Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas, lights and shooting bokeh!

Merry Christmas folks! The Festive season is here...the holiday season is here...I love the lights.Christmas always brings that jolly good feeling...I can't remember not cutting a plum cake...nostalgia of good old childhood days and school days

"Oh, jingle bells, jingle bell...."

Setting up our very first Christmas tree this year was really fun...but this time I was aiming to get some good bokeh shoots. Frankly, the world of bokeh is amazing, it fascinates me. 

Bokeh always is associated with background, so in the picture with the wine glass...I decided to do something different...make it the central element of the picture and make it work..the light source inside was a single LED

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge - Day 2

What can you do different when shooting the iconic Golden Gate Bridge?'s been shot atleast a million times now! Of course..try shooting it at sunrise or sunset...there is quite some drama in the sky and in the ocean !

Having missed the sunrise at Fort Point ( disastrous way to start a "photography trip" ), off we set to step foot on the iconic landmark. Morning and mid-noon was spent covering the span of the bridge on foot...beautiful weather again. Nothing like standing on the Golden Gate Bridge with the wind in your face, sounds of the traffic on the US 101...and a hot cup of tea in you hands... heaven! Finally I found out why the "Golden gate bridge" was actually not golden...

SFO Day 2 _Midnoon

Come sunset, and we were headed towards Marine Headlands- mainly the Hawk Hill lookout (GPS coordinates - 37°49’40.29N 122°29’57.75W) and Battery Spencer( 37°49’39.32N 122°28’53.67W). Perhaps the best place to shoot the bridge even during a fog. I love this city, it's got so much of beauty to offer. Shooting long exposures of the bridge at sunset was a fantastic experience( fingers almost numb with the freezing wind and cold...and no cup of tea :(   )

I was quite satisfied what what I I know I have to capture that sunrise at Fort Point the next time I visit SFO ( a reason to visit :D )

SFO Day 2_Night

Saturday, December 03, 2011

San Francisco - Day 1, Nobb Hill, Fishermans Wharf

After driving through a torrent rain entire night on Interstate 5 with visibility almost nil, we arrived after midnight at San Francisco . Our accommodation was in the Nobb Hill area. The advantage of booking your accommodation here is most of the must see tourists sights are easily accessible( Fisherman's Wharf, Cable Car Museum, China Town and of course the Golden Gate Bridge).

Breakfast was at The Crepe House on Polk Street. Polk Street and its vicinity definitely rocks!  Polk Street is fun, great photo opp for street photography. Their egg plant crepe with fresh basil and tomatoes was lovely. The cafe boasts of lovely rich and colorful interiors . The building right at the corner of Polk and Washington looked Victorian and enticing to shoot a HDR here.

The weather was fantastic - I still receive queries on how the hell did I get such a clear blue sky which is depicted in my photos of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Apparently this is not typical of SFO . Well... what the heck - I tell people I was looking to shoot in the fog( which is typical of SFO), so now it boils down to "being at the right place at the right time"'s tough to explain to people that one shoots landscapes only at sunset or sunrise...

SFO Day1

Lunch was at the Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe on Market Street - famous for its San Francisco sourdough French bread. Loved the ambiance here. Quite surprised to see bread in various forms and shapes - that of starfish, crabs, aligators and crocodiles - the Wharf has it's effect on the Boudin bakery as well!  The famous Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf within walking distance was our next destination. A bit disappointed with the much talked about Ghirardeli Chocolate factory - the factory is closed now. There's a chocolate shop "The Original Chocolate Shop". 

SFO Day 1 Blog 2_2

San Francisco's maritime museum along Pier 45 - the USS Pampanito a World War 2 sub. By this time, I was in love with San Francisco - this city has life and a fresh air. A place I would love to re-visit anytime. The weather was fantastic - I still receive queries on how the hell did I get such a clear blue sky which is depicted in my photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

SFO Day 1 Blog 2_3

Tunnels always fascinate me. A stop by at the Japanese Tea Gardens proved fruitful. I love tunnels...I always find them sinister. Finally, I was looking forward to shoot the Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach. Not quite sure of the place, I planned our visit  an hour in advance before sunset :) Very very fruitful I should say, I was quite happy shooting the bridge at sunset with 4 photographers alongside me. Quite an achievement for Day1

SFO Day 1 Blog 4

Monday, November 21, 2011

San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge - Day 1

The Golden Gate Bridge ....from my early childhood days of my fav author -  Alistair Maclean's novel "The Golden Gate" , I had a  fantasy of visiting this place. What I dreamt was a "golden"  Golden Gate. Only Maclean could conceive such a devious  plot , I still remember the faint memories of a submarine waiting under the bridge to pick up the President

Well, now on my 2nd visist to SFO and armed with my 40D and a 16-35mm f/2.8 Canon and with my partner in life along, I could'nt have asked for a better visual come true Maclean story.

Possibly the most beautiful and certainly the most photographed bridge in the world. On our 1st day, we started off with a bay cruise from the famous Pier 39 that took us right below the bridge, around the Alcatraz and back again. A lovely sight, I could understand why every individual on that boat wanted their photographs clicked with the iconic symobol of San Francisco.

