Archive for ‘photos’

June 1, 2014

Sunset – by the Tulips

Nothing beats a beautiful spring day like a trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Just 30 mins away from downtown – nestled in Mary McDonalds woods – this well kept & curated garden, provides a deserved break to the Urban feel of Chicago. Are u tired of the concrete jungles, wanna breathe some fresh air – not tainted by pollution – just head down to Chicago Botanic Garden. It definitely is a worthwhile place to get ur Zen back :)

And did I say this is a lovely place to enjoy a sunset too …

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 6 sec 

Buy Print   Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
May 24, 2014

209P/LINEAR’s handshake with earth – Camelopardalis

As you would have read from the news, the new meteor shower – Camelopardalis – was expected to adorn the skies during the early morning of 5.24.2014. When I heard about this meteor shower, I was pretty excited. Time of the event being a weekend – check. Location – northern continental US – favorable. Clear skies – check. May be the stars just aligned for this :)

Camelopardalis – I was wondering about the name, as it has been as long as the giraffe’s neck, when I came across this !

The giraffe’s species name, camelopardalis (camelopard), is derived from its early Roman name where it was thought of as a composite creature, described as having characteristics of both a camel and a leopard.

 

The forecasted peak time for the meteor shower was from 1 –3 AM CST. It was not as much as hyped (~200 / hr ?), but the night was still clear and Milky way was magnificent. Around 4 AM, took out my flash light and started playing to get a star war style crisscross with the milky way. Just then the celestial gods decided to bless – look – a shooting start in the same direction my camera was positioned, as if to slice the Milky way.This was not one of the shooting star i saw in person. I was busy walking up & down and playing with the flash light. But I will definitely settle for this shot instead :)

Lesson to self : Never given up, just go out and do what you like, you never know when the stars will align :)

Note: Are you just getting started with night photography ? Do check out this article !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print Camelopardalis Meteor (05.24.2014) Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
May 21, 2014

Majestic Milky way @ Bond Falls

This is a single RAW shot processed for the milky way. The ambient light bought in the details of the falls and bit of reflections.  Shot this while chasing the Perseids last year. I liked this shot for how this brings out the grandeur of the milky way. At the same time, it is amazing how walking couple of steps and lighting the foreground can bring in such a different feel. Here is the shot with a bit of light painting on the foreground.

It is amazing how much camera’s can see these days, but still – far superior is what the eyes can see :)

darkness of the night
stillness of the forest
rumbling of the falls
twinkling of the stars
grandeur of the milky way 
– adorned by a shooting star !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Perseids & Milky Way Over Bond Falls
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
May 18, 2014

Rockefeller Chapel @ UOC

The Rockefeller Chapel was designed and erected to be the center and dominant feature of the University of Chicago. Located in the University of Chicago, this beautiful building has become an integral part of the campus.

Rockefeller Chapel is an incredible place and don’t let the term "chapel" fool you.  It’s huge and simply magnificent, with one of the largest if not the largest pipe organs in the state of IL. During sunset the light shines through the stain glass and lit up the interior. As the sun goes down the exterior too, is equivalently beautiful. It is definitely worth checking out in full screen.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Buy Print   Rockefeller Chapel
Chicago, Illinois, USA
April 30, 2014

Jewel of the Karnataka–Belur & Halebid

Located around 140 miles from Bangalore, the temples of Belur and Halebid are one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. These were built by king Vishnuvardhana in commemoration of his victory over the Cholas at Talakad. Legend has it that it took 103 years to complete and Vishnuvardhana’s grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. Belur is famous for its cluster of temples, the most beautiful being the Chennakeshava Temple. This shot in particular is that of the The Ranganayaki temple, a minor shrine in the Chennakeshava temple complex. I love the afternoon thunderstorms, they bring in such colors and clarity to the architecture. It also helped keep people out of the shot :)

Learnt that this temple along with Hoysaleswara temple in Halebidu and the Jaina monuments at Shravanabelagola are being proposed as UNESCO world heritage sites. But with such a rich history and ornate work, its a surprise that it is not already on the list of world heritage monuments !

  Ranganayaki Shrine, Chennakeshava Temple
Belur, Karnataka, India
April 23, 2014

u & i are star material …

u & i are star material, i mean even literally :)

Was watching Cosmos : A space odyssey yesterday, what an amazing journey. Earlier I learnt about Carl Segan for his quotes, specifically from the 1980 TV series – Cosmos. And Neil Tyson definitely raises the bar with this new series. A must watch – if you already have not. The full versions are available online for free (for a limited time). Time well spent and you know, there is an app for that too :)

Watching the series, predictably bought back thoughts of some amazing night photography and a realization of how wonderfully insignificant we are, in the grand scheme of things. It was a lovely night, out at Mt. St. Helens.

