Sanjeev Nanda on How To Make Stop Motion Video

23 Jul
Sanjeev Nanda How to Guides

Still from Flushed Away

Stop-motion animation is one of the simplest, most fun animation techniques. Mix equal parts digital camera, computer, and imagination (you’ve got all three), and you’re on your way. Although flashier computer-generated animation is in vogue, stop-motion has a rich heritage of its own.

And it’s not limited to claymation, either–Tim Burton used stop-motion and puppets to create The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Comedy Central’s Robot Chicken uses stop-motion with action figures and toy props.

You can use just about anything in your stop-motion animation, and thanks to digital cameras and computers, creating one is now super easy. There are many ways to go about shooting, editing and finalizing a stop-motion short; Sanjeev Nanda your guide will be covering the simplest. Don’t be discouraged by the number of steps! It’s much easier than it first appears.

Things You Need for Stop Motion Video

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An idea is all you need

The first thing you need is, of course, an idea. Try to stick with something simple for your first one–any action that can be split up into smaller parts works well.

You may wish to make an inanimate object appear as though it is alive; for example, a sock inching its way across the floor or a piece of paper that crumples itself up. While brainstorming, keep in mind that you can expect to shoot around 10 photos for every second of film.

Second, you’ll need a digital camera. Since you won’t be printed these photos, you can set your camera to the lowest size image setting. This will let you fit more images on your memory card at a time. Depending on how long you’d like your movie to be, you may need to “fill and dump” your camera (copying the photos to your computer and erasing the memory card) multiple times before you are finished.

Finally, in order to turn your images into an animated video you will need video editing software like Apple’s iMovie or QuickTime Pro. There are also a number of free and shareware programs for Mac, Windows, and Linux, some of which are listed at the end of this tutorial. More information about these programs is available on their respective websites.

Step 1: Shoot Your Animation

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Take as many images as you want, it will give depth to your video

Let’s say, for example, that you would like to make an action figure move itself across the floor. Start at the beginning: place the action figure somewhere and take your first photo. Remember, you want to use camera (still frame) mode, not movie mode.

Using a tripod and only moving your object will make it appear as though your object is moving through your frame. Keeping the object in the same general area in each frame by moving the camera along with it will make it appear as though you are traveling with the object. It’s up to you.

After you’ve taken your first photograph, move the action figure slightly in the direction you want it to travel and take another photo. Move it again by the same distance, and take one more. Continue this until the action figure reaches where you want it to stop. You can manipulate your object in creative ways to add visual interest to your film, just make sure that whatever movement your object makes is done slowly over several frames.

Finally, if you make a mistake while shooting, delete that picture on your camera and take another. This will save you from having to edit your film later.

Step 2: Download Your Photos

Now that you’ve captured your images, you’ll need to get them onto your computer. This process varies widely from camera to camera and computer to computer. Consult your camera guide and software “Help” if you are unfamiliar with this process.

First, import your image files to the camera, and give them their own album. Once your photos have been imported, open any movie authoring software, for eg. iMovie for Mac, JPGVideo for Windows.

Step 3: Animate Your Photos

In order for your animated short to play properly, you must tell the software you are using, how long you want each photo to appear before showing the next one. It’s kind of like creating a slideshow, except instead of giving each image a few seconds, you give it only a fraction of a second. The timing you choose will affect the overall tempo and length of your film.

For action figure example Sanjeev Nanda used a duration of 3 frames-per-photo. Normally movie authoring softwares play at 30 frames-per-second, a setting of 3 frames-per-photo means you’ll see 10 photos every second. Now you can see why you have to shoot so many photos!

If you use the 3 frames-per-photo setting, you can easily estimate how many photos you’ll need to create a movie of a given length. In our example we used around 100 photos, for 10 seconds of video. If we wanted to make an animation exactly 30 seconds long, we’d shoot 300 photos.

This next step is very important, so stay with us! If you are using iMovie, select all of the photographs in your stop-motion album (the quick way to do this is to click on the very first photo and then, holding down the shift key, scroll down and click on the last photo.) Now click “Show Photo Settings” and type in “0:03″ for your duration in the floating window that appears. Click the Apply button and your photos will start getting sucked into the timeline at the bottom of the window.

Once iMovie’s finished filling the timeline, hit play. You just created your first stop-motion animated video short!

Final Touches: Music and Sharing

To fine tune your animation, you can slow it down by choosing to use more than 3 frames-per-photo. You can also add music to your short by dragging MP3s or AIFF files to the timeline. To share your stop-motion video, you’ll want to convert it to avi or mp4 or any other popular format.

That’s it! Don’t forget to save your project often as you go along, and check out Vimeo — a cool place to upload your finished videos!

One of the best stop motion videos i’ve seen:


Sanjeev Nanda on Pod Slurping

19 Jul

Pod Slurping – An easy technique for stealing data

The problem with uncontrolled use of iPods, USB sticks and flash drives on your network. A common misconception is that perimeter security measures such as firewalls and anti-virus software are enough to secure corporate data residing on the corporate network. In this white paper, we explore how the uncontrolled use of portable storage devices such as iPods, USB sticks, flash drives and PDAs, coupled with data theft techniques such as ‘pod slurping’, can lead to major security breaches.

Pod slurping: How can insiders steal your data?

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iPods - if in wrong hands can do more damage

Developments in portable device and data storage technology are escalating. The latest versions of MP3 players and flash memory devices have huge storage capabilities; yet these gadgets are small enough to easily conceal and sneak in behind the corporate line of defence. Further to this, easy connectivity and high speed data transfer has become increasingly more widespread – a user may simply plug the device into a USB or FireWire port and they are up and running – no drivers or configuration required! In practice, this means that a data thief can get away with even more precious data, and a negligent employee can dump more viruses onto the corporate network even when connecting for only a short time. iPod is just one example of such portable contraptions. At a glance it is an innocent-looking portable audio device. However under the hood it boasts up to 60 GB of portable storage space; practically large enough to store all the data found in a typical workstation. This means that a malicious insider can use an iPod to covertly take out (i.e. ‘steal’) proprietary data and millions of financial, consumer or otherwise sensitive corporate records at one go!

Gartner analysts Contu and Girard (2004) warned of the security risks associated with the uncontrolled use of portable storage devices within corporations. Today, information theft has become a plague on modern society; data leakage, data ciphering, and data disclosure incidents are all but some of the terms used by security experts to refer to information theft. However, the most original term so far is probably the term ‘pod slurping’ that was coined by US security expert Abe Usher (2005).

Pod slurping: An easy technique for stealing data

Usher uses the term ‘pod slurping’ to describe how MP3 players such as iPods and other USB mass storage devices can be easily used to steal sensitive corporate data. “There are dishonest people in the world”, says Usher, “many of them work at many companies – and these USB devices make it rather trivial to steal huge amounts of data” (Schick, 2006). To demonstrate the vulnerability of corporate security, Usher developed a “proof of concept” software application that can automatically search corporate networks and copy (or “slurp”) business critical data onto an iPod. This software application runs directly from an iPod and when connected to a computer it can slurp (copy) large volumes of corporate data onto an iPod within minutes. What’s more is that slurping is not limited to iPods and MP3 players alone. All portable storage devices can be used to slurp information; digital cameras, PDAs, thumb drives, mobile phones and any other plug-and-play devices which have storage capabilities! Data slurping is a very simple automated process and does not require any technical expertise; a user may plugin the portable storage device to a corporate workstation and by the time it takes to listen to an MP3, all the sensitive corporate data on that workstation is copied to the portable storage device.

