Saturday, October 06, 2012

4PM Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery - Santa Monica [EAT]

Food photography - a visit to Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery, Santa Monica

A lovely contemporary restaurant with a great feel

1. Warm house made brisket sandwich on ciabatta
2. Carrot tea cake
3. Quinoa cake 
4. English Breakfast tea 


Friday, September 28, 2012

3 Perfect Days in New York - [TRAVEL] NYC Day 1

Day 1 Front

[TRAVEL] Day 1
A visit to the Big Apple was on the cards for quite a few months now. Juggling between hectic project schedules, can or can we not time it with the US Open, looking for a rainy day in NYC (lol...just to shoot a sea of umbrellas in Times Square) - we finally planned a visit to the Big Apple sans the above "perfect" conditions

We stayed in a place called TriBeCa in lower Manhattan. With the subway just minutes away - we found this an ideal location and was quickly able to figure out "Uptown" and "Downtown". New York's Chinatown meets Little Italy  at Canal Street - and this was our landmark

For me NYC meant - yellow taxis, bustling streets, mad rush,  subways and A,C,D,E,1,2,3 trains, skyscrapers that block sunlight out and of course street food. The zeal and zest of NYC reminded me of India ( rather Bangalore). To quote a friend "No city in the world makes u freeze in the moment like the way NYC does".

We explored Day 1 at a leisurely place - starting off from Canal Street to the World Trade Center,Financial District, the much sought after Isamo Naguchi's Red Cube - the height of which draws ones attention upwards to the skyscrapers on all three sides and  gawked at  Wall Street in the evening.

Day 1

I love the ubiquitous NYC street scene - hailing a taxi. I love to see the bright yellow cabs whizzing by and grinding to a halt at the very first instance of a hand being raised. 

We then took the subway to Empire State Building - a brief halt for NYC's famous pizzas before arriving  atop the 86th floor of the Empire State Building to catch the sunset. The very 1st pic above was shot half an hour after sunset though this came with a costly price. Just after the shutter- my lens hood slipped off the cam and dropped neatly down from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building into the darkness - echoes by the "oohs" and "aaahs" of the crowd who witnessed it. A disappointing feeling - nevertheless replaced with an excitement of the lights coming on .
"No city in the world makes u freeze in the moment like the way NYC does"

With time on our side - we decided to drop by the brightedly illuminated hub of Broadway and the worlds most visited tourist attraction "Time Square" . Enjoooy the pics !

Day 1 - evening and night

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Urban Lights - a forest of city lights

This was my second visit to the LACMA. Quite amusing when we arrived here - coz there were around 50+ photographers . Apparently, there was a photography meet up group happening here - experimenting with flash photography on a model. Atleast 10,000 photographs would been shot in a span of 1 hour.

The "Urban Light" art installation at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Arts) is fast becoming an iconic Los Angeles landmark. This forest of city street lights, called “Urban Light” was created by artist Chris Burden.

They are switched on every night from dusk until dawn. A great place to visit during evening, the lights against the "blue hour" of the sky makes a great picturesque view after sunset

Blog 1

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Facebook Page

Announcing My Facebook Page "PC-My Shots@Photography"

Finally, I've decided to move on to creating my own Facebook Page. I go with my Flickr and blogspot user name (PC-My Shots@Photography)

If you like my photographs, feel free to "like" my page below
Announcing my Facebook Page

Monday, May 21, 2012

[TRAVEL] Seattle[Washington] Day 2

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Mount Vernon, WA

The song "Dekha Ek Kwaab" from the Bollywood move Silsila  was shot in the Keukenhof tulip gradens in The Netherlands. I had always wanted to see the acres and acres of tulips - Netherlands still remains a dream destination. When my friends in Seattle had posted a few photographs of tulip gardens  a couple of years ago - I decided to visit Seattle in conjunction with the famous Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Mount Vernon.
Day 2 of our travel saw us waking up at 4:15 AM to catch the breaking dawn. We left Seattle at 4:45AM to drive to Mt. Vernon by road. Reached Skagit Valley at 5:45AM. Spent 15 minutes searching for this particular spot below along Bestroad to catch the sun rise.
The sun just broke out and we parked along Bestroad around 6:20AM. Got the sun flare shot below around 6:25AM. Though we missed the sunrise and was late - I got a few good shots.

The 2 flower fields - Rozengarden and Skaget Valley receives hundreds and thousands of people who come to enjoy the celebration of spring. I'm glad we caught the sunrise , the golden light was perfect to shoot. Along within the company of atleast 50 odd photographers, I've never felt this comfortable -  far away from the maddening crowd that thronged along during day time


Thursday, May 03, 2012

[TRAVEL] Portland, OR Day 1

Pioneer Courthouse Square, Japanese Tea Gardens
After a scrumptios lunch from Broder Cafe, our bellies full ,we  drove over to Pioneer Courthouse Square/Portlands Living Room. 

