To Vietnam: Hoi An by the night!

After we were back, we had just crashed into our beds, tired and exhausted. We had planned to go to the beach, the An Bang beach. When we woke up, twilight was fast fading. So, we quickly got on our bicycles, and rode for about 4 kms to the beach.
We paid 30000 VND per bicycle as parking fees and went in. It was dark by then, and we could see lights of far away ships near the horizon. There were deck chairs on the beaches, and it seemed that they were free to use. We sat there for some time, and were hungry. A hour and a Banh Mi later, we were ready to leave.
As we were retrieving our bicycle, Ankita noticed that here phone was missing. She had put it in the cycle’s basket an instant earlier and now it was gone. We started searching for it desperately everywhere. Our primary suspect was the attendant, who had suddenly turned deaf and mute! We glared and growled at him, and bared our teeth, and he slithered away to a hidey hole. Ritwik followed him, came back victorious with the phone. We made a swift exit out of the area to avoid any such risks any more.

Lit up entrance to the old town, Hoi An, Vietnam

We crossed into the old town soon, and it was just wow! Lights all around, lamps, lanterns, LED lights. Best bit, no vehicles. We parked our bicycles beside the Japanese Covered Bridge and hit the streets.

Camera set on lowest ISO, long shutter exposures and deep apertures, I went about shooting.

Street with colourful lights and people, Hoi An, Vietnam

Street with colourful lights, Hoi An, Vietnam

Every other street had lamps in them lighting up the street. The shops had various happy hour offers and it was thronging with tourists and locals alike.

The Thu Bon river, now had multiple boats with tourists on board, rowing up and down. Some had the floating prayer lamps with them while some were simply enjoying the ride. Ritwik and I got interested in the long exposure opportunities while Ankita and Manas went ahead to a nearby museum.

The Bridge of Lights, An Hoi Bridge, Hoi An, Vietnam

Boats on the Thu Bon river, Hoi An, Vietnam

A lady selling the floating lamps, Hoi An, Vietnam

The Thu Bon river at night, Hoi An, Vietnam

Now, it was almost 2100h and we were hungry too. So, we crossed the river and went to the other bank, where it was as if a carnival was on. All shops were glittering with lights, live music being played, food and ale galore. And then, the street which had every kind of food imaginable.

Busy street with tourists and locals, lights, food, Hoi An, Vietnam

Lamps for sale, Hoi An, Vietnam

The other bank also gave a perfect shot of the Japanese Covered Bridge.

The Japanese Covered Bridge at Night, Hoi An, Vietnam\

Promptly at 2200h, the lights went out and the music subsided and it was the end of a long day. We lingered back to enjoy the quite and calm atmosphere of the place for some time, and shot some more photos.

The calm Thu Bon river at night, Hoi An, Vietnam

We reached back around 2330h to find the receptionist at our hotel fast asleep. Had to wake her up for the keys though, guess people sleep early in this side of the world. And, that is how our stay in Hoi An ended. Next day, we would leave Hue, via train! The journey would be something to look forward at.

Cheers!!

Mumbai Nightscape Encore

A few weeks back, I posted a few photos of the city of Mumbai, at night, shot using a Lenovo K6 Power here. The photos were not of the quality that I would have wanted, hence, a few days back, when the opportunity presented itself, I was there with the camera. The location, the terrace floor of L&T Realty Crescent Bay.
We waited from dusk to nightfall and thankfully, it didn’t rain this certain evening.

Silhouette of Mumbai Cityscape

Wide angle shot of the Mumbai Cityscape

Bandra-Worli Sealink and nearby areas at night

Tall towers of Worli, Mumbai, India

Long Exposure shot of Wadala and Freeway, Mumbai, India

The next post, dear readers, I shall introduce you to something new. Do keep an eye out, the post shall be up soon!

Cheers!

The night cityscape : Mumbai

It has been close to 4 months that I have returned to Mumbai, and most of the posts that have gone up since then, have something or the other related to the tall buildings. This post has more of the same, except there is one major difference today. The shots here, have been taken at NIGHT!

Mumbai Cityscape at night

I had been planning for a view from up top for quite a while now, and this gave me a satisfaction of sorts! Not that am totally happy with it, but now, you, my dear reader know what to expect, as I take my camera along, soon.

Mumbai Cityscape at night, Bandra Worli Sealink

Come to think of it, now, in Mumbai, instead of saying that the elements of nature are air, water, earth and fire, it should be air, water, fire and concrete! Just look at the buildings that have come up in the last few years!

Mumbai Cityscape at night, Freeway

For the ones who are uninitiated and are new to Mumbai, this ribbon here is the Freeway as it is called, which is basically a high speed motorway starting near Chembur, all the way till CST. The ride on the bridge is quite interesting, doesn’t beat the Sea Link though!

These shots have been taken using my Lenovo K6 Power. It boasts a 13MP camera and some smart modes. Then the photos have been tweaked on Snapseed. The results, are kinda interesting, for they give an idea of what can be achieved with the camera.

Keep an eye out for the HD version post, soon.

Cheers!!

Star Trails: What is and how to..

Shooting at night, and in long exposure is quite fun, one must agree. With a little tweak, the night can be turned ย into dusk, if not bright day.
This shot, 0230 h. 30 seconds of exposure does this trick.

