June 18, 2011
This is from the Miramar Beach, Goa. As part of the stay at Bogmallo, we were offered to be taken to Basilica and Panjim City for some shopping, before the evening Cruise. Opting to miss on the shopping & getting dropped off at Miramar Beach for sunset, turned out to be not that bad a choice. Walking toward the beach, it was not just cloudy, but real overcast too.
There were around the 8-12 ships lined up at the horizon. As I was thinking – all chances for a great sunset were bleak – it just happened. For a moment, the clouds opened up, a little bit with drama, to allow the rays fall on one of the ships, as if it was chosen for something. The evening sky was kind of red. I waited to see if it would be sucked up into space like in alien movies, but nothing happened :)
As for the processing, this is straight out of camera, with just some level adjustments. I know it is kind of dark, but felt it rather added to mystery around the shot and overall. What do you think !?
June 10, 2011
As I mentioned earlier, Bryce Canyon is not much of a canyon. One could visit the place umpteen number of times, but still be awed. It is just magical. The hoodoos change with time – due to the forces wind, water and snow. The colors are amazing and different, depending on the time of the day. The early morning with the dawn’s first light, is probably the best times to visit the place. For a close up shot – check this out. Oh yeah, you can hike down into the palace, How cool is that !
I love this shot for the flow it has – from the skies to the mountains, from the mountains to the plains, form the plains to the forest and eventually culminating at the canyons. It kind of gives lot of depth, what do you think ?!
June 3, 2011
Mysore palace is now one of the most famous tourist spot attracting more than 2.7 million visitors in the recent years. This Indo-sarsenic style Palace reflects Muslim architecture on the outside, while the interior is a fine example of Hindu architecture. The palace is in its full grandeur in the night, as it is lit with thousands of bulbs and it becomes the most attractive monument in the city. Even without the thousands of light bulbs, it is a sight to watch when it is back lit with flash lights. The below was shot at one such occasion. I really like the way the Big cats came out as silhouette on the back lit palace.
The part I did not like about the place is – though tourists are allowed to visit, they are not allowed to photograph inside the palace, what crap :( Wish they make it photographer friendly, so that the grandeur can be shared with you, who are not able to make it to the palace in person.
On the processing, the HDR accentuated the intricate work on the palace walls (worth checking out on the larger size), highlight part of inner chambers , garden and the walkway.
May 28, 2011
Bylakuppe, located in District Coorg (Madikere) in Karnataka is the second largest Tibetans settlement outside Tibet. Close to 20K monks stay here living in the Tibetan tradition. They co exist peacefully with the neighborhood, continuing with their chanting and training, not bothered about the tourists and onlookers.
The focus of the settlement is The Golden Temple and the focus of the temple, of course, is the 60 foot Gautama Buddha, accompanied by Guru Rinpoche and Buddha Amitayus on the sides. The huge hall is so cool and smooth, with reflective flooring. The walls adorned by amazing paintings are sound absorbent. The surrounding is so calm that you would just feel like sitting in silence. No wonder, even the people who don’t have the habit of meditation, will just feel like being in silence and meditate. The amazing architecture goes hand in hand with the silence and the Tibetan culture.
The temple is probably juxtaposed here amidst the natural beauty of Coorg. One can spend hours out here, at a minimum plan for at least an hour. Right in-between the misty morning walks at the coffee fields and an amazing sunset at raja’s seat, you could fit the visit to the this temple. Photographing the place (indoor) is as good, even at noon. But don’t be surprised if you forget your camera, once your are inside and get lost in the silence, which is even better :)
On the processing, the HDR helped capture the golden sculpture along with the intricate work and paintings. Let the movement on the people as such, as it kind of added to the shot.
May 21, 2011
This weeks shot is in entire contrast to last weeks spring image with so much vibrance and energy. It is from enroute to the dream land of Hampi from Bangalore. The dry brittle land reminded me of drought, but the monsoon storm that was building up that afternoon, was so very promising. For reasons unknown this scene evoked a mix of emotions in me. Nature has a peculiar, but very effective way of keeping things in balance. Be it thru drought or flood, famine or tsunami, forest fire or rain, abundance or dearth – there is a reason and rhyme behind everything. It just happens, with the flow.
