Archive for ‘USA’

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 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

February 10, 2020

Just be happy :)

Be happy for no reason, like a child.  If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble, because that reason can be taken from you.

– Deepak Chopra

Sanibel Thriller provides one of kind experience in the in the waters of Gulf of Mexico. The speed ride circumnavigates the shores of Sanibel and Captiva islands. In addition, the dolphins have a unique relationship with the Sanibel Thriller. They chase the waves created by the speed rider and have so much fun & frolic. They are just happy and would do it all day long. It is one treat to watch :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 33 mm : f4.0 : 1/350 sec

The Dolphins
Sanibel, Florida, USA

January 27, 2020

Standing Out

Fitting in does not mean you belong.
Standing out does not mean you are desolate.

Don’t be afraid to Stand out.
We are born unique, but spend the first couple of decades of our life, learning to confirm. Learn – it is important. But – Learn critical life skills. Learn what helps you to stand out. Learn to differentiate what is being shoved down your throat by so-called society.

Don’t be afraid to Stand out. Don’t lose the uniqueness that is You.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f5.6 : 1/45 sec

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
Woodburn, Oregon, USA

January 20, 2020

Autumn Glow

How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. – John Burroughs

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 200 : 10 mm : f/13 : 4.0 sec

Jones Gap State Park
Marietta, South Carolina, USA

January 13, 2020

A Window with a View

The views you get to see, depends on the windows you choose.

If you don’t like where you are (even in life), get up & move. You are the one who can decide what happens to you. Worst case, you can at least decide how to respond, with what happens to you – and that makes a world of difference :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 11 mm : f3.5 : 2.0 sec

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

January 6, 2020

Cosmic View by Backyard

The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be. – Carl Segan

It is one thing to drive out to the county side in the dark of the night to enjoy the stars. But imagine a world where you could wait for the sun to go down the horizon, grab some coffee and just enjoy this celestial view.

There exists places where, when the sun sets the black curtain rolls up and the sky fills with dazzling stars.

Most of us being urban dwellers, ought to do more to protect the night sky. Not just for the sake of protecting it, but for the sake of amazing views and serene feeling it brings !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 20 sec

Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges
Cedar Key, Florida, USA

December 15, 2019

Million shades of green

It is no surprise that Autumn shines with a million colors.
But Spring shines with a million shades of one color – Green :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-280 mm : ISO 250 : 119 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

Anna Ruby Falls
Helen, Georgia, USA

November 26, 2019

An Art called Autumn

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. – Stanley Horowitz

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-280 mm : ISO 250 : 119 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

Rough Ridge
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina, USA

October 31, 2019

Separate yet same

The Oaks of Charleston – at the outset it looks like each one is standing in a line – individually. Look further, and you would realize each one of them is connected at a far deeper level – by the comprehensive root system. But not always the connections manifest at a physical level.

We are connected with each other & everything that surrounds us. Be aware, Breathe, when you get a chance to walk on the grass barefoot, hug that tree, sense the surrounding, feel the connection – with one another & the surroundings :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 119 mm : f11 : 10 sec

Oaks of Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

October 20, 2019

Sunset, as seen by the falls

Smokies is such a vast place – that you can find an interesting subject to shoot, irrespective of the weather – lovely sunrises, dynamic landscape, long exposure waterfalls, fireflies, dark skies and what not – you get the picture.

This particular afternoon started out as a moody and overcast one. After gambling that the the sunset would not hit the high cord, decided to hike up to the little Gotto Falls.

But as luck would have it – the overcast became cloudy, resulting in a bit of drizzle, eventually clearing up by around sun set. The colors were starting to show up thru the trees, but it was too late to head out. That is when I decided to capture how the falls would witness such a lovely sunset … how do u like it :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f16 : 30 sec

Grotto Falls
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

September 28, 2019

Shipwreck by Keys

Seeing a place from a different vantage point always makes it stand out. Getting over the keys was one of the best ways to enjoy the view. We even got to see some marine life (sharks and rays, etc.). The different colors in the water helped appreciate & perceive how shallow some places indeed were.

In addition, getting to view the ship wreck made the experience complete :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 10-270 mm : ISO 100 : 85 mm : f5.6 : 1/500 sec

Key West National Wildlife Refuge
Key West, Florida, USA

September 5, 2019

Not all conversations need words

Some conversations need words, Some only silence :)

So, if you are too tired to speak, sit next to me for I, too, am fluent in silence. – R. Arnold

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 640 : 19 mm : f4.0 : 1/45 sec

Sunset Beach
Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

August 25, 2019

The Hiker in Red Jacket

Dry Falls flows over an overhanging bluff that allows visitors to walk up under the falls and remain relatively dry, hence its name. Unfortunately no one told this is true, only when the flow is low. That particular day we got pretty wet – with the spotty rains and more so from the spray of the falls. Not that we were complaining, but it would have been good to know !

