September 21, 2015
It is good to get lost. It helps to find yourself.
With technology today, one can afford to get lost, without getting lost. It is much easier to take that road not taken, knowing that you have access to GPS and can get back home, if u decide to. I generally plan for location and timing to get the golden light. But once in a while I do enjoy getting around without a destination. Not knowing where the path leads, making the journey even more interesting.
What are you waiting for, just hop in the car and drive to the stars ! I assure, you wouldn’t regret :)
The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination. – Dan Milman
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec
|| Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
September 14, 2015
This is one of my favorite views of the lovely Chicago Skyline. I am not a big fan of all the city lights, but watching the same over the icy reflections makes it quiet soothing. Additionally, the building that you see with the Red Cross sign, is where I get to work. That is the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower with the Red Cross sign :)
Since 1999, the south-facing windows of the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tower have been used to celebrate various key events. Not many realize the amount of manual work involved though. Working out of this building and seeing how it is done, makes me really appreciate all that happen behind the scenes. It starts with an idea for a punchy phrase, slogan or design that can be clearly communicated in lights. It is then sketched as an image and how it should look from exterior. Based on this, each of the 50 south-facing window blinds are opened or closed. In a 57-story structure, its quiet a task. The building staff can override the lights so they shine through the night, but there’s no mechanized system to raise or lower the shades, making it all manual work.
This shot is from one such night (March 7,2015) that showcased the tribute to 100 years of great work done by Red Cross at Chicago.
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f8.0 : 30.0 sec
|| Chicago Skyline
Chicago, Illinois, USA
August 31, 2015
Illinois’ Starved Rock State Park is just south of I-80 about 90 miles west of Chicago near the town of LaSalle. Over the years streams have carved a number of small and interesting canyons into the sandstone. Seasonal waterfalls can be found all around these canyons, if you hike up just at the right time.
This week’s shot is from from across a lovely little pool created by one of the cascades from LaSalle Canyon Falls. It was interesting to watch a turtle that had made this pool as home for the day. Not sure how he ended up here, but it would be one fun trip to down the river. What would life be without these challenges :)
Uncertainty is the essence of Life & it fuels opportunity – Tina Seelig
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f19 : 10, 1/60 sec
|| LaSalle Canyon, Starved Rock State Park
Oglesby, Illinois, USA
August 17, 2015
The Perseid meteor shower, is associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and appears to streak out of Perseus constellation. Perseids usually is visible around 2nd week of Aug. With little or no moon to ruin the show, this was a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower.
Every time the comet dives in towards the sun, it leaves a trail of rocky icy bits along its path like a cosmic, frozen Hansel and Gretel trail. This trail can remain intact for decades after the fact and gets refreshed with each new pass (the last of which was in 1992 and the next one is 2126). As the Earth barrels through the debris field, all the little bits in it’s way burn up in the atmosphere, creating brilliant streaks across the sky. Even particles the size of the sand can create some lovely views like this.
2 AM in the Morning, Watching the milky-way, Sipping a cup of hot tea – is an experience unto itself. Add a shooting star and what more can u ask for :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec
|| Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
August 7, 2015
Recently reading about the forest fire in the west coast was heavy in my heart. The dry weather and drought was definitely fuelling the same. But reading about the options of ‘clear cutting’ or ‘thinning’ to reduce forest fire did not help either. Only we, humans, could come up with such options. Too much of our scientific thinking and that we could control things without messing others. Initially this may sound like a good counter intuitive plan, but just thinking thru it, will help realize the long term impacts. If wolfs could change the course of rivers, we ought to respect and agree that the butterfly effect would have drastic impacts in future on these kind of actions.
Let nature be. It will heal itself.
Reading all this, reminded me of the feeling I had when I shot this, couple of years back. I had gone out to enjoy the fall colors. The morning was crisp, the air was cool, there was mist settling over the distant trees. There was even a sprinkle of snow. Even with all this, it was kind of a eerie feeling to witness these chopped trees. It felt almost alien, as if they were trying to drag themselves to the water to get some relief for their soul.
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 119 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec
|| N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
July 31, 2015
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
– Vivian Greene
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 400 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/15 sec
|| Brewing Thunderstorm
Wolcott, Indiana, USA
July 27, 2015
When life knocks you down, just roll over and enjoy the stars :)
This shot is from a few years back, when I was out at Trillium Lake to enjoy the Perseids Meteor Shower. Being my first night-out shooting, I consider myself lucky to have captured the Perseids. It really did not start out that way. The first half of the night was more of hide and seek, as the meteors were adorning the skies, especially where the camera was not pointed at. I was much worried that the possibilities would only go down, as the moon was coming up.
