while fumbling with your
camera bag is probably just as
unpleasant. To prevent these
unfortunate scenarios from
happening to you, take a few
minutes three times a week to
do exercises that will help you
improve your balance.
There you have it. Simple
exercises that you can do at
home or on the road that
will help you enjoy your
photography for many years,
and maybe even well into your
second century.
Fine Living
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Viewing the Arab world
through paintings,
sculptures and lenses
Modern Arab Art
The Arab art sc
Western world. e has gone long unnoticed by
mentioned mod Until few years ago, hardly an the
Arab region. N n and contemporary art fromyone
grounded and egative political events were the
associated with e Arab world was more re fore
than with art an terrorism and religious fanatiadily
d culture.
The different fo
photography ha rms of Arab art, from painting
the internationa meanwhile caught the attent s to
and aficionados l art world. More and more, colle n of
are occupied by
for works by A
rab artists. Thisthe increasing prices
affected by the
has certainly
which has unde recent changes in the Gulf re been
expand its cultur aken grand projects to bolste gion,
r and
al infrastructure
The development of an Arab art in regard to global
modernism began early in the 20th century, as a
direct result of the increase in mutual influences
between East and West.
Since then, the demand for Arab art is a growing
trend. Not only the mammoth projects to expand
the Gulf region’s cultural infrastructure and the
success of the auction houses have contributed to
the growth of worldwide interest in Arabic art; other
factors have also been significant. Especially after September
11, 2001, Western interest in Islamic and Arabic themes
greatly increased. After this, it became possible to realize
exhibitions with Arab art that had previously encountered
resistance by museums. Recent years have witnessed exactly
that which gallerists addressed in the earlier art fair survey:
the work of the museums that would pave the way to the art
market. Major exhibitions over the last five years in London
and Paris, in Bonn, Frankfurt, Aachen und Berlin, in Abu
Dhabi and Dubai as well as elsewhere have contributed to the
growing interest of the art world for Arab art.
With this growing interest, new galleries have been established
not only in the Gulf region, but growing demand along with
a heightened sensibility for its own art has made the process
easier for new galleries than it was for the “pioneer” galleries
in the Arab States. The pioneering galleries include the Majlis
Gallery in Dubai, Agial Gallery in Beirut, Atassi Gallery in
Damascus and Zamalek Gallery in Cairo. Also in Cairo, the
Townhouse Gallery opened in 1998 has played a key role in
the development of the contemporary art scene.
Recently, new galleries have emerged mostly in the Gulf
States, such as the Third Line Gallery, the B21 Gallery and the
Total Arts Gallery in Dubai; the Waqaf Arts Centre in Doha,
Qatar; and the Ghaf Art Gallery in Abu Dhabi – to name a
few. The Third Line Gallery, founded in 2005, has meanwhile
opened a satellite in Doha. Its mission includes the support
of young artists.
Art has been produced in countries such as Syria, Egypt,
Lebanon and Morocco for well over 100 years. The museums
for modern Arabic art in Cairo and Kuwait for example,
offer a good overview of creative production of the times.
Painters and sculptors of earlier eras are in equal demand as
contemporary artists on the art market.
In Saudi Arabia and especially in Qatar there are high calibre
collections of the Classical Arab Modern compiled over
decades by their collectors and which will soon be on display
in forthcoming Museums for Modern Arab Art such as that
in Qatar.
A renewed survey of leading gallerists revealed that many
wish to introduce their own artists into the Arab world and
create a market there, but will otherwise wait to see how the
market for Arab art develops. Despite the repeated emphasis
of the importance of the art market’s role in the growing
interest in Arab art, one should not ignore the fact that art
has more than material value.
Art with its universal appeal gives us the possibility to
understand more about ourselves and explore a deeper
sense of being. Art also allows us to learn more about other
cultures. It conveys aesthetic, ethic and spiritual values. Art
has never kept to a single country or nation, and throughout
the centuries, art has always surpassed boundaries.
Photography in the Arab world was introduced by colonial
occupiers in the mid-19th century. The medium was, at first,
dominated by Western practitioners who focused primarily
on antiquities, regional landscape, and exotic traditions.
