Archive for ‘photography’

October 26, 2020

Life is Inevitable

If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi. Every walk and every turn at Hampi has awe and surprises carved in stone.

This particular morning we were strolling on the hills of Hemakunta. Surrounded by the grand architecture of Hampi, the cool morning breeze, the rising sun, golden light glistening the rocks – the moment was perfect. And then stumbled upon this little guy, growing right thru the stone. He was there for a purpose, yet juxtaposed at the same time. It was as if everything came together to make this moment happen, to make this connect happen.

He was silently showing what life is all about.

What you think as dead, is just dormant. Be aware, take care of such little things that is & constitutes life. Life is just inevitable.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 500 : 27 mm : f/4.5 : 1/30 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

September 24, 2020

Sunset by Fort De Soto

Magic is natural and simple, only the mind says it’s complicated
Moments like these prove the same, by staying with you even after years

A magical sunset moment from years back at Fort De Soto – one of the lovely parks by St. Petersburg, Florida :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 10 mm : f/3.5 : 1/90 sec

Fort De Soto Park
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

September 18, 2020

By the Silent night

The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows. – Brene Brown

This shot is from few years back, when we used to do occasional visits between Greenville, SC and Alpharatta,GA. Enroute is the fabulous forests of Tugaloo, right adjacent to lake Hartwell. From one such drive, sunday late into the night, ignoring the imminent monday morning blues – pulled over an arbitrary & craggy road. Decided to take a stroll and it didn’t disappoint.

Set on a timer, this was captured as contiguous 177 shots spread over 45+ minutes. As for the processing ran the 177 shots through the (free) Creative Effects UI Photoshop script with Saucer effect. This could have been shot as a single exposure, but I always prefer smaller multiple exposures. It gives a lot more freedom around the creative processing :) How do u like it !

Forest of Tugaloo
Lavonia, Georgia, USA

September 11, 2020

When birds swim …

When birds swim, they are even more magical :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 150-600 mm : ISO 2000 : 600 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

By Kabini River
Jakkalli, Karnataka, India

August 29, 2020

Gratitude enriches existence

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. – John Milton

Have you ever thought – in life we receive a lot more than we ever give. Yet, it is easy for us to remember about things we wanted but haven’t got yet, plans that were planned but haven’t worked out yet etc. But you just reading this, shows you are among the gifted – who got to learn to read, have the will to read, probably have the basic needs met and among the the ones who have WiFi or mobile with a data plan. If nothing else, just the probability of you even existing now at all comes out to 1 in 102,685,000. Basically, the odds you even exist is zero. Yet you exist.

Realize the miracle you are and yet how wonderfully insignificant you are. Be thankful… live… live a life filled with Gratitude :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1000 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/15 sec

Furman Bell Tower
Greenville, South Carolina, USA

August 21, 2020

Absolutely Still

Sometimes – to take in all that life has to give – you just got to be still. Absolutely still.

Stagnation is dying, in many ways. But Stillness is beautiful. Especially when you are so with awareness of each breath & each fleeting moment. Here is one such fleeting moment of stillness from the the land where even the stones sing – Hampi :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 320 : 12 mm : f11 : 1/20 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

August 13, 2020

Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate …

Just like a spring, our body & mind accommodates and carries a lot of load. Few at a time seems manageable, but carry for long & it breaks. Unlike a spring, know when to knock off the load and rebound. Identify rituals that help you revitalize.

Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate & Spring back :)

To rest is not being idle. To lie on the beach or the grass – listening to the murmur of the water or rustling of the trees and to watch life happen – is by no means a waste of time.

Canon XSi : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 32 mm : f13 : 1/350 sec

Hidden Beach
Bogmalo, Goa, India

August 4, 2020

Aihole wrapped in a blanket of stars

Just an hour’s drive from Badami is Aihole – a historic site of ancient & medieval era with Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments. There are a variety of temples sprinkled all over this place. With so much variety, Aihole is indeed the cradle of temple architecture. The incredible work here dates from the sixth century through the twelfth century.

This week’s shot is from one such complex which hosts a collection of about 30 temples by the banks of river Malaprabha. The quarter moon was just enough to light the temple complex, while still allowing to enjoy the grandeur of the stars. The trip from earlier this Feb was not conducive to enjoy the Milky Way, but it helped to get an enticing composition around the north star with equally captivating temples in the foreground. How do you like it ?!

PS : This shot was made possible with ~200 shots over 45 mins and composited with the “Creative Effects” Photoshop script. You can download the same for free here :)

By the banks of Malaprabha
Aihole, Karnataka, India

July 30, 2020

Such is Life

Such is Life –
know when to fall, know when to roll
know when to flow & when to calm.

