July 31, 2012

Golden days

While my friends were getting something to eat, I ran towards the beach to get some quick shots. There was no time to think. It seemed like I was not gonna capture anything interesting. And I spotted this little girl climbing on those poles, while her friends followed her. Just after this shot was clicked, she saw me and quickly climbed down.

Only moments later I realized, she had become conscious that she was being photographed. I wanted to get few more shots, but she would not climb anymore. I waited for half a minute or so, realized that she would not budge, so started running towards the beach (in the background).

After getting some fantastic sunset shots at the beach, I was hoping to see/photograph the girl on my way back, which, never happened. She was gone.

July 30, 2012

Back from the shoulin temple

A sunset in the background, beautiful clouds atop a hill is just the perfect recipe for some fine tuned silhouette shots.

I made my friend pose and jump around against the sunset one too many times. We did get few nice shots, but I wanted something more dramatic, more out of the ordinary shots. So I explained him the frame and asked him to press the shutter button right when I jumped. About 6-7 jumps later, I told my friend to get ready as I was going to try something cool. And this shot was the result. What more, out of all the shots, this one turned out to be the coolest one indeed.

By the way, there is no photoshop trick involved in this shot. Just the colors were tweaked with Picnik. The jump is real! My thighs hurt for 2 days after doing so many stunts that day :D

Fun photo-shoot days!

July 29, 2012

If you are not living life on the edge, you are taking too much space

This is perhaps one of the most reckless things I have ever done. I handed the camera to a friend, explained him the frame and walked to the edge of a cliff which must be at least few thousands feet high. All that just to pose for this photo. I had it in my mind that this shot would be more dramatic if it had a human in it. And so, there I was.

That cliff is really high. One wrong step (or a strong gush of wind) and you're history. You can see me stretch my neck trying to figure out where the drop ends. And if you are brave (or foolish) enough to do that, you get chills down your back, for free!

At the end, the risk was all worth it. We got a lot of pretty nice shots on the edges of the cliff. I have been to this place few times before but these (there's more!) photos will no doubt be the most memorable ones.

I would probably not do this ever again... well, unless there is a parachute strapped on to my back :D

July 28, 2012

Lets go!!

After standing, sitting and being on the ground, I started to get a little bored - thought the photos were still pretty normal. And so, to spice up things, did few stunts on the edge of the cliff to get this shot.

I don't know if it was the moment that time - everything we did (all the stunts) felt so normal. And only now when I see this picture, it hits me how reckless things really were. I did this stunt, literally on the edge of a two thousand foot drop - one wrong step, and I would not be typing this for sure...

But heck!! All did go well. I am still alive and kicking :D All in all, getting this photo was worth it all.

Thinking I should probably frame this one. It's different.

July 27, 2012

Life without words

This elderly gentleman was hard to miss as I was scanning Patan durbar square looking for people to speak to (and photograph). The 100 Strangers Project was all over my head that time and I made it a point to strike a conversation with almost every interesting person passing by or just hanging out.

After taking few shots he was close enough to notice that I was clicking his photos. Then as he came closer, he gave these different expressions as if he was totally amused by the situation. To say the least, I was amused myself and quite delighted as he came 10 feet from where I was then stood still and made this particular expression (photo). It seemed that he had a pretty good sense of humor. All this time he did not say a word.

Moments later, I thought I saw him open his mouth to say something... but still nothing came out. And that is when I noticed that he could not speak - he was a mute.

People in the area are accustomed to asking money when folks with big cameras (tourists) click their photographs. So I wasn't surprised when this gentleman stretched his hand, expecting something. I reached for my pocket, gave him some money. We both smiled at each other. Then I moved on, looking for the next stranger.

July 26, 2012

Macbook pro's hidden feature - it can also cook egg!!

I've read in more than one instance that you can cook an egg on a Macbook pro. Of course whoever was saying that was using it as a metaphor to explain how hot a mbp can really get. I have always nodded my head in agreement that mbp's heating problem is something Apple is not taking seriously (Do you hear us Apple? Grrrr!). Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic machine, far superior than the laptops that run Window or what have you. But it does have it's own share of drawbacks.

Today I decided to see for myself if you could really cook an egg on a Macbook pro! So I ended up placing some yolk on my mbp. Yes - literally!! And it didn't take more than 10 minutes to find out if mbp is also a cooking machine! :D Above are the results.. I did not actually taste the yolk, but it was cooked alright!