With the rain, I was not shooting much and this particular view felt cliche – but the hiker in the red jacket (yeah that tiny red fleck you can see, in the center of the frame, about to hike behind the falls) made all the difference and I couldn’t resit but go for the click :)

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

Dry Falls
Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina, USA

July 22, 2019

Calming the Chaos

Our society thrives on the concept of being busy all the time. The entire system is built around to keep you busy, on the edge, always being bothered, forcing to carry the mountains that aren’t yours to carry.

Photography for me, helps to go within and contemplate what is it I am here to do. Sometimes our life is full of chaos, sometimes the mind is full of chaos. It is all about Calming the Chaos …

Hidden in the chaos, are the treasures of life … Would you agree :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 160: 14 mm : f4.0 : 1/30 sec

Lake Hartwell State Park 
Fair Play, South Carolina, USA

June 30, 2019

The Path of Fireflies

This is not a great shot in technical sense, but the experience was quiet surreal …

I was really lucky : I got to experience the synchronous fireflies at Smokies for two years in a row. For the first year I got the tickets (this was the first year when they introduced the lottery for the viewing). For the second year I was not that lucky – the tickets got sold in minutes, from when it was opened up online.

As I was exploring to see if anyone would share or other alternate options – realized that booking a camp site at Elkmont campground, during the same days – would grant access to the trails. After trying few days, was able to grab a reservation as someone else cancelled. This even had an added advantage – It gets you within a mile of the Elkmont Viewing area. Even more, one could hike up the entire trail to avoid the crowds, much beyond the set area for lottery viewing. Just make sure to carry the campground reservation.

This shot is a composite of 164 shots (22 minutes) and around 8 sec exposure for the foreground. Thanks to the Sony A7S II that I was able to rent. This low light monster was able to capture so much of details even in the faint moon light !

The 70% gibbous moon was not conducive for the fireflies, but that did help light up the nearby stream :)

The hustling stream, chilling breeze, dark of the night, the little bit moon lit forest, walking with my son, by the trail into the Smokies Forest & Fireflies along the path – it was indeed a surreal experience !

Sony A7S II : Sony 28 mm: ISO 12800 : 10 mm : f2.0 : 8.0 sec [164 shots]

Great Smoky Mountains
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

June 23, 2019

Just show up

It was almost new year’s eve and we were in the process of moving out of Florida. As much as I was excited about the move to the new place, I knew I would miss those lovely florida sunsets.

That particular Friday was pretty darn cloudy. Looking up the forecast via Clear Outside, realized the evening was going to be 99% cloudy. Was debating if it was worth taking the chance. Since there were not many more evenings left in Florida, decided to just drive out.

It was pretty overcast all along and the sun was nowhere to be seen. But the walk by the lake was pretty soothing with the evening breeze. Then the 1% clear sky happened by the horizon. And that was enough for the sun to put up a show …

Sometime, all you got to do is just show up :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm: ISO 200 : 10 mm : f6.7 : 1/350 sec

Fred Howard Park
Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA

June 15, 2019

The Perfect Traveller

Enroute to Smokies we heard about this waterfalls that was tucked away in the mountains. We decided to make the trip to Minnehaha and it was well worth it. Located the trail head with head with help of GPS [34.749633, -83.479083]. There were very few parking spots by the road, but the drive up the winding road and the lake was quick a sight. Once you locate the trail head (with small set up stairs from the road) and get a parking spot, the fun continues. The trail is somewhat uphill, but the few stairs sprinkled along the way helped.

In addition to the trail, the falls itself is incredible. They spill over a cliff in a gorgeous, multi-tiered cascade before continuing downstream to the Lake Rabun. The morning sun, the floating fog, the spray from the falls, the chillness of the water – it all makes it a worthwhile experience.

Water is the most perfect traveller, because when it travels it becomes the path itself !
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm: ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 8.0 sec

Minnehaha Falls
Lakemont, Georgia, USA

April 30, 2019

Courage

Courage in the path is what makes the path manifest itself

– Paulo Coelho

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 6.0 sec

Appalachian Mountains
Pisgah National Fores, North Carolina, USA

March 28, 2019

Little things

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 85 mm : f5.6 : 1/30 sec

    Spring
Greenville, South Carolina, USA
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