Saturday, February 26, 2011

Music in the Park – Pt. Debu Chaudhuri

Music in the Park – Pt. Debu Chaudhuri-1After coming to know that SPIC-MACAY has resumed their popular “Music in the Park”, I went there for an enthralling evening listening to a Sitar Recital by Pt. Debu Chaudhuri. Last night’s rain was probably a dampener, as it was a very small crowd. The advantage of this was that I got different locations from where I could take photographs of the musicians.

The wet ground was not very friendly to my jeans, but what the hell, it is not often one gets ring-side (actually I was bang in front of the stage) seat, when great musicians perform, especially in open air.

Music in the Park – Pt. Debu Chaudhuri-2 

It was an evening well spent listening to soulful music, Music in the Park – Pt. Debu Chaudhuri-3in some phenomenal weather. Last nights rains had given Nehru Park a really refreshing feel and the nip in the air was awesome. SPIC-MACAY is holding a series of such events in the next few months at Delhi, and hopefully I can spend more evenings listening to great music.

Of course, as is my wont, I got into an argument with a friend as to whether one goes to such events to listen to music or to take photographs. My take on this, is that a photographer tries to capture the essence or soul of an event with his or her photographs. While I enjoyed the music, the fact that I got some photographs that I was happy about, gave me immense satisfaction….



Friday, February 25, 2011

Christchurch-NZ – a Tribute and Memorial…2

Christchurch’s main Icon and attraction is the Anglican cathedral of Christ Church in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The Cathedral was built in the second half of the 19th century. It is located in the centre of the city, surrounded by Cathedral Square. It is the cathedral seat of the Bishop of Christchurch in the New Zealand.

 Facade of Christ Church Cathedral

The 6.3-magnitude 2011 Christchurch earthquake on 22 February 2011 left the cathedral damaged and several surrounding buildings in ruins. The 130-year-old spire that had withstood damage in the September 2010 quake was completely destroyed, leaving only the lower half of the tower standing. While the walls and roof of the cathedral itself remained mostly intact, the gable of the west front sustained damage, and the roof over the western section of the north aisle, nearest the tower, collapsed.

 Central Aisle of Christ Church Cathedral

It is sad to see this beautiful work of architecture in ruins, and more so as it is learnt that several visitors and tourists have died in the collapsed tower and within the cathedral.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christchurch-NZ – a Tribute and Memorial…1

My first view of Christchurch, New Zealand, was from the air. I guess it is the same for most travellers who arrive by air into any city, especially if you arrive during the day.


Beautiful snow-capped mountains (the Southern Alps) and verdant fields greeted me .  Once I got down at the Christchurch Airport, I was greeted with such warmth and love, it was wonderful.


The city is called the “Garden City of New Zealand”  and is its second largest city. Christchurch became a city by Royal Charter on 31 July 1856, making it officially the oldest established city in New Zealand.


At the city's centre is Cathedral Square, surrounding the Anglican cathedral, Christ Church. The area around this square and within the 'four avenues' of Christchurch (Bealey Avenue, Fitzgerald Avenue, Moorhouse Avenue and Deans Avenue) is considered the central business district of the city.


To be continued……

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Shooting rain….

A bright sunny spring day in February, that was how I guess people were viewing today, but by about 4 p.m., the clear, cerulean sky with wispy clouds, (that was how a friend put it) gave way to ominous dark clouds, thunder and lightning. That was when I decided I need to take photographs of the rain, and lo and behold, the rain refused to be photographed.

It is not easy to take photographs of rain during the_MG_2681

_MG_1397-1day, unless it is raining extremely heavily and you can get some photos, like these…. _MG_1395

But it is difficult to shoot the rain if it is not too heavy, and I tried several things today. Just pointing the camera at the rain and trying various settings did not work, so I tried some of the tricks that were given here….

