Tuesday, October 29

Man vs Nature

After 100s if times of me crossing the Vashi creek brige , I stopped there for once this time . Just to check our how a few odd fishermen were trying the old fashion fishing rods to catch some fish . 

Instead of lead or steel weights once used, they now use thrown away automobile parts so that their hooks sink in deep enough.  

The water was muddy as it was low tide and flowing out along with thousands of floating waste plastic around. 

Another guy ( hobbyist) showed me that he can catch wish by using the bait tied to a beer bottle n I was stumped. 

Took a video of it but that doesn't reveal much n well the bottle jus added to more waste on water. But he anyways argued that he has caught many using the technique of bread crumbs inside beer bottle n a bait hook outside.

This time no success. I just got a much clearer view of how we are damaging our environment especially navi Mumbai which is full of mangroves. 

You can see thousands of waste covers , waste wrapped in plastic n thrown to sea , all stuck up in the roots of mangrove tries.

The only positive sight was an eagle easily coming and snapping up a fish while men with baits looks on. 

Nature wins 

Sunday, October 27

Learning iPhone HDR

HDR has been always intriguing with stunning colorful & dramatic images that we all love to have as our wallpapers. 

True HDR or high dynamic range photography is about taking images at multiple exposure levels. Using a post production tool like Photoshop , these images are merged into one composite which has the best of all. 

This difficult process remain limited to professionals who live to click. They even mix slow shutter and filters to get even more vivid images. 

Going mainstream
With better cams in smart phones, most image editor apps introduced filters that emulate HDR by tweaking the levels of a single image. 

As phones became powerful, manufacturers started to include this as a part of their standard camera app itself. Here it was more of real HDR, as the cam clicks 3 to 5 images at one shot and automatically fuse them to create a more dynamic looking image.

Each manufacturer uses a different algorithm n hence results are typically varied with each performing better at different conditions.

This oppurtunity lead to true dedicated HDR apps producing better results. However, superiority also means lots of controls to tweak with for to that perfect shot. 

The slot for one click best HDR image in almost all outdoor lighting conditions remains open! Well one can say Lumia 1020 does the job fairly well. 

Gear is just half the job
The quality or even need for HDR depends greatly on the landscape and lighting conditions. It's something one needs to master even if you hold the latest Mirrorless cam. Over the past 2 days I have been trying HDR in iphone5 and my experience is that it gives better image when there is much more varied levels of brightness n color. 

I'm still experimenting where it works well. (standard photography texts says HDR is for landscape situations with varied lighting like cloud shadows falling over distant landscape or light rays filtering through clouds). But going against rules sometimes throws up suprises. 

Below are some pics I clicked on HDR mode, but as silly as it can be, I never thought of a post on this and hence deleted the normal pic that could hv been used as comparison . In the below images, if on normal auto mode, I would either get a blue sky and very dark car or a washed out sky and a bright car. HDR brought best of both together. 

Maybe in a week time I would be able to get some stunning twilight sky shots as seen in Instagram (claimed to be shot on iphoneHDR n no filters). I am nowhere near that now! 

Disclaimer: this is just a personal experience post 


Friday, October 25

Fear! As as a boon and bane

" Do or die " it works for we fear of death. 

We often never succeed due to fear of failure. Fear that exists of loosing your current comfort zone, fear of loosing your current way of life no matter how worthless , that fear stops you from taking the jump. 

Cause the fear of death here is the fear of loosing your current comfort zone. Get out of it. 

As the old blind Doctor told Batman : "make the jump,  without the rope and fear will find you again"

Friday, October 18

Golden iPhone for Diwali Danteras 2013

So as I worked out in my earlier post and, as expected, Apple didn't do any particular favour to Indian market, making it clear that it wants to remain as a pure premium offering. 

iPhone 5s is being priced at ₹ 53,500 for the 16GB model, ₹62,500 for 32GB and ₹71,500 for 64GB. iPhone 5c is up for ₹41,900 for 16GB model and Rs. 53,500 for the 32GB model.

The champagne gold will certainly set the Diwali market on fire given our love for gold. It's 'the gift' for this season.

While 5s 64GB sounds way too expensive, the 16gb is priced just a little ahead of Samsung flagship Note3 and Sony z1 and zUltra. Well a hardware comparison on pure numbers puts the Android phones way ahead but that really won't do justice as real life performance is way different. 

It will be interesting to see how 5c sales turns out as it's priced right in the middle of all flagship phones!. We after all want maximum hardware for each ₹ and don't put enough thought on finesse of use. 

Check Apple official comparison chart here 

The Light Bulb moment

We often associate an idea with a Light Bulb over our head ! 

It's been the metaphor for that sudden stroke of brilliance, ever since the incandescent bulb was invented. 

Here, in this picture, (courtesy: my cousin Dr. Nikhil S Rajan and his iPhone 5) the idea metaphor becomes the 'idea'.  An awesome shot of a sunset as seen through the idea bulb! 

A wonderful picture where creativity and idea joins hands with their metaphor producing a whole new perspective ! 

My cousin surely had an awesome light bulb moment.

Kudos to him! Let more imaginative pics come by..

Thursday, October 17

The Return of the Octavia - India

Skoda India finally made a brave move. 
Bringing back the Octavia back without rebranding it into a new model . 

Octavia in India was once legendary and a must gave aspirational car. Skoda's attempt to revive the old charm will pay off well. 

With Delhi pricing ranging from ₹13.9 to ₹20lac it seems well placed against the Jetta & Elentra. With little competition in this range and an expected rise in demand as people upgrade from their Honda Citys, VW vento and Hyundai  Vernas, this segment certainly seems attractive. 

Having already seen a few brand new Octavias on Mumbai roads, it seems to be the flavor of Diwali season 

Catch the news and reviews from experts here 

Skoda official website 


Good luck Skoda ! 

That's one sexy looking version !

Wisdom of the parables

An African proverb

"Every morning a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better start running. "

Read it on a newspaper. Thought I should have it here. 

It's so true, first we are the young gazelle , then the agile lion and ultimately the outgrown slow lion staring at opportunities it can't reach for ! 

How do we always remain agile, age no matter? 

Image courtesty: unknown contributor (amazing pics group) 

Revision: the newspaper was the economic times, India 

Friday, October 11

Thoughts On iPhone 5s 5c pricing set for a Diwali release

With latest inputs from Apple,  the iPhone 5s and 5c will debut in India just in time for Diwali! 

Well that's makes it an even more attractive gift than the already been in market samsung s4 and HTC One. 

Sony and samsung seems to have opted for navratri rather than battle it out with IPhone during Diwali Frency. 

So much similar to the way Bollywood producers unofficialy  adjust release dates to avoid split in eyeballs n interest as such. 

Given their history of releasing each new model at a price around the outgoing flagship, apple would be aiming at ₹45500 again but will that be possible given the currency rates?

A direct conversion of 5s unlocked US comes around 41k (cheaper than sticker price of 5 currently on sale in India ) and a  German one converted comes to 50k. It would be cheaper to ship to India than Germany for sure. 

What's interesting is how much it is willing to forego to penetrate Indian market in a big way. Or does it have any such intention at all.