Watch out artists - Unethical behavior from FreeCultr Express!!

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I've earned around 10K using my photograph design & they didn't bother to pay out me. Multiple email threads around this...
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Nandi Hills, Bangalore

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Over to you Bangalore, after a long break kickstarting the photo walks. This is the first photo walk in Bangalore. Nandi hills seem addictive and I feel this will be like the sole place I want to go any day like Qutb Shahi Tombs at Hyderabad. Please check out my facebook page. Good or bad, please share your comments!
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OnePlus One

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Qutub Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Qutub Shahi Tombs, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Near Charminar, Hyderabad, India

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Naan Makers of Hyderabad's Charminar, Hyderabad, India

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Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad, India

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Macro Secret: Always do focus stack for still subject

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I am attempting to summarize my learnings below of a macro photoshoot which I did at home. Please provide your valuable comments & let me know if there are any further improvements/techniques possible.

Had a chance to try out the 100mm macro lens borrowed from one of my friend the other last day. There were lot of challenges doing macro for a subject, which was few manual hand winding mechanical wrist watches.

Find the results here, here & here. Still pending on uploading the focus stacked images.

Below were some key challenges:
  1. Depth of field (DOF) issue: No matter even if I choose f11/f16 the DOF was very shallow given that I am shooting a subject 15-30cms near.
  2. Watch hand movement issue: As this was a mechanical wound watch either I had to wait till the watch unwinds to prevent the hand movements but couple of them wound for running up 2 days. Will come to this point as to why this was an issue.
  3. Watch parts lighting issues: It was hard to compose the watch such that I get definition of all the parts like glass, dial, hands, crown, frame, strap & hook.
  4. Watch parts issues: Stainless steel frames had a lots of scratches even for the new ones also inside the dials and hands had dust specks. White dials had dirty dials even; pretty much expected for a 20$ mechanical made in India by a government firm .
Solutions which I attempted:
  1. Depth of field (DOF) solution: I took pictures with focus on multiple points on the watch. I was planning to use stack focusing so as to get rid of the DOF issue. To my surprise stack focusing gave great results. I tried Helicon Focus & Zerene Stack both are really good but Zerene Stack has a 30days free trial without any restrictions.  As I had the exposure set properly & needed more details I went with PMax (pyramid) stacking method in Zerene Stack.
  2. Watch hand movement solution: Pictures for couple of watches which has hand movements was not possible to be focus stacked; hence this was one issue as I stated above. With moving subjects it is not possible to my knowledge to focus stacking. No solution I could figure out hence I waited for few watches to unwind or stop.
  3. Watch parts lighting solution: I was able to get two positions which was aesthetic for me. I was playing around with watch, lights & leather cloth for a long time. Using black leather  helped a lot since there was hardly any specular highlight issues though it resulted in dark areas where the watch was touching the leather. I didn't had my acrylic sheets at disposal as well hence went with leather jacket. Placing the watch at various position and seeing how light behaves was fun.
  4. Watch parts issues:  I tried to clean up the watch was much as possible & planned to use content-aware fill in Photoshop which also give a decent result but still prefer to do it in subject but with dials & frames it was hard unless I given it for a service.

Below is a sample shot to emphasis on stack focusing (view in full resolution to figure out the differences). This is a must for still subjects which requires more sharp details.

Side by side (without focus stack vs. with focus stack)


Zoomed at bottom area




Zoomed at top area


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Khoobsurat Ghadi - THIS IS HMT TIME

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The manufacture of wristwatches started in year 1962 collaborating with Citizen Watch Company of Japan. HMT is the first company to start watch manufacturing in Indan. In 1991 HMT set up a product development center for watch design. 

Competitors with strong marketing and lifestyle adoption changes is one of the strong challenges HMT poses today. Lack of attention to detail and clean delivery line is the major issue which HMT needs to address. 

Even though HMT lacks a lot the feelings associated to HMT for every Indian citizen is so immense; hope HMT revives back with a strong market impact.


More History here.

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