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Dear <<Salutation>> <<First Name>>,

I sincerely hope this mail finds you happy and healthy.

Today I write about:

  • why pictures that have been made before should not be shot again, and the possibility of finding new interpretations even in very oft shot landscapes

  • the ‘Looney 11’ rule of shooting the Moon that will make your image of the Moon utterly unpleasant to look at

  • some recent accolades and portrait shoots.

I hope you enjoy reading this,

Why I don’t shoot stars, and how you can shoot the Moon

A shot from my stellar misadventure

It is 11.30 PM , minus 3 degrees C, and I am driving to a secluded patch in the middle of the woods in search of dark dark skies . Freezing night, pitch dark, wind, woods, a foreign country, and a camera system equal to a Mercedes.

I setup my camera; consider the foreground; dial in the settings with great calculations and accuracy. I Press the shutter and wait for a 15 second exposure plus a 15 second noise cancelling routine.

In half a minute the camera back lights up. Showing nothing. Baffled, I increase the exposure to 2 minutes. 4 minutes later the camera still shows nothing.

I decide to point to a different direction and as my hand swings to the front of the camera, I discover the lens cap still firmly on the lens. 

But that is not why I don’t shoot the stars.

Many wonderful images have been shot of the heavens from just about everywhere on the earth. But, the cosmic backdrop remains pretty much the same in all of them. There is, to my mind, not a new interpretation that I can find in stars that someone has not already shot.

When I see a picture worth shooting, I ask myself if I have already seen this picture somewhere. And if the answer is yes, I don’t make that picture again.

And that is why I don’t shoot the stars.

Even in very shot locations one can always find new ways to make a picture. My pictures of the Yosemite falls, titled ‘Solitude’, and the ‘Burnt Pier’ in Brighton, UK, shown below, are two such attempts. I hope successful. Trying to find new angles, new interpretations keeps the brain working and producing fresh images.

I should very much like to know what you think of having a different perspective, or which often shot place you would want shot differently. Please do write your thoughts to me by clicking here.

The burnt pier at Brighton

The Burnt Pier

Regular edition of 25+2 AP | 60x60cm

Regular edition of 25+2 AP | 90x90 cm

Price indication starting at USD 600

Buy now
Yosemite fall in majestic isolation

Solitude

Regular edition of 25+2 AP | 90x130 cm

Regular edition of 25+2 AP | 45x65 cm

Price indication starting at USD 600

Buy now

How you can shoot the Moon

Shooting the Moon is quite simple. It is the brightest object up there, the camera has no problems focussing it.

You need a DSLR or a mirrorless camera with a long focal length lens, at least 200 mm.

Set the aperture to f11, and match the shutter speed to the ISO. So, if you are shooting at ISO 100, set the shutter speed at 1/100; if you are at ISO 200, set the shutter speed to 1/200.

Now look at the moon through your viewfinder or LCD (this will also ensure that the cap is not on the lens), focus the lens and shoot. Voila…you have the moon with all its craters in your shot.

If you do not have a DSLR, get a good telescope with an eyepiece that your mobile phone lens will fit snuggly into…rest of the drill is a simple smart phone photograph.

Two of my pictures have recently been on display at the Praxis gallery, NY, USA

Mushroom cloud over a glacier

Limited edition of 12+2 AP | 90x90 cm

Regular edition of 12+2 AP | 60x60 cm

Price indication starting at USD 1200

Buy now
Death Valley

Meditation

Limited edition of 12+2 AP | 90x90 cm

Regular edition of 12+2 AP | 60x60 cm

Price indication starting at USD 1200

Buy now

Portraits have been locked down. Here are some behind the scenes from my last portrait shoot

…but I do have two exciting portrait projects on the drawing board that should see the light of day as the COVID restrictions go away.

Want to know more about this light setup, or about my fine art portraiture service? Please, write to me.

In the next letter I will write about how to ‘feel’ a scene, how to identify with a picture. I might also do a curtain raiser on my new fine art portraiture project, if the situation improves.

I hope reading this has been worth your while. Be happy, be healthy.

Cheers,

Jitendra.

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Copyright (C) 2021 Jitendra Chaturvedi Fine Art Photography. All rights reserved.


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