National Geographic - Taking photos in the rain - Jim Richardson

but they did not work very well, using the flash got me something like this -


I then tried to shoot the water droplets on the leaves, and got this -


with the previous two not being very impressive, I looked around, and say the rain splashing on the cement courtyard and forming puddles, and that looked nice, so I shot those and liked the pics



but was not totally satisfied. Need to work on shooting in the rain and getting pics that I like :-)


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Shooting the moon…

The first time I shot the moon was interesting. Thinking that I was a great photographer (what a let down that shoot was), I landed up on my roof and aimed my camera at the moon and shot. And reviewed the shot ( the problem with digital photography is that you do not have to wait to realise your mistakes, they smack you in the face, as soon as you take the pic) only to realise that all I captured was a white blob. So I trudged back home, 3 flights of stairs, lugging the tripod and camera, and after eating humble pie, googled for ‘photographing the moon’.


Came across several sites and posts, which gave great advice. The gist of most of them was, set your ISO to 400, aperture to f/16 and shutter to 1/60 and shoot. Lo and behold, I actually got good shots with this formula. Not great, but good.

That was when my learning curve started off and thanks to countless people who have already shot the moon before me, and guided me, I have started getting some good pics. Not great, but good :-)


I guess, this is one long term (whole-life, like an insurance guy would probably say) project for me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Na, this is not a post to Carl Segan’s famous television series and book…

Cosmos bipinnatus-1

This is a post to a flower by the name Cosmos.

Cosmos bipinnatus-2 

The origin of the name dates back to its cultivation by Spanish priests who grew the flowers in their mission gardens in Mexico.

Cosmos bipinnatus-3

The evenly placed petals led them to christen the flower "Cosmos," the Greek word for harmony or ordered universe. Cosmos, like many warm weather annuals such as marigolds, originated in Mexico and South America.

 Cosmos bipinnatus-4

Cosmos belongs to that vast family of plants known asCompositae. Although there are 20 known species of cosmos, two annual species, Cosmos sulphureus and Cosmos bipinnatus, are most familiar to home gardeners.

Cosmos bipinnatus-5

These two species are most easily differentiated by leaf structure and flower color. The leaves of C. sulphureus are long, with narrow lobes and hairy margins. The flower colors of this species are always shades of yellow, orange or red.

Cosmos bipinnatus-6

The C. bipinnatus has leaves that are finely cut into threadlike segments. The foliage looks similar to ferns. The flowers are white or various shades of pink to dark rose. The bright coloured flowers attract butterflies and bees. They are usually a part of any butterfly garden.

Cosmos bipinnatus-7

Cosmos is the Birth Flower for the October born Cosmos bipinnatus-8

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A walk in the park…..

Gazania - Nehru Park - 0

Delhi has beautiful blossoms in February and March, and this year is no different.


Gazania - Nehru Park - 1

All over Delhi, parks and roundabouts are being readied for spring flowers and at several places, the flowering has already begun.

Gazania - Nehru Park - 2

One such place is Nehru Park, where a few (Shweta Poddar, Sujata Khanna, Harjas Singh & me) of us landed up after a couple of rainy days and were greeted by a prolific variety of  Gazania.

Gazania - Nehru Park - 3

Gazania rigens is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to Southern Africa.

Gazania - Nehru Park - 4

The species occurs in South Africa and Mozambique.

Gazania - Nehru Park - 5

It is naturalised elsewhere and is widely cultivated as an ornamental garden plant.

Gazania - Nehru Park - 6

Gazania rigens is grown for the brilliant colour of its flowers which appear in the late spring and early summer. Plants prefer a sunny position and are tolerant of dryness and poor soils.

Gazania - Nehru Park - 7

Friday, February 04, 2011

Okhla Bird Park – Butterflies

A recent visit to the Okhla Bird Park allowed me to be enthralled by hundreds of butterflies fluttering around there. There is such a profusion of  lantana there, that it attracts butterflies in droves.

Striped Tiger

A long time ago, when i was doing my post-grad, we used to hate lantana. This is a shrub that was introduced into India as an ornamental plant and soon started displacing native plants in all habitats.

Great Eggfly

Although the plant is disastrous in ecological terms, it is a great introduction to gardens, including home gardens as it is hardy and grows with little maintenance and can make the garden look very colourful…. and attract lots of butterflies…..

Common Evening Brown