Posts tagged ‘architecture’

April 21, 2017

Pineapple Fountain with Sun Cherry topping

When I heard about the pineapple fountain, I was pretty exited. As per the name, it was quiet a fountain. Arrived before sunrise to shoot. Unfortunately the fountain was not turned on. It was surprising that the near by spider fountain was operational.

As I  was walking by the gardens and enjoying the twilight, found a building opposite to the fountain. The high vintage from the steps gave a nice perspective. As I set the camera for the first rays, the fountain sprung to life !

Here is a Pineapple fountain, with sun cherry topping, for you :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 85 mm : f27 : 1/125 sec

   Pineapple Fountain
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
September 18, 2016

Sunset over the World

Was surprised to learn that Palm Jumeirah isn’t the only artificial island out there in the coast of Dubai. When I was in the area, learnt there were quiet a few more – The World, The Universe and may be they will even come up with a Multiverse sometime in future :) Standing on the world’s tallest man made structure (Burj Khalifa), watching ones of the largest man made islands (the world) & the Sun going down the gulf – it was quiet a tranquil.

Though there was definitely an awe on all the man made structures (and islands & its eco systems), in the back of my mind, one thought did linger – how would we justify the energy required to desecrate natural, aquatic ecosystems in an effort to fabricate a habitable environment that is in no way sustainable merely, for the sake of being able to say that it was done.

Only time will tell …

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100: 70 mm : f5.6 : 1/90 sec

Buy Print    Sunset over The World
Archipelago, Dubai, USA
May 2, 2016

Tampa RiverWalk by Night

Who said nights were for sleep – Marilyn Manroe

Tampa River walk is a phased open space and pedestrian trail along the Hillsborough River in Tampa FL, for about 2.3 miles, from Waterworks Park to Channelside. The river walk offers for a variant of activities from food to parks to walks on the land side and boats to kayaks to water bike rentals on the water. It provides for a fun walk taking you past many restaurants and parks that often have outdoor music and activities going on throughout the day and night. If the views aren’t enough to keep you interested, there are little historical and informative landmarks along the way. Just don’t forget to Wear sunscreen and/or a hat and bring water bottles. Or better at night come in at dusk to enjoy the season colors which is simply beautiful along the walk at night.

This was one among my many favorite views, highlighting the futuristic River walk along with the University of Tampa on the backdrop :)

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 400 : 22 mm : f5.6 : 8.0

Buy Print    Tampa Riverwalk
Tampa, Florida, 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
March 2, 2015

Sacred Architecture of Baha’i

Baha’i Temple carries an architecture that successfully incorporates spiritual, artistic, and cultural influences. This architecture aims to unify the people of many different backgrounds and religions & beliefs into one. People of different cultures and traditions can come here to pray, meditate or simply enjoy the tranquility and artistry.

From the first time I visited this place, I had always imagined how divine this place would be with a delicate white blanket of snow. With all the snow lately, the weather was in favor. Though the day was a bit overcast, decided to head up as we just have some good snow showers. I had wanted to capture the mood – the white blanket of snow everywhere – making sure not to blow out the intricate designs on the walls – while still highlighting everything from the symmetry of the temple to the texture of the snow. It was quiet a challenge, but a fun challenge that I sure enjoyed :)

This is my first attempt at black & white. How do u like it ? If you prefer color, check this out for the visual treat from previous spring !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f16.0 : 4 sec

Buy Print   Baha’i Temple of Worship
Wilmette, Illinois, USA
October 29, 2014

Fireworks at Buckingham Fountain

Screenshot_2014-10-29-20-56-52Buckingham fountain, in the middle of Chicago downtown, had become a favorite spot for me when it operated during summer. It was amazing watching the water and light show. Lining up the fireworks was an added bonus.

In Chicago – Navy Pier the fireworks go off pretty much twice a week (Wednesdays / Saturdays) in summers and for additional preplanned events. I am always on the lookout of interesting foreground for fireworks like this at Seattle or this one from St. Louis (my favorite).

TPE helped with the initial planning. But with just a tentative navy pier area for fireworks, it was a hit or miss. To add to it, that was one of the last weekend of regular firework show for this season (the next one for the year being on Halloween). After quiet a bit of planning and lot of uncertainty, decided to try out the shot I had in mind. The distance between the foreground and the actual firework show was not advantageous, but the grand bursts from the finale just made up for it !

At the end, it all came together. I love it, when a plan comes together – or may be I was just lucky ;-)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 20 mm : f11.0 : 15 sec 

Buy Print Fireworks @ Buckingham Fountain
Chicago, Illinois, USA
September 17, 2014

Good Evening from the Bean

Cloud gate, also affectionately called by the locals as bean is a lovely spot amidst downtown Chicago to spend an evening. As if the bean by itself is not interesting enough, there are numerous areas of interest near by, all walk able. Be it the amazing architecture or the beautiful fountains or interesting shows at Jay Pritzker Pavilion (mostly free) or the lovely lake – this spot has got it all !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-24 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f8.0 : 30 sec 

  Cloud Gate
Chicago, Illinois, USA
August 17, 2014

Sea horse, Skyline and some stars …

Buckingham Fountain at Chicago, is seriously beautiful.  A favorite spot in the city, one can literally spend hours hours watching the fountain.  The backdrop of Chicago or the lake, behind the fountain make it even more gorgeous.

