Branding in the New Normal

(feature image courtesy

At the most rudimentary level, branding was initially an act of making a mark on objects (or animals in the good old times) using a branding iron. The literary word is now applied to define the concept of assigning a brand name to goods and products, and “the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.”

Branding is definitely a process that has evolved over the years, and to think marketers and companies can still use age old marketing techniques to keep their consumers strung and close, that is an absolutely defunct approach.

Sasha Strauss, who is a keynote speaker, Managing Director of a brand consulting firm called Innovation Protocol and an adjunct professor at two business schools, tried to explain the void that the changing times has produced in the world of branding during his keynote speech, “Branding in the New Normal”, at the Think Branding, with Google conference in 2013.

In his talk, he spoke about how company executives have a hard time connecting and communicating their brand with the consumers living under the ‘new normal’; the ones who are always connected to the digital world, aka ‘the millennials’ or ‘the baby boomers’. The constant fight of products not being interesting enough and the consumers not being responsive enough gives marketers the research opportunity to figure out what’s really going wrong.

Previously, consumers were treated as just consumers; there was no emotional or intangible connection between the sellers and the buyers. They were just monetary labels and only a scale to figure out how successful the product is selling. But consumers do not want to be treated that way anymore. They are not just money milking machines. The advent of Internet and dispersion plus the availability of more information has resulted in consumers being aware that the companies have definitely, over the years, ‘totally overcommitted and absolutely underdelivered’.

With the break of this trust, a void is now existent and consumers are still looking at companies and marketers to fill this void; not with just false tangible promises but with intangible ‘something to believe in’ philosophy. ‘Authenticity’ is that magic recipe that would eventually allow companies to connect with their audience.

In summary, Sasha Strauss suggests seven ways in which companies can build their brands and better communicate also with their audience:

  1. Nothing should be assumed; everything that companies know about marketing should be discarded. The information is great in history textbooks, but they don’t apply anymore and more time should be spent to actually find out what the brand is actually about and what they intend to represent.
  2. Companies should empathize more with their consumers. Again they are not just monetary labels, but steps should be taken to respect them and understand them as individuals who are an equal part of the economy.
  3. Brands should work in advocating causes and concepts dear to their consumers and celebrating their lives by giving them a feeling of genuine care from the brand.
  4. Brands should work on being more relatable to their audience, and this is possible if the companies are more empathetic and advocating towards their consumers.
  5. Brands should be able to curate their information and be able to personalize their brands to different niches of their audience.
  6. Not only curate, the consumers look forward to the learning experience with the content that brands produce, and therefore brands should also work on be the teaching medium that the audience is looking for.
  7. And lastly, care. This resonates with the advocacy of the brand; consumers want to see companies as not just buildings where people work in but actually entities that have a conscience and a social responsibility towards the community and the environment.

In retrospect, these ways could work in some industries and even countries, but they definitely do not form the standards of branding in the new normal. You would still come across consumers readily believing false information from dubious companies in today’s age, in spite of the booming internet and social media. With the ever-growing data bank, it’s getting harder by the day to recognize brands that have a genuine need to connect with their consumers over capitalistically minded institutions. The proposed way works great on paper, it is yet to be seen how well they pan out, not only with a few companies but with major and innumerous brands across the globe.


[Movie Review] Paper Towns

“She loved mysteries so much, that she became one.”
― John Green, Paper Towns

The movie ‘Paper Towns’, is an adaption of a young adult novel, written by John Green (of the ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ fame).