Insider information theft is a real problem

Information theft has now become a major concern for every organization and thus data leakage prevention is slowly taking up a bigger portion of the IT budget. This drive is attributed to two factors: The wave of malevolent threats that is hitting every industry and the increase in regulatory requirements which demand more protection and tighter controls over client records and other confidential information. More stringent controls and severe penalties are forcing organizations to address regulatory compliance more seriously. In January 2006, the Federal Trade Commission charged commercial data broker ChoicePoint Inc. a settlement fee of 15 million dollars for leaking consumer data and violating consumer privacy rights (Federal Trade Commission, 2006). A misconception shared by many organizations is that security threats mostly originate from outside the corporation. In fact, countless dollars are being spent every year on firewalls and other solutions that secure the corporate perimeter from external threats. However, statistics show that internal security breaches are growing faster than external attacks and at least half of security breaches originate from behind the corporate firewall. Unfortunately, corporate insiders are the first and easiest route to evade perimeter security. The trusted position of corporate employees and their constant exposure to corporate data makes detecting and stopping of data theft an enormous challenge – especially in environments where corporate data is largely distributed!

Why would insiders want to slurp information?

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Is your computer safe from insider theft.

Corporate data can be profitable in various ways; blueprints, engineering plans, tenders, pricelists, source code, database schemas, sound files, lyrics and much more – all this valuable intellectual property may be exploited
by individuals or corporations to gain economical and business advantage over their competitors. The 2006 CSI/FBI survey indicates theft of intellectual property as having the fourth highest economical effect over organizations (Gordon et al., 2006). Malicious perpetrators may also steal sensitive consumer information such as medical and financial records from a company and divulge it to the public. This would damage the company’s reputation as well as make it liable to legal prosecution for violating consumer privacy rights. In a nutshell, malicious intent, monetary gain and curiosity are probably the major motives behind information
theft. Anyone is an enemy for a price and thus perpetrators can be various. Disgruntled employees that believe they are disrespected or exploited by their employers may take advantage of their trusted position and sell
corporate plans and other sensitive information to direct competitors. Former employees who feel they have been unfairly dismissed may use their inside knowledge or exploit internal relationships to access, steal and
publicly expose consumer information and damage the company. Trusted insiders can also turn into paid informers and engage in industrial espionage, data warfare or other extensive fraudulent activities such as
‘identity theft’. The term ‘identity theft’ refers to crimes in which someone obtains and uses the personal details of another person (e.g. social security or credit card number) to commit criminal acts, usually for financial gain. To date it is the fastest growing crime in the United States. It was estimated that identity theft victims amounted to around nine million adults in the U.S. in 2005 (Johannes, 2006).

How can corporations mitigate the risks of information theft?

The key advantage of iPods and similar portable storage devices is easy access. In theory, this may be of great advantage for corporations. However, it is a well-reported fact that access and security are at opposite ends of
the security continuum. The reason is that you never know what users may be doing with their portable devices. An employee might appear to be listening to music on his iPod, but actually he or she might be uploading malicious files or slurping gigabytes of valuable corporate data. A possible solution to avoid information theft is to implement a corporate-wide portable storage control policy. To mitigate the security risks, some experts and researchers suggest conventional courses of action such as the physical blocking of ports, stringent supervision as well as drastic actions such as the total ban of iPods and similar devices from the workplace. However, this is not the best practical approach. Portable storage devices can be beneficial tools for the corporate workforce and a blanket ban would be counter-productive. In addition good practice dictates that you must never rely on voluntary compliance.

Sanjeev Nanda Tips for Massive Arms

14 Jul

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Arnold : Every body builder's idol

Upper arm development is probably one of the most sought-after bodybuilding goals. I have yet to meet an elite pro bodybuilder pleased with his upper arm development, even though that arm development exceeds the 20-inch circumference.

If you’ve been frustrated recently with your lack of progress in upper arm development, follow any one of the seven tips given here and you are surely going to experience new growth in record time.

1. Don’t train biceps with back and triceps with chest

Training biceps after doing your back routine and training your triceps after a chest workout are antiquated training concepts. For example, when one does a full back workout, there’s plenty of residual fatigue in the elbow flexors from all the chins, rows and pulldown exercises that drastically reduce the training poundages in all curling exercises, thus falling short of optimal loading for the elbow flexors. At this point, you are using loads that fall short of the optimal training zone for overloading properly the contractile proteins. I strongly suggest that in order to improve the strength and size of your upper arms, they should be trained alone as a training unit. That leads us to point number two.

2. Train using the double station system

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Double workout your biceps

For every elbow flexion exercise, you should alternate an elbow extension exercise. Even though you may be thinking I’m just talking about supersetting biceps and triceps, I beg to differ on a subtlety. With a superset, little or no rest is taken between the agonist and the antagonist muscles. In the approach I strongly endorse, I prefer to use longer breaks between the two stations for the following reasons.

By having the antagonistic pairs contracting alternately (e.g. flexion followed by extension) as opposed to agonist contractions alone (precontraction of antagonists), the ability of achieving full motor unit activation (MUA) in a muscle contraction may be enhanced when immediately preceded by a contraction of the antagonists. This has the added benefit of allowing you to double the workload per training unit. It is important to alternate exercises working agonists muscles with exercises working antagonistic muscles together, while respecting long rest intervals. For example, after doing a 3RM set of close grip triceps presses, rest two to three minutes, perform a heavy set for the antagonist muscle (i.e., 3-4RM set of dumbbell curls for the biceps), rest another two to three minutes and repeat the procedure for the required number of sets.

With double station training, you get the added benefit of making sure both sides of the joints are equally loaded with optimal training loads, while in classic supersets, endurance levels may at times make the trainee compromise on utilizing the right amount of weight to overload the contractile proteins.

3. To gain arm strength, pause between reps

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Pausing between reps giving you strength to pull off more reps

Too often, trainees fail to make mass gains in their upper arms because their strength in biceps and triceps exercises has been stagnating for awhile. But, there is another way out. Research by Canadian exercise physiologists has shown that for a given submaximal force of contraction, motor unit activation is greater for repeated (intermittent) than for sustained contractions. Pausing between reps helps offset the oxygen debt associated with sustained contractions by various mechanisms, one of which is allowing the removal of waste products from the muscle cell that block the optimal neural drive. This type of intra-set rest allows for the recruitment of higher threshold motor units, which is essential for strength gains. Make sure these pauses are no more than 15 seconds in length and are taken where muscles can rest, such as when your arms are outstretched.

4. Don’t neglect the forearms

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Working your forearms will give you strength

When a bodybuilder complains of stagnation in mass and strength gains in the elbow flexors, I often recommend adding some direct grip and forearm work. When you include direct forearm and grip work, your curling poundages go up because a few forearm muscles, such as flexor carpi radialis, contribute to elbow flexion; this leads to furthering biceps and brachialis development. As you know by now, heavier weights mean greater overload on the muscular structure, and greater overload on the muscular structure means greater hypertrophy.

