Monday, December 24, 2007

Photo Hunt - Theme 'Light'

'Light' is the subject of this week's Photo Hunt.

Capturing light and its amazing effects on Nature requires both patience and luck. The best time for nature photography is during sunrise and sunset. It is not without reason that these times are called 'Golden Hours' by photographers. At this time, the sunlight is not harsh and hence the details are not washed out. There is an interesting mix of light and shade, more so when cloud patterns form myriad textures. Here is an example -

Photo Hunt

Taken with Nikon D40X with 18-55 AF-S DX Lens fitted with Tiffen 0.3ND filter

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time Is Not An Issue

Digital clocks, multifunctional (calendar) clocks, neon clocks, quartz clocks, this clock and that clock - but what can beat the charm of an old cuckoo clock?

This is a shot taken at a cuckoo clock shop in Interlaken, Switzerland. The clocks, we were told, were manufactured in Black Forest (Bavaria, Germany). The clocks are all handmade. They do not have any electronic circuitry and therefore don't need batteries. The gears are driven by a mechanism of chains & counterweights - to wind the clock one has to simply pull on the chain once each day.

And yes, I did buy one for my home too :-)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Photo Hunt - Theme 'Small'

This week's Photo Hunt theme is 'Small'. Somehow I struggled to identify a photo that would fit the bill. I am not very good at shooting macros, which I think would have been the best bet.

Then I settled on choosing the following shot. This is a baby Himalayan Leopard, and being small (in size, and in age!), I hope it matches the theme.

Even if it is a baby, the big cats are always a sight to behold. Sadly in India their numbers are dwindling rapidly. Rapidly growing human population is resulting in alarming deforestation and loss of habitat. Poachers are at large too - skins and all other body parts of a big cat fetch a fat price in the market. Coupled with that is lackadaisical governance and lack of public awareness.

The question is how much longer will these gorgeous creatures be able to hold out?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Shots from the Past - 4

The Nobel Prize is probably the highest recognition of human excellence. Yes, there are conspiracy theories and some odd omissions. But if one thinks of the great men and women who have been awarded this Prize over the years, there can be no doubt of the collective contribution they have made to human society.

When I visited Stockholm, Sweden in July, 2005 I had the privilege to visit the Stockholm Concert Hall. The Hall is the home of the Royal Swedish Philharmonic Orchestra. This is where the Nobel Foundation honours the Nobel Prize recipients each year on December 10, on the occasion of the birthday of Alfred Nobel, who instituted this Prize. The Nobel Peace award ceremony though is held at the Town Hall in Oslo, Norway.

When we reached the Concert Hall, the Hall had already closed for the day. But on hearing that we had come all the way from India, and perhaps seeing the disappointment on our faces, we were let in! The Director personally walked us through the Hall and even let us get on the stage itself. It was a extremely kind gesture from her, and something which I will never forget. I was really moved to stand on the very stage where so many of the great men in human history have been honoured.

More from the Shots from the Past series here

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Photo Hunt - Theme 'Long'

Have been out of blogging action for about two weeks now. Work took me away from Calcutta for a while, hence the ceasefire. Hope to make up for the lost time by posting regularly from now on.

In line with this week's theme ('Long') here are two shots, one in color and one in B&W. These shots were taken at Muir Woods near San Francisco, California. These trees are called California Coastal Redwood or the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). They are the tallest variety of trees in the world, growing to a height of 50-85 metres, on average. Sequoia's are found mostly in California and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

When you walk through Muir Woods, these tall (and I mean TALL!) give you the impression that you are entering a cathedral or a hall with huge high doric columns. Being there made me feel small and humble - could not but help wonder again how wide & wonderful Nature's creations can be.