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Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Pichola Lake at Night
Category: Lights 'n Shadows

One of the highlights of our Jaipur - Udaipur trip was the ropeway connecting the sunset point and Karni Matha temple. We were there at the right time - just when it became dark and the lights at Pichola Lake made it so beautiful.

The one thing I missed was a tripod! But, I somehow managed to place the camera on top of a dilapidated wall and take a few shots. This particular pic was taken from near the Karni Matha temple, using the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L (macro) lens. I used manual mode for this shot and an f/6.3, 1.6s and a ISO-100 exposure.

Posted by usandeep at 11:26 AM
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Friday, 8 April 2011
Boating at Pichola lake
Category: Travel 'n Living

One of the best experiences during our trip to Jaipur - Udaipur, was the evening we spent around Lake Pichola in Udaipur. This is a beautiful lake right next to the city palace and we took an hour long boat ride around the lake.

We were inside one of the boats and this other boat apparoached us. It was about 4.30 and sun was quite bright - so I opted for a silhouette shot. The pic is taken using the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens, handheld in Manual mode. I used a f/9 aperture, 1/800s shutter and ISO-100.

Posted by usandeep at 12:17 PM
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Monday, 4 April 2011
White Wagtail at Udaipur
Category: Birds 'n Animals

Saw this little white birdie at Udaipur - during our Agra - Jaipur - Udaipur - Mt Abu - Delhi trip.

Its a tiny bird, about 6 inches long and busily moving around. The tail is typical of wagtails and I could easy identify it as a Wagtail. The pics are taken using the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto lens. Even with the 400mm, I had to move closer to get a clean shot of this little birdie. I used Av mode, with a ISO-100 and and f/8 aperture.

The light was good and the camera chose a 1/1000s shutter speed for both these shots. I also did a little cropping (3888 => 1500) using GIMP.

The bird is surely a White Wagtail, but I am not sure which sub-species. My guess is that it is a White faced pied Wagtail or Amur Wagtail - scientific name Motacilla Alba Leucopsis. Can anybody confirm or identify it as another subspecies?

Posted by usandeep at 8:12 PM
Updated: Tuesday, 5 April 2011 1:19 PM
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Monday, 28 March 2011
Sunset at Hawa Mahal
Category: Cities 'n Architecture

Our guide at Jaipur told us that there is nothing much to see at Hawa Mahal and we almost believed him! Only on our last day at Jaipur, we stopped for a few minutes at Hawa Mahal and while my family went for shopping I wanted to check out the Hawa Mahal further ... and came back wondering how somebody can say 'there is nothing much to see at Hawa Mahal'!

It was just about sunset time, when I was climbing the stairs to get to the top of Hawa Mahal. This particular pic comes from the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L lens, with the camera handheld in Manual mode, f/9, 1/250s and ISO-200. The original pic is slightly brighter than this and I regret not having tried a darker exposure. After a little bit of tweaking in GIMP, this is what I got. The color fringing is more visible after the tweaking and the grains have also become a little more pronounced.

This pic is more of a lost opportunity for me. In hindsight, I should have tried a darker exposure - something like 1/1600, f/9, ISO-100. Atleast, I should have used raw mode!

Posted by usandeep at 5:48 PM
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Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Eurasian Collared Dove
Category: Birds 'n Animals

Spotted this bird outside our hotel during our stay in Jaipur:

The bird seems to be picking up props for a home! After some google / wiki browsing, we (thanks to Sudhir for the help) could identify the birds as a Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia Decaocto). Apparently, this bird was only found in Asia a few decades back, but now, it has colonised almost all of Europe. The male and female are supposedly identical and difficult to distinguish. So, I cannot say, if this is a he or a she. The pic is taken using Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L, handheld, Manual mode, f/8, 1/500s, ISO-800.

Posted by usandeep at 8:30 PM
Updated: Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:34 PM
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Sunday, 20 March 2011
Little Girl at Chokhi Dhani
Category: People 'n Portraits

One of the most enjoyable portion of our Jaipur Trip was Chokhi Dhani - especially the Rajasthani fancy dress. We all dressed up in traditional Rajasthani attire and clicked some pictures as well (see 'The Avatars' for one of our poses). But, we were not the only one posing.

This little girl first posed with her parents and then went for a solo. I was ready with Tiju's Canon EOS 500D, fitted with the Canon EF-s 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS zoom lens and could not help notice her twinkling eyes. It was quite dark, if not for a beam aimed at the fancy dressers. I used Manual mode exposure at f/6.3, 1/20s and ISO-1600. I am sure, the IS helped.

I was glad that we used Tiju's camera for these shots. Mine (EOS 400D) could not have worked for anything more than ISO-800. That also tells me - its time to upgrade the camera!

Posted by usandeep at 9:26 AM
Updated: Sunday, 20 March 2011 9:36 AM
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Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Silhouette from Fatehpur Sikri
Category: Cities 'n Architecture

Our second stop during the Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Udaipur - Mt Abu trip was at Fatehpur Sikri, but we reached there almost mid noon - not at all the right time for photography! So, I decided to try out some silhouettes.

