Archive for ‘Karnataka’

July 28, 2022

Star trails & AI

I’ve been wanting to write about star trails for a while now. I love stargazing and I’ve been fascinated by the movement of the stars and planets across the night sky since I was a little kid. I grew up in a rural area where I had to learn the names of the constellations and planets by reading books, and I’ve always wanted to share that love with others. I’m excited to share my knowledge and passion for astronomy with you in this post, and to show you some beautiful star trails I captured with my camera.

Star trails and night sky are two of the most beautiful things in the world. They capture the essence of the moon, stars, and night sky in a way that nothing else can. On a clear night, they can offer a glimpse of the universe, and if you’re lucky enough, they can offer you a glimpse of the cosmos. My favourite thing about star trails is how they capture the motion of the stars.Star trails are a mesmerizing phenomenon that occur when a camera is pointed at the night sky for a length of time. The rotation of the earth causes the stars to appear to move across the sky, giving the appearance of a long line of stars moving across the sky. The effect is most visible when shooting long exposures, and can be used to create abstract artwork or as a way to capture the beauty of the night sky.

P.S : If you have not realized by now or if you were wondering that this is not my writing style, you are damn right – the below shot is from me but this blog post was written by an AI. All I asked for was a blog post regarding star trails, and the bot (HyperWriteAI) gave me this in a split second :O Am sure very soon these algorithm with evolve to mimic individual writing styles as well. Intrigued and scary at the same time, what a time to live !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f/3.5 : 25 sec (384 shots)

Kanakapura Forest
Kanakapura, Karnataka, India

July 21, 2022

Long time no sea

A visit to a pristine beach is the best escape anyone can have :)

The northern side of Kapu beach in Udupi is no exception. Many visit here for the lighthouse, but a morning stroll, by the sand, waves crashing in, the cool breeze, by the dispersed fishing boats is something to experience. It has been a while and time to head back !

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 100 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/60 sec

Kapu Beach
Kapu, Karnataka, India

July 12, 2022

Twin Towers of Somnathpur Temple

This is from two years back, but still remember the day vividly. After a year of closure due to covid, we thought things were opening up (after the first wave, not realizing how the next 2 yrs were going to be) and decided to head out. The short trip to Chennakesava Temple, Somnathpur – turned out to be great. Luckily there were not many people around.

I had plans to shoot the temple tower during sunset. But the security guard had other plans. He started chasing us out by 5PM, though the documented closing time was only by sunset :( On that day, the forecasted sunset was around 6:30 PM. With no clouds in the sky, the light was still pretty harsh. Just when I was moving towards the exit, a shot captured by one of my friends, flashed in my mind. I knew I had to get the same. Dodging the security guy, ran to the extreme corner of the temple, literally dropped myself to the floor and comp-stomped this shot. I feel the black and white processing adds to the texture and composition. How do you like it :)

Thanks Ashok bro for this shot !

I want to be known for what I am, black and white, because I’m proud of both. – Logic

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 100: 16 mm : f4.0 : 1/8 sec

Keshava Temple
Somanathapura, Karnataka, India

July 4, 2022

Sunset by the roadside

A cup of chai
kindled conversations
with likeminded friends
and a lovely sunset
can make even the mundane, magnificent !

As we were headed to deep interior forests of kemmangundi (for waterfall hopping), we came across a small town. Wanting to get a break from the long drive, stopped by a small bakery for some chai. As we started the journey back, there was a small puddle of water by the roadside and the twilight sunset made the mundane scene magnificent.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 200 : 16 mm : f/2.8 : 1/4 sec

By the Roadside
Bokikere, Karnataka, India

February 24, 2022

Stars by a tranquil night

tranquil night
under a blanket of stars –
sleep gone, again :)

This shot is from a lovely spot is nestled less than 100 kms away from the bustling Bangalore, by the forests of Kanakapura (or whatever is left of it). Stay late, it is great to spend time with the stars :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 3200: 16 mm : f2.8 : 20.0 sec

Stars by the lake
Kanakapura, Karnataka, India

February 10, 2022

Hike more, worry less

while one with nature
i find a tranquil ledge
– above the waterfall of my thoughts

During a hike, deep in the forests of Kemmangundi – amidst the verdant greenery and tall indigenous trees harboring some amazing birds, stumbled across this gurgling stream. As if these weren’t enough, my flying friend helped get a view that is probably not seen by (m)any. Grateful to have witnessed the stream flow onto a graceful waterfalls.

p.s : yeah that is me by the ledge, trying to enjoy the view that was normally not visible otherwise :)

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 100 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/25 sec

Somewhere in the forests of Kemmangundi
Chikkamagaluru, Karnataka, India

January 31, 2022

Believe in your wings

The bird is never afraid of the twig breaking, because its trust is not on the twig but on its own wings.