After which local photographic production rapidly flourished.
The first Armenian-organized photography workshop took
place in Jerusalem in the 1860s.
It was only after the introduction of the easy-to-use Kodak
box camera in 1888, the hunger for photographic images
increased dramatically. In the following decades photography
continued to expand, especially around the turn of the
20th century, when Armenian exiles, many of them trained
as photographers, began fleeing Turkey for neighbouring
As photography spread throughout Middle Eastern culture,
modernization was transforming the region. The social,
political, and economic lives of the emerging nation-states
gave rise to liberation movements along with an evolving
awareness of geography and identity.
Modern urban planning was implemented, labour and
women’s movements developed, and literary and artistic
forms focused on identity as the central issue in developing
new socio-political realities. Contrary to Western images
of the Arab world, which often depicted marginalized or
dehumanized subjects, photographs by indigenous Middle
Eastern inhabitants captured mundane lives in these
changing communities.
The Museum of Islamic Arta cultural icon for the Gulf
The Museum of Islamic Art is the flagship project of the
Qatar Museums Authority, which under the leadership of its
Chairperson, H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa, has transformed the
State of Qatar into a cultural capital of the Middle East. Qatar
Museums Authority was created in December 2005 to combine
the resources of all museums in the State of Qatar. The QMA’s
vision revolves around the provision of a comprehensive
umbrella under which future plans will be drawn for the
development of national museums and the establishment of
an effective system for collecting, protecting, preserving and
interpreting historic sites, monuments and artefacts.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, the
376,740-square-foot Museum of Islamic Art in Doha Bay
houses a collection of international masterpieces in galleries
encircling a soaring, five-storey-high domed atrium. The
Museum, an architectural icon 60m (195ft)
off Doha’s Corniche, rises from the sea and is
connected to shore by two pedestrian bridges
and a vehicular bridge. A C-shaped
peninsula and park area on the
shoreline behind the Museum offer
shelter and a picturesque backdrop.
The Museum is composed of a fivestorey Main Building and a twostorey
Wing, which are connected across a central courtyard. The Main
Building’s angular volumes step back progressively as they rise
around a 50-m-high (164ft) central domed atrium. The dome is
concealed from outside view by the walls of a central tower. A
sheet of glass rises to a height of 45m (148ft) on the north side
of the Museum offering
views of the Gulf and West Bay
area of Doha from
all five floors of the atrium.
Ceilings are
constructed of intricate
cast-in place
architectural concrete
c o ff e r e d
domes, finished with
individual moulds. At the top of the atrium is the circular oculus
of a stainless steel dome, which captures facets of patterned
light. The form of the dome changes as the structure descends,
so its perimeter becomes an octagon and then a square, which
in turn is transformed into four triangular column supports.
The Education Wing includes a light-filled reading room in
the Museum library, classrooms, workshops, study spaces,
and technical and storage facilities. Among the latter is the
conservation laboratory, an important new resource for the
entire region. Underscoring the central role of education
in the Museum of Islamic Art, the Education Wing hosts
educational and community activities to develop and foster an
understanding and appreciation for Islamic art.
The Museum of Islamic Art is dedicated to reflecting the full
vitality, complexity and diversity of the arts of the Islamic world.
It is a world-class collecting institution, which preserves, studies
and exhibits masterpieces spanning three continents and
13 centuries. As a centre for information, research and
creativity, the Museum aims to reach a wide global
audience and serve as a hub for dialogue and
cultural exchange.
Lifestyle & Travel
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Playing with photographs
Thanks to digital photography and
cell phone cameras, it’s easier than ever
to amass a vast collection of pictures of
special moments and familiar faces.
Unfortunately, most of those
precious images are stuck in a computer
and rarely see the light of day. It’s a
cinch to press the shutter button, but
what happens afterward? Once you
realise photographs can be used to
create home accents, the big picture
gets more interesting -- and inspiring.
Many snapshots can be transformed
into decorative objects as modern and
arresting as anything you’d find in a
design store.
