April 5, 2016

Just be

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. ― Rumi

Excessive judgments weigh you down and make you feel heavy-hearted and unsatisfied. While we are judging and discerning, sometimes it is just wonderful to allow the radiance of the universe to permeate and just be, and let go. We are always making distinctions and labeling things as right and wrong, good or bad, true or untrue … Sometimes it is exhausting to carry all the burden of excessive judgment.

Just be :)

This shot is from an early morning by the countryside of Wisconsin, as I was returning back from shooting the Milky Way & Perseids. It is always fun to shoot thru the night and into the light !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f4.5 : 1/60 sec

Buy Print    Countryside Corn Fields
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
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March 31, 2016

Sea Shell by the Sea Shore

The tide recedes, but leaves behind
bright shells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle warmth
still lingers on the land.

The music stops, yet echoes on
in sweet and soulful refrains.
For every moment that passes,
something beautiful remains.

– Unknown   

 

Met this guy during the stroll by the beach. He too was taking the time to enjoy the sunset and strolling even more leisurely to get a dip in the warm waters. If you look close, you could see his legs as he is dragging lazily towards the sea :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/20 sec

Buy Print    Sand Key Park
Clearwater, Florida, USA
March 27, 2016

Milky Way by Night

Somewhere, Something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan

As Spring comes up, so does the galactic arm of the milky way. Due to the curvature and constant movement of the earth, the Milky Way is below the horizon during the months of November to February, and can be enjoyed with the galactic center from March to October (if you live in the northern hemisphere).

This shot is from the one of the most known Perseids meteor shower from the past year. We drove around the Green river state wildlife area and luckily chanced upon a remote road. As I light painted the foreground with Coast HP7,  the meteor sparkled across the night sky. One of the stars even decided to play the head of the comet.

Looking forward to more adventurous nights this year :)

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

 Perseids (08.13.2015) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
March 20, 2016

Pirates of the Gulf

Now that is a reason to call Florida – the sunshine state ! And Tampa, FL seems to be one of heck of a place to enjoy sunsets. This particular evening, as I was strolling on the beach of Sand Key Park, just off of Clearwater, was treated with a lovely sunset. The pop corn clouds were making their journey across the sky, the sun was about to hide behind the ocean, the Caribbean blue waters were frolicking the shore and a distant pirate ship was heading back with the loot.

As I later found, the pirate turned out to be Captain Memo, jaunting across the horizon. But nevertheless, it did not take away any of the magic from the evening …  After all not all treasures are Silver and Gold , right :)

 

Not all treasure is Silver and Gold.

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

Buy Print    Sand Key Park
Clearwater, Florida, USA
March 6, 2016

Live Everyday

Everyone eventually dies,
But only a few make sure they lived.

Canon 7D : Tamron 10-270 mm : ISO 100 : 169 mm : f5.6 : 1/10 sec

  Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
February 21, 2016

Adios Chicago

Moving from salting side walks to salting Margaritas, hopefully ;-)
Read somewhere that not everything can be bought, but looks like even Sunshine can be :)
Looking forward to what Life & Sunshine State has in store …
Adios Chicago !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f8 : 30.0 sec

   Buckingham Fountain
Chicago, Illinois, USA
February 5, 2016

Spouting Horn

A little further from the Devils Churn, there is a parking pull out for this ocean anomaly – Spouting Horn. One could hike down to the view point to enjoy the same. Just make sure to watch ur steps. Spouting horn is kind of an Ocean Geyser. It was interesting to reflect how this is evolving. Over time the pounding waves gradually widened a fracture in the rocks forming Cook’s Chasm. The edge of the Chasm was undercut, forming a cave. Eventually a crack on the top of the cave created a perfect setting for the Spouting horn.

Canon 7D: Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 200 : 18 mm : f22 : 1/45 sec 

Always do what you are afraid to do – Ralph Waldo

Spouting Horn
Cape Perpetua, Oregon, USA
January 24, 2016

Sunset by The Garden of Three Islands

Japanese Garden also called as The Garden of Three Islands is one of the many gardens within the Chicago Botanical Gardens. Here it is indeed easy to overlook how the Japanese respect for nature and age are revealed. If you look closely, though, the effect is evocative, as seamless as a traditional haiku. The larger rocks are partially buried, as if they have been in place forever. Flowering plants have a short bloom time, reflecting the yin-yang balance between the ephemeral existence of human life and the timelessness of nature. Many of the trees are pruned and trained to give the illusion of age.