But we humans – are so prone to – not just getting stuck with something , but not willing to move on either. It is so very tough for us to accept and move on – “Sometimes you hurt yourself more than anyone else ever could. Look deep, then you might understand better.”
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Enroute to Hampi from Bangalore
May 13, 2011
As we were driving back from Warwick castle to London – there was stretch – where these yellow fields of rapeseed, spread for miles and miles together. As much as I wanted to just pull over, was very reluctant, as I was on the highway and new to the country, and getting used to the right hand driving – had to force myself to focus more on the driving ! Just then saw an exit and took the same, by instinct. As luck would have it – was on a narrow country road surrounded by this beauty. Lost no time in pulling over the road. Along with my brother, literally jumped over the fence and ran over these fields. aaaah, the beauty of spring, It indeed was so refreshing. The late afternoon sun, along with the building storm added much depth to this shot. Here is the English country side for you to enjoy.
May 5, 2011
Toroweep is one of a kind – awe inspiring, rare places, where one can stare into the face of time, still un-touched and un-spoilt. Check this out for the amazing 3000 feet Vertical drop at the view point. Anyways, while visiting this place, we stayed at a small inn, enroute from Kanab to Toroweep. It was a small cozy place, with a typical country side set up. The rooms were based on tribe themes with wooden floors – it went really well with the outside surrounding of red rocks. As soon as we entered the room, the hanging on the wall caught my attention – a framed letter from Seattle Chief to then US President (1855). It was quiet touching and I feel it is even more applicable today and not just for the whites referred here. Present to you the same, below.
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Graze lands Enroute to Toroweap
Kanab, Utah, USA
The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land * How can you buy or sell the sky * The warmth of the land * The idea is strange to us * Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water * How can you buy them from us * Every part of this earth is sacred to my people **
We know that the white man does not understand our ways * One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs * The earth is not his brother but his enemy and when he has conquered it he moves on * He leaves his fathers’ graves his children’s birthright is forgotten **
The is no quiet place in the white man’s cities * No place to hear the leaves of spring or the rustle of the insect wings * But perhaps because I am savage and do not understand, the clatter only seems to insult the ears * And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the or the arguments of the frog around the pond at the night **
The Whites too shall pass, perhaps sooner than the other tribes * Continue to contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste * When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest, heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of ripe hills blotted by talking wires * Where is the Eagle * Gone * Where is the Buffalo * Gone * And what is to say goodbye to the swift and the hunt, the end of living and the beginning of survival **
Chief Seattle to President Franklin Pierce, 1855
April 30, 2011
This weeks let us visit the famous Big temple at Tanjore, Tamilnadu. It is an carving with amazing details on solid stone. The place is filled with details in nook and corner. It probably would justify to call this a teaser- for things to come on Tanjore temple – on subsequent posts. To get a bigger picture (i mean not in a literal sense) of the grandeur, multiply the awesomeness of the below shot with 4 for one face on each side, then by another 3 or 4 for the number of levels in each pillar and then finally 100+ for the # of pillars. Behold we are just talking about the pillars. There are still – the walls, the smaller temples around and multitude of temple towers along with the big one that the place is actually know for. You should probably visit the place to experience it !
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Big Temple, Tanjore
April 23, 2011
This week’s shot is from Marina Beach – the second largest beach in the world. The place gets brimmed with people from all walks of life, during a typical evening. The early mornings though are little different. If you get to the one, near the Besant nagar residential area, it is real serene – except for the few joggers and fishermen setting up for the days catch. This is from one such morning, when I managed to drag myself, out of the bed early to get to the place, to be treated with an awesome sun rise. The early mornings are probably the best time to enjoy the Chennai beaches !
On the post processing front, yeah, I know is kind of little extreme on the HDR. But I really dig the way it turned out, nothing else would have helped me capture the golden hour better. More over it goes well with the new bold and dynamic theme here at the blog [if ur reading this via feed reader or mail, do drop by the site to check out the updates]. What do u think… Feel free to leave feedback in comments !!!
April 16, 2011
Lepakshi – small town, in Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh state – is about 140 kms from Bangalore. It is enroute from Bangalore to Hyderabad (BIAL road). At the RAKSHA academy in Andra Pradesh , take the left for lepakshi. The temple would be 15 kms from this turning. This stretch is real bad, but is probably keeping the crowd away and the sanctity of the heritage temple in place :). The place is a good day trip from Bangalore, but watch out, it would be real hot during summers.
