Nandi Hills, Bangalore

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A post shared by Anoob Backer (@becks007) on

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A post shared by Anoob Backer (@becks007) on

A post shared by Anoob Backer (@becks007) on

A post shared by Anoob Backer (@becks007) on

A post shared by Anoob Backer (@becks007) on

A post shared by Anoob Backer (@becks007) on

A post shared by Anoob Backer (@becks007) on

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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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