April 23, 2014

u & i are star material …

u & i are star material, i mean even literally :)

Was watching Cosmos : A space odyssey yesterday, what an amazing journey. Earlier I learnt about Carl Segan for his quotes, specifically from the 1980 TV series – Cosmos. And Neil Tyson definitely raises the bar with this new series. A must watch – if you already have not. The full versions are available online for free (for a limited time). Time well spent and you know, there is an app for that too :)

Watching the series, predictably bought back thoughts of some amazing night photography and a realization of how wonderfully insignificant we are, in the grand scheme of things. It was a lovely night, out at Mt. St. Helens.

If you are interested in star photography – do check out this guide to get started or this one for creative processing !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Buy Print   Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mt. St. Helens, Washington, USA
April 10, 2014

They are flying kites

“They are flying kites” – this was something that intrigued me as a kid at school.  The same set of words that can be interpreted so very differently. May it was something to do with just realizing that things do have alternate perspectives. Things may not be always what they seem or hear to be :)

Anyway, this shot is from the Oregon Coast. That sunny afternoon folks were enjoying the kite festival at Lincoln city. I used to think flying a traditional kite was difficult when the wind was not favoring. Imagine this kite being controlled, not one but six (yeah look closely) strings. You really need two hands with orchestrated harmony to get this thing in flight. But once up, it was a thing of beauty, what do u say :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 39 mm : f4.0 : 1/2000 sec 

Buy Print   Oregon Coast
Lincoln City,  Oregon, USA
April 3, 2014

Golden Sunrise @ Mahabs

The trip to India was awesome. It was time well spent with the family and taking a break :)

Though I was not able to shoot as much as I had intended, I was able to sneak in a stop for a sun rise at Mahabs. Am glad I did it :) Mahabalipuram is very famous for the shore temple. My plan was to shoot a silhouette of the shore temple. I had shot the same during twilight blues, but wanted to get the same with some vibrant colors this time.

The plan started to fall apart when the start was delayed and the overcast horizon made the light questionable. And just as I just set up the tripod, realized I had missed the Neutral Density filters at home. I always like shooting a long exposures during twilight, as it gives the dreamy feel to the shot.

Given these, decided to freeze the wave action. The foam was so fresh and the water was inviting. In turn, luck, as if to favor me, decided to help with the light. Just in time, the sun broke out of the overcast horizon, spreading the golden blanket across the sea. When I look at this shot, I was reminded of the below quote by Ansel. It really paid off getting in the water and shooting low :)

A good photograph is knowing where to stand – Ansel Adams

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/125 sec 

Buy Print   Bay Of Bengal
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
March 26, 2014

2014 Holi – Festival of Colors – A Photo Essay

Holi2014Holi is probably one the most enchanting of the festivals originating from India. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month. It has pretty much moved all around the world, across cultures and was celebrated last weekend. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, marking the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Holi is the time to unwind, de-stress and bond with sweets, Thandai and colors. The celebrations at the Greater Hindu temple of Chicago was equally exuberant, very much like last year (you could also read more about the festival here). Below is the Photo Essay of the event from this year ! Happy Holi !!!

Lot of folks were so open to being photographed and even asked where they can get the shots. If you were one of them feel free to get yours here.

Click here for the full gallery

 

 

The Crowd !!!

 

Colored powder and smiles adorning the festivities

 

Dancing the way around

 

Fellow photographer amidst the crowd , just not sure how the nikon fared ;-)

 

An little girl, face smeared with colored powder, sits on the shoulders of her father getting an apt Vantage point

 

The locals too equally enjoy the celebration

 

Everyone including this kid had lotz of fun

 

After all its all about the colors right !

 

Getting nice shots often depends on the Vantage point you are at, this guy probably got the best one for the day

 

As the sun set, the Holi fire also was lit in front of the temple to start the final prayers

March 9, 2014

What we see depends on what we are looking for …

Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.