Lepakshi is famous for its temple, which is dedicated to Veerabhadra, the fiery incarnation of Lord Shiva and the big Nandhi. The nandhi sits outside the temple, facing the Shiva. But probably as time passed, the Lepakshi village has developed right in between. When you drive, the nandhi is on the right side and a little further down the left is the entrance to the temple. The Nandhi is quiet grand at 15 x 27 feet and made of a single monolithic granite. Makes one wonder how grand this place would have been, during its glory.
April 9, 2011
This square stepped shringi thirtha pond is located in one of the small, not so very famous temples, near Nandhi hills, Bangalore – Bhoganandishwara Temple. It was a hot afternoon, still sitting in the shade under the mandap, along this pond was so pleasant and breezy (though the steps were scorching hot). The 10mm came in handy to capture the complete pond in this perspective. This place also boasts shrines with fine sikharas, built out of stone. Check this out for one of the most ornate temple walls that can be found in the south Indian temples. Do make it a point to visit this place if you already have (or not) Nandhi Hills in the itinerary.
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Bhoganandishwara Temple, Near Nandhi Hills
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
April 2, 2011
Kodai Lake is located in the Kodaikanal city (Dindigul district) in Tamil Nadu, India. Sir Hentry, then collector of Madurai was instrumental in the initial set up of the lake in 1863. The lake is probably one of the most popular stops at this summer destination.
Apart from the regular boating – the lake offers much more. A late evening walk with a loved one, a bicycle ride with ur kid [oh yeah u can rent all kinds of cycles], shopping for or with ur wify along the entire periphery or just gazing from one of the view points – the possibilities are limitless. Outflow of the lake create the much famed silver cascade falls [that would be a shot for a diff week ;-)]
The low f stop (f/22) actuated the star effect on the lights, which I really dig. This is a single exposure, with minimal adjustment on levels. Was really surprised how sharp the shot came out even with a minute long exposure. Looking at the shot really brings back the stillness of the evening – both inside and out.
March 24, 2011
Being at Peace – It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm at heart. Just felt at peace, watching the sun set, across the city from the terrace. It pays – to take time – to look around , what do you say !
And on the processing, just applied a bit of focus vignette around the corners and a bit of warmth to the HDR shot.
March 19, 2011
Much discussion have been floating around the so-called "super moon" that will take place tonight (March 19). Actually the phenomenon of super moon occurs once in 14 yrs or so, but this time it also turns out to be on a full moon day. The discussion has been actuated by aftermath of the Tsunamis that hit Japan around last week and the rumored natural causes around the super moon.
Is it really super. Decided to venture out and take a look at the same. Though scientifically it is indeed couple of 100 kms closer, not sure if it would not make much of a difference to a casual observer. Also the time / location of observing and the optical illusion around it (Building or know objects in the close foreground , and the moon on the far back ground at horizon) make lot of difference to the perception. As I was at the terrace , not much of interesting subject to shoot along with the moon. May be next time should head out to the lake or something !
So what do u think, Is there any thing super about super moon ? Super moon or not, it was indeed enjoyable spending some night time, out with the moon !
P.S : Drop by my Photo Site. Have updated the home page with awesome mega slide show, that fills ur browser automatically(Pure CSS / JS / HTML, yeah ditched the Flash!!! - Thanks 2 FastlineMedia for sharing the amazing library). Do share ur thoughts on the same :)
March 13, 2011
After a five km hike, that too in the night, was exhausting. But having a camp fire, with an awesome view, waiting for the sun to rise – was quiet an adventure. This is from a full moon night trek. Yeah I had posted this shot as part of the travelogue. But I liked the shot soo much that I wanted to get it out here in full glory here @ the main blog for all my friends to enjoy. The way the distant city lights and the camp fire turned out was really vibrant. You should really check out the large size to see the starry sky ! Wish I had reached couple of hours earlier to do a star trail shot, need to plan for it sometime …
If you are planning for a skandagiri trek, do check out this travelogue !
