Monday, January 27, 2014

Timelapse - Melting Ice

After intense pestering by mother, I finally decided to clean fridge. This was shot few months back. As part of process, I was taking out ice pellets from freezer. Initially I did not notice but few minutes later, hey melting ice caught my eyes :-). I deviated from cleaning and setup a timelapse show of melting ice ;-). Initially I thought of capturing melting ice timelapse from inside freezer but did not have tripod. Hence, the melting cubes were only the option. I stacked up two books on a plastic table, poured those few ice cubes on the dosa pan, adjusted the elevation and started intervalometer. Why dosa pan? That was the only black object I found. Only black objects can expose properly this colorless ice :-). After the setup, it was time to resume cleaning activity :-(.

The final result? Yes it is this timelapse :-). The notional movement was achieved using motion time lapser tool (details at the end) where in we can gradually crop the sequence of images to have moving look. The actual movement can be achieved if you own DIY slider with servo motor. I do not have one since it is expensive and this was the only trick I could get around for movement scene. Hope you enjoy the timelapse.

The mistake I did was tuning camera in Av mode (aperture priority mode). That created flickering in middle of process :-(. The environment had unchanged light and I should have shot in Manual (M mode). Nevertheless, final one also turned out to be good :-).


Camera: Canon EOS 550D
Lens: 18-55mm kit lens
Focal Length: 18mm
Mode: Aperture priority(Av)
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter speed: Auto
ISO: 100
Exposure value: -0.6EV
Metering mode: Center weighted average
White Balance: Florescence
Magic Lantern Firmware: v2.3
Picture interval: 6s (I think so)
Duration: (2frames/image)*(112 images)/25fps = 9s + 5s banner = 14s

Tools and options:

Video Editor: KDENLIVE under Linux Mint 16
Notional movement: Motion Time Lapser (Ran with wine)
Editing: Changed aspect ration to 16:9, slightly contrast increase, WB adjustment and RGB adjustments
Crop scale: 4500x3000 to 5166x3444

Here is my entire timelapse playlist:
Subscribe to my channel if you wish to have instant updates:

Sunday, January 26, 2014


This is a vertically composed panoramic picture of Aghanaashini River near Kumta shot after completing journey from Yana. The magnificent river has breath taking landscape with blue waters and bent coconut trees spread all along its banks. Also not to miss the distant western ghats, which provides great depth to the landscape. It has been one of my favorite spots ever since I stumbled upon this magnificent splendor. Most of travelers feel startled after coming across such a beauty along the National Highway - 66. It is indeed a requirement to have wide angle lens to accommodate entire scene filled with required subjects. As I have been stating, the wide angles are out of my budget as of now :-). Rather than fretting over what is not in my kit, I compose multiple shots and stitch to form panorama picture to accomplish the task of wide angle lens. I got excited after stitching individual shots (thanks to Hugin for the perfect stitch!). Everything is present :-) name it the blue water, the sky, the stream of coconut trees and to some extent distant hills! Also the picture was shot around 3PM which makes it perfect time to photograph eastwards wherein soft light of SUN illuminates the opposite horizon with perfect colors. As you can see even HDR is not required ;-). Hope you enjoy the picture.

Winter is one of great season for photography mainly due to absence of haze and presence of azure sky. Also winter sunrise and sunset is colorful sight to watch especially near water bodies and mountain tops (seas, lakes or rivers). Personally out of three seasons, winter lies at bottom of my list but love to shoot landscapes during this season. The slight cold weather coupled with molecular particles on atmosphere, spills some ecstatic colors on sky especially during golden hours. The picture was shot during first week of January 2014 and  signifies the calm winter environment of Coastal Karnataka.

Speaking of January, hear beautiful music "January" by British musicians Med & Phil Metcalfe. Despite having slightly intense bass, the breakdown is mellowing.

Med & Phil Metcalfe - January (Original Mix):

Apart from original work, do not miss the equally great remix by Jaden Merrick.

