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The word patience is synonymous with birds photography, which makes it one of the most challenging forms of the art to capture the beauties in feathers. A photographer has almost no control over the subject and the lighting conditions. In such circumstances, passion and preparation are the best ways for a good shot. Wildlife photographer Nitin Jain shares few valuable pointers.

Know Before you Click Birds
Know Before you Click Birds

Know Your Subject

Both the words – bird and photography – are equally important aspects of this form of photography. To become a successful bird photographer it’s critical to know your subject well. You need to observe the behaviour of birds, their habitat, resting and breeding patterns. In case of migratory birds you should know their migration patterns and their preferred habitat. A good bird photographer can identify and predict location of birds just by listening to their calls.

Arm Yourself Right

Birds are very shy and swift. To capture desired images, a photographer must have at least 300mm focal length of lens. Fast lenses (with wider aperture openings like 2.8) will help you achieve fast autofocus and will also help shooting in low light conditions. While buying DSLR body look at fps (frames per second), high ISO results, AF (autofocus), system’s accuracy and weather seal as these play vital role in bird photography. Invest in a good quality tripod. A tripod without center column can be laid flat while shooting from ground level. Using a bean bag helps a lot in stabilising the lens in various situations.

Birds

Light Your Ideas

Best times to shoot are early mornings and late afternoons when the light is angled, soft and its temperature is conducive for photography. It brings out true colour and texture of birds plumage. Morning light with a little cloud cover acts like a soft box. Try to have the source of light behind you and slightly to one side as it creates a three-dimensional effect on the subject. You can also experiment with backlight for silhouette and rim light effects.

Birds

Beauty In Four Corners

Try and avoid placing any subject at the exact centre of a photograph. It is much more visually pleasing to see the bird off to one side, facing inward the frame. Also, avoid placing the horizon line in the middle of a picture which cuts it in half. It’s better to frame the horizon in the top or bottom third of your photograph. Read more on the rule of thirds to understand this concept. For composition, avoid unnatural elements, like electric pole, fence etc. in the frame. It’s a good idea to show bird habitat as well. It makes them feel natural and your portfolio non-monotonous. Sometimes using few out of focus elements, like rock, grass etc., in front of your subject also creates aesthetically rich results.

Birds

Take The Right Stance

In bird photography, you should look for interesting angles before taking the shot. Eye-level is a preferred angle where you try and bring your camera parallel to the ground and at bird’s eye level. There are many
ways to do this. One of the techniques is to sleep flat on ground and rest the camera either on a bean bag
or on a fully flat tripod. This also allows you to get out of focus background. Another advantage is that if
you approach a bird on foot, it might notice you and fly away.

Birds

Freeze The Moment

It’s very important to understand birds’ behaviour so that you can predict certain action and keep your camera setup ready to shoot. It also helps to use remote shutter release so you can see bird coming more easily than from view finder. For birds in flight, you need to shoot in AI Servo mode (AF-C for Nikon) as you need to continuously track the moving bird. If you’re just starting out, then you can practice with larger birds as they move and fly slowly as compared to smaller birds. For perched birds, use manual focus so that it doesn’t shift on click of shutter release button while keeping the camera pre-focussed on the branch. Another important factor is fast shutter speed. Open the lens aperture to maximum and increase the ISO to achieve shutter speed of more than 1000. Set the camera in shooting mode to high speed continuous shooting.

Birds

Get Closer To The Action

There are few techniques people follow to get closer to shy birds, like wearing camouflaged clothing, hiding behind bushes, crawling slowly on the ground etc. While approaching birds avoid sudden movements and approach very slowly. Sometimes using blinds/hides (small tent) also works very well. You can create folding hides from mosquito nets which are sold roadside. Reaching on spot before sunrise is also a great idea. You may also use your car as the hide. Shooting from inside the vehicle is fine and easy. You can rest camera/lens on the window of the vehicle using a bean bag. Keep it ready before you approach the bird or else sudden movement of taking out a big lens will fly the bird away.

Birds

Make The Best Of What You Got

The most important quality of a good photographer is to make the most of whatever is available. One can try experimenting with creative blurs, compositions with patterns, tight close-ups etc. The key is not to get disappointed with your camera and lenses. But to understand their advantages and work towards it, instead of trying to achieve what that equipment is not capable of.

Be Ethical In Whatever You Do

Birds are wonderful and delicate creatures. When you are taking photos, make sure that birds are not getting harmed. It is advised not to photograph birds near nests. The life of bird is more important than a photo. Enjoy your share of surprises and excitement. But let them have their peace and life.