With 134 jets and a fountain water capacity of 1.5 million gallons, it roughly pumps 14,100 gallons of water per minute. Water is re-circulated from the base pool after the basins are filled and not drawn from the outside except to replace losses from wind and evaporation. Some amazing engineering – be it the stupendous architecture or the the lighting at the dusk or the synchronous music that goes along with the lighting. The fountain located in the shores of Lake Michigan also symbolizes the lake itself, with four pairs of sea horses representing the four states that border its shoreline.

It was really lovely to see the Cassiopeia (Constellation) shining atop, even amidst all that man made city light. By the by, that lovely blue building, that u see there – that is where I work out of, lucky me … or not  ;-)

I present to you Sea horse, Skyline and some stars at Buckingham Fountain, Chicago. Definitely well worth checking out in large. How do u like it ?

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 13 mm : f8.0 : 10 sec 

Buy Print   Buckingham Fountain 
Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
June 30, 2014

Vivekananda Memorial Rock, Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari, the southern-most tip of India, is around 90 km away from Trivandrum and is located in Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari has now become a famous tourist spot and anyone who goes there does not miss visiting the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

Swami Vivekananda himself visited Kanyakumari in December 1892. It has been debated that Vivekananda plunged into the roaring waves and swam across to reach those large rocks. People, even today, dare the swim across, hence it definitely was a possibility. He spent three days and three nights on that rock. The roaring ocean was all the company he had. He saw religion to be the life-blood of India’s millions. He realized in the silence of his heart that India shall rise only through a renewal and restoration of that highest spiritual consciousness. He saw her greatness; he saw her weaknesses as well, the central one of which was that the nation lost its individuality.

There was a lot of controversy on the initiation of the memorial at this location, predominantly relating to religious clashes (according to Wikipedia). Though ironical, it is really sad that many a times, we miss the forest for the trees.

Anyway, today you can take a ferry to the rock. It is peaceful, serene and well maintained. It definitely is a place to sit and reflect, if you really want to :) And as you can see, it is a pleasure even watching this rock from the shore, once the sun goes down and it is all lit up. On right is the Thiruvalluvar statue. At 133 feet high, this depicts the 133 chapters of the Thirukural.

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. – Swami Vivekananda

Canon XSi : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 46 mm : f4.0 : 30 sec 

Buy Print Vivekananda & Thiruvalluvar Memorial
Kanyakumari, TamilNadu, India
June 20, 2014

Baha’i Temple of worship

An architecture so white, so magnificent, so delicate and so close to Chicago, it has to be the Baha’i temple.

The Baha’i Temple, Chicago is one of only seven Baha’i temples in the world. It is actually the only one in all of North America.  The place is enormous and has 9 almost identical entrances symbolizing the 9 major religions of the world and the fact that all are welcome to worship together at the temple.  It’s really a pretty fascinating place surrounded by sprawling grounds with manicured symmetrical gardens and fountains.

If you had visited the place, you know that the entire temple is pure white. But the twilight, bought in the golden shade and accentuated the intricate work on the walls. I also loved how the lilies complimented the setting sun :)

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

Buy Print Baha’I Temple of Worship
Wilmette, 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 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
May 17, 2012

Grandiose Gopura of Meenashi Amman Temple, Madurai

Madurai, apart from being my home town, is really famous for many things from soft idles to jasmine flowers to being the birth place of ancient Tamil. Madurai is also synonymous with Meenakshi Amman Temple. Covering an area of 17 acres , the enter city was built around the temple. As you get near the temple the city streets meander and before you realize become lanes within the temple.

Known for its amazing architecture , this temple is one of the most ancient and famous ones in south India. As a kid I have always taken for granted, my visits to this place. When I went to my hometown in the last year, I made it visit this place. I did not have as much as time as I had intended, but still enjoyed it. I really wanted to capture the grandeur of the Gopura, its ornate work, the intricate sculptures from the pillars, the lovely etc colorful paintings on the ceilings etc. I think I succeeded, at least partially. This week shot is one of the 14 Gopuras that adorn the beautiful temple.

Buy Print Meenakshi Amman Temple
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
January 26, 2012

Shrine of Subramanya @ Tanjore

I generally do not tend to post photos from the same place in continuity. But the more I look at the shots from Tanjore big temple, the more I am amazed. Hence continuing from last week, I present – The Shrine of Sri Subramanya – located just behind the main temple within the same compound. This definitely needs to be viewed in large, to enjoy the intricate sculptures and pillars. If this tower standing at 55 feet can carry so much grandeur, imagine how inspiring the main vimana can be at 216 feet !!! Surprisingly, this shrine is not referred to in the early inscriptions, and probably not contemporaneous to the main temple. It is popularly believed to be of the Nayak period, giving it a date not earlier than 600 A.D. The flash lights that you see around the corner is directed towards the main tower. Need to plan another trip once the maintenance work on the main vimana is over, hopefully !

