Tag Archives: sky

Road to Nowhere

IMG_0619a Road to Nowhere

If you really want to see the world and get a small peek into its many wonders, you have to travel. There is only so much information that you can get from a book or a website…if you really want to experience what it is like, then you have to be there.

We had traveled to Oman just after the rain, and were not too sure of what we would get. We wanted to go to the mountains, but many advised us that there could be flash floods and mud slides due to the rain. We finally decided to give it a go, and cautiously made our way through the mountains. The air was fresh, chill and clean, (no pollution at all); and the rain had kind of washed the entire area clean.

We drove along the mountains for the closer part of a whole day, just enjoying nature in all its beauty, knowing that it would be a long time before we would have this much contact with nature. The road kept going for mile after mile, – more mountains, more clouds, more fresh air!

We made a lot of photographs that day, we captured the mountains, the clouds, the rocks, the dirt tracks; but overall, I guess the one thing that made us most satisfied, was the fact that we were out there with nature, enjoying it to the fullest. Sometimes we just get too caught up with the furious pace of the world, and forget that there is a better world out there. Give it a go, you wont regret it !!

A Soothing Sight

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Sometimes we get too stressed out with “what we need to photograph” or “I need to find the right subject”. When you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is to just ease off a bit, take a few steps back and try to relax. The worst thing that can happen is to let yourself get stressed, because then you find a lot of frustration creeping in, because nothing seems to be going the way you want it to!

Felt this way before with your photography? Don’t worry, it happens all the time; the important thing is to find ways to keep yourself occupied, and still be on the lookout for something to make a picture with.

One of the things that allows us to relax, (and help us remain focused on our photography), at times like this is taking a walk on the sea shores; – walk bare foot in the water while the waves lap around your feet, feel the sand, water…just connect with nature. It is a total relaxation therapy; and in most cases, you always come out refreshed, and ready to start all over again. On more occasions than one, we have found subjects to photograph during these walks on the beach.

The above picture is an example of what we are talking about……give it a try!

A Beautiful Beginning

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Stop lazing in bed, get up early, – really early, and take a drive down to the Fujeirah coast, and in all probability, you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful spectacles of nature….watch magic happen as the sun rises, and another brilliant day unfolds!

Believe you me, the level of satisfaction and contentment that you get after having capturing this spectacle, more than makes up for all  the trouble you took to get up early and make the journey here.

This picture was taken on a day when there was no wind at all, but on the days when there is a wind, it does become a challenge. You need to weigh your tripod down, else the wind can blow your camera over, there are a lot of waves that come rushing in and beating on the rocks, so a slow shutter speed can give you the milky effect of the water, and add an element of dynamism to the image.

There are various points along the coast that you can shoot the sunrise from, lots of rocks, lots of mountains. Chose the point you favour the most, but remember to plan, and chose your spot in advance. Pre-dawn, the roads are dark and winding,  and it is difficult to find a spot in the dark. In lieu of the oncoming traffic (if any) as well, its advisable not to keep stopping along the highway in the dark, looking for a decent spot to make your pictures from.

A Time Gone By

Places 2

It was only after we took up photography as a hobby/passion, that we realized that there was so much about the United Arab Emirates that we knew nothing about.  We had read in some of the books on the UAE, that there were several tribes that had lived in the mountains in Ras Al Khaimah, but now that things had changed, most of them had migrated to the towns and cities around, and were leading normal modern day lives like all of us.

So after a lot of reading, studying maps, asking questions etc,  we decided to look for the Stone Houses that were somewhere in the mountains in Ras Al Khaimah. We spent most of the morning getting to the area, and then after lunch, we found the dirt track which would seemingly lead us to the Stone Houses. We followed it, and sure enough, there were the houses, or at least the remains of the houses ahead of us. Made with just stones, and in some places a modern looking window, these houses gave us a feeling of sadness…we could almost imagine the whole place as it might have been in its prime days, each house with its little compound (the boundry was a line of stones all around the house); a small community of people tucked away in the mountains….today there was only the ruins of these houses, broken down, dilapidated, and just memories of a time gone by.

We stayed for a while, took some great photographs, wandered around the place – all by ourselves. There was no other sign of human activity around, just a feeling that while the pair of us were all alone in the mountains, we were not really alone!

Riding the Waves

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Bored? Nothing to do? Go down to the beach and join in the action ! One of the more popular sports now catching on is Kite Surfing. It looks a lot of fun, and I am sure that it is as well, but it takes a good deal of practice and hard work to be able to really fly over the waves like you see some of the more experienced surfers doing. You first need to know how to control the kite, and that takes a lot of energy, and practice; and doing this on the shore can be a bit embarrassing, especially if the wind is strong. But once you have got the knack of it, its a lot of fun, and a real cool way to spend the weekend.

