Everyone eventually dies,
But only a few make sure they lived.
|Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
When life knocks you down, just roll over and enjoy the stars :)
This shot is from a few years back, when I was out at Trillium Lake to enjoy the Perseids Meteor Shower. Being my first night-out shooting, I consider myself lucky to have captured the Perseids. It really did not start out that way. The first half of the night was more of hide and seek, as the meteors were adorning the skies, especially where the camera was not pointed at. I was much worried that the possibilities would only go down, as the moon was coming up.
As the night was wading, the moon was coming up the horizon. But only after I decided to stop chasing the Perseids, did I notice that the moon brought in Venues and Jupiter along, in a lovely celestial alignment. As I zoomed in to capture the night sky along with the Moon, Venue & Jupiter – a Perseids – decided to join the show too. I couldn’t be more glad, when all things came in alignment :)
Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the more consistent meteor showers in the northern sky. Its coming up in a few weeks (Aug 12-14, 2015) and the waxing crescent (3%) would not be hindering the same. Have you planned where you would be enjoying the show from for 2015 ?!
| Trillium Lake
Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA
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 :)
|Buy Print|| Mt. St Helens
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA
Getting to Mt St Helens by itself is fun. The Highway 504 enroute is just perfect – be it bicycle, motorcycle or a casual car drive. It has some sweeping turns and plenty of turn offs at viewpoints to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Pacific North West. The drive up takes you to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. A little rustic building filled with history and even more adored with a picture perfect view of the Mt. St. Helens.
The volcanic eruption of the 1980 created a huge crater, losing almost 14% of its elevation and resulting in the flattened top. The debris spurred around for ~250 miles, impacting the entire ecosystem. Even today, after decades, one could still witness the ashes on some part of the wilderness trees. Each element around – the landscape, the deteriorating but majestic trees, the mountain, the fissures of lava – each remind us of the power of nature.
The sun actually sets behind you as you enjoy the mountain view. But this particular evening the light was just magical and it was fire across the sky. Given the vicinity to the visitor center and the concrete paved walkway, it lends itself well for night photography, especially if ur worried to hike up in the dark. It is amazing to view the milky way above St. Helens. Additionally the expansive view also opens up possibilities for some creative panoramas too :)
|Buy Print||Sunset by Mt. St. Helens
Mt. St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington, USA
The perks of shooting out the whole night is that you don’t need to wake up early to catch the sunrise ! After chasing the perseids over the night, it was well worth stopping by at Jonsrud Viewpoint. With a view like this, just a few steps from the parking, this spot never disappoints !
It was quiet cold for a summer morning, the sun was coming up in the horizon and kissing the valley with its golden light. And as if to respond the blanket of fog started rolling, without haste to reveal the Sandy river below. As I walked out that mid summer early morning, this is what I saw !!!
|Buy Print||Jonsrud Viewpoint
Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, Oregon, USA
all week for Friday
all year for Summer
and all lifetime for happiness …
|Buy Print||Harris county forest preserve
Yorkville, Illinois, 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
Holi is probably one the most enchanting of the festivals originating from India. It is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month. It has pretty much moved all around the world, across cultures and was celebrated last weekend. Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant powders at friends and strangers alike, marking the beginning of spring and the triumph of good over evil. Holi is the time to unwind, de-stress and bond with sweets, Thandai and colors. The celebrations at the Greater Hindu temple of Chicago was equally exuberant, very much like last year (you could also read more about the festival here). Below is the Photo Essay of the event from this year ! Happy Holi !!!
Lot of folks were so open to being photographed and even asked where they can get the shots. If you were one of them feel free to get yours here.
Collect moments, not things !
Slow down, enjoy the view , have a drink :)
There are several view points and highway pull outs from where views of Mt. Hood can be enjoyed. But Panorama view point is probably on the top of the list. It is not very well known, probably because the directions to the same are not well marked. But being so close to Hood River and the Hwy 84, you could just drive up to enjoy the view right from the car. Or just get down and plan to have a drink at the picnic tables while enjoying the view !
|Buy Print||Panorama Point County Park
Hood River, Oregon, USA
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
Know the diff between Science and science fiction : Science needs to sound and feel real to be accepted.
In the same lines : Photos need to feel and look real to some extent. But the painting is not restricted by these views.
I had been fascinated with painting from young age. I am grateful to have had my chances to play around with the same during my childhood. Growing up, I lost touch with most of these, dabbling only occasionally. There is something magical about working with art that is physical like drawing, painting, pottery or crafts. Something is missing with working on the computer as compared to the old school hand work. But given the constrains especially on time, and to kindle some of those experiences decided to take up digital equivalent, rather than missing out completely.
Have been working on the digital watercolor over the last year, trying out different techniques to get the feel right. It is no way complete and am trying out different things & refining the process, but do love the options it opens up ! It is different, personal and all the more fun. Hoping to create more art of these kind in future.
This week post is watercolor on paper based on the shot from the same location that I had posted earlier. The clouds and the light was changing so rapidly. It was literally a splash of colors. That is the mood I had wanted to share. How do u like it … Looking forward to your comments and feedback :)
Watercolor on Paper
|Busse Woods Lake
Elk Grove, 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
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
The moment you stop running , you start seeing …
A drizzling afternoon is definitely a best time to shoot flowers. The overcast weather diffuses the light, but there is still enough light to shoot @ f5.6. The rain saturates and pops out the color. Below shot from The Chicago Botanical Garden is from one such afternoon. This is right out of the camera except for the copping. The background was from the distant cherry blossoms :)
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 320 : 155 mm : f5.6 : 1/250 sec
|Buy Print||Chicago Botanic Garden
Glencoe, Illinois, USA
Trillium lake is one of my favorite places from Pacific North West. For folks that are not from around here – this is one lovely spot located at the higher elevations of the Mt Hood. Its unique location makes it a great spot – be it an ideal summer fun afternoon, or a leisurely walk in the evening or some boating / kayaking. Being away from city lights it is also a great place for some amazing night photography. This shot of Perseids Meteors shower and milky way was from from this same spot !!!
Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f10 : 1/50 sec
|Buy Print||Trillium Lake
Mt Hood, Oregon, USA
I was not able to shoot as much during this spring. Hence sharing some tulips from the last season. Wooden Shoe Tulip Farms is a lovely place to experience spring. This beautiful Tulip fields is just an hour drive from Portland, but has quiet a view. You could just take a stroll, smell some tulips, run around or just sit and enjoy a sunset. Wanna know more about this lovely place and read more – Click here.
|Read More||Wooden Shoe Tulip Fields
Woodburn, Oregon, USA