Med & Phil Metcalfe - January (Jaden Merrick Remix)):

The beautiful chilled remake by Magdelayna

Med & Phil Metcalfe - January (Magdelayna Chilldown Mix):

I feel the beautiful Kaup beach sunset while sitting on the rocks and listening to soft melody of sea tides while hearing this chilled remake of Magdelayna

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Magic Lantern LV Display Gain : A small tutorial

Slightly digressing from what I have been writing over the years, here is a small tutorial on Magic Lantern firmware as how to use LV Display gain facility. As canon DSLR users are aware, Magic Lantern is free and open source firmware for selected canon DSLRs for customizing certain functionalities. Apart from customizing, it also adds new features on top of Canon's factory default firmware. Note that ML firmware is installed on top of Canon's firmware and does not override existing Canon firmware. One can easily roll-back to Canon firmware if wished. Unlike Canons, Nikon DSLRs already have the glory of built-in intervalometers, HDR bracketing and many more options. Honestly, Canon is way lagging behind in terms of feature sets and Canon owners like me are fortunate to have ML firmware. It is annoying that Canon makes all fancy processors and cool displays without providing basic features like intervalometer. One gets feeling of being in mansion without furnitures. The Magic Lantern firmware is community driven project wherein some enthusiasts come forward to make it stable.

Enough of rant ;-). Sometimes back, I scribbled about Star Trails and the mistake I did. One of the solution was to focus to infinity around evening itself and waiting for darkness. However, that is not required if your Canon DSLR is equipped with ML firmware. There is a cool feature called "LV Display Gain" which increases sensitivity of Live View Display to some absurd value. The LV will constitute fully of noisy grains on the display. This feature is useful for photographing stars at night when focusing stars is cumbersome task in darkness. The view finder is of no use at all. The LV is almost black. The only rescue is LV display gain. By using this feature, I was easily able to focus on one of the brightest stars on sky and adjust focus ring. Here is set of screenshots from the feature. These screenshots were obtained using another feature in ML on which I would be writing soon!

Switch to ML menu and proceed to Display main and select LV Display gain. Set the desired value (max is +7.0 EV in EOS550D).

Switch back to live display and hunt for stars. Now, all of those grains are not stars ;-). You need to twiddle the focus ring to spot the stars. Even though, it looks useless in picture, in practice the bright stars are visible. As you rotate focus ring, the diameter of stars vary which enables you to focus accurately. Adjusting the focus ring varies the sharpness of stars which you can notice! I have encircled some of the stars for reference purpose.

Difficult to spot!
 Set the desired camera settings you wish and enjoy shooting the distant world :-). This was one of the image I shot with the help of feature.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Last Sunset of 2013

These were Sunset shots snapped during our descent of Kuduremukh western ghats on last day of English Year. Do not mis-interpret it as last sunset on earth. If that was case, I would not been able to write this post anyways ;-). As our car was coasting down the ghats, this show off by nature caught my eyes. How can I miss such a mastery art of nature ;-). I got down from car to the creepy jungle and took some shots. To compose good shots, I did under-expose way down to  -3EV. That created beautiful silhoutte with bright Sun in background. I also took few deep breaths in middle of dense jungle and relished those pure air. That was really rejuvenating. It is soothing experiencing to breath air from western ghats. Whenever I visit western ghats, I drink those pure water from streams and take deep breaths in the serene environment. The intimidating sound out of jungle made me immediately hop into car and resume journey :D. Also there are myriad of monkeys  to disturb your peace :D. Hope you enjoy the Sunset pictures taken on last day of English year.

Speaking of Last Sunset, do hear beautiful music by Simon O Shine "Last Sunset". An intelligent young musician from Poland who is master in uplifting orchestral music. I admire him for his great work "Your Distant World" which was quite popular when it was released.

Simon O Shine "Last Sunset":

Last Note:

There is some hidden information without which we could not have seen such beautiful sunset. The car tyre got punctured near Kuduremukh :D. The horrendous road from kuduremukh to Horanaadu, ripped off the tyre's skin causing the puncture. We realized it after traveling for few kms (which is typical feature of tubeless tyres).  Fortunately it was in middle of grassland not the forests. We were unaware as how to replace the tyre but my father read manual carefully with which we could replace tyre in 30 minutes. Even though my contribution was less as compared to father and uncle, I learned to replace the tyre with jack and spanner :-). This delay enabled us  to enjoy the beautiful Sunset along kuduremukh western ghats. I was really happy to learn replace the tyre as well enjoy beautiful sunset :-).