Elite bodybuilders of the sixties, Chuck Sipes and Larry Scott, were known for handling Herculean weights in curling exercises. They were very strong proponents of complementary forearm training for upper arm development. The other added benefit is that the aesthetics of your upper arms will also be enhanced.

Frequently, doing three sets each of wrist flexors work, wrist extensor work and grip work, jolts one’s progress to new levels. A sample tri-set could look like this:

  • A-1 EZ-bar handle low palms up – Wrist Curls 3 x 15-20 reps on a 2010 tempo; rest 45 seconds.
  • A-2 EZ-bar handle low palms down – Wrist Curls 3 x 15-20 reps on a 2010 tempo; rest 45 seconds.
  • A-3 Gripping Machine 3 x 10-12 reps on a 2013 tempo; rest 45 seconds.

As you can see from the tempo, you’d isometrically hold the contraction for three seconds when the hands are closed. For the two types of low pulley wrist curls, the Tribar company makes a very interesting handle with rotating sleeve. The shape of the grip makes for a more ergonomic and comfortable position. Recently, Dorian Yates visited my training site for soft tissue work and he was quite intrigued with the Tribar handles.

When doing grip work, stay away from choppy reps. When you are lowering the grip handles, make sure on every rep that the handles are at the very tip of your fingers so it will feel like you’re just about to lose your grip.

This will insure a greater range of motion, thus greater development. Once the handles are brought back together, squeeze with all your might. Keep in mind that one of the fastest ways to improve your forearm size and gripping strength instantly is to forego the use of lifting straps when training the upper body.

5. Train your traps

If the arm’s muscle mass is not balanced with the trapezius and deltoid development, the sheer weight of the arms will block its neural drive because the proper alignment of the upper extremities will be faulty. Adding some direct trap work on upper back training day should do the trick. Best choices for exercises would include one arm shrug with dumbbell or low pulley, which permits greater range of motion than raising both scapulae at the same time. Another great exercise for trap development is the power snatch from mid-thigh.

6. Give the 6-12-25 method a try

It consists of doing a heavy set of six reps. Take a 10-second break, switch the exercise and do 10-12 reps. Take a 10-second break, switch to a new exercise and perform an agonizing 25 reps with it. After this, a much needed two-minute break is required before the cycle is repeated once, and at most, twice. One should expect to have to decrease the load between 10 to 20 percent for the second cycle to meet the desired repetitions brackets.

For the six rep sets, I prefer exercises in which the muscles are in a pre-stretched position, as in incline curls for the biceps and overhead low pulley extensions for the triceps. For the 10-12 rep sets, I prefer to use exercises that overload the mid-range of the strength curve, such as barbell curls for the biceps and dips for the triceps. For the 25 rep sets, machines or pulley devices that offer a more uniform tension on the muscles throughout the range of motion work very well. It will take some experimenting at first to determine the right load, but once you have dialed into it, it’s extremely effective for building large muscular arms.

7. Specific brachialis training

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Most important muscle to workout for aesthetic appeal

The brachialis muscle is a widely neglected muscle in the bodybuilding world. However, every single bodybuilder who has phenomenal arm development sports a pair of fully developed brachialis muscles. When you see Ronnie Coleman do his back double biceps pose, his brachialis muscles are the tennis ball-shaped muscles you see between his triceps and biceps muscles. The brachialis muscle is better known among kinesiologists as the workhorse of elbow flexion. That is, it works in all elbow flexion movements, whether the forearm is pronated, supinated, or in between. When the forearm is supinated (palms-up grip), the biceps have an effective line of pull. However, when the forearm is pronated (palms-down grip), the biceps is rather ineffective in flexing the elbow. When your forearm is pronated, the brachialis takes the toll and pulls the resistance almost alone.

In order to objectively measure your brachialis muscle, you need specific work. Go on the Scott bench and curl five or six reps with maximum weight on the barbell curls with a supinated grip. After a 10-minute rest, you should be able to reverse curl with an EZ bar 76 percent of that weight for five or six reps. If you cannot do so, your brachialis muscle will need specific muscle work. If you don’t already do one of the various forms of reverse curls as part of your workout, adding it could surely result in 1/2 to one full inch of arm growth in a month’s time!

Make sure to always perform at least one specific brachialis exercise when training your upper arms. Your arsenal of brachialis exercises in the arms race include: reverse Scott curls (wide or narrow grip, low pulley or EZ bar), hammer curls, Gaspari bar curls, Zottmann curls (seated or one arm at a time on the Scott bench).

Sanjeev Nanda TIP

If you have neglected your brachialis muscles, here’s a very good program to pack size on them. This program involves what is called a post-exhaustion system. That is where you do a compound (multiple joint) exercise that recruits a lot of motor units, and follow it immediately with a superior isolation exercise that also taps well into the motor unit pool. Just by the amount of delayed onset muscle soreness you will get from this routine on your first go at it, you will be convinced of its efficacy at building large muscular arms. The routine looks like this:

Post-Exhaustion Cycle

  • A-1 Narrow Grip Pronated Pull-Ups 4 x 4-6 reps @ 4010 tempo
  • A-2 Pause Standing Reverse Curls 4 x 6-8 reps @ 3210 tempo
  • Rest 10 seconds between A-1 and A-2
  • Rest three minutes between A-2 and A-1
  • Rest 10 seconds between B-1 and B-2
  • Rest three minutes between B-2 and B-1

Sanjeev Nanda Tips to Control Your Temper

13 Jul

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Anger Management is important for healthy living (clipartguide)

10 Ways to Tame your Temper

Controlling your temper isn’t always easy. But these effective anger management tips will help give you the upper hand.

Do you find yourself fuming when someone cuts you off in traffic? Does your blood pressure go through the roof when your child won’t cooperate? Anger is a normal and even healthy emotion, but learning how to deal with it in a positive way is important.

Uncontrolled anger can make both you and other people feel lousy. If your outbursts, rages or frustrations are negatively affecting relationships with family, friends, co-workers or even complete strangers, it’s time to learn some anger management skills. Anger management techniques are a proven way to help change the way you express your anger.

Sanjeev Nanda tips to help get your anger under control

  1. Take a ‘timeout.’ Although it may seem cliche, counting to 10 before reacting really can defuse your temper.
  2. Get some space. Take a break from the person you’re angry with until your frustrations subside a bit.
  3. Once you’re calm, express your anger. It’s healthy to express your frustration in a nonconfrontational way. Stewing about it can make the situation worse.
  4. Get some exercise. Physical activity can provide an outlet for your emotions, especially if you’re about to erupt. Go for a brisk walk or a run, swim, lift weights or shoot baskets.
  5. Think carefully before you say anything. Otherwise, you’re likely to say something you’ll regret. It can be helpful to write down what you want to say so that you can stick to the issues. When you’re angry, it’s easy to get sidetracked.
  6. Identify solutions to the situation. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work with the person who angered you to resolve the issue at hand.
  7. Use ‘I’ statements when describing the problem. This will help you to avoid criticizing or placing blame, which can make the other person angry or resentful — and increase tension. For instance, say, “I’m upset you didn’t help with the housework this evening,” instead of, “You should have helped with the housework.”
  8. Don’t hold a grudge. If you can forgive the other person, it will help you both. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want.
  9. Use humor to release tensions. Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don’t use sarcasm, though — it’s can hurt feelings and make things worse.
  10. Practice relaxation skills. Learning skills to relax and de-stress can also help control your temper when it may flare up. Practice deep-breathing exercises, visualize a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase to yourself, such as “Take it easy.” Other proven ways to ease anger include listening to music, writing in a journal and doing yoga.
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Anger Management (2003) movie

