Published on February 27, 2014
talkies PHOTO February 2014 Issue 01 A Joint Initiative of Kunzum and ZEISS BUDDHIST FESTIVALS OF LADAKH HORNBILL FESTIVAL NAGALAND TIGER HUNT IN RANTHAMBHORE, RAJASTHAN GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
LET THE PHOTOS TALK They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But photos can do a lot more - they can talk to us in a million different ways. And thus we have PhotoTalkies - a digital magazine designed to celebrate photography. And curate for its readers stories told through imagery. Put together by those who are adept at storytelling through such a medium. And brought to you in a unique partnership between ZEISS and Kunzum. ZEISS has an unmatched history of producing camera lenses of quality and design that no competitor has been able to emulate. And Kunzum has been at the forefront of exploring this world from behind the camera, narrating stories to a global audience. It was only natural for these two brands to collaborate for PhotoTalkies. PhotoTalkies is intended as a monthly magazine where we hope to revive the art of photojournalism which has taken a hit due to realignment of media businesses and the ubiquity of photography by all those sporting a camera phone and regular cameras. At the same time, we talk about what goes behind taking great photos - so others can learn and improve their skills and art. In the spirit of the socially connected world we live in, the magazine will follow an all-inclusive model. Readers, professionals and amateurs alike may contribute features and comment on what has been published. The sole criteria for selection would be quality, uniqueness and relevance. The digital magazine is just a start. Our idea is to eventually build a community around it - of those who enjoy taking photographs, and those who appreciate this art form. This will be achieved through online and offline initiatives including Social Media interactions, meet-ups, workshops, trips and more. Welcome to the first issue of the first season of PhotoTalkies. Let’s click together. AJAY JAIN
talkies PHOTO A Joint Initiative of Kunzum and ZEISS CONTENTS The Hornbill Festival in Nagaland 5 The Buddhist Festivals of Ladakh PHOTOTALKIES IS A MONTHLY DIGITAL MAGAZINE. AND IT’S FREE!! DOWNLOAD AND READ ON YOUR IPAD, IPHONE OR ANY OTHER TABLET, COMPUTER AND SMARTPHONE. 17 When a Tiger Hunts a Turtle: In Ranthambhore in Rajasthan 30 The Camera Lens is Your Friend and Partner 38 7 Tips to Keep in Mind Before You Pick Your Camera 44 Disclaimer: All articles and photographs in this magazine are the opinions of the respective contributors. It is understood that they own the copyright to the same, or have the rights to offer the same under their bylines. ZEISS is not responsible for the authenticity of any of the articles and photographs, nor will be held liable for any disputes, claims and liabilities arising out of ownership or copyright issues of the content in the magazine. www.kunzum.com/phototalkies firstname.lastname@example.org Want to contribute to PhotoTalkies? Ping us at email@example.com
The Hornbill Festival A riot of music, dance, colour, and traditional at the annual tribal festival in Kohima, capital of the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland AJAY JAIN 05 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
W inters of the northern hemisphere are a time for festivities, and few communities can ring in the mood better than the Nagas. Known as the land of mist and melody, the state of Nagaland in the north-eastern region of India has managed to preserve its culture and traditions over centuries. And it all comes together at the annual Hornbill Festival in state capital Kohima. 06 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
Kohima’s branding is too strongly linked to the annual weeklong Hornbill Festival, that starts December 1 at Kisama heritage village a little outside town. The event is a perfect primer into Nagaland’s cultural and social fabric made up of 16 recognized tribes; there are countless sub-tribes by the way! These tribes put up a colourful and animated display of their costumes, dances and music. The tribes enact their stories, their heritage, and their battles. You may want to stay a few steps away from the blasts, dust and smoke generated from rifles going off pointing towards the ground - the cartridges are blank though. Or so I assume. Each tribe has a representative morung (sleeping hut) with thatched roofs, bamboo furniture and log drums; the last mentioned are still the communication tools in some interior villages. Sample their foods and home-brewed rice beer, and meet the tribals up close. Vegetarians may be disappointed though, and may have to find themselves a sandwich or North Indian fare at other stalls. The Bamboo Mall stocks Naga dresses, shawls, jewellery, bamboo artifacts, artworks and more - you will love shopping here. 07 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