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Rainforest and roadside Kadambi waterfall

These were the pictures shot during our ascension of Kuduremukh ghats towards Horanadu  Annapoorneshwari temple. The beautiful roadside waterfall is named as Kadambi (not sure what does it mean)  As you see, the waterfall is not at its best as compared to peak monsoon season  still has considerable flow to rejoice :-). The kuduremukh ghat mainly consists of shola grasslands along crest while thick rainforest along coastal line.  The  forests are very very thick with high woods from the forest gate near Karkala till Hanumangundi falls.  Despite being daytime during our ascension, we felt like evening :D. You will not dare to park  vehicle for longer time in this creepy environment :D. These forests are recognized as world heritage site by UNESCO due to presence of vast  bio-diversity and fragile ecosystem. I even noticed Kuduremukh  peak from Kalasa road (the face of horse) but did not grab any pictures  due to lack of time. Here are some picture. Apart from pictures of old trees enjoy some pictures of our ancestors too :D. They were many in numbers all through kuduremukh ghats pulling out food from resting travelers. They even grabbed our apple too :-).






From childhood, my interest was for geography and mathematics. However, my country does  not provide congenial environment to excel in such areas. In geography, my main interest was on tropical rain forests particularly amazon rain forests. Even now, I pursue such  areas as hobby which keeps me always curious. My biggest dream is to visit amazon rain forests if possible :D (distant dream!). It is believed that amazon rainforests produce nearly 20% of earth's oxygen. As of now I enjoy  India's rain forests which are our pride, the western ghats :-). I love western ghats mainly because of such waterfalls and dense forests.  Their energetic plunge, pristine water provides mesmerizing experience.  Some of the waterfalls cannot be reached during monsoon (like Arishinagundi waterfalls and Burude waterfalls)  can be targeted immediately during post monsoon season. Hope you enjoy the pictures and  small video of Kadambi waterfall. Since the spot is mere 70kms from my village,  I hope to grab some energetic plunge during peak monsoon season.

Apart from Kuduremukh, enjoy some pictures of rainforests nearby Yana located in Kumta Taluk of UttaraKannada district. One of  the exotic places in UttaraKannada district with surreal rocky landscapes and rain forests. Also the region is home to King Cobras too :-)



The trees in rainforest have stood for many years despite the inclement weather. Whatever may be the scientific reason behind it, I derive inspiration from those tall trees to stand tall during complexities. It is not guaranteed for how many years the trees will remain tall before falling captive to human greed. People need to self educate to understand the importance of western ghats and how they influence the monsoon patterns.

Speaking of Rainforest, hear beautiful unfinished music "Rainforest" by Andy Blueman. Ever wondered a trance music with bass can imitate a peaceful rainforest? Thats beauty of Andy Blueman music. He has blended soft bass along with rainforest surrounding into the music so brilliantly that one does feel being inside a rainforest. Imagine the flow of thunderous waterfall and galloping water stream when you hear soft bass. I have great respect for this music and have some thoughts racing in my mind.  One day, I will try to compile a small video dedicated to this music.

Keep staring at the picture while you hear music and feel the ambiance of rainforest. Andy has mentioned that he would be finishing the unfinished tracks of 2008-2010 which includes the "Rainforest" too! Hence expect the full version of song in early future :-)

Andy Blueman - Rainforest(Energetic Mix):

Also do not miss some of exciting documentaries on rainforests given below.
I have noted some of the excerpts which will tickle your soul and body :-).

"There is no place like this on earth

The turtles strike like snakes

Adaptation is key to survival

One of the greatest natural habitat on earth

It's home to greatest diversity of living thing anywhere and dozens still discovered every year

Crisp clear waters make their way through rainforest filling it with life. They also create a magnificent spectacle

Tiny streams weave together to form the grandest of waterfalls that roar like thunder

Waterfalls plunge hundreds of feet into pools below

Huge trees stand like monuments amidst symphony of life

Shrouded in a translucent vale, millions of living organisms compete for light beneath the canopy

Layer upon layer life here exists in harmony

Trees in rainforests have been known to live for 350years and grow to nearly 200feet tall.

Here we can discover the world 100 million years old.