The trick is not to limit photos to the
usual frames (or to areas such as the top
of a piano or side table), and to begin
visualizing other places and objects
around the house as potential exhibition
spaces. Frameless photographs can
be mounted on sturdy art boards and
linked by small hinges for an accordion
structure. Sort through photographs,
set aside the best ones, and then think
about which types of displays would
highlight them effectively. Soon you’ll
be thinking of the digital files on your
computer not just as images, but as
the makings of your next conversation
Some projects require an ink-jet
or a laser printer, so read through
the instructions and consider your
equipment before deciding what to
make. You can use photo-editing
software to enlarge and crop images,
draw attention to the details you like
most, and convert colour shots to blackand-white or sepia tones. Still lifes
and simple shapes set against plain
backgrounds work particularly well for
the photos with trim, the photo cubes,
and the stationery set. Don’t overlook
non-digital photos, which can be
scanned into a computer and modified.
Copies of family photos can enhance
household objects, such as a vintage
vanity tray. A glazier can cut a piece of
glass to fit inside the tray to protect the
image. Photos of pets and other animals
cab be cut out and glued to cards to
create a stationery set. Bottle caps can
be set in with small black-and-white
pictures and can be used as magnets and
Sepia landscapes, can be framed by a
decorative trim. Black-and-white images
of nature could form photo cubes. A
moody photograph can turn into the
face of a clock. The image is inserted
by unscrewing the back of a clock,
gently removing its hands with pliers,
and then pulling apart the face and
the mechanism. The face of the clock is
traced onto the back of the photograph,
and the cut-out is attached to the face
with double-sided tape. Then the clock
is reassembled.
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Framing images
Photo frames are smarter and more stylish way of enjoying your collection of photos.
Artistically designed, picture photo frames also serves as decorative piece complementing the
interiors. The picture frames are commemorative to the ‘kodak’ moments of life. They are also
useful for displaying certificates, diplomas and appreciation letters. Creatively designed photo
frames can be seen displayed in offices and boardrooms.
Photo frames let you relive those enchanting moments from the past. The frames hook
together allow for artful collaging of family, wedding, baby or travel photos - whatever suits
your mood and ambiance. Picture frames also make worthy gift for your dear ones, friends and
family. It is amongst the most sought after gifts that can be easily afforded by all class of people.
Picture frames are available in variety of finishes, designs and materials. They can also be
customised to suit a specific theme or choice of an individual. Custom photo frames add a
personal touch to the decor, and redefines the look of your interior.
But, with rampant rise in the demand for and use of digital components, the world of photo
frames has become digitized. Digital photo frames, though not embraced by all and sundry due
to some people’s ignorance of technology, still climbing the popularity chart at a cracking pace.
In fact, it is giving a tough fight to the traditional picture frames.
The best way to show off your snaps
Given that most of us don’t
live in houses with huge
grand pianos on which to
display serried ranks of silver
photograph frames, we need
to find other ways of showing
off our nearest and dearest
without cluttering up every
available surface and turning
the place into a shrine.
Earlier it was regarded as a
bit common to hang photos
all over the walls, but we can
overlook that these days,
which does at least give you a
bit more room to manoeuvre.
As we all know that
cherished photos deserve to be
displayed prominently in our
home, here are few fantastic
ways to embellish and arrange
the pictures you hold close to
your heart.
Creating a
photo gallery
Adorn your walls with
photographs using this simple
Tools and materials:
t Measuring tape and ruler
t Paper (one large sheet or
several small sheets)
t Tape (optional)
t Picture frames
t Pencil
t Painter’s tape
t Picture hooks
t Nails
t Hammer
1.Measure the wall space you
want for your gallery. Cut a
piece of paper to that size
(tape several large pieces of
paper together, if necessary).
Fold paper in quarters to
mark centre lines.
2.Lay paper on the floor and
experiment with different
design layouts for your
frames. Once you are happy
with the frame layout, trace
the outline of each frame
onto the paper with a pencil.
Use a ruler to make sure
your outlines are straight
and spaced evenly.
3.Measure distance from top of
each frame to where hook will
be placed. Mark these points
within the corresponding
outlines on your paper
4.Tape paper to wall with
painter’s tape. Nail picture
Remove paper.
