Dramatic Skies in B&W – Behind the Scenes

I posted the below photo on my Instagram feed yesterday, and people seemed to like it, so I thought I’d do a little behind the scenes post.

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That’s the dramatic black and white sky photo.  The photo was taken yesterday afternoon while I went out for lunch (that’s the advantage of going out everyday) on my Micromax Canvas HD phone.

The original image is rather dull and uninteresting as it is –

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I took it into Snapseed and straightened it.  Initially, I thought I’d include the electrical wire as a straight line in the final photo.  But after straightening, when I was trying to work out a crop that looked good, I decided to do away with the wire and just focus on the sky.

I applied the “Drama” filter in Snapseed and then boosted saturation.  That resulted in the below image, which is a bit more visually interesting than the original –

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But this looks kind of overcooked and garish.  I thought I’d play with the colours to tone it down a bit and then post.  But then, I decided to try a black and white conversion.  Snapseed has a nice set of options for converting a photo into B&W.

In Snapseed you can simulate putting a colour filter in front of the lens when taking a B&W photo.  If you’re shooting on B&W film, putting a red, yellow or orange semi-transparent filter in front of the lens has the effect of darkening the sky.  Basically, anything that’s blue will get darkened.

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That’s a sample screenshot of applying the filter.  (It’s being applied to another panorama photo I took yesterday.)

So here I saturated the image further since I knew the more blue that’s present in the image, the darker the sky would be.  I think I used an orange filter for the final image.  Tweaked the contrast and brightness a little, added some grain, and there you have it.

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Selected Photos from 9-Aug-13

Sharing a selected set of photos from yesterday –

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A shot from a window, converted to Black and White with Snapseed’s Red filter, to enhance the skies.

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A turtle (maybe teenage, most likely not a mutant, definitely not a ninja).  Went to Eat 3 for lunch yesterday, took this picture there.

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The street near home was lit up for Bonalu festival.  I stood in the middle of the road to get this shot.

Guitars

Trying out the WordPress app on my phone, posting an image.  For the last couple of months, I’ve been taking and posting photos every single day on my Instagram feed. Thinking that I’ll post a picture a day on the blog as well.  Here is a collage I did a few weeks back.  The photos were taken at Full Volume Music Store, Banjara Hills.  I used Snapseed, Instagram and PhotoGrid apps to edit.

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Browsing Through Time – The Last Few Months

As I’d mentioned in an earlier post, I thought I would do a quick recap of what I’ve been up to, in the last few months.  This is presented roughly in reverse chronological order, and I’ve used photos to illustrate what I am talking about.  (NOTE: I wrote this post in the mid of October, so it doesn’t cover absolutely everything right up to the present time.)

150+ Days at the Gym

Looks good, no?  I’m quite proud of that photo!  I started going to the gym at office in mid-December 2011.  For whatever reason, I kept count of the number of days I was actually working out, and that count has crossed 150 by now.  I go to the gym on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday (since on Thursdays I attend Guitar class), so typically the count gets incremented by 4 every week, less than that if there are office holidays or I am travelling.

You could say this is a new hobby of mine and just like posting my drawings or photos, I’m uploading pictures taken at the gym to mark milestones.  I posted the below one to mark Day 100, and that got a lot of Likes and comments on Facebook.

I was going to post one more when I hit Day 150, but towards that date, I knew there were going to be a few breaks since I was travelling for campus recruitment.  Therefore, I posted the below photo when I reached Day 146.

I’d have left it at that but the Day 148 picture just kind of happened… and it looked good so that’s my current Facebook and Twitter profile picture.

On a related note, here is a very useful link with a workout that you can do even if you don’t have access to a Gym: Beginner Body Weight Workout from Nerd Fitness.

Covering events at office

Over the last few months I seem to have become an ‘unofficial official’ photographer for several events at work.  It’s been a great experience for me and a lot of fun.

Covering these events teaches you a lot – how to get better at not missing important moments, how to plan in advance about what kind of shots you want to get, the importance of getting the photos right in the camera, and the importance of selecting the shots that you want to show to others.

For no particular reason, while I was working on the photos from one particular event, I decided to tweet about the process of selection (read the tweets from bottom to top) –

As you can make out from the tweets, I shot more than 1300 images during the four hour event, and made a selection of around 250 images to show to others.  However, out of that set, I further filtered images and only uploaded the 180 best ones to Facebook.

At one of the events, apart from being the photographer, I also played a small bit of music on guitar.

I later recorded a video of what I played that day.  Here it is –

This was recorded at home with my Nokia 808 PureView phone, and as you can make out, the audio quality is really great!  I edited the video on kdenlive and Windows Live Movie Maker.  The old videotape-type font is called “Camcorder” and you can get it here.

Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad

I attended Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Volumes 8, 9 and 10 in the recent past.  I took photos at each one of them.  I believe I may have put links to a couple of the albums in earlier posts, but for easy reference, here are the links (all are albums on Facebook) –

Two of the photos I took at PKN Hyd Vol 9 got printed in The Hans India newspaper.

(Both photos in that article are mine – you can see them on the Facebook album.)

Speaking of this, earlier (in May 2012), my Pecha Kucha presentation from November 2011 got mentioned on the Pecha Kucha Daily blog.  My presentation is also there on the global site.

Blue Moon and Hard Disk

I took a photo of the Blue Moon from 1-Sep-12 – this is probably my best Moon shot yet.

At around that time, I also welcomed a new 1 TB hard disk to the family –

Mumbai Trip

In the beginning of August, I went on a short trip during a long weekend to Mumbai.  I stayed at my cousin’s place, visited TCS Gateway Park office, met my friend Rajith there, watched Gangs of Wasseypur II, and participated in the TCS Fit4Life – 5 km Run with the CEO.

Here are the two Facebook albums that show photos from this all-important trip –

Two notable pictures – the below one shows me, Girish and Vrushodh – the crew behind the Gods of Galactica podcast (earlier known as Galacticast)…

…and here is a photo from the 5 km Run.  This was the second 5 km Run I’ve ever participated in.

Secret Lake Photo

From earlier in August, here is a photo of Durgam Cheruvu, the “Secret Lake”.  This was shot from Inorbit Mall one afternoon when I went there for lunch, on my PureView phone.

My post mentioned by Nokia

After I wrote that long post about the Nokia 808 PureView, I tweeted it to the official Nokia account (@nokia).  It was really nice of them to retweet it – and they mentioned they liked the post.  I felt very happy about that.

Han Shot First Drawing

I did the below drawing as a gift for my cousin on his birthday.  I also got it printed on a t-shirt (that’s what Girish and I are wearing, in the Galactica crew photo above).

Star Wars fans will know the background of this.  For the uninitiated, here’s the explanation in short.  In the original Star Wars movie released in 1977, there is a scene in which the character Han Solo played by Harrison Ford, is confronted by the gangster Greedo in the Mos Eisley cantina.  Greedo points a weapon at Han and says that Han owes money to the ruthless Jabba the Hutt.  Han then shoots Greedo and exits the cantina.

In the 1997 “Special Edition” re-release of Star Wars, this scene was slightly altered, to show Greedo shooting first and missing Han (at very close range), and Han shoots Greedo after that.  This alteration (though made by the movie’s creator, George Lucas) was not looked at favourably by fans.

My cousin has a long post on this here.  This is why I made this t-shirt for him!

On the topic of the alterations made for the Special Edition of Star Wars, it is to be noted that a fan called Harmy has created high-definition “despecialized” versions of all the movies in the Star Wars original trilogy.  This is an assembled edit from various sources, since LucasFilm had not released the unaltered versions on Bluray.

More details at the below links –

Blue Sky at Hyderabad

Early in the month of June, there were a couple of days when the sky was a wonderful blue colour.  A great opportunity for photography –

Here is the Facebook album with some more photos – Blue Sky.

Electric Guitar

For my birthday on May 15, I was lucky to get a great gift from my family – an electric guitar!  I uploaded some photos of it on this Facebook album, and posted a short video of me playing it.

Rooftop Shooting Challenge

I had earlier written about a photo shooting challenge I’d done, of taking only B&W photos in my room at home.  I tried a different challenge sometime later, of shooting with just one lens on the rooftop of my house.

Here is the link to the album on Facebook: Rooftop Shooting Challenge.

I believe I have covered most of the important events from the recent past in this post!  More to come later.

Wake Me Up When September Ends

It’s been a while since I wrote a post on this site, and it’s also been a while since I published a drawing.  So I thought I would put up my latest work – one drawing and one photo here.  I will write another post as a recap of things that have happened over the last few months.

I watched the Season 5 premiere of Fringe and liked it very much.  So, as you’d expect, I drew something based on it –

Season 5 Episode 1 “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11” was set in 2036 (like the Season 4 episode “Letters of Transit”), and depicted a dystopian future where the Observers have taken over the planet.  Over the next 12 episodes of this season, we will see the Fringe team save the world (and possibly the universe). I loved this episode for it’s writing and handling of characters (my cousin’s review is here, but be aware that it has spoilers).

I loved the blue-tinted (sometimes almost monochrome-looking) cinematography in this episode (by David Geddes). On that note, IMDb mentions that Season 4 (and presumably, this present season) of the show is shot digitally, using the Arri Alexa camera and Panavision Primo lenses.  This is as opposed to the previous seasons which were shot on 35mm film.  This camera was also used to shoot the movie Chronicle, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, and the Sherlock TV show.

The Observers led by what seems to be the new villain on the show, Captain Widmark made for sinister characters.  So I drew them – this was done in ballpoint pen (black and blue) and markers (black and red).  I added a paper texture for style and the font used is Agency FB (mimicking the new 2036 Fringe opening sequence).  You can click on the image to see an even bigger version.

The red background was added to maintain consistency with my other two Fringe-based drawings (both from 2010).

This is my drawing of Anna Torv as Agent Olivia Dunham –

and this one is a drawing of John Noble as “Walternate” –

I am not sure how much the 2036 storyline in Season 5 will make reference to the fictional Massive Dynamic corporation, so I didn’t include that bit of text in my Observers drawing.

I feel a little sad that Season 5 will be the last of this great TV show.  But it’s probably for the better, since this would mean that the series would go out on a high note.

The title of this post is a reference to the Green Day song, yes, since it’s being written on the last day of September, but it’s also a reference to the Observer called September (played by Michael Cerveris) who helps the Fringe team.

One more recent work of mine is this photo –

This is a shot of Visakhapatnam, the City of Destiny.  I took this photo with my Nokia 808 PureView phone, on my recent trip to Vizag for Campus Recruitment.  My colleagues and I visited a place called Kailashgiri, where you can go up a hill on a rope way.  From high above, you have a really nice view of the city.  As I’d mentioned earlier, the PureView is really nice for taking pictures like this, because the high resolution allows you to show off a lot of detail.  You can see the full-resolution (7728 x 4354 pixel) processed shot here. You’ll have to download the file from that page (almost 10 MB in size), and you can zoom in and see small details (like for example, near the bottom left corner, you can read the text “VUDA MARINE DRIVE” on the arch on the road).

I have uploaded an album on Facebook with more pictures from the trip – Vizag Trip – 24-26-Sep-12 (40 images).  All of these were taken with the PureView phone.  I didn’t have my Canon EOS 550D with me on this trip, since I travelled to Vizag from Chennai, and couldn’t carry too much stuff.  The PureView camera served me pretty well I must say!

Nokia 808 PureView – My Impressions So Far

NOTE: This is going to be a long post, but written from the point of view of someone who is passionate about photography and therefore really appreciates the technology that Nokia has put into this device.

Nokia’s new flagship phone, the 808 PureView, was announced on 27-Feb-12 (I wrote about it in this post).  After reading about it, I immediately knew that if I was ever to upgrade my existing phone (a Nokia N8), the 808 would be the one I would get.

My phone choices have been dictated to a huge extent by the kind of camera in the device.  In 2006 I got a Sony Ericsson w300i, followed in 2007 by a w700i, post that, a Nokia N82 (which had the whopping 5 megapixel camera), and in 2010, the Nokia N8 (which, with its 12 megapixel camera, had the best camera on a mobile device).

