February 19, 2015
Bandipur National Park is an established Tiger Reserve, but it is also an amazing place to watch birds. This particular day as we were eagerly trying to locate some big cats, this beauty decided to get our attention. He was just still and serene, while the slow breeze was making the leaves around dance. After leisurely posing for this shot, he decided to show his flying skills too. It was quiet a sight to watch the him glide – oh, so majestically.
Canon XSi : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 1600 : 168 mm : f6.7 : 1/180 sec
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change
Bandipur National Park, Karnataka, USA
June 30, 2014
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
||Vivekananda & Thiruvalluvar Memorial
Kanyakumari, TamilNadu, India
April 30, 2014
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 3, 2014
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
||Bay Of Bengal
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India
April 2, 2013
I can still remember that particular evening at Hampi. The air was crisp, the breeze was so pleasant and the distant sunset was quiet dramatic. Mahanavami Dibba – located within the fortified area was probably the seat of power of the fallen empire. The views from here were grandeur and King Krishnadevaraya would have enjoyed similar views of sunset during his days :)
This is a pseudo digital oil painting based on the sunset from that particular evening. I am still refining on my workflow and painting process. How do you like the same ?!!!
||Sunset @ Mahanavami Dibba
Hampi, Karnataka, India
March 27, 2013
Wayanad is a prominent district in Gods Own Country – Kerala. Places of interest around here are abundant ranging from water falls, Caves, Dam, Viewpoints, reserved forests and many more. But among all Meenmutty falls definitely tops the list.
Meenmutty falls at 300 meters is majestic (if you are keen, you can see people down at the foot of the waterfall for scale). The three tiers of the waterfall requires separate hike through the forest. After a perilous and tiring 2 kms hike, one is rewarded with this amazing panoramic view. At a few points the trek is treacherous and steep – but once you get out there, you just forget everything. The milky water tearing apart the dense greenery of Wayanad forests is a sight to behold.
Canon XSi : Canon 10-22 mm : No Filter : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 1.0 sec
Wayanad, Kerala, India
May 17, 2012
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.
||Meenakshi Amman Temple
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
February 22, 2012
Hampi, apart from the historical ruins is an awesome place for trekking and rock climbing too. Matunga hill @ Hampi is one of the best spots for watching sunrise. the hike is a bit on difficult side, especially if you are not aware of the route. It is better to have a guide if you planning to hike up in the dark for sunrise. But the views are well worth it, they are pretty amazing. This week shot is of the temple ruins, right on top of the hills. The sun was playing hide and seek as the mist was starting to clear. This was taken just moments after the sun rise shot that I had shared in the past. wow the scene changed so dramatically with light , angle and direction !
Update : Sorry, the deal is dead. Not sure why, It was supposed to be active thru Mar 2, 2012.
On a different note, if you are into photography and were looking to buy Photoshop, now is the best time. There is a huge sale going on @ Adobe site. The current version of Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended can be got for $39, yeah you read that right – $39. The Student version generally sells for $199 (and the original without discount sells @ $699) and there is a 80% additional off, if you use the code SAVE80EDU. You could even get this for your kid who is in kindergarten – all you need is a student ID card or an appropriate school document. If you don’t have a student in the family, now is the time to join that course that you were eying for a long time ! The lower price is probably because of the fact that next version of Photoshop would be out in couple of months, but @ $39 I am not complaining :) The deal is supposed to be on till March 2, 2012, Go grab it while it lasts !!!
Hampi, Karnataka, India
January 26, 2012
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 !!!
Shrine of Subramanya
Tanjore, TamilNadu, India
January 19, 2012
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 !!!
Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, India
November 6, 2011
Talakadu (also known as Talakad) is a town on the banks of the Kaveri river, Karnataka, India. The place is known for temples submerged in sand. It is said to have around 30+ temples under sand. It is surprising to see the geology out here. The powerful Kaveri had helped create the dune like area. There is a little bit of history here, blended with some geology and topped with legends and myths. The bit of history is associated to the place is tied to the Mysore Raja Family of this palace. You can read further about the legend here at wikipedia. This weeks shot is one of the excavated temples, along with the intricate stonework, laid out beautifully in front.