Getting anger management help

You can practice many of these anger management strategies on your own. But if your anger seems out of control, is hurting your relationships or makes you feel physically violent or destructive, you may benefit from some help. Here are some ways you can get help to keep your frustrations in check:

  • See a psychologist or licensed counselor. Seeing a therapist can help you learn to recognize your anger warning signs before you blow up, and how to cope with your anger. Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a counselor specializing in anger management. Family and friends also may give you recommendations based on their experiences. Your health insurer, employee assistance program (EAP), clergy, or state or local agencies also may offer recommendations.
  • Take an anger management class. An anger management class can teach you what anger is, how to recognize anger triggers and how to keep your anger under control. These courses can be done individually, with spouses or families, or in groups. In addition to the search methods for a psychologist or counselor, you can find organizations offering anger management courses on the Internet and through your district court.
  • Read a book. There are a number of helpful books on anger management. A number of them focus on particular situations, such as anger in teens, anger in men or anger in couples. Many of them are workbooks, with exercises that teach concrete skills.

Anger and irritability can be signs of an underlying mental health condition, such as depression or bipolar disorder. If your symptoms don’t improve, or you have signs or symptoms of anxiety or depression, see a mental health provider for help.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on Motorcycle Burnouts

12 Jul
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Burnout the easiest stunt to pull off

While riding a motorcycle is great fun, doing tricks with it is more fun. There are many various actions to learn and do, and this one is easy to learn if you follow the steps as written below.

WHEEL BURNOUTS

A burnout (also known as a peel out or power brake) is the practice of keeping a vehicle stationary (or close to) and spinning its wheels, causing the tires to heat up and smoke resulting from friction.

Step-by-step guide to Motorcyle Burnout

  • Turn on the motorcycle and keep it in second gear.
  • Pull in the front brake and the clutch all the way.
  • Use your right thumb and turn the throttle while remaining four fingers holding on the front brake and other hand hold clutch, start revving.
  • Make sure to stand solidly on your feet (if you are still learning do the standing one first) all of your feet touching the ground, to from an A shape with your legs so that your thighs or knees hold the bike from going too much to the right or too much to the left.
  • Slowly start to release the clutch while keeping the front brake pulled tightly. You will feel your back tire start to spin, but you won’t go anywhere as long as you keep on the front brake.
  • Keep accelerating, you will be making a lot of smoke and turning a lot of heads. When you are done, pull in the clutch all the way or release the throttle your thumb.
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Smoke Ahoy! Burnout's wear tires faster

Sanjeev Nanda Tips

  • Do not let out your front brake until you have the clutch pulled in again.
  • Lean forward just a tad, but not too much.
  • If you do a burnout on a paint stripe, it does less damage to your tire and makes more smoke.
  • If you’re just starting to learn how to do a burnout, you can try to do a burn out after you wash your bike if your tires are wet, when they are wet they will easily spin out and break traction this will be a great way to learn and gain confidence.

WARNINGS !

If you feel the bike going too much to either side, and you feel that you are losing control quickly engage the clutch and release the throttle in one quick smooth motion.You might want to try again later when you feel more confident.

This will ruin your back tire. Doing them on a paint stripe only helps keep your tire intact but it will ruin it regardless. Be careful to not blow your tire.

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Professional BMW Rider Ruben Xaus

VIDEO GUIDE

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How To Modify Your Car

9 Jul

What does a motorhead naturally want out of his stock machine?

MORE POWER!

Sanjeev Nanda, tells you all you need to know about modifying your street car.

Sanjeev Nanda Car Performance Modification

Mitsubushi Lancer Evolution Modified

BEFORE you modify your car

Remember to practice SAFE DRIVING on public roads! With additional power comes the need for additional responsibility. Keep the racing restricted to track days and in other forms of competition (within a controlled environment).

Enroll with a professional rally / racing / driving school. This will not only make you a faster driver but also a safer one. To quote a popular Pirelli tagline : Power is nothing without control.

Ensure that you are with the right tuner. The quality of install and product is most important. Get your work done only by a tuner who has the relevant knowledge, infrastructure and dedication to carry out a high quality installation. The product quality is equally important and it is generally recommended to stick to reputed brands (wherever available). A bad modification can actually make your car slower than in stock tune. Poor reliability may also result from a bad installation, causing a great amount of heart-burn to you.

Remember that the engine is a very complex system and each component has to work in harmony with everything else. Only then will you benefit from the performance modifications.

Tune your car via a step-by-step method. This will allow you to gauge improvements in an incremental manner and fine-tune one modification before moving on to the next.

Choose a “mod-friendly” car to start with. Most Japanese brands like the Hondas and Suzuki’s have tremendous after-market support in terms of parts availability and tuner capability. Simply put, there are some cars which inherently respond better to performance tuning. On the other hand, it is a pointless exercise trying to make heavy cars like the Contessa or a Mahindra Jeep go any faster! Pick your car based on what you want to achieve.

Beware of cheap “go-fast” gimmicks like the Surbo and electric superchargers, which are nothing but an absolute waste of money. Common sense plays a vital role out here; why would you need a DTM corner slammer on a front wheel drive car that spends most of its time below 120 kph.

Remember that Vitamin M (or Money!!) runs the show. Tuning your car can be an expensive proposition, so outline a detailed budget before moving on from stage to stage. Not only will the modifications cost you big $$$, but lowered fuel efficiency (almost certain) will cause another dent on your wallet. Some highly-modified cars or engines running an increased compression ratio may also require high-octane fuel to run efficiently.

Invest in a popular timing device like the G-Tech series. This range of timing equipment will help you to gauge the benefits of your modification, and whether that actually translated into making your car faster.

• Remember that your warranty will almost certainly be nullified, if your car is within the coverage period.

• Think before you try to alleviate the visual appeal of your car via body kits and spoilers. Be warned that a badly-designed body kit will ruin the aerodynamics of your car and may cause it to become unstable at high speeds. Also, spoilers are merely for looks and, in any case, work only above 175kph.

STAGE ONE MODIFICATIONS

1. Upgrade tyres and alloy wheels:

• Before adding more power to your car, it must have the adequate grip levels for current & future power delivery. Alloy wheels are not always necessary for a tyre upsize. Approximate cost = Rs.12,500 – 50,000.

2. Air-Filter:

Sanjeev Nanda BMW Car Modification

World Best Air filters

A stock replacement performance filter requires no modifications and is very simple to install since it fits exactly in place of your factory filter. The performance gains are marginal. Approximate cost = Rs.2,000 – 7,500.

A Cold air intake (CAI) is the more serious of performance air-filters. With a CAI, proper installation is very important and it should not suck in hot air. The colder the air available to it, the better will be the gains in performance. A true CAI sucks in outside air, while short rams and most CAI applications take air from under the hood. Even if it’s 35 degrees outside, that is still significantly cooler than the air under your hood. You can also opt for a good conical / universal filter without CAI. The plumbing needs to have minimum restrictions with most experts recommending mandrel bent aluminium pipes. The diameter of the pipe through its entire length should be uniform and greater than that of the throttle body. Do note that the sound levels with significantly increase with a CAI, and some precautions must be taken when driving in the monsoons. K&N recommends a shroud for use in dusty conditions. Approximate cost = Rs.5,000 – 17,500.

