Archive for ‘photography’

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

June 27, 2022

Milky Way by twilight

This week’s capture is from one of the rugged and remote islands of the Andaman, which probably has one of the best night skies and even more amazing sunrises. Looking back, the 4 shot panorama was not enough to capture the grandeur as it unfolded. Anyway what is more magical than watching a milky way or a dramatic sunrise – it is of course watching a Milky Way rise during a dramatic twilight sunrise.

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way – Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 4000 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 10 sec (4 shot Pano)

Somewhere in Andaman
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

June 21, 2022

Untouched beauty – Punnayar Falls

There’s no better place than to be around a thundering waterfall and listening to its music. – Roland R Kemler

A trip to Idukki is not complete with out a visit to this beautiful waterfall – situated in a forest by Kanjikuzhy – vannapuram route. The drive itself is quiet scenic. The roads get steep and narrow as you get near the falls. When we went, there was some construction going near the Punnayar Bridge, hence we parked there and hiked the reminder of the way. Be aware that there are two waterfalls – Punnayar A and Punnayar B (wish they had better naming :)). Punnayar B is very close to the road and easy to reach. A short walk, a bit of wading thru the water or rock hoping will get you here. It is more safe and one can take a bath if they like.

Punnayar A on the other hand is away form road and involves a bit of hiking. Be cautious, the path is little deep, steep and slippery – especially in rainy season. If you have an off-roading vehicle especially bike, you can almost reach the waterfall (and reduce the hike distance). It is indeed a strenuous hike, but the view and the experience are far more grandeur and well worth it.

With the strenuous but tranquil trek in the forest, amidst the fragrance of the cashew trees, lovely & secluded waterfalls, paired with a breathtaking viewpoint of the valley down below – it is a spot not to be missed !

Sony A7III : Sony 24-105 mm : ISO 100 : 24 mm : f16 : 4 sec

Punnayar waterfalls
Kanjikuzhy, Kerala, India

June 13, 2022

Priceless conversations

Conversations
with friends
by the beach
under the stars
– are indeed priceless

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 4000 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 20 sec

Digilipur
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

May 26, 2022

Twilight by the small fishing hamlet

This moment is from the wee hours of one morning by the southern most point of India – Kanyakumari (also known as Cape Comorin). As the sun was still leisurely strolling far below the horizon & the dazzling lights on Vivekananda rock / Thiruvalluvar statue were still on – the locals by this small fishing hamlet were still sleeping. It was a moment of calm, before all the tourists thronged by the bay and as the sun eventually burst into million shades !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 400 : 20 mm : f4.5 : 10 sec

Small fishing hamlet
Kanyakumari, TamilNadu, India

May 17, 2022

I’m wonderfully insignificant

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 4000 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 20 sec

Somewhere in Andaman
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

May 4, 2022

Find stillness & energize

In this noisy world, it is tough to find stillness. With so much of information (overload and noise), it is essential to find some peace and quiet  – not just external silence, but also the inner quiet. It helps to be out by nature, in the wilderness, to connect with deep stillness. But many a times it might not be possible and what we don’t realize is that the stress have nothing to do with external influences, but rather how we filter the information and what we allow to come through.

Find stillness in this noisy world. Find stillness and energize.

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 250 : 16 mm : f2.8 : 1/90 sec

Veerabhadra Temple Tank
Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh, India

April 28, 2022

Ethereal

music, like light permeates the space
music, like breeze soothes the soul
music, like fantasy captivates the mind
music, like waves caress the body
music, like thunder shatters the ego
music, like magic opens portals to other dimensions

Nikon D810 : Nikon 14-24 mm : ISO 1000 : 20 mm : f2.8 : 39 sec (blub)

Dhani Nallah Beach
Rangat, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

April 20, 2022

Agaya Gangai / Pei aruvi @ Kolli Malai

Agaya Gangai is an enchanting waterfall located in Kolli Malai (Kolli Hills). River Aiyaru, a jungle stream, cascades down as the Agaya Gangai, near Arapaleeswarar temple. Agaya Gangai – as the name implies it indeed is the Ganges of the sky. When we went in December the water flow was quite heavy, but the breeze and saaral (drizzle) was amazing. It is best to visit at beginning of the monsoon just after a few showers of rain (Jun/Jul) or right after the monsoon (Sept-Dec). Please be advised if the flow is too high, the entry might be restricted. So it all depends on the rain and the water flow.