If you are interested in star photography – do check out this guide to get started or this one for creative processing !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Buy Print   Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mt. St. Helens, Washington, USA
April 10, 2014

They are flying kites

“They are flying kites” – this was something that intrigued me as a kid at school.  The same set of words that can be interpreted so very differently. May it was something to do with just realizing that things do have alternate perspectives. Things may not be always what they seem or hear to be :)

Anyway, this shot is from the Oregon Coast. That sunny afternoon folks were enjoying the kite festival at Lincoln city. I used to think flying a traditional kite was difficult when the wind was not favoring. Imagine this kite being controlled, not one but six (yeah look closely) strings. You really need two hands with orchestrated harmony to get this thing in flight. But once up, it was a thing of beauty, what do u say :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 39 mm : f4.0 : 1/2000 sec 

Buy Print   Oregon Coast
Lincoln City,  Oregon, USA
April 3, 2014

Golden Sunrise @ Mahabs

The trip to India was awesome. It was time well spent with the family and taking a break :)

Though I was not able to shoot as much as I had intended, I was able to sneak in a stop for a sun rise at Mahabs. Am glad I did it :) Mahabalipuram is very famous for the shore temple. My plan was to shoot a silhouette of the shore temple. I had shot the same during twilight blues, but wanted to get the same with some vibrant colors this time.

The plan started to fall apart when the start was delayed and the overcast horizon made the light questionable. And just as I just set up the tripod, realized I had missed the Neutral Density filters at home. I always like shooting a long exposures during twilight, as it gives the dreamy feel to the shot.

Given these, decided to freeze the wave action. The foam was so fresh and the water was inviting. In turn, luck, as if to favor me, decided to help with the light. Just in time, the sun broke out of the overcast horizon, spreading the golden blanket across the sea. When I look at this shot, I was reminded of the below quote by Ansel. It really paid off getting in the water and shooting low :)

A good photograph is knowing where to stand – Ansel Adams

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/125 sec 

Buy Print   Bay Of Bengal
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
March 26, 2014

2014 Holi – Festival of Colors – A Photo Essay

Holi2014Holi is probably one the most enchanting of the festivals originating from India. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month. It has pretty much moved all around the world, across cultures and was celebrated last weekend. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, marking the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Holi is the time to unwind, de-stress and bond with sweets, Thandai and colors. The celebrations at the Greater Hindu temple of Chicago was equally exuberant, very much like last year (you could also read more about the festival here). Below is the Photo Essay of the event from this year ! Happy Holi !!!

Lot of folks were so open to being photographed and even asked where they can get the shots. If you were one of them feel free to get yours here.

Click here for the full gallery

 

 

The Crowd !!!

 

Colored powder and smiles adorning the festivities

 

Dancing the way around

 

Fellow photographer amidst the crowd , just not sure how the nikon fared ;-)

 

An little girl, face smeared with colored powder, sits on the shoulders of her father getting an apt Vantage point

 

The locals too equally enjoy the celebration

 

Everyone including this kid had lotz of fun

 

After all its all about the colors right !

 

Getting nice shots often depends on the Vantage point you are at, this guy probably got the best one for the day

 

As the sun set, the Holi fire also was lit in front of the temple to start the final prayers

March 9, 2014

What we see depends on what we are looking for …

Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.

The Capitol building reflected in the fountain that adorns it. What we see depends on what we are looking for, right :)

Canon XSi : Canon 18-55 mm : ISO 200 : 18 mm : f8.0 : 15 sec 

  Capitol Building
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
March 2, 2014

Reflecting on Reflection

Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you made. If you want a different result, make a different choice …

Shooting reflections is an experience unto itself. There is something mesmerizing about reflections. It is not just about getting the final shot … From the point of scouting a location to waiting for the for the wind to take a break and the light to be just right – it all kind of gets you into a meditative plane ! May be that is what drives me to look out for perfect reflections while I am out shooting ! When things do not line up or, if the location is not very conducive for mirror reflections, occasionally I do try to achieve the same in post processing – like this shot – but the experiences from shooting a original reflections are far more soothing and satisfying :)

This shot is from N Santiam Hwy. I was returning back from a failed attempt to capture some shooting stars. But luckily it was fall season and as the light broke, there was still lot of interesting things to shoot. I was glad that I pulled over the highway to capture this mesmerizing reflection.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 30 mm : f22 : 3 sec 

Buy Print Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
February 11, 2014

Colors of Sunset

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ― Rabindranath Tagore

Sunsets are amazing – for there is no two alike. It could either burst into a million colors or turn out to be more subtle – the surprise element, as with life, makes it even more enjoyable. This shot was from a drive to Green river state wildlife area in Illinois. We were headed down there to shoot some stars for the night. As we were driving down the Highway 30, the sky was just lit up with the twilight colors. I just could not help but pull over and run across to capture the scene :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 14 mm : f4.5 : 1/45 sec 

Buy Print   Highway 30, Green River Wildlife Area 
Harmon, Illinois, USA
February 2, 2014

Fall Colors Reflections @ Santiam Hwy

All that you see, is a reflections of you !