A coming-of-age story, we find the protagonist Quentin ‘Q’ Jacobsen played by Nat Wolff, a straight ‘A’ high school teenager with a silent routine life, just surviving through the crowd just so he graduates without a fuss and start a new life at college. He believes that every individual deserves a miracle, and his miracle is Margo Roth Spiegelman played by Cara Delevingne, his childhood crush. They had been strangers since an incident in their childhood until one night, where she comes through his bedroom window and ‘recruits’ him to ‘correct some wrongs’. Forced into a dilemma of spending some time with the person he loves after so long, and staying out of trouble before getting in into a reputed college, he agrees to it with a condition that no laws would be broken. As the night carries on, Margo and Q enjoy completing the set tasks together, and doing things which were a first for Q. The next day, he builds up the courage to talk to her again, to find out that she has mysteriously disappeared in the dead of the night, without any note or goodbye. Heartbroken, Q gets back to his routine. Weeks pass, and he realizes certain clues around the place and is quick to assume they’ve been left for him by her; a way for him to find her and bring her home. The rest of the movie is his journey trying to figure the mystery that Margo is, with the help of his best friends, Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith), and two other students, Lacey (Halston Sage) and Angela (Jaz Sinclair).


Radar, Q and Ben

It’s always nice to see book characters brought to life and a new meaning derived out of the story. There will always be the never ending arguments how movies always ruin the book, but some just breathe in a new life and perspective into them. Paper Towns is one of those movies. Having read this book two years ago, it didn’t impress me as much ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ did, and I was quick to dismiss it. Now two years later, despite marathon-ing the novel for the movie, the movie mildly surprised me. Also, kudos to the fact that the movie wasn’t as complicated for non-book reading audience, unlike most book-to-screen movies these days.



Q and Margo

Nat Wolff’s character in TFiOS was completely underappreciated, and you just knew the boy has so much potential. Luckily, this movie gave him that chance, and he was quite the perfect actor to play Q. Cara was basically absent from the major chunk of the movie, I was expecting her to be more mysterious and charismatic as Margo is, but it just didn’t work out. Nevertheless, it wasn’t a disappointment altogether. The movie had just the right amount of humor at the right places, with almost all the characters giving the audience something to laugh about. Ben most definitely takes the cake; he is quirky and fun and gives a good balance to the trio. And surprise cameos? My, what a surprise it was! Totally didn’t expect it, and it was a complete fan girl scream-worthy moment!

The movie isn’t your box-office breaking kind, it’s more like a subtle reminder and easy going one. There are things in life that you forget to appreciate and stop noticing, and you just need to remember that once in a while. You see the characters develop throughout the movie, with Q finally realizing what he really feels and not what he thinks he feels, and the story not only resonates with the teenage crowd but also with the adults who will always have the new beginnings to look forward to and where the fear of changes and getting out of your comfort zone can be a little daunting. If you’re looking for a movie with a happy ending with a bow on top, where the guy gets the girl and everything is alright, then it’s not for you. But to all those people who need a break and watch something light and not be overwhelmed by the plot, the movie is just the right one, and I hope you enjoy it!



“When we can tell the stories, however bad they are, we don’t belong to them anymore, they become ours.”

I had only one reason to pick this book to read: the title. Okay also, the cover of the book. (Yeah yeah, one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I really don’t, and this book was just an exception.)  If you’ve studied in an Indian school with the CBSE curriculum, you definitely know the many times you had to attempt to write a letter, again and again, throughout the years. They were all fictional of course, but writing to a deceased person? That’s a whole another level of… erm… a very different thing to do.

Love Letters to the Dead” is the debut novel of a young adult literature author, Ava Dellaira. As far as synopsis goes: “It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel is a high school student and as what a normal high school student would get, she gets a letter-writing assignment. Instead, she turns it to a catharsis project; she ends up writing to people like Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, Amy Winehouse, about things that happen to her through her entire school year and through this process, she comes to term with her sister May’s death.

This book really runs along the lines of ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’; almost similar themes and environment. I’m not surprised with the similarities, she practically worked under Stephen Chbosky so there’s bound to be some influences.

As how a YA novel is supposed to be, it sticks to the genre more or less. The language is fairly simple; easy words and phrases, but what got to me is how beautifully they are written. They aren’t just thrown on a paper. They had meaning, they had a connection, like a good song.

