Agra Trip

The firm which takes care of my everyday bread had this amazing trip arranged to Agra for a 3 day official get-together.

This is one of those trips where I just assumed, “This is an official trip..why would i need all my camera equipment, Lemme just carry the least minimal gear…why would I need a flashgun.. If at best I’m gonna be at the Taj..” But guess what happened, I ended up shooting the entire trip and as 65% of the events were indoors with poorly(badly.. pick one..) a flashgun would’ve been awesome but doesn’t matter now, I cannot post those pics here for obvious reasons.

Taj Mahal.. This is the name that everyone in the world remembers about India right after Call centers and painstakingly crowded roads. This is my second visit to the Taj Mahal.

For those who haven’t been there even once, I just gonna say it out so the expectations are set right. The Taj Mahal isn’t really white… There I said it.. The reason I’m making this a primary point is, that’s all I heard while walking around the Taj..”I thought Taj Mahal is white“. well..It’s not.. This Mughal emperor built monument is surrounded by so many industries and factories that emit more amount of pollutants in to the atmosphere, they even release toxic components, acidic components in to the near by water bodies which ultimately ends up as rain with high acidic contents and has turned the Taj into an light brownish yellowy colored building.

Also, I visited really early on a Sunday which based on my experience isn’t a great idea. The place was jam-packed(duh!.). Looking at my face expression, My guide chuckled and replied “If you think this is crowded, try to be here on a Friday..”. Because, the entry is free on Fridays(I can imagine..Yipes!).  Lots of lame security scanning procedures, the award-winner is., ‘It’s o.k to have a memory card inside the camera but if there was one extra in the camera bag, that had to be left behind’. Heyy….what do i know!

Dear Policymakers, I applaud having enough security and scanning systems in & around the monument but it would be really awesome if you employ English(even a little should be good enough) speaking personnel which would help the foreign nationals and also the lucky Non-Hindi speakers like me to understand your policies(meant in a nice way).

Just my thoughts. Here are the shots.

Gear Used: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

[Above] I figured, It reads “Call Lala Anywhere All Agra”

[Above] This is a handheld shot of the Taj. It was super foggy during the early morning when I got there.

[Above] Another Handheld shot from the right-side of the Taj

[Above] Close zoomed in shot with my 70-200 of the tomb

[Above] Wide angle shot of two of the four pillars around the Taj

[Above] Some shots yell BW, these two men reaching the other side of the Yamuna river right behind the Taj.

[Above] A security guard poses for a quick shot.

[Above] Sun rises as a security guard walks on (Darwaza-i rauza)—gateway to the Taj Mahal.

[Above] I was watching these two with shutter fingers for a while and waited till they got in this position in front of the mosque.

[Above] Is the long party night with the bonfire at the hotel we stayed.

Thanks for stopping by..:-)

 

Churches around Chicago

I thought I would start this blog post with a portion of this chat i had with a friend of mine recently.

Mr.? : When did u become a Christian
Me    : Umm… No idea wht u r talkin abt n not sure y u asked this
Mr.? : U kno why I’m askin this
Me    : Trust me, No.
Mr.? : You’ve been capturing a lot of Churches recently, So i figured u became a christian.
(Well, at this point I’m expecting a ‘LOL’ after this previous sentence but not a thing, zippo)
Me    : Ummm…. wow! So, if I shoot inside a Synagogue tomorrow., does it mean I’ve become Jewish?
Mr.? : U seem very interested in Churches, that’s y i askd
Me    :…………………….(I did answer my friend but I would rather rephrase my answer in the rest of my post)

To be short and simple., I stalk light, chase colors and capture beauty where I see it.

Now where in hell does religion come here in the middle of all this ? And I love to shoot architecture. IMHO, I don’t think this makes me a person of specific religious belief.

I was kinda surprised when i had to explain all these. But anyway I’m really not sure when and how i fell in love with shooting churches. But I’m pretty sure I have a long way to go before my thirst to shoot Churches is completely taken care of.

Anyway, Chicago is already having the fall colors blended everywhere around the city and needless to say that it is turning even more gorgeous. Also, This is kinda of a delayed post because I am currently travelling and won’t be back in Chicago for couple of months to the least. I’m really gonna miss Chicago so badly.

Gear Used: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM,  Manfrotto 055MF3 MagFiber Tripod + Manfrotto Q5 054 Magnesium Ball Head

Here are the shots.,

Queen of All Saints Basilica – This is an awesome church in the northern suburbs. Real colorful and amazing light setup.

Another shot of the Queen of All Saints Basilica which shows the  organ.

Shot at the Holy Name Cathedral in downtown Chicago.

Shot at the St. Francis Xavier Parish, La Grange, IL.

Another shot of the St. Francis Xavier Parish, La Grange, IL.

Thanks for stopping by….:-)

54th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show

The Chicago City expected approximately 2 million visitors, trust me they were absolutely right. I almost stayed awake all previous night to get to North Avenue Beach by 6a.m. And it was well worth it to get me the spot i had in mind, pretty much up front and close. You tend to forget how big and loud these big flying machines are, till you see/hear them close enough.

The U.S Navy Blue Angels saved their skills to the end of the show as always. They rocked the Chicago skies with their F/A-18 Hornets and was well worth it.

Shot with Canon 5D Mark II + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Combo. Here are the shots.

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Thanks for stopping by..:-)

Dhara – Summer Shoot

When i had the first shoot with Dhara, we were already discussing about the next shoot. Well, what better time than the beautiful summer days in Chicago. We got a chance to shoot both indoors and outdoors. The outdoor shoot was late in the evening along the Chicago river walk.

At the outdoor shoot, I was just a ‘One Strobe Pony’ with one Canon 580 EXII + WestCott 43″ Octagonal Apollo orb.

I don’t have more to say and here is gorgeous Dhara.,

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Thanks for stopping by….:-)

Ballerina Shoot

I was so much thrilled when Laura said that she is a ballerina and would like to do a shoot. I had all these ideas popping up in my head about this shoot and doing it indoors seemed to be the right answer. As much as i wanted to do this shoot outdoors, I did makeup my mind to do this indoors finally.

Despite the hardwood floor to dance and so many other factors to distract her(including me., with the light setup..!), Laura was so patient throughout the shoot to get these shots done.

Lights: 2 Canon 580 EX II + WestCott 43″ Octagonal Apollo Orb. The WestCott Octagonal Apollo is big, it’s beautiful, the light is deeee-licious. As you can see below, nice soft shadows. It also doubles as a very efficient bounce umbrella for more of a fashion, glamour look. It is compact and folds down.

Here are the shots.,

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Thanks for stopping by…:-)

F o l l o w   M e !