Posts tagged ‘Travel’

May 16, 2019

Perspective

Sometime all we need is a new perspective.

Perspective – it changes everything.

One of the amazing things in life – just when we think we have everything figured out & then you stumble upon something new or suddenly see the same things in a different perspective & everything shifts again :)

Today’s shot is that of a top perspective of Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam temple – something that most would never have witnessed, lest be captured in the golden twilight.

Perspective – it changes everything :)

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Madurai, TamilNadu, India

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

April 12, 2019

Cosmic Unison

Some dreaming, some planning and a lot of waiting was involved for this shot. When I first got to visit this spot, I went crazy with ideas like a kid with cotton candy. Of those, capturing this beauty under the cosmic stars was on top. This past weekend everything came together to make this possible …

The temple was just couple feet away while the milky way was 25,000 light years away. The temple was constructed around 1000 years back while the milky way is from a couple million years back. Separated vastly by space and time, yet in in cosmic unison – it was one beautiful sight to behold !

Being no moon, it was quiet dark. Hence decided to play with light painting to make the temple pop. To make it even sweeter, I had a lovely assistant who diligently worked with me thru the process. Having to accompany my son on his first night out and shooting stars was even a greater experience :)

 

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

    Vijayalaya Choleswaran Temple
Pudukottai, TamilNadu, India
March 19, 2019

Merku Gopuram of Meenakshi Temple

This shot is just part of the base 2 tiers of the 9 tier Merku Gopuram (west tower) of Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai. The temple complex spanning 14 acers – has 4 nine-storey gopurams (outer, raja), 1 seven-storey gopuram (Chittirai), 5 five-storey gopurams, 2 three-storey, and 2 one-storey gold-gilded sanctum towers. Each one compete and excel at being more intricate and detailed as the other.

Though there are references to Meenakshi Amman temple in literature going back to 6th century, these were restored back to its pristine glory in the 16th century, when King Thirumalai Naicker came back to power in Madurai. What awe-inspiring structures, with-standing the test of time. With such intricate work, would you believe this was conceived and constructed centuries ago ?!!!

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 76 mm : f8.0 : 1/125 sec

    Merku Gopuram, Meenakshi Amman Temple 
Madurai, TamilNadu, India
March 3, 2019

Kotravaleeswarar Temple of Koviloor

The Koviloor temple of "Sri Kotravaleeswarar" was initially built by the Pandiya King "Veerasekara Pandiyan" – approximately thousand years ago. Legend says that once when King Veerasekaran was on his hunting at this place, he lost his sword and later recovered it. The temple was raised for the lord who helped recover the same. And hence the name Kotrai vaal eeswaran Temple !

The temple tank right in front of the temple called Madhu Puskarani, is one magnificent structure. The pretty mandapam backed by the row of coconut trees, reflected in the sparkling waters is a sight to behold, especially during sunset.

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/4 sec

    Madhu Puskarani, Kotravaleeswarar Temple
Koviloor, TamilNadu, India
February 18, 2019

Divine Island

Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam (வண்டியூர் மாரியம்மன் தெப்பக்குளம்) is a temple tank located near to Vandiyur Mariamman Temple and situated at a distance of about 4 km from the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai. Teppakulam, literally translates to temple pond and is mainly used for devotional festivals. The tank is connected to Vaigai River through an ingenious system of underground channels. This was constructed by the King Thirumalai Nayak. One of the largest Ganesha, the Mukkuruni Vinayagar in Meenakshi Amman Temple is said to be found when this tank is dug in 1645.

As a kid, I had seen this pond often used as cricket playing field. But when filled with water, the artificial tank makes the temple within – an island and is a sight to behold. An walk around this would take 30 minutes and would be awesome during early morning or evening times. The place is filled up with lot of road side shops to eat and walk with. If the tank is filled with water and the climate is breezy, you definitely would enjoy this spot !