Published in Issue 18

This issue features Beard Design studio who exclusively work for start-ups. They stay loyal to their own aesthetics while delivering creative solutions for their clients. On the other hand, there is 22Feet Tribal Worldwide, a digital agency who believes digital is beyond the website and try to bridge the gap between offline and online design. We also have few promising individuals from the UI design arena who are fast making their marks. And to top them all, a discussion on the raging issues of digital in the country by few leading names of the industry. So, go ahead

 

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Faizal Ab shares his journey from being a background designer to graduating into a senior creative associate. He talks about his journey in concept art and emphasises on the invaluable experience he gained in the process.

Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab

Faizal Ab’s journey to being a designer has been quite intriguing and diverse in its own way. One that implies a good example of using formal education alongside personal insight and experience to grow at one’s craft.

Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab

After completing his twelfth grade, Faizal chose to go directly into a fine arts college to follow his passion, thereby graduating with a degree in fine arts. Post that, he chose to go in for a Master’s diploma in Animation, during which period he also found a job as an art teacher at Seventh-day Adventist Higher Secondary School in Ottapalam, Kerala, so as to support himself. Furthermore, having completed the animation course, he joined an animation studio in Kochi as a background designer and is now working as a senior creative associate.

Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab

Faizal has mainly worked as a BG artist throughout most of his time and finds the experience he thereby gained in light & shade study, water-colouring and the likes to have helped him a lot towards creating concept artworks. For the watercolour effects, for example, which he applies using Adobe Fresco, it is this experience that he largely uses to first conceive them in his mind.

Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab

Regarding his concept background work, Faizal usually follows a particular method, first creating the rough sketches and further collecting references for that artwork. “It’s really helpful to enhance the work and detailing,” he says, “after which I create the final layout before going to the colouring part. Nowadays, I am using more digital mediums for the purpose of creating since it’s very comfortable and convenient. Mainly, we can edit or modify the artwork at any given point of time as we prefer and achieve good results in lesser amounts of time.”

Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab

Failzal’s style depends on his mindset and imagination at that given moment. Likewise, some artists’ artworks consciously or subconsciously tend to influence their creations. He is now trying to study different styles of creating so as to recreate or re-innovate his artwork, considering how there are so many varied opportunities for artists to choose from according to their abilities. Speaking of his own influences, Milind Maulik’s watercolour works, Raja Ravi Varma’s oil paintings, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Victor Perard and other such artists impact him the most.

Faizal-ab
Faizal-ab

You can discover the many works of Faizal Ab on Facebook and follow his projects on Artstation too.

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faizal-ab
Faizal-ab

And for more exciting behind-the-scenes coverage of other artists & illustrators from around the world be sure to follow Creative Gaga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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Faizal Ab
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Faizal Ab chose to pursue a degree in fine arts before deciding to major in Animation through a Master’s diploma. He further became a senior creative associate, after having worked as a concept artist for background design. Working on comics is something he personally enjoys a lot.


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With Detective Comics ushering in a new creative team, the Batman starring run gets a makeover.

Image Credit: DC Comics

Reflecting the upcoming story arc that is based on gothic opera and music, titled ‘Gotham Nocturne’, DC Comics has created a brand new logo accompanying a cover design by Evan Cagle. The ‘stunning’ logo has been designed by Darran Robinson who had previously designed various DC covers.

Robinson shared on his personal Twitter that he helped redesign the logo for Action Comics and revealed a rendered version. “Well if I hadn’t scratched out a little tiny corner of the comic history books for myself before now, I certainly did today!” he wrote. “Proud to say that two of the world’s oldest and longest running comic books now have logos that I designed featured on their covers! I can’t believe it!”

The new logo is clean and balanced, with the ‘Batman’ and ‘Detective Comics’ text perfectly placed inside the classic bat symbol, delivering a modern take on a classic logo. It’s super-satisfying to study the way the curves and text interplay within the space.

Image Credit: DC Comics

The new logo fits the Gothic theme of the book beautifully, its 80s’ horror font that looks like it would be on the front of a Stephen King novel, captures the book’s mood. Meanwhile, the black trade dress with the red DC Comics and Batman logo in each top corner helps bring the aesthetic together, as it makes Evan Cagle’s cover art stand out even more.

