Friday, March 20, 2009

Magic of light!

Photography is all about how one uses light and shades. In this perspective it is somewhat similar to computer science which is all about zeros and ones! :) Ok, that was a PJ, I accept!

They were lying in a plastic box, submerged in water for over 5 months! I was almost about to throw them and thats why I had opened that box. Luckily they were still good! Then only I realised that they were so beautiful!

As I had some time that night, decided to experiment with them by using different sources of light.

Arragment of these to have a pleasing composition posed an initial challenge. The presence of an additional variable - 'colored balls' were real challenge to place in specific places to enhance the viewing pleasure.

For this, I chose my 50mm lens which I love the most. As it was 11 at night and my mom was busy with some work to call it a day, I dint want to call her to help me out in holding the LEDs in different positions. Decided to do all the things alone!

When I switched off the main light and as the LED light fell at an angle close to ground, the magic started! Honestly, I never expected this to be this much spectacular! Holding the LED in one hand, away from the arrangement and using the other hand to release the shutter was fun!

Then I decided to go one step further, using two light sources! But, my problem was both were of different intensities. Now if I had used them from equal distance then the brighter was over powering the effect created by the smaller one. Decided to place the smaller one on a support at a particular position and I held the brighter one far away. The viewfinder was amazed by the result and was telling me to release the shutter! :) Result is below!

The couple of hours spent experimenting with light was very productive. Got to learn some important things.

It re-assured my belief that an image is all about how you place the subject and how you handle the light falling on it!

Hope you enjoy some images here.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dear departed!

It was my first love and I still remember the excitement with which I came back home after buying this.

I just loved it a lot and it will be very unfair to just say that it gave me a great company! It truly ruled my heart and had every reason to be happy.

I just loved its color engine and for a starter it was offering real good features. I still remember the days in monsoon when I made a trip to Western Ghats this guy was totally wet in rains but never complained a single day!

I had tested it in as cold as -30deg to +35deg and it was bang on target in every situation. I was impressed. This only made my love deep.

This truly fantastic friend of mine has finally departed last week!

What he left behind are some of the wonderful memories of my early learning days!

Long Live my friend!

I finally sold my D80 last week. It was a hard decision for me. But except for long tours it was keeping idle in my bag. Hence decided to put it for use in some other hands! My D300 must be feeling lonely now!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 5: The final Song! we were, on the last day of the dream trip to Bharatpur! We had only few hours to spend before we start our journey further to Ranathambore...and I had some plans in my mind!

As the day started it was time for me to forget my tele lens and take up my wide angle and macro. My plan was to dedicate the moody morning for making some landscape images and then as the light improves head for the boating to explore some macro opportunity.

I was impressed by the cycling in Bharatpur and wanted to do cycling any one of 5 days and today was my opportunity. I hired a cycle and having my Lowepro on my back I headed behind the cycle rickshawallas to catch up my team.

We had a team photo session and after having finished the session we all headed onto our own ways!

When you enter the park just few hundred meters ahead on the left you will find a dead tree standing.On all the days I was glancing at the tree and wanted to make an image of it but had reserved the last day for doing the same.

The Sun was just begining to show up! It was another delightful morning. There was less mist compared to the last day and in fact I was a bit disappointed with that! Thank GOD that I had made some images the last day and that reduced my guilt feel a bit for not utilizing the misty day!

Spent quite a some time there around and slowly started stepping my cycle ahead. I was silently enjoying the cycle ride as well. Birender, my rickshawalla was hosting Ganesh that day!

As the sun slowly came up, I reached the boating point and hired a boat. Luckily the officer agreed to issue a complete boat to me and I was preparing for some macro in the water.

I knew it would be a great challenge to attempt the macro sitting inside a boat! You will have loads of challenges to face - the boat will not be rock steady and you cannot use your tripod inside the boat, it is not possible! The water is no calm and the ripples spoil the show many times. I knew it is going to be fun!

As we started slowly, the resident King Fisher took off signaling that we are coming! A small blue King fisher was quite close and made me re-think about my decision of leaving my tele back at room! But I tried some wide angles with that but with no great score....kept headed front...

The boatman was silent and I had already made him clear that I was not there for CSE or KFs. I was there to photograph some water plants and insects! That puzzled him a bit as he might not have encountered any specie doing this kind of activity! He kept silent! I knew its going to be a damn borrrring round for him as he also cannot talk anything with any birds or others and about what I wanted he dint have any knowledge except a stare at me! :)

We were in the middle of the waters and I started searching for some macro opportunity. After some 15 min of search I found some dead mosquitoes and started shooting them. As I had dead stopped the boat, the ripples were disappeared and probably the boatman had slept ;) ! So the life around me slowly getting unwrapped and the skaters dared to come close. As I was shooting one mosquito, a skater suddenly appeared in the frame to eat it! That poor guy might have thought that I might steal his breakfast!

Then the small plants on the water, bearing the morning mist slowly started coming nearer, thanks to the wind. Their color pattern and the misty drops attracted me and I turned my lens towards them and made some image. I had no idea what my boatman was doing!What I only noticed was he was cautious enough to not to shake the boat, he was rock steady!

