My latest book is The One Who Swam With The Fishes.

"A mesmerizing account of the well-known story of Matsyagandha ... and her transformation from fisherman’s daughter to Satyavati, Santanu’s royal consort and the Mother/Progenitor of the Kuru clan." - Hindustan Times

"Themes of fate, morality and power overlay a subtle and essential feminism to make this lyrical book a must-read. If this is Madhavan’s first book in the Girls from the Mahabharata series, there is much to look forward to in the months to come." - Open Magazine

"A gleeful dollop of Blytonian magic ... Reddy Madhavan is also able to tackle some fairly sensitive subjects such as identity, the love of and karmic ties with parents, adoption, the first sexual encounter, loneliness, and my favourite, feminist rage." - Scroll

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18 April 2013

Three Great Camera Apps For Android: A Bad Photographer Blames Her Camera Phone

Let's face it, it's hard to be a camera phone owner when your camera phone is just okay, and everyone around you has these dazzling 8 MP cameras or iPhones which could make even snot look pretty with the right filter. I have a practical, budget Android--I've been an Android user for the last five years--and while they don't last well for years and years (slow processors, bad battery life and so on), they do have some pretty cool free stuff that you can use to make your pictures pop and be the envy of your iPhone-y friends. (Okay, not the envy. You try explaining to someone with an Apple product how your thing may be just as nice as their thing. It never works.) I have the Sony Xperia Tipo, a perfectly nice phone, on which I have three camera apps which I use to edit my stuff. I've tried out several, and these seem to me the best.

1) For regular shooting, plus continuous bursts of photos and some pretty professional tools: Camera Zoom FX. This is the only app I have ever spent money on, and boy, is it worth it. The nice thing about buying something at the Play store is that you can migrate it to all your devices, so even if I were to upgrade to my next window shopping love, the Samsung Galaxy S3 (sharpest camera I've seen on an Android device thus far), I could move my Camera Zoom app with it. What's awesome about it? It lets you set your view to grid or rule of thirds arc, so you can always compose the best possible photo, plus, if you don't feel like downloading any other apps, you can use it to add filters and things too. These are some photos from my Shimla trip I tweaked with it:

 Pretty nice, eh? I use this instead of my built-in phone camera app because in a situation I'm taking lots of photos, it lets me take them continuously, without stopping to edit or moderate.

2) For post process photo editing, Aviary. I came across this quite recently, but have really been enjoying putting it to use. It comes in handy once you take your picture and want to add some clarity or filters or crop it. I find this combined with Instagram makes for the perfect picture. It's super easy to use, so my usual process is shoot with Camera Zoom, then later, open the file with Aviary and add whatever tweaks I like. There's some stuff you can only use if you pay, but I find the free stuff quite adequate. Observe:

This photo has also been given a double filter with Instagram, but most of the work was done with Aviary. It looks clear, clean and professional, and I added a back lit tweak to make the sunglasses look like sun was streaming through them.

3) For sharing, Instagram. The filters and square-photo-only rule get boring after a while (you can use Aviary to crop a photo into a square much more intuitively than Instagram's regular crop) but it's so much fun to see how many little hearts your picture can manage. I love following other accounts too, specially zooborns for adorable daily updates of baby animals, and people from around the world. It inspires me to take great photos, and gives me several ideas of what I can do with my own pictures. Here are some pictures from the Zooborns feed. Can you say awwww?

Well, those are my camera recs for Android. Do you have awesome tips you'd like to share? Then we can make a collective for other People Without iPhones!



  1. you do take amazing pictures for an android phone photographer. :)

    My last attempt at photography with Instagram was so not a success that the picture was almost ruined by the various combination of filters that I have used

  2. A stick or a rock can knock a bullet out of position without needing to be in view of the 700 tvl dome camera or even close to the camera.

  3. Nice suggestions u made there. Mreover it very imp. To edit pics after taken to make the look the best. I m definitely going to try aviary u suggested


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