3. Free-Flow Exhaust:

Sanjeev Nanda car modification

High-Performance Free Flow Exhaust - Don't Compromise on quality

A well-designed free flow exhaust system improves the breathing abilities of your engine and can lead to good performance / fuel-efficiency gains. It is important to get a complete free-flow kit (including headers) and not a muffler / end-can kit only. A good header design is very important and you may specify to your installer a preference of low, mid or high-rpm gains. Very little time is actually spent at high-rpms so you might be better off asking for a low to mid-range power gain. The appropriate back pressure must be maintained else you will lose out on torque. An exhaust system is like a chain and only as strong as its weakest link. The most restrictive part is usually the cat-con or the mid-muffler. Some tuners will remove the cat-con, which will result in difficulty toward meeting the emission norms. Also, try and insulate the exposed part of the exhaust system within the hood with asbestos wire (cheap) or ceramic coating (expensive). Approximate cost = Rs.7,500 – 25,000.

4. Spark Plugs:

Performance plugs are pointless on a stock / marginally modified car. Iridium plugs have hardly any benefits and you will never notice them anyway. In case you do install the same, ensure that you pick up plugs with the correct heat range for your engine. Approximate cost = Rs.800 – 3,500.

5. Plug wires:

Same as above. After-market wires don’t add any performance to a stock or marginally modified engine. Only if your eventual modifications require an upgrade to a custom engine management system (or a high-performance ignition system) will your plug wires have some benefit. But at this stage, don’t opt for plug wires as you will only waste your money. Approximate cost = Rs.1,500 – 6,000.

6. Temperature signal modifiers:

These devices are fairly simple to install and result in marginal (if any) performance gains. They modify some signals that are delivered to the ECU, which results in altered fuel / ignition maps. Approximate cost = Rs.900 – 9,000.

7. Synthetic Oil:

Synthetic lubes are highly recommended by Sanjeev Nanda for the superior protection and enhanced lubrication on offer. Approximate cost = Rs.500 – 1300 per liter.

8. Strut braces:

Strut braces / tower bars reduce flex, and help in increasing the grip levels / stability of the car through corners. However, it’s only under hard cornering that the difference is noticeable. Approximate cost = Rs.1,500 – 5,500.

9. Short-shifters:

Short-shifters shorten the throw of your gear-lever, and result in quicker gear shifts. Be advised that there is an optimum length of the shifter depending on the throw, ergonomics and your preferences, and it will take some getting used to. Most drivers are better off with a stock-shifter! Approximate cost = Rs.4,500 – 7,500.

STAGE TWO MODIFICATIONS

1. Performance suspension kits:

With the additional power that your engine is churning out by now, increased grip levels are a must. There are plentiful branded options available for performance struts, coils, coil-over springs, dampers (shock-absorbers) and camber kits (Polyurethane bush kits). Approximate cost = Rs.10,000 – 1,00,000.

2. Head Porting & polishing:

Cylinder head porting and polishing refers to enlarging and smoothening of the ports on the intake and exhaust. This results in better quality and quantity of gas flow-rates. Power gains are very noticeable from a high-quality porting and polishing job. Remember that the intake ports need to be finished rough while the exhaust ports should have a mirror finish. Approximate cost = Rs.9,000 – 15,000.

3. Nitrous oxide systems:

Sanjeev Nanda Car Modification

NOS Kits and Fittings

NOS, as they are popularly called, are cheap power shots and a favorite with drag racers. Due to the inherent nature of the gas, it is a very risky installation. Don’t go overboard with the dose else your engine will end up blown. Also make sure that you back the timing off by a few degrees. Approximate cost = Rs.22,000 – 75,000.

4. Performance camshafts:

Performance cams are a superb modification and can add upto 10% – 20% more power, with options available for low, mid and high-rpm gains. An increase in compression ratio is highly recommended. Also insist on a cam adjuster (variable cam pulley for adjusting cam timing) to realise the full gains of the cam. It is important to avoid over-cam’ing while the more extreme profiles will surely require head work. High lift cams cost a packet and are not recommended for daily-driven cars since the low-end response is compromised, fuel-efficiency takes a beating and you will need to fiddle with idle settings to get it right. Approximate cost = Rs.12,000 – 35,000.

5. Map sensor signal modifiers:

These can improve part throttle performance, but will result only in marginal performance gains. Approximate cost = Rs.12,000 – 25,000.

6. Valve angling:

A multi-angle valve job can lead to noticeable street performance gains by improving the head flow. Note that this is a highly precision-oriented task. Approximate cost = Rs.3,500 upward.

7. Over-boring / Stroker kits:

Over-boring is increasing the CC (cubic capacity) by changing the piston size and stroke of the engine. Pistons, connecting rods and the crankshaft will need to be replaced. Simply put, bigger engine size = more power. For e.g. a 1.3 liter can be overbored to 1.5 liters in capacity. Approximate cost = Rs.12000 upward.

8. Engine remaps:

An ECU flash will give you higher power gains than a piggyback, by changing the entire characteristics and settings of the factory software. There are ready performance remaps available for a wide range of Indian cars and the installation procedure is fairly simple. If you plan on going further to stage three modifications, do the remap at the very end. Any reputable company is going to account for your full mod list in order to give you the best remap. Do the remap last, unless you want to do it twice. Approximate cost = Rs.23,000 – 60,000.

STAGE THREE MODIFICATIONS

1. Performance braking systems:

Sanjeev Nanda Car Modification

Brembo High Performance Brakes

By the time you reach stage three, chances are that your current braking power is ineffective toward handling the additional engine punch. Upgraded boosters, performance discs and street / performance brake pads are available to improve your cars stopping power. Approximate cost = Rs.3,000 – 40,000.

2. Turbo-chargers:

Turbo’s offer high power gains but don’t exceed 6-8 psi on a stock motor. If you want to go higher than that, get ready for a seriously expensive investment in forged internals, sleeves etc.  Approximate cost = Rs.1,25,000 upward.

3. Super-chargers:

Super-chargers or “blowers” (as they are called in the tuner circle) are another method of forced induction. More expensive to install, they are driven off the engines crankshaft, unlike a turbo which is driven by exhaust gas energy. Super-charger kits are readily available for some engines, though Indian tuners prefer turbo-charging. Approximate cost = Rs.1,25,000 upward.

4. Engine swaps:

Sanjeev Nanda Car Modification Guide

Mitsubushi Lancer Evolution Engine

When you have maxed out the power of your current engine, or simply want a bigger powerplant, engine swaps are a good option. Many tuner-friendly cars have a ready list of options available. D16 and B16 engines into Honda City’s, twin-cam Suzuki Swift GTi swaps into Maruti Zen’s and even Honda mills into Suzuki bodies are popular. Mitsubishi Lancers have various Mivec and EVO options. Swapping the engine is changing the “heart” of your car so consult only with tuners who have the necessary experience, knowledge and infrastructure; this is a very important consideration. Some swaps may not offer a bolt-on transition and will require heavy modifications to accommodate. Approximate cost = Rs.30,000 upward.