For those not aware – this is Eastatoe falls. This literally sits in the backyard of a lovely little home, bordering South & North Carolina. Grateful for people who share their treasures with one and all. Based on that, I like to go with the name The Backyard falls :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f22 : 3.0 sec

Eastatoe Falls
Eastatoe, North Carolina, USA

July 27, 2020

Sunset, Fog & Camping

Something powerful about your own photographs – A quick glimpse, it instantly brings all cherished memories from around when it was captured.

Somkies is one amazing place to get one with nature – be it a drive on the rugged back roads, hike by it winding trails or just idly camping by any of its campgrounds. That particular evening, the breeze was chill and the fog was beginning to roll in. It was so pleasant that we wrapped up at the tent and decided to get our for an evening walk. Just as we were heading out, the setting sun was peeping out to bid us a Good Evening. So here is to COVID – until its safe to venture out, (re)living experiences via memories :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 22 mm : f8.0 : 0.5 sec

Elkmont
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

July 18, 2020

A Contemplative Evening

Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated ?
– David M. Bader

It is not complicated, it indeed is very simple
But simple might not be easy
Easy or not, Be simple, Be mindful.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/60 sec

Furman Bell Tower
Greenville, South Carolina, USA

July 6, 2020

Virupaksha Temple @ Hampi

The Virupaksha temple stands unrelenting from around the 7th century. It is one of the most prominent center of pilgrimage at Hampi.

The Vijayanagara rulers, in the middle of the 14th century, initiated the blossoming of native art and culture in the region. Though most of the temple buildings are attributed to the Vijayanagara period, there is ample evidence indicating to additions that were made to the temple in the late Chalukyan and Hoysala periods. When they were defeated by Deccan Sultanate in the 16th century, most of the wonderful decorative structures and creations were systematically destroyed. However they were not able to destroy the religious sect of Virupaksha. Even after the annihilation of the city in 1565, worship of Shiva (Virupaksha) had persisted throughout the years. Today, the temple is still fully intact among the surrounding ruins and is the only active temple in all of Hampi.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 500 : 10 mm : f9.0 : 1/80 sec

Hemakuta Hill
Hampi, Karnataka, India

July 1, 2020

Patience

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are times we race thru things. Actually we are conditioned to race for everything in life – both professional & personal. It takes effort to slow down. Be mindful. Adapt to natures pace. Once you get her secret, life would be much enriched :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 800: 119 mm : f11 : 1/6 sec

The Rise
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

June 7, 2020

By the Temple Pond

It is a tough time indeed – for everyone of us with COVID19, Amphan, Nisarga etc. and we have not even crossed the first half of 2020. At least one good thing with the lock-down – mother nature seems to be healing. I can now hear more of birds chirping even in the middle of Marathalli, Bangalore :) For the many lucky folks who are not stranded away from home – the lock-down had brought in a much needed break to reflect and introspect. I had seen people try to pick up new skills, do work out, indulge in cooking etc. As for me – being in IT – my work days had just become longer :( (thanks to remote work). One of the reasons why no updates around here for the past 2 months. But I did get to refine and complete on something that I had been toying around for years – Artography.

This week post is from Kovilur – yeah the same place with the lovely thirukulam (pond). Taking a walk around the thirukulam (திருக்குளம்) is soothing anytime of the day. An evening stroll, cool breeze, sitting by the pond and enjoying as the sun as it was setting behind – it was all an work of art.

If you are curious on how this particular art was made, check out the article – Artography – Photo to Painting. And do share how you like the same in comments …

Watercolor on Textured Paper

By The Pond (பொற்குளம் அருகில்)
Kovilur, TamilNadu, India

April 10, 2020

The Wave

I might have known about this place from Windows 7 stock wallpapers, back in 2007. As I started digging around, realized it was not a walk in, walk out kind of spot. And that made it more enticing :)

The Wave – aptly named for its wave like rock formation – is situated on the Utah-Arizona border, halfway between Page, Arizona and Kanab, Utah in the Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Due to the overwhelming popularity of the site and its fragile state, BLM limits foot traffic to 20 people/day. That’s right – only 20 people are allowed access to the site at a time, thus preserving the integrity and beauty of The Wave. 10 spots a day via online lottery and 10 via a walk in lottery at the visitor center. It was a long story on the lottery, but I was fortunate to get selected on the second day.

As for the hike – it was pretty wild, since there are almost no trail signs at all. It was easy to get lost and a bit dangerous in such a wild zone, but that’s part of what made it so fun :) One of the most beautiful and unique places I’ve adventured. My only regret was, I never made the trip back for a night out with starts, that I had wanted at this spot.