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Traditional headwear is a theme throughout the tournament, from the FIFA World Cup logo, the mascot, and even one of the stadium designs.

Credit: Fifa

Collaborating with Qatari artist Bouthayna Al Muftaht FIFA has revealed the official World Cup poster for Qatar 2022. It’s a dynamic image that gives off the feeling of motion and excitement, and certainly a novel choice to focus on a single aspect of the culture, depicting traditional local headwear being thrown in the air – a common celebration amongst soccer fans in the region, instead of portraying the more obvious aspects of the country, the Doha Skyline and shiny new stadiums.

The design is majorly black-and-white and consists of highlights of the dark burgundy color of the Qatar flag in the official tournament logo and traditional Telstar-style ball.

“My main inspiration was the concept of collective memory,” said Al Muftah. “Most of my work focuses on past experiences, and memories, tying them to the present and archiving them in a contemporary manner. I wanted the posters to follow this theme and tell the story of Qatar’s football culture.”

Credit: Fifa

The official poster Qatar 2022 may not be as colourful as the posters created for different host cities for World Cup 2018, but it certainly does an impeccable job at showcasing the Qatari culture.

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As the sun colours flowers and art colours life, colour key artist Sudarshan Kumar colours our screens and brings life to scenes.

Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Color Keys - RUN! - Hills of Adventure

Tom and Jerry, Dexter’s Lab, Looney Toons, it was the colourful world of these evergreen cartoons where the seeds of creativity were sowed in Sudarshan Kumar. Over the years, Cartoon Network shows became Anime and drawing cartoons became graphic designing, but his love for animation never faltered. As his worldview expanded, creative developments also came in the form of video editing and photography. Bringing together all his passions, he pursued a degree in game development from the Breda University of Applied Sciences. It was there that Concept Art first spoke to him.

Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Sunshine - Moment Painting

The grandeur works of Amano Yoshitaka and Takehito Harada opened up an entirely new dimension for him, albeit shaking his confidence in his own work. Puss in Boots was the defining thread that truly opened his eyes to the specialisation of Colour and Light with short films like “The Dam Keeper” and the works of artists Nathan Fowkes and James Gurney further solidifying his love for Animation and Colour/Light.

Illustration - Sounds of Passion

He stepped into the professional world with his first job at House of Cool. It was here that he worked on the colour keys of the show, “He-Man and Masters of the Universe”. It required him to be comfortable with how colour and light interact with each other and stage it to support the story. The process began with understanding the vision of the art director. He learned of the episodes, themes and transformations of the heroes. In addition, he was also given the concept art and design of the environment and characters to begin the painting process. This process together with the storyboards culminated in the final color key approved by the Director. It is a truly collaborative process with multiple people behind every minute frame.

Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Color Keys - Night Stroll - Hills of Adventure
Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Illustration - Morning Song

While professional commitments have a pre-defined brief, for his personal color key work, Sudarshan tends to be more experimental and explore different colours and lighting scenarios. His main goal is to be able to communicate emotions in a moment and showcase feelings just through colour and light. He has recently been exploring ways to create concept art more freely. He has been using the beauty of simple shapes, bold colours and interesting textures as attributes to create unique concept art.

Illustration - Comfort Inn
Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Color Keys - Dracula - Hills of Adventure

Sudarshan believes that as a concept artist, it is important to not look at how pretty an image is first, one is required to have ideas. It is about exploring possibilities till it sticks. For concept art, it is important to not get too comfortable and keep exploring. Having freshly stepped into the domain just a couple of years ago, he also believes that it is important to be motivated and be inspired by the world around us in our own ways. For Sudarshan, it is looking at the world with an emphasis on how light around him interacts, bounces illuminates and brings out the best in everything.

Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Illustration - Pew Pew the Monster
Illustration - Hills of Adventure

You can uncover the artistic vision of Sudarshan Kumar on his website and follow him along on his artistic journey on Instagram.


And for more exciting behind-the-scenes coverage of other artists & illustrators from around the world be sure to follow
Creative Gaga on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Life in Art through Colours - Sudarshan Kumar
Illustration - Summer Bubbles
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Sudarshan Kumar
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Sudarshan Kumar is a Colour Key Artist and Painter for TV and Feature Animation with 2 years of experience in the industry. Having worked in multiple domains, his skills and interests are not limited by genre or software. He brings an infectious enthusiasm and high spirits to projects with the goal to pursue the most creative visions. Most recently, he worked as a Colour Key Artist for the House of Cool on “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe”.


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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 54