The N8 now has the second-best mobile device camera on the planet.  This is because, the Nokia 808 PureView has a 41 megapixel sensor.  Over the last few months, I’ve been reading everything I can about the camera and the technology behind it, and I decided that I was going to buy it as soon as I could.  Fortunately, India is one of the countries to get this phone early, so I managed to get my hands on the device on 21-Jun-12.

The retail price of the phone is Rs 33,899, but I ordered it on Flipkart and got it for Rs 32,499.  Plus, they even threw in a cover for the phone worth Rs 1,000.

You can see more pictures of me opening up the package I got from Flipkart on this Facebook album: Unboxing the Nokia 808 PureView (19 photos).  This is like a little kid opening up a Christmas present.

I have been talking about this phone to my friends for the past couple of months now, so quite a few people knew that I was crazy about this device, and people told me that I probably was one of the first people to order this from Hyderabad.  And I know of at least one person who actually bought this phone because of me.

Now you might ask the following questions (and people have asked me this) –

  • Why would anyone need a 41 megapixel camera on a phone?
  • Why would I want this, considering I already have a Canon EOS 550D DSLR camera?

My answers to that –

  • You don’t NEED a 41 megapixel camera, but that doesn’t mean it’s not nice to have.  Recently, I saw Ren Ng’s TED talk about the Lytro Light Field camera, in which he says that the Lytro opens up new creative possibilities.  In the same way, the Nokia 808 allows one to take different types of pictures that wouldn’t be otherwise possible.  You can use it as a normal camera and produce 5 or 8 megapixel images with it.  But you can also use it to produce large-resolution images with lots of detail, and when done right, those images would be unique and can’t be produced with any other camera in its class.
  • Who says you can’t own and use more than one camera?  The DSLR along with the lenses I have can produce beautiful images, and yes, the images are superior to what the Nokia 808 PureView produces.  But a big advantage of the PureView is that I have it with me practically all the time – including situations where I wouldn’t be able to take along my DSLR.

Here are my impressions on this device so far.

Right now, I am not using the 808 PureView as a phone, more as a camera & recording device, and a device to carry around photos, music and videos.  I am using my Nokia N8 as the phone still.

As you can make out from the above picture, the 808 PureView is larger in size than the N8 and feels heavier too.  This phone has a Micro SIM slot, so I have to get my SIM card cut down to size if I have to use it with this.  I haven’t yet done that.

The AMOLED screen on the 808 PureView is bigger than the one on the N8, but it has the same number of pixels (360 x 640 resolution), as a result of which the N8’s display actually feels sharper to me.

Due to the higher memory and better processor, the 808 PureView feels smoother in operation than my N8.

The phone come with a higher version of the Belle OS than the N8.  People told me that if I was investing in a phone, an Apple / Android / Windows phone is better in terms of the applications.  But that was not really my concern, since I was interested in this device only for the camera.  I seem to have bought a camera that also in its spare time, makes calls!

Now that the other stuff about the phone is out of the way, let’s talk about the things that I am actually using this phone for.  Firstly, the camera.

PureView Technology

To really understand what’s special about the camera on this smartphone, here’s a small primer on photography and what Nokia is calling their PureView technology.

A camera is a box that is completely dark inside.  At one end of this box is a shutter – which is something like a curtain.  In order to take a photo, the curtain opens for a brief instant of time, admitting light inside the camera.  This light is focused by a lens, and it hits a light-sensitive surface (film if one is using a traditional film camera, or a digital sensor, if one is using a digital camera).  And this is how a photo is produced.

Nokia put a huge sensor into the 808 PureView.  This sensor is the biggest ever in a mobile phone, and is actually bigger than the sensors found on many compact digital cameras.  A comparison is given below –

  • 35mm Full Frame Camera (Canon EOS 5D Mark II) – 36 mm x 24 mm
  • Nikon APS-C Crop Camera (my brother’s Nikon D90) – 23.6 mm x 15.6 mm
  • Canon APS-C Crop Camera (my Canon EOS 550D) – 22.2 mm x 14.8 mm
  • Nokia 808 PureView – 10.7 mm x 8 mm (1/1.2″ sensor)
  • Nokia N8 – 7.2 mm x 5.3 mm (1/1.8″ sensor)
  • Compact Camera 1/2.3″ sensor (Nikon Coolpix P510) – 6 mm x 4.5 mm
  • iPhone 4S – 4.5 mm x 3.4 mm

You can see more details on this Wikipedia page – Image Sensor Format.

So Nokia’s engineers have put in a big sensor that’s capable of capturing 41 million pixels of data.  This information is used to produce images of different dimensions.  One can shoot in “full resolution” (which equates to a 34 megapixel image if you’re shooting in 16:9 aspect ratio, or 38 megapixel if in 4:3), or in “PureView” mode.  PureView mode produces images of 8, 5 or 2 megapixels – but in order to generate these images, the phone actually crunches all the data that the sensor captures, which means that the smaller dimension images are actually very detailed and noise-free, and in this mode, you have 2 or 3x lossless zoom.  This is what they call “oversampling”.  Video quality is also great, because this oversampling is used in video also.

Nokia is going to put in PureView technology in their upcoming phones too.

The lens on this camera is an f2.4 lens, as compared to f2.8 on the N8.  This means that the lens can open wider (smaller f number = larger opening), and therefore let in more light into the camera.

So what can you do with the camera?

You can use this camera as you would an 8 megapixel compact camera.  It’ll produce very nice images, and works well in low light thanks to the lens and the PureView oversampling.  But you can also put it in the full resolution 34 or 38 megapixel mode, and shoot images with lots and lots of details.

This gets you thinking differently.  It’s like having a wide angle prime lens attached to a huge-resolution camera.  In this full resolution mode, I like setting it to take 16:9 images as I find the wide aspect ratio interesting.

Enough talk, let’s see some sample images – below is one of the early images I took with this camera.  This is Cyber Towers at Hitech City, Hyderabad.

Click the above image to see a larger version.  Of course, that is about 2000 pixels wide and not the actual 7728 pixel wide version that came straight from the camera.

Below are some sections (100% size crops) extracted from the full image – where you can make out text on signs, license plate numbers, you can see faces of the people in the crowd, and two people standing on the roof of the building.  You cannot get images like this with any other mobile phone on the planet!

With a little editing, below is the final image.  I boosted the contrast and colours in Photoshop Elements.  The lens produces a very pronounced pincushion distortion when you shoot it at the wide aspect ratio (I think the distortion would be reduced if shot in 4:3 ratio, I have not tried this much so can’t tell exactly), so I got rid of that too.

I have uploaded the full size image at deviantART here – Cyber Towers at Dusk by ~karthik82 on deviantART.  You can download the 7728 x 4354 pixel image from there (it’s big in terms of file size – approximately 7 MB) and see all the little details for yourself.

One more bit of trivia about the image above – the text I put in is in the typeface Nokia Pure – which is Nokia’s new font that they’re using for all their branding (their earlier font was called Nokia Sans).  This is the font used on the packaging of their phones and also on their websites.  You can read about it here and even download the font file from this page.

One more picture which I shot with this camera, this is a tall one as opposed to a wide image –

As you can see, I am illuminated and enlightened by the light!  This was taken at Prasad’s Multiplex when I went to see the night show of Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur.

This is another image I took with the camera, that I am proud of –

This was taken on a rainy night, and shows off the low light capabilities of the camera.  This is also an edited image, but even the image straight from the camera looked great.  This one, I shot in the 8 megapixel PureView mode.

On 23-Jun-12, pretty soon after I got this camera, I went on a Photo Walk.  I had carried along my Canon EOS 550D, but decided that I’d take all my photos that day with the PureView camera only!

Here is the full album of photos on Facebook: Photo Walk by Karthik and Vikram Jammula (21 photos).  Apart from resizing and a little auto-contrast boosting, no other editing is done to the images in that album.

Recently, I attended Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Volume 9.  As it has been for the past 4 volumes, I was the ‘unofficial’ photographer at that event.  This time though, I took photos using both by Canon EOS 550D as well as the Nokia 808 PureView.  (To understand what this event is all about, you can read my detailed post here.)

Here is the full album of photos on Facebook: Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 9 (78 photos).  The last 20 photos in this album (beginning from this one) were taken with the 808 PureView.

In retrospect, these images aren’t probably the best that the 808 can produce.  I took all of those in the 34 megapixel mode, at ISO 1600 (since it was a very low light environment).  I should have taken them in the 8 megapixel mode, where PureView oversampling would have kicked in and made the images cleaner (I’d still say these images are pretty decent, since many cameras don’t even go up to ISO 1600).  Well, it’s a learning for next time.

Okay, one more image before we wrap up talking about the camera.  I don’t think you can take a picture like this on any other mobile phone camera on the planet –

This is blasphemy… this is madness!  Madness?  This… is… PUREVIEW!

Let me explain a little about how I took this shot.  Earlier, I had taken a photo of the Supermoon.  That experience taught me that when taking a shot like this, you actually have to cut the amount of light entering the camera, since if you keep it in the auto mode, all you’ll get is a white circle.  I also knew that I’d have to zoom as much as possible.

So, I put the camera in the PureView 2 megapixel mode (so I could zoom), set it at ISO 100 (so that the image would have less noise) and zoomed in all the way.  I reduced the exposure as much as the camera would allow (I think I’d put it at -4.0), to cut the light so I don’t lose shadow detail.

I set the focusing mode on the camera to either hyperfocal or infinity (now I don’t remember which one), and then took a bunch of shots.  I selected the one that was the best out of the lot, then cropped the image and darkened it further in Photoshop Elements.  Added text in the elegant Nokia Pure font, and there you have it.

If you want to see the image straight from the camera, it’s below –

Some more tips on using the camera on the 808 PureView

The user interface on the 808 PureView’s camera, I think, is really nice.  It’s very intuitive.  There are three modes in which you can use the camera.

  • Automatic – Camera decides all the shooting settings, provides you with no options at all, excepting the shutter button and an option to turn on / off the flash.  Very simple to use.
  • Scenes – You just decide the scene mode – landscape, portrait, low light, sports, etc, and the camera will decide the settings suitable to that scenario.
  • Creative – Here’s where you can select all the shooting options.  Automatic and Scenes both shoot only in the lower resolution PureView mode.  In Creative, you can select whether you want to use PureView or shoot in full resolution, you can select the aspect ratio (16:9 or 4:3), adjust contrast, saturation, sharpness.

One thing I’d advise you to do is, go into the Creative menu, scroll down all the way and click on Preferences.  There, you can turn on the Viewfinder Grid and enable Video Stabilisation.

The Viewfinder Grid is very useful as it will enable you to apply the Rule of Thirds while shooting stills and recording video.  Also, in the video mode, it provides you with guides to compose your image for a 2.39:1 aspect ratio (crop marks), so if you are going to crop your video later on to a Cinemascope-type widescreen format, you can be sure that you are not placing anything of interest in an area that’ll be cropped off later.

While taking a picture in Creative Mode, the icons on the left allow you to choose the following options (in order) –

  • Flash On/Off
  • Exposure – To brighten / darken the image.  Default is set at 0.0, you can go to -4.0 at one extreme and to +4.0 at the other extreme.  This is what I was talking about in the Moon photo example.
  • White Balance – Sunny, Cloudy, etc options.
  • ISO – This camera goes from ISO 50 all the way to ISO 1600.  And it has relatively less noise even at ISO 1600 for a camera in its class.
  • ND Filter – The camera (like the N8) has a neutral density filter which can cut light (for example, if you’re shooting directly into the sun, you’d obviously need to have it on, else you’ll get a fully white image).  You can set it on, turn it off or leave it in automatic mode for the camera to decide.

There’s another parameter you can set which you might not readily be aware of, since it’s not accessed by any of the above-visible options – Focusing mode.  You access this by long-pressing on the screen (touch and hold for a second or two till the menu pops up).

