Sunday, June 30, 2013

HDR of my village

This was shot almost a month back. There was considerable amount of rain for almost 10days before monsoon could get started. The lush greenery on plantations along with monsoon clouds tempted me to capture a HDR. The shot was taken around 6:30PM I believe. Since it was quite dark, tripod was must. The ML HDR option was tuned for 3 images shot with 0,+,++ (initially at -2EV) with increment of 2EV which is {-2,0,+2} exposure values. I do not remember the settings properly. May be f/10 with ISO 100. I guess the shutter speed for mid image was around 1s (not sure). The images were put together in Luminance HDR and the software did excellent work. Fatal operator was chosen and the HDR was tone-mapped with lessening alpha and increasing saturation values. The image was further corrected with GIMP. I am satisfied with result except for clouds have come out like candy :-). The composed image was around 19MB :D which was shrinked to 2MB after more compression. Hope you will enjoy the image too!

HDR of village

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bike ride to Manchinbele Dam

After a month of lull period, its time to travel again. This time to Manchinbele dam near big banyan tree. Just 40kms from Bangalore. The short distance compelled us to take bike as transport. As planned, we started around 11:30AM from Silk Board junction and rode towards the mysore road. Barring few hiccups and traffic jams, the journey was smooth and calm. The route is same as one for Big Banyan tree except that you need to go further ahead by 10km from Big Banyan tree.

En route, we stopped at couple of places to have rest. We had snacks and some cold drinks at big banyan tree. It was around 1:30PM we reached beautiful dam site. The first view was so glorious to watch. I took many snaps near this spot. Then we went near the reservoir spot where considerable crowd was present. Fortunately no monkeys here :-). There was considerable amount of water near dam site due to copious pre monsoon rains. Apart from taking snaps of this gorgeous place, I also started Magic Lantern intervalometer to capture some time lapse. Took around 308 shots before crowd started filling the frames.

We left the spot and rode to top of a hill nearby Dam. The look from the spot was breathtaking. My camera was so busy too ;). I even went tuned aperture to f/25 to get massive depth of field of the place. Overall a memorable and soothing visit to beautiful place. The nature was at its best too with lush greenery nearby. We also enjoyed eye catching rural landscape from Mysore road state highway all the way till Dam. We also visited Shanishwara temple nearby Dam area. I personally enjoyed the glorious landscape amidst tough/bad days at work. That tuned my mind to real calmness. The only drawback is the apathy of people who litter the place with alcohol bottles. We could see a lot of crushed alcohol glasses. They can even pose threat to people since the pieces were too sharp.

Here are pictures!

En-Route to Dam
First view of reservoir
The parking place
The Manchinbele Dam
Close up view of Dam

Beautiful Landscape
One more Landscape!
Hills nearby reservoir
Clouds and water

Its raining somewhere there :-)

View from top of Hill
Landscape of Reservoir from top of hill
Finally, not to miss this patient lizard which was sitting on rock steadily. It stayed till I changed my camera lens and shot properly ;-). Seemed like he stayed for long time on rock to give me chance to take proper snap (did not run away even if I went close).

Did you finally shoot me?

How to reach:

As stated in Big Banyan tree blog here. From here you need to travel further 10kms. Ask local people who will guide you better. There are lot of humps enroute and the path way is like ghat road. You will enjoy the beautiful nature en-route. The state of road is good barring seldom nasty pot-holes.


Pack some food yourself or buy some stuff near Big Banyan tree. No shops are available nearby Dam area.

Video time!

Here is the timelapse video and its settings. Thanks to wonderful ML firmware, you do not need any remote timers for time lapses. This time I intentionally left tripod at home town. After visiting the place, I started repenting as not to have left at home. Also the sunny day makes it difficult to expose the sky properly. A GND filter would have helped me here which I did not have. Nevertheless, I placed camera on even part of rock and started intervalometer. There is also video of surrounding areas. As mentioned in previous blogs, it takes lot of time to edit and compose video on relatively old hardware. I will upload sometimes later if I find time ;-)


Excerpt from Sunset-Beautiful Life (original mix). One of my favorites!

Video Settings:

Video Editor: KDENLIVE under Linux Mint 15
Post processing done: Changed aspect ratio to 16:9
Video + Audio Encoding: MP4 (H.264) @ Variable bit rate 2pass (1080p @ 30fps) + 256 kbps MP3
Number of pictures: 308
Frames per image: 3
Total duration: (3 frames/image)*(308 images) / 30 fps = 30.8seconds

Camera Settings:

Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Lens: 18-55mm kit lens
Focal Length: 18mm
Focus: Manual
Mode: Aperture value (Av)
Aperture: f/11
Shutter Speed: Auto
ISO: 200
Exposure value: -0.6 (to expose clouds properly)
White balance: Daylight
Picture Style: Landscape
Metering Mode: Center weighted average
Picture interval: 8s
ML firmware version: 2.3
Tripod used: Even surface of rock :-)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chandram Bhaja Maanasa - Super Moon Sunday

I had just arrived from glorious visit to Manchinbele Dam and immediately recalled the super moon sunday. So grabbed my 70-300mm lens and camera and went upstairs all the way to terrace. Presumably I thought clouds would hamper the super moon shots. However, the moon was high and bright and open too! Not much clouds were hovering around that night so no problem in grabbing the pics ;-). Here is a super moon photo.