The Capitol building reflected in the fountain that adorns it. What we see depends on what we are looking for, right :)

Canon XSi : Canon 18-55 mm : ISO 200 : 18 mm : f8.0 : 15 sec 

  Capitol Building
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
March 2, 2014

Reflecting on Reflection

Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you made. If you want a different result, make a different choice …

Shooting reflections is an experience unto itself. There is something mesmerizing about reflections. It is not just about getting the final shot … From the point of scouting a location to waiting for the for the wind to take a break and the light to be just right – it all kind of gets you into a meditative plane ! May be that is what drives me to look out for perfect reflections while I am out shooting ! When things do not line up or, if the location is not very conducive for mirror reflections, occasionally I do try to achieve the same in post processing – like this shot – but the experiences from shooting a original reflections are far more soothing and satisfying :)

This shot is from N Santiam Hwy. I was returning back from a failed attempt to capture some shooting stars. But luckily it was fall season and as the light broke, there was still lot of interesting things to shoot. I was glad that I pulled over the highway to capture this mesmerizing reflection.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 30 mm : f22 : 3 sec 

Buy Print Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
February 11, 2014

Colors of Sunset

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ― Rabindranath Tagore

Sunsets are amazing – for there is no two alike. It could either burst into a million colors or turn out to be more subtle – the surprise element, as with life, makes it even more enjoyable. This shot was from a drive to Green river state wildlife area in Illinois. We were headed down there to shoot some stars for the night. As we were driving down the Highway 30, the sky was just lit up with the twilight colors. I just could not help but pull over and run across to capture the scene :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 14 mm : f4.5 : 1/45 sec 

Buy Print   Highway 30, Green River Wildlife Area 
Harmon, Illinois, USA
February 2, 2014

Fall Colors Reflections @ Santiam Hwy

All that you see, is a reflections of you !

It always pays to take the road less travelled.

This is from N Santiam Hwy. The route from Stayton to Bend thru Detroit was just ablaze with fall colors. Parked off the highway and wandered into the misty morning without destination. Luckily came across an unmaintained trail path that led me down to this view !!! Some beautiful fall colors, a blanket of mist, some drizzles and an occasional sunshine – it definitely turned out to be a memorable drive.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 21 mm : f19 : 3 sec 

Buy Print   Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
January 26, 2014

Haystack Rock at Twilight

You know that Haystack rock at Cannon Beach is one of my favorite for sunset. Today’s shot is a not so very popular view of the same. Nevertheless it is always breathtaking. Haystack Rock at Twilight shot from Ecola State Park. How do u like it :)

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 39 mm : f6.7 : 30 sec 

Buy Print Ecola State Park
Astoria, Oregon, USA
January 20, 2014

Sunset over the ocean

There’s almost nothing more relaxing than the sound of the ocean as the sun sets over the water.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 17 mm : f4.0 : 1/125 sec 

Buy Print Devils Punch Bowl State Park
Otter Rock, Oregon, USA
January 10, 2014

Come, Join for a drink …

Collect moments, not things !
Slow down, enjoy the view , have a drink :)

There are several view points and highway pull outs from where views of Mt. Hood can be enjoyed. But Panorama view point is probably on the top of the list. It is not very well known, probably because the directions to the same are not well marked.  But being so close to Hood River and the Hwy 84, you could just drive up to enjoy the view right from the car. Or just get down and plan to have a drink at the picnic tables while enjoying the view !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 250 : 35 mm : f4.0 : 1/60 sec 

Buy Print   Panorama Point County Park
Hood River, Oregon, USA
January 3, 2014

Shooting Snow Crystals

What do u do if there is no time to stand and stare. What if the work is so crazy, u can’t make that trip u had been planning for so long. What if the weather so cold & crap that u can’t get out, even when u get those half a day breaks. What do u do if the world is turned upside down and there is no way to get out, with that camera to shoot …
What do u do ?
If ur world is upside down, just turn the lens upside down ! Yes u heard me right – turn that lens upside down and start shooting macros.

Let me set my rambling of work craziness aside, but u get the picture right :) This situation definitely nudged me to experiment, during the short breaks, with what ever was available. It was amazing, how just flipping the lens could result in instant magnification. Stick a regular magnifying glass at the end and boom – even the mundane of things become so beautiful.

This is nothing new and the technique has been used probably for ages. Though things are not tack sharp with this method, trying the same & seeing the results is definitely fun and exhilarating. The below shot is that of a snow crystal @ less than a millimeter. Even at that size, the precision & unique design of each crystal is lovely. Did u know , no two snow crystals are same – each one is unique, like our finger prints.

