Camouflage or the art of blending into the surroundings is commonly used by soldiers. Photographers too have adopted this. Now I see camouflage costumes, covers for tripods and lenses, backpacks and camera-bags, tents, water-bottles, flash-lights and what not.

Why soldiers use camouflage? Our eyes see colors in the day-light and our subconscious ignores anything that does not stand out. Person covered in green and yellow camouflaged costume is therefore difficult to notice in a forest compared to another person dressed in red. The one in red will stand out (to some extent due to the effects of color theory too on our minds). The soldiers in their camo-dresses, can therefore remain hidden from other soldiers.

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Red Filters (and other colors)

The other day I wrote about Black and White photography (Black & White) and the very next day, I got an email about the red filters. It seems that they are some of the least understood filters nowadays. Instagram users apply various filters, including red colored, at times to improve their selfies (a term which I fail to understand). Here in the article, I am talking about the true red glass that fits over the lens. They are also denoted by the Wratten numbers from 23A to 29.

What are these red filters and how are they used? First, let me clarify a few things. Instead of calling them red filters, they should ideally be called blue/green-inhibiting or blue/green-subtraction filter. That is exactly what they do.

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Cleaning Camera Accessories

I had written a small articles about cleaning camera and lens – Cleaning Camera and Lens  Due to requests from some of my readers, I am also writing about cleaning accessories. Cameras accessories are also meant to be used and so some signs of use are expected. I ignore them. I am actually scared of new accessories. Old ones have become my friends and they keep helping me out. Measure I take to ensure that these friends of mine stay fit :

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Polarizing Filters

Polarizing Filters or simply Polarizers were second most used filters in the film era, first being the UV filters. Polarizers work on the principle of letting only one plane of light waves to pass through. Remaining planes of light waves are blocked. Earlier polarizers had a single polarizing layer. Then came the autofocus cameras. There were times when the angle of polarized light being let into the lens would not coincide with the autofocus sensors and autofocus used to fail. Circular polarizers were introduced. These had another plate after the polarizing layer to rotate the light. This reduced the problems with the auto-focus systems. Due to their construction method, the circular polarizers show the polarizing effect only when seen from ‘thread side’. When seen from the ‘groove side’ polarizing effect is not seen, instead just a color shift is visible.


(Polarizers in different sizes and thicknesses)

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Do I use Tripods?

Tripods have been the most used photography accessory since the time photography came into this world. Old films of ISOs less than 100 demanded a very slow shutter speeds. Did you know that when the first (original) Kodachrome was launched, it had an ISO equivalent of 6 ? By early 1960s were they able to cross ISO of 25 ! Tripods were a must for good natural light exposure then.

Now we have super sensitive sensors with excellent noise reduction, lenses that in more and more light and mechanisms to take away some level of camera shake while shooting hand-held. Are tripods needed now a days? Do I use tripods?

Spotted Deers

(Nikon D200, Sigma 150-500 at 450mm, f/9, 1/160, ISO 200, handheld with image stabilization switched on. It was tough holding the heavy lens mounted on the camera but it gave me freedom to track the deers as they walked around.)

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