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Sports like tug-of-war and Naga wrestling add to the fun. Cultural performances from neighbouring states like Mizoram and Meghalaya and nations like Myanmar and Thailand add to the charm. The modern face of the state’s youth shows up when the sun goes down (around 4:00 p.m., thanks to one country, one time zone; if India had more than one time zone, as it should, the watch would show a later time at sunset). Rock bands from across the country put up gigs, culminating in a contest with considerable prize money. 12 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
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Travel Tips Kohima, at an altitude of 4,738 feet (1,444 m), serves as a gateway to the rest of the state, offering a peek into the beauty and culture of what lies beyond. It is also a moving repository of memories from the past, reminding us of the price we will pay all over again lest we forget our history. It is best approached by air, nearest airport being Dimapur. Accommodation is limited, and average quality at best. Advance booking is advised. 15 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
LADAKH THE BUDDHIST FESTIVALS AJAY JAIN Ladakh, locate d in the high altitude Himalayas in northern India, is the sacred land of Bu ddhists. Staying isolated from the rest of th e world for a go od part of th e year has enable d Ladakhis to preser ve and practice their relig ion like they have for centuries. And it shows in th e Bu ddhist festivals, annual events at mos t monas teries. 17 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
18 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
The biggest and most popular is the one at the Hemis Monastery; it helps that it falls in the peak tourist season of June - July. Crowds can be madding here, and it is advisable one reaches very early to secure a spot. No such problem at other monasteries though - not too many tourists go there as they are either off their circuit, or the dates fall during the non-summers months when it can get extremely cold. These festivals are essentially different kinds of masked dances, each with a theme or a prayer. The dances have evolved into vibrant events, with costumes made of brocade and silk, in bright golds, reds, blues and greens. Masks of a clay-cotton mix are painted in natural colours and polished in gold and silver. Trumpets, cymbals, drums, bells and flageolets provide the accompanying music. Dancers flourish sacred items like daggers, spears, bells, vajras, skulls and damrus. Decades or sometimes even centuries old, these are brought out for special events only. The origins of these dances go back to the 9th century when the rise of Buddhism at the expense of the Bon religion provoked Langdarma, Tibet’s Bon king, into persecuting Buddhists. Monks were disrobed and monasteries dismantled. In frustration, the powerful monk Palji Dorge came dancing to Lhasa, dressed in a wide-brimmed black hat, high boots and brocade costume, and pierced the king’s heart with an arrow. This was the prototypical cham, now popular as the Buddhist masked dance, though some trace it back to the Sakyamuni (the historical Buddha) era. Cham was patronised by Guru Padmasambhava, when he visited the court of Tibetan king Trisong Deutsen in the 8th century.
s) of all ddhis t monk Lamas (Bu ttend all o ver to a ro m ages co me f e in the nd participat fes tivals a nies. io us ceremo relig
ances, There cannot be any d ones, even relig io us masked nks here w itho ut music. The mo ants on are playing Bu ddhist ch ments. their trad itional instru 21 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
22 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
Buddhist Nuns at the Hemis Fes tival. They sure can laugh out lou d, but what are some of them smoking?