As the night was wading, the moon was coming up the horizon. But only after I decided to stop chasing the Perseids, did I notice that the moon brought in Venues and Jupiter along, in a lovely celestial alignment. As I zoomed in to capture the night sky along with the Moon, Venue & Jupiter – a Perseids – decided to join the show too. I couldn’t be more glad, when all things came in alignment :)
Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the more consistent meteor showers in the northern sky. Its coming up in a few weeks (Aug 12-14, 2015) and the waxing crescent (3%) would not be hindering the same. Have you planned where you would be enjoying the show from for 2015 ?!
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 19 mm : f5.6 : 15.0 sec
|| Trillium Lake
Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA
July 20, 2015
Moon rise can be as beautiful and dramatic as a sun rise. And the best part, you don’t need to wake up early ;-) This was from a lovely night at Door County, Wisconsin. The moon rise did kind of mess up with enjoying the milky way, but the dramatic light, compensated for it.
The moon light was so bright, that it lit up the entire cliff. Had lot of fun with trying out some fun compositions like this. Even a shooting star (Draconid) decided to accompany us.
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 1600 : 20 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec
|| Cave Point County Park
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
July 15, 2015
The most fertile lands were built by the fires of volcanoes – Andrea Gibson
35 Years later, Mt St Helens is still recovering. It was interesting to read that time of the day (8:32 AM local time) and the season of the event play a lot in its recovery. Many nocturnal animals were already bedded down for the day and so were more likely to have been protected in burrows and to have survived the explosion than their neighbors up and about during the daylight. You just don’t think about that; that’s a chance event – But then nothing else is by chance either :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 12 mm : f22.0 : 30.0 sec
|| Mt. St Helens
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA
July 10, 2015
Millennium Park might be known for the classic Bean or the Crown Fountain, but come summer – the Jay Pritzker Pavilion comes to life with a slew of events. This is one of the premier outdoor Amphitheaters in Chicago. The Pavilion itself offers an incredibly unique design, capable of accommodating close to 11,000 people. It provides a great atmosphere to enjoy live shows. If the Jay Pritzker Pavilion is full, don’t worry , just walk up the new BP Pedestrian Bridge, to get your own personal spot to enjoy the music :)
This is definitely not my kind of photography, But when I got a glimpse of the orchestra beautifully framed by the trees, it just begged for it to be captured !
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 800 : 270 mm : f5.6 : 1/30 sec
||Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park
Chicago, Illinois, USA
July 6, 2015
It might be hard to believe, but this was shot just minutes before, on the other side of the road from this thunderstorm. It is indeed amazing, the kind of light that extreme weather brings. To make things interesting, I captured multiple consecutive shots to get the flower effect. Though these windmills were close, their different rotating speeds caused different flowery effects.
Whenever I had come across a windmills, while driving in the past, I had always wanted to get a shot like this. But today, it all came together – the light, the composition, the clouds & even the flowers :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f4.0 : 1/125 sec
|| Windmill Wild Flowers
Hwy 65, Indiana, USA
June 28, 2015
Last week, as I was driving back from Atlanta to Chicago, I got to encounter a thunderstorm. Driving along the highway, the mobile was going abuzz with warnings. When I pulled over to check the same, it was the weather warnings suggesting to take cover. Luckily there was a rest stop near by to take shelter. In a few minutes, the showers stopped, allowing to capture this. The setting sun added drama to the scene.
Maybe someday, will make time to plan and chase some storms. Witnessing the power is one, in addition, the light during extreme weather is just magical.
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 : ISO 200 : 18 mm : f3.5 : 1/45 sec
||06.15.2015 7:50 PM CST
Hwy 65, Indiana, USA
June 25, 2015
Had been missing on sharing posts lately as work is going crazy. On the night of Jun 22, was working thru midnight, but when the Aurora was still going strong and the weather was forecasted to clear up, it was time to take a decision – to snuck under the blanket for a deserved cozy sleep, after a really long day OR miss out on the sleep and drive out couple hours to get a chance of a lifetime. Being a working day did not help either.
Looking back, I definitely would have regretted, if I had not drove out at 1 AM. Ideal time for Aurora viewing is from 10 PM to 2 AM and a location that is potentially dark, away from the pollution of city lights. The weather was starting to clear only around 3 AM. Hence it was all a hit or a miss.
But oh boy – the big dipper, the lovely colors of aurora dancing & the fireflies that decided to accompany the sweet night – it was quiet an encounter :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 20 sec
|| 06.23.2015 3:40 AM CST @ Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
June 21, 2015
Every person you meet is only your reflection.