Golden Gate Bridge

After having shot the bridge ( that was shot atleast a million times), we set off to Baker Beach. They say the Baker Beach is the best places to shoot the bridge with many different variations  of foreground elements. During sunset and after the  water recedes, the Golden Gate Bridge reflects in the wet sand , creating a lovely reflection and dance of lights. My MANU cap came useful since I could'nt find any foregroud element (drift wood...footprints etc). 

GPS coordinates: 37°47’27.81N 122°29’2.30W
Just after sunset which was around early 5:15PM, the beach was empty. Uncomfortable with the thought that we were going to be alone shooting the bridge on a cold night, the sight of 3 fellow comrades with tripods and camera gears brought a delight to our faces

Golden Gate Sunset

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Fall Colors @ Eastern Sierra and Mammoth Lakes

Last weekend saw us setting of to Mammoth along with Seb,Milgy and ET boy  to capture the Fall colors. Perhaps we were searching for water in a desert, Fall was past peak in Mammoth. But the small pockets of Fall colors around the June lake loop and Bishop county were pleasing to the eye .

Fall Colors

Mono County had its share of Fall colors as well. Stopping at the first signs of fall colors along the US 395 was fun. 

Collage 2

Linking to Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Fall back in with the seasonal drinks...

The holiday season is here...every Fall I look forward to my favorite pumpkin spiced latte at the local Starbucks outlet. Starbucks goes through a phenomenal change from fall to winter...the interiors look fabulous

Fall in with the seasonal drinks

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ostrich Farm and Lavender Farm

Feeding ostriches can be fun...apart from this...a visit to the Ostrich farm can be part of your itinerary if you have nothing else to do in Solvang. 

                                                     They like to bite

Not sure if this is ubiquitous of Solvang, the ever popular yellow,blue,green chair trio has a place also outside the Lavendar farm now. The lavenders were not at full bloom yet, but I was inspired and impressed by a biker who came all along to buy a  bottle of water from the farm

A long ride back home...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Solvang - it's all about vineyards, wine tasting and wineries

Hopping around the wine country, the rich Santa Ynez valley boasts of some of the finest premium wines in the world. Our first visit was to the Gainey vineyard - they even have a demonstration vineyard just outside the tasting room. We loved their tasting rooms and the picturesque view of the mountains. Luckily, the grapes were perfectly ripe for us to pluck them right off the vineyards

Wine Collage 1
                                                       Harvest time

The Foxen Canyon road has some of the best wineries in Solvang. Drive at a leisurely pace and you will definitely enjoy it. The Firestone vineyard was our next destination - loved their red Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Collage 2

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Solvang - the quaint little Dannish village

Last weekend saw us setting off to Solvang. I wanted to "kill" this lovely Dannish village one last time from a photography perspective.As always, Paula's Pancake House was the fav breakfast destination. The buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and the whole wheat & honey pancakes were our delight. Stork on the rooftops , the Danish inspired windmills were a treat to the eyes while we awaited our turn at the restaurant


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The first rains...and a monsoon vacation

The intoxicating smell of the first rain....aaah... could not have asked for a better holiday package. Kerala and Goa are the best holiday destinations for the monsoon. Accompanied by our monsoon wedding - this was one of the best vacations I have ever had. 

Monsoon Blog 1 Colorful umbrellas all over the house ( considering the fact that there are 4 naughty brats), wet cloths that never seem to dry looking rich and colorful, the lush greenery that greets you, the reflections of the coconut trees in the paddy fields, 'chakka vevichathau' ( a yummy jackfruit dish) and hot hot chaai whever you go, the delightful smile on my little niece's face as she experienced her very first monsooon in God's Own Country ....
If this is pleasure - I hope it rains every day.
Monsoon Blog 2

Friday, June 17, 2011 the sky

Whoever it was...was thoroughly enjoying himself up above...I was loitering around the Walt Disney Concert Hall...looked up and was delighted to see this little fellow making these patterns in the sky...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Venice Beach - all about Graffiti and its colorful boardwalk

I love the Graffiti here..totally cool...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Venice Beach - the funky town and its street performers

Was at Venice Beach a few weeks ago with Sebu ( I love this beach for the fact it is different from all other beaches in LA. It's not the surf or the scuba divers or the snorkelers or the LA  girls that attracts tourists's the street performers, musicians, jugglers and the funky shops  along the boadwalk that makes this beach so famous. The funky town!

Stroll along the row of seafront businesses (are they really all tattoo parlours?) and take the opportunity to people-watch in one of California's more unique communities

Reminded me a bit of the beaches in Goa...very lively. The boardwalk performers are an amazing lot..making their living out fo their suphuman acrobatic feats !
Venice Beach and its street performers by PC - My Shots@Photography

The brave volunteers by PC - My Shots@Photography
Venice and its beach/street performers by PC - My Shots@Photography
midair by PC - My Shots@Photography
The take off by PC - My Shots@Photography
 Touch down by PC - My Shots@Photography
landing gears by PC - My Shots@Photography