March 2, 2011
Great Salt lake is not one of the pleasant places to be (atleast for me). It is interesting to note that the Great Salt Lake is actually three to five times saltier than the ocean. Given this salinity, there is not much of aquatic life. Some kind of bacterial life (Halophiles) living in high salt concentration areas helps keep the balance of the ecosystems. Due to these activity, the resulting odor is not very pleasant.
But at the same time, this is one of the best spots to catch stunning sunsets. This was shot during one one of those short twilight times, just as the sun went down. It was real soothing to watch the yacht slowly sail across the horizon. oh yeah it is still in the frame, u might need to look a bit close [full size] :)
February 25, 2011
The magnificent shore temple of Mahabalipuram has an amazing architecture and leads itself for an stupendous silhouette during the early morning sun’s light. The journey from Chennai to Mahabalipuram in the morning is by itself an unmatched experience. The road moves along the beach, never leaving it for more than couple hundred meters. But u would need to have these two (the sunrise and the drive) separate. If ur planning for the sun rise, better leave real early and drive up in the dark. This was shot around 5:00 AM on a beautiful morning, just before the sun came up. Though am not much of a morning person, it did pay, to be up early and drive all the way from chennai :)
February 11, 2011
Fremont Indian rock art is often positioned on trails and commonly depicts mountain sheep, hunting weapons, and trapezoidal human figures. Out of curiosity I dug further to understand the difference between a petroglyph and a pictograph, if any. To my amazement, below is what I found !
Petroglyph is an image or design cut into a rock surface without the use of pigment or coloring. In canyon country, desert-varnished sandstone was most commonly used. In desert areas, this brown or black varnish builds up on rocks after prolonged exposure to the elements. The tool usually used to produce petroglyphs was agate, chert, or jasper. Pictograph on the other hand are painted on light-colored sandstone surfaces. A mixture of sumac, yellow ochre, and pinyon gum was used to make a black powder; yellow from rabbit brush and red from red ochre or the roots of mountain mahogany. Animal fat and plant oils were used to bind the powders together.
Anyways, Utah has some of the most spectacular rock art – found in Nine Mile Canyon northeast of Price. The canyon is actually 40 miles long, probably the name -nine mile- is a misnomer :). Beware, this Canyon is remote, hostile, unblemished and dryly beautiful. Called “the world’s longest art gallery” it is home to numerous rock art panels, including the below famous “Hunter Panel”. Most of the rock art was created by the Fremont Indians who occupied this area some 1,000 years ago.
The “Hunters Panel” is one of the more famous and most recognized Fremont style petroglyph rock art panels in Nine Mile Canyon, Utah. The panel depicts 36 bighorn sheep, 5 hunters, a snake, and several ambiguous images. Notice how the bighorns are connected by consanguinity lines – probably depicting a natural relationship that co-existed.
January 28, 2011
Las Vegas , is an awesome place – to gamble, to kill time, to shop, to spend, to visit places across the world (with themed hotels from La Paris to NYC to Luxor) , to eat (from the themed hotels ;-) ) – and of all – a great place to photograph.
Though at some level the whole Vegas feels a little artificial (it really is) , it does provides an awful lot of photo opportunities. The night offers different options like fountains of Bellagio, Eiffel tower of La Paris, Fremont street experience at the old Vegas. The day time is equally interesting- in case you have the energy & manage to get out of the hotel room, after the loooong night life from the previous day :-)
Today’s shot is from a street or rather canal near Hotel Venetian, Las Vegas. If not for the water, I would have walked right past , only to hit on the wall. Yeah look again, anything behind the first set of brick pillar is actually a painting. Though I was not able to do full justice to the painting , tried capturing the essence and the feel of the scene ! The HDR technique did help capture the mood subtly. Do you know of any more sweet spots across Vegas, do share in the comments!
January 21, 2011
There is something magical about water falls, yeah the falling water. It is so soothing, just to sit by the running water and let yourself flow. May be it is the fluid nature of water, may be it is trying to find your ever flowing inner self, may be its the calm that it brings, may be …
what ever it is, i always love to visit a waterfall …how about you !!!
The below is from a hike to Donut Falls – a gem hidden at the Big Cottonwood canyon, Salt Lake. It is always an ideal place to hike up and spend the afternoon, provided of course, the path is not covered with snow !
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