I won’t deny the story depressed me, it did. You do start feeling like Laurel (the main character), what she goes through, what becomes of her, but then you realize you’re freaking 23 years old and not a teenage kid, and very quickly you just snap out of it! *laughs*

I’ve read the book has been optioned for a movie; well good on you, Ava! Though I really don’t see how they will pull it off; maybe they will, who knows.

If you need more motivation to touch that book, despite that title (and the cover, c’mon it’s pretty!), here have a Buzzfeed article;

Rumor has it! – Twitter to introduce filters for photos.

Looks like Twitter isn’t holding back and is ready to jump onto the ‘edit-your-picture-with-all-those-hipster-cool-filters-and-then-share’ bandwagon – well at least that’s what some reports say.

Though there hasn’t been any official announcement yet from Twitter, this report, by  Nick Bilton from New York Times, suggests that Twitter plans to bring in filters for photos; nope, not those basic ones, but actual Instagram-like filters, allowing users to click pictures, edit, and share them without a third party interference. Well even if they may be rumors, reasons are in plentiful to believe for them to be true. As we know, Twitter had plans to purchase Instagram, but instead, lost it to Facebook, who purchased it for a billion dollars. Then Twitter took a bigger step in July, severing Instagram’s API access for the app’s “Find Your Friends” feature, therefore, now making us believe they’re unto something!

According to the same report, Twitter plans to roll out this feature in the coming months. This update would be available on their mobile apps, but for now there’s no news on whether it’ll be available on the Web. Opinion wise, if they do, this Web feature may be the winning point against Instagram, which is only a mobile application so far, but you may never know.

There has been mixed opinions over this news; some welcome this as a huge step towards the whole outlook on photo sharing on Twitter, yet some think it’s ‘too little, too late’ and Twitter is wasting their time in bringing up something new, rather than solving existing problems in hand.

Personally, I would welcome this move. Most of us take pictures via Instagram and then share it on Twitter or Facebook since there is definitely a larger following on those. Also since I cannot afford a nice yet pocket damaging data connection to manage my ‘not Twitter or Facebook’ apps, yet love to use filters, I usually have to come back to a place where there’s nice WiFi and then share my pictures, and thereby totally lose the whole point of ‘sharing on the go’. It’ll also be interesting to see how they work this out for the Twitter for Blackberry app, with BB 10 coming out soon, and their lack of initiative towards building an official app for the Blackberry Playbook.

Neo-Neo Realism – Treeless Mountain by So Yong Kim

After the brutality of the World War II and with the end of the Fascist Regime in 1943, a turn of events took place in the history of film making, and emerged some notable Italian movies that took hold of the interest of the international audience. Italian directors involved themselves in what we know was ‘Neo-realism’ as a tribute to their freedom from the Fascist regime. Since the roots of this movement belong to Italy, it is commonly also known as ‘Italian Neorealism’. It existed from 1944 to 1952, later on influencing different styles in many countries all round the globe, like the ‘New French Wave’ in France and recently emerged movement called the ‘Neo- Neo-Realism’ in the U.S.

The whole idea of the neo-realism style was to portray the harsh realities of life and bring about in focus, the social-economic issues that emerged after the Second World War. Neorealism was a style that wanted to describe reality without actually involving a documentary but in form of constructed situations. If certain characteristics that make it different from other movements are to be listed, then the first in line would be the absence of a neat script. Never was a ‘happy ending’ shown in any film in this style of film making, unlike the classic Hollywood style. With this style, the shooting of films in studios shifted out to real-life locations, it was the first time something like this was done. They were moreover filmed with non-professional actors; their awkwardness and lack of self consciousness involved in acting were the most appreciated qualities.

