Archive for ‘photos’

October 30, 2013

Love of Life

Logic says life is life and can never be death. How can life be death? But in reality, life is moving every moment into death. Life is death. Logic says love is love and can never be hate; but love is moving every moment into hate. – Osho

There is beauty in death and decay, There is death in beauty too. They are nothing but two sides of the same coin. You love the same person and you hate the same person — the deeper the love, the deeper the hate. Hate and love are two aspects of the same coin. Can you hate a person without loving ? How can you hate a person without loving ? First you have to love, only then can you hate. Hate needs love as a first step. How can you become inimical to a person with whom you have never been friendly? Friends and foes are separate only in logic; in reality they are together. If you search your hate deeply, you will find love hidden.

Canon 7D : Tamron  18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 25 mm : f3.5 : 20 sec

Wahkeena Creek 
Columbia George, Oregon, USA
October 27, 2013

Abstract Expressions of Fall

The fall colors, driving thru miles and miles of majestic aspen, the dense fog that was weaving thru the trees, the sun peeping thru and trying to dispel the fog, the clean crisp yellow leaves, the barks that were still afresh, the reds and maroons from the bushes below – put them all together and this is what you get :) Though the colors were lovely, the forest was too busy to get a pleasing composition. This week’s shot is my attempt to express the sense of feeling that prevailed from that lovely fall drive in a single shot, without getting lost in the forest. How do u like it ?

As for the processing, this is a composite of 3 shots – one for the normal exposure of trees, one with the camera panning vertically and a final one for the sun :) Getting the panning shot was the most difficult, at the same time the fun too. Shot at least 40 – 50 before I could get it the way I wanted. But no worries if it does not work out, U can just apply a vertical motion blur in post processing too. 

Canon XSi : Canon 18-55 mm : ISO 200 : 55 mm : f6.3 : 1/80 sec [Composite]

Buy Print   Nebo Scenic Drive, Uinta National Forest
Payson, Utah, USA
October 24, 2013

Autumn Waterfall from Cottonwood Canyon

A whiff of crisp and cool breeze, water cascading down the rocks, lovely fall colors – now that is a scene that would rejuvenate any mood. Something I definitely needed now :) Ultimately, fall is about the inevitability of change. The beautiful colors of the season is a reminder to embrace change.

This is from couple of years back, when I used to shoot with Canon Powershot S2 IS. It was and still is – a lovely camera :) It was a lovely drive up the Cottonwood canyon near Salt lake city.

Canon S2 IS :  ISO 200 : 18 mm : f5.6 : 0.3 sec

Buy Print   Unnamed Cascade @ Little Cottonwood Canyon
Sandy, Utah, USA
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 :)

October 4, 2013

Butterfly Flutter by

What the caterpillar knows as the end
The rest of the world knows as a butterfly – Lao Tzu

Shooting tip : Shallow depth of field or creamy bokeh can be achieved by shooting at real low apertures (eg. 1.4 , 1.8). But if you do not have such a fast lens, shooting with a long zoom and positioning the subject appropriately can help achieve the same effect, like in this shot :)

Canon 7D : Tamron  18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 270 mm : f6.7 : 1/10 sec

Buy Print   TigerWing Butterfly
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
September 8, 2013

Glorious Sunset at Busse Woods Lake

There is a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them. – Jo Walton

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 0.5 sec

Buy Print Busse Woods Lake
Elk Grove, Illinois, USA
September 2, 2013

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.

Many times,  adding a human element to landscapes adds beauty and scale. And there are no second thoughts when they happen to be cute kids like these :) I just couldn’t resist … and the rain, as if agreeing with me, stopped for a brief time – letting me capture this lovely moment. How do u like it ?!!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 12 mm : f6.7 : 0.5 sec

Buy Print Latourell Falls
Columbia Gorge, Oregon, USA
August 25, 2013

The magic of water

Water flows, glistens, nourishes, mirrors in simple and subtle ways. There is always something magical and meditative in watching water – be it a tranquil pond, running stream or cascading fall.

tranquil waters glistens
the sun shines –
reflecting silence of life

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 14 mm : f6.7 : 30 sec

Buy Print Waterfall Garden @ Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
August 18, 2013

Celestial Contemplation

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. And it is ironical that at times, you need to turn off the lights & thoughts – rather than turn them on – to see beauty like this.

