November 5, 2019

That tree in Hampi

Vittala Temple is one of the most extravagant architectural showpiece of Hampi. Words can not depict this spectacle. This temple was built in the form of a sprawling campus with compound wall and gateway towers. There are many halls, pavilions and temples located inside this campus. But this wonderfully shriveled tree, standing tall, just around the corner from the famous Stone Chariot at Vitthala Temple, steals the show.

The temple built around 15th century – is a splendor. But this tree dated back by 150 years – equally matches to its grandeur. The twilight sun – kissing the wizened tree was a sight to behold.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 17 mm : f6.3 : 1/10 sec

Vittala Temple
Hampi, Karnataka, India

October 31, 2019

Separate yet same

The Oaks of Charleston – at the outset it looks like each one is standing in a line – individually. Look further, and you would realize each one of them is connected at a far deeper level – by the comprehensive root system. But not always the connections manifest at a physical level.

We are connected with each other & everything that surrounds us. Be aware, Breathe, when you get a chance to walk on the grass barefoot, hug that tree, sense the surrounding, feel the connection – with one another & the surroundings :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 119 mm : f11 : 10 sec

Oaks of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

October 20, 2019

Sunset, as seen by the falls

Smokies is such a vast place – that you can find an interesting subject to shoot, irrespective of the weather – lovely sunrises, dynamic landscape, long exposure waterfalls, fireflies, dark skies and what not – you get the picture.

This particular afternoon started out as a moody and overcast one. After gambling that the the sunset would not hit the high cord, decided to hike up to the little Gotto Falls.

But as luck would have it – the overcast became cloudy, resulting in a bit of drizzle, eventually clearing up by around sun set. The colors were starting to show up thru the trees, but it was too late to head out. That is when I decided to capture how the falls would witness such a lovely sunset … how do u like it :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f16 : 30 sec

Grotto Falls
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

October 6, 2019

Stillness

The Stillness that you search within, can be initiated with external triggers – that slow music melody, that soothing breeze as you walk by the green fields, that moment when the sunset makes the sky it’s canvas.

If nothing else, just take a deep breath. A conscious breath can do miracles. When you cannot handle the mind directly, it can be handled through breath …

Hope this serene sunset from Hampi, brings you the peace you are looking for :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 10-270 mm : ISO 640 : 18 mm : f3.5 : 0.4 sec

Kamalapur Lake
Hampi, Karnataka, India

September 28, 2019

Shipwreck by Keys

Seeing a place from a different vantage point always makes it stand out. Getting over the keys was one of the best ways to enjoy the view. We even got to see some marine life (sharks and rays, etc.). The different colors in the water helped appreciate & perceive how shallow some places indeed were.

In addition, getting to view the ship wreck made the experience complete :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 10-270 mm : ISO 100 : 85 mm : f5.6 : 1/500 sec

Key West National Wildlife Refuge
Key West, Florida, USA

September 17, 2019

Star Fort of Sakleshpur

Sakaleshpur – a hill station town, in Malnad region lies on the magnificent range of the Western Ghats. It has a temperate climate surrounded with lofty green hills full of Coffee, Cardamom, Pepper and Areca Plantations. And hidden in this forest is the amazing fort of Manjarabad.

Started in 1785 and after almost 7 years, Tipu Sultan completed this star-shaped fort as part of his defense strategy. This enabled him to see the British Army from Mangalore. Also, it is said to be used for storing ammonia, horses, and a secret tunnel to Srirangapatna – the capital of Tipu Sultan.

Though – in the present day – the busy Bangalore Mangalore N48 runs close to the fort, not many take time to stop by and enjoy this marvel. I was glad I did :)

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 100 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/250 sec

Manjarabad Fort
Sakleshpur, Karnataka, India

September 5, 2019

Not all conversations need words

Some conversations need words, Some only silence :)

So, if you are too tired to speak, sit next to me for I, too, am fluent in silence. – R. Arnold

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 640 : 19 mm : f4.0 : 1/45 sec

Sunset Beach
Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

August 25, 2019

The Hiker in Red Jacket

Dry Falls flows over an overhanging bluff that allows visitors to walk up under the falls and remain relatively dry, hence its name. Unfortunately no one told this is true, only when the flow is low. That particular day we got pretty wet – with the spotty rains and more so from the spray of the falls. Not that we were complaining, but it would have been good to know !

