March, 2011 Archives

Super Full Moon… (Mar ’11)

There was so many discussions going on for the ‘Super Full Moon’ on 19th March 2011. I decided to check out the ‘size’ of that as they are supposed to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter. But I didn’t notice any change at all (may be I am using my humble 55-200mm lens at its maximum). But anyway, it was good to watch moon on the three consecutive nights. I didn’t feel any change, but then it’s only me. So, I am sharing here the pictures taken between 18th March & 20th March.

A Day Out with Fishermen – Alamparai Fort (Mar ’11)

As I was going around the fort one young fishermen approached me and asked if I am willing to go for a sea ride. Initially I was reluctant to go but then when I asked him to take me along with him while he goes out for fishing and the moment he agreed, I decided to go with him. So, immediately he asked me to follow him and in next five minutes we were into the water. Already there were 7 people waiting and with the young chap & myself the count grown to 9. We all jumped into the boat and I sat on the fishing net and positioned myself comfortably for shooting.

The navigation through backwaters was a breeze and when we are about the enter sea; the waves are furious enough to wet our feet inside the boat. It was a see-saw ride until we are deep into the sea. The ride was an awesome experience and the photographs can’t do any justice to what I experienced there. After travelling couple of km, we were into a beach area and they said they had to pick up another 4 members who would be waiting on the shore. So, we went to the shore and picked up 3 people and one member was gone missing. The other fishermen’s lost patience and started shouting for sometime and finally the last one turned up and we all boarded the boat.

Back to sea, they were searching for a point to throw in the net. Initially I thought they would be doing it in mid sea but it seemed they had different methods. Finally they spotted one place and took the boat near the shore. Around 4 people got down from the boat and took one end of the fishing net and headed towards the shore. When they are done, our boat started its ride again into the sea and in the mean time couple of people in the boat started throwing the fishing net. They did this process and formed a ‘U’ and at the other end another 4 people got down and took the other end of the fishing net. Now, they asked me to get down and wait there until they are done with the job.

Then people who are in both the ends starts pulling the net according to the wave pattern. It’s a difficult job and need lot of technique. Everyone had to pull simultaneously, which will bring in the net about 4-5 cm to the shore. The last one standing and pulling the net will go to front after sometime and this will be done (shifting of pulling position) until they pull the net completely out of the sea. The process took almost 40 mins and another 20 mins went to collect the fishes & another 20 mins for folding the net back into the boat. The final outcome was a bucket full of fishes. I didn’t expect such a small quantity of fish but then they are used to it and didn’t complain.

Lady with the bucket took the fishes and started walking towards the fish market to sell them, which is located about a km from our location. 4 people boarded the boat and rest of us started our walk back to the original location. Suddenly the people in boat changed their minds and planned for a second attempt. So, they called us and did the same process. I told the young chap that I will take a walk back to the fort for as I don’t want to disturb them further, for which he denied and asked me to wait for 30 more mins and he would drop me in the fort. I agreed and watched the process again while shooting around the place.

After an hour they are done with the fishing and again got a bucket full of fishes. Then couple of us boarded the boat and rest of them started walking. The ride back was again an awesome experience and the young chap left me near the fort and headed to sea again. The ride comes to an end with some everlasting memories.

A Day Ride to the ruins of Alamparai Fort (Mar ’11)

Alamparai Fort located in Kadapakkam, a village 50km from Mahabalipuram is one of the unexplored places around Chennai. Infact I came to know about this place couple of weeks back and since then itching to go this place. You can learn more about this place here.

Last week, I got half a day free and decided to check it out. The idea was to watch sunrise from the Fort. So, started as early as 4.00 AM and tanked up my bike. In 15 minutes time we are cruising in ECR Road. Early start means literally no traffic. Reached Muttukadu around 4.55 AM and decided to take a night shot. When I was unpacking the camera, the Lens cap committed suicide by jumping into the lake. I couldn’t digest it for a moment and then clicked couple of pictures but not so well. Then packed up again and started my journey towards the fort.

I had clear information about the area and watched carefully when I saw the board “Kadappakam”. After travelling for another couple of km you will see some shops around and here you will also notice a green board which says ‘Alamparai Fort’ & marked a left arrow. But the green color turned into pale and you will miss if you don’t watch it carefully. Once you take the immediate left & travel for a couple of kms you will notice a small bridge. After crossing the bridge, you will see a ‘Y’ fork and take a right on that road which leads to ‘Alamparai Fort’.

There was nothing to substantiate the word ‘Fort’ as you will see only few fragments of the wall standing amongst the ruins. But that doesn’t spoil the beauty of the place and when you climb up on the ‘ready-to-die’ footsteps along the wall; you will witness one of the beautiful landscapes. Backwaters & Sea separated by small patch of sand, several small boats roaming around fishing etc..,

I was bit confused and couldn’t decide what to shoot and what not to shoot. Sun hasn’t come out yet and the atmosphere looks a bit of overcast. When sun finally came out, it was well above the sea. So, couldn’t get what I intended for but got couple of good shots of the golden color. Then took a walk along the Fort and then I met a fishermen who offered me to take a ride to sea. I asked him if he can take me along for fishing, and he readily agreed and he said it would take not more than 2 hrs. So, he asked to follow him immediately and we were on the boat in next 5 mins and ready to take on the sea.

The ride was awesome and the feeling when you get while switching from backwaters to Sea was spellbound. I managed to click some pictures during the ride but that doesn’t do justice to what I experience there. I will write a separate blog post about the experience with Fishermen/fishing. When we are into the sea I was clicking photographs insanely and when I switched from 18-55 to 55-200, my SLR conked out again. The same old problem with my ‘Nikon D60’. But thank god, I got a backup camera ‘Canon S5IS’ with me and it took few mins to come back to my senses and start shooting again. Spent couple of hours with fishermen and patiently waited and saw the art of fishing.

Once we are done with the fishing, the fishermen took me a ride back to where we took off. I thanked them and started my walk back to the place where I parked my bike. I was bit tired and the problem with SLR made me leave the place immediately. Before leaving the place tried a bit of off-roading & rode into the sands to take some photographs of my bike. Left the place around 10.45 and the ride back was nothing more than usual. The roads are clean & traffic was less till Tiruvanimyur, and then on navigated hard in city traffic and reached home by 1.45 PM.

It was an awesome experience overall and will be heading back when I get back my DSLR.

Click pictures to view in large size

Photographs from Marina Beach, Chennai (Mar ’11)

After fixing this error in my Nikon D60, on my own with the help of WD 40 & a tiny screw driver, I wanted to test drive the camera. So, went to Marina beach this morning and shot photographs for an hour. Sharing some of the photographs taken during the early morning visit.

Photographs from God’s Own Country (Jan ’11)

It was a dream come true for me to explore one of the most beautiful places on Earth. This was a week long trip covering Alleppey, Kochi & Kumarakom. It was one of the memorable trip and there is no words to describe the beauty. Sharing few photographs taken from this trip.