There are four options here and here’s what they mean –

  • Automatic – The normal mode of operation – you touch on an object to focus on it.
  • Close-up – Similar to the previous one except this allows you to focus closer.
  • Infinity – Set the camera to focus at the farthest distance.  This way, when you press the shutter button the camera won’t spend time trying to focus on anything.
  • Hyperfocal – Focuses the camera at the hyperfocal distance – essentially meaning you get the maximum depth of field possible (one explanation is here).  This means that excepting for objects that are very close to the camera, everything will be sharply in focus.  The “Sports” scene mode uses Hyperfocal focusing.

Again, referring to the Moon shot, I used either Infinity or Hyperfocal focusing (I don’t remember which), since when I kept the camera in Automatic focusing mode, it had trouble focusing sharply on the moon.

Video and Audio

The 808 PureView can shoot full HD video in 1080p.  You can zoom when recording video too, and the quality is amazing, much better than what you’d find in any other camera phone.  The video camera also has Automatic, Scenes and Creative options (just like in stills).  If you put the camera in 360p resolution, you can really zoom in a lot (enough for filming the moon)!

When you’re filming video, the audio quality in your clips is really, really good.  Nokia has put in something called Rich Recording in this device, and it really produces very nice audio.

You can take advantage of this even when you’re just using the Sound Recorder.  Put it in “High Quality” mode and you’ll get really nice audio.

Take this piece, for example –

This is a short theme music that I made, for the Galacticast audio podcast on my cousin Girish’s blog Galactica.  Listen to it with headphones – the quality is great.

A couple of things about that file –

  • My cousin’s name, his blog’s name as well as the name of the podcast all begin with the letter “G”, therefore, this theme music uses the G#7 chord, and I simply played 3 of the strings!
  • Broken Plectrum is a name I came up with.  A few days before, the plectrum I was using broke.  That’s what led me to come up with this name, and I even made an image for it (as you’d expect, I shot that with the Nokia 808 PureView camera as well).

Nice, isn’t it?

That about wraps it up for this post!  As and when I come up with more interesting stuff to post and talk about, I’ll write about it.  I have an album on Facebook for 808 PureView Photos, I’ll keep adding to that.  And of course, any videos I shoot with this will be uploaded and written about later.

More Video Links

Supermoon

Today’s moon is supposed to be a “Supermoon” – which sounds like something out of a science fiction story, if you read the Wikipedia article!  Anyway, I thought it would be a good thing to take a photo of, so here’s my shot –

“Distance-la moon-u moon-u, moon-u colour-u white-u”

I just posted this image on Facebook with that line from “Why this Kolaveri Di?” (I know, poor attempt at humour, but I couldn’t resist), but then thought I’d put it up here as well, in it’s larger size.  Click the above image to see the 1503 pixel wide JPG (it has EXIF info intact).

I think this is the best shot of the moon I’ve taken so far (earlier attempts are mentioned in a previous post).  Contrary to what you may think I didn’t use a tripod for this.  It was taken handheld, at ISO 200, f11 and 1/125 sec.  Lens was the 55-250mm and this was obviously taken at the 250mm end.  As far as I remember, I used live view and focused manually.  I took a bunch of photos, this was the best one in terms of focus and sharpness.

Cropping and a little bit of playing with levels and desaturation was done in Photoshop, and as for the font, you can always count on Futura to add elegance to anything.

Items of Interest – 2-Apr-12 to 15-Apr-12

[Note: This post was drafted on 15-Apr-12, rather than update it with another 15 days worth of stuff, I decided to publish this, and then write another post to cover the additional information.]

I’d mentioned in the last post that my brother spoke at Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 8.  Well, the official video for Varun’s presentation is up on YouTube now, and that’s what I’m opening this post with!

Here you go –

Great presentation, isn’t it?  In case you missed it earlier, this post should tell you about what Pecha Kucha Night is.

Recent Trailers of Note

The trailer for the upcoming remake Total Recall is an interesting one, and it looks pretty flashy.  It seems to be following the Schwarzenegger movie quite closely (some of the setups and lines are translated intact here), although this one isn’t set on Mars.  Colin Farrell plays the character of Douglas Quaid, and Kate Beckinsale is Lori and Jessica Biel plays Melina (the character that Rachel Ticotin played in the 1990 movie).  The trailer reminded me of Minority Report a little bit.

I didn’t know this, but my friend Kashyap Chandra had this to say about the tracking shot at around 1:06 in the trailer –

That shot is One Hundred percent practical. Zero CG camera movement. They actually rigged up the RED One cameras to move around the room at speeds of upto 35 mph!

That’s pretty fascinating!  I assumed that was CG.

Talking about trailers though, this is probably the highlight of the recent past – the trailer for Rian Johnson’s science fiction movie Looper

Incredible, isn’t it?  Just check out that makeup on Joseph Gordon-Levitt, making him look like a younger version of Bruce Willis.  The concept is interesting too, and I really like the music in the trailer.  Obviously I was interested to know what was the exact track used, and a little Googling turned up the answer.  It’s a track called “K.I.L.L.” by Nick Murray and Mark Moore.  You can listen to it on this YouTube video titled Music from the Looper Trailer.

One Year and 15,825 Photos

April 2, 2012 marked one year since I got my Canon EOS 550D camera.  And on that date, the number of photos taken with the camera numbered 15,825.  Interesting milestone, eh?  It has been quite a journey reaching this number, and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.

@Galactica_gk’s Hyderabad Visit

Between 5-8 April, my cousin Girish visited Hyderabad.  It was a hugely entertaining long weekend.

Here is how I received him at the airport –

I was flashing this paper with his Twitter handle, I thought someone would notice and smile, but no – it didn’t seem like anyone had a sense of humour about this.  There was a guy from a hotel who was also receiving someone and he asked me why I was holding up this?  Had I never seen my cousin before?  I told him it was just for style.

We had a midnight movie screening every night that he was here, and I got to revisit some of my favourite movies – Fight Club, Grindhouse and From Dusk Till Dawn.  Apart from this we saw 3 in the theatre.

Along with family we visited Golconda Fort, Salarjung Museum and had lunch in pitch darkness at Taste of Darkness in Inorbit Mall (this restaurant is the only one of its kind in India).

These two Facebook albums cover the entirety of his visit to Hyderabad – Karthik’s Coverage of @Galactica_gk’s Visit (121 images), Varun’s Set (39 photos).

We also got t-shirts made out of our Ten Commandments of Downloading.

Another interesting thing which happened, is that one day, we were discussing about Jyothika and I wanted to search for the article on Wikipedia, but instead of doing that I typed the name into The Pirate Bay.  And I was wondering why the autocomplete wasn’t working!

You can read Girish’s reviews of the Midnight Features here – Fight Club, Grindhouse (Planet Terror and Death Proof), From Dusk Till Dawn.

On the way back home from the airport, I took the above picture of the moon.  Was shot handheld and is a definite improvement over the moon photo I took a year ago.

Insightful Commentary about Commentary Tracks

At FilmSchoolRejects, they write articles about commentary tracks on DVDs (this feature is called Commentary Commentary).  I recently came across a bunch of these and found them very interesting to go through.  Thought I would share two in particular, which I found very insightful.

“For me Dark City is a film of hope and optimism. It has a firm belief in the individual winning out over the mass mind, and I think that’s a very important feeling to have in this world.” – Alex Proyas

39 Things We Learned from the Dark City Commentary is one of them, very interesting stuff.  Of course, you would need to have seen the movie first, to appreciate this stuff.

The second feature I wanted to talk about is 35 Things We Learned from the Memento Commentary – which is a great read.

Other Links of Interest

 

Two more quotes from Facebook – this one from Arrow in the Head on April 5:

Happy Birthday Roger Corman! Thanks for all them years of monsters, boobies and blood!

And this one from my friend Abhishek:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. (Tears in Rain Soliloquy) – Karthik Abhiram this one is for you 🙂

Collection of Tweets

As usual, here is the collection of tweets from 2-Apr-12 to 15-Apr-12.

Tweets 15-Apr-12:

  • One year ago, this awesome thing happened: http://timehop.com/m/W3Xc
  • I tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 “Boom! And a Bear Co… http://timehop.com/m/Yjh8
  • RT @rob_sheridan You guys. Go see “Cabin In The Woods.” Don’t read anything about it. Just go before someone spoils it. Super super fun and inventive.
  • RT @omgthatspunny Why did the capacitor kiss the diode? He just couldn’t resistor. #punny
  • RT @mihirfadnavis Drinking Mogu Mogu with its little bits of fruit feels like accidentally swallowing your own mucus. #SardiKiGuthliyan
  • RT @AapChutiyeHain People connecting randomly on LinkedIn by mentioning you’re a ‘friend’ without even a message, jai veeru ki dosti ki kasam #AapChutiyeHain

Tweets 14-Apr-12:

  • @Galactica_gk It’s good, as I remember – lots of gore, action, weird stuff, more cartoonish than the previous ones! Writer is Joss Whedon.
  • @Galactica_gk I actually haven’t seen this “Assembly Cut” version… I should also plan a day for watching all 4 back-to-back 🙂
  • Flat = Funny and Depth = Dramatic http://bit.ly/ILllVh
  • From the end credits of “Planet Terror” – “Mr. Rodriguez’s Chef – ROBERT RODRIGUEZ” 🙂
  • In kdenlive, I really like the “Technicolor” effect under the Colour Correction tools. Gives a nice boost to saturation in a video.
  • If you see the “scratch-free” version of @RobertRdz’s “Planet Terror” you’ll realise the genius behind its cinematography / lighting!
  • RT @Galactica_gk James Cameron’s Aliens is better than Alien. Could be because of the extra ‘S’ or more Aliens. @karthik82
  • RT @laughbook *Stalking crush on Facebook* * Accidentally likes status from 2009* *Deletes Facebook* *Sets computer on fire*
  • RT @mihirfadnavis I wouldn’t be surprised if someone finds RGV hiding in the bathroom of a girls hostel brandishing a camera and licking his lips.

Tweets 13-Apr-12:

  • RT @psam @dharmeshG Official synopsis for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ | http://bit.ly/IuG9Sn
  • RT @rob_sheridan It’s cute how flight attendants tell you sternly to “completely power off your cell phone” and then carry on as if ANYONE actually did that.
  • RT @Deepu2rebel Quentin Tarantino was in India past months, He spent almost 20-30days here. Delhi, Mhmbai and many other places. Should’ve met him #lifetime
  • RT @Nader230 Dropped my N8 while crossing the road. Minor scratches, screen as good as new, still working perfectly! @nokia @Nokia_Connects
  • @Nader230 @nokia @Nokia_Connects That’s not surprising 🙂 I’ve dropped my N8 a few times and I think the phone doesn’t care one bit 🙂
  • RT @cliffordsouza SRK – “Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hain.” New York Airport officials – “@AapChutiyeHain!”
  • The Importance Of Being 35mm http://bit.ly/J2LJqv
  • Worm In The Eye! New PROMETHEUS Pictures http://bit.ly/HN8H8F
  • RT @vincentlaforet Canon joins the world of 4K with C500 and EOS 1D C – but at what price? my thoughts: http://tinyurl.com/88x5gz3
  • RT @Galactica_gk RT @denofgeek A new poster for Tarantino’s Django Unchained http://bit.ly/HO2KnU

Tweets 12-Apr-12:

Tweets 11-Apr-12:

  • #NowWatching Anukokunda Oka Roju
  • RT @planet5D #HDSLRscoop Nikon D800 – From A Canon Users Perspective. #HDSLRnews http://bit.ly/IkzIlX
  • RT @psam RT @nokia: #Word, #Powerpoint and #Excel Mobile are now available for you lucky #NokiaBelle users! http://nokia.ly/Hx6Jex
  • RT @funnyhumour When James Bond is out of his home country of England, is he known as +44 07?

