Desktop Wallpaper – December 2013

I digged up this image from my trip to Ladakh last year. This is the river Shyok, flowing through the Nubra valley. The typical desert climate of Ladakh region is evident in the image. The blue river flowing through the arid high altitude desert makes for a unique scene that is quite common in the Ladakh region elsewhere too – Rivers Indus and Zanskar, for instance. Click on the image for a larger resolution that could be saved as a desktop...

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Nature and Nirvana at Chikmagalur

It was a short family trip to Chikmagalur, we were a big group of 30 and were to stay at a homestay called “Nature Nirvana”. I was a bit skeptical about the homestay itself after a recent bad experience at a Madikeri homestay (Honeypot – DO NOT venture here!). But, being located almost 35km away from Chikmagalur, this place was literally in the midst of nowhere and it indeed was nirvana amidst nature! The place was awesome, and so were the caretakers – super nice and accommodating. I did not expect to spend much time on photography on this trip, but the place seemed to have a wide variety of photo opportunities. Though I did spend most of the time with family people – chatting, playing, etc – I did take my camera out on a few occasions and here are a few images. Yeah – so that is where we stayed. Very pristine location indeed. The view behind the homestay was stunning....

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Desktop Wallpaper – October 2013

A very lean month this, photography-wise – bogged down with work and personal commitments. Here’s an image of a young hand trying to learn the wares of pottery.

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Desktop Wallpaper – September 2013

The foggy Point Reyes national seashore,...

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Gorur Hemavathi Reservoir

A short visit to the Gorur Hemavathi Reservoir After a couple of photos of the Gorur Hemavathi reservoir being full and the splendid view of water gushing out from the dam’s crest gates made appearance in newspapers last week, I decided to pay a visit. But, to my misfortune, rains had decreased over the past week and the dam’s crest gates remained shut. But I was lucky enough to get a chance to visit the upper-level of the dam and have a look at the other side of the reservoir filled to the brim ( with more rains expected next week! Too bad, I do not have time off to visit the place again anytime soon 🙁 ).   Backing up a little bit, I took help of Google to guide me to the Gorur Hemavathi Reservoir. It took me via Channarayapatna, Hole Narsipura, which was supposedly shorter (instead of via Hassan). There were a lot of bad patches along this stretch, but the surroundings more than made up for the bad roads. Lush green fields, some ripe with fresh crops, some still being ploughed and seeds sown.   In one particular village near Hole Narsipura, we saw a field with Shavantige flowers (Chrysanthemum). These flowers were is several colors – Yellow, Lavender, White – but the yellow ones were the most in number.   On reaching Gorur, we were first met with disappointment seeing no water coming out of the dam’s crest gates. But, the trip to the upper level of the dam made up for...

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Lalbagh Flower Show, 2013

Lalbagh Flower Show, 2013 This time, during the Independence Day flower show at Lalbagh, Bangalore, the central theme was the Kerala-style houseboat decorated with roses of various colors. It was a riot of colors at the Lalbagh glass house, and having gone on a weekday, the crowd was sparse. Many people taking pictures of the flowers, some having pictures of themselves taken against the backdrop of the flowers, etc. While wandering around the glass house, I found a person diligently arranging different colored pebbles and a few small flowers in the shape of Lord Ganesha. When I requested him to look up for me to take a photo of him at work, he was overjoyed and immediately obliged. I guess not many people would have asked him to pose for a photo. Here are a few more images at the flower show. If you are yet to visit the flower show, please do make some time and head over to Lalbagh within the end of this week....

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Desktop Wallpaper – August 2013

The corridors of the Queen’s bath at Hampi. Click below for a high-resolution...

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Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal

A trip to heritage towns of Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal Badami, (and the surrounding Aihole and Pattadkal,) are well-known for the historic Chalukya dynasty rule between 6th and 10th century. The places have almost equal doses of history and mythology behind them. Boasting of several UNESCO world heritage sites, Badami is famous for its rock-cut temples made right out of huge monolithic red sandstone boulders. This and several other historic remains that were left behind during the Chalukyas rule, beckons all avid travelers towards Badami. When Darter announced a travel photography workshop at this destination, I had no hesitation in signing up immediately. The idea of traveling with a group of like-minded individuals, focused on photography is a novel one. And add to that, a chance to meet and interact with people from potentially diverse backgrounds is intellectually stimulating. Having traveled and enjoyed a similar travel photography workshop at Hampi with Darter’s Arun Bhat last year, with his experience in travel and photography, one could be sure that this would be a fruitful travel opportunity photography-wise and one is sure to be at the right place at the right time to create good photographs. The tour started with us checking-in to the Heritage Resort on Jul 5. We had a leisurely session on photography and some basic guidelines on making good images from Arun. More than concentrating on the technicalities of the image-making, emphasis was given to the creative part of the process. Armed with some new-found knowledge, we headed out to put them to effective use – at Aihole. Aihole was the first capital of the Chalukyas. They built several temples here and have experimented with various styles of  temple-building. The experience gained from building temples here would help them build the grand temples that now adorn Pattadakal. Here are a few images from Aihole. After finishing up at the temple complex, we stopped at a nearby village and tried to capture the scenes from a typical village life. I don’t have images ready yet – perhaps I’ll post them separately, recording my attempt at capturing people and their lives in a village. We reached our hotel around 8pm, had a modest dinner and retired for the day. We had an early start...