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f5.6 : 1/45 sec
|| Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
June 4, 2015
Light can make even the mundane of things magical
– both external and internal.
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 22 mm : f4.5 : 1/90 sec
|| Queen Annes Lace
Along a hike, Tennessee, USA
May 25, 2015
The Upper Mesa Falls at 114 feet offer spectacular views in a beautiful forest setting. The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway mesmerizes travelers with a display in the midst of a truly back-country setting. Upper Mesa Falls is part of the Henry Fork of the Snake River and is 114 feet high and 200 feet wide with a flow of around 600 to 1500 cubic feet / second. Of course, it is difficult to think or even plan for these stops when you are headed to the much grandeur Tetons and Yellowstone which are on a totally different scale of awesomeness. But nevertheless this was a thing of beauty and well worth the stop. Just got to spend an hours or so as the sun was setting down, but we were glad we did stop out there !
Canon S2 : ISO 50 : 6 mm : f8.0 : 1.3 / 5.0 sec
|| Upper Mesa Falls
Targhee National Forest, Idaho, USA
May 10, 2015
This was from the lovely viewpoint at Sandy, Oregon. I love this spot for its accessibility. Just drive, get out of the car, and you are greeted with this view. Jonsurd Viewpoint is a hidden jem in Sandy, Oregon.
This was a incidental shot. It was all about being prepared when the opportunity presents itself. As I was awaiting for the blue moon to raise from behind that majestic Mt. Hood, the sun was setting behind us. It was such a lovely scene, the shadows running ahead – first over the trees, then over the Sandy river, then the plains and then over Mt. Hood itself. For a spilt second, the last rays of the sun, kissed the tip of Mt. Hood – creating this surreal scene !
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 25 mm : f22 : 4.0 sec
May 4, 2015
Wanna enjoy some sunshine
Wanna feel some happiness
Wanna feel vibrant
– Head out to the Tulip fields :)
Out in the west we have Skagit Tulip farms or the well known Woodenshoe Tulip farms (where this was shot). Out in the east the prominent one is at Holland, Michigan. If you love tulips then these places are worth a visit. You have to plan ahead if you want to see the fields in bloom, the tulip season is short, late March to early May. If you have never experienced acres and acres of blooming tulips in every color you can imagine, you should at least go once. It is spectacular !
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 0.7 sec
||Sunset by the Tulip Field
Woodburn, Oregon, USA
April 21, 2015
When ever I need a shot of tranquility,
When even I need to rejuvenate,
When ever I need a kick in the butt,
When even I need to find my self – I get to nature.
This shot is from a lovely night at Mt hood. It is always quiet an experience to be admits nature and once the sun goes down its even more intimate :)
It has been quiet a while – time to make some plans and shake some hands, with nature !
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f3.5 : 301 sec
||Reflections by Mt Hood
Trillium Lake, Oregon, USA
April 5, 2015
Witnessing the lunar eclipse was magical. Planning and shooting the same was a lot of fun. Out here, in the north east of US, the lunar eclipse was not total, so missed out on the blood moon, but it was still a scintillating experience. As the moon was getting into total eclipse, it set over the horizon. But at the same time it created for some interesting photographing options.
This involved a lot more planning than it meets the eye (and a bit of luck, as there were too many variables from the weather, location, time zone, the quality of the air etc. Will share more details on the planning and tools in a separate article, for my geek friends out there later this week.
Additionally, this is something new I had tried. Had always wanted to shoot a scene around sunset and into the night and highlight the same in a single frame as time-slice [A time slice is depicting a time range in a single frame]. When I learnt about the lunar eclipse, this past week, thought it might be a good candidate for time slice. This shot is a mix of landscape and time slice – in an attempt to highlight the lunar eclipse in the context of the surrounding landscape. These shots were taken from 4:45AM EST thru 6:25 AM EST (one of the shortest lunar eclipse of this century). This was a panorama made out of a composite. Though it does not look like a wide view, that is what helped capture the moon and the lighthouse in context (all 12 images [10 for the moon and 2 for the lighthouse] used to create the same, were shot at the extreme end of my long zoom lens). The long zoom helped actuate the size of the moon to some extent due to the much debated perspective compression effect.
Driving for couple of hours, setting out with the camera in the biting cold, witnessing moving ice by the lake, the planning, the execution and the processing – it all culminated in the below shot :)
Panorama Time slice made with 13 shots
||Time Slice of Lunar Eclipse 04.04.2015
South Haven, Michigan, USA