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Monday, 25 April 2011
Scenes from Valparai
Category: Nature 'n Landscapes

Valparai is one of those beautiful hill stations, still relatively unknown. I managed to visit Valparai, once again as part of a roadtrip touching Valparai, Athirapally, Thattekad, Rajamalai and Bodimettu. While driving from Valparai to Sholayar / Athirapally, the road goes through many tea estates. The endless layers of green carpet and the deep blue sky turned out to be a great combination:

The pics are taken using the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L wide angle zoom lens, fitted with the Tiffen 82mm Circular Polarizer for the first time. Especially when its quite bright, the circular polarizer is quite handy. The pic is taken in Av mode, f/8, ISO-100 for a 1/60s exposure.

A little later, I was near a lake and tried to use the circular polarizer for a good reflection shot. I did not like the drum when I saw the picture for the first time, but later, I felt that the drum made the frame a little different from what I normally do. This pic also comes at a very similar settings, Av mode, f/8, ISO-100 for a 1/50s exposure.


Posted by usandeep at 11:59 PM
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Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Ball of fire is #250
Category: Nature 'n Landscapes

This is my 250th post! Its been more than a decade since I was having my personal site Sandeep 's World, but Thru' the Lens was started only in Oct 2007. To say the least, I thoroughly enjoyed the learning from and sharing with fellow bloggers / photographers. Thanks to everybody who follow this blog.

The 250th post is a sunset from Mt Abu, during our Jaipur - Udaipur - Mt Abu trip. This was indeed one of the best sunsets I have seen, but the scene lacked any interesting foreground and I finally decided to click just the sun for a change! Its a little strange that the edges of the sun is very imperfect and there is a gradual gradation of color as we move down. I guess, this is the effect of clouds.

The pic comes from the Canon EF f/5.6L telephoto lens and I clicked it in Manual mode. Even at the lower end of the horizon, the sun was quite bright and I needed ISO-100, an f/9 aperture and a 1/4000s shutter for this capture.


Posted by usandeep at 8:30 PM
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Friday, 15 April 2011
Red-wattled Lapwing at Udaipur
Category: Birds 'n Animals

During our stay at Udaipur, I thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast time, during which we could spot a few birds. If, on day 1, the distinguished guest was a White Wagtail, on day 2, it was Red-wattled Lapwing.

I first spotted these birds at Nagarhole two years back (see 'Red-wattled Lapwing from Nagarhole') and this time, I could identify the bird instantly. The pictures are taken using the Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L telephoto, handheld in Manual mode.

Lighting was pretty good and I managed an f/8 aperture for both the pictures, which is pretty much the best aperture for this lens. The first picture came at ISO-400 and 1/800s, while the second one came at ISO-200 and 1/500s. Both pictures were cropped (3888 => 1500px) using GIMP.

Also, wishing everybody a nice and propserous Vishu.


Posted by usandeep at 5:16 PM
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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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