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 172 : 4.73 mm : f2.2 : 1/50 sec

    Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Madurai, TamilNadu, India
January 30, 2019

Alone by the Gulf

This is from few years back. Photographically not a great shot. But this brings back candid memories from the sole road trip, chasing some light and lightning !

 

The twilight Sun, wears the veil of the rainfall
Thunder, though distant, rumbles across the Clouds
The rolling waves, gently crash across the feet
The gentle breeze with its tropical warmth, caresses the face
And I realize – I am no longer alone :)

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

    Alone
Naples, Florida, USA
December 30, 2018

Center of my Universe

You are not at the center of The Universe, but you definitely are center of your universe :)

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 188 : 5 mm : f2.2 : 1/13 sec

    From Above
Sakleshpur, Karnataka, India
December 23, 2018

Iraniyur

Just a short drive from Karaikudi is lraniyur, which hosts this lovely Aatkondanathar Swami temple. As the first rays of the sun hit, birds chirped all around, accompanied by the cool and pristine breeze – one is just teleported to a different world and time !

The history goes that Lord Narasimha incurred a dosha for killing demon Hiranya. He worshipped Lord Shiva for relief. Lord Shiv granted darshan to Lord Narashima and cleansed him of His dosha.

DJI Mavic Pro : ISO 100 : 5 mm : f2.2 : 1/190 sec

    Iraniyur
Karaikudi, TamilNadu, India
December 11, 2018

Vivekananda Rock by twilight

In a conflict between the heart and the head, follow your heart. – Swami Vivekananda

 

Eight years back, when I visited Kanyakumari, I did not get to actually visit the Vivekananda Rock. Back then, I had to settle for the view from ashore. It brought back memories from my childhood visit – the grandeur mandap, the towering pillars, the roaring waves, the serene & the cool rock – were all etched in my memory.

So this time around, when the chance presented itself, I was more than eager to get out there. But, I was a bit taken aback, on how things had taken a turn. From the confusing ticketing queues (one for the ferry and one for the entry at the rock, makes one wonder why someone would take a ferry and avoid entering the rock) to the huge crowds this place draws, the experience is no longer pristine. It was really sad that sitting in silence or meditation was no longer allowed on the grand hall and the so called meditation hall, set up down below makes one claustrophobic.

Don’t get me wrong, the rock and the mandap is still an awe inspiring structure.  Actually the design of the mandapa incorporates different styles of temple architecture from all over India. You definitely should visit if you are around in Kanyakumari. But at the same time, the experience is no longer as serene as it used to be. For now. given a choice, I’ll settle for the view from ashore and hold on to my memories :)

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 125 : 76 mm : f6.7 : 30 sec

    Vivekananda Rock
Kanyakumari, TamilNadu, India
November 8, 2018

Pristine beaches of SC

Nature has its way of taking care of things, all we need to do is not interrupt :)

Bulls Island, is an undeveloped barrier island within the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Its one of the most pristine spans of coastline on the eastern seaboard. Its seven miles of beaches include the famed Boneyard Beach, where the remains of surf-battered trees are littered across the sand. To add to that, after each high tide, every corner of the beach is restored to its immaculate state :)

To preserve the wildlife and its habitat, Cape Romain is closed from dawn to dusk, and no camping is allowed on the refuge islands. Hence not many get to witness sunrise on the pristine Boneyard Beach.

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

  Boneyard Beach
Bulls Island, South Carolina, USA
June 6, 2017

Falls by the backyard

Not everyone is lucky to have a lovely waterfall in their backyard (literally),
And only some are magnanimous to open their home and lawns (again literally) to allow strangers to come in and enjoy the same.
As for myself, am just grateful to be able to visit / capture such spots and share with u all :)

 

This beautiful waterfalls – Eastatoe – is from the backyard of a lovely neighborhood, by the border of South & North Carolina. Although there are no signs along the road, the owners do welcome visitors, to share their treasure. The drizzling rain and floating fog, added a magical mood to the scene.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f8.0 : 20 sec

Buy Print    Eastatoe Falls
Eastatoe, North Carolina, USA
May 24, 2017

Just by the Roadside

You can make all the plans, but you never know what is in store.

