Archive for ‘Contest’

March 14, 2015

Elements of Nature

ExploreTheElements Explore the Elements – is a Travel Photoblogging Challenge run by the good folks at Thomas Cook. Photography and Travel, by themselves compliment each other pretty well. A Travel Photoblogging Contest, with such a theme, then is a match made in heaven :) It is similar to the the earlier contest – ‘Capture the Color’ from few years back – just with a nice twist in the theme. For me, the contest was definitely intriguing because of the theme. It is all about identifying the shot that signifies the meaning of each of the Elements in Nature – Earth, Water, Fire & Air. Personally, it had lot of connection with my pursuits – seeking new experience, capturing the same and sharing with you all – by way of Travel and Photography.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.

Short-listing the potential entries, I was kind of surprised. It gave a significant insight into the kind of shots I had captured. Noticed, it was easier to pick a lot of shots for one category, while being nearly bankrupt on another :). Additionally it was a welcoming challenge, in itself, to identify that single shot for each Element of Nature. There were a lot of shots with expansive views and to my liking, but I zeroed down on ones that stuck a cord with the theme – #Elements of Nature. I wanted to showcase the shots that were in synergy, with my soul searching, experience and mood from my travels.

We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.

Hope you enjoy viewing them, as much as I did in capturing and sharing them :)

Earth  

earth-icon-grey 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 of wind, water and snow. The colors are amazing and different, depending on the time of the day. Heading out at 4 AM was well worth it, as the early morning with the dawn’s first light, is probably the best times to enjoy this view. The hoodoos look so delicate, yet at the same time stubborn – that result in this beautiful formation.

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 to the canyons. It is as if you get a glimpse into dissected view of mother earth, evolving over 1000s of years !

Morning Glow @ Bryce, Utah

Water 

water-icon-grey

Thor’s Well at the rugged Oregon coast is well, just a pit – 10 feet wide and 15 feet deep. But when the tide is high, the play of water makes this place so out of the world. It literally feels like Thor’s well, aptly popularized by one of the photographer around 2006.  Standing there, dodging each wave, witnessing the power of the ocean – is quiet intimidating. It gives such a humble feeling and at the same time a sense of being part of the something much bigger !

Getting this shot involved a lot of pre-planning and then some more. The preplanning involved – locating the spot and planning to get there when the tide was high enough during a sunset. It took additional scouting and caution to get to the actual spot. Getting this shot was all based on the rhythm of the waves and timing. I had wanted a long exposure on the foreground, but had wanted the sprouts of the waves in the back to have some structure. After shooting for almost an hour, it all came together, with a bit of luck. A huge double wave hit the coast as my exposure was closing out, resulting in this frozen moment !

Thor’s Well, Oregon Coast

Fire 

fire-icon-grey  I could not think of anything better to represent energy, than the creation of Earth itself. Witnessing the beautiful synergy of the energetic forces of nature, catalyzed by the lava is a lifetime experience.

It is an adventure just to even witness the lava flow, but it is all the more intriguing and intimate to follow the lava from the crater to the ocean entry. They make the way thru the lava tubes and eventually culminate at the ocean.  The lava flow, when it happens, is mostly over multiple days. But to get this shot, I planned for the morning twilight, when there is enough light to lit the water and the sun is not yet out, so the lava can be captured in its beauty.  Sleeping in the car at the parking lot, helped, but still had to plan for the time to actually get to the spot. Personally for me, it was such a intimate experience, shooting from the water and witnessing the raw beauty of earth being created.

Fire and Ice, Ocean Entry Kilauea

Air 

air-icon-greyStanding at the foot of a majestic 250ft waterfalls does something to your self. The cool breeze thru the hair, the spray of the falls on the face – opens up your senses. You kind of realize that you are not bound to this body and could just fly if you wanted to. It just nudges you to connect with nature.

It had been almost a decade, from when this was captured, but I could still sense that feeling of belonging, as I just stood there enjoying the grandeur of the falls. Some of life’s best moments are not planned , but instinctive.

P.S: This symbolizes my feeling when am out there in nature and I love the shot so much, that it had been my online profile avatar for years :)

At the Foot of Latourell Falls, Oregon

Being driven by Photography for the past couple of years, I decided to share the same via this blog. This and the online community paved way to know, meet and shoot with some great folks. As part of this contest, I would like to nominate the few of my friends whose work I admire a lot. I know, this greatly reduce my chances at the contest, when I pull in these guys. But it is all about getting the best of the shots right ;-) These are some amazing photographers, do check out their work too.