5.Place all frames on hooks.
A photo family
Here’s a unique way to
showcase a branch of your
family lineage. To unify the
photos and other components
of your display, try creating
photo borders and labels using
a single family of colours.
Tools and Materials
t Collector box
t Rose leaf punch
t Coloured craft paper
t Adhesive foam dots
t Pen
t Small tree branch
t Glue pen
t Scissors
t Ribbon-style labels
1.Punch out leaves with a rose
leaf craft punch and label
with names. Find a small
fallen branch with a nice
shape and glue leaves on with
glue pen, arranging names
based on where you will place
your photos.
2.Add a simple border to a
photo by cutting out a piece
of coloured paper 1/8 inch
larger than photo on all sides.
Glue photo to paper, then
attach adhesive foam dots
to back to add dimension.
Pin photo at corners into
collector box backing.
3.Create a small banner
containing your family name
or a title using alphabet
transfers on ribbon-style
labels. Place over bottom of
branch and pin at each end.
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Photography; a flash back
Vinodh K. Pisharom
Cameras have become an inseparable part
of almost all conceivable devices, and an essential contraption for modern man that it
may not be long before we see them growing
as additional sense organs on our anatomy.
From desktop computers, laptops, tablets,
mobile phones, pens, and whatnot, cameras
are everywhere, ready to snap special moments, and even to snoop into someone’s
privacy. By and large, it is getting increasingly
difficult not to get exposed to the nosey eyes
of the ever-present camera.
From the present, as we focus back into
the past, it can be seen that man has always
wanted to record himself, his deeds, exploits,
and the environs. Early cave paintings, dating
back to several centuries, portray this instinctive trait of mankind, which apparently has pursued him
through ages to the present. The phrase ‘cave paintings’ may obscure the vast range of methods used
to create works of non-portable art on rocks and cave walls by prehistoric painters. He is believed to
have used practically all the fundamentals of modern graphic art like drawing, painting, sculpting,
engraving, chipping, daubing, stencilling, and so on to express himself. He derived pigments from
organic and inorganic sources, which may have gone through several trials for permanence, until he
discovered colours that would stand the test of time. From the Palaeolithic age through the bygone
centuries to the recent past, unknown and renowned painters have left remarkable pictorial histories of our journey through time.
Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre is perhaps the
most famous among several people who invented
more successful and commercially applicable forms
of photography. He regularly used a camera obscura
as an aid to painting in perspective, which probably
led him to seek ways of making the images permanent. After a brief partnership with Niepce, Daguerre continued to experiment until he discovered
a chemical process which would reduce exposure
time and fix the image permanently.
Daguerreotype, as he named the process,
used silver coated copper plates, exposed
to iodine vapour, for the camera obscura.
These plates, the forerunners to our modern
film, had to be exposed to light for up to 15
minutes to create the image.
Daguerre’s invention made it possible for
anyone of moderate means to have a portrait created. Most people embraced this
new technology with great enthusiasm.
A few religious zealots, however, claimed
that it was the work of the devil. Many artists who had trained for years in the techniques of portrait painting were also to find
it a threat to their livelihood. Some painters dubbed the new invention “the foe-tographic art.” A number of artists turned to
photography for their livelihood, while others cashed in on the fact that the images
were in monochrome, and began colouring
them in. Despite this wide acceptance, long
exposure time and fragility of the image
gradually made Daguerreotypes unpopular
for portraiture until it was replaced in the
late 1850s by emulsion plates.
Camera Obscura
The term, “Photography”
(Greek for light & writing), was first used by Sir
John Herschel in 1839,
the year the photographic
process became public.
The innovations which
would lead to the development of photography existed long before the first
The ‘camera obscura’
(Latin for dark room),
which had been in existence for at least four hundred years, used a pinhole in a tent to
project an image from outside on to the opposite wall in the darkened tent. A person
inside the tent could trace the inverted image projected, but there was no other way of
recording it. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a table-top model, small enough to be portable, was developed. By adding a focused lens and a mirror, it was possible for a person
outside of the box to trace the image which was reflected through it.