If you like this, you will love the amazing shots of snow flakes and crystals from Chaotic Mind.

And a Very Happy New Year – 2014 to my Friends out here. Thanks for the encouragement and support ! Looking forward to sharing more in the coming year !!!

 

  Snow Crystal < 1 mm
Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA
December 5, 2013

Even her goodbyes are ever so beautiful …

During this past ID4, after lot of planning zeroed down to shooting the fireworks at St Louis arch. It definitely did not disappoint. But as the head would have it, when driving 5 hours with the available long weekend, I was also looking to see what else could be packed up into the trip. Though it was a state (MO) I was visiting for the first time – not many places were appealing due to the dry weather. I did like the Cathedral and the Missouri Botanical Garden – but was longing for some landscape to get a chance to capture the summer sun.

The plan was fluid as the weather was kind of bleak, with overcast skies. Late Sunday afternoon after a good lunch – the potential forecast looked better – if we were to head 2 hours down south. But that also meant driving for 7 hours to reach back home, if we headed for that sunset. After a short debate decided to hit it straight to the Garden of Gods @ Shawnee National Forest. We reached the trail, just in time – and as if to take some pity on us for the long drive – the clouds parted to create this beautiful view. It lasted for – may be less than 10 minutes – but was well worth it :)

Even her goodbyes are ever so beautiful …
Is it because – she would be back again tomorrow ?!?!?!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 3 sec

Buy Print   Garden of Gods, Shawnee National Forest
Herod, Illinois, USA
November 28, 2013

Happy Thanks Giving !!!

If you accept all moments with deep gratitude, nothing can go wrong :)

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement – over here at the blog and also on the social channels. I’m so glad that you all enjoy my work.  Thank you :) Here is a water color work that I made today. This is based on a shot from a visit to Crater Lake last year. Check out this photograph if u would like to see how dynamic that sunset really was :)

Hope ur having a fun time during this holidays with ur family and friends !!!

Watercolor on Paper

Victor View View point, Crater Lake 
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA
November 24, 2013

Will you hold me ?

Canon 7D : Tamron  18-270 mm : ISO 320 : 169 mm : f5.6 : 1/8 sec


    Lily, Chicago Botanic Garden 
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
November 17, 2013

I am Unique

I am Unique, just like everyone else !

The fall is gone and the winter has begun. The leaves are gone and the snow is around. This shot is from the beginning of the fall, when the colors were just beginning to adorn the pacific northwest landscape. The floating fog made for one memorable experience. Goodbye fall – it was fun times – driving around, enjoying the colors brought by u ! Thank U !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 155 mm : f38 : 2 sec


Buy Print   Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
November 10, 2013

And the Winner is …

It was one crazy week, 6 days and 12+ hours each day ! It was so crazy – at one point I was not able to recall my laptop password that I use multiple times each day. It just amazes how our mind remembers things – more visual and pattern based. Anyway I digress – I started to write this post to share an amazing thing that happened this week – the results of Capture the Color Contest were announced, and read further to know who the winner is ;-)

This post is probably going to be more of my feelings and shameless plug ! Feel free to ignore :)

If you had been following me, you already know abt my entry to this competition from a month back. If not – Capture the Color is an annual color based (red, yellow, blue, green, white) photo contest by UK based Travel SuperMarket.

Being selected at the top – out of the 2000+ entries – bought in such an exhilarating feeling. It was so nice to be recognized by some amazing top travel photographer and having the chance to share my work with even lot more folks from around the world. It also bought in feelings of gratefulness and thankfulness – for you – my family and friends – who continue to encourage me relentlessly to capture what I capture – Thank You !

Thank you Judges [Daniel – Blue Judge, Dave – Green Judge  , Abi – Red Judge, Christine – White Judge, Ken – Yellow Judge] and Thanks Travel Supermarket for such a lovely contest. The quality of the submissions and the final selections was awesome.

Head to the announcement to check out the other winners ! There are some amazing shots to be enjoyed.