Lord Vishnu Temple under Sand Dunes
Talakadu, Karnataka, India
August 27, 2011
“If dreams were made of stone , it would be hampi” – One can completely relate to it, the moment they get into the vicinity of the place. Hampi – has some amazing and stupendous architecture captured in stone from the Vijayanagara period. Apart from the architecture, the place is also know for some strong and dynamic sunrise / sunsets. Matunga hill is a prominent hike up, where one can enjoy the same. Since a relatively a larger crowd trickle in to bid goodbye to the sun rather than to witness the sunrise, I decided to hike up at dawn. There are a couple of paths leading to the topmost point, where the Veerabhadra Temple is located. It is better to carry a torch irrespective of if you are planning for the sun rise or the sun set as the place is not well lit. After taking up the stepped ramp from the west , reached the top just prior to sun raise. There were only a very few folks around, but was really surprised to see a small shop selling garam garam tea and noodles, at that place and time :)
As it was quiet misty, was not hoping much for the sun to come out. Just as I was enjoying the watery tea, the sun decided to give a peek out. It was quiet dramatic, with the Achyuta raya temple at the foothills , the dense forest and the sun peeking thru the misty morning mountains afar. Boy, was I glad to have the 10-24mm wide angle. Did my best to capture it, though I knew I was not able to do complete justice.
|| Flickr Page
Sunrise, Matunga Hill, Hampi
August 6, 2011
There are those special full moon days, when u feel that the moon is much larger. The drama created by the clouds is so strong, that you just feel like being one with the night. This weeks shot is from one such days. Photographing the moon is a real challenge, if you don’t know how to do it. But just a handful of tips & a bit of trial and error, you definitely can get a keeper. When I initially started shooting the moon, used to set up my tripod and try for long exposure, you see it was night and dark, right ! Wrong. Moon is one of the brightest objects and at the same not static. Hence any thing less than a 1/125 sec would result in not so sharp shot. This article has lot of details on the technicalities of setting up the shot. Before you head out, u definitely need to know when the next full moon is. This calendar is handy, yeah gone are the days when we all had the time to look up, every night and know when the full moon was approaching.
And to go along with the shot, here is one of my, supposed, haiku. For my non-tamil readers, have tried my best to provide a close enough translation. Hope you enjoy it as much as the shot.
nee nilavai pondraval
indro thoo’laivil …
you are like the moon
then in beauty :)
but, now in distance :(
July 10, 2011
Kodaikanal is one of the most popular and charming hill station of south India. This was shot enroute from Kodai to Bangalore. As we were leaving, just before the down hill drive started, pulled by a place to shop for the famed home made chocolates. Just behind the shop(s), was graced with the beautiful hilly terrain with this lone home. Definitely makes one wonder how it would feel to stay right amidst nature !!!
p.s : If you are on Google+ you can connect with me here. If you would like an invite, just drop me a note or leave a comment with the request. After a week’s usage, this definitely seems to be addressing some major concerns of Facebook !
June 25, 2011
Flowers in general are always cool to shoot with – they are colorful, attractive and if you are lucky, they would be just stand still, for as long as you want, with a little bit of support from wind :). So when I came across the vibrant lily at Meenmutty Falls Resort , was delighted. This was shot during broad afternoon day light and was surprised the way it turned out. I had always thought that these kind of shots were made within a studio set up. All I did here, was used circular polarizer to make the water, non reflective and dark. Playing a bit with curves and levels, helped lose some of the other unwanted details. What do you think of the result ?
Below is a (so called) Haiku that I wanted to share alongside this shot !
Every thing looks right & Every thing looks wrong … simultaneously
There is nothing wrong about the right &
There is nothing right about the wrong !!!