Long exposure photo of lake with landscapes mirrored into the lake.

We get enamoured by the photos of trails of lights across the sky, often in round or elliptical patterns about a stunning landscape. Some of my readers may already know what it is. What you have seen, is a star trail.
What is it? Well, as the earth rotates, from our point of view, fixed on the earth, we find the stars shifting. If we capture this shift, over considerable span of time, we shall get the path traced by the star. That illuminated trail, is the star trail.

Star trail photo over landscape. Multiple long exposure photos combined in one.

Things we need are quite minimal. We need a tripod, a camera with a means to take a certain number of shots over a period of time, a landscape and a starry night.

Set the camera appropriately on the tripod. In the settings menu, make it take photos till the battery runs out or at least 8gb worth of photos are captured. For the exposure settings, you ll have to take a couple of cold shots. Try with the minimum ISO and shutter speed at about 15 seconds. Take a shot and inspect it, if you can see at least one star in your display screen. A few trial and errors and you shall get the exposure right. Once done, set the camera on the interval shooting mode, and wait.

Now, what you shall get out of the shots is a series, where the only movement, preferably, will be of the stars. Get hold of the software, StarStaX, and load up the images. Follow the instructions and let the software process the photos. If done correctly, you should get yourself a beautiful star trail photo.

If you have reached till here, you have definitely earned the right to know what may go wrong. Take a look at the photo above, once more. Zoom it. Do you notice that there are tiny gaps between each trail. That gap is what 5 seconds looks like. Between each of my exposure, I had set a gap of 5 seconds. If you want a continuous trail, ensure, no gaps. You may have to shoot on JPEG for that, turn noise reduction off, so that as soon as the camera shoots one image, it can continue to the next one. You have got to ensure that there are no movements on your end. Before you put the photo into StarStax, it is advisable to convert them in JPEG, if you have shot in RAW. And while you are at it, make the uniform changes in all the photos using sync (Lightroom) or similar functions.

My exposure is about 120 photos, half an hour long. This was a proof of concept shot, to try out whats and hows. Now that I know, in near future, better, seamless shots should be expected.

Till the next post.
Cheers!!

The Supermoon Post

This is a late post about the most recent supermoon that the world saw. I was determined to shoot it.

So, I made my way to a nearby temple, which rests on a hill top to try shoot the moon, and the city underneath, and this is what I got.

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trail
Not exactly the way I wanted it to be. The temple, being on elevated ground, was a perfect vantage point for some nice cityscapes though ๐Ÿ™‚

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So, when a bunch of friends suggested we go the nearby Singhagadh Fort to capture the moon before it sets, I was ready in a snap.

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Now, these were more like it. We were there till sunrise, and then made our way back to our daily routines.

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Recently, I joined a group of amazing photogs and have covered an event of international fame. Shots from them, shall be up shortly. Stay tuned.

Cheers!!

TTL: Dudhsagar – The night and Dawn

So, with the planning done to the details, we were ready. The Friday arrived and we made our way to the Pune station. Goa express was 1h and 30 minutes late. So, we spent the time lazying around in the station. Then, finally, at about 1800h, the train ambled in. Since tickets were booked already, no hassles, we found and occupied our seats.

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We were scheduled to be at QLM at 0435h the next day, and that it would cross Castle Rock (CLR) at 0350h. Now, CLR+10 tunnels, gets us to DDS. That’s the calculation one must follow at pitch darkness.

I dont manage to sleep properly in the train, hence, I was up and about since 0300h. As we reached CLR, I woke up the rest of the team and we got ready. The train made an unscheduled stop at DDS station, and without further ado, we were off. We had arrived at the Dudhsagar station at 0400h in the morning. One must walk on the tracks to reach the falls from the DDS station, and at that time, one must not expect a lot of light. There is also a tunnel en route that one must cross.

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With the huge moon above our head, and the torches to light up our paths, we walked to the falls. By about 0430h, we were at the waterfall. We could hear the falls even before we first saw it. It was like a sheet of water tumbling down the slopes, at immense force with a growl.

Since there was not a lot of light around to shoot with, we waited there, enjoying the cool breeze coming from the direction of the fall, which would sometimes spray us with cold water too. A couple of goods trains roared past us.

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By this time, we were hungry. Out came the chocolates. We found some spots to sit and lay down, and we waited, for sunrise, which was still a couple of hours away. Honestly, we were desperate to shoot at and the falls, I was, I know for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

Glimpses of Mumbai – Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus)

Continuing with the coverage of the icons of Mumbai, this place is one of the first places you shall visit when you make it to Mumbai, the CSTM railway station, earlier known as VT station. Its one of places which look simply amazing, and are kind of hiding in plain sight. Most of us have seen it looking amazing and grand in the daylight, here is how CST looks at night.

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On the other side of the road, is the municipal corporation, which too has a grand look to it.

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About the next post, I cannot make promises. Schedule is packed tight. Lets see what I can pull up.

Cheers!!

Safe Hands

Shooting in the dark is a job that takes patience and care, just to get the focus right. That too in a manual lens. The ISO needs to be high enough to use a decent shutter speed, and a low enough to avoid excessive noise. When you manage to get things right, you get a shot like this.

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Till the next post..

Cheers!!