5. Upgrade clutch:

In stage three, a performance clutch may become a necessity to transfer the additional power effectively and quickly. Consider what the usage of your car will be before installing a performance clutch as varied options are available between street, drag and race applications. Some are a pain to use in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Approximate cost = Rs.10,000 – 50,000.

6. Lighter flywheel:

A lighter flywheel will improve throttle response at all rpms, since the inertia is lower. It works well with balancing the crankshaft. However, don’t add one to a stock engine else you will lose torque at low-rpms. Lightened flywheels are a good option for racing and make for a superb modification with a short (close-ratio) gearbox. Approximate cost = Rs.15,000 – 25,000.

7. Gearing:

The gearbox is one of the most important tools in extracting power from your engine, exactly where you want it (low, mid and high-rpms). You may choose to alter the final drive or go in for an entirely new custom gearbox. Your transmission may also require stronger drive-shafts to cope with the additional power. Approximate cost = Rs. 6,500 upward.

8. ECU replacement:

The ECU (engine control unit) is the brain of your car and controls various engine parameters and functions. Custom ECU’s can be tuned for specific engines where power gains vary from 5%(stock engine) to more than 30% (heavily modified engines). A stand-alone engine management system (Link, AEM, TEC-II etc.) allow great flexibility. With that flexibility comes complexity, custom fitting, and cost. As you progress within stage three, a replacement ECU will become necessary. A great feature of some stand-alones (with a toggle switch) is that they can be switched between performance and stock modes. Approximate cost = Rs.25,000 upward.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How to Overclock your PC

8 Jul

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Overclocking is an Art and if mastered an addiction

Overclocking today could be considered very common. PC retailers are beginning to give you the means to overclock your computer very easily, and some are even doing it for you. Now that overclocking is everywhere, I’m attempting to take it a step further and become a master overclocker. So, here’s what I’ve learned along the way…But before I begin here are some reasons you shouldn’t try overclocking your PC.

Reasons to not Overclock

  • Protection – Warranties are voided on almost all CPUs, and some motherboards as well.
  • Stress – More Stress on the CPU (and on all devices if you increase the FSB)
  • Heat – More Heat Generation from CPU (and RAM if you increase the FSB)
  • Sensitivity – The heat sensitivity of your system will be greatly affected. If you o/c in the winter and summer comes around, you might be forced to reduce your speeds because your system cannot work stably with the large change in ambient temperature.
  • Efficiency – Increasing your CPU speed with overclocking doesn’t increase its efficiency at processing data.
  • Hassle? – Some people get fed up with having to constantly adjust their system for stability. Other, however, find this the most intriguing and education part of overclocking, so it’s your call.

Now that you have mustered the guts to overclock your PC, here are some reasons why you should overclock.

Reasons for Overclocking

  • Speed – Your CPU will perform more operations per second (and your RAM if you increase the FSB)
  • Cash - Who needs to buy a “pricey” 1900+ when you can get a 1600+ for half the price and overclock it to the same speed?!
  • Troubleshooting – an Overclocker MUST know what is going on in their system, because if he doesn’t, he’ll have an unstable system. Being able to overclock successfully will educate a person on vast areas. Everything from CPU temperatures, to BIOS updates, to OS drivers, to motherboard jumpers. This knowledge is invaluable.

SAFETY PROCEDURES

Know what you have :

You should know everything about your system – motherboard, CPU, heatsink/fan, RAM, operating system, video card, and all add-on devices you have.

Understand what you are doing :

The term “Overclocking” is actually very general. There are several ways to overclock a CPU and other components. Please read MORE than what I am about to provide here, the intricacies of these components can span pages… While overclocking, you will change several or possibly ALL of the following:

  • Front Side Bus (FSB) – This is how fast your motherboard chipset communicates with your CPU, and is also one of the two factors that determine overall CPU speed in MHz.
  • CPU Clock Multiplier – This is a unit less value, who’s value increases or decreases in 0.5 increments (such as 10.0, 10.5, 11.0, etc) This value only affects the CPU, and is the other determining factor in overall CPU speed in MHz, when multiplied together with the FSB.
  • CPU Core Voltage (Vcore) – This is the amount of voltage your motherboard will stream to your CPU. An INCREASE in voltage will ensure that your CPU will cleanly pass data, and will prevent data corruption when your CPU is running at higher than stock speeds. An increase in Vcore will also increase your CPU’s core temperature. Find out what your specific CPUs voltage is, because not all CPUs use the same voltage. Look at www.amd.com or www.intel.com
  • RAM Voltage (Vio) – This is the amount of voltage your motherboard will stream to your RAM modules. Similar to Vcore, it ensures stability at higher speeds, although you will only need to increase this value at high FSB speeds, not high Clock Multiplier settings.

Once again, a reminder to please go out and find more resources on all and MORE data regarding what exactly happens when you “overclock”. That term is not specific in the least.

Don’t Rush :

The best thing you can do when overclocking is to not rush. Rushing will most likely lead to failure, which leads to aggravation. And there’s definitely a possibility of killing your CPU, motherboard, RAM, etc. if you rush.

TEMPS, TEMPS, TEMPS:

Any overclocker will know how well his heatsink removes heat from his CPU, and he will measure this using the temperature sensors that almost all motherboards include. Using either the BIOS or other software (such as Motherboard Monitor for Windows) will provide you with real time temperature values. Do some research to find out the acceptable temperature values for your CPU. I can tell you that all AMD Athlon and Duron CPUs should ABSOLUTELY and WITHOUT QUESTION be under 70C. If you are overclocking, you will require a much lower temperature. The reference point I usually recommend to overclockers is 60C at full load. Please note, that by “full load” I am suggesting a CPU intensive test. The best one I’ve seen is Sandra 2002’s Burn In Test. Run 50 passes of the two CPU benchmarks using Sandra’s Burn In function, then check your CPU temperature. If you are under 60C, you are safe. You can find Sandra at www.download.com.

Check Everything:

My last safety suggestion would be to always take your time… make sure your heatsink is installed properly on your CPU and make sure you used a thin, even layer of thermal compound. Make sure your heatsink was perfectly clean before installation. Make sure all your fans in your case and on your heatsink work properly. Make sure your RAM and all PCI devices are snugly in your board. Make sure all cables on the back of your PC are snug.

Increasing the FSB will affect the CPU and also nearly all devices in your system. This is both good and bad, because in a stable system, while all devices will benefit from a slight boost, this also means all devices are stressed more than usual.

Increasing the CPU Clock Multiplier will only affect the CPU. What MOST overclockers do is increase the FSB and leave the clock multiplier alone. What the HARDCORE overclockers do is lower the multiplier first and then MAX OUT the FSB.

There is no reason you should ever LOWER the FSB from stock speeds, unless you’re in an emergency of some kind. It will NOT help in overclocking.

A WORD OF CAUTION ABOUT TEMPERATURES

If you computer ever runs too hot, stop overclocking, back off a bit on your FSB and voltage, and leave it there (make sure that it is stable using prime 95 and memtest) Make sure you do not run 65+C, or you run the risk of damaging something. Keeping it under 60C at full load is always good practice. In addition, I recommend that you get a good heatsink and fan before you even start to overclock. Keeping your CPU at acceptable temperatures is very important.