June 18, 2011
This is from the Miramar Beach, Goa. As part of the stay at Bogmallo, we were offered to be taken to Basilica and Panjim City for some shopping, before the evening Cruise. Opting to miss on the shopping & getting dropped off at Miramar Beach for sunset, turned out to be not that bad a choice. Walking toward the beach, it was not just cloudy, but real overcast too.
There were around the 8-12 ships lined up at the horizon. As I was thinking – all chances for a great sunset were bleak – it just happened. For a moment, the clouds opened up, a little bit with drama, to allow the rays fall on one of the ships, as if it was chosen for something. The evening sky was kind of red. I waited to see if it would be sucked up into space like in alien movies, but nothing happened :)
As for the processing, this is straight out of camera, with just some level adjustments. I know it is kind of dark, but felt it rather added to mystery around the shot and overall. What do you think !?
June 3, 2011
Mysore palace is now one of the most famous tourist spot attracting more than 2.7 million visitors in the recent years. This Indo-sarsenic style Palace reflects Muslim architecture on the outside, while the interior is a fine example of Hindu architecture. The palace is in its full grandeur in the night, as it is lit with thousands of bulbs and it becomes the most attractive monument in the city. Even without the thousands of light bulbs, it is a sight to watch when it is back lit with flash lights. The below was shot at one such occasion. I really like the way the Big cats came out as silhouette on the back lit palace.
The part I did not like about the place is – though tourists are allowed to visit, they are not allowed to photograph inside the palace, what crap :( Wish they make it photographer friendly, so that the grandeur can be shared with you, who are not able to make it to the palace in person.
On the processing, the HDR accentuated the intricate work on the palace walls (worth checking out on the larger size), highlight part of inner chambers , garden and the walkway.
May 28, 2011
Bylakuppe, located in District Coorg (Madikere) in Karnataka is the second largest Tibetans settlement outside Tibet. Close to 20K monks stay here living in the Tibetan tradition. They co exist peacefully with the neighborhood, continuing with their chanting and training, not bothered about the tourists and onlookers.
The focus of the settlement is The Golden Temple and the focus of the temple, of course, is the 60 foot Gautama Buddha, accompanied by Guru Rinpoche and Buddha Amitayus on the sides. The huge hall is so cool and smooth, with reflective flooring. The walls adorned by amazing paintings are sound absorbent. The surrounding is so calm that you would just feel like sitting in silence. No wonder, even the people who don’t have the habit of meditation, will just feel like being in silence and meditate. The amazing architecture goes hand in hand with the silence and the Tibetan culture.
The temple is probably juxtaposed here amidst the natural beauty of Coorg. One can spend hours out here, at a minimum plan for at least an hour. Right in-between the misty morning walks at the coffee fields and an amazing sunset at raja’s seat, you could fit the visit to the this temple. Photographing the place (indoor) is as good, even at noon. But don’t be surprised if you forget your camera, once your are inside and get lost in the silence, which is even better :)
On the processing, the HDR helped capture the golden sculpture along with the intricate work and paintings. Let the movement on the people as such, as it kind of added to the shot.
May 21, 2011
This weeks shot is in entire contrast to last weeks spring image with so much vibrance and energy. It is from enroute to the dream land of Hampi from Bangalore. The dry brittle land reminded me of drought, but the monsoon storm that was building up that afternoon, was so very promising. For reasons unknown this scene evoked a mix of emotions in me. Nature has a peculiar, but very effective way of keeping things in balance. Be it thru drought or flood, famine or tsunami, forest fire or rain, abundance or dearth – there is a reason and rhyme behind everything. It just happens, with the flow.
But we humans – are so prone to – not just getting stuck with something , but not willing to move on either. It is so very tough for us to accept and move on – “Sometimes you hurt yourself more than anyone else ever could. Look deep, then you might understand better.”
|| Flickr Page
Enroute to Hampi from Bangalore