April 24, 2017
“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
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
March 8, 2017
Once, while driving to Atlanta, the evening sky was so dramatic, that it would have been a sin not to stop. Luckily, Maps showed a blue patch near by, indicating a water body. But only in a crunch, you realize how much time it takes to drive up, even a few miles, when it is not the highway :) Shot this literally scrambling to find a spot, from where I had parked …
The light was fading down quickly and there was not enough time, but was real glad I had pulled over !!!
In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. – Deepak Chopra
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 160: 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/60 sec
|| Lake Hartwell State Park
Fair Play, South Carolina, USA
February 26, 2017
Starting from the political scenario currently here in the US, to that back home in Tamilnadu,India there seems to be lot of uncertainty.
Added to this, on the personal front, it has been one unexpected start of the year, with change in work and locations. Though it was unplanned, I realized that anchoring ourselves with an abundance of security can actually become a dangerous habit :) Agreed, Uncertainty is scary, but may be that is what keeps us alive … Uncertainty and life go hand in hand. So if you want to make the most of your life it is critical to embrace uncertainty.
I sure would miss the lovely colors of Florida Sunset, but am sure the sun does set every day, where ever you are :) So here is to life, embracing uncertainty & back to share sharing my shots from my travels ! Happy Living !
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 10 mm : f22 : 2 sec
|| Sunset by SandKey
Clearwater, Florida, USA
December 13, 2016
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
|| Moon Rise 12.13.2016
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
November 15, 2016
Fall colors do happen in Florida, it just happens in the sky and all around the year :)
The name Sunshine State might bring in memories of crisp & sunny days at beach, but Florida also is the home of some amazing & best sunsets. This was shot at a secluded spot, from a not very well know local beach. The low tide enabled the kids (look close, there are two of them) to play and venture out for shell combing. As the sun was fading behind the horizon, the entire sky burst in million shades of twilight colors. It was just magical :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 10 mm : f22 : 6.0 sec
Tarpon Springs, Florida, USA
October 19, 2016
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 22, 2016
Almost always, things happen for a reason.
For the remaining times, it still happens for a reason, but we just don’t know it :)
This particular evening, planning for a full moon shoot, I headed to Fort de Soto Park. But since it turned out to be pretty overcast by the horizon, decided to head to the other side of the island for the sunset. Turned out to be a great evening.
It was a nice walk by the waves, enjoying the sunset. As the sun was going down the horizon, there were these two White Ibis playing by the coast. Watching these guys was fun and in the end, it was just a matter of waiting for things to align. Glad it all came together !
Eventually, on the way back, we got to see the full moon in its glory too. After all, things happen for a reason :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100: 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/350 sec
|| Guardians of the Sunset
Fort De Soto, Florida, USA
September 18, 2016
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
|| Sunset over The World
Archipelago, Dubai, USA
July 17, 2016
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
June 8, 2016
This past weekend, got a chance to drive by Smokies. As with last minute plans, needed a few creative ideas to make it happen. One of them was to just drive around and sleep in the car as needed. One of the huge advantage of car camping, is that you are always just a door away from a night full of stars or floating in a mystic fog or waking up to lovely view like this.
After trying out some fun light experiments at the Clingmans dome, we decided to head out to NewFound Gap to catch some sleep. The intent was to be able to crash till twilight and be able to enjoy the sunrise from near a view point. But as it is aptly called – Smokies – the view was pretty covered with fog and overcast.
After some quick gamble, decided to see if we would have a better luck driving around. As we pulled out of the parking lot and within the next turns, we were greeted with this scene. The sun was just rising behind the mountains lighting up the horizon :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 250: 10 mm : f3.5 : 1/30 sec
|| NewFound Gap Road
Bryson City, North Carolina, USA
April 25, 2016
Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon ?
Great food, but no atmosphere …
I wonder how come its still full ;-)
After a couple of months, decided to plan for a full moon shoot for this year ! After scouting couple of locations, decided the Sunshine Skyway bridge would provide a nice backdrop. May be, without realizing, I was trying to mimic the mountains with this urban set up :). Anyway, weather had different things in store for the evening. It was so cloudy by the horizon, that the supposedly big moon, was not even visible during the rise. Then began a game of hide and seek. Eventually, she peaked out for a while, giving just enough time to capture this scene !
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 320 / 125: 169 mm : f5.6 : 8.0 / 1/15 sec
|| Sunshine Skyway Bridge
St Petersburg, Florida, USA
March 31, 2016
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.
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
|| Sand Key Park
Clearwater, Florida, USA
March 20, 2016
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
|| Sand Key Park
Clearwater, Florida, USA
January 24, 2016
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
|| Chicago Botanical Gardens
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
January 3, 2016
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
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.
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 1250 : 70 mm : f5.6 : 1/125 sec
|| Lava Flow, Ocean Entry, Kalapana Lava Refuge
Pāhoa, Hawaii, USA
September 14, 2015
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
|| Chicago Skyline
Chicago, Illinois, USA
July 31, 2015
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
|| Brewing Thunderstorm
Wolcott, Indiana, USA
July 15, 2015
The most fertile lands were built by the fires of volcanoes – Andrea Gibson
35 Years later, Mt St Helens is still recovering. It was interesting to read that time of the day (8:32 AM local time) and the season of the event play a lot in its recovery. Many nocturnal animals were already bedded down for the day and so were more likely to have been protected in burrows and to have survived the explosion than their neighbors up and about during the daylight. You just don’t think about that; that’s a chance event – But then nothing else is by chance either :)
Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 12 mm : f22.0 : 30.0 sec
|| Mt. St Helens
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA