© 2012 Wazari Wazir | Taj Mahal | Once Upon a Time in Agra
“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.”
- Michael Palin -
© 2012 Wazari Wazir | Original RAW File | Unedit
© 2012 Wazari Wazir | After Edited With Adobe Camera RAW 7.2
I don’t want to write a long sermon bout the advantage of shooting with RAW, you can read it HERE about RAW advantage . What I’m trying to do here is to show you what you can get from RAW files rather than tell you to shoot RAW, I don’t have times to argue with you what is the advantage of RAW and what’s not. Even if you follow my advice to shoot in RAW, I did not get a penny, so better keep this entry short and sweet.
Ever wonder why RAW files is so big compared to Jpeg files? It is because RAW files contains a lot of data, a lot of information, it is uncooked material and once you process them with your post processing skills, you will get better details image compared to what you can get from Jpeg files especially when you photographing a critical subject like in the snow where most of the times, it is harder to get the details on the snow.
The tricks is, when you have the opportunity to photograph something critical like this, snowy scene or when you are photographing in a critical lighting condition where the highlight and shadows different are too apparent, then make sure you watch your camera histogram, make sure that, there is no part in the photograph get blown up, because once it get blown up, then there will be no details on that area and Photoshop editing will not going to help.
So when taking a photograph in a snowy area, I try not to let the snow area to get blown up, it may look “grey” or not as purely as white on the camera LCD because I try to shoot a little bit underexposed, in my mind, I want to get that details when editing. So when I get back to ACR or Adobe Camera RAW 7.2 (Photoshop CS6), all I have to do is play around with Highlights, Shadows and Clarity sliders to bring back those details and I’m done. Simply said RAW is RAWKs.
*The photograph of me above were shot by Azman Jumat, we travel together to Kashmir, we both shot in RAW and those photograph were edited by none other than yours truly…
© 2012 Wazari Wazir | Taj Mahal | Agra | India
“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”
– Frank Herbert -
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
- Helen Keller -
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey.”
- Fitzhugh Mullan -
© 2012 Wazari Wazir | Shikara at Dal Lake Kashmir
For a newly wed couple I highly recommend you guys to visit Kashmir and give a Shikara Ride a try. I know that was a weird idea to start this blog, actually I just don’t know how to start writing this entry, I was so busy lately but anyway, yes I really mean it when I say that a newly wed couple should give a Shikara Ride a try. I know that some people will think and still think that Kashmir is among the most dangerous place to visit but you know what, life will be boring without some risk and adventure.
Kashmir is not at war, they are just a complicated and conflict area, demonstrations happens almost every weeks and sometimes there will be a casualty, but don’t let that “little risk” put a damper on your next adventure, from my one week experience there, it is a safe place to visit and in fact, the Srinagar airport is quite new, maybe just get renovated recently and that was a sign which I guess, that they are welcoming a tourist even though from the air, it looks like you are going to land into a military airport, yes it does look like a military airport from the air.
Some people claimed that Kashmir is a paradise on earth and most people know, that to get into “real paradise” is not a walk in the park kind of activity, you will be tested and only few people will really get into the paradise. Whether you agree or not, Kashmir is something like that, a paradise on earth, every rose has its thorns kind of things, it’s beautiful to my eyes and yes you have to be extra careful here but it is not that difficult to get here, you just have to believe yourself, trust yourself and don’t get yourself to be influence by what the media says about Kashmir, trust your instinct and please give Kashmir a visit.
Anyway, talking about the Shikara ride, it’s really a moment to remember. I came here last February which is in winter season and to Kashmiri people, winter is a low season for tourism, very few tourist visit Kashmir in winter and it is very difficult to spot a tourist here during my visit, maybe because it is too freezing cold here and I heard that last December, which is in December 2011, some part of Dal Lake is frozen. So you can forget about taking a Shikara ride then.
During peak season which is in Summer and Autumn, you can hire a Shikara for Rs300 per hour, I mean one Shikara which can comfortably seats four people inside. During my visit, which is in Winter, I get to hire a Shikara for just Rs100 per hour, which is a great bargain, for photographers I really recommend you to hire one Shikara for two person even though you came here with a large group of a photographers.
With two person inside the Shikara, you can asked your friend to take a picture of you and you can take a picture of your friend as well. We photographers like to take pictures and we need a lot of room to move around changing angles and position, you can asked the Shikarawallah to take you around the Dal Lake at your pleasure, at your pace, and trust me, it is so huge, one hour ride felt like just a few minutes, and for me when I found some interesting angle, I just asked our Shikarawallah to “park” the Shikara in the middle of the lake and just wait until I get the right subject to enter my frame, which is normally another Shikara or small boats against the Majestic Himalaya.
It is a pleasant ride and you will never get bored circling the beautiful Dal Lake surrounded by the great Himalaya as your background and I did hire a Shikara almost everyday, some days are better than the other, I mean sometimes the weather was not very good for photography and I decided too hire the same person over and over again because I like his service, most of them, Shikara owners does speaks English well, so communication is not a problem here.
Hopefully my pictures here will aroused your interest to visit Kashmir someday and gives Shikara a try, and if you are photographers like me, you will need more than a week here in Kashmir to really enjoy the scenery, most tourist only stays here for a periods of two or three night but as a photographer myself, I highly recommend you who have the same interest as mine, to give Kashmir more than a week and trust me, once you get back home, you will plan to make another visit.
© 2012 Wazari Wazir | The Photographers at The Imperial Palace | Tokyo Japan
Just wanted to share with you guys some random shots that I took inside The Imperial Palace Tokyo, before we were release to get into our position for the welcoming ceremony for The Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Malaysian King) Official Visit to Japan recently. Before we enter the Imperial Palace compound, we were scanned throughly, including our camera, where they (the security) tell us to take a few blank shot wit our camera to prove to them that they are really a genuine camera and not a weapon, each time when we have an assignment here, inside the palace, we have to go through the same process even though they have recognise our face from previous visit.
Some of the photographers carry a luggage back which hold 300mm and 400mm lens and a lot of Japanese photographers there carry a small step ladders with them. Before we were allowed to get into our position, the officer from the palace check our names and our position and then we were given a colour code ribbons to stick to our black suits. Once we know our position and have the ribbons which comes in different colour for different position, we can’t change it, I mean we cannot change our position, we have to stay at a designated position from the beginning of the ceremony until it ends.
The lower bottom photograph taken from my position which is number 5, green ribbon, and that was taken with 24mm-70mm lens and was shot at 24mm, you can see how far and wide this place are and not surprisingly some of them, especially the Japanese photographers who have an experience working here carry 300mm and 400mm lens with them, they knew beforehand what to expect. I just carry 24-200mm f/2.8 lens and 70-200mm f/2.8 plus 1.7x Teleconverter.
The whole event took just 35 minutes but we are here for more than two hours before the event start, but I did enjoy taking pictures here, inside the palace, everything is well organised and definitely an experience to remember.