Tweets 10-Apr-12

  • Going to Vijayawada for a day (giving a presentation tomorrow). Will be back in Hyd on Thursday morning.
  • RT @abhishekmadan “Ei machaan you are going to Delhi vaa? Meet my anna, he lives in Crater Gailash.”
  • RT @kruttikaS #nowplaying – where is my mind? – the pixies
  • RT @funnyoneliners I never know whether to screw up my taxes myself, or hire a professional to do it.
  • Hahaha!! RT @funnyoneliners Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion. Idiots, they could have downloaded it for free. RT @pleatedjeans
  • 2 in 1 Movie and TV Poster Art http://rant.to/HDpDhc by @JoeyPaur at @GeekTyrant
  • Devolution of a Beard http://bit.ly/Ht65JS
  • RT @planet5D #VincentLaforet New Zeiss wide angle SLR Lenses – and how they stack up against their Canon EF counterpart #HDSLRnews http://bit.ly/Ik8ud7
  • RT @jakefogelnest Is it true that Friendster just bought Polaroid for eleventy-billion dollars?
  • #NowWatching Kickboxer (1989) – Good oldschool 80s action stuff with Jean Claude Van Damme.
  • So far, “Kickboxer” feels like an Americanised version of a 1970s Hong Kong martial-arts movie!
  • The training montage in “Kickboxer” reminds me of “The Fearless Hyena” and “Kill Bill Vol 2”.
  • Man, what gruelling training Van Damme goes through, to learn Muay Thai… one should take this stuff as inspiration when exercising!
  • Btw… the music in “Kickboxer” is by Paul Hertzog, and if I am not mistaken, he did the music for the Van Damme movie “Bloodsport” also.
  • And I have not seen “Kickboxer” before (if I have, I don’t remember the movie), but I remember liking “Kickboxer 2”.
  • I should watch Kickboxer 2 again, and one bit of interesting info about that movie, is that it’s written by David Goyer (The Dark Knight).
  • Wow, they’ve included a dance number in “Kickboxer”! Van Damme dances!
  • RT @madhulikamathur Forget valuation for now, @om explains Facebook’s reasons for buying Instagram. http://gigaom.com/2012/04/09/here-is-why-did-facebook-bought-instagram/
  • RT @JennyJohnsonHi5 Instagram is now in a relationship and it’s complicated.

Tweets 9-Apr-12:

  • RT @epandu Ever since Flipkart launched Flyte, I have not pirated a single song. I think I can afford spending 150bucks a month on legal MP3s
  • Day 64 #Gym
  • RT @laughbook When I was a kid, I used to sing, ‘A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, ELEMENO, P’
  • RT @mihirfadnavis For ultra hard boiled movie buffs – Russian films on YouTube – http://bit.ly/HoavRS
  • One year ago, this awesome thing happened: http://timehop.com/m/5mZU
  • One year ago, this awesome thing happened: http://timehop.com/m/M1H4
  • RT @iSujayS A note to myself: @AapChutiyeHain
  • RT @kunaladnani @mohitjham @aapchutiyehain #UnlikelyBooks “eating right” by Anna Hazare
  • RT @mastersRback agar agentvinod dekhne k baad aap ko jet lag nahi huva to bollywood ki kasam @AapChutiyeHain

Tweets 8-Apr-12:

  • Yesterday when searching for info about someone, instead of typing in the name in Wikipedia, I typed it in The Pirate Bay.
  • RT @Oatmeal Happy Easter http://pic.twitter.com/rLHh9cOR
  • RT @AapChutiyeHain #UnlikelyBooks Solving Crimes by #DelhiPolice
  • At Hyderabad Airport, having a coffee at the arrivals area. The Cafe Coffee Day outlet there has a drink called WTF!
  • RT @vertikaA RT @autocorrects: Retweet if you love finding money in your clothes. It’s like a gift to you from you.
  • And so, @Galactica_gk’s Hyderabad visit comes to and end. 3 midnight movie shows and a bunch of places visited. Good times.
  • RT @rajith_23 Having Cheez Burst Pizza during Recruitment drive . http://fb.me/1DRfjHBBT
  • RT @omgthatspunny What do you call a royal printmaker? A screen prince. #punny
  • RT @funnyhumour I have decided I’m not going to focus on my past anymore. So, if I owe you money, tough shit.
  • RT @Galactica_gk Taste of Darkness is an awesome unique experience. Eating food in absolute darkness.
  • RT @funnyhumour “Jesus loves you.” A nice gesture in church. A horrific thing to hear in a Mexican prison.
  • Interesting article about movie posters today – http://theanswers42.com/2012/04/05/posterrific/
  • RT @Galactica_gk Post-Midnight Feature #3 From Dusk Till Dawn is slapstick comedy and horror. The perfect combo. + writer is Quentin Tarantino. @karthik82
  • RT @omgthatspunny If the movie hero of the Matrix was a woman, would she have been called Ingrid? #punny
  • RT @funnyoneliners “Doctor! Doctor! How long do I have left to live?” “Ten.” “Ten what? Months? Years?” “Nine, Eight, Seven..”
  • #NowWatching “From Dusk Till Dawn” – Midnight… er… 2 AM Feature with @Galactica_gk

Tweets 7-Apr-12:

  • 3 – Liked it. Felt like 2 movies separated by an interval, a bit overlong and second half had exaggerated drama. I loved the music. 7/10
  • I didn’t understand why the movie is called “3” though…
  • RT @edgarwright My 10,000 tweet better be something really amazing… oh fuck-
  • RT @SimpooSir To see Anil Kapoor in Mission Impossible 4, plz wear Red glassez. Just did. Mr. India Protocol. #Yuss
  • RT @arocks Titanic wasn’t a tragedy for everyone apparently. Just look at James Cameron 🙂
  • Just realised that @Galactica_gk and I watched “Grindhouse” on April 6, 2012 – exactly five years after the movie’s US Release date!
  • Midnight Double Feature 2- Grindhouse was very good. Planet Terror is intentionally like a Hindi movie. @karthik82
  • RT @scottEweinberg With respect to (virtually) everyone, WHY REVIEW SCREENPLAYS? Fucking hell! Food critics don’t review the recipe. Assholes!
  • RT @rajith_23 “Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” – Lao Tzu
  • It’s a great feeling to wake up in the morning and find that your downloads are completed.
  • #NowWatching “Grindhouse” Theatrical Cut with @Galactica_gk – “Planet Terror” & “Death Proof” back-to-back as they were meant to be seen.

Tweets 6-Apr-12:

  • RT @rajith_23 Watched Housefull 2. Liked it. Keep brain at home . Don’t have any expectation. Full fun. Little long but fun..
  • RT @timescapes There is something really special about this particular panel from Mœbius. http://pic.twitter.com/PFUIyFfR
  • RT @arocks To know how theft-proof your home is, you just have to forget your key inside
  • RT @vemana You are either a tea person or a coffee person. Just like either you are a cat person or a dog person.
  • RT @arocks Enjoying the new Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. Its razor sharp images have revived my ol’ trusty SLR. Thank you Flipkart!
  • RT @WolfpackAlan Dear Vegetarians, if you love animals so much then stop eating all of their food!
  • Listening to “Operation Latte Thunder” from the Fight Club soundtrack.
  • RT @vemana #having That coffee (no)one has somewhere between midnight and early morning
  • RT @Galactica_gk Fight Club is awesome. Already broken the first rule.
  • #NowWatching “Fight Club” – midnight show along with @Galactica_gk

Tweets 5-Apr-12:

  • RT @ankash1009 Department Trailer http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/more/videos/view/id/1427681 love mr. Bachchan in it..
  • Awesome! RT @atulkasbekar: @FarOutAkhtar in full stride. The ‘Flying Sikh’ lives. #BhaagMilkhaBhaag http://lockerz.com/s/198609645
  • RT @psam Happy birthday, Microsoft. Thank you for all your creations and contributions to this world.
  • RT @bcfilmmaker 39 Things We Learned From the ‘Phantasm’ Commentary Track http://su.pr/26MZmb #filmmakers #filmmaking
  • RT @zombeaner Fun flick.”@RobertRdz: Enjoy ROADRACERS (my personal favorite) finally out on DVD now, and coming to Blu Ray April 17! http://kdvr.com/2012/03/22/review-roadracers-blu-ray/
  • RT @planet5D #HDSLRscoop Hilarious video compares Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III #HDSLRnews http://bit.ly/HeZ2Jc
  • I’m going on a trip to Barsoom – #NowWatching “Total Recall” 1990 – one of the movies I’ve seen many times since childhood 🙂

Tweets 4-Apr-12:

  • Easy Elements http://bit.ly/HUOjlI
  • RT @chuck_gopal Hahahahaha RT @sumants: Hyuk RT @ashwan Swype just auto-corrected Instagram to underwhelm.
  • Is Twitter the new Google Reader? I find myself sharing more stuff here these days. @rajturl any comments?
  • RT @psam: @karthik82 “live” updates on twitter compared to reading later a factor? @rajturl
  • @psam @rajturl I guess so! Also the ease of RTing contributes, I think…
  • RT @rajturl @karthik82 absolutely. Now that I (or even ppl I know) hardly use G+, twitter serves the sharing purpose. @psam Agree with you.
  • You know you’re a photographer if… http://alanhessphotography.com/2009/01/you-know-youre-a-photographer-if/ Nice list, posted on Alan Hess’s Blog.
  • Day 63 #Gym
  • RT @josephradhik Facebook is the new hunting ground for email forwards.
  • RT @rob_sheridan Cleverly made videos of Facebook in the 90s, Twitter in the 80s, and more: http://bit.ly/HdEbWT – via @wired
  • RT @FarOutAkhtar Your tweet made my day. Thank you so much. “@SoniaMilkha: @FarOutAkhtar Omg u actually look like dad. All the very best.”
  • RT @funnyoneliners My brother’s in prison for something he didn’t do. He didn’t run fast enough.
  • RT @vemana The smell of napalm in the morning… no no.. the smell of mud in the evening. #hyderabad
  • Awesome! RT @ankash1009 Releasing the dubbed version in India. The kickass action movie of the year. THE RAID http://fb.me/XPJ7Cukf
  • Rewatched Rick Jacobson’s “Bitch Slap” 2009 yesterday. It had the potential to be awesome but was disappointing. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1212974/
  • Zoe Bell is the stunt coordinator and fight choreographer for “Bitch Slap”. The movie appeared to have plot elements cut from it.
  • I read that the original cut of the movie was more than 2 hrs long, but the released version is 105 min / 109 min (unrated cut).
  • Just bought 5 tickets for 3 (Tamil) (U) for Sat, 7 Apr, 2012 on @bookmyshow

Tweets 3-Apr-12:

Tweets 2-Apr-12:

  • Wow what a rush, I was just recognized in public! I didn’t think that wanted poster was still in circulation. RT @_theguy_
  • Fun stuff & @vemana take note 🙂 RT @Oatmeal So excited to go watch season 2 of Game of Thrones tonight. OH WAIT http://bit.ly/yCuJRb
  • Karthik Abhiram looted this cool item at @24hoursLoot 3 minutes ago http://www.24hoursloot.com/myorders/becdba08b07fbbad2c0787d9d14e3164
  • RT @zombeaner Now you can watch this nutso trailer! “@TwitchFilm: First Trailer For Akshay Kumar’s ROWDY RATHORE Blows The Roof Off! http://goo.gl/fb/V7Md5
  • RT @josephradhik I predict 2012-13 to be a crazy war between Canon and Sony for the HDSLR and indie large sensor market.
  • RT @vemana: @karthik82 Its awesome the way you digitally chronicle your life. It seems like you arent missing anything and not overdoing it either!
  • @vemana Thank you! I guess it’s more for myself that I am doing it, but if it’s interesting to others too, that’s great 🙂
  • LOL indeed!! RT @rajturl #cyanideandhappiness ‘TEST…..’ http://bit.ly/HEN222 [LOLness, this!]
  • RT @stupidusmaximus Happy birthday, Ajay Devgn. Here, have a vowel.
  • RT @YaavanoObba Gangarams closing. | Oh, that’s sad man. I’ll miss their bhujia and khatta meetha. | Dude. That’s Haldirams. | Oh then what’s Gangarams?
  • RT @dharmeshG Ashton Kutcher will play Steve Jobs in an upcoming biopic. #facepalmtree
  • RT @justkalpana this is quote is soo for me. “@kritzeln: Respect your first thought. Don’t worry abt length, grammer, tense. Vomit! #IndiaSocial12”
  • RT @AapChutiyeHain Whenever you feel you’re a failure in life, think of Tusshhaar Kapoor #feelbetter?
  • RT @mihirfadnavis Also, I would not watch a Total Recall movie that doesn’t have the three boobed lady.
  • RT @gurpreet_bhatia: @karthik82 cngrts. U wl never frgt d date of two reasons. #worldcupwin #poonampandey
  • #LinesNOTinTotalRecall2012 “See you at da party, Richter!”
  • #LinesNOTinTotalRecall2012 “Give dis people AAIR!”
  • #LinesNOTinTotalRecall2012 “Get your ass to Mars”
  • My Canon EOS 550D camera is one year old today! 1 year and 15,825 photos – it’s been a wonderful ride!
  • One year ago, this awesome thing happened: http://timehop.com/m/m6bP
  • RT @Criterion This hand-painted KINDERGARTEN COP poster came all the way from Ghana! http://ow.ly/a0F0t
  • @FakeCriterions Did you see this – http://www.facebook.com/CriterionCollection/posts/321766414555530 and Akira Kurosawa visiting the set: http://ow.ly/a0Dwd