This 17-acre lakeside garden includes three islands. Only two (Island of Clear, Pure Breezes & Island of the Auspicious Cloud) are open to the public. Across the lake, the inaccessible island (Island of Everlasting Happiness) is symbolic of paradise—in sight yet elusive.

Sunset is particularly an awesome time to take a walk by the lake around these islands :)

Deep within each one of us lies a garden – Julie Moir Messervy

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 8.0 sec

Buy Print    Chicago Botanical Gardens
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
January 12, 2016

Whitetail Doe by Snow

I am not much of a wildlife photographer, but once in a while I do get lucky, This was one such instance while scouting the Thatcher Woods in the suburbs of Illinois, for capturing the fresh snow.

The snow was still falling with a light drizzle. The white blanket of snow was spread around everywhere. It was biting cold, but there was a serene feeling in the air. As I was snow shoeing thru the trees, there she was. Just at hint of slightest sound, she turned back, posed for a second & went back to what she was doing. ignoring me completely. Luckily had my camera ready to get that shot :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 200 : 270 mm : f5.6 : 1/250 sec

    White-tailed Doe
Thatcher Woods, Illinois, USA
January 3, 2016

The Moon and the Mountain

If you have read the “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”, you would known about Minli who sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Here is a magical shot from valley of Sandy River, as the full moon dances with the majestic Mount Hood. A big cheers for all the adventures and answers you seek for in the coming new year. A Very Happy New Year – 2016 to my Friends out here. May this new year be beautiful, sweet, creative, and happy one for you.

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 270 mm : f11 : 1/20 sec

    Jonsrud View Point
Sandy, Oregon, USA
November 29, 2015

Fire & Ice

It is an adventure just to even witness the lava flow. But it is all the more intriguing and intimate to follow the lava from the crater to the ocean entry. They make the way thru lava tubes and eventually culminate at the ocean.  The lava flow, when it happens, is mostly over multiple days. To get this shot, I planned for the morning twilight, when there is enough light to capture the surrounding and the sun is not yet out, so the lava can be captured in its beauty.  Sleeping in the car at the parking lot, helped, but still had to plan for the time to actually get to the spot. Personally for me, it was such a intimate experience, shooting from the water and witnessing the raw beauty of earth being created.

For some reason this reminded me of Robert Frost. And also kindled me to scribble my own (in no way to be compared to that of Frost !!!)

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
– Robert Frost

 

Every end is a new beginning
Weather it is fire or ice,
it does not matter –
All that matters
Is finding that end, and beginning new
It is in realizing that you are far beyond
both the fire and the ice –
the beginning and the end.
– Sathya

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 1250 : 70 mm : f5.6 : 1/125 sec

Buy Print  Lava Flow, Ocean Entry, Kalapana Lava Refuge
Pāhoa, Hawaii, USA
November 15, 2015

Enchanted Rainforest of Hoh

Hidden in the north west corner of Washington state is a treasure of a primeval, temperate & enchanted rainforest – Hoh. Walking thru these forests brings in an overwhelming sense of the timelessness. The huge amounts of rainfall and the storm dumps from the near by pacific ocean results in the lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous species. Layers and layers of green, moist moss adorns the whole place, making even the once dead trees & logs of long time, come alive.

Hoh – The place is whimsical and magical, but is still as much real :)

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f13 : 10 sec

   Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Forest 
Forks, Washington, USA
November 4, 2015

It all comes down to …

Contemplating life under stars, at Wisconsin river.

Watching the stars make you realize, how small you are. But at the same time the openness of the clear skies reminds, that you are nothing but the universe itself. The water drop is not outside the ocean, but the ocean itself. At the same time the ocean would not be there with out the water drops.

It all comes down to you :)

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

Buy Print  Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
October 28, 2015

Crispy Colors of Autumn

Autumn is a Spring, where every leaf is a flower !

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f3.5 : 1/30 sec

Buy Print    Devils Lake State Park
Baraboo, Wisconsin, USA
September 21, 2015

Go, Get Lost !

It is good to get lost. It helps to find yourself.