Canon 7D : Tamron 150-600 mm : ISO 5000 : 600 mm : f6.3 : 1/1000 sec

Purple Sunbird
Nandi Hills, Bangalore, India

January 24, 2022

Pattadakal by Moonrise

Pattadakal – literally know as ‘coronation stone’ – is a small rustic town in the Bagalkot district of north Karnataka. This UNESCO world heritage site hosts 7th and 8th century collection of nine Hindu and one Jain temple built by the Chalukya dynasty. As we were exploring, witnessed the Galaganath Temple, adorned by the Malaprabha River, lit by moonlight & blanketed by the twinkle of stars.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 1000 : 18 mm : f2.8 : 20 sec

By the banks of Malaprabha
Bagalkot, Karnataka, India

January 20, 2022

Sun kissed misty morning

Solitude amidst wild,
calming waterfalls,
fall colors,
misty morning – all kissed by the rising sun !

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f19 : 1/3 sec

Somewhere on earth

January 7, 2022

A pristine beauty – Hebbe Waterfalls

Alluring, exotic, immaculate … words don’t come close to describe this place. In the forests of deep interior Karnataka, by the district of Chikkamagaluru lies this pristine beauty. 13 kms of thrilling & bone rattling 4×4 ride, thru the secluded tiger reserve gets you here. They say – it’s not about the designation but about the journey. But in case of Hebbe – it is as much about the journey, as about the falls. The effort is totally worth it as you witness the waterfalls rumble thru the forest.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f22.0 : 2.0 sec

Hebbe Waterfalls
Chikmagalur, Karnataka, India

January 1, 2022

Hiatus, Looking back & Looking forward

What a year it had been – Covid, revival, promise of hope, again lock downs … Beginning of 2021 felt like a deja vu. Now it seems like the deja vu is repeating itself again. But still, a lots happened this past year as well. Let us drop the prejudice of 2021 (as we did for 2020 as well). Given the situation it indeed was a great year. Experienced some amazing night skies, made some wonderful connections, got to capture views that only a few witness and some lovely experiences along the way.

Took an intentional hiatus from social media for the past 8 months, as I felt it was influencing a lot on the kind of shots I make and the experiences that I attracted. But I do see that it is for me to be aware of the influences. Sharing opens up conversations and connections that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I knew it was not you (social media), but me. Nevertheless, it was a lesson that I have to pick up as my own.

On a different note, I had never been a birder, I did occasionally capture a few flying beauties from my travel. But as the year wrapped up, tried to play around in this new genre as well. Trying to capture the birdies, especially the tiny ones, calls for a different level of patience and perseverance. Keen to see how this unfolds and eager for the new learning opportunities that it brings.

Here is to 2022 – to more learning, more travel, more connections & enriched experiences. Focus, enjoy and equip for the journey forward :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 150-600 mm : ISO 5000 : 600 mm : f5.6 : 1/400 sec

Loten’s Sunbird
Nandi Hills, Bangalore, India

April 22, 2021

Kere Basadi (Lake Temple)

Kere Basadi in a literal sense means the Lake Temple. Somewhere in the Udupi district is a small native village of Varanga. Located here and surrounded by lush nature, this is a place where the architecture imbibes the way of lifestyle and sustenance. Access to the temple takes one thru meandering roads thru serene nature. Once there (white vehicle parked :)), one needs to take a boat to the temple. Loved how the temple was architectured around the lake which in turn was supporting the local sustenance. The journey helps soothe the mind and creates an intent of travel, rather than being just a passing insta photo op :)

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 100 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/500 sec

Kare Basadi
Varanga, Karnataka, India

April 6, 2021

Hemakuta Hill @ twilight

Hemakuta Hill located adjacent to Virupaksha temple is sprinkled generously with a large number of shrines, archways, and pavilions. These temples form one of the earliest groups of structures at Hampi and are dated to be from about the 9th to 14th century.