After a lot of deliberate planning, decided to head out to the Jumping Off Rock. Starting off with delayed rental, to the not so dynamic sunset after the long and bumpy drive, the day just fizzled out. The next day when trying to chase waterfalls, the rain decided to chase us. But luckily along with rain – the mist, rolling fog and views like this – just by the road saved the day. Here it is – a view just by the roadside, from Carolina Mountains :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 160 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/90 sec

   By Hwy NC-28
Highlands, North Carolina, USA
April 24, 2017

See you at Sunset

“See you at Sunset !” – This iconic phrase has embodied the spirit and history of Key West since the event took off in the late 1960s ! The “Key West Sunset Celebration” is a nightly festival @ Mallory Square. It hosts visitors from all over the world, to take part along side with local magicians, jugglers, clowns, psychics, local musicians, artists and food vendors, that combine for an incredible cultural experience.

But for me the sunset itself was iconic enough. I preferred the nearby Fort Zachary Taylor State Park (which probably is the true south most point in continental US, as opposed to the one commercialized at Whitehead street ). It too was a bit crowded, but much less touristy than Mallory Square.

There is something magical about Key West Sunsets, wouldn’t you agree :)

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 22 mm : f4.5 : 1/10 sec

   Fort Zachary Taylor Park Beach
Key West, Florida, USA
April 12, 2017

The Pier of Clearwater

A trip to Clearwater, FL would not be complete without a visit to Pier 60, especially during sunset. It is as if the pier was put here, just for the sunsets! It was a bit touristy for my liking. But still, it was one of the best spots to enjoy a sunset by the Gulf Coast.

In addition to being a great place to relax during the day on Clearwater Beach, Pier 60 turns into a daily festival of sorts two hours before sunset and two hours after.

It is easy to believe we are each waves and forget we are also the ocean.

Canon 7D : Canon 10 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f8.0 : 1/10 sec

   Sunset by Pier60
Clearwater, Florida, USA
December 13, 2016

December Super Moon

For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us :)

– Richard H. Baker

The last quarter of 2016 had been treating us with Super Moons. To the casual watcher it does not make much of a difference in size, but it does give an excuse to go out, shoot and enjoy.

All the planning did not come together during Oct and Nov, as the weather Gods had other plans. The third and final installment of this supermoon trifecta adored the sky earlier this evening (Dec. 13, 2016). And Oh boy, was it awesome ! 

This is not a composite (not that there is anything wrong with composites). But it was much more fun and challenging to plan and get it all together, restricting to a single focal length.

As I came to the spot shortly before the moon rise, was worried the anchored boat would be a hindrance. But once I walked around, the composition fell in place – and in this case, I feel it adds to the scale of the shot :)

 

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 320: 270 mm : f5.6 : 1/8 sec

Buy Print    Moon Rise 12.13.2016
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
October 19, 2016

First Strike

Just because you
didn’t see me
Doesn’t mean that
I wasn’t there

Did u know that on average there are 25 Million cloud-to-ground lighting hits per year or  ~48 strikes per second … and that is only counting continental US. Still I had managed to capture only a very few till date, this being the first strike ;-)

Being one of the most unpredictable forces of nature, lightning storms present unique challenges in photographing them. Lightning is probably happening all thru the day, but is more rewarding to photograph them once it is dark or during twilight, when the foreground accentuates  the composition. I had been trying to capture lighting for a while now, but it all came together only this particular evening at Everglades National Park. How do u like it !