Sickipedia Tweets

More tweets from Sickipediabot on Twitter – from the repository of sick jokes –

  • “You won’t like me when I’m angry. Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources.” – The Credible Hulk
  • Doctor: “I can’t figure out what’s wrong you, I think its the heavy drinking” Patient: “Well then, I’ll come back when your sober”
  • So “The Rock” won Wrestlemania. Its a good job for him that “The Scissors” beat “The Paper” in an earlier bout.
  • What do African children get during Easter? Sicker, weaker and thirstier.
  • You never realise what you’ve got till it’s gone. Toilet paper being a good example.
  • Tits are proof that men can focus on two things at once…
  • I used to only do blondes, but then I thought “Fuck you criminal profiler” and did a few brunettes.
  • Must have been a nightmare before facebook, having to ring all your friends to tell them what you’re having for dinner
  • What did the Somalian say to the skeleton? Move over you fat bastard
  • How come I can’t get a mobile reception in my house, yet a terrorist can upload his vids from a cave in Afganistan?
  • I only wear glasses when I’m playing tennis. It’s a non-contact sport.
  • Two hours ago I told my kid to shut his mouth and eat his supper. He’s still sitting at the table trying to figure out how to do it.
  • I thought my wife had Tourette’s, turns out I really am a fucking cunt.
  • My mate posted on Facebook: ‘Spending the night in with my girl’ I couldn’t help but chuckle, My Girl is a shit film.
  • I tried to find love on the Death Star, but I was looking in Alderaan places.

Jesus Tweets

I am following this account on Twitter called “Jesus”, and the tweets from that user are interesting!  Here are some of them –

  • ARE YOU READY FOR A MIRACLE!
  • For the record, seat belts don’t save lives. I do.
  • I didn’t see nothin
  • Back up your data.
  • Was going make my second trip down to the surface to get tech support for my iPhone, but now that Steve is here…

Items of Interest – 18-Mar-12 to 1-Apr-12

I didn’t have an Items of Interest post last week as I’d been a bit busy with work and other stuff.  So this is a double-sized issue again.  As usual, I’ll cover interesting links and events and then go on to the collection of tweets over the last few days.

Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 8

For a while now, I have been talking about Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad on my blog here (this post) and also on Facebook and Twitter.  Well, Volume 8 of this event happened yesterday (31-Mar-12) and my brother Varun was one of the presenters.  His presentation was called “Know Tools, Create Better” and was about how software tools have aided his creative process.

Varun’s presentation was the first of the evening, and it was very well delivered.  He’d done his homework well – and that was apparent as he was presenting.  There were 7 other speakers at this volume and the event’s MC was Varun Todi (who was one of the presenters in the previous volume).  I was there to cheer my brother, and also took a whole bunch of photos as usual.

Karthik’s Coverage of PKN Hyd Vol 8 [Facebook Album – 60 Images]

You can click the above link to view the album of my photos on Facebook.  This time I carried along my flash and used all my lenses, so there’s more variety in these photos compared to what I’d done at the previous volumes.  My mom and dad also had come for the event, as did a considerably big bunch of friends.  Very nice evening I’d say.

Like last time, the talks were all filmed.  So those of you who missed some of the presentations can see them when the videos are uploaded to YouTube.

This is the latest video that the team uploaded on the PKNHyd YouTube Channel: Behind the Scenes.  This is a sort of “trailer” for PKN Hyd Vol 8.  It’s pretty nice, more so since I appear twice in the video!

A couple of other interesting things about this edition of Pecha Kucha –

  • All hail Open Source!  The computer that was hooked up to the projector was running openSUSE 12.1 and presentation slideshows were run on libreoffice-impress.
  • The speakers’ presentations (PPT files) were converted into MOV videos, so as to preserve the timing of 20 seconds per slide exactly.

Some Glimpses of Hyderabad

Last Saturday I had to go to office to conduct some interviews.  I thought I’d use the opportunity to take some photos – so I took my camera along with me.  I took a bunch of photos on the commute to and back from office.

This is the album on Facebook – Long Weekend gets a bit Shorter.  Only 7 photos but I think they’re interesting.

Above is one of the photos from the set.  In this, you can see the poster for the movie 3, starring Dhanush and Shruti Haasan.  This is the movie featuring the song “Why this Kolaveri Di?” and it was released here in Hyderabad on Friday (30-Mar-12) both in Tamil and Telugu.

Galactica’s Season 2 Premiere

My cousin’s blog Galactica resumed publication of posts on March 27 (he calls it a “Season 2” Premiere).  A couple of days before, I made this as a promo –

I had taken a print of one of the posters he made, held it up and asked my brother to take this photo.  There’s a bunch of movie reviews you can read.

The budget of the movie was $300 million. For that they might have actually flown the actors to Barsoom.

The above quote is from his review for John Carter.  Other notable reviews: Nicolas Refn’s Drive, Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Kahaani (features my Vidya Balan drawing), The Artist, Scorsese’s Hugo (which I am yet to see).

He also did one Observer-related post, which Fringe fans should see.

Two Movies – “Agent Vinod” and “Dookudu”

I watched both Agent Vinod and Dookudu in the recent past.  The former was seen on opening day in the theatre, whereas the latter was on DVD.  I posted a bunch of tweets about them, thought I would summarise them here.

Agent Vinod from director Sriram Raghavan intended to be a globetrotting spy/adventure thriller.  I thought it was well shot (the director of photography is C. K. Muraleedharan, who shot the director’s earlier Johnny Gaddaar) and stylish.  However, I wasn’t as entertained by it as I’d hoped – the movie was disappointing not because it was incompetent, but I think they tried cramming too much stuff in.  The plot was needlessly dragged out (it’s essentially a lot of people following what seems to be a MacGuffin initially, and then the movie turns into a more conventional action-thriller) and I felt they set scenes in various locations (Latvia, Somalia, Russia, etc) just because they had the budget for it.  Sometimes felt like 2 movies put together.  There was one ‘long take’ sequence which was very nicely done, shaky cam in some action scenes was distracting.  If it was trimmed down and if the central character was more interesting, it could have actually become a nice franchise.  But I’d say it was an interesting letdown.  6/10

That’s the censorship certificate for the movie.  I posted one for Businessman earlier – and like that one, I found the description funny – “Deleted lovemaking sound in the background (replaced with other sound)”.

Dookudu was a huge hit for its star Mahesh Babu, and is a movie that combines action, sentimental drama and comedy all in one package.  If you know what you are getting into, and don’t expect anything even remotely resembling reality, you will have a lot of fun with this movie.  Somehow, despite being almost 3 hours long, the movie worked, I thought it was very entertaining.  The character of “Cool Babu” was… cool, and there were some great one-liners and very funny lines in the movie (“no one can scratch me”).  One rooftop fight sequence in the movie was filmed opposite Inorbit mall, near Durgam Cheruvu.  7/10

Two Songs, and a trailer for a Trailer

Apparently, the Indian release of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers is going to have a Hindi song, performed by the band Agnee.  This is called “Hello Andheron” and it’s pretty nice.

I have been following Matthew Inman’s site The Oatmeal for quite a while now.  The latest entry there is a sing-along video for a song called “The Motherfucking Pterodactyl”, presented by him and Sarah Donner.  There’s more info on this page (you can download the MP3 too).

In a short while, the trailer for the upcoming Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell and directed by Len Wiseman would come online.  A couple of days back though, we had the below trailer for the trailer –

Links

Sickipediabot Tweets

A collection of tweets from @sickipediabot –

  • April Fool’s Day: The day every newspaper tries to fool readers by sneaking in at least one properly researched, factually correct story.
  • If I had to describe my mathematical ability in just one word, it would be “fucking awful.”
  • What a wonderful feeling it is waking up next to a beautiful woman. Oh well, back home to the wife then.
  • “Knock knock.” “Who’s there?” “Don’t fuck around, Buzz. Who the hell do you think it is?” “Sorry, Neil.”
  • I’ve just had a new car horn fitted. It replicates the sound of a gunshot. You should see how fast the fuckers move out the way now.
  • I committed the perfect crime. I put a mime in an airtight glass box. Nobody suspected a thing.
  • To cut a long story short, use fewer words.
  • My grandad asked me what I wanted for my birthday so I told him a ship in a bottle… Shame his hearing is getting bad
  • I think it would be fantastic to actually see a great white shark before I die. Just not RIGHT before.
  • My girlfriend just said, “You’re far too vague.” I said, “Well it’s a lot better than being that other thing.”

Collection of Tweets

And finally, we arrive at the collection of tweets over the last couple of weeks.

Tweets 1-Apr-12:

  • RT @r_nikki #AprilFool :Go into a public toilet cubicle. Melt dark chocolate in your hand. Extend same hand to next cubicle & ask for tissues
  • RT @AapChutiyeHain waiting for a text from someone you love must feel like the wait for the reply to a leave request email on a sunday evening.
  • RT @anujgurwara So our financial year begins on #FoolsDay. Think about all the politicians and their scams and it makes so much sense. @roshanabbas
  • RT @justkalpana First 20 Facebook employees and where they are now http://www.businessinsider.com/facebooks-first-20-employees-where-are-they-now-2012-2 (via a friend on Facebook)
  • RT @funnyhumour As I sat down next to a bloke he gave me a realy strange look. typical I thought.D bus is empty,yet I still end up sitting next to a nutcase
  • RT @edgarwright This tweet is not real. April Fools.
  • RT @zombeaner Who decided that Shriya Saran should be an actress? Can I slap that person?
  • RT @ManMadeMoon Going to see The Raid tonight. Never been so excited about the prospect of having my arse kicked before!
  • RT @ManMadeMoon Really enjoyed The Raid. Some bloody marvellous death-dealing!
  • RT @zombeaner Where is the Funny Names blog when you need it? #DicksonPoon http://pic.twitter.com/RZDnGfGi
  • @zombeaner Hahaha! Reminds me of the character “Poon Dong” from Crank 2 🙂

Tweets 31-Mar-12:

  • RT @AdorianDeck KNIFE TO MEET YOU, SIR! http://bit.ly/H72LqS
  • RT @RGVzoomin “@karthikfou: we in AP have earth hour everyday. Daily 3hrs..”
  • Charging my camera in preparation for @pknhyd Vol 8! My brother’s presentation is first, so I’ll be there early.
  • @PrashantKV My brother & I will probably reach by 6 – 6:30 PM types.
  • Leaving now for @pknhyd Vol 8! All the best Varun for your presentation!
  • RT @pknhyd Ppl have started coming in already!! 🙂
  • RT @pknhyd Technical team ready with everything! Lights, camera and sound ready! 🙂 #pknhyd http://pic.twitter.com/d8vYUY7a
  • Pecha Kucha Night Hyderabad Vol 8 – Great show and I loved Varun’s presentation – very nicely done!
  • RT @PrashantKV And it all went well! #pknhyd @pknhyd
  • RT @RGVzoomin On the ocassion of save earth campaign I put all the lights on even the ones I normally don’t put on just to be different
  • Very well said! RT @vemana Fuck up as much as you want. Its all fun and learning as long as you are alive and kicking
  • RT @rob_sheridan Holy hell, @trent_reznor was right, The Raid is an INSANE action movie. Like a martial arts Die Hard on steroids. Nicely done @ghuwevans!
  • Reviews http://bit.ly/HuQQSP
  • @rajith_23 Khnrrrr
  • #NowWatching Dario Argento’s “Tenebre” (1982) (Uncut Version)