It is also one among the best places in Hampi to witness the sunrise/sunset and quiet an easy climb (about 10-15 mins and not as tedious as say, the Matanga Hill). Though an easy walk, the afternoon sun can make the boulders scorching hot. But take a stroll by twilight and you sure can experience all the hues from blues to reds being splashed across the whole wide canvas of the sky.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 320 : 13 mm : f9.0 : 1/50 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

March 27, 2021

Mysterious with Milky Way

Just 50 km from the busy bustle of Bangalore, nestled within the forests of Kanakapura is this classified spot. When the time is right and the stars align, I mean literally – one could witness the magic. Out here, in the darkness of the night – the lava flows and portals to the parallel universe open up. Just witnessing the same under the glow the of Milky Way elicits mysticism beyond belief …

Or maybe it was just a few friends, toying with the laser light by a meek rock, in the mango groves that lies by the edge of the Kanakapura forest :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 2500 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 20 sec

Kanakapura Forest
Kanakapura, Karnataka, India

March 20, 2021

Hunt for the Milky Way

In the southern part of India, the monsoon season & the Milky Way season greatly overlap. Hence the window to witness & capture the Milky Way is quite small. Add to it the alignment of the same over weekends and access to decent night skies. The probability goes down even further.

After keeping a close eye on the conditions, decided to head towards Coorg with friends for some Milky Way hunting. Though the spot was a Bortle 2, the elevation of the location brought in rolling clouds, fog, and morning mist. After 1 1/2 days of waiting, the weather Gods decided to give a glimpse of the Milky Way, just for us :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 5000 : 16 mm : f/2.8 : 20 sec

Balyabane
Coorg, Karnataka, India

March 8, 2021

Intricate architecture @ Mysore palace

The Mysore palace constructed around 1897, was conceived as a residence befitting the monarch of the majestic state. Mysore, which was laid out as the capital of the princely state, now part of Karnataka, retains a very strong connection with its royal past. The palace was constructed using fine grey granite and features beautiful domes that are made of deep pink-colored marbles. Every wall, pillar, ceiling, and doom is filled with such intricate work of art that one is struck by awe, just being there.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 2000 : 16 mm : f/4.0 : 1/50 sec

Mysore Palace
Mysore, Karnataka, India

February 20, 2021

Sunrise by Shivalaya Temple

The city of Badami in Northern Karnataka, also called Vatapi, was the capital of one of the most enduring dynasties in Southern India – the Chalukyas. Nestled by a ravine that cuts through the sandstone landscape the site is graced by some beautiful temples – rock-cut and otherwise.

One of the prominent temple that I loved from my visit is the upper Shivalaya Temple. It had quiet ornamantal windows. It might have held equally ornate sculptures too within and probably was deprived of the same as time passed. The majestic mandapa stands as remnants of a bygone era, but still loaded with such grace and grandeur. It takes some effort to get up the hill. But the view is worth all the effort, especially around sunrise.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 250: 16 mm : f2.8 : 1/200 sec

Upper Shivalaya Temple
Badami, Karnataka, India

February 14, 2021

Startling night on Valentines day

Had planned to visit this particular area last year with a friend. That never materialized because of you know who :) Accounting to the same, 2020 had not been great, even more so for travel. Then what can be said for night travel ?!

Hence, when the Astro season started this year, was trying to hold my expectations low. This time of the year the Milky Way graces the night sky after 3 or 4 AM. It was only a small window, but the twilight even from the horizon behind graciously blanketed the lake with its warm light. The stars finally aligned, and I couldn’t be happier.

Feeling thankful that we still have pockets of the night sky in a short distance from busy cities where the stars can be appreciated. Here is to the love of stars. Happy Valentines Day !

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 5000: 16 mm : f2.8 : 8.0 sec

A Hillock by the lake
Kanakapura, Karnataka, India

January 23, 2021

Life of Lambda

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 164 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/25 sec

Lambda
Sakleshpur, Karnataka, India

January 8, 2021

Postcard from the past

As I was enjoying the Virupaksha temple at sunrise, came across this scene. For some reason, the family standing there, resembled the typical tourist – one who does not gel with the surrounding & stands out. May be it was their attire or the posture, but whatever – they felt juxtaposed. Tried processing to elevate and showcase how Hampi still stands the test of time. The final result felt like a postcard from the past :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 500: 10 mm : f9.0 : 1/15 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

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