Saturday, May 20, 2017

Reaching Roots

Facebook notifications, Youtube alerts, Whassap notifications, all steal our time. We are in a state of continuous engagement and have no time for stuff that make less noise. Even on vacations, we mostly stick to the most publicized landmarks, get a selfie and get out. But sometimes interesting pictures happen where no one's looking :)

In my small hike around the much publicized Balanced Rock in Garden Of Gods, Colorado, I found these cute small trees. As they grow on the beautiful pink rocks and scarce mud to suck nutrients from, the root stretch out to maximize their opportunity for getting food.

I held the camera very close to the ground with a wide angle lens to make sure it was catching the evening sky with clouds that was lit by the setting Sun. It was difficult to see through the viewfinder and so I had connected my SLR to my cell phone to view live for composing.

This picture won the best Pictorial image in Houston Camera club in May 2017.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Last Flight

Maui has a lot of tourist beaches with beautiful sand, and gentle waves generally popular with the tourists. Though I would love to stretch out on one of them, I find them boring for photographing. This is one of the beaches that has the dark, rugged lava rocks jutting out from sand towards the ocean. As I stood towards the almost edge, I hoped that the waves not scoop up my tripod and camera. They were becoming more rough by the minute. I had lost my tripod and had received two bleeding wounds when a wave shoved me on a rock in California's coast. I stood here shooting for a couple of minutes more and then hurried back, avoiding the wet and slippery rocks. After a few minutes, the place I was standing had been overpowered by the waves. The title was inspired by the birds flying out of the island at sunset. Were they flying home to Kaho'olawe, the island that you see far away? Or were they flying out for a last catch of fish?


A ten minute drive from the famous Kaanapali beach with its Sheratons, Westins and Mariotts is the cute little town of Lahaina. It is one of those quaint towns that houses some eclectic tourists spots like a giant banyan tree, and lots of small streets with boutique shops selling super expensive flimsy clothes. The homes in between these shops are rustic with grass tufts on mud & stone fences but am sure are very expensive. Lahaina used to be the capital of Hawaii before Honululu. A 15 minute drive south of Lahaina is a long stretch of a coast with unnamed beaches. People who want to get away from the crowded getaway spots come here to laze around and do nothing. I found this location fascinating because of that trees that were short and warped, appearing as though individual pieces were twisted together to form the trees. One of these was lying down dead, as though trying to reach out to water.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What The Hobbit Saw

"How long have you been hiking?" I asked a hiker I met in Shenandoah National Park.
"57 days," he said, completely drenched in sweat, sporting an unkempt beard, wet hair, lean body frame and a heavy backpack that ran almost half his height that carried his tent along with other things.
"Wow. That's awesome. So you camp all nights?"
"Mostly nights, yes. Sometimes we stay in bunkhouses along the trail," he shrugged, as he stuffed some snack bars back to his backpack. It was apparent that he was accustomed to such questions.
"How many more days to go?"
"I suspect about 70 days," he said, "We plan to go all the way upto Maine." That would complete 2200 miles of hiking in the woods.
"Nice," I said, "Have you heard of Bill Bryson? I read his book on hiking the Appalachian Trail. Pretty good memoir."
"Oh! Yeah. He is a loser. He did not hike even a quarter of the trail,"the dude smiled wryly.

Murder and the Jellyfish

When you photograph things, sometimes you never know what you get. When I was a kid and went to a photography conference with my father, I remember a wizened old photographer with a goatee tell a story in his speech. The movie story is of a bored fashion photographer who wanders off from his models photoshoot and goes around the city photographing random things. He chances upon lovers in a park and takes their pictures. When he returns back home and prints the images in large sizes, he sees a dead body in the distant background of the photograph and the killer. And that is the beginning.
When I was busy photographing the sunrise, I missed the charming aquatic being in the foreground.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gold Rush

After returning from some great adventures in New Mexico and Hawaii the prior month, I was feeling the blues of Houston winter. Anything that I see or photograph here may not be as amazing as the surreal things we saw in Hawaii. Could I ever pull myself to shoot a landscape again in the Houston area? Such thoughts were swarming all over my mind, and I was using them as excuses not get up at 4.30 am on a cold Sunday morning in January. But recently I had read this book on procrastination that asked to consider the mindset of product versus process (nerd alert!!!). Product mindset was to expect a good picture as a result of going for the shoot, but process mindset was to just spend the next three hours trying to shoot without bothering about the result. I just got up and started driving towards the beach (nerd alert ends!!).

I walked around shooting in different places and people in the beach, finally trying to shoot this really low angle shot, hoping that the next wave would not drench my camera. The morning turned out to be a good bounce back.

The picture won the best Pictorial Image in projected images category in Houston Camera Club.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


It is frustrating when you spend a lot of time and energy to plan a trip to Alaska, and the weather plays foul when you finally reach there. But, "You might not like this weather, but the wild life loves it. The chances of sea life sightings are better when it is cold," said the cruise captain, much to our relief. Still, we worried that the visibility would be low, and the fjords more than few hundred feet away may not be sighted at all. Interestingly, the weather added to the mysterious play of the mist with the fjords, creating a surreal experience.

When the weather threw lemons at us, the fjords made the lemonade :)