Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Excursion to Siddeshwar

Everyday while traveling to my workplace from home, I used to see a  sprawling waterfall from an appreciable height just outside the outskirts of my town (Alibag). Monsoons bought the life again in the falls and it began to flow in full swing. I had been planing to take a detour towards its base since a long time,but it took a power shutdown of 4 hrs to finally execute it. One should really thank the electricity boards, they have really taken a step to transform the young generations to change them from being couch potatoes.
Siddeshwar is basically a miniature western ghats landscape coupled with a Shiv temple and a fort.It has pristine green covers all over ,with hills beyond and a stream that converts into a huge falls in monsoons. So it can be summarized into what we see in paintings- hills,green scapes ,waterfalls,occasional hut to fill in the puzzle.The place is kind of crowded on shravan somvars (mondays of august) as there is a shiv temple. But mostly people flock here on weekends to the falls for all the kinds of reasons they have.To have a glimpse of the waterfalls from a distance is kind of tough here as the way to approach it is tricky.To reach at its very base ,even difficult.

 The base is where the stream from above lands and divided itself vertically to continue its flow deep down. Since there is not a road or a easy path, its tread by only a handful of people.The way towards it is through a small gorge besides the hill on one side and valley towards other. Moss on stones adds up to the difficulty to walk up at the base.

Walking through the dense covers of small trees and perches,climbing from stone to stones, it may certainly be not a arduous trek but still the satisfaction to reach there is immense. To welcome you there is a gentle stream and sprays of water jets reflected from the falls. It really is worth a small trek.

The view from the spot is spectacular and has good scope for photography too. But certainly to carry tripods and dslrs is too tiring here. Glad I was having my mobile to take some snaps.

The winds sway the falling waters in there directions and that creates a different shape altogether,much different from the conventional one.

The dense cover of vegetation around the place has plethora of flora and fauna. Its home to amazing birds like crested serpent eagles, owls,thrushes , shama, oriole, paradise flycatchers ,drongos ,munia you name it. Its also a place where oriental dwarf kingfisher visits every monsoon to breed. But to sight it in this dense cover is another question and photographing it, well you need luck for it.

Wildflowers as in above pic, orchids, mushrooms etc are in plenty here. Also myriad of other flowers and trees which I don't know anything about.I just see ,watch , get surprised and return.

Vegetation is so dense that the light is really low on the ground.The stream flowing nearby, the chirping and incessant calls of the birds around, the croaking of the frogs, create an ambiance that is mystic and certainly one of a kind that will always induce thoughts in your mind to go back in the open. Same happened with me and huge shaking of the nearby tree by some mammal ,still wondering what that was, made sure I went back soon.Not before I clicked a stream flowing nearby and tasting some fresh and cool river water.

I headed back to my home after,happy to enjoy the falls and the ambiance of the untouched,unscathed jungles.It is only at these kind of places that we realize that what amazing places we have near our homes and it just takes a stroll near some hills,some jungles. It also makes us realize how respected and feared even small creatures like scorpions,snakes,crabs etc are. Every step you take induces that thought in you.Above all we realize how our planet before some years was and how it is now. It just takes a stroll into some rarely visited wilderness.......

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Says Sven Nykvist,
Light can be gentle, dangerous, dreamlike, bare, living, dead, misty, clear, hot, dark, violet, springlike, falling, straight, sensual, limited, poisonous, calm and soft.
This obviously was put forth for life but is apt for all genres of photography. Light is unarguably the most important element in photography and holds all aces about photography with it. How you play with light shows up in your picture and most important thing that can add that "WOW" factor.

A serene landscape of Tso moriri is an ideal place where the light changes its nature in a little spaces of intervals due to play of winds, clouds and sun. We can get different effects with the diffused light and direct sunlight falling on the lake and hills.

Nature offers plethora of colors as light changes and this change is most evident when we observe the changing colors between dawn and dusk.

There are ways to alter the light artificially but nature does its work best. The pictures show the way how nature has altered the light between sunset and sunrise. The mood and serenity of an image changes drastically with time and light.

Sea scape picture is one more of its kind that used ambient light changes in surroundings to create good pictures.

Similarly composed pictures taken in a span of half an hour shows how light creates visual treats for eyes.

photographing structures in different parts of the day is one more thing where we can portray different moods. This is where the night photography aspect comes into play and we can play around with the artificial lighting to create drama.

Above picture shows the magnetic laboratory in alibag, my hometown. I took this normal picture in evening and tried a kind of long exposure shot some time later to use effect of city lights in background of the structure.

photographing structures ,industries etc in form of silhouettes along with a dramatic background really a recipe for a good picture where the shadows add to the drama in a picture.

clicking the picture of the same industry in night ,creates a magical background of dark blue hues of the skies and the tungsten yellow. Playing more with the light and exposing it for a long time made a trail of the smoke through pillars and movement of the trees.

Better to light your candle than to curse the darkness is true but when it comes to photography,the only candle that we have is nature and we need to learn how to use it for our advantage. 
Here both the candle and the darkness have to be ours and we need to script our story with it........