Your First Error
Once you get that dreaded error (and yes, your heart may sink, that’s ok), you need to increase voltage. Go by the smallest increment possible and run Prime 95 again. If you are able to pass this time, continue upping the FSB and voltage until you reach a 5% or so increase in voltage. If you cannot pass, then increase the voltage a little more (one more increment) and try again. Like I stated before, only increase your voltage by about 5%. Once you hit that voltage, stop. When you think you have found your best overclock, run Prime 95 for several hours (preferably overnight or for a day) to make sure that your computer is stable. If it returns an error, then you should back off your FSB by about 5MHz or so and try again. This process is very time consuming, but you want to ensure you are running a stable computer.

Are You Done?
Now what? Have you hit your maximum overclock? The answer is most likely, no. There are several little tweaks you can use to increase your overall clock speed. First, find out what is limiting your overclock. This can often be the CPU, motherboard, or RAM. To find out if it is your RAM, run memtest. If that returns no errors, then it is likely the CPU. If memtest does return errors, then it is likely either the motherboard or RAM. Try to increase the RAM voltage and see if you can get memtest to return no errors. If this does not help, then it could still be the RAM or motherboard. Sometimes, if your power supply is weak, that can actually limit your overclock. Your voltages should be within 5% of their nominal value. If you are overclocking, I would recommend a 400+ watt power supply from Antec, Enermax, or OCZ, but there are many brands out there and many threads here at guru on this topic, so search for one of those threads and see if you can’t find a power supply well suited or you. Generally, I would look for 25A+ on the 12V line (that’s 25 or more amps on the 12 volt line).

Are You Done Yet?
Still aren’t running stable? Try reducing your multiplier. Increasing your FSB is the most important factor in gaining real world performance. So, reducing the multiplier and increasing the FSB is a great way to get more performance. However, your motherboard or RAM will limit you here. For instance, you can run 10×220 to get 2.2GHz or 11×200 to get that. The 10×220 will run faster than 11×200 even though the processors run at the same frequency. Keep in mind that RAM or motherboard will be a limiting factor here, as long as you know that your CPU can run at whatever frequency you are running. Take for instance the 11×200. I know my computer can run that, but if it can’t run 10×220, I know either my RAM or my motherboard is holding me back. Try increasing your RAM voltage by few notches to see if you can achieve a stable overclock.

So, you’ve increased your RAM voltage and still can’t get it running stable. Now is it game over? No, not quite. You can try and loosen up your memory timings. You will see these values as something like 2-2-2-5 or 2-3-3-6 or 2.5-3-3-7 or 3-4-4-8, or something similar to that in your BIOS. Generally, I would leave these alone because increasing your timings can actually result in worse performance, even though you may be able to increase your FSB. As an example with my computer, running 200 MHz at 2-3-3-7 gave me 1423MB/s of throughput. Running 2.5-3-3-7 at 213 gave me 1486MB/s. As you can see, for 13 more MHz, I gained almost nothing (and you certainly won’t notice a performance gain from that). Running 2-3-3-11 at 200MHz gave me 1373MB/s. Finally, running 2.5-3-3-7 at 200MHz gives me 1398MB/s of throughput. So keep in mind that relaxing memory timings is not always the best idea. This option is more geared towards advanced and seasoned overclockers, so just leave this alone for now until you get more experience. The only reason I am sharing this is just to let you know it exists.

Ways to Spend Money to Get More Clocks
Now that you have overclocked, you are wondering if you can push it farther, yes? Well, the answer is, of course! However, that may require some money. Purchasing components that are known to overclock well is always helpful. So buying new RAM, a motherboard, or processor that is known to be able to achieve high speeds will likely allow you to overclock farther. Also, if you were limited by temperature (reaching 55 – 60C or so), you can invest in a new high performance heatsink or water cooling. This will cool your processor down more so you can increase your voltage. Also, something that is equally as important as your heatsink and fan is your case cooling. If you can, get more case fans to lower the temperature inside your case. This will result in your processor running cooler. This is very important. Like I said, the things mentioned in this paragraph will require you to spend money. If you are not that serious, then I would recommend you don’t really buy anything. However, if you enjoy this, and you want to get into it more, then by all means, help boost the global economy and buy more stuff.

Sanjeev Nanda tips for Great Wildlife Photography

7 Jul

9 Rules For Great Wildlife Photography

Sanjeev Nanda shares his experience and best tips for taking amazing photographs of animals in the wild….or at Zoo.

Many people are curious about secrets for taking excellent wildlife pictures. I don’t know any secrets—but I do have 9 rules that will help you take great photos.

Rule #1: Have Patience

Sanjeev Nanda rules for photography

Patience is Virtue

When you spend a lot of time with an animal, you’ll see amazing things. So when you’re shooting in the wild, in a zoo, or at home with your pets, you’ll need lots of patience to get an amazing photo. I often spend hours watching an animal in the wild or at a zoo exhibit, just waiting for the perfect opportunity.

Rule #2: Take Lots of Pictures

Sanjeev Nanda rules for photography

Sometimes it takes 1000 photographs for that one perfect shot

Give up your old film habits, and shoot a lot of pictures with your digital camera. Like humans, animals have “good” and “bad” expressions and postures, so the more pictures you take, the more likely you are to get a great shot. For example, in a four-hour game drive, I will shoot about 500 images, not worrying about the “bad ones.” Then during the editing process on my computer, I will select the best ones.

Rule #3: Use Standard Settings

Animal photography is motion photography, so being ready is very important. Set your camera to standard settings (see below), and return to these settings after you’ve altered them for a specific situation (if time allows).

Standard Settings

    Shooting Mode: Aperture Control AV; P for flash use
    Image Recording Quality: JPG Best Quality; or RAW
    White Balance: Shade (outdoors); AWB (indoors)
    ISO: 400 (good weather); 1600 (bad weather and indoors)
    Metering Mode: Center Weighted
    Drive Mode: Single Shooting
    Auto Focus Mode: One Shot; AI Servo if object is moving towards you or away from you
    Auto Focus Points: Center Point Only

Rule #4: Keep the Eyes in Focus

Sanjeev Nanda rules for photography

Eyes give photographs character and depth

Remember that an animal is not a cathedral—you’ll only have a few seconds to compose a shot. When using “center point focus,” you are in control of the focus, not your camera, so make sure that the animals’ eyes are sharp and in focus. Compose the shot so that the eyes are in the center of the picture, and leave extra room around your subject so you can crop the image later.

Rule #5: Learn How To Over and Under Expose

Sanjeev Nanda wildlife photography tips

Play with exposure settings to get surprising results

Once you have your standard settings, you can use the exposure compensation feature (+/-) to adjust for a perfect picture. If your subject is much darker than the surroundings, use the over-expose (+) to lighten the image. If your subject is much lighter, use the under-expose (-) to darken the image. I usually adjust in increments of .5, but experiment with the feature to find what works best (and what doesn’t).

Rule #6: A Higher ISO Is Your Friend

With animals, you need short exposure times because they’re always moving. I rarely use use a tripod—though sometimes I’ll use a monopod—so I can adapt to their movements quickly. When I use a full aperture set, I’ll use a higher ISO (800-1600 or even above). Older digital cameras will usually have visible noise over 400 ISO, but results with newer digital SLRs are much better. I think it’s better to have an image with a little more noise than a picture completely out of focus.