This was 30 second multiple exposure, manually blended to highlight the texture on the sculptures and walls. As with most protected monuments, tripods were not allowed. I generally try to use my camera bag, wallet etc. to improvise, but that day, was lucky to have had Gorilla pod. I set it up in a remote corner and happily let it shoot multiple long exposures, as I was chatting with the security. It definitely disguised as – just a camera stand, rather then a tripod – at least in this place, where Gorilla pod is not yet prevalent :)

Have u sneaked behind security to get your best shorts ;-) would love to hear ur experience ,  do share in below comments !!!

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Shrine of Subramanya
Tanjore, TamilNadu, India

January 19, 2012

Big Temple @ Tanjore, India

The Big Temple, as rightly said, was constructed by Raja Raja Chola nearly 1000 years back – to be precise in 1010 AD. This is also the world’s first complete granite temple and an brilliant example of the grandeur and the major heights achieved by Cholas in Tamil architecture. Also know by the names of Brihadeeswarar temple or Rajarajeswaram – this Shiva temple – still stands as the largest temple in India, with the main vimana towering to 216 feet.

This week shot is SOOC (Straight out of camera) of the main vimana / tower at the Brihadeeswarar temple. Even with all the wooden frame around the vimana for some maintenance work (yeah! such a bad timing for the visit), could feel the awe and grandeur of the architecture. The temple had been sculpted to detail in every nook and corner. It is so spacious  with the open dance floor, huge lawn and multiple sanctum. This shot gives a much closer view of one of the hundreds of pillars out there. Makes one wonder on the amount of passion, dedication and work that would gone behind these marvels. If you are planning for a trip to south India, this is a must have on the iternary !!!

    Brihadeeswarar Temple
Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India
April 16, 2011

Big Bull (Nandhi) @ Lepakshi, Anantapur

Lepakshi – small town, in Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh state – is about 140 kms from Bangalore. It is enroute from Bangalore to Hyderabad (BIAL road). At the RAKSHA academy in Andra Pradesh , take the left  for lepakshi. The temple would be 15 kms from this turning. This stretch is real bad, but is probably keeping the crowd away and the sanctity of the heritage temple in place :). The place is a good day trip from Bangalore, but watch out, it would be real hot during summers.

Lepakshi is famous for its temple, which is dedicated to Veerabhadra, the fiery incarnation of Lord Shiva and the big Nandhi. The nandhi sits outside the temple, facing the Shiva. But probably as time passed, the Lepakshi village has developed right in between. When you drive, the nandhi is on the right side and a little further down the left is the entrance to the temple. The Nandhi is quiet grand at 15 x 27 feet and made of a single monolithic granite. Makes one wonder how grand this place would have been, during its glory.

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Lepakshi Temple, Ananthpur
AndhraPradesh, India

September 19, 2010

Temple guarded by Lions @ Kanchipuram

Kanchipuram (???????????) is rightly called the “City of 1000 temples”. Though we might not find 1000s of temples currently, there are atleast few hundreds. And a handful of them still active with rituals and pujas being performed on a daily basis. The below is from Kailashnath Temple. Accounting to Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at home (yeah yeah my laziness too added to the delay :))  ended up at this place just after noon- after an hour and half drive from Chennai. Though the sun was harsh, the shot came out really good as I was able to sneak and set the tripod in the extreme corner for an HDR shot.

Buy Print Flickr Page Kailashnath Temple, Kanchipuram
Chennai, India
May 30, 2010

Mahabalipuram – Panchapandava Rathas

The monolithic temples @ the Mahabalipuram are known as rathas as they resemble wooden chariot. It is an innovation of Pallava King Narasimhavarman-I (Mamalla) [AD 630-668]. A Huge rock sloping from south to north was utilized judiciously to cutout different forms of temple, besides few animal sculptures.

Though these monolithic temples are termed as panchapandava rathas, they have nothing to do with Mahabharatha. These rathas with their ekatala to tritala, vimanas and different in plan and elevation, exhibit splendid forms of south Indian art and architecture. The nakula-sahadeva ratha has apsidal vimana, a relief sculpture of ardhanariswara on the wall of Dharmaraja ratha, with perfect balancing of the masculine and feminine features. It is considered to be one of the finest specimen of the early Pallava art. The ratha also contains Pallava-Grantha, inscription recording the titles of Narasimavarman-I.

The group of the five rathas were executed as models of South Indian temples and were not consecrated as their stupas are still attached with the bed rock.

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Pancha Pandava Rathas, Mahabalipuram
Chennai, India

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