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* Most festivals have no restrictions on anyone attending the same. Some may charge a nominal fee. Certain prayer sessions are open to monks and / or nuns only. * You are advised to dress appropriately as monasteries are places of worship. * Pack some food and water - you may not get options to your liking. * Weather changes dramatically in Ladakh at a short notice al always carry extra warm clothing and rain / snow protection. 28 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
When a Tiger Hunts a Turtle Ranthambhore National Park Rajasthan, India AJAY JAIN Would you ride in an open SUV in temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius? With the sun threatening to burn everything in sight, and the desert sand piercing your skin like countless needles? You would, if you were on the trail of the tiger in the Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan, India. 30 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
One of the few forests in India where tigers still prowl, you can be almost assured of a sighting – but only if you venture out when summer is at its harshest. This is when water sources dry up, and animals come out in the open to water holes. And the dry vegetation makes camouﬂaging difﬁcult. The roll of dice can still go against you, or you may be lucky like me – with seven sightings over a single weekend. 31 PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
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After a successful hunt and a hearty meal, the tiger sleeps only as a lord of the jungle would.
The Camera Lens is Your Friend and Partner SUNDEEP BALI Lens-based Artist and ZEISS Lens Ambassador Photographic lenses are not unlike people - none of them are perfect. And those that do come close to being so are extremely difficult to work with. The position that a lens occupies in photographic imaging is so central and basic that it is often overlooked. 38 We all know that it is the lens that converges the image on the photo-sensitive media (sensor or film) and ultimately determines the quality of image that is captured by the camera. I like to think of my digital camera as an instrument that impartially and objectively registers the image that is thrown by the lens on the sensor. And my lens as the agent that would distil and add character to the image that I have visualized and decided to make through it. I do believe that none of the lenses are perfect. In fact, the very process of manufacturing camera lenses is defined and limited by the considerations of weight and price before the designing of a lens starts. And lenses that do come ‘close to being perfect’ can be quite demanding on the photographers who use them. I admit that I have embarrassed myself on occasions by making images on a wide-open aperture that are not tack sharp on the chosen plane of focus, and high performance of the lens just makes it look worse. Most of my shooting happens in manual focus. I figured it is best to treat lenses like people. All lenses have a personality and they can become good friends with photographers who are able to accept and utilize their strengths and foibles to realize their desired images. One piece of advice for all photographers: We don’t know what camera we would be using five years from now. But if you have a good lens - a lens that you know and treat like a friend - you could trust it for your images and it would see you through good and not-so-good photographic times. PhotoTalkies by Kunzum and ZEISS
A study of Bhardwaj Lake at Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, Delhi. Image made with a ZEISS Distagon 2,8/25mm ZF on Nikon D200.
A Zebra Spider lurks behind a butterfly that has just metamorphosed out from its pupa stage. The butterfly needs time for its wings to dry and exercise its flight muscles before it can take to its maiden flight. Image made with a ZEISS Distagon 2,8/25mm ZF on Nikon D200.
Kainat at Kinari Bazaar, Old Delhi Image made with a ZEISS 2,8/25mm ZF on Nikon D700.
A View of a pipe-shop at Choodiwalan, Old Delhi Image made with a Touit 1.8/32mm on Fuji X-Pro1.
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The camera is the last piece in the photographic process. Seriously, I mean it. If you want to be a good photographer, as an amateur or a professional, I suggest you ponder over the following: The camera does not matter: You do not need an expensive camera to start taking good photos. Make do with what you have - smartphones, point-and-shoots or basic DSLRs - and master these first. In over 70 percent of the cases, your entry level DSLR will give you results similar to a high end one. Upgrade only after you have been shooting enough with what you have first. 