It was a French man, Nicephore Niepce who produced the first photograph in June/
July 1827. By using chemicals on a metal plate, placed inside of a camera obscura, he
was able to record an obscure image of the view outside of his window. He called his
process “heliography”. The exposure lasted several hours and he had difficulty fixing the
image so that it would not continue to darken when exposed to light.
Dry Plates
In the 1870s, photography took another huge leap forward. Richard Maddox improved on a previous invention to make dry gelatine plates that were nearly as good
as wet plates for speed and quality. These dry plates could be stored rather than made
as needed, giving photographers much more freedom in taking photographs. Cameras
gradually reduced in size, small enough to be hand-held. As exposure times decreased,
the first camera with a mechanical shutter was developed.
Instant cameras
Emulsion plates
Emulsion plates, or wet plates, were more sensitive to light,
less expensive than Daguerreotypes, and took only two or
three seconds for exposure. This made them much more suited
to portrait photography, which was in vogue at that time. It
was during this time that bellows were added to cameras to
help with focusing.
Image Control
While the French introduced the permanent image, the Japanese brought easy control
of their images to the photographer. Asahi,
which later became Pentax, introduced Asahiflex in 1950, while Nikon introduced Nikon
F. Both were single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras
that typically use a semi-automatic moving
mirror system, permitting the photographer
to see exactly what will be captured by the film
or digital imaging system. For the next 30
years SLR-type cameras remained the camera
of choice and many improvements were introduced to both the cameras and the film itself.
At the same time
35mm cameras were
becoming popular, Polaroid Corporation introduced the Model 95,
the first of Edwin Land’s
instant picture cameras,
in 1948. Model 95 used
a secret chemical process to develop film inside the camera in less
than a minute. This new
camera was fairly expensive but the novelty of
instant images caught
the public’s attention. By the mid -1960s, Polaroid had
many models in the market and the price had dropped
so that even more people could afford it.
Smart Cameras
In the late 1970s and early 1980s compact
cameras that were capable of making image
control decisions on their own were introduced. These “point and shoot” cameras calculated shutter speed, aperture, and focus;
leaving photographers free to concentrate on
composition. While these cameras became
immensely popular with casual photographers, professionals and serious amateurs
continued to prefer to make their own adjustments to image control.
Cameras for everyone
Photography was confined to professionals or the very rich until George Eastman started a company called Kodak in
the 1880s. The flexible roll film he created
instead of the solid plates, lead to the development of a self-contained box camera that
could hold 100 exposures of film. This camera, with a single lens and no focusing adjustment, was inexpensive enough for the
average person to afford. It had to be sent
back to the factory for developing the film,
much like the disposable cameras of today.
With his slogan “You press the button, we
do the rest” Eastman brought photography
to the masses. The film was still large in comparison to today’s 35mm
film. It took until the late 1940s for 35mm film to become cheap
enough for most people to portrait photography, which was
in vogue at that time. It was during this time that bellows were added
to cameras to help with focusing.
The Digital Age
In the 1980s and 1990s, numerous manufacturers worked on cameras that stored images electronically. The first of these were point and shoot
cameras that used digital media instead of film. By
1991, Kodak had produced the first digital camera
advanced enough to be used successfully by professionals. Other manufacturers quickly followed and
today Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and other manufacturers all offer advanced digital SLR cameras.
Just like a conventional camera, digital camera
has a series of lenses that focus light to create an
image of a scene. But instead of focusing this light onto a piece of film, it focuses it onto a
semiconductor device that records light electronically. A computer then breaks this electronic
information down into digital data. All the fun and interesting features of digital cameras
come as a direct result of this process.
Digital camera technology continues to improve each year as point and shoot cameras get
closer and closer to professional-level cameras. Companies are now coming out with digital
technologies and effects that our predecessors never even dreamed possible.
From obscure cave paintings to vivid images of digital cameras, innovations have helped
man to immortalize his journey through time. It took the cognitive and creative skills of early
man to express his imagination as visible images on the interiors of caves. Call it the quirk of
fate or advancement of technology; it takes only motor skills of modern man to click a button than his intellectual and imaginative skills, to capture vivid images on his digital camera.
