Abstract photos using smoke

I’ve uploaded some abstract photos to my website. I used smoked to create these abstract photos and these are my first ever attempts; I must have got lucky with the setup as I had no real problems. The minor issue that I did experience was the external flash overheating and shutting down after a few shots. So rather than waste time or miss interesting patterns whilst waiting for the external flash to cool down, I used my camera’s internal flash to experiment but the results were less than ideal.



Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012

London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Photos

There are certainly plenty of videos and photos for this event, but I thought I’d post some here that are a little bit different.

In terms of an event, I especially loved the industrial drummers and the chimneys, the children’s fantasy nightmare, the music video on the house, and the final fireworks.

The music throughout was excellent. With the drummers, I felt every percussion it was so loud, the body taking the brunt of the sound. Awesome! And then the final fireworks, deep impact sound ripping through your body, I loved it!

I have videos of the event and I’ll upload those to YouTube at some point, but there’s just so much to do right now!

Ok, this first photo one is not from the Opening Ceremony but was taken just before the dress rehearsal on Monday 23rd July 2012:

ArcelorMittal Orbit

These flowers are along the Greenway gate into the Olympics Park, just a couple of hours before the Opening Ceremony on 27th July 2012:

Flowers at London 2012 Olympics Park

Flowers at London 2012 Olympics Park

These are “out of focus” shots of lights in the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on 27 July 2012; I like to call these the Olympic Rings :

Olympics Rings

Olympics Rings

Olympics Rings

The following are more traditional photos from an Olympics Opening Ceremony, just to provide some context!

London 2012 Olympics Industrial Age Chimneys

Olympics Bell

Lights at the London 2012 Olympics

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2012

2012 Olympics posters

The official posters for the 2012 Olympics have been unveiled. These have all been designed by established and well known UK artists.

When I first saw these posters, I thought “They’re having a laugh!". After my initial reaction, I looked at them again but as an overall package; they do have a cohesive theme. As a themed exhibition in a modern art museum these would feel right at home and perhaps even be well received. Londoners and visitors may just like them although I’m not so sure. However, I’m no artist, so what do I know!

Anyway, here’re the 12 posters that I downloaded from The Guardian:


Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2011

Sony NEX-5 , cropped images, and Adobe Camera RAW

[Update 25 August 2011: Thanks to the people who e-mailed me and the thread at dpreview it is clear now that my camera was set to a ratio of 16:9 which is which why the RAW file was tagged to “crop”. Setting to a ratio of 3:2 results in a full image within Adobe Camera RAW. So case closed. Meanwhile…FACEPALM]

I recently bought the Sony NEX-5 camera to accompany my Nikon D700 for those occasions where size and discreteness take priority. I hadn’t used the NEX-5 much in anger but I did take it on a field-test to Venice last week.  Although the NEX-5 cannot compete with the D700  in fast moving situations or in low light conditions, I was generally pleased with the result. But I noticed something peculiar.

In terms of my workflow, I use Photoshop CS4 with Camera RAW 5.7…of course Adobe have, in their infinite wisdom, decided not to support Camera Raw in older releases of Photoshop (the current version being CS5) so RAW files from newer cameras such as the NEX-5 are not supported. That’s fine; I use Adobe DNG Converter to convert the Sony RAW files (ARW) to DNG which Camera Raw 5.7 reads with aplomb. This is OK, not a problem, but then I noticed that Picasa 3.8.0 and FastPictureViewer 1.5 displayed more of the image than that shown in Camera RAW.

Upon investigation into the image size variances, it seems that Sony have tagged their NEX-5 RAW images to indicate that the useful part of the image is a subset of the complete image captured by the sensor; the RAW image does have all of the sensor image but Camera RAW is only displaying part of the image by respecting Sony’s EXIF tags. The reason Sony have “EXIF-cropped” the image is probably because of concerns on vignetting and perhaps because other lens aberrations may become visible at the edges of the images.

How big are the size differences? The RAW file contains an image of 4,608 x 3072 pixels; the “cropped” image is 4,592 x 2,576 pixels. The following two images show the differences these can make.

NEX-5 “EXIF-cropped” image:


NEX-5 full image:


There is perhaps a hint of vignetting visible at the top corners of the full image. But it certainly isn’t objectionable and there do not appear to be any other noticeable degradations in the image quality of these “additional” areas. Perhaps the vignetting and other quality issues are more apparent when using the wide-angle “pancake” lens? Unfortunately I did not have an opportunity to test the pancake lens. Regardless, I think Sony should give us the option to be able to extract as much of the image from the sensor…perhaps via a camera firmware update giving us a menu-option to allow the RAW file EXIF tags to indicate that all the of the image data is usable.

In the meantime, I’ve used Thomas Knoll’s utility “DNG Recover Edges” to re-tag the DNG file so that all of the image is available and can be seen in RAW converters such as Adobe Camera RAW 5.7. As is seen in the above two images, there are situations where recovery of the “cropped” areas is very beneficial.

“DNG Recover Edges” for Windows and the Mac can be found here:

Windows – http://www.luminous-landscape.com/recover_edges/DNG%20Recover%20Edges%20Win.zip

Macintosh – http://www.luminous-landscape.com/recover_edges/DNG%20Recover%20Edges%20Mac.dmg

Note that the Windows version runs fine on my Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit machine. I can’t vouch for the Mac edition.

Another way to recover the “cropped” areas is to use ExifTool to change the EXIF tags but that requires a bit more knowledge on which tags to change.

[Update 25 August 2011: Thanks to the people who e-mailed me and the thread at dpreview it is clear now that my camera was set to a ratio of 16:9 which is which why the RAW file was tagged to “crop”. Setting to a ratio of 3:2 results in a full image within Adobe Camera RAW. So case closed. Meanwhile…FACEPALM]

Article by Kulvinder Singh Matharu – 2011