I am just a tiny spec on this earth at the given slice of time. The earth in turn is such a tiny speck in the Milky way. To top it off the Milky Way is just one of billions of galaxies in the universe. When u get to witness the celestial grandeur like these – it brings in an amazing feeling of being extraordinarily special and at the same time wonderfully insignificant.

The journey of outside are not very different from that of the inside. At the end all that matters is the search itself :)

Let the waters settle and you will see the stars mirrored in your Being. ~Rumi

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print Ottawa National Forest
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
August 12, 2013

Chasing the Perseids

Sleeping under the stars is an experience unto itself. Add a streak of shooting star and it becomes magical.

Perseids meteor shower is one of the consistent ones. Capturing it west coast last year was fun and exhilarating. Equipped with the past experience and learning had been scouting locations and planning for it this year. Unfortunately the weather was not playing along over this particular weekend. Almost all of Illinois was forecasted for gloomy weather and thunderstorms.

As I was debating, there was a forecast for Aurora sighting over this past (same) weekend with a level of 5. Both these together made it too tempting to drop the plan. I decided to take my chances with the weather. After lot of deliberation decided to drive up north to for 8 hours. The plan was to get out during the daylight and scout the location as much as possible. Thought it would make it easier to maneuver again during the night, but boy oh boy, could I be any more wrong !!! The pitch black unknown trails were kind of eerie. But once the stars came out it was a totally different world – so serene and tranquil.

 

I am beginning to love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night :)

45 hours on the road with just few hours of sleep, in search of that one spot to capture the Perseids. The lashing rain, the forecasted aurora that never turned up and the hide and seek with the clouds – it was all fun. Was it all worth it, you bet ! The road trip took me to one of the darkest skies of Mid Western US – Bond Falls. Would like to share with you a moment in time from that night. This was one of the two meteor I was able to capture on frame, but loved how everything came together in this shot. I do love when a plan comes together :)

 

The deafening sound of 500 gallons of water / second from 50 feet
The tranquil silence of the dark night
Milky way adorning the skies
A (Perseids) meteor fireball streaking across the horizon
Definitely a moment of serenity and one I would cherish !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec [Foreground lit by Coast HP7]

Buy Print   Perseids & Milky Way Over Bond Falls
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
July 29, 2013

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star …

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are …
Up above the world so high , like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye, ’till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are – twinkle, twinkle little star.

 

It has been so many years that I totally forgot the lyrics of this lovely rhyme.  On second thoughts – never mind – I wouldn’t have remembered past the second line, even if you had asked me then :P In the days of yore, one can only imagine how close people would have been with nature to be inspired to create such simple yet acclaimed art.

But these days, it is really unfortunate, that we are spoiling our night sky with all the light pollution. Did you know that nearly $2.2 billion dollars is spent every year in the U.S. alone on light that is wasted because it is spilled up into the night sky where it’s not needed. I drove 2 hours for this shot to get to a decent dark sky area, but still there were jarring lights on the horizon. It is high time we spread the word and raise some awareness to protect our night sky for our kids. And don’t forget to turn off the lights on Aug 12, 2013, if possible make it a habit :)

This weeks shot is from Green River State Wildlife area. And if you would like to create shots like these, check out the article – Stacking up the Stars – for the technique, Photoshop script (free download of course) and sample files to try hands on. The below is just one of the many ways you can process using the script (Creative Style Option 1 + Star Spike Pro). If your are getting started with night photography, check this write up – Sleeping with the Stars :)

You weren’t just a star in the sky, You were the whole damn sky …

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec [86 shots]

    Its raining Diamonds, Green River
Harmon, Illinois, USA
July 24, 2013

Beautiful Basilica from St. Louis

Gorgeous and inspiring Cathedral, Magnificent and beautiful Basilica, Amazing church, incredible craftsmanship – a work of art and at most beauty – at some point you just realize words don’t make sense and decide to enjoy in silence, awe and wonder. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is one such place. I am so glad we visited the Cathedral as part of the Jul 4th trip. This place just transports you to Europe. (no I haven’t visited Europe, but that definitely is in the bucket list :)).