If you are not really into active sport, but still want to catch up on all the fun and excitement, just get over to the beach with your camera, and capture all the action as it happens in front of you.

 

Moody Slopes

DSCF5539aWhile doing photography,one of the things that we need to keep in mind is that we have to capture the mood of the place/subject. It actually helps the viewer to get a better insight of what the photographer has witnessed and captured.

This picture was made in Manali, India. Although it was generally a very clear and bright day, there were several times when the sky would fill with clouds, sometimes so thick, that you felt that they would just explode into a heavy thunderstorm; there would be dark shadows of the clouds on the mountain slopes, giving the mountains a mysterious look; and then all of a sudden they would be gone, leaving behind a clear, sunny day.

Look for moments like this, it brings out the best in your pictures.

The Ferry Crossing

The CrossingCrossing a river or a small bay by boat/ferry in India is something that we always look forward to because it involves a lot of factors. Firstly, you have to wait in line with several other passengers, all dressed in brightly coloured clothes, carrying different kinds of packages and bags. Then there are the boats themselves which are crammed to capacity.  Needless to say, once the boat arrives at the jetty it is total pandemonium…there are passengers trying to disembark, while the others attempt to board. A lot of shouting, noise and confusion takes place in these 3-4 minutes, and then suddenly you find yourself in the ferry, sailing smoothly across the calm bay to the opposite shore.

Its at times like this that you envy the luckier ones who have their own colourful rowing boats to take them across. No chaos for them.

Overall, its an experience not to be missed, and it helps if you have a camera, because there is a lot of colour and the crossing itself presents many instances for photography.

 

 

A splash of Colour

Just Boats

Making a trip back home to Cochin in South India always gives us a lot of inspiration because there are so many oppportunities to do some good photography. There is so much of colour all around you, the place in itself is quite beautiful, will loads of tall trees, so may areas with backwaters, and blue skies filled with puffy white clouds.

We  had gone out the previous day and did some good photography, but it was extremely hot and humid, and we had ended our outing earlier than we expected to, mainly because of the climate. So this morning we were not too sure as to what to do. Finally, we decided to brave the heat once again, so armed with our camera’s, off we went. We soon came to the waterfront, and decided to look around a bit.

We saw a few colourful fishing boats in the distance, but they were too far away to get a decent picture, so we went looking for a way to get closer to them. The road led us away from the sea, but we came across a small winding alley, with a lot of garbage, a couple of cats, and lots of crows, (the latter two being rather surprised at seeing us there). As we had hoped, this alley led us out back to the backwaters, and there the boats were !

We spent the next half hour or so clicking away to our hearts content, and we did get some really good pictures of these boats. The lesson learnt ? Keep exploring your options, dont settle for the standard shots…if we had not looked for a better angle/viewpoint, we could never have got this picture.

The Dubai Creek

Sunset Cruise

Khor Dubai (Dubai Creek) is the local name for the saltwater creek that separates Dubai into two main sections – Bur Dubai and Deira Dubai.  It is of great significance to the UAE, because it was here that trading first started between Dubai and traders from India and Africa, – as early as the beginning of the 20th Century. Although not deep enough for large vessels to enter, this creek became the first harbour that Dubai had. Dubai’s “Pearl Industry”  which formed a major section of the country’s economy was based on the trading that happened here.

Since then, this creek has had several changes, it has been dredged to accomodate larger vessel, and is today a major hub for the Dhow traffic that carries almost all forms of cargo, and Personal Effects from Dubai to the neighbouring countries. With the introduction of major ports like Port Rashid, Port Saeed and Jebel Ali, the significance of this route has diminished, but it still remains an important port for the Dhow traffic.

Today the Dubai side of the creek hosts the bustling Textile market and the Museum, while the Deira side has the traditional Spice market, the Gold Souq, the Dhow harbour, several impressive buildings, and a busy trading centre slightly inland.

The easiest, and probably the most enjoyable way, to cross the creek is by the “Abra”, – a traditional wooden craft, powered by an engine. It has a sunshade to protect you from the heat of the day, but thats about it !  You have to sit on a small raised platform in the middle of the Abra, as it makes it way across the creek. There are two points on either side of the creek that are connected via the Abra’s, and this mode of transportation is used by thousands of commuters daily.

The best time however to visit the creek is in the evening. Just as the sun is about to go down, take a stroll along the quay, and you see a flurry of activity as people hurry to get back home, and prepare for the next day. If you are patient enough, you get the whole creek turning a deep blue, reflecting the colours of the sky, as the day slowly turns into night, marking the end of another day.