2. Technology does most of the work for you - but only you can compose: Today’s cameras are advanced enough to give you great results even in the auto mode, or by just adjusting the Shutter or Aperture settings. No need to fret about knowing all camera functions initially - just understand the essentials. But no camera can compose for you - the art if your own. And that is what you need to work on most - what goes into your frame. Learn to observe the world around you - can compose images in your mind without your camera. 3. Always be a student: Never stop learning. The Internet is a great resource for blogs, magazines and other repositories of knowledge. Go through this content regularly - understand what the experts are saying. Look at a lot of photographs online and in galleries. Your senses will get more artistic subconsciously. Talk to other photographers - don’t hesitate to ask questions. We have all learnt from each other. A simple tip can do wonders for your photography. Learn from the Masters but don’t imitate them - develop your own style. © AJAY JAIN 1. LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY? 7 things to keep in mind before you pick your camera AJAY JAIN
4. 5. No substitute for hard work and odd hours: Photography is not for the lazy. You have to be on your feet - and at times when your subject can be shot best. If you want to shoot in the first light of the day, you have to be up when the world is still asleep. Sunrise will not change its schedule for you. Be willing to explore and wait for surprises to pop up - for example, if you are a travel or street photographer, spend hours just walking around and looking around you. You cannot always pre-plan what you are going to shoot. 6. Prepare yourself in advance for best results: Advance research is very important. Research your subject before going out to shoot. For example, if you are travelling, find out the best time of the year to shoot. Try to coincide your trip with events. Browse the Internet to see what others have shot - get ideas, but don’t just imitate. Come back with your own unique shots. If you need permissions, have them in order. Carry back-up batteries, memory and even cameras if going to remote locations. Go fully prepared - but keep your mind and eyes open to shooting what you have not visualised. 7. © AJAY JAIN The 20:80 rule of classroom learning: No matter how many lessons you take, that is only 20 percent of the job done. The rest is what you do with yourself. If you don’t practice regularly, and put in the hard work, you might as well not waste your time and money attending classes. The teacher can only teach you the vocabulary - you have to forms words and stories yourself. Travel light: Burdening yourself like a mule with equipment is not sexy. Travel light. Carry only as much as you need. You don’t want to be weighed down with gear - and also be worried about losing something. You need to be free in the mind to shoot better. Would you second the above? If yes, then you may take out your camera. Otherwise you might as well go for other pursuits. Happy clicking.
ZEISS Camera Lens : Workshop Tour India Meet Mr. Andreas Bogenschuetz (Technical Expert, Camera Lens, Carl Zeiss AG) March - April, 2014: Contact for Schedule & Registration Bangalore Fotocircle - Mr. Jayesh +91.9845022654 / email@example.com Chennai Hansa Cine Equipments - Mr. Anil +91.9444085508 / firstname.lastname@example.org ZEISS EVENTS AND WORKSHOPS JOIN US DSLR Filmmaking by Filmmaker Mr. Saravanakumar February 28 - March 2, 2014, Chennai www.lenscape.in / www.saravanakumarco.in email@example.com / sujith@ zeiss.com / firstname.lastname@example.org Cochin Fourtek Systems - Mr. Tom +91.9447039709 / email@example.com Hyderabad Srishti Digilife - Mr. Rajkumar +91.9399973935 / firstname.lastname@example.org Kolkata Srishti Digilife Pvt.Ltd - Mr. Manoj +91.8100001382 / email@example.com New Delhi Workshop on ZEISS Compact Prime and Zoom Lenses by Mr. Amarjeet February 28, 2014, Mumbai firstname.lastname@example.org ZEISS Sports Optics March 1 - 2, 2014, Inorbit Mall, Malad, Mumbai Avit Digital - Mr. Rajesh +91.9811017774 / email@example.com Shashi Enterprise - Mr. Manish +91.9810119524 / firstname.lastname@example.org West (Mumbai & Ahmedabad) Sun Broadcast Equipments - Mr. Vikas +91.9867530600 / email@example.com Ria Enterprises - Mr. Hari +91.9930155660 / firstname.lastname@example.org Tinnu International - Mr. Amit +91.9819046742 / email@example.com
Want to be a great photographer? Want to be a travel writer? www. nzum. ku c om/ b ediala m As a professional or a hobbyist? Full time or Part Time? Kunzum Travel Cafe T-49, GF, Hauz Khas Village New Delhi 110016, India Tel: +91.9650 702 777 / +91.11.2651 3949 firstname.lastname@example.org Timings: 11:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Mondays Closed Sign up for a workshop / course at the Kunzum Media Lab. We promise it will change your life.
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PhotoTalkies a monthly e-magazine and is all about celebrating photography, and telling stories through images. In a joint venture between ZEISS and Kunzum.
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