Neo-realism spread over many countries, and movies in many languages started coming up, like Italian, French, English, Japanese, Indian, Iranian and many more. One of them is Treeless Mountain. Treeless Mountain (in Korean: Namueopneun San) is a South Korean movie released in the year 2008. It falls under the category of ‘Neo Neo Realism’ as suggested by A.O Scott, a critic, in the New York Times Magazine. The movie has been written and directed by an independent female director So Yong Kim. It premiered on September 5, 2008 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The movie is about two girls, seven year old Jin and her younger sister Bin, who live with their Mom, in Seoul, until they had to leave the city and travel to the outskirts of the city, so that their Mom could leave them with their ‘Big Aunt’ and then leave to find their ‘runaway’ father. She leaves them with a piggy bank and promises them that she’ll return to them when their piggy bank was full with whatever money they got from their Aunt after they did their chores obediently. The Aunt was drunk or hangover-ed most of the time, so the girls were left to look after each other on their own. The girls try to support each other, figuring out ideas as to how to fill the piggy bank, ranging from schemes like selling roasted grasshoppers to local boys, to changing whole coins to smaller coins and increasing the quantity so as to fill the bank faster. Once filled, they used to wait at the bus stop where they saw their Mom last, everyday, from day to night. They lost hope on the return of their mother when it was revealed to Jin by her Aunt through her Mom’s letter that she won’t be returning back for them as she cannot support them without the presence of their father in the family, who is still missing. Both Jin and Bin were taken to their maternal grandparents place as instructed by their mother, and then they settle there in the countryside, obeying and doing different tasks put forward by their caring yet busy grandmother. The movie ends with the girls pinkie-promising each other, that one day their mother would return for them.

Jin and Bin fill their piggy bank, as they wait for their mother to return.

The movie, however slow-paced it is, has a largely realistic storyline. There is no ‘happy ending’ as promised by neorealists, which upholds the main characteristic of a neo-realistic movie. The movie instead ends with the girls still waiting and hoping they would have a better life and be with their mother in the future. The locations include the city, the outskirts, and the countryside. The locations chosen are realistic without much tampering done to them. From the school environment, to the middle-class flat, to the flooded market, to the simple country side, everything was naturally portrayed. The storyline even portrayed mundane, non-important activities like Jin washing Bin’s fairy costume, Jin collecting beer bottles lying in the house and stacking them in one place, thereby portraying the realities of the life as suggested by neo-realism. The movie tries to send across the feeling of being neglected, through the eyes of these kids and the cruel adult way of life that forces them to lose their innocence faster. Through the course of the movie, we can see how Jin grows and understands the reality and responsibilities that surround her.

The mis-en-scene followed in the movie is interesting too. Apart from the realistic location, the director made sure the camera was always on the eye level, and zoomed in most of the time on the faces of the characters so as to detail their emotion, innocence and intimacy, especially in the kids. As quoted by the director, So Yong Kim, she did this also so as to “include the audience in the situations with the characters, rather than observing from far away”. No noticeable background score is played in the film, though it seems sounds of the surroundings around them were given a lot of emphasis and made clear. The costumes were not anything extraordinary, with the kids repeating their clothes almost every day, like sport tracksuit and fairytale costume, portraying the hard times they were in where affording a broad collection of clothes was not easy.

The dialogues used in the movie are minimal and not that greatly elaborate. The actors chosen to do this movie were chosen merely by coincidence and luck. The kids have no acting history, and were merely chosen based on observation by So Yong Kim. Therefore, the naturalness and awkwardness the kids portrayed in the movie can be noticed. So Yong Kim merely based her script and production on luck than on logical series of film-making. This again fulfils the criterion of the use of non-actors in a neorealist film.

The rawness in the acting of the child actors, was clearly seen.

So here we can see how ‘Treeless Mountain’, even though not belonging to the Neo-realism era, still is majorly influenced by the unique style of the movement and as Neo-Neo Realism has just surfaced, it can be expected that many films would make their way through, following this style of film making.

‘The Casual Vacancy’ coming up!


Reminder people! In almost a week’s time, we’d be amidst the whole ruckus of the release of ‘The Casual Vacancy’. Oh, if you still don’t quite know what it is, it’s J.K Rowling’s attempt on another book after the epic and famous Harry Potter series, which took over the literary world by a storm 15 years ago. Personally, I have grown up with this series, and is a major part of my life, and if you quite agree to that, hooray!