Ironically, the images so captured and stored as digital data in the integrated circuits
of the camera, are invisible and incomprehensible to mankind, unless printed or displayed on other electronic devices.
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Nawras R. Dia
If you think Christmas day is over and you can relax
now and stop worrying about gifts and parties, then you
are dead wrong. Christmas day may be over, but the ultimate New Year’s bash is just around the corner!
Besides the tips and tricks of throwing a good NYE
party, as a good host your responsibilities go far beyond
the good food, pleasant drinks, and general ambience.
Your main duty at your party is to take on the role of
the historian who strives to document and expose the
twisted over-the-top fun which you all had. And later on
post them on Facebook or Google+ of course, which is
the most sacred and demanded ritual of them all since
literally tens of thousands of judging eyes will be ogling
their computer/mobile screens waiting to see a picture
of them posing in front of a Christmas tree or passed
out on the dinner table after stuffing down a bit too
much apple cider!
And as any good historian will tell you, it’s important to have a good fluid pen and an extra batch of ink
to record any special moment that might jump up behind you. Well, the tools of the trade for any successful
NYE party is a powerful Digital Camera, and extra fully
charged battery, and some other assorted items which
will keep you ready to immortalise that special moment!
Since you’re already on your way to becoming broke
after all the money you spent on the party, you will need
a good, cheap and advanced camera to help you bring
out the photography monster inside! The only way to go
is through a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera.
Sony Alpha A230 DSLR Camera..
a reason to say Cheese!
Priced at a measly Qrs. 1,300 only,
which is a good deal for the power that
lies beneath its sleek and modern exterior, the Sony A230 is a shining example of
why an over-the-top camera doesn’t have
to have an over-the-top price.
Designed for the amateur photographer who wants to put that extra artistic
touch to photos, this camera has it all.
Tech Specs
It uses a 10.2-megapixel APS-C sized
CCD sensor, outputting a 3872 x 2592
image in a choice of .ARW Raw files or
JPEGs, which are also available in 5.6MP
(2896 x 1936) and 2.5MP (1920 x 1280)
sizes, all in Fine or Standard compression.
The sensor is mounted on a sensor-shift
mechanism for the recently renamed and
updated Steady Shot Inside image stabilization, which promises between 2.5EV
and 3.5EV of effect on all lenses. This sensor-shift, along with an anti-static coating, also helps minimize dust build-up in
front of the sensor.
Focusing is taken care of with a phasedetection TTL system with nine AF
points, the centre point being a
cross sensor for added sensitivity. Shooting modes have been
kept relatively simple on the top
dial. There’s a full Auto mode,
a Program auto, Aperture
and Shutter-priority
modes, plus six individually selectable
scene modes and a
‘no flash’ option.
230,400-dot LCD
screen is also home
to all of the shooting information,
which can be displayed in purely
numerical values
or in a graphical
format, with handy
sliding diagrams
for the aperture and shutter values.
marvel in the light weight this camera boasts, you’ll be taking pictures
left & right before you know it.
The Verdict
Let’s face it, parties sometimes
go crazy, and the crazier it gets, the
more fun people have! But by the
time you sober up and get ready to
go back to work the next day, you
will need some visual aids to brag
about what you did last night, or at
the very least remember yourself
how the party went on since some
memory spots have probably gone
In a party, let’s just say that it gets
pretty difficult for someone to focus
their eyes, let alone steady a camera
and take a quality picture. If that’s usually the case for you, then rest assured
that the focusing-detection feature in
the Sony A230 will help you take those
quick shutter-bug pics without them
appearing to have been taken from a
moving car!
The sleek, curvaceous body may
take some time to get used to, but
once you get the feel and grip of it, and
Weekly App Review
Photography App
If you have a love for
taking still scenery photos,
then this app is definitely for
you. Impress your friends &
family with incredible widescreen panoramic photos
from your travels with this
handy and simple camera
Available for
The cool thing about this camera
is its ability to quickly snap those
priceless moments with its DSLR
technology, auto focus features, and
for the more experienced photographers, picture attribute adjustments. You also have the ability to
quickly download whatever pictures
you took onto your laptop, or even
remove the memory card to take it
with you to work and share it with
your office mates, hoping your boss
won’t find out. So if you’re looking
for a budget camera with some impressive features, 1300 Qrs. is well
worth the investment of buying the
Sony Alpha A230 DSLR.