Anyway, it has been more than a decade, but the memory is still fresh. These days it isn’t quiet that easy to get the lottery. For this (2020) summer ~500 pitched in for the 10 online lottery spots / day consistently. BLM does a great job of managing the footfall. Given the fragility of the place, these stringent measures are required to ensures it stands for the future generations to experience.

We occasionally do some good work , to protect visually fragile spots. But the current situation around COVID19 is beginning to highlight how much we have messed up with mother earth. We just don’t realize the damage, or we just close our eyes. Couple of weeks lock down for us humans – we are already seeing earth vibrations going down, much cleaner air even in the most polluted cities and the animals enjoying the space :) May be we need to manage our foot fall, give space & learn better to cohabit and live in unison with nature.

Canon XSi : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100: 18 mm : f9.5 : 1/250 sec

The Wave
Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah, USA

March 30, 2020

Keshava temple of Somanathapura

The Chennakesava temple of Somanathapura stands on a raised platform, in the centre of a spacious enclosure having sixty four cells. This three celled (trikutachala) structure consists of three garbha grihas, three antaralas and a navarang. It has a mahadwara standing on the east. The basement of the outer wall is highly ornamented with friezes of elephants, scrolls, epic & puranic scenes. The lathe turned pillars and delicately carved sixteen different types of ceilings are the characteristic feature of the hoysala art. Inscriptions engraved on a huge slab standing in the mahadwara and on the beams of the navaranga ranging in date from 1269 – 1550 AD, give the details of the construction of the temple.

When we visited, the outer enclosure was being refurbished. That particular afternoon the brewing storm added to mood of the shot. Shortly after this, witnessed quiet a downpour, but we were safe inside the garbha grihas :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 12 mm : f13 : 1/3 sec

Keshava Temple
Somanathapura, Karnataka, India

March 23, 2020

Arena of Abiqua

This week shot is from 8 years back, but the experience of Abiqua trail is still so fresh in my mind that I can smell the fragrance of the moss & feel the chinless of the water.

Abiqua Falls is part of the same geological formation as the waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park, and is not far from there as a bird flies (but significantly longer in distance when travelling by road).

As for the hike, one would have to climb over and around rocks and logs, but it can be done. If you are not a big fan of getting messy during hikes – you might not as much enjoy all the sliding, scrambling and wading – but at the end, when you get a glimpse of this view – am sure you would feel it was all well worth it :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 12 mm : f13 : 1/3 sec

Abiqua Falls
Marion, Oregon, USA

March 16, 2020

Simple Life

With all the things going around in the world right now, in context of COVID19 – borders being closed, people staying home as much as possible. It is tough times. But nature always has its way of getting things balanced out.

Distance socially, but not from yourself. Slow down, breath, find your zen. Enjoy small things in life. Go for a walk, enjoy the sunset, spend some lone time & rejuvenate. Learn something new. Use the opportunity to connect – with people and nature.

Stay healthy and stay safe.

This scene is from a village in south of India. Just a regular day, a regular guy, spending his morning time in the early morning twilight. Life is simple, the moment we stop making it complex :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 500: 12 mm : f3.5 : 0.5 sec

Simple Life
Some Village, Tamilnadu, India

March 9, 2020

Meghalaya – Land of flying boats

Meghalaya with its magical mist is well known as ‘Land of the Clouds’. The best time to visit the north east is indeed the monsoon season – when the forest is lush and the waterfalls are overflowing.

But if you wanna experience a different kind of magic, you should plan to visit between Oct to Feb. During this season, the Umngot river (traversing thru Dwaki & Shnongpdeng) is so crystal clear that one can see the river bed right till the bottom. During this season at the right time of the day, the shadow of the boats fall on the river bed – the river being so clear. This makes the boats float :)

After witnessing this little gem at Shnongpdeng, I feel it would be apt to call Meghalaya – Land of flying boats. What do you say :)

Sony A7III : Sony 24-105 mm : ISO 200: 61 mm : f4.0 : 1/800 sec

Umngot River
Shnongpdeng, Meghalaya, India

March 2, 2020

Signs of Spring @ Badami

Though Badami is more famous for its cave temples, I liked the visit to the Shivalaya temple better. Situated on the hills on the northern shore of Lake Agasthya, it faces the cave temples on the southern shore. The trek up needs a bit of an effort, but the experience so much makes up for it. This particular early morning, the clouds did not play along for the dramatic sunrise we expected, but the twilight was serene.

The fresh spring leaves felt juxtaposed by the gnarled tree & the rugged landscape, but it indeed had a beauty of its own :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 2000: 16 mm : f2.8 : 1.5 sec

Upper Shivalaya Temple
Badami, Karnataka, India

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