The Casual Vacancy‘ is quite the anticipated book of the year, as J.K Rowling’s first try at writing an adult fiction. Her fans, as well as her critics, have already began to speculate and form opinions about this book even before it is released!

The interwebs are buzzing over whether she would be able to get her magic to work again or whether it would be a disappointment. Even the cover of the book wasn’t left alone; it was criticized / appreciated (whatever you may call it) to the last pixel. Nevertheless, many people have ordered the book online and I wouldn’t be surprised if people line up in front of bookstore, on the first day, to get their hands on a copy.

What do you think? Will this book be as popular as it is speculated, or this is just over hyped, and it could just turn out as a plain piece of fiction, later to be forgotten? Sure the book is hyped out just because it has a famous name attached to it, the favorite J.K Rowling, but personally I wouldn’t go off buying the book, just because she wrote it. Ebook it is! *timid smile*

One another note, I wish they hurried up with the books and extra material on Pottermore, it’s like taking forever! It maybe won’t be wrong to assume the delay is because of the new book. Nevertheless, J.K Rowling shouldn’t forget about the series which got her the immense fame, over an upcoming book, that may be a disappointment later.

Abstracted – In memory of Paul Jenkins (1923 – 2012)

Abstract Art. Source: Google.

“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colours, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” – Wassily Kandinsky.

Ask a common man what abstract art is and he’ll tell you this, “A splash of colors or the swish-swosh of the brush over the canvas.” Well to a point, he’s right in his statement. This is how we see abstract art today; meaningless, non-recognizable objects, just the use of colors and strokes and the sort. Where we go wrong is that not all abstract art are meaningless. When you come to think of it, the meaning of the word abstract is something that departs from reality. True, some artists have agreed that their art doesn’t have a specific meaning to them, but some artists have a hidden or subtle meaning behind their work, and they leave it for the audience to decipher the meaning out of them, which of course would be subjective, but that would be the main intention of the artist.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if you visit a friend’s place, and you would see an abstract painting hanging on the wall of his room. Not only does the artist but also the common individuals appreciate the art’s beauty. The popularity lies in that very factor; the artwork isn’t restricted to be understood by only elite artists or art lovers, even the common man can also enjoy it. People collect them as it adds beauty to their surroundings, or just lets them stay at par with the modern popular culture. A successful abstract painting has the ability to simulate the mind of the audience; it can make people talk, connect, and communicate.

Abstract artists are out and about. These days, art galleries are filled with works of abstract painters. Many abstract artists would emerge in the future and would be successful too, but history would still an inspiration to all of them and Paul Jenkins is one of those names that will always be remembered.

Paul Jenkins, with one of his paintings, in 2005. Source: NewYork Times.

The death of this popular artist was one of the news stories that hit around on the 9th of June. He was 88 at the time and passed away due to a short illness.  An accomplished artist in the field of Abstract Expressionism, his artworks upheld that physical tradition of manipulating paint over canvas. Paul Jenkins’s career began in the 1950s, and art critiques admire him for his use of “flowing, billowing veils of color that dazzle with their formal acrobatics and luminous jewel tones.” His favorite tool was an ivory knife, which he used to guide the flow of paint. He was once quoted that he used to allow the colors to roll, pool and bleed, and he sometimes kneaded and hauled on the canvas – “as if it were a sail”.

Have a look at a few of his artworks or you can even visit his website ( to know more about him and his art.

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Fire at Marlborough Street (1975)

Fire at Marlborough Street. Photograph by Stanley J. Forman.

Did your mouth just hang open after seeing that picture? Mine did, and I stayed in awe for a pretty long time. I don’t know, but maybe a photojournalist lives his or her life to capture that ‘perfect moment’ on camera, and once he or she does that, it’s like his or her life just got complete! The amount of slogging over years to get that one great picture; it’s the dream of every photojournalist and Stanley J. Forman got lucky on July 22, 1975.