Tweets 30-Mar-12:

  • RT @Laugh_Riot How do you get four old ladies to say the F word? Have the fifth one say…. BINGO! RT @Yaminikunjur
  • RT @Laugh_Riot What’s the best thing about turning 65?No more calls from insurance salesmen.RT @Yaminikunjur
  • RT @Laugh_Riot An Empty Web Browsing History Is A Sure Sign 0f Guilt..RT @Chhupa_Rustam
  • RT @kunaldgp: @karthik82 check out this one. Even more hilarious. http://itsasmallweb.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/1-1-ways-to-visualize-lyrics/
  • Day 60 #Gym
  • RT @ID_AA_Carmack I’m going to turn on every damn light in protest of Earth Hour. Lighting the darkness is fundamental to humanity’s climb.
  • RT @ajith27 Today’s edition of the Mint is brought to you by Trollo- the mint with the a**ehole #AakarPatel
  • RT @mihirfadnavis “Critics are C.h.u.t.i.y.a.s, I’m a R.E.S.P.E.C.T.E.D filmmaker” – Sajid Khan http://bit.ly/H2vCet . I look fwd to reviewing your film, sir.
  • RT @zombeaner THE RAID inspired numerous “Oh, FUCK”s at the midnight show I attended. Job: Done.
  • RT @kunaldgp Misheard lyrics from popular songs http://itsasmallweb.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/a-girl-with-colitis-goes-by/ #music
  • RT @pkedrosky Those were the days when you could travel from Okinawa to Tokyo with a Hattori Hanzō sword as carry-on.
  • Nice! RT @m_shinoda OK, it’s time. You guys have been so patient, and you deserve a SNEAK PEEK at our new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ5LpwO-An4&feature=endscreen&NR=1
  • @m_shinoda Great to see you and Chester trying something different with the vocals here. Can’t wait to hear the full track.
  • RT @Galactica_gk One year ago, this awesome thing happened: http://timehop.com/m/R4pX
  • RT @kevinshahinian Great tutorial RT @vincentlaforet: Get your GREEN SCREEN skills on w/ Epic & 5DMKII – free 34 min tutorial http://bit.ly/HnzNCF
  • RT @zombeaner WATCH THIS & HAVE YOUR MIND BLOWN!! RT @twitchfilm First Trailer For Akshay Kumar’s ROWDY RATHORE Blows The Roof Off! http://bit.ly/H1J5WK
  • RT @mihirfadnavis Goddamn it. Watched ‘London Paris NY’ last night. MY FACE NOW SPORTS RED BLISTERS THANKS TO ALL THE FACEPALMS.
  • RT @zombeaner This crazy ass nutball of a movie is now on DVD. Ghost (Hindi): http://bit.ly/HvVFZr via @AddThis
  • RT @the_moonface I need to invest in whatever company prints those little “Made In China” stickers.
  • Teach Teach Baby http://bit.ly/GZQ6nA

Tweets 29-Mar-12:

  • A Catastrophe http://bit.ly/GY9hgi
  • Successfully managed to break the capo I had for my guitar! Now must buy a new one.
  • Acoustic Chords for Linkin Park’s “Numb” – http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/l/linkin_park/numb_acoustic_crd.htm – Em, C, G, D with capo on 2
  • RT @omgthatspunny Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine. #punny
  • RT @thevirdas Some day…hopefully soon. A whole day will go by, where no one tweets me asking if I actually drink orange juice, and on that day..I shall.
  • Awesome 🙂 RT @achettup @psam WHERE DO YOU BUY YOUR RAHUL DRAVID MEMORABILIA FROM??? WALLMART

Tweets 28-Mar-12:

  • Can’t wait! RT @m_shinoda First single from new Linkin Park album: “Burn It Down” Coming April 16. #LinkinPark2012 http://viddy.it/HhMIYf
  • RT @funnyoneliners My neighbor’s dog is so popular that every time he barks, the neighborhood dogs RT him. RT @Thedudish
  • RT @m_shinoda Who wants some official news on the new single? Stay tuned TOMORROW. #LinkinPark2012
  • RT @Oatmeal Been catching up on the latest episodes of “People standing outside a farmhouse and arguing”– er, I mean Walking Dead. LITTLE TYPO
  • #307843 http://bit.ly/GY92El
  • #307813 http://bit.ly/Hf0daX
  • I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 “Manos: The Hands of… http://timehop.com/m/fJFi
  • From Twitch: DESPITE THE GODS Goes Behind The Scenes Of Jennifer Lynch’s HISSS Debacle: http://twitchfilm.com/news/2012/03/despite-the-gods-goes-behind-the-scenes-of-jennifer-lynchs-hisss-debacle.php
  • RT @OMGwhatateen Friend: “What are you watching” Me: “Snakes on a plane” Friend: “What’s it about?” Me: “Horses….horses on a boat”
  • RT @josephradhik Ok byeee tweeple! #tweetslikeaceleb
  • RT @omgthatspunny If you don’t pay your exorcist, you get repossessed. #punny
  • Xavier Gens’ “The Divide”. Really want to see it!
  • The “Don 2” DVD that I ordered from @Flipkart was delivered today.
  • Don 2 is a 2-disc DVD. Disc 2 has a 40 min making of feature. Other than that there are songs and Talaash trailer, which Disc 1 has already.
  • Censor certificate on the DVD says “Don 2 with Additional Scene”. Wikipedia lists the runtime as 146 min, and the DVD is 148 min.
  • I’ll have to watch the “Don 2” DVD to identify the additional scene that’s been included. Will report back once I do.

Tweets 27-Mar-12:

  • RT @IMDb Happy Birthday, Quentin Tarantino! What’s your favorite Tarantino film? http://imdb.to/GWNHb6 #itstheonethatsaysbadmotherfer
  • RT @Aashu_Salotra Fool you once, Shame on me; Fool you twice, @AapChutiyeHain
  • A GUIDE TO PRONOUNCING ACTORS’ NAMES http://bit.ly/GSTijo
  • I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 “I’d hate to run up … http://timehop.com/m/bWHA
  • Reservoir Dogs is awesome as it always has been… give Tarantino his standing ovation!
  • RT @27bslash6 “They have an army of lawyers & you don’t even own a suit. Just change it to a cat or something. Everyone likes cats.” http://bit.ly/GRkb7D
  • Inspired by @Galactica_gk I am #NowWatching “Reservoir Dogs”. Awesome movie no matter how many times you see it…

Tweets 26-Mar-12:

  • RT @edgarwright My friend Brandon is stuck. Can you help? http://www.brandongenerator.com/ Please RT.
  • RT @trent_reznor If you’re in the mood for an ACTION film, immediately go see The Raid: Redemption. God DAMN.
  • Fringe S04E12 had a creepy setup, 13 was good, 14 was great… starting 15 now. @Galactica_gk tells me that it’s even more awesome…

Tweets 25-Mar-12:

  • RT @Galactica_gk Reservoir Dogs is the first masterpiece by Quentin Tarantino. Also has an awesome background score. Loved the song- ‘Stuck in the middle’
  • RT @Galactica_gk Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you -from Reservoir Dogs..
  • Yesterday caught up with “The Walking Dead”, today it’s “Fringe”. Now on S04E12, will see till S04E15 today.
  • RT @vemana Indian translation of “Mad Men returns(airs) tonight! ” is “Mad Men will be available on torrents tomorrow morning” 🙂
  • RT @Veronica OK, that was pretty good. RT @kenyatta: What do they call The Hunger Games in France? Battle Royale with Cheese. #PulpFiction
  • “Shiitake Happens” – from Fringe S04E11 🙂
  • RT @This_Is_Hari Agar aap @tatadocomo par vishwas karte hain.. toh kasam USB driver ki – @AapChutiyeHain
  • I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 Our old French text … http://timehop.com/m/BgVg
  • Done with “The Walking Dead”, few more months to go for S03 to begin. Should be awesome, and the prison arc begins.
  • RT @IIFAUpdates Hitman responsible for death of J Bachchan evaluated as schizophrenic; cannot credibly be traced back to A Bachchan
  • If you ask me, TV Release Groups did the right thing by switching to the x264 codec for encoding their rips. Quality is superior to Xvid.
  • I liked South Park S16E02, much better than the first episode of the season. #NowWatching The Walking Dead S02E11

Tweets 24-Mar-12:

  • RT @Galactica_gk #Drive is a lovely movie with awesome background score.
  • RT @JonMwords Please keep tweeting the stats from your runs and workouts. I enjoy learning about new and interesting apps to mute and block forever.
  • RT @headius I learned today that @flipkart, the “Amazon of India”, is MRI+Rails frontend with JRuby+Padrino for the backend. #awesome #rubyconfindia
  • RT @DanaDanger HTTP response codes for dummies. 50x: we fucked up. 40x: you fucked up. 30x: ask that dude over there. 20x: cool.
  • RT @IIFAUpdates BREAKING: Private Investigator hired by J Bachchan earlier this month to follow husband A Bachchan killed by sniper in gorilla costume
  • RT @IIFAUpdates: @ankash1009 Sorry about this, this is just for a committee for Model UN at our university – we didn’t mean to have you killed or anything
  • RT @omgthatspunny A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’ #punny
  • Btw: the last tweet about “Slumdog” director Anurag Kashyap being killed was retweeted by @ankash1009 himself 🙂 now following @IIFAUpdates
  • RT @IIFAUpdates BREAKING: “Slumdog Mil.” director Anurag Kashyap killed! Deep connection between Bollywood/mafia puts all in danger.
  • RT @omgthatspunny How do you get holy water? Boil the hell out of it. #punny

Tweets 23-Mar-12:

  • RT @Galactica_gk Agent Vinod is one of the worst Hindi movies ever made!! It’s the interval. :((
  • RT @poonamkhatri: @PunsNProses If he’s a washer, he’d be called Detergent Vinod.
  • RT @PunsNProses If he is in a hurry, he’ll be called Urgent Vinod. #Sorry
  • RT @Galactica_gk Going for 2 movies back2back: The Hunger games at 5:50 (Finally) and Agent Vinod at 9:45.
  • RT @josephradhik Photo tip: Stop looking at EXIF Info. It teaches almost nothing but lusting after more gear or making excuses for why you can’t take a shot.
  • RT @Nokia_Connects 12MP video power – the Nokia N8 http://nokia.ly/GNirQJ ^TH
  • Catching up on “The Walking Dead”, watched S02E08 and S02E09 yesterday. 4 episodes left to watch for me.
  • I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 RT @krishashok: #Fac… http://timehop.com/m/8Ip9
  • RT @thehorrorchick Out tomorrow- This may be my first 5-star review ever! Raid: Redemption, The (2012) http://bit.ly/yQv7kG @TheRaidUS

Tweets 22-Mar-12:

  • The Pirate Bay Attacks Censorship With Low Orbit Server Drones http://bit.ly/FPkSlE
  • Michael Bay responds to fans about the TMNT movie’s alien origin http://bit.ly/GJj4f4
  • I plan to buy this. RT @rj_white The new Aziz Ansari special. RT @scharpling: Oh, and buy it at http://is.gd/OTjFej. Five bucks.
  • The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is launched in India. Price is 2.5 lacs INR for body plus 24-105 lens.
  • RT @funnyoneliners Somewhere, a smart Laser eye surgeon has an office full of brochures that are all slightly out of focus RT @funnyhumour
  • RT @supaarwoman Chalo yaar sab log ek ek DSLR kharid lo aur apna Photography page banalo facebook pe.
  • Brilliant stuff! RT @BoingBoing @MouthTapedShut Sony pirates itself with “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” disc http://dlvr.it/1LTczl
  • RT @TheBookofBatman Every house is built by someone, but the Batman is the builder of the Batcave. (Pennyworth 3:4)