Portland's "living room" is a great spot for people watching. A few folks were happy to pose for my cam :) Folks having their lunch,a just married photo shoot session...everything was happening here. The semi-circle of around 2 dozen steps, the open mouthed copper dragon - accurate in its stormy and rainy weather prediction -, the outdoor chess tables and Portland's iconic "Umbrella Man" or "Allow Me" -  we were fascinated by this little city. Most people just call him “Umbrella Man” because it’s the statue of a man hailing a taxi (apparently for an out-of-town visitor) while holding an umbrella.

He seems to be a local icon - one that captures the "everyday civic virtue" aspect of Portland's self-image. Everyone seems  to like him - a regular guy in a suit, seeing someone in need and trying to be helpful. I guess that's what it's about. The central location probably helps too.
Day1-Travel - 1

Portland's Japanese Tea Garden - located in Washington Park - is the perfect epitome of harmony and tranquility. Every inch of this garden is beautifully landscaped. I felt the entrance fee was a bit expensive.
But I've also heard it is the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan itself! The entrance fee then does justice! If you have lots of time  - then you have to visit this place
Day1-Travel - 2

Friday, April 27, 2012

[EAT][TRAVEL] Portland, OR Day 1

We started our first day in rainy Portland - the bike city. A lovely drizzle greeted us as soon as we stepped out of PDX. Ravenous and famished after missing our early morning flight - first stop was Broder - a Swedish restaurant for breakfast.

The weather was getting really beautiful after the early morning drizzle. The drive from PDX to the cafe was lovely - lush greenery all around. The place was packed - but the wait was worth it.I had read a lot about Broder and its yuminess ( I rate their food very high, possibly one of my fav eateries so far in the US)

Their Danish pancakes, baked eggs, Swedish Meatballs and Vegeterian Pyatt  were absolutely yummy. Great atmosphere, nice and warm on a cold rainy day.

2508 Southeast Clinton Street
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 736-3333


Our bellies full, we explored the vicinity. I love Portland - for its bicycles and its "bike boulevards".
Day2- Travel

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Pioneer Courthouse Square...more fotos in the upcoming blog.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Vishu  is a Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala. My childhood flashed before me when we started the preparation for this years Vishu. The roles were reversed - I was  no longer the kid who was awaken from sleep at dawn by his parents :( 

Childhood is such a funny phase - some memories are as fresh as this morning. It was with glee and excitement I looked forward to Vishu every year. Sole reasons being the Vishu Kaineettam and Vishu SadhyaIt is a gift of money given to children by the elder members of the family - something which I would await for a whole year. The Malayalam word kani literally means "that which is seen first", so "Vishukkani" means "that which is seen first on Vishu".

The Vishukkani consists of a ritual arrangement of auspicious articles like raw rice, fresh lemon, golden cucumber, arecanut, metal mirror, yellow flowers konna (Cassia fistula),fruits,vegetables and a holy text and currency and coins, in a bell metal vessel called uruli in the puja room of the house.

On Vishu, the custom is to wake up at dawn and go to the puja room with eyes closed so that the Vishukkani is the first sight of the new season. An auspicious kani (first sight) at dawn on the Vishu day is lucky for the entire year.And it is such a beautiful sight that greets your eyes.
Vishu - blog

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Carlsbad - the flower fields

Come spring and I have always heard about the famous flower fields at Carlsbad in California. Apart from spending 15 minutes two years ago(then a bachelor!) during a "dead spring" in the flower fields and then hoping off to the shopping outlets nearby - the flower fields were a strict "no-no" and a "disinterested" subject to me.

Come spring 2012 - and here we were waking up early and driving 2 hours to "the flower fields". Crowds of flowers and people greeted us! Definitely once a lifetime visit - says the married man! :D I also quite forgot the fact that as a photographer - I started off by shooting flowers to death :)
Flower fields 1
I am also grateful to what was once a boring subject - shooting the flower fields turned out rewarding monetarily as well. The pink flowers photograph above went for a "$85" sale!!!! Of all the photographs I have shot...gosh!!! Lessons learnt - do not forget your  roots and spend time to shoot the mundane :)
Flower fields 2

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

San Pedro and its tryst with the Korean Bell of Friendship

Currently living just 45 miles away from this great photography location, it took me almost 4 years to visit the Korean Bell of Friendship located at San Pedro :D

Fantastic spot to capture sunsets and especially get those sweet HDRs. The Korean Bell of Friendship is a massive bronze bell housed in a stone pavilion in Angel's Gate Park. Resting peacefully on the knoll overlooking the sea gate from which U.S. troops sailed into the Pacific, the bell site affords an unsurpassed view of the Los Angeles harbor, the Catalina Channel and the sea terraces of San Pedro hill. The bell is rung only four times each year: the Fourth of July, August 15 (Korean Independence Day) and New Year's Eve, and every September to coincide with bell ringings around the country to celebrate Constitution week.

