Hi! I am from Valsad, a small town in Gujarat. Photography is a hobby but I do take it very seriously. I like all genres of photography but landscape and astro are my favorite. I am a Marine Engineer by profession, so I have traveled a lot and seen many new places. The only thing always on my mind is to capture every place as beautifully as I can. Whenever I am on vacation, I spend all my time doing photography.
Have you studied photography from any school?
I didn’t go to any school but I have attended a few workshops and seminars by masters of photography to enhance my skill. Photography is a vast subject and it take years to learn and I am still in the of process of learning.
How long have you been a photographer?
I had this passion from my childhood. My dad owns film SLR Cannon T20 with 18-55mm lens. Somehow, I used convince my dad to click 2-3 photos on every roll, that time best photo was one which was focussed perfectly. Then when I was in college, I got a Sony Cyber Shot point and shoot camera. It had manual mode, so I used to experiment a lot with the settings and eventually understood how shutter speed, aperture and ISO work. Point and shoot had lots of limitations so when I started working, the first thing I bought from my salary was a DSLR. It has now been 3.5 years since I have been using a DSLR.
What appeals to you the most about the technique of Long Exposure?
To click an image that our eyes can not see, to click an image that is surreal. I have always told my friends, “ I am technically a good photographer, because I am a good engineer. I understand the physics, mathematics and electronics that goes on inside my cam”. I play with the settings and try to capture things which give a different feel and look to image.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I was using a Nikon D5000 but recently I bought a Nikon D600 FX body.
What all gears do you use auxiliary to your camera ?
I own 3 lenses: Sigma 12-24mm f4.5-5.6 HSM DGII, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime and Nikon 70-300mm F4-5.6 MF.
I use a simplex tripod.
I don’t have any filters. Rather, I prefer right timing.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
I click RAW images, so I have to do my RAW processing. Other than that, 90% of my images are processed in PS. The amount of PP depends from image to image. I do basic processing in my landscapes but for astro I have to process a lot.
What are the equipments required?
Any DSLR would do. Even a digicam or a bridge camera with ISO 3200 would be fine. The result depends on low light performance of the camera. The only thing is that you would get more noise in an entry level SLR. Other than that, a wide angle lens, 18mm would be fine and a tripod. No other light source would be required for the Milky Way but you would need a light source for your foreground illumination. If FG is a landscape you could take 4-5 min that would look more natural.
What is the best place to shoot?
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that it should be a remote place where there is no light pollution.
What is the best time to shoot?
You need dark sky, so no moon day is the best time. Otherwise you have to capture before moon rise or after moon set and time also depends on when the Milky Way rises and sets.
Finding the Milky Way has become an easy task with the Android or iPhone sky map application. In that, search for Scorpius or Sagittarius. If not, you need to find it looking at the sky. Check out on google how the Scorpius looks. On very dark night, you will see the Milky Way with your naked eye.
What are the camera settings that you use to capture photographs?
The picture should be captured with a wide open aperture and shutter (in sec) less than or equal to 600/FX equivalent focal length you are using, the ISO can vary between 1600 – 6400 (depends on the amount of light you need). Metering will not work so keeping anything won’t matter. Focus needs to be set on infinity. RAW or jpeg depends on you (RAW is better). WB can be set depending on what colour you want. In RAW, you can change it later in PP but it would be better if it is set on the field so that you can get an idea of how it would look and can capture accordingly, I prefer Daylight.
What tools do you use for post processing? What all should be taken care of while processing?
I use PS CS6. I do most of the stuff in Camera RAW 7.2. The Milky Way is captured with high ISO so there is a lot of noise. As and when you edit, more and more noise wil be added. More contrast or saturation will spoil your picture so keep control on that. You require a lot of dogging and burning so that the Milky Way can be seen clearly. You also have to apply highlight and dogging on the Milky Way, and shadow burning on other areas.
Long Exposure Photography: Dhanraj Wadiwala