To reach the Agaya Gangai, one has to get down 1000+ steps (to be precise 1296 steps and a few rocks). Climbing down is much easier and probably takes 20-30 mins. Climbing up is quite strenuous owning to the steep incline and could take anywhere from 45–60 mins depending on one’s agility. There are a few shelters on the way to get a break.

The waterfall is enclosed within the dense forest which increases its charm and grandeur. The water in the falls is considered to contain medicinal properties due to all the herbs spread across the forest, thru which it traverses. Locals believe taking a bath here, cures many ailments. Agaya Ganga is probably one of the most beautiful and photogenic waterfalls in Tamilnadu. At a height of 300 feet, the waterfall is a feast for the eyes. It is also known as Peraruvi (Grand falls) or Pei aruvi (Devil falls) – by the people of Kolli hills because of its scary resemblance and heavy water flow.

Pixel 6 Pro : ISO 44 : 6 mm : f19.0 : 1/600 sec

Agaya Gangai, Kolli Malai
Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India

April 11, 2022

Venus ascending

Morice Dera beach is a lovely rustic beach located adjacent to the Andaman Trunk Road – just after Rangat. The twin rock at Morice Dera is unique. The walkway in between these rocks leads toward an eye-catching horizon viewpoint. Both the beach and the viewpoint were ideal to sit, fall back and contemplate. It was a great place to just be and do nothing. Being bortle 1 skies, zillion of stars, viewpoints like this, and the stupendous views – Morice Dera topped our list from the Andaman trip, especially for chasing the stars.
Venturing in the dark, stumbling by rocks, splashing in the water, beyond the viewpoint, definitely turned out to be worthwhile. The clouds were quickly closing in, but for a brief moment this scene of Venus ascending was indeed stunning!

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 4000: 16 mm : f2.8 : 20.0 sec

Venus ascending
Morice Dera, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

April 1, 2022

An alternate dimension @ Andaman

A flight out, a bumpy drive, a quick ferry, a speed boat via hidden mangroves, then a hike thru a magical little village takes you to this mystic caves in Andaman. If you plan meticulously and await for all the stars to align – you could witness the mystical caves opening up the portal to an alternate dimension.

Or may be it was just a couple of crazy folks playing with the darks and lights – deep in the caves of Andaman :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 100: 16 mm : f2.8 : 30.0 sec

Orb in Limestone Caves
Baratang, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

March 26, 2022

Fantas(y)tic twilight from Wandoor beach

After landing in Andaman by late afternoon, realized the weather was not much different from Chennai. Very tropical, humid, and hot. Trying to get a feeling of the place, we decided to catch up the sunset. Andaman, by way of it’s location, and single time zone – have both the sunrise and sunset quite early.

Luckily, our partners in crime had already sorted out a location for potential sunset – Wandoor beach. With a bit of working out on the ride, we left around 4:30 PM. Given the time, we were sure to miss the sunset, but still decided to head out. After an uneventful drive through the town, the urban view gave way to some forests, the forests then opened up to some backwaters. After some lovely views by the side of the road, we headed to the beach. Some interesting conversations, some new connections, a leisurely stroll by the beach – and then things started to unfold.

The sun had just sunk by the horizon. The quarter moon, though small, was blanketing the entire landscape. Slowly, the twilight was starting to weave its golden magic. And just when ‘I’ was thinking that the scene could not be any more beautiful, the stars decided to adorn & twinkled – one by one by one.

Awestruck, the ‘I’ just dissolved into the abyss and became part of it. Here is a slice from that magical evening :)

Sony A7III : Sony 16-35 mm : ISO 200: 16 mm : f2.8 : 15.0 sec

Wandoor Beach
Port Blair, The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 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 16, 2022

Take that scenic route

Sometimes the most scenic routes in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.

Door County, Wisconsin – is one of the premier spots for enjoying fall colors. Am glad we decided to take a detour and explore the back country, for it gifted us with this lovely palette of colors :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 50 mm : f/16 : 4.0 sec

Backcountry
Door County, Wisconsin, USA

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

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