Both the pics were taken using the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens. I chose manual mode to get the silhouette effect and used ISO-100, f/10, 1/2500s for both the pictures.

There is some flare in the picture, which I was not expecting from this lens - may be I did not use the hood properly! Also, the black spot to the lower left portion of the sun in the first pic is a crow. 

Posted by usandeep at 1:25 PM
Updated: Wednesday, 16 March 2011 1:27 PM
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Friday, 25 February 2011
Bleed Blue ... Bunny Teeth and the Rockstar!
Category: People 'n Portraits

For the last few months, the only photographs I have taken is of Manu ... and I now have a few pictures to post!

With the ICC world cup fever catching up ... what better ways to support the India team than to join the Bleed Blue campaign! Manu had his 'Men in Blue' t-shirt for a while now. To get him to pose for a 'Bleed Blue' poster was Preethu's idea. All the best wishes for the Men in Blue from us!

With my dark blue blanket tied to the window and used as a background, I placed Manu on the bed. He was only too happy to jump around in the bed. This shot came after he stood up following a somersault!

The shot comes with the Canon EF-s 55-250mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, which I borrowed from Amit. I had been using this lens for a while now, mostly borrowed from Amit or Tiju (see 'Birthday Bash' for another pic using this lens), and finding it extremely suited for portrait photography!

I was using a Vivitar 285HV bouncing off the ceiling and used Manual mode in camera. The lens works best with a lower aperture and I chose an f/8 aperture. Manu was moving fast and I needed ISO-400 to accomodate a 1/125s exposure. The lens was set at its widest focal length of 55mm.

Even with the blue blanket, I had to clean the background using GIMP and then I picked up the 'Bleed Blue' logo from an ad. Hope its not in violation of any copyrights as my intension was only to support the campaign and wish good luck to the Indian team!

This shot is using the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens, set at 35mm. I had the Vivitar 285HV bouncing to give me good lighting and used a f/5.6, 1/40s, ISO-200 settings in manual mode. The background in the original shot was a little cluttered and I had to clean them up in GIMP before using a background from another image.

This pic is also the most edited one of the lot. With Manu moving around so much, it was tough to get him against a clean background. All I could do was cleanup the clutter from the background using GIMP. For this particular shot, I even had to paste his left feet from another shot as it was cut in the original shot!

The pic is taken using the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens, set at 23mm. As always I used the Vivitar 285HV for lighting and used the manual mode - f/6.3, 1/40s and ISO-400.

Posted by usandeep at 1:50 PM
Updated: Friday, 25 February 2011 2:20 PM
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Thursday, 17 February 2011
Taj Mahal again ...
Category: Cities 'n Architecture

This should ideally have been a Valentine's day post ... so consider it as a delayed V-day post!

On a trip to Jaipur, Udaipur and Mt Abu, we also were also in Agra and visited the one and only Taj Mahal. I wanted to do something different this time - like cross the Yamuna river and shoot the Taj Mahal from across the river. But then, we did not have much time in Agra and I had to be content with the usual angles.

During the couple of hours we spent in the Taj complex, the best view was from the 'Jawab' on the eastern side of the Mahal. The lighting was perfect and the three-pillar view was unique. This particular shot was taken with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle lens kept at its widest focal length. The camera was set at Av mode, f/8, -1 Ev, ISO-100 for a 1/640s exposure. I chose to make it monochrome just for a change.

The arches inside 'Jawab' gave me a perspective which was hard to ignore. The settings and the lens was same here, except for the -1 Ev - 16mm, Av mode, f/8, ISO-100 and 1/320s.

Posted by usandeep at 6:21 PM
Updated: Thursday, 17 February 2011 6:35 PM
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Friday, 10 December 2010
Water water everywhere ...
Category: Nature 'n Landscapes

One main feature of our Muthappanpuzha - Kalladi trek was the heavy rains we encountered on the first day. There were numerous streams on our way and with the rains, water was gushing out of everywhere. Here is two of the stream shots I liked from this trek:

This pic comes at Av mode, f/7.1, -1 Ev exposure compensation, ISO-800 for a 1/30s exposure. At the closest focusing distance (0.28m), the magnification of the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens is 0.22x and I was as close as I could to the subject.

The second pic is how one of the many streams en route looked like. Crystal clear and ice cool water flowing through rocky terrains and lush greenery on all sides. The settings used is Av mode, f/5, -2 Ev exposure compensation, ISO-800 for a 1/10s exposure. 1/10s is little on the lower side, but I guess I managed to get this frame without much blur.

Like I was mentioning in the earlier post (see 'Life in a Jungle'), I was only carrying the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens. A macro lens and tripod could allow me to take better photographs here ... but then ... the one I carried was the only practical one to carry for the trek.

Posted by usandeep at 12:01 AM
Updated: Friday, 10 December 2010 4:52 PM
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