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis – a great place to mediate, pray, contemplate and wonder for hours together.

I had always wanted to photograph the interior of a cathedral or church. Being a place of worship, many a times there is a restriction on the usage of tripod. From time to time I have heard from friends that it does involve sneaking in with ur tripod and asking for forgiveness later ;-) But this place was different. It was open to all, there was no restrictions on the usage of tripod or no one to bother as you take your time to enjoy each and every piece of the cathedral. The Cathedral is definitely one of the city’s most stunning building both inside and out. The detail and beauty of the mosaics are brilliant. How do u like it !!???

P.S: Be advised that photography is not allowed when mass is in progress. Use common sense, respect people’s space – for many this is a place of worship. Act accordingly.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f8 : 30 sec

Buy Print Cathedral Basilica
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
July 19, 2013

If you Love, let it be …

“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies, it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.” – Osho

Canon XSi : Canon 18-55 mm : ISO 100 : 28 mm : f4.5 : 1/20 sec

    Exotic Flower
Utah, USA
Tags: , , , , ,
July 9, 2013

From St. Louis with Love

An arch consists of two weaknesses which, leaning one against the other, make a strength – Leonardo Da Vinci

St. Louis hosts one of the grandest Jul 4th celebrations. With the fair, food carts, live band, fireworks all under the majestic arch – it cannot get any better. To top it off, the show continues for 3 days around Jul 4th.

Shooting fireworks is fun.  But including a sense of surrounding and the mood really makes it even more interesting. This shot of the Seattle space needle with fireworks is one of my favorites. So when I learnt about the Arch and fireworks, started digging around with Google earth and TPE for potential spots. After some planning decided on the location – some accessible spot from the other side of the the river, across the railway tracks and as close to the water as possible.

Later learnt that due to the security it would be impossible to get to this location during the Jul 4th weekend. Oh well, may be some other time. As a plan B decided to check out the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the view of the Arch from the observation platform. The views were good, except for the power line. Hopefully it does not become synonymous with the city skyline ! As the show progressed , the direction of the wind was not in favor and the smoke started hindering. Was not very satisfied with the shots from this spot. There was not enough lighting on the Arch itself. May be I was still stuck up on the river side spot. My friend did get a lovely shot from here, so may be, it was just me ;-)

The next day we decided to head right under the arch. Built at 630 feet and with 900 tons of stainless steel – Gateway Arch – is the tallest national monument within the United States. Standing beneath it gives a sense of awe and humility. None of the pictures does justice to its grandeur. One really need to be there to experience its size.

About the shot – The original plan was to check out the reflecting pools and see if the fireworks would compliment the composition. Unfortunately both the pools were filled with algae, not ideal for reflections. After scouting the location settled for this view. Being much closer to the arch, the surrounding lights beautifully reflected on the metallic surface. The colors of blue & red along with symbolic stripes makes this shot iconic for me, especially being shot on ID4 celebrations ! It was cool to get the burst of the heart too. I love it when a plan comes together, even if it was not a primary plan :)

P.S: Check this out for more cool information and history of the Gateway Arch.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f5.6 : 2 sec [fireworks] / f9.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print Gateway Arch 
St Louis, Missouri, USA
July 3, 2013

Bowl of Fire – Twilight @ Crater Lake

The Rim Drive – a 33 miles gorgeous and scenic highway circumventing the crater lake – make it an ideal place for enjoying both sun rise or sun set (moon rise and moon set too !). There are tons of pull-outs to get off the road and see the lake. Be it the view points right on the road or the hikes out or the off road trails the views are equally amazing.