Through Strange Lenses – Jimmy McIntyre

The Star Trail – Ben Canales

Out of Chicago – Chris Smith

Aaron Priest

ShreeniClix – Shreenivasan Manievannan

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 9, 2013

Capture the Color

I missed the last year Capture the Color Contest just by a day. Luckily this year I got to know abt the same just in time to make the submission. Capture the Color is a content by Travel Supermarket involving submission to 5 categories – Yellow, Blue, White, Green & Red. The theme is open to interpretation and is judged by folks whose work I follow and admire ! It definitely was not an easy task to go over the archives and identify shots for this challenge. Learning abt the contest in the last week did not help either :)

Will stop my rambling and let you enjoy the shots. Check this if you would like to preview the entries from others for the Contest.

Yellow

Little Explorers at Latourell Falls

Latourell Falls in the Columbia Gorge is one of my favorite falls. It has a beauty of its own – be it rain or shine. This particular day – along with the rain, the spray from the falls was so much that I could not even get my camera out.  Having the falls to myself, I decided to let the camera rest and enjoy the serenity of the scene. Just then these two little guys came in – well equipped – to explore the falls. There was no stopping them be it the rain or the spray from the falls. This is not predominantly yellow. I still wanted to go with this shot, as the yellow in the shot – the little explorers – is what that make this click. For me all elements from the terrain to the water to the rocks – all lead to those little guys :)

Blue

Twilight Colors at Sunset

It was one of the strongest & vivid sunset that I had witnessed.

Twilight – the time of day between light and darkness, whether that’s just after sunset or just before sunrise – is one of the best times to enjoy nature’s splashing of colors. The sun’s rays from below the horizon are scattered by atmosphere and clouds to create the colors of twilight. This twilight shot is from a sunset, just after the afternoon thunderstorms. These are rare – since they have the potential to burst into a million shades or just blend out flat into the horizon. This particular day I was lucky :)

White

Peace, Pride and Beauty

Peacock is known for its beauty ; The color of white is generally soothing, spiritual and has a special beauty of its own. A peacock in white – it was not easy to capture this shot as it was all pure white, but watching the angel dance was definitely a moment of joy !

Green

Meanwhile at a Trail in Oregon

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.

This shot is from the Mirror lake trail at Mt Hood. As we were heading up the setting sun decided to accompany us. Any hike in pacific northwest is so peaceful, so serene and so close to nature. U can’t go wrong, just get out and enjoy nature.

Red

Just Around the Corner

Sweet Ride. Some of the trips are amazing, because of the destination. Some because of the company you have. Some because of the car you drive. But many a times we don’t realize that the enroute journey itself, is quiet fulfilling and sometime much more than the destination. This is from one more of my impulse drives, around the pacific northwest. And it did not disappoint ! What are you waiting for, get a break… take ur car, just drive :)

And now for the Nominations

As part of the Contest, I also get to nominate 5 of my friends who have amazing portfolio themselves ! Sorry folks, being the last day , not sure if you would make it to the submission. I still would go ahead and take the opportunity to share ur awesome work with my readers here :)

Josh Kulla : An amazing photographer from PNW. Lovely captures from waterfalls to lush greens to the Coast. Interacted with him a lot, a down to earth person, looking forward to shooting with him some time.

Gary Randall : If you had been following my work, you already know abt Gary or that I a big fan of his work. Mt Hood is his backyard. But don’t let that think he is confined to PNW. He has some amazing collection – be it the Utah deserts or the Eifel tower or the lava of Hawaii :)

Michael : Is from Florida focusing more on high dynamic range photography. Some of his favorite subjects to photograph are architectural objects, nature, and classic and antique cars.

Nandini :  Day to day shots from Himalayas to Hyderabad. She has a knack of writing, along with the shots – capturing and conveying the daily feelings in small nuggets !

Ram :  I presume he carries the camera to locations where he get to work, like me ! Check out his work for some lovely shots from Singapore. Am looking forward to his London shots as he recently moved out there :)

P.S : Cut off Date for Submission : Oct 9, 2013 ; Just so to be clear – you do not need to be nominated to participate in the competition. Check out this link for Contest details. Hope you enjoyed my collection for this year. Looking forward to travelling more, together :)

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