With the rain, I was not shooting much and this particular view felt cliche – but the hiker in the red jacket (yeah that tiny red fleck you can see, in the center of the frame, about to hike behind the falls) made all the difference and I couldn’t resit but go for the click :)

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

Dry Falls
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA

August 18, 2019

Magic of Kodai

If Ooty is the “Queen of the hills”, Kodaikanal goes with “Princess of the hills”. Folks also refer to kodaikanal as “Switzerland of the East”, “Set of Southern Emeralds”, “Chilled paradise among the Hills”, “Summer Heaven”.

In Tamil – Kodaikanal has several meanings depending on how you break it up – “A place to see in Summer (kodai kanal)”, “The End of the forest (kO Di kanal)”, “The forest of the Creepers (kodi kanal)”, ” The Gift of the Forest (kOdai kanal)” – (oh the beauty of Tamil)

But what is there in the name … Irrespective of how you call, it is beautiful. The view points, lake and everything else is well developed but the beauty is still kept, atleast in pockets. The floating mist as it sails thru the valley, adds magic to the already beautiful place :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 125 : 35 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

Magical Mist
Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu, India

July 31, 2019

Sunset by the Concrete Jungle

The sun doesn’t care … it sets just the same way – be it majestic mountains, lovely valleys or man made concrete jungles.
It continues with it’s magic.

But may be we should care.
Or is it already too late to fix the mess we are creating, in the name of development ?

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 10 mm : f4.0 : 1/90 sec

Urban Sunset
Bangalore, Karnataka, India

July 22, 2019

Calming the Chaos

Our society thrives on the concept of being busy all the time. The entire system is built around to keep you busy, on the edge, always being bothered, forcing to carry the mountains that aren’t yours to carry.

Photography for me, helps to go within and contemplate what is it I am here to do. Sometimes our life is full of chaos, sometimes the mind is full of chaos. It is all about Calming the Chaos …

Hidden in the chaos, are the treasures of life … Would you agree :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 160: 14 mm : f4.0 : 1/30 sec

Lake Hartwell State Park 
Fair Play, South Carolina, USA

June 30, 2019

The Path of Fireflies

This is not a great shot in technical sense, but the experience was quiet surreal …

I was really lucky : I got to experience the synchronous fireflies at Smokies for two years in a row. For the first year I got the tickets (this was the first year when they introduced the lottery for the viewing). For the second year I was not that lucky – the tickets got sold in minutes, from when it was opened up online.

As I was exploring to see if anyone would share or other alternate options – realized that booking a camp site at Elkmont campground, during the same days – would grant access to the trails. After trying few days, was able to grab a reservation as someone else cancelled. This even had an added advantage – It gets you within a mile of the Elkmont Viewing area. Even more, one could hike up the entire trail to avoid the crowds, much beyond the set area for lottery viewing. Just make sure to carry the campground reservation.

This shot is a composite of 164 shots (22 minutes) and around 8 sec exposure for the foreground. Thanks to the Sony A7S II that I was able to rent. This low light monster was able to capture so much of details even in the faint moon light !

The 70% gibbous moon was not conducive for the fireflies, but that did help light up the nearby stream :)

The hustling stream, chilling breeze, dark of the night, the little bit moon lit forest, walking with my son, by the trail into the Smokies Forest & Fireflies along the path – it was indeed a surreal experience !

Sony A7S II : Sony 28 mm: ISO 12800 : 10 mm : f2.0 : 8.0 sec [164 shots]

Great Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

June 23, 2019

Just show up

It was almost new year’s eve and we were in the process of moving out of Florida. As much as I was excited about the move to the new place, I knew I would miss those lovely florida sunsets.

That particular Friday was pretty darn cloudy. Looking up the forecast via Clear Outside, realized the evening was going to be 99% cloudy. Was debating if it was worth taking the chance. Since there were not many more evenings left in Florida, decided to just drive out.

It was pretty overcast all along and the sun was nowhere to be seen. But the walk by the lake was pretty soothing with the evening breeze. Then the 1% clear sky happened by the horizon. And that was enough for the sun to put up a show …

Sometime, all you got to do is just show up :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm: ISO 200 : 10 mm : f6.7 : 1/350 sec

Fred Howard Park
Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

June 15, 2019

The Perfect Traveller

Enroute to Smokies we heard about this waterfalls that was tucked away in the mountains. We decided to make the trip to Minnehaha and it was well worth it. Located the trail head with head with help of GPS [34.749633, -83.479083]. There were very few parking spots by the road, but the drive up the winding road and the lake was quick a sight. Once you locate the trail head (with small set up stairs from the road) and get a parking spot, the fun continues. The trail is somewhat uphill, but the few stairs sprinkled along the way helped.