 

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 15 mm : f5.6 : 4 sec

   

Pine Glades Lake
Everglades Wilderness, Florida, USA

September 11, 2016

Turquoise Gem of Agumbe : Jogi Gundi

Deep in the forest of Karnataka there are some pristine spots, largely untouched (yet). Jogi Gundi is one such lovely waterfall tucked in the wilderness of Agumbe. The Jogigundi Falls is located around 3 km from Agumbe. Situated on the way to the Barkana Falls, it can be reached by a small trek of around ~500 mts.  When the conditions are right, you can also enjoy swimming in the turquoise green water. Even during the monsoon time, water was inviting and pretty refreshing from the afternoon heat.

I was lucky to visit the place, at the right time, when the water was just right to highlight the beautiful structure of the waterfall, while the entire surrounding was still lush green from the rains. Heavier rains would definitely make it more majestic, but also would increase the challenge of accessing the falls. Also heard that the leeches might decide to join the trek, if the rains are continuous :)

Be advised and cautious. This is a rain forest.  You are entering the habitat of the wild. Respect their place & space. Leave only foot prints and carry back all that u carry in, along with some lovely pictures & memories!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 10 mm : f22 : 1.0 sec

Buy Print  Jogi Gungi Waterfalls
Agumbe, Karnataka, India
September 5, 2016

Iconic Skyline of Dubai

Generally urban cities each boasts an iconic skyline. But Dubai – it boasts a skyline where ever u look ! From being a dry desert in early 80’s to being the world’s biggest shopping & transient travel hub now – these skyscrapers play a vital role in making Dubai.

The effort to capture the iconic buildings started much before I landed here. Thanks to Google maps & street views, most of the planning was done even before I boarded the plane. After reaching out to couple of friends and scouting the location on street view, it was a matter of getting to the spot at the right time and pray that the visibility was good !   

When I got in the cab and asked to dropped on the side of the road @ Palm Jumeirah, the cabbie might have thought I was crazy. He asked several times if there is an restaurant or an hotel I would need to get dropped … Eventually he joined me in enjoying this lovely skyline view and did drop me back at the next stop :)

The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is the world’s only 7 star hotel and designed to resemble a billowing sail . At 1053 feet (321 meters), it dominates the Dubai skyline making it the fourth tallest hotel in the world. Tried getting in, but looks like one cannot even enter without a reservation ! Though the visibility was reduced , Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) adorns the distant skyline. At 2722 feet (837 meters) and being the worlds tallest structure, it houses a combination of residential, commercial & business entities. With both Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa this view definitely makes one iconic Dubai skyline.

 

Dubai was totally the opposite of what I prefer in travel – simplicity, native, one with nature – but somehow it made me intrigued. Was surprised with how much you can see and do in Dubai even in a short time.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100: 59 mm : f5.6 : 30 sec

Buy Print    Dubai Skyline
Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
July 17, 2016

Striking Sunset @ Everglades

Driving this past weekend was like a theme park ride. During thru the afternoon thunderstorms, the rain was lashing quiet heavily. All that was visible were the blinkers from the car ahead. Even with that visibility the traffic was flowing at 70 mph & there was no way to slow down. Once in a while, the lighting would remind and highlight miles of everglade wilderness on the right. Listening to beats of the AR Rehman , interrupted by the  far thunders – it all was like a adventure theme park ride :)

Was planning for the sunset, but driving for hours with out knowing, if the clouds would indeed open up, in quiet daunting :) Racing with time, arrived at the pristine lake just in time. But the horizon was still cloudy.

As the sun started going down, the sky towards southwest cleared & the colors started to bleed. Then something peculiar happened, the break of clouds, around the horizon added the much needed depth and the clouds were backlit with subtle shades of the pink. It was interesting to watch the sun set in a veil of clouds.

Finally, as I was trying out a time-lapse, the lightning from the distant storm made it for one Striking Sunset, with some pristine reflections :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 15 mm : f22 : 1.5 sec

     Pine Glades Lake
Everglades Wilderness, Florida, USA
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