With technology today, one can afford to get lost, without getting lost. It is much easier to take that road not taken, knowing that you have access to GPS and can get back home, if u decide to. I generally plan for location and timing to get the golden light. But once in a while I do enjoy getting around without a destination. Not knowing where the path leads, making the journey even more interesting.

What are you waiting for, just hop in the car and drive to the stars ! I assure, you wouldn’t regret :)

The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination. – Dan Milman

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
September 14, 2015

Red Cross over Blue Cross

This is one of my favorite views of the lovely Chicago Skyline. I am not a big fan of all the city lights, but watching the same over the icy reflections makes it quiet soothing. Additionally, the building that you see with the Red Cross sign, is where I get to work. That is the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower with the Red Cross sign :)

Since 1999, the south-facing windows of the Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tower have been used to celebrate various key events. Not many realize the amount of manual work involved though. Working out of this building and seeing how it is done, makes me really appreciate all that happen behind the scenes. It starts with an idea for a punchy phrase, slogan or design that can be clearly communicated in lights. It is then sketched as an image and how it should look from exterior. Based on this, each of the 50 south-facing window blinds are opened or closed. In a 57-story structure, its quiet a task. The building staff can override the lights so they shine through the night, but there’s no mechanized system to raise or lower the shades, making it all manual work.

This shot is from one such night (March 7,2015) that showcased the tribute to 100 years of great work done by Red Cross at Chicago.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 16 mm : f8.0 : 30.0 sec

Buy Print    Chicago Skyline
Chicago, Illinois, USA
August 31, 2015

Turtle by the cascade

Illinois’ Starved Rock State Park is just south of I-80 about 90 miles west of Chicago near the town of LaSalle. Over the years streams have carved a number of small and interesting canyons into the sandstone. Seasonal waterfalls can be found all around these canyons, if you hike up just at the right time.

This week’s shot is from from across a lovely little pool created by one of the cascades from LaSalle Canyon Falls. It was interesting to watch a turtle that had made this pool as home for the day. Not sure how he ended up here, but it would be one fun trip to down the river. What would life be without these challenges :)

 

Uncertainty is the essence of Life & it fuels opportunity – Tina Seelig

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f19 : 10, 1/60 sec

Buy Print    LaSalle Canyon, Starved Rock State Park 
Oglesby, Illinois, USA
August 17, 2015

Stroll by the River @ 2 AM

The Perseid meteor shower, is associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and appears to streak out of Perseus constellation. Perseids usually is visible around 2nd week of Aug. With little or no moon to ruin the show, this was a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower.

Every time the comet dives in towards the sun, it leaves a trail of rocky icy bits along its path like a cosmic, frozen Hansel and Gretel trail. This trail can remain intact for decades after the fact and gets refreshed with each new pass (the last of which was in 1992 and the next one is 2126). As the Earth barrels through the debris field, all the little bits in it’s way burn up in the atmosphere, creating brilliant streaks across the sky. Even particles the size of the sand can create some lovely views like this.

 

2 AM in the Morning, Watching the milky-way, Sipping a cup of hot tea – is an experience unto itself. Add a shooting star and what more can u ask for :)

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

Buy Print    Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
August 7, 2015

Let Nature be, it will heal itself …

Recently reading about the forest fire in the west coast was heavy in my heart. The dry weather and drought was definitely fuelling the same. But reading about the options of ‘clear cutting’ or ‘thinning’ to reduce forest fire did not help either. Only we, humans, could come up with such options. Too much of our scientific thinking and that we could control things without messing others. Initially this may sound like a good counter intuitive plan, but just thinking thru it, will help realize the long term impacts. If wolfs could change the course of rivers, we ought to respect and agree that the butterfly effect would have drastic impacts in future on these kind of actions.

Let nature be. It will heal itself.

Reading all this, reminded me of the feeling I had when I shot this, couple of years back. I had gone out to enjoy the fall colors. The morning was crisp, the air was cool, there was mist settling over the distant trees. There was even a sprinkle of snow. Even with all this, it was kind of a eerie feeling to witness these chopped trees. It felt almost alien, as if they were trying to drag themselves to the water to get some relief for their soul.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 119 mm : f5.6 : 1/60 sec

   N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
July 31, 2015

Thunderstorm by the City

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…
It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.
– Vivian Greene

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 400 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/15 sec

Buy Print    Brewing Thunderstorm
Wolcott, Indiana, USA
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