Everyone eventually dies,
But only a few make sure they lived.
|Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
Eagle Creek Trail is just gorgeous and magical. The round trip hike to Tunnel Falls is 12 miles, but it is definitely worth even to hike up just to Punch Bowl (round trip ~ 3.4 miles). A stop off at 1.5 miles let you get a peek at the lovely Metlako Falls too. There are a few narrow sections with 500 foot plus drop offs. If you are worried about the height, several have a cable to hold onto on the uphill side.
Punchbowl Falls can be enjoyed from above or down below. When you finally get down to Punch Bowl Falls, the only way to see it, is to walk across the vast rocky stream and bingo – she is straight ahead with amazing view. Definitely plan on wearing waterproof boots or waders ! I was there around June and decided to venture into the water with bare foot. The water was still cold and the rocks slippery. It is not a pleasant feeling to hike back 2 miles in wet shoes either :)
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 33 mm : f22 : 8.0 sec
Eagle Creek Wilderness, Oregon, USA
Cave Point is a little park – off the beaten track with beautiful views of the rock ledges along Lake Michigan. This probably is the most beautiful areas in Door County, WI. The hiking was fabulous and allows to enjoy the thrill of climbing down the rocks to get close to the waves crashing against them. Make sure you wear good shoes as the rocks can be a bit tricky especially if you want to climb down towards the water. The effects of water and wind erosion on these cliffs is very prominent, leading to the creation of carved pools and caves (hence the name).
Witnessing a lovely sunrise from one of these caves, as the high waves and the cold water was splashing across, along with the early morning breeze caressing the face – It was just serene & breathtakingly beautiful.
I strongly believe, what we feel while looking at a photograph is proportional to what the photographer felt when making it :) the idea is that connection transcends the photograph.
Looking forward to witness, capture and share many beautiful sunrises and more in 2015 !!!
|Buy Print||Sunrise @ Cave Point
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
This shot is from my archives, from back in 2008, a massive view of the Kennecott Copper mine from near salt lake city, utah.
Following a massive April 2013, landslide that resulted in about 165 million tons of rock plummeting to the bottom of the Mine, this no longer looks the same. Here is how it looks after the land slides – Detailed Google Maps current view. Photos from when the slide actually happened – courtesy of KSL News.
Luckily no one was injured, accounting to the continuous monitoring that has been set in place for this 107 year old mine. The mine is estimated to produces 25 percent of the copper used in the United States – and they recognized signs of increasing instability in the months before the slide, closing and removing a visitor center on the south edge of the 2.8-mile-wide, 3,182-foot-deep open pit. It is amazing to see how technology and continuous monitoring helped avoid a major mishap, but also resulted is so much of data that helped study the landslides later.
This is probably one of the world’s largest man-made excavation.
|Bingham Copper Mine
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Nothing beats a beautiful spring day like a trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Just 30 mins away from downtown – nestled in Mary McDonalds woods – this well kept & curated garden, provides a deserved break to the Urban feel of Chicago. Are u tired of the concrete jungles, wanna breathe some fresh air – not tainted by pollution – just head down to Chicago Botanic Garden. It definitely is a worthwhile place to get ur Zen back :)
And did I say this is a lovely place to enjoy a sunset too …
|Buy Print||Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
“They are flying kites” – this was something that intrigued me as a kid at school. The same set of words that can be interpreted so very differently. May it was something to do with just realizing that things do have alternate perspectives. Things may not be always what they seem or hear to be :)
Anyway, this shot is from the Oregon Coast. That sunny afternoon folks were enjoying the kite festival at Lincoln city. I used to think flying a traditional kite was difficult when the wind was not favoring. Imagine this kite being controlled, not one but six (yeah look closely) strings. You really need two hands with orchestrated harmony to get this thing in flight. But once up, it was a thing of beauty, what do u say :)
|Buy Print||Oregon Coast
Lincoln City, Oregon, USA
All that you see, is a reflections of you !
It always pays to take the road less travelled.
This is from N Santiam Hwy. The route from Stayton to Bend thru Detroit was just ablaze with fall colors. Parked off the highway and wandered into the misty morning without destination. Luckily came across an unmaintained trail path that led me down to this view !!! Some beautiful fall colors, a blanket of mist, some drizzles and an occasional sunshine – it definitely turned out to be a memorable drive.
|Buy Print||Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
There’s almost nothing more relaxing than the sound of the ocean as the sun sets over the water.
|Buy Print||Devils Punch Bowl State Park
Otter Rock, Oregon, USA
During this past ID4, after lot of planning zeroed down to shooting the fireworks at St Louis arch. It definitely did not disappoint. But as the head would have it, when driving 5 hours with the available long weekend, I was also looking to see what else could be packed up into the trip. Though it was a state (MO) I was visiting for the first time – not many places were appealing due to the dry weather. I did like the Cathedral and the Missouri Botanical Garden – but was longing for some landscape to get a chance to capture the summer sun.
The plan was fluid as the weather was kind of bleak, with overcast skies. Late Sunday afternoon after a good lunch – the potential forecast looked better – if we were to head 2 hours down south. But that also meant driving for 7 hours to reach back home, if we headed for that sunset. After a short debate decided to hit it straight to the Garden of Gods @ Shawnee National Forest. We reached the trail, just in time – and as if to take some pity on us for the long drive – the clouds parted to create this beautiful view. It lasted for – may be less than 10 minutes – but was well worth it :)
Even her goodbyes are ever so beautiful …
Is it because – she would be back again tomorrow ?!?!?!
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f22 : 3 sec
|Buy Print||Garden of Gods, Shawnee National Forest
Herod, Illinois, USA
I am Unique, just like everyone else !
The fall is gone and the winter has begun. The leaves are gone and the snow is around. This shot is from the beginning of the fall, when the colors were just beginning to adorn the pacific northwest landscape. The floating fog made for one memorable experience. Goodbye fall – it was fun times – driving around, enjoying the colors brought by u ! Thank U !
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 155 mm : f38 : 2 sec
|Buy Print||Willamette National Forest, N Santiam Hwy
Detroit, Oregon, USA
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
Columbia George, Oregon, USA
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.
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 :)
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 :)
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 !
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.
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 :)
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 :)
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
autumn colors, bushes on fire
a light drizzle, the fog rolling in
and the photographer goes – click !
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f22 : 8 sec
|Buy Print||West Cascades Scenic Byway
Estacada, OR, USA
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
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
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
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
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