In addition to the trail, the falls itself is incredible. They spill over a cliff in a gorgeous, multi-tiered cascade before continuing downstream to the Lake Rabun. The morning sun, the floating fog, the spray from the falls, the chillness of the water – it all makes it a worthwhile experience.

Water is the most perfect traveller, because when it travels it becomes the path itself !
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm: ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 8.0 sec

Minnehaha Falls
Lakemont, Georgia, USA

June 5, 2019

The Prakaram of Nemam Temple

Nemam Temple near Karikudi is one among the 9 temples connected with the Nagarathar community. The nine temples connected with the Nagarathar or Natukottai chettiyar include: Ilayathakudi, Iluppaikkudi, Iraniyur, Mathur, Nemam, Pillayarpatti, Soorakudi, Vairavan, and Velangudi. Some of these like Pillayarpatti are more prominent than others.

But the intricate work at Nemam temple makes it stand out. Sculptures in the temple are so artistic, minute and sharp. The prakaram around the inner sanctum was definitely an architectural splendor. One could sense how accurate these were laid out. The windows on the top brings in the right amount of sun to light up the prakaram and the beauty of the sculptures.


Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 8.0 sec

Nemam
Karaikudi, TamilNadu, India

June 2, 2019

Soul of Ooty

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

As the summer temperatures were soaring up pretty much everywhere, we decided to head to Ooty – Queen of the Hills – for a short break. Being a impromptu travel, there was not much time for planning or scouting locations.

Being our first trip to Ooty, we made the mistake of booking the last of the rooms by Ooty downtown. Thought it would be good to enjoy a walk by the lake or get to the shops. But, oh boy the traffic was similar to that of Bangalore SilkBoard, if not worse :)

The serene drive to Emerald & Avalanche Lake, next day, balanced it all out. Some spots were indeed blocked or restricted, since it is owned by Electric Board and used for electricity generation. These spots need prior planning and securing permits beforehand. Still the drive is very picturesque and worth even if you were not able to secure the permits.

This weeks shot is a view is from a quick curve by the road side, as we were driving back from Emerald lake to Ooty.

I love this shot – it distills the essence of all that Ooty has to offer – Queen of hills, land of lakes, rolling coffee plantations, distant fog and a bit of human settlement. The sunset colors were a pleasant addition and the afternoon thunderstorms accentuated it. Ooty being cloudy / foggy most of the time, we did not expect this scene. But we gladly enjoyed as it unfolded in all its glory !

Surprises like these and more are what make the impromptu travel so additive :)

Soul of Ooty
Ooty, TamilNadu, India

May 16, 2019

Perspective

Sometime all we need is a new perspective.

Perspective – it changes everything.

One of the amazing things in life – just when we think we have everything figured out & then you stumble upon something new or suddenly see the same things in a different perspective & everything shifts again :)

Today’s shot is that of a top perspective of Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam temple – something that most would never have witnessed, lest be captured in the golden twilight.

Perspective – it changes everything :)

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Madurai, TamilNadu, India

April 30, 2019

Courage

Courage in the path is what makes the path manifest itself

– Paulo Coelho

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 6.0 sec

Appalachian Mountains
Pisgah National Fores, North Carolina, USA

April 12, 2019

Cosmic Unison

Some dreaming, some planning and a lot of waiting was involved for this shot. When I first got to visit this spot, I went crazy with ideas like a kid with cotton candy. Of those, capturing this beauty under the cosmic stars was on top. This past weekend everything came together to make this possible …

The temple was just couple feet away while the milky way was 25,000 light years away. The temple was constructed around 1000 years back while the milky way is from a couple million years back. Separated vastly by space and time, yet in in cosmic unison – it was one beautiful sight to behold !

Being no moon, it was quiet dark. Hence decided to play with light painting to make the temple pop. To make it even sweeter, I had a lovely assistant who diligently worked with me thru the process. Having to accompany my son on his first night out and shooting stars was even a greater experience :)

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 20 sec

    Vijayalaya Choleswaran Temple
Pudukottai, TamilNadu, India
March 28, 2019

Little things

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 85 mm : f5.6 : 1/30 sec

    Spring
Greenville, South Carolina, USA
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