Tweets 21-Mar-12:

  • DSLR Basics: Stops and Metering http://bit.ly/GFpBWI (by PhotoExtremist)
  • RT @bobbyllew Top notch Ted Talk on Piracy Maths. Very funny. http://youtu.be/GZadCj8O1-0
  • RT @rj_white Wild Orkut #socialmovies
  • The Facebook of Eli #socialmovies
  • RT @funnyoneliners 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People 1. Twitter 2. Twitter 3.Twitter 4. Twitter 5. Twitter 6. Twitter 7. Twitter RT @marebytes

Tweets 20-Mar-12:

  • RT @GDBALA 10 Things to Leave Off Your Résumé http://tinyurl.com/7pl7ccu
  • RT @m_shinoda #HappyBDayChesterBennington
  • Day 55 #Gym
  • RT @josephradhik RT @mehrzee: RT @tyrantasorus: Whats common between tight jeans and cheap hotels? No ballroom. @mehrzee
  • RT @reiinamoto The genius of Saul Bass. Proves adding shadow and 3D to a logo ALWAYS makes it worse. http://goo.gl/pSdoD
  • RT @rj_white From James Ellroy’s recent television program: Johnny Stompanato, Lana Turner and a guy on his cell phone in a mirror. http://is.gd/Xg4xaC
  • RT @RGVzoomin You can be on the right track nd still get hit by a train!
  • RT @omgthatspunny What does a mermaid wear to math class? An Algae-bra! #punny

Tweets 19-Mar-12:

  • RT @omgthatspunny What did the buffalo say to his son when he left for college? Bison #punny
  • RT @rj_white Yesterday, I walked past someone explaining the phrase “Epic fail” to a child who had asked about why it was on the person’s Smurfs t-shirt.
  • RT @thedavesherrill I’ve noticed girls like to wear shirts that say “I Love Nerds” but never want to hear all 45 ways I would have improved the Watchmen movie.
  • RT @simonpegg Paul was NOT the third film in the so called ‘Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy’. World’s End will be the final part.

Tweets 18-Mar-12:

  • RT @planet5D #cinema5D Zeiss 15mm T2.8 – an impressive new lens, but it ’s unaffordable #HDSLRnews http://t.co/oPsiWpig
  • RT @clientsfh “I understand that you don’t work on weekends, but I have a very special circumstance. I spoke with my…” http://t.co/kwRaAcZc
  • RT @ilovetypography My next tweet will be profoundly typographic.
  • RT @ilovetypography The secret to RTs: ‘cats’, ‘sex’, & ‘free fonts’ — working on a free font called Sex Cat.
  • RT @planet5D #planet5D The Canon EOS 5D Mark II mates with a 93 year old view camera #HDSLRnews http://t.co/zPjOELHt
  • RT @funnyoneliners Looking up “obsolescence” in the Encyclopedia Britannica. RT @davio1962
  • RT @ravi_mohan A journey of a thousand miles starts with an Amazon order.
  • RT @PrashantKV The best part of what I do, is what I do!
  • RT @funnyoneliners The Cop: “How do you explain all the cannabis in your loft?” The Suspect: “Someone must have planted it there.”
  • RT @predominant “My mom called it Mozzarella Firefox”

And that wraps up this update for now, see you next time.

Items of Interest – 4-Mar-12 to 18-Mar-12

I couldn’t post an “Items of Interest” update last week since the Kahaani and John Carter posts took quite a bit of time to write (and besides, it took me time to get comfortable with the drawing tablet to make that picture of Vidya Balan).  So this time you have a double-sized issue.

Before I get to the tweets and other links of interest, allow me to write about two awesome things that were recently unveiled.

Prometheus Trailers

This morning, the full trailer for Prometheus went online, in HD.  Take 2 and a half minutes to watch this –

Incredible, right?  The video page also includes the plot synopsis –

In the distant future, two superpowers control Earth and fight each other for all the solar system’s natural resources. When one side dispatches a team to a distant planet to terraform it for human colonization, the team discovers an indigenous race of bio-mechanoid killers.

Ridley Scott, director of ‘Alien’ and ‘Blade Runner,’ returns to the genre he helped define. With PROMETHEUS, he creates a groundbreaking mythology, in which a team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a thrilling journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Somehow, I think I preferred knowing less about the movie, this explanation of the story somewhat demystifies Prometheus for me.  Nonetheless, it’s still a terrific trailer and I can’t wait to see the movie this June, in IMAX 3D.  I just hope our censor board guys won’t cut anything from the movie.

There was another trailer that preceded this, which came online yesterday.  This post on FirstShowing has it.  It’s also great and has some footage which isn’t in this complete trailer.  A friend of mine aptly described this as “one big ‘Holy Shit’ moment that is 1:30 long”.

The Raid: Redemption Soundtrack

In my earlier post about the movie The Raid: Redemption, I mentioned that the American release of the movie features a music score by Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese.  At TheRaidSoundtrack.com, one can pre-order the soundtrack album, and one can also listen to five tracks from the album.

The music in the above video is the opening bit from the track “Razors.Out”, which is also the music used in the Red-Band trailer of the movie.  The track is by Shinoda with vocals by Chino Moreno.  You can listen to it here (that’s a SoundCloud link, you can listen to the other tracks from the sampler too.  The track “Drug Lab” is the one used in the most recent official US Trailer).

From the top to the end
You’ve got your razors out
To the end, til you stop
You cut the frames apart

Here are the lyrics to “Razors.Out” (perhaps not 100% accurate).

Two Facebook Statuses

This one from Kartheek P S K –

That sudden sense of kinship I felt when my phone rang to the tune of Hans Zimmer’s “Discombobulate” from Sherlock Holmes in a bus, and ONE person somewhere amidst the crowds snaps around with a glimmer in his eyes… One of Life’s moments… 🙂

and this one, from Vinit R –

…so Hades comes to Zeus and says “Yo bro. Im gonna tell u a joke thts gonna get u KRAKEN”

I liked both, so thought of sharing them.

B&W Shooting Challenge

I was reading an article on Ken Rockwell’s site, called Making Great Photos in Crappy Locations – where he talks about locking yourself up in a bathroom (a literally ‘crappy’ location?  Heh heh) and taking pictures –

Many photo classes have an assignment to lock yourself in your bathroom and shoot a whole roll of film. Your first reaction is “this is stupid.” Then things start dawning on you as you start seeing details. Eventually you make so many photos you wish you got to use more film.

That inspired me to try taking some photos under self-imposed constraints.  No, I didn’t go into a bathroom, and I didn’t lock myself in – but I took some pictures in my room only, and decided that I’d only use my 50mm f1.8 lens.  Till now, I really hadn’t used the “Monochrome” picture style on my camera, so I thought it’d be interesting to strip away colour and then shoot.

I ended up with some pretty interesting photos.  Not too dramatic, but not too bad all the same.  You can check out the album on Facebook (10 photos).

One of those photos has me holding up two pens, one labelled “Black” and the other labelled “Red”.  I tried being clever there, though I’m not sure it comes across effectively!

The above image is one of the discarded photos that I didn’t upload on the ‘official’ set. (sort of like a “deleted scene” on a DVD).  Again, this is me trying to be clever.  The “on” light on my laptop is green, but you can’t see it since the photo is not in colour!  Wow, how dramatic!

Other Links to See

  • This is a nice blog post about “Less is More”, from Mike Shinoda.  He also writes at the end about a kind of extreme example of “Less is More”, with this piece of art.
  • I’d posted two nice music tracks from Final Doom: Evilution on Facebook – Legion of the Lost and Death’s Bells.  I remembered these tracks from my Doom mapping days, so posted them.  One of my favourite pieces of music by TeamTNT is the theme from “Bloodlands” – which I couldn’t find on YouTube.  You can listen to it on this page (I know, embedded MIDI music is so 1990s, but still).
  • Interesting article in last week’s Economic Times about Nikon vs Canon and how they’re competing in India.
  • Wilbur Sargunaraj shows us How to use an Eastern Latrine.  Very funny stuff.
  • Kung Fu Balayya – also very funny video.
  • Sungha Jung performs Canon Rock – Great Stuff!  I guess this is his first electric guitar video.
  • A friend told me about this song called “Looking Glass” by the band All Hail the Silence.  An interesting thing is that you can get this song for free, by tweeting or posting on Facebook about it!  Here is the ‘Tweet for a Track’ Page for it.  It’s an 8 MB MP3, and a very retro / 80s style piece.  As my friend said, it wouldn’t have been out of place in Nicolas Refn’s Drive.
  • In my review of The Artist, I had commented about the typography in the movie, and I mentioned that someone like Mark Simonson would be able to do a proper analysis of that.  Well, a few days later, Mark Simonson did do a post on it from a typography perspective.  A very interesting read.
  • Vincent LaForet’s post about Setting up your Canon HD DSLR for filming video.  Unlike the more advanced Canon EOS DSLRs like the 7D and 5D Mark II, my EOS 550D doesn’t allow me to set ISOs like 160, 320, etc.  Does anyone know if that’s possible, or do I just go with ISO 200, 400, and so on?

Edible Actors

Sometime back on Twitter, #edibleactors was trending.  I found it very funny, so here are some of the names of actors that sound like food items –

Antara Thali, Bruce Chilies, Jackie Chana Masala, Prawn Connery, Cheese Witherspoon, Curry-shma Kapoor, Imran Naan, Milkshake Bachchan, Anuttapam Kher, Curryna Kapoor, Sean Bean, Al Cappuccino, Aamir Corn, Christian Bhel, Rajma Kapoor, Benedict Cucumberbatch, Daniel Breadcliffe, Salmon Khan, Katrina Cafe, Bread Pitt

None of them are my own – they’re the property of whoever tweeted them.

Now, onto the collection of tweets from the past two weeks.  I am not re-posting tweets about stuff that I already linked above.

Tweets 18-Mar-12:

  • RT @mihirfadnavis Just watched ‘Beyond the Black Rainbow’ – a moody ultra trippy film that grabs you by the head & SKULL FUCKS YOU INTO SUBMISSION. Brilliant!
  • Used Kdenlive to edit a video yesterday. Just trimming and colour correction done but it’s the first video I edited on Linux.
  • Kdenlive has presets to export video for YouTube at 1080p, 720p, 480p etc. That’s pretty cool. I must try with a bigger project soon.
  • RT @GDBALA 7 Words That Only Bad Movies Have in Their Titles http://zite.to/wLxiN2
  • RT @funnyhumour Want an anagram of “Rodeo incidents”? Consider it done.
  • I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 ‘Dongala Mutha’ – A … http://timehop.com/m/sK3k
  • I totally tweeted this 1 year ago TH @karthik82 Going to watch RGV’s… http://timehop.com/m/RS7b
  • RT @funnyoneliners Being sick can really affect your grades in school. The kid my son cheats off of was out all last week. RT @technopriest5
  • RT @omgthatspunny Wanna hear a joke about pizza? Nevermind.. its cheesy #punny
  • RT @timcarvell “One question about your film in which two dozen children murder one another: Do any of them use the F-word? No? Here’s your PG-13, then.”
  • RT @kruttikaS I draw and I feel okay.
  • Nagesh Kukunoor’s Hyderabad Blues 1 (http://www.youtube.com/movie/hyderabad-blues) and 2 (http://www.youtube.com/movie/hyderabad-blues-2) are both available on YouTube.
  • I don’t know whether those videos would be viewable outside of India or not, but sharing them anyway.
  • RT @Canon_Camera Canon celebrates 25 years of photographic expertise http://ow.ly/9Aycq
  • Ebook? 🙂 RT @justkalpana note to self: do it right now! “@NiceHappened: Switch off your screens and switch on a book. Do it.”
  • RT @NiceHappened Shaun Of The Dead. RT @mojorojo: What do you think is the most criminally under-watched film ever?
  • RT @sickipediabot My friend suggested I should prepare for the brutal lighting storms we’ve been forecast. So I’ve changed my name to “Twice.”