Mother nature at her very best"

1) RainForest: Beneath the canopy Part 01:
2) RainForest: Beneath the canopy Part 02:
3) RainForest: Beneath the canopy Part 03:
4) The Amazon rainforests:
5) A tour of Amazon Rainforest:
6) What is rainforest:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Annapoorne Vishalakshi

During holiday season, we had been to few places nearby hometown. I have lot places to wander around 200kms radius of my hometown especially towards UttaraKannada direction [except the westwards where I can only trace water ;-)]. The pictures were shot during our recent visit to Horanadu Annapoorneshwari Temple situated nearby Kuduremukh. This beautiful Malnad temple is surrounded by equally beautiful hillocks which makes it delightful place to visit. Also the pilgrims of temple are fed with free lunch and dinner prior to MahaPooje. It is to make sure none of pilgrims have darshan in hunger. The temple is neatly maintained too! Also you can buy wide variety of indigenously grown spices and dry fruits. Along the Kuduremukh-Horanaadu stretch, one can spot many tea & coffee depot and stop by to savor them with natural aroma. It would be great experience to sip it during heavy monsoon rains of Malnad. Here are some HDR and panoramic shots composed during my visit. The pictures are not so well composed but uploaded here for archive.

On this Friday, the day of Mahalakshmi, I dedicate this write-up to goddess Annapoorneshwari of Horanadu. Let's pray the goddess to bestow people on earth with sufficient nutritious food.

If you appreciate carnatic music, do hear beautiful Sanskrit composition of Muttuswamy Deekshitar, "Annapoorne Vishalaakshi" in "Saama" Raaga rendered by Smt. ML VasanthaKumari. The Raaga "Saama" is also one of my favorite Raaga which embodies great devotion.

Annapoorne Vishaalakshi:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Our Distant World - The Orion belt

Orion belt visible in sky only during winter or spring. Anyhow monsoon season, we can only trace cloud belt ;-). During my recent star trail experiments in night sky, I captured orion belt  both in kit lens and 50mm f/1.8 lens. The former has maximum aperture of f/3.5  and hence not appealing as one shot in 50mm f/1.8. Nevertheless, the belt is easily  recognizable though! When glanced around internet world, it was mentioned that we could spot the belt in  southwest sky. However, I spotted along southeast sky and later on it moved to southwest direction.  I do have number of star trail timelapse of night sky. I am not sharing it as of now ;-).  Hope you enjoy the pictures of orion belt and let me know your comments on same. Next step is to spot the north pole star (Polaris)   to capture the stars circling around it.  Also need to find a location to capture milky way too!

Distant Orion belt with kit lens at 18mm

Closeup orion belt with 50mm f/1.8
Enjoy beautiful music by Simon O Shine "Your Distant World" on this occassion. What a masterpiece and perfect blending of  synthesizers and orchestral music. One of my favorites too :-). I am really lucky that I can comprehend such music despite mockery  by few people ;-). This music was quite popular during the days of its release. Transport yourself to exotic world with beautiful HDR timelapse photography!

Simon O Shine - Your Distant World:

Simon O Shine - Your Distant World (Orchestral Mix):

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Driver's Cabin - A Nostalgia

This picture was shot during bus journey from Sangama to Mekedaatu. The bus had Udupi registration. Must have been bought from one of transport providers of Udupi. The same dilapidated bus :-) with no rails along window. It has the old TATA 1510 chassis. The cockpit looked flabby :D with minimal parts in working condition (especially the basic elements ;-)]. Not sure if it really requires head lamp :-). The maximum gear transmission it would have seen may be upto 3! It requires quite good experience for shifting such gears ;-).


This picture was intentionally shot. I took front seat to ruminate old memories! It reminded me of those nostalgic moments during my childhood days. During childhood days, I used occupy the front long seat near to engine. This was mainly to enjoy the honk, steering, gear shifts and engine progression (especially while shifting gears) :D. Alongside, during monsoon season, I used to get excited watching the water channel created by sweeping wiper :-). People say happiness arises when you bring out the child within. Those were the days, despite charade of people, we used to enjoy such small things. Never used to care what others think unless it was offensive. Those days we never used to crib about what we did not have. Despite the tough village environment, inclement weather during monsoon, we enjoyed every moment. Never we had the privilege of city counterparts but always enjoyed life with minute elements.

Really miss those wonderful days :-(. Nevertheless, whenever I get an opportunity, I do grab the front seat in an non-windowed bus in my village and cherish those past moments again :-)


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