It always pays to take the road less travelled.

This is from N Santiam Hwy. The route from Stayton to Bend thru Detroit was just ablaze with fall colors. Parked off the highway and wandered into the misty morning without destination. Luckily came across an unmaintained trail path that led me down to this view !!! Some beautiful fall colors, a blanket of mist, some drizzles and an occasional sunshine – it definitely turned out to be a memorable drive.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 21 mm : f19 : 3 sec 

Buy Print   Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
January 26, 2014

Haystack Rock at Twilight

You know that Haystack rock at Cannon Beach is one of my favorite for sunset. Today’s shot is a not so very popular view of the same. Nevertheless it is always breathtaking. Haystack Rock at Twilight shot from Ecola State Park. How do u like it :)

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 39 mm : f6.7 : 30 sec 

Buy Print Ecola State Park
Astoria, Oregon, USA
January 20, 2014

Sunset over the ocean

There’s almost nothing more relaxing than the sound of the ocean as the sun sets over the water.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 17 mm : f4.0 : 1/125 sec 

Buy Print Devils Punch Bowl State Park
Otter Rock, Oregon, USA
January 10, 2014

Come, Join for a drink …

Collect moments, not things !
Slow down, enjoy the view , have a drink :)

There are several view points and highway pull outs from where views of Mt. Hood can be enjoyed. But Panorama view point is probably on the top of the list. It is not very well known, probably because the directions to the same are not well marked.  But being so close to Hood River and the Hwy 84, you could just drive up to enjoy the view right from the car. Or just get down and plan to have a drink at the picnic tables while enjoying the view !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 250 : 35 mm : f4.0 : 1/60 sec 

Buy Print   Panorama Point County Park
Hood River, Oregon, USA
January 3, 2014

Shooting Snow Crystals

What do u do if there is no time to stand and stare. What if the work is so crazy, u can’t make that trip u had been planning for so long. What if the weather so cold & crap that u can’t get out, even when u get those half a day breaks. What do u do if the world is turned upside down and there is no way to get out, with that camera to shoot …
What do u do ?
If ur world is upside down, just turn the lens upside down ! Yes u heard me right – turn that lens upside down and start shooting macros.

Let me set my rambling of work craziness aside, but u get the picture right :) This situation definitely nudged me to experiment, during the short breaks, with what ever was available. It was amazing, how just flipping the lens could result in instant magnification. Stick a regular magnifying glass at the end and boom – even the mundane of things become so beautiful.

This is nothing new and the technique has been used probably for ages. Though things are not tack sharp with this method, trying the same & seeing the results is definitely fun and exhilarating. The below shot is that of a snow crystal @ less than a millimeter. Even at that size, the precision & unique design of each crystal is lovely. Did u know , no two snow crystals are same – each one is unique, like our finger prints.

If you like this, you will love the amazing shots of snow flakes and crystals from Chaotic Mind.

And a Very Happy New Year – 2014 to my Friends out here. Thanks for the encouragement and support ! Looking forward to sharing more in the coming year !!!

 

  Snow Crystal < 1 mm
Hoffman Estates, Illinois, USA
December 5, 2013

Even her goodbyes are ever so beautiful …

During this past ID4, after lot of planning zeroed down to shooting the fireworks at St Louis arch. It definitely did not disappoint. But as the head would have it, when driving 5 hours with the available long weekend, I was also looking to see what else could be packed up into the trip. Though it was a state (MO) I was visiting for the first time – not many places were appealing due to the dry weather. I did like the Cathedral and the Missouri Botanical Garden – but was longing for some landscape to get a chance to capture the summer sun.

The plan was fluid as the weather was kind of bleak, with overcast skies. Late Sunday afternoon after a good lunch – the potential forecast looked better – if we were to head 2 hours down south. But that also meant driving for 7 hours to reach back home, if we headed for that sunset. After a short debate decided to hit it straight to the Garden of Gods @ Shawnee National Forest. We reached the trail, just in time – and as if to take some pity on us for the long drive – the clouds parted to create this beautiful view. It lasted for – may be less than 10 minutes – but was well worth it :)

Even her goodbyes are ever so beautiful …
Is it because – she would be back again tomorrow ?!?!?!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 3 sec

Buy Print   Garden of Gods, Shawnee National Forest
Herod, Illinois, USA
November 24, 2013

Will you hold me ?

Canon 7D : Tamron  18-270 mm : ISO 320 : 169 mm : f5.6 : 1/8 sec

    Lily, Chicago Botanic Garden 
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
November 17, 2013

I am Unique

I am Unique, just like everyone else !

The fall is gone and the winter has begun. The leaves are gone and the snow is around. This shot is from the beginning of the fall, when the colors were just beginning to adorn the pacific northwest landscape. The floating fog made for one memorable experience. Goodbye fall – it was fun times – driving around, enjoying the colors brought by u ! Thank U !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 155 mm : f38 : 2 sec

Buy Print   Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
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