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26 December 2008

Nature Wishes Christmas

I hope everybody had a blast this Christmas. Find a piece published on Citizen matters on how nature wished everyone and created unusual patterns.

15 December 2008

learning Crop factors, 35mm and others, sensor sizes.

Today I got a moment or two and started “googling” & reading something on photography, which I normally do whenever I get time off. I think, when something gets to your mind, you sure love it. And I think that’s true vice-versa also. Whenever I get sometime, I read. I observe other’s work and also learn from other’s mistakes and magnificent shots. I came across an exceptional article related to the 35mm camera equivalence and also the basis of what’s known as Crop factor, sensor sizes and related factors. I was even more shocked, when to a reply of one person’s comments; Derek says that he writes those things professionally but since he is undergoing his cancer treatment, he is putting that on the blog, may be not able to work fulltime or so. What a spirit!!!
The article is worth the read and I wish Derek gets well soon and continues his regular chores.
You can find the article here.

13 December 2008

Another try, another failure- Puttenhalli Lake, Yelahanka Lake

(Click photos in the blog for Larger View)
I really do not know why i thought of writing about it. Probably a sense of responsibility towards other hobby photographers whose blogs and write-ups, i have always read to collect lot of information when it comes to places around Bangalore, or popular spots for photo shooting.
Until and unless, some one proves me wrong by showing a proof now, i would suggest "Dont head to Puttenhalli Lake". I am a little surprised as to why its been written on wikipedias of the world, and some official websites, claiming and holding this lake in extremely high spirits. I read on lot of places that there are plans of converting that lake into bird sanctuary. The memories are still fresh from the trip to puttenhalli lake, which went haywire when we could not find any traces of it. if you would like to read what happened this week, read on.
It was all going well when we decided for Agara lake for this Saturday shoot. Suddenly a compelling idea about Puttenhalli lake popped in. Google map also provided proofs that we just returned some meters before the spot, from where the probable lake could have come in sight the last time( last week) we went there. So, as the maps showed a huge Green spot around yelahanka, an air of optimism swept us, the plan was redrawn to Puttenhalli lake. We headed as early as morning 5:30 am on saturday. Cloud cover caught us skeptical. The wind blew past us and mist surrounded around the areas as we drove past the huge hebbal flyover. Soon we reached the spot from where we returned back, "Heritage Estate". We held our nerves and passed the first railway crossing. We held on to the road as we went past the second crossing. The densening of mist gave us some clue. This was the lake...the Yelahanka lake...We could see a huge lake but nothing near to us on this end..it was just a feeling of despair in the beautiful morning weather. we got off the bike and just took stock of the situation and introspected for sometime. Another idea clicked...the google map had also shown another way to this lake. Probably taking that may lead us near the water. And we set off again towards it. The map had shown a turning towards the left side after the Pipe factory, Yelahanka but then, the optimism flew off as i saw the factory to our right side, and then as YELAHANKA AIR FORCE BASE showed up, it was the time to pull over and turn back. We could make out that there was no way we were going on the right path.
On the way back, we tried finding any road which could take us to the lake, but in vain. uhh..what a bad feeling it was and the traffic had also started growing by now. almost 100 mins of driving around, a second try to find the place and there we were, on the way back. The sun had also not started to show up clearly, still being under a cloud cover. Finally not to miss the morning shoot, we thought of hitting back the Hebbal lake. It was a good shoot since the sun showed up as we parked the bike and entered the lake. here are some shots for your reference from the lake. I was able to do a good profile shoot of the Asian koel, a bird with whom i feel in love long back, but could get hold only this time. There were lot of Greater gray herons and Blue herons. The shoot ended with finally a good collection of some sunbirds, purple rumped sun birds, flowerpecker, asian koel, Red Lapwing, barn swallows, red whiskered bulbulls.

07 December 2008

Trip to Puttenhalli Lake, turned to Hebbal Lake

This Saturday, the setting was to discover the Puttenhalli Lake, Yelahanka. The websites spoke in high admiration about the place. It seems, there are some plans to convert this place into a bird sanctuary. Since have explored all the other lakes in the vicinities of the city already, wanted to check out the birds at this place which appeared to a Mecca for birding. Morning start, as early as 5 am was ideal and through the cold December morning, we cruised towards Yelahanka. But soon, everything fell apart. Most of the people on the road, didn’t know about the place and over and above, they were a little dubious of our tripod stand and bags carrying the cameras. Near the yelahanka bus depot, the duo of a driver and conductor guided us the lake site, but before that asked for our reasons to be the going there so early. As per their instructions, we were further caught in a jiffy, since the place now we reached was the Puttenhalli Layout , instead and could not sight any lakes around. We spent some 30 mins investigating and searching for the correct place. After a while, we decided not to miss the beautiful morning sun, coming out and planned to drive down to Hebbal Lake instead. (Please click for bigger size)
On the way, near a Shell petrol pump, with a Rs. 5 reduced on the price of Petrol, got some extra fuel poured into our drive. Soon, we found a suitable place to capture the full bodied Sun coming out. It’s been long time since I had seen such a sun. From my apartment, the rising sun can not be viewed when it is in its hues, so it was quite famishing to click and observed for sometime. Soon we continued to drive down to Hebbal and rushed inside, since the light now looked perfect even though there were couple of clouds threatening us.
Hebbal Lake looked to be over showered with water and those levels spoke for themselves. The light makes all the difference when you are clicking and this looked the perfect day. Pelicans motored around the lake in their ever grandeur. The coroments flew around in their same pose as if struggling to hold themselves in air. There were lot of cattle egrets and larger egrets around the lake, which are so white and serene and a joy to see in the morning. As we explored the insides of the park at the lakes, there was lot of noisy birds, which had they, activities in full swing. The famous Sunbird, Purple Rumpled Sunbird and the Purple sunbirds flew fast and looked always interested on the bottle brush flowers and swung on those. Sunbird is the signature bird of Hebbal Lake and so is the little green Leaf bablers. These are extremely swift birds and can be a trick to capture a good shot of these birds. We could sight some excellent Parakeets, and I have to mention that my best parakeet shots were taken on this very day. If the light added icing to the cake, I also took a very slow approach, crawling to catch the bird from as near as possible. Few other birds seen were the Red Lapwing, Asian Koel, Large Kingfisher, Herons in their varieties. The lapwings are flying creatures but they love to be on the earth and at the Hebbal Lake, they can be often seen come back to the circular park in the lake. I have sighted them almost every time I have visited the lake and this time, I could catch a good shot of these birds. In the end, we spent a little time shooting Macros with our model, a huge Spider busy handling traffic through the web.

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