If you love carnatic classical music, you can hear Chandram Bhaja Manasa, great Sanskrit composition of Muttaswamy Deekshitar in Asaaveri raaga here:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Few Long exposure trials at Kaup Beach

This is the first time I am experimenting with Long Exposures at any outside location. Earlier some were done nearby house but there were no special subject in picture to look into. This time I took tripod to Kaup beach to shoot some long exposures post 6PM. I reached until 30s beyond which I did not have time to experiment using remote timer. The pictures have come out good but not so professional. I am happy with my first experiment. The main drawback was I did not use remote timer. I used in built timer of camera to release shutter. That added bit jerkiness to some of the images. Also gusty winds also added to camera shake a bit. However, for long exposures, a slight shake means blurry image. May be I require heavier tripod or I should specifically choose low windy day during winter. During my next experiment I will use remote timer. Here are the shots. Some of them have come good but some needs lot of improvements. All the pictures are edited using GIMP under Linux Mint. I do not remember settings. Mostly around f/9 or above and beyond 10s. I believe EXIF data would have been preserved after uploading too! Watch the pictures and enjoy!

This came out good but horizon is bent.Noticed after downloading

Not so happy with sharpness of trees but enjoyed sky!

Finally not to miss this lovely dog. The picture was taken around 2years back and the same dog was present during this day too! Seems to be owned by one of the vendors in beach. I was enjoying churumuri along with monsoon breeze. She came near me dancing and jumping to grab some share :-). But I was busy with shoot and eating. I had to chase her away suspecting she may get attracted towards pole of tripod :D. Finally my mother fed her few churumuri and ice cream which the dog ate happily. Even after that, she was running and roaming around beach area enjoying herself.

All images copyright (c) Nandakumar, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Car Street photography around Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt

As everyone is aware, vehicles are banned entering car street of Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt. This is one of the advantages for photographers. It is easy to walk around freely and take snaps without having to bother about traffic heck. Earlier, it was difficult to roam around some parts of car street so easily. Now the car street entirely filled with cows :D. They sit very happily enjoying the cool monsoon weather in middle of roads. This is not the first time I am grabbing photos of car street but it is the first time writing blog on this ;-). Car street (Ratha beedi in Kannada) means the path where chariot moves during annual festivals. So technically it should be called as chariot street. I am not sure why car street terminology is prevailing.

It all starts with beautiful Madhva Sarovara nearby Mutt also the stack of woods used to cook food for Bhojane Shaale (Lunch Home). It is the place where pilgrims are served with free meals. Also the well painted front portion of Mutt was looking very good. Here are some pictures.



Next is the scene of cows. This cow seemed to be pleading for food from pilgrims. Finally people fed it with bananas which it ate happily before moving away. It is really enjoying to see their expressions :-). Here is picture.

The repainted kanaka gopura.

Next we went to our usual grocery shop where pigeons were picking fallen rice from ground. I caught some of them.

This is one interesting part. Whenever I see the Anateshwara temple, I remeber Anantheshwara temple of Madhur nearby Kasargod. Both have similar architecture.

Finally the vehicle free car street. The cat seemed to be suffering from illness or feeling lethargic in monsoon weather? Apparently it seemed ill to me.



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sunset - Beautiful Life

Just before monsoon began, we went to see beautiful Kaup beach. We are not sure whether we could visit this place in next 3 months or so. The beach roaring with full enthusiasm. It was like the huge waves welcoming monsoon season. The roaring sound can be even heard far away till our house which is 5kms from beach. It was fearful as well as beautiful to watch roaring sea and high waves (which was like Tsunami waves :-D).

This time I took tripod along with my camera to capture some wave movements with long exposure. I did some trial even with higher 'f' stops too! This was captured with f/22. I was really excited after seeing results :-). That came out really well. Even my father appreciated ;-). Photographers believe that the great shot we take is in our backyard. For me it was only 5kms from backyard ;-). This was different sort of experiment I did for first time. The beach, lighthouse, rocks, sun all perfectly composed (boasting myself!). I was really thrilled with depth of field in the image. My favourite part was sun and sky! Hope you too will enjoy the image ;-)

Whenever I see Sunset, I remember beautiful remix of Sunset - Beautiful Life by Vol Deeman. What a great masterpiece! This is the only link I found which has the music:

and not to forget the equally good original version of Sunset - Beautiful Life:

Do not miss both the musics, they are really fantastic


Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Lens: 18-55mm Kit lens
Mode: Manual
Focal Length: 18mm
Focus: Auto
Shutter Speed: 1/25s
Aperture: f/22
ISO: 100
White Balance: Auto
Picture Style: Landscape
Metering mode: Center Weighted Average
Tripod Used: Yes
Flash Used: No

Image Copyright (c) Nandakumar, all rights reserved. If you want to share for non commercial purpose, make sure you provide suitable credits.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Moon Shot :-)

Finally I shot some moon pictures. Of them this is the one ;-). Bit lazy to upload other images. It is difficult to find clear skies with too many clouds hovering. I took this shot immediately when sky momentarily was clear (atleast nearby moon area). Since the moon covered few area in the frame, I had to use spot metering to make camera evaluate accordingly. The image was cropped and rescaled using GIMP. I am really amazed by the quality of Tamaron lens even with so much zoom. I can see moon so clearly and how about you ;-). The lens has great Image Stabilization too. Enjoy the lunar image!


Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Lens: Tamaron 70-300mm VC USD lens
Mode: Manual
Focal Length: 300mm
Focus: Auto
Shutter Speed: 1/80s
Aperture: f/7.1
ISO: 100
White Balance: Auto
Picture Style: User Defined 1 (Set to maximum sharpness)
Metering mode: Spot
Tripod Used: No
Flash Used: No


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