This particular view is one of my favorite – so open and expansive. You can see the Phantom Island on the left , Wizard island towards center. The foreground with minimal vegetation and brittle soil, highlights the volcanic past. To add to all this, the sun decided to stage a grand drama that evening :)

‘Bowl of Fire’ – an attempt at capturing that moment, that grandeur – to share with you !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 11 mm : f11 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Cloud Cap Point
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, USA
June 27, 2013

Super Moon Lighthouse

Super moon, Blue moon, Pink moon, Harvest moon – are all nothing but whimsy media terms. Believe me, there is nothing super about the super moon.

I am definitely not an expert at shooting the moon. I have captured the moon in the past, but am still learning. One thing that helps in getting a captivating shot is to capture the moon when it is low – real low – on the horizon.  The other is to include a foreground subject to get a scale of reference. Just make sure you far away from the foreground subject and shoot with a really really long long lens [ beg borrow or steal, just get the longest lens you can :) ]. Shooting with the long lens helps actuate the size of the farther object (in this case the moon) by playing with your mind. As with the below shot or this example of the sunset. It becomes much more obvious in this shot by Photographer Alessandro Della Bella.

This evening the weather was playing hide and seek. It was supposed to be clear. Then it was all overcast. After lot of deliberation, decided to drive out to the planned spot. It was still an hour or so more for the moon to come up. It was still drizzling. Decided it would be a nice evening walk, if not anything else. Just around the time of the moon rise, the clouds had cleared a bit, but the the horizon was still overcast and hazy. What is the fun if everything goes as planning right :) After suspenseful wait the moon decided to show up – just at the right spot. At the end it was all worth it. Yes – there is nothing super about the super moon. Actually – every full moon is indeed super. What do you say ?!!!

Buy Print   Super Moon on 6.23.2013 @ Chicago Lighthouse
Chicago, Illinois, USA
June 12, 2013

Delphinids – That elusive Meteor Shower

I went to shoot the Deliphids and all I got was this :)

Coming in from office stumbled upon the article – that talked the the elusive Delphinids Meteors. When NASA said it was elusive, I should have agreed. Instead I decide to drive up 2 hours, to sleep under the stars. I just awaited a bit too long for the peak of the meteor (forecasted around 3:30 – 4:30 AM) and missed to realize that the sun would start to lit up the horizon quiet early during summer… The meteors were indeed quiet elusive. Given this was mid of work week, it was a good straight 36 hours without sleep, but was well worth the experience !

Just in case you were wondering, this was just a regular star trail shot processed with Comet effect. Am working on an article explaining the same. For now do check out – Getting Started with Starscapes here.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1000 : 10 mm : f22 : 30 sec

    Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
June 6, 2013

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 – John Burroughs

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 39 mm : f22 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Mirror Lake
Mt Hood, Oregon, USA
May 29, 2013

Stop Running, Start Seeing …

The moment you stop running , you start seeing …

A drizzling afternoon is definitely a best time to shoot flowers. The overcast weather diffuses the light, but there is still enough light to shoot @ f5.6. The rain saturates and pops out the color. Below shot from The Chicago Botanical Garden is from one such afternoon. This is right out of the camera except for the copping. The background was from the distant cherry blossoms :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 320 : 155 mm : f5.6 : 1/250 sec

Buy Print   Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
May 13, 2013

The Road to Milky Way

Living close to Chicago has its perks, but star-gazing is definitely not one of them. With so much of ambient light pollution, it is difficult to see any stars. Tools of trade – Dark Sky Finder – came to the rescue, in locating some decent dark skies @ Green River State Wildlife Area. The 2 hour drive made me realize how much impact light pollution has on the night skies. Anyways, couple nights back – everything fell in place – new moon, weekend, forecast for clear skies and not so cold nights – all came together. Clear Sky Chart is one other site that is quiet handy to plan trips like these …

Out at this location, the side roads, provide for some interesting composition – without being bothered by light trails of the vehicles. There are not many crazy folks who drive around at that hour ;-) It was an happy accident to have captured a meteor on this particular night. This probably was from Eta Meteor shower that peaked couple of days back.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 12 mm : f4 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Eta Meteor (05.11.2013) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
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