Rule #7: Get Down There!

Sanjeev Nanda photography tips

Take photographs anywhere but eye level

If you want tension in your pictures, get on eye level with your subject, or even below eye level. I often find myself laying flat on the floor when shooting in zoos. Many exhibits are below the observer, which is good for watching the animals but bad for photography!

Rule #8: Avoid the Flash—Use a Flashlight Instead!

I don’t like flash pictures because they’re mostly flat and have no depth. In wildlife photography, you seldom have the time for good flash setup (with multiple flashes) anyway. I’d rather use a higher ISO and try my luck without a flash. A standard, hand-held flashlight can help by producing a glint in the eye of an animal and lightening up a dark corner.

Rule #9: Eliminate Fences

Sanjeev Nanda wildlife photography tips

Zoom through the gap in the fences

When there are fences between you and your subject, get as close to the fence as possible without touching it (legal moves only, please). Extend your zoom to the largest telephoto setting, and open the aperture full. Ideally, your subject will be in the middle, between the front and back fences. Shoot through the shaded parts of the fence, and the fence should disappear from your shot.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Paint Car Rims

6 Jul
Sanjeev Nanda how to paint your rims

Color Your Rims, Define your style

Paint your own Rims?  Who would have thought something previously done by professionals could be done in your own home. While, the concept of painting your own rims has been around a few years now, many questions pop up of how to do it and I(Sanjeev Nanda) thought I would share my own experiences with painting. I have read up many examples of how to do this, but my first time trying was last year.

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Colored Rims on Volkswagon (not my car)

All you need is Duplicolor. hey offer paint colors to match your style coming in white, gunmetal, classic silver and bronze as well. I chose to do mine in gunmetal leaving my lip the stock polished style look.  I call my car NandaCar.

Sand down your rims

Why? This gives the surface a rough texture so the paint has something to adhere to.  I simply sanded down the surface with 300 grit sandpaper ensuring to make everything sanded equally. This gives the rough surface required for the paint to adhere, and as long as your rims had no damage it should be good enough. Your rims are sanded; you have your paint and now are ready.

Make sure you clean all sanding dust off the rims

Ensure a totally clean surface so the paint will stick and not flake off after your first drive out with your newly painted rims !!!

Completely dry off the rims before painting

Water can dilute the paint making it look inconsistent.

Mask the rims with newspaper and masking tape

Of course you want to do this so you don’t turn your tires into the color you are painting. You dont want gunmetal painted tires. Carefully apply the masking tape on the lip to protect it from being painted as well. Also, you know the little thing you pump your air into, mask that off as well unless you want that to have a color change as well :)

Put some newspaper on the ground and place the rim on top of the newspaper.

You don’t want to paint the concrete underneath the rim so keep it clean with the newspaper.

Now apply your first coat of paint.

Let the paint dry well and next day admire your hardwork and results.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on Saving Fuel

2 Jul
sanjeev nanda how to guides

Save Fuel Save Future

Fuel prices have sky-rocketed in India. Government decision to dergularize fuel prices will only add to the chaos. It’s time we take measures, to not only save fuel but save the environment. If you can save the environment by saving money, there’s no better motivation than that.

Each step by itself will account for a small increase, but if practiced in combination can increase your FE by as much as 20%!

DRIVING STYLE

Drive smoothly: Aggressive acceleration and braking significantly increase the fuel consumption of your car. Develop a smoother driving style whereby you accelerate and decelerate in a linear and smooth manner. How you drive is very important to FE.

Avoid clutch riding:

sanjeev nanda how to guides

Avoid Clutch Riding at all costs

Driving with your foot on the clutch results in “wastage” of engine power, which in turn increases your fuel consumption and wears out your clutch rapidly. Do not keep your foot on the clutch, except for when changing gears.

Minimise Idling: If your car is going to be stationary for an extended period of time, switch the engine off.

Choosing the right gear: Being in a higher gear at too low a speed, or in a lower gear at a very high speed increase your fuel consumption. It is important to shift up as “early” as possible without straining the engine. For most cars, the ideal shift point would be anywhere between 1500 – 2000 rpm.

Maintain a constant speed: Varying speeds do not make the car as efficient as a constant speed will. Especially when out on the open road, try to maintain a consistent rate of travel.

The Optimum speed: Aerodynamic resistance increases exponentially with speed. For e.g. at speeds over a 100 km/h, your car will consume a lot more fuel than at 80 – 90 km/h. Keep within this limit to maximize the FE of your car.

A safe distance: Maintaining a healthy distance between your car and the one ahead is not only safer, but also leads to higher FE. This gives you a higher reaction time, better visibility and a smoother drive. Aggressive braking has a detrimental effect on your cars fuel efficiency.

Around the corner: Short trips invariably make your car consume a lot more fuel. The primary reason is that every engine has an optimum running temperature, and very short distances will almost certainly result in your car running at a cold temperature for a majority of the distance.

Windows drag: At high speeds, open windows can affect the cars aerodynamic efficiency. It is better to keep the windows rolled up and the air-conditioner on at speeds over a 100 km/h.

CAR – RELATED MEASURES

sanjeev nanda how to guides

Fuel is blood for your car

The honest petrol pump: Considering the high amount of fuel adulteration and other fuel-industry malpractices, we highly recommend you to choose the right petrol pump. Tampered meters that result in under-filling, misappropriating bills and selling adulterated fuel are some of the most common malpractices. Company-owned filling stations are the best option, though there are some honest privately-owned petrol pumps also. Look around and opt for an honest reputable petrol pump. This alone can account for upto a 10% difference in your fuel efficiency.

Appropriate tyre pressures: It is very important to maintain manufacturer-recommended tyre pressures to optimize the level of rolling resistance. Tire pressures can also be increased by1 – 2 psi if you live in a city with smooth roads. Please do not exceed this limit since it can cause uneven wear.

Keep the car well maintained: Your car will gulp fuel voraciously if it is not in the right state of tune. Make it a point to keep your air-filters clean, engine oil changed and your engine healthy by sticking to the manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals.

Upsized tyres: Wider tyres increase rolling resistance and rotating mass, thus hindering FE. Do not oversize your tyres.

Light weight: Weight has to be carried around, and will result in additional work for the engine. Unload any unnecessary cargo / baggage etc. to keep your car as light as possible.

The right fuel for premium cars: High-compression engines do not operate properly on the regular octane fuel available in India. To improve efficiency, it is important to use manufacturer-recommended grades of petrol.

Recommended fuel additives: Some makes of cars (e.g. Volkwagon Jetta) are not able to run optimally on the Indian fuel quality, and their manufacturers recommend fuel additives to keep the fuel system clean. If your car came with this instruction, make use of the recommended fuel additives.

ALTERNATE WAYS

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Use Carpool make the world beautiful

Car Pool: Travel along with your neighbours / friends / relatives if the office timings and destinations are alike.

Keep a FE car: Why use the guzzling SUV when your hatchback serves the purpose for daily running?

Plan your trips to avoid traffic: You can beat rush-hour traffic by traveling either before or after peak hours.

Club tasks together: Perform more tasks per trip, saving the need for repeated trips to the same destination.

Walk it up: If the distance is very short, consider walking. It is healthy and saves fuel.

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