After making some more images I looked at the boatman and he was having an expression - 'what a pathetic job u are doing there, when you have loads of birds flying around you were clicking that dirty mosquito and the skater!' :)

Finally decided not to make him bored more and decided to head back with a conclusion that one has loads and loads of opportunity for macros in the waters of Bharathpur! Its just the matter of exploring it!

When I was back it was already 10:30 and I decided to cycle till the Kevaladev Temple and only watch all the things on the way! I had decided to rest my photographic brain and wanted to enjoy the place as a normal tourist! :) (You do need change sometimes!:) )

On the way I had a fantastic time with a great Nature Photographer Dhritiman Mukharjee and tried his 400mm f/2.8 for some shots and man! what a lens! Brilliant piece of glass and I was dumbfounded after seeing the results! After saying bye to him and his sister Moushmi, I headed towards the Temple where Pramod and Shiv were planned to meet and we had decided to return from there.

At 12:00 we had a last Tea at the tea stall and after a long sigh I was back on my bicycle heading towards the gate...with a heavy heart and loads of memories to cherish in the months to come..... and with a pledge that I will come to Bharatpur again....and again....and again....

Returned the cycle, payed the rent and headed to the hotel on foot....

Long Live Bharatpur!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 4: Owlet's day out!

Previous day we had heard that there were as many as seven owlets sitting together in the morning Sun! Have seen only couple few days back we were very eager to catch this 'gang' in our camera.

According to our plan, today was the day to head towards their place via Rambandh! We had heard that Rambandh is a very nice route which may sometimes yield some fantastic opportunities. As the rickshawallas are not permitted to enter that area (!) they only showed us the way and directed us to how to go and where and what to look for!

Already the morning was very fruitful with some good opportunities with the Nilgai in the morning sun, I was on my toes and as we stepped into the area it looked very promising! The trail was very picturesque and I was expecting Jackal to come through the woods towards us!!! If you think its too much of an imagination (I also had thought the same initially! :)) then you will be shocked to know that the same thing has happened actually! A lone Jackal came just on the path and as we were far it kept coming with ease and disappeared into the grassland again before I could make couple of clicks!

The morning mist was slowly unwrapping the surroundings and the big guy Greater Spotted Eagle was already on the hunt for ducks, probably for a breakfast menu!

Had some good time watching him though couldn't make any good images! So we headed towards the center of attraction and we knew that Ganesh was already there to welcome them! :)

When we reached the place there was only one guy and was happily enjoying the morning Sun. As we all took positions to shoot (sounds like military language right??? ;)) ---

another guy joined and we now had a good company to pose for us!

The opportunity was nice to make some back lit images as well and I tried couple of tries.We had seen another fella nearby who was sitting quite far and looked as if he was not interested in joining the group!

After about half an hour, the third guy finally decided to pose for us with the group! The company was amazing and we all enjoyed a lot! The trio were there at the place for quite some time before one of them thought of moving to a lower branch.

The branch that they were sitting was also very artistic and it appeared to me as the Hand of Mother Nature asking is "Whats happening here??"

After spending about an hour, capturing various expressions and angles we were waiting for something interesting to happen!

Nature pays well for the people with patience. This time also it dint disappointed us! A pair of Squirrel came into the picture and they seem to be not happy with the place where the owlets have occupied currently! So they wanted them to flush them away. They started coming to very close to the comfort of the bird but still they held their ground! We were all very excited to see what happens next! After few failure attempts the Squirrel gave up the job and slowly went back accepting its defeat!

By that time, the light was already getting harsh and I have decided to move ahead.

My plan was to walk on the brick road where I had a fantastic encounter with the Jungle Cat the other day!
The Brick Road had become one of my favorite trails in the high noon which gives good shade and controlled light to photograph in the high noon as well. Hence I was stepping towards the Brick Road and the Sun was already soaring high! My plan was to sit quietly for about an hour just to try my luck again.

As I entered the brick road, I saw a female Nilgai was standing on the road with a treepie on its back! The rows of trees and the path together were giving a very nice opportunity to make an image. I sat immediately to make sure that the Nilgai doesn't notice me immediately. Made some images and sat quietly. Unfortunately there were some tourists who came and spoiled the show. The Nilgai disappeared in the woods and there I was, sitting alone on an empty path now!

Wait of about an hour dint yielded much apart from a flying flock of Common Cranes. As it was noon, I have decided to step ahead and join my team for lunch.

On the way, got some good company of Pied King Fisher! As Pramod and Shiv were treading a longer route I had to wait for them to join me for lunch. So decided to try some luck with the PKF!

After lunch, my plan was simple - to spend the last Sunset of the tour by sitting at a serene place! I had decided the place as well and just after the lunch I took all the gear and spent the whole evening on the banks of a marshy land from where I could see a vast area and in one corner the setting of the Sun.

The sunset that day was also very colorful as usual and it was hard on our part to realise that the sunset we were witnessing was the last sunset of the tour of Bharatpur!

We were left with only half a day more the next day, before we start towards Ranathambore!