So there ya go - theory proven! I bet Apple didn't tell you about thisfeature when you bought the Macbook Pro. So next time you are at an Apple store, be nice and thank them for being so generous and adding these hidden features!

Way to go Apple ;-)

July 25, 2012

A dose of motivation

Not many people know it but I like collecting quotes. In fact I have a collection where I keep adding new once as I find them. Since I'm not writing much here thought of adding something from the collection.. so here's a random one:

"If you live everyday like it's your last, one day you'll most certainly be right!"

July 24, 2012

Lord of the bells

Located this frame while on a solo photowalk one early morning in Patan. Waking up early to chase these misty shots is almost always worth it.

Although I'm pretty sure you can find bigger bells in Kathmandu, this one has got to be the biggest around Patan durbar square area. The bell is high up on a structure - not accessible to the public.

So how often do they ring this bell...? I wonder.

July 23, 2012

If only a penny could make you rich

It's not apparent but this elderly person makes a living by begging for money around Swayambhu temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.
As I was making my way up to the temple, I noticed this old man with few coins on his left hand. With his right hand, he was trying to count how many coins he had in the other hand. It's one of those sights which makes you feel sad.
I walked up to him, gave him some money, and asked him if I could click his photo. Without hesitation he positioned himself for a pose. I went on clicking few shots, and through the lens saw this sadness on his face which has been frozen in time.
I wish he had smiled instead.

July 22, 2012

100 Strangers Project

I'm usually sheepish about walking up to strangers and asking them permission to click their photo. I've always chosen to use my 70-300mm tele lens instead to shoot strangers of interest :-D

But it's time for change. It's time to learn.

When I was in Kathmandu few months back, I went against my gut feeling and started talking to people - strangers, more precisely! It was a little hard in the beginning but after you get the hang of it, it's kinda fun :-] I started walking up to people and would ask them politely if I could take a of picture of them. 99% would agree with a smile. But there's that 1% who would shy away or would rudely disapprove. But it was all worth the try. At the end I talked to many people, clicked a lot of photos (portraits in particular). And one of the best thing about the experience was that every photo had a story.

So, now I am starting a new project called 100 strangers. I am going to photograph strangers and write stories about the experience. The goal is is pretty simple - make a collection of 100 photographs of strangers, and the stories.


About the photo:

I spotted this lady while she was walking around Swayambhu temple in Kathmandu with her friend. She was pretty cute so I thought of going and asking her for permission to take a photo. Frankly, I was a little nervous because I had never done this before - had always used a zoom lens to click shots of pretty girls ;-] So, anyways, following is the conversion with her:

me: "Hi, can I take a photo of you?"
she: (a little unsure) "Uh, hi, uhh"
she: "You can take a photo, but I'm not sure why you would want to"

She then poses with a nice smile and I don't say anything and start clicking. After few shots:

me: "Thanks, what's you name?"
she: "My name's [uh, I forgot her name!!]"

Then she smiled nervously and walked away (rather in a hurry).
And this is the part where I started thinking if she thought I was stalking her :-]

But it didn't matter. My quest was complete. I reviewed the photos and started looking for the next interesting subject - next stranger!

July 21, 2012

The long wait

Her name is Srijana. I actually can't believe now that this photo was taken on the second day after I met her, back in January 2009.

Have not met her again after that day though... yet.

But someday soon, perhaps.

July 20, 2012

Butter lamps

Butter lamps are offered by devotees to accumulate merit in order to create positive short - term circumstances such as health, wealth, longevity and more deeply, to reveal one's wisdom to nature. (source)

These are one of my most favorite subject to photographs. I have posted photo of these before, but can never have enough. So here's one more, a little different, perhaps.

July 19, 2012

Just another day in a monk's life

A monk looks to the east on a chilly morning atop mist covered Kathmandu city. 
I was at Swayambhu one early morning to capture mists shot. Wasn't having much luck that day with compositions. As I was looking around (desperately) for subjects and compositions, spotted this monk looking endlessly at the rising sun. At first glance, it didn't seem like much. Then for some reason I sneaked behind him and clicked few shots. And this particular one turned out pretty well composed.
The HDRish effect was added with Lightroom and colors enhanced with Picnik.
And yeah, unlike me, he's a real monk :-]