The architecture of the stone pavilion housing the massive bronze bell is a beauty to be marveled at. 
For all those in LA - Angels Gate Park in San Pedro is a fantastic sunset spot...the stone pavilion works as a great silhouette. The fantastic colors at sunset is a sight to behold

Need to get more such sunglass shots next time ;)


Linking to Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The different faces of Mickey Mouse @ Disneyland

A visit to Mickeys Toontown @ Disneyland was a sweet reminiscence of those good old cartoon days on Doordarshan.

One of the greatest joys @ Disneyland is to see how children and their smiles brighten up the place. Their utter delight on meeting their favorite cartoon characters in real life! The little girl who kept poking the "Mickey Mouse" to see if he was real and the giggles and laughter after each poke - some memories are better to be lived

A few long exposure shots from the "World of Colors"  - the different faces of Mickey Mouse


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

An Evening @ The Getty Center

Clear blue skies at noon with whiffs of cotton clouds, a storm approaching in the evening and a golden sunset - a visit to the Getty Center can be rewarding in such conditions.

I love the symmetry I see here, the little patterns, shadows and curves  in this wonderful architecture. 

The Travertine stone — 1.2 million square feet of it— is one of the most remarkable elements of the complex. This beige-colored, cleft-cut, travertine catches the bright  light, reflecting sharply during morning hours, and emitting a honeyed warmth in the afternoon.


Saturday, February 04, 2012

Lazy Ox Canteen

Food photography - a visit to Lazy Ox Canteen, Little Tokyo, Downtown LA
1.Roasted cauliflower with chile, mint and pine nuts
2.Grilled asparagus
3.8 oz lazy Ox burger
4.Macaroni salad with pine nuts, Italian parsley, chile flakes 

Lazy Ox Canteen

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Utah and the Canyon Lands - Day 2, Mesa Arch & False Kiva

I love to shoot - but I am really lethargic in processing my snaps and posting them. After quite a long hiatus and after having visited Utah during the Nov hols( Moab, Canyon Lands National Park, Delicate Arch National Park and the Monument Valley), finally managed to post my snaps. As they say " There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer. ~Ansel Adams " . A glimpse of what I have to offer from my trip to Utah

1. Mesa Arch
Shooting the Mesa Arch at sunrise is perhaps the best experience of my life as far as photography is concerned. Waking up at 4AM, driving half-awake or rather half-asleep for approx an hour, parking in the Mesa Arch trail and surprised to see 4 cars already...taking a much needed nap for 10 minutes...trekking up the trail for 15 min and even more surprised to see 4 photographers parked with their tripods at 6:00AM...temperature dipping around 27 F ! I have to rate this as a great moment.

Shooting the arch and the sunrise with along at least 20 photographers..tripods all lined up...the sweet sounds of the camera shutters...was truly an amazing experience.


Waiting for the sun rays to kiss the bottom of the arch to capture  the "jewel" or "star" effect was fun. What still lingers in my mind are the sounds and conversations of all those 20 and odd photographers....  in "Russian"..."English"..."German"..."Tamil"..and of course "Gods Own Country" :)


2. Trek to False Kiva and the Green River Overlook

The strenuous trek to False Kiva was worth it.  False Kiva enjoys a semi-protected status in the US and its exact location(GPS coordinates) has never been disclosed on websites apart from  photographers who disclose it on public forums. Kivas have been believed to have been created by kachinas in native America for religious ceremonies. Considering the fact that we only had a crow for company  that looked like it came out of "The Omen" and kept hovering around us during this 3 hour trek ...this unknown expedition was a success.How I just wish it had been a cloudy dark almost rainy day to get that dramatic effect! This is one spot I wud'nt dream to shoot the landscape at sunset, there is no way to find your way back after dark!


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Final Days...

A day spent going thru Life Magzine's 70 Years of Extraordinary Photography. 

This particular photograph in the book was deeply moving. Taken by Yosuke Yamahata - one day after an atomic bomb blasted Nagasaki, a mother and son, rice balls in hand, wander through the devastation.

And my photograph of the book and a warm cup of tea was taken exactly(approx) a year ago when I fell sick with a violent flu and throat infection. When you are "Out Sick" and not at work - it's quite surprising how ideas crop up. Almost like being at your local tea shop and discussing with friends.
Final Days

Down again with a violent flu and sinusitis infection - and my lovely wife preparing a hot Pepper Rasam/Pepper Soup (Kurumullake Rasam) for dinner, I could'nt help but shoot the ingredients that goes into this "heavenly soup" . I find the mortar and pestle quite an interesting subject to shoot with all the spices hugging to it.
Ingredients to a hot Pepper Soup : Pepper Rasam:Kurumullake Rasam

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A day at the beach

Living approximately 10 miles away from the Pacific Coast, it's quite surprising that we hardly visit the beach. Spent a Saturday at the Will Rogers State Park, Santa Monica. The drive along the Old Topanga Canyon road to CA-1 is always and will be my favorite drive ( the day I got my license, I took my car for a spin here after forcing a few friends to accompany me :D) I still remember they holding on tight to their seat belts along the hairpin turns...some memories will always remain memorable eh!

A day at the beach blog