On this day a fire had erupted at the Marlborough Street in Boston, Massachusetts. Forman, who was the photojournalist on duty for Boston Herald, was covering it. As Forman remembers it, he saw fire fighters running around to get the fire in control and save as many people as they could, and those falling girls were among those few. The woman and the girl were standing near the fire escape and were shouting for help. Before help could reach them, the fire escape had collapsed, bringing both the mother and child down. The mother passed away upon impact, only the girl survived.

Forman had not wasted a single second to capture that moment in his camera. This bagged him the Pulitzer Prize for this photograph in 1976. This photograph had a great impact and it forced Boston and other states to impose tougher fire safety regulations.

Now that the facts are out of the way, let’s look at the picture again. Even if I didn’t know those details, the picture spoke a lot. That aghast look on the child’s face, the mere fact that they are falling is like heart wrenching! Not only had Forman successfully captured the moment, the elements in the picture i.e the free escape, ladder, that random plant pot, the prominent smoke around them, the sharp focus on the lady and the child; all act together to tell the viewer what really is happening in that picture. Everything link up, and just one picture was sufficient to say it all.

You would also question yourself; how did Forman have the heart to even click a picture like that, just when a person was about to die? No he couldn’t bear it. He clicked that picture and had turned his face before the impact. He even swore to his boss if that picture didn’t come out right, he was going to quit his job and life. He was equally traumatized by this, but with this we get to understand the hardships, turmoil, the ethical decisions a photojournalist faces day in day out. It is truly commendable how they still manage to go on even after capturing the worst possible moments which might even question their sanity. So kudos to all of them!

Real, unreal; who knows?

How did you wake up this morning? Your mom woke you up? Or your hubby? Girlfriend? Boyfriend? A human? Or that annoying ringing device we all dearly call it the ‘alarm clock’? I can tell you, I woke with my tab buzzing near my ear every 5 minutes. Not to forget, the cellphone and the amount of calls, messages, Facebook and Twitter notifications. From the start of your day till the time you hit the bed for a good night’s sleep, you’re constantly in touch with the world. Oh no, not that physical touch, who does that nowadays? It’s through some electronic device or the other, through some technology.

Technology; it can never leave us, and we cannot leave it. It’s just there in front of us, behind us, left, right, oh wait, everywhere! No, it’s not like I’m being skeptical of technology or something, it is doing that job it has been assigned and destined to do; make our lives easier. That is the whole purpose of humans spending precious time trying to build up that technology so that one day it helps ease our functions throughout the day. At times, we are really thankful that particular technology exists; sometimes we curse it for not being good enough for a particular use.

So now that technology has become an integral part of life, it’s always been an heated topic of debate; the advocates can list you one after the other why we do need technology in our life; like wise the critics can also list out why technology might be killing us day by day. Regardless, the technology is doing the job it has been assigned to do; the question remains how much we, as humans, are letting it affect us.

Technology has surprised us in many ways. Ever since the beginning of the literary or entertainment world in general, technology is one genre that is sought after; all those sci-fi novels, comics, movies, and the sorts. No doubt, themes like technology taking over the human world and the constant war between the real and the virtual worlds are quite dominant, thus we have movies like The Matrix trilogy and the Tron series to support those themes.

Poster Remake Meme – The Matrix

The Matrix is the first of the trilogy series, released in the year 1999. The story revolves around the character Thomas Anderson, who lives a dual life also under the name Neo. He’s contacted one day by a computer ‘voice’ called Morpheus and slowly throughout the movie, we see how Neo is made to come in terms with the truth other than what he believed else wise. He is said to be ‘The One’ who can save the human race from the Matrix; a computer-generated dreamworld built by the machines to control human minds. The Matrix trilogy is more than what it seems; we could write a foot long essay also and still won’t be able to justify the ideas discussed or our opinions about this movie.