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Desktop Wallpaper – June 2013

A breezy morning atop the himavad Gopalaswamy hills,...

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Desktop Wallpaper – May 2013

A beautiful dawn as the first rays of sun cast a golden light on the strewn boulders in Hampi. As seen from the Matanga hill.

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Printing photos (Archival Printing)

How I got into the archival printing In the past, I had tried my hand at getting photos printed for various reasons. I’ve tried getting photos printed from vendors like Printo and GK Vale, in various sizes – A4, 12″x18″, etc.  I was happy with the results I got out of them, until recent times, when I was introduced to the world of Archival photo prints. I had heard about the term and read about it on the website of a fellow photographer Pratap (you can read about it here). I decided to give it a try and got a bunch of my photos printed on archival grade paper. The outcome was stunning. The difference between these prints and the ones I had got done through other vendors were visibly stark. Those earlier prints seemed totally unattractive and un-engaging in front of these archival prints. From then on, I’ve got a selection of my photos printed on archival paper at regular durations. Mind you, its not cheap, but I can say that its worth every rupee you spend! If you are a serious photographer, even though you may be a hobbyist, it makes sense to print a selection your photos every now and then. Have a look at my print collection: If you wish to try out getting archival prints of some of your images, do get in touch with...

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Desktop Wallpaper – Apr 2013

This one’s from my visit to Point Reyes national seashore, California in 2010.

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Desktop Wallpaper – Mar 2013 (and then some..)

This one’s from my 2010 visit to Switzerland. Seen here is the observatory at Jungfraujoch – nestled snugly amidst snow clad Alps. Among other things, I set afoot into the “thirties” – felt like I jumped ahead 10 years in a matter of a single day! I suddenly feel wiser and saner – not sure if that’s a good thing though. We’ll see. Hoping to myself that the following may be the most interesting decade yet… Anyway – after the small digression, here’s the image – please click on it for a full-sized download....

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Desktop Wallpaper – Feb 2013

A secret place near Channapatna, Karnataka. Beautiful spot to view sunrise and sunset. Seen here is a pre-dawn, long-exposure shot. Even though it was a long-exposure shot, the perfect stillness in the air made for a crisp image. Please click on the image below for the download of full sized image.  

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Desktop Wallpaper – Jan 2013

A new year will soon be upon us. Here’s wishing everyone a very happy new year, in advance. I’ll start providing monthly calendar desktop wallpapers for download from this site. Starting off the series is an image of Shanti Stupa in Leh, Ladakh. Click on the image below to obtain the wallpaper sized file.

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Chikmagalur – The land of hills, lakes and coffee

Chikmagalur Travelogue It was quite some time since I made a leisurely trip someplace. The Ladakh trip in June was awesome but not too long after that, I wanted to get out of the city again – someplace calm, serene. Chikmagalur was a destination I always had at the back of my mind. Ever since I last made a trip to Kemmangundi, the place has kept beckoning me to come back again. I had told my wife about the awesome time I had during that trip to Kemmangundi, not just once but many times over and over again. That had got her ever intrigued and she made sure we picked Chikmagalur as the destination this time. So, we were headed out on a fine Thursday morning, only to return back the following Sunday evening. We had 3 full days at our disposal. An ideal trip, for me, would be made of equal parts of excitement and relaxation. I always am on the look out to visit new places, during the wee hours of a day when there’s not too much crowd thronging all over the place. We had not made any concrete plans as to what places we would visit. But we did book a homestay, a little away from the town’s bustle. On all the 3 days we had, we were out exploring places in one half of the day while we relaxed at the homestay in the other. On the way to the homestay, we saw a beautiful lake. But being tired of the drive from Bangalore, we let it go thinking we’d come back later in the day during the evening. After resting a while, we got back to the lake by around 5 in the evening. There was an old rusty board by the lake telling us its name – Hirekolale Kere. Accessible by a narrow bund, one can either walk or (the more adventurous can) drive a car over the bund to explore the lake as it presents layers of hills behind it. As the sun started to go down for the day, the play of the angular light and the water was spectacular. At one end of the lake was a garden like boulevard and late in the...

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