Last but not least, have a happy
new year, and drive safe!
App Features:
t Priced at 1.99 $.
t Created seamless
panoramic photos from
up to 16 images.
t Very simple and userfriendly interface.
t Handy semi-transparent
guide helps you line up
each consecutive shot
t Intelligently aligns,
blends and stiches your
photos together in a
seamless single image.
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Make your pictures sparkle!
Some sites contain dozens of templates —
of art galleries, urban scenes and locations like
the Sphinx in Egypt. For example, users can put
a picture of themselves into a scene from Times
Square so that it looks as if the user’s image is on a
billboard. The site also has tools to digitally detect
a person’s face, extract it from a picture and graft
it onto the head and body of another image, like
Santa Claus or the Mona Lisa.
is such a site, based in Russia which offers a
wide array of templates, and can place a
face in a wanted poster or the cover of
a magazine like Cosmopolitan.
After, which is based in
Ukraine, merges or mash up images.
Whereas the aims at
transforming pictures to look as if they
come from another time or place. Similar
sites have a more commercial aspect
as well; selling products like lipstick
by letting you try it by painting a
virtual copy of the makeup on a
photo of yourself.,
Sites like, Splashup.
com and are
competing to offer simple tools
for cropping an image, fixing
red eye or making other
tweaks to an image.
Who said
enhancing a
photograph is not
that easy? It is as easy
as pie! There are websites
that cater to novices, unlike
sophisticated software packages
like Photoshop, making it possible
to create a greeting card, make photo
collages, design new images for a website and
tweak personal photographs without doing
much more than clicking a button.
Here are few websites that makes
photo retouching quick and
Yet another site is,
where users create badges, jigsaw puzzles
and art work. It has almost a half million
registered users. The most popular service
produces images that imitate a popular line
of black-matted, motivational posters often
found in office hallways. The site matches
a picture with a caption and produces an
image with the correct typeface. Many
of the people visit the site to produce
posters that are sarcastic, not
Apart from simple editing tools, includes a special feature
that allows users to modify the colors
in a photo. For example, effects named
Melissa, Sophie or Tony (to make them
easier to remember) mutes colours and
change the focus to imitate the film and
lenses commonly used in different eras. The
vintage ’60s effect, for instance, amplifies
the red tones and mutes the blues, effectively
producing more yellows and purples, and
imitating the way that films and
photographic paper of
that time reproduced
light from the
scene. allows people to test
various colours of makeup. Users
upload a photo of themselves and can
then modify it by trying on foundation, lip
gloss, blush and other cosmetics. Cosmetic
companies pay fees to the company to
include their products. The makeup test is
licensed by Taaz to other websites like and
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Fashion Photography
By Portland Oregon
By Philip Riches
By Max Abadian
Bloom takes you on
a cruise of the top
fashion photography
images from around
the world. Check out
the stunning and
sensational work of
the photographers
that cast some of the
top models and top
designer fashion.
By Zhang Jingna
By Chris Nicholls
With its huge audience,
high pay-checks and
glamorous international
lifestyle, fashion
photography may seem
like one of the world’s
most sought-after
But for every fashion
photographer who makes
it through the door of a
top magazine, a thousand
others find their niche
By TimWalker
fashion advertising, art
photography, celebrity
portraiture or even
paparazzi work.
From capturing
expressions to stylefashion photography
brings out the best in a
model as per the theme.
Whether you wear haute
couture, ready-to-wear
or a bin bag, the effects
of fashion photography
can be breathtaking
when you put the effort
in to creating a beautiful
by Demarcus Allen
portfolio of fashion
and celebrity style
images together.
It’s a wonderful way
to express style and
emotion. Not to
mention drama for
those with a little
less shame and a lot
By Reikko Navarro
more get up and give
it a go!
This genre of
photography is
always up for
creating something
special and
Australian fashion show
By Yves Lavalette
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