Poster Remake Meme – Tron: Legacy

The Tron series, first released in 1982 and its sequel in 2010, is also another sci fi movie with the similar theme. It revolves around the character Kevin Flynn, a programmer who gets dragged into the world of his own programmed game, while trying to save his work being stolen by his own boss. The movie deals with his battle for his own survival in the game world and his attempt to save that world from the MCP (the master control program), an artificial intelligence program, who has the evil plan to take over the world, both the virtual and real. The sequel deals how his son, Sam Flynn, gets involved in a similar situation and tries to save his father, who’s again stuck in the virtual world he was trying to construct, called ‘The Grid’, and Sam, Kevin Flynn and the last standing ‘ISO’ Quorra attempt to stop Clu, the antagonist, to take over both the worlds.

The movies are similar across various themes. There is acknowledgement of both a real world and virtual world, and transporting from both these world is definitely possible. There is a menacing antagonist (or companies) who wants to use the produced technology for materialistic gain and take over the world. The protagonists are in war to protect the real world from being consumed by technology and keep that line between the two worlds from blurring.

Similar plots it may seem, but they are different in their own ways. The movies are produced in different time periods, and the use of special effects and advanced ideas, is tremendously commendable, keeping the technological limitations in mind of that time. In my opinion, the directors and scriptwriters of the Matrix have done a brilliant job in keeping the audience engaged throughout the movie, not leaving any loopholes unanswered, thus being the box office hit of that year. The story line is complex and mind boggling, but does leave a lasting impact on the mind. Tron, on the other hand, couldn’t manage to do the same. Nonetheless, the visual and special effects used in ‘Tron: Legacy’ were the eye candy you look forward to in sci fi movies.

Light trails, lasers, disk wars, that unimaginable speed, fights, mind bending powers, bullet saving moves, machines, that blurring line between the real world and the virtual world; all captivate the mind for a good 2 or more hours and always remain the point of fascination for all ages. Concepts like these shall prevail as long as the audience is interested to watch or their intellect is challenged to understand the complex worlds of the reality and virtual reality.

The Unfocused Art

Bokeh; a popular word that echoes almost every day, around the world of photography. You might wonder what’s so great about Bokeh. It’s the new fad, and photographers just do not stop admiring the blobs of out of focused objects or lights they achieve (or at least try to, in case of amateur photographers) in their pictures. Yup just blobs of out of focused objects or lights. Bokeh is said to describe the rendition of out-of-focus points of light. This technique is sought after even when the conventional preference for clear sharp images is known to be the ‘dominant culture’ in this field.

To go on about the history would make this yet another history piece which can be searched upon, on the Internet. So to keep it short and simple, this technique was first developed in Japan, and the word ‘bokeh’ is derived from a Japanese word ボケ, pronounced as “boke”. It means fuzziness or dizziness.

Bokeh is actually a very simple technique; all one needs to do is click pictures when your subject of interest is in clear sharp focus, while the background is a blur to the point where the point of lights look like geometrical figures. It not only requires certain knowledge to do this kind of photography, but even lenses play a very important role in capturing bokeh pictures. Expensive as they are, these lenses are built with high aperture points, so that it gets easier to achieve that blur in the background.

Bokeh photography is often confused with depth of field photography. They both are different yet similar. Depth of field pictures can be recognized when the obvious focused subject is placed against out of focused backgrounds or foreground. Bokeh pictures are more about how the camera renders the light in the blur areas (especially how they turn out in different shapes like circles or hexagons.)

Bokeh Photography vs. Depth of Field Photography

Now-a-days, the Internet has been an excellent portal for teaching the amateurs more about Bokeh photography; from what kinds of lenses to use to what kind of extra material one can use to create even more special bokeh shapes. Lenses could be as simple as a 50 mm lens that one can purchase for his/her camera, and extra material? Black chart paper! Yes, we can cut out circular bases as large as the diameter of the lenses and attach a strip of paper around the base to form a ‘hood’ so that the base stays on the lens. Moreover, you can cut out shapes in the middle of the bases as large as 15 mm; the shapes range from hearts, stars, hexagons and even smiley faces! It’s like another scope of creativity altogether, attached to Bokeh photography.

(All images belong to the author of this blog. Do not attempt to steal or use without taking prior permission)