Tweets 17-Mar-12:

  • @Galactica_gk You asked today why I wasn’t watching Hugo, it’s because I was working on a drawing. Posting it now, I think you’ll like it.
  • Just got my Vedam DVD that I ordered from @Flipkart.
  • Finished reading all of “Y: The Last Man”. It was a good series.

Tweets 16-Mar-12:

  • RT @kruttikaS Brilliant illustration! Sarah and the Seed, a comic by @hey_ryan_a (Ryan Andrews) http://shar.es/pfTHv
  • RT @Kahaanithefilm Kahaani smashes another record! It’s #12 on IMDB’s Top Rated “Thriller” Titles and going higher!! Thank you ALL! http://fb.me/XxttTuDR
  • RT @vemana If you are too daft to learn, no amount of ‘experience’ will help you.
  • RT @FarOutAkhtar Read today: those who are capable of admitting they made a mistake are the ones capable of growth.
  • RT @sunielwadhwa: @ankash1009 Yes Sir first releasing Mumbai Cutting Then Paanch will keep you posted 🙂
  • RT @ravsriram Gonna start with #micro this weekend.will b 15th #michaelcrichton #book I ll read.
  • RT @FarOutAkhtar Baby Falak. RIP. We should all be ashamed to be part of a society in which violence like this is no longer uncommon.
  • RT @RGVzoomin Today is the 1st day of shooting of the most important film of my career `The attacks of 26/11 `
  • RT @Kahaanithefilm Hot Running Water =
  • RT @josephradhik My new weapon of choice. Nex-5N + Voigtlander 35/1.4 Leica M mount. Joy. http://pic.twitter.com/J4AYQS3m
  • Seeds of Truth http://bit.ly/xXceDc

Tweets 15-Mar-12:

  • RT @vemana When you are driving on the highway with the sun in your rear view mirror, you are literally leaving the day behind. Quite picturesquely too
  • RT @krishashok If one is a developer, Stackoverflow is pretty much philosopher, friend, guide, techsupport and a shoulder to cry on
  • RT @atulkasbekar A chubby colleague of mine insists she’s been doing her ‘GM’ diet for yrs to no avail. Since her GM is ‘Ghee Maida’ its no surprise 😉
  • RT @MillaJovovich thank you @chrissbrenner 4 this pic me w wearing @LOrealparisusa “telescopic” mascara! my lashes r SICK, right ladies? http://pic.twitter.com/k1i3kAJT
  • RT @omgthatspunny To write with a broken pencil is pointless. #punny
  • RT @Canon_Camera How to photograph flowers http://ow.ly/9Ay0M
  • “Y: The Last Man” – 46/60 done.

Tweets 14-Mar-12:

  • I’ve pre-ordered the “Don 2” DVD from @Flipkart. A tweet from @FarOutAkhtar indicated that it would be an extended version.
  • Just bought “Vedam – Movie – DVD” from @flipkart http://bit.ly/w4snim
  • Here you go – “Vedam” DVD on Flipkart for Rs 155. http://www.flipkart.com/vedam-movie/p/itmd6zcvbkkze7y4 I will go home and place an order.
  • RT @Galactica_gk Must Read!! Why Hugo wont be released in India Mumbai Mirror http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=172&contentid=201203142012031403250134047fab3e4
  • Vedam (2010) appears to be out on DVD/Bluray! Time to buy it, will search on Flipkart & order, if not available will go to a store and buy.
  • RT @Galactica_gk 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993 751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480 Happy Pi Day!!
  • RT @designersays Have any of you ever gone to the bathroom to do a no. 2 and forgot to bring your phone? I know, boring right?
  • The Nokia N8 has a close-up mode while recording video – had I known this earlier, my drawing videos would have had better focus!
  • Lesson learnt – know your tools.
  • RT @BrettSahuri: @edgarwright You’re a fucked up individual, that’s for sure.
  • Ram Gopal Varma and Puri Jagannadh are doing a remake of “Businessman” with Abhishek Bachchan. Make of that what you will…
  • RT @arocks Simple way to make a wireless presenter. Tape off the bottom of a wireless mouse. Works beautifully…
  • RT @RGVzoomin “@theMadhuShalini: Being selfish is gud..if u urself don’t think abt u urself, then who else will?”
  • RT @arocks Biggest irony of 2012: Twitter takes more time to load than Facebook
  • RT @RGVzoomin Finally its confirmed..Me nd puri jagan together are making the remake of the block buster telugu hit `Businessman’ with Abhishek bachchan
  • “Y: The Last Man” – 32/60 completed.
  • “Y: The Last Man” – finished reading 25/60 issues. This reminds me of when I was reading “Preacher” in 2005 or 2006.
  • I get broadband bill notifications to my email from Airtel, Reliance and Idea, though I use none of those services! I ignore those mails.
  • But I wonder whose bills I am getting 🙂
  • Reading “Y: The Last Man” by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra. Finished 10 issues out of 60. It’s brilliant stuff so far.

Tweets 13-Mar-12:

Tweets 12-Mar-12:

  • Head, Ribs and Hips part 1 http://bit.ly/zUg69S
  • Day 50 #Gym
  • RT @mihirfadnavis The most epically epic thing you’ll read today – Harry Potter vs LOTR: The Final Showdown http://bit.ly/zQNrGa
  • RT @sarcasticapple What do you get if you cross an octopus with a cow? A stern rebuke from the Research Ethics Committee and an immediate cessation of funding.
  • RT @mihirfadnavis In case your Monday isn’t fuckall enough, let me remind you that ‘Hugo’ isn’t releasing in India. Cheers.
  • RT @SrBachchan T 678 – Just finished watching ‘Kahani’ on UFO at home .. Simply superb ! Sujoy, what the heck were you doing making films like ‘Aladin’ !!?
  • A line of dialogue from a “John Carter” and “Total Recall” mashup would be: “Get your ass to Barsoom” 🙂 I’m going to use that quote soon.
  • Letters & Stone http://bit.ly/yZP3W9
  • RT @omgthatspunny I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me. #punny
  • Lee Bermejo – Before Watchmen http://bit.ly/wScBhv
  • One year ago, this awesome thing happened: http://timehop.com/m/tEIB
  • One year ago, this awesome thing happened: http://timehop.com/m/hjdG
  • Mosquitos to all out and good night.. @AapChutiyeHain

Tweets 11-Mar-12:

  • Just finished my first digital artwork. Will be posting it online soon. Done with Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet in the GIMP on Ubuntu 11.10.
  • RT @ankash1009 Vidya is slowly emerging to be atrue successor of Aamir.. a great career is defined by choices one makes &courage to see it through
  • My friend Raaj Kumar’s portrait of his mother – drawn in 2011 – http://bit.ly/xZycqu
  • Amble http://bit.ly/yq44Z7 (via FontSquirrel)
  • RT @josephradhik You have not experienced joy as a photog till you have used a 35/1.4 lens properly. 🙂 Love this focal length and dof combo.

Tweets 10-Mar-12:

  • Trouble on the Internet http://bit.ly/zGXwaz
  • RT @Galactica_gk The movie is just awesome. One of the best Hindi movies I’ve see. Awesome acting by Vidya Balan. 9/10. #KahaaniMovie2012
  • RT @io9 Legendary French artist Moebius, the man who made The Abyss, Alien, and Tron even weirder, is dead at 74 http://on.io9.com/1fc0
  • RT @planet5D #noFilmSchool: Canon 4K DSLR Announcement Possible at NAB 2012 #HDSLRnews http://bit.ly/xomn1d
  • Kahaani – Loved it! Intriguing mystery, very nicely made and acted. Ending was great. Read as less about it as you can before seeing it! 9/10
  • John Carter – Enjoyable movie, little slow in the beginning but I liked second half and ending. Visuals were great, 3D not essential. 7/10
  • RT @RaaVi #WebDesign | Here is why vim uses the hjkl keys as arrow keys: I was reading about vim the other day … http://bit.ly/zdgf2s via @DZone
  • RT @sandy_budhiraja “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson #quote
  • RT @Nokia_Connects The Week in Pictures: 5 inspirational photos from around the world. http://nokia.ly/xH3lvk A new feature on Nokia Connects
  • Pickup Artist http://bit.ly/A8BQOz

Tweets 9-Mar-12:

  • RT @Oatmeal Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, NO ATMOSPHERE! *ba-dum-kssh*
  • RT @DamienFahey I was blown away by how realistic the raindrops on the new iPad wallpaper looked until I realized they were actually a Chinese child’s tears
  • RT @Mr_A36 Mr.A36 is a sucker for typography. Lo♥es Sans-serif esp Helvetica & Myriad typeFaces 🙂
  • RT @gurpreet_bhatia #mycrazyobsession photography
  • RT @clientsfh “Please let me know if you do not receive this email.” http://tmblr.co/Zh3FZyHgH8vT
  • Watched “Critters 4” after many, many years. Nice movie. I used to like this series a lot during school days.

Tweets 8-Mar-12:

Tweets 7-Mar-12:

  • RT @Nokia_Connects Nokia 808 PureView: your questions answered (part 2) – http://nokia.ly/zjTCMC
  • RT @Flipkart Some should answer this question on @Quora : http://www.quora.com/Are-we-missing-a-legal-MP3-download-website-in-India. Afterall, @Flipkart is headquartered in Quoramangala.
  • RT @DanielCamer “Tell me, I will forget; Show me, I may remember; but involve me and I will understand.” – Ancient Chinese… http://tmblr.co/ZFFgXxHbA4R2
  • RT @slashfilm Watch director @AndrewStanton’s TED Talk: ‘The Clues To A Great Story’ http://bit.ly/y2bAKn
  • It would be interesting to see the back of the Indian Censor Certificate for Piranha, detailed description of all the stuff they cut! 🙂
  • #NowWatching Piranha (2010) – including all the parts I missed when I saw in the theatre 🙂

Tweets 6-Mar-12:

  • Nokia 808 PureView: your questions answered – http://nokia.ly/xoaAdT
  • RT @firstshowing Got a second dose of The Raid, so damn good, so frickin’ badass. Gets your adrenaline pumping. Can’t keep recommending it enough!
  • Awesome!! RT @funnyoneliners I was playing my air guitar and accidentally woke up a mime. RT @luiki89
  • RT @MariaEolani Better a little fire to warm us, than a great one to burn us.
  • RT @justkalpana Death by PowerPoint
  • RT @rob_sheridan Download a PDF of JoyStix Magazine, April 1983 (they have some great tips for that new game Galaga): http://bit.ly/zwk1La -via @lostateminor
  • RT @designersays ME: You’re like a drug to me. FRIEND: You mean I’m addictive? ME: Please! I mean I can only take you in small doses.
  • NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED! RT @planet5D Fire and Brimstone – one guy’s reaction to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III http://bit.ly/xNm2pt
  • TV Release Groups Dump Xvid and Enrage the Internet http://bit.ly/xb3M8V
  • Outerra Engine Makes The Entire Earth Into An Open-World Game, Has A Free Tech Demo http://bit.ly/yirzd3

Tweets 5-Mar-12:

  • RT @IslamicThinking A friend cannot be considered a friend until he is tested in 3 occasions: in time of need, behind your back, & after your death. (Ali RA)
  • RT @funnyoneliners Dear Women, We’re not as dumb as you think we are. We’re dumber. Love, Men RT @yoyoha
  • RT @mihirfadnavis So tired. So much work. What to do ya.  #MundaneTweetsFromHotChicks
  • Tumblr http://bit.ly/y7fFzY
  • RT @alecbaldwin I’m going to the gym. I’m gonna sit in the parking lot and read the Times. But at least I’m going.
  • Day 46 #Gym
  • RT @josephradhik The problem with being a photog in the social media age is appreciation comes very easily. Enough to get a false sense of superiority.
  • RT @schmmuck In case of earthquake : Please tweet!! DO NOT go to an open area. DO NOT help ur neighbours & coworkers. The internet needs to know FIRST!!
  • Lytro Light Field Camera: This Is What New Feels Like [Photography] http://bit.ly/A73CY4
  • London Super Comic Con http://bit.ly/zwxdFI

That stuff I said about the close-up mode on the Nokia N8 – I plan to write a separate post with example images.