I really liked this contest – for the way it was organized. Unlike most of the other contest that is based on the social votes (on FB or twitter), this was purely judged by well known photographers and travel enthusiasts. Not that there is anything wrong with the other way of running the contest – just that it has a potential to be biased to who ever has a larger following. In addition – I had been looking up to most of Judge’s work even before knowing about this contest. Hence getting recognized by them – meant even more :) [Have quoted what they had to say on the winning entry below :) ]

When I learnt abt the prize , my immediate thoughts were to get back to shoot the lava from Hawaii. But looks like the ocean lava flow had stopped for now. In this case – for now- could be quiet a while ! Need to work out options on heading out to that spot, I had always wanted to – to shoot and share with you guys and girls. If you have any suggestions do drop in a comment !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 320 : 270 mm : f5.6 : 1/90 sec

  Chicago Botanical Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA

Sathya’s work really stands out. Not only does he know how to use light, color and composition admirably to craft his images, but he also edits them to perfection and creates a moody and surreal atmosphere that just draws you in. A clear winner. – Daniel

I chose Like the Ocean because I felt the collective work really captured the essence of color in travel. From the wonder of witnessing a waterfall for the first time to walking through the forest at sunset, each photo captured a moment we can all relate to in our travels. – Dave

These images really highlight the solitude of travel and exploration. – Abi

This year’s competition was much more of a challenge to judge than last year, but Sathya stands out through some great subject choices coupled with a clear mastery of his camera. Each photo took us to a new world, and was handled masterfully. – Christine

As judges, we had more than 400 blogs to look at when it came to deciding on the overall winner. This time we looked at the overall entry as opposed to one singular image and the entry by Sathya stood out from the others. All of the images were strong contenders for the individual color categories, and as an overall submission this one was a clear choice to me as the top prize winner. I’m looking forward to see where Sathya decides to travel to with the prize money and I am eager to see the photos! – Ken

October 30, 2013

Love of Life

Logic says life is life and can never be death. How can life be death? But in reality, life is moving every moment into death. Life is death. Logic says love is love and can never be hate; but love is moving every moment into hate. – Osho

There is beauty in death and decay, There is death in beauty too. They are nothing but two sides of the same coin. You love the same person and you hate the same person — the deeper the love, the deeper the hate. Hate and love are two aspects of the same coin. Can you hate a person without loving ? How can you hate a person without loving ? First you have to love, only then can you hate. Hate needs love as a first step. How can you become inimical to a person with whom you have never been friendly? Friends and foes are separate only in logic; in reality they are together. If you search your hate deeply, you will find love hidden.

Canon 7D : Tamron  18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 25 mm : f3.5 : 20 sec

Wahkeena Creek 
Columbia George, Oregon, USA
October 27, 2013

Abstract Expressions of Fall

The fall colors, driving thru miles and miles of majestic aspen, the dense fog that was weaving thru the trees, the sun peeping thru and trying to dispel the fog, the clean crisp yellow leaves, the barks that were still afresh, the reds and maroons from the bushes below – put them all together and this is what you get :) Though the colors were lovely, the forest was too busy to get a pleasing composition. This week’s shot is my attempt to express the sense of feeling that prevailed from that lovely fall drive in a single shot, without getting lost in the forest. How do u like it ?

As for the processing, this is a composite of 3 shots – one for the normal exposure of trees, one with the camera panning vertically and a final one for the sun :) Getting the panning shot was the most difficult, at the same time the fun too. Shot at least 40 – 50 before I could get it the way I wanted. But no worries if it does not work out, U can just apply a vertical motion blur in post processing too. 

Canon XSi : Canon 18-55 mm : ISO 200 : 55 mm : f6.3 : 1/80 sec [Composite]

Buy Print   Nebo Scenic Drive, Uinta National Forest
Payson, Utah, USA
October 24, 2013

Autumn Waterfall from Cottonwood Canyon

A whiff of crisp and cool breeze, water cascading down the rocks, lovely fall colors – now that is a scene that would rejuvenate any mood. Something I definitely needed now :) Ultimately, fall is about the inevitability of change. The beautiful colors of the season is a reminder to embrace change.

This is from couple of years back, when I used to shoot with Canon Powershot S2 IS. It was and still is – a lovely camera :) It was a lovely drive up the Cottonwood canyon near Salt lake city.

Canon S2 IS :  ISO 200 : 18 mm : f5.6 : 0.3 sec

Buy Print   Unnamed Cascade @ Little Cottonwood Canyon
Sandy, Utah, USA
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