Image Courtesy : My Dad. These are images of Kolukkumalai which were taken during our second visit to Munnar in 2006. Munnar had always been our favorite holiday destination for its never-ending greenery and stunning weather. A tricky ride to the top of the mountain will take you to the top of the mountain and then to the Tea Estate and you get to see some breathtaking scenes of the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border. Will post more pics from rest of Munnar in coming posts…
This gallery contains 8 photos.
This is from where the river Cauvery is considered to be originated. This image is a temple which is built around that place of origin. The time I visited here, it was completely raining and misty. As you can see, the visibility is very less. Add to that, strong winds striking against you constantly. It was just magical..!!!
So, as I said before, I entered a new world of digital photography with Nikon D3100 DSLR camera. I have been taking photos vigorously with it ever since I got it, trying to get familiarized with it. Earlier, I had my Sony Cybershot DSC S600, with which I had a great time shooting. Even though it is low on the specs by today’s standards (6MP with 3x zoom and VGA video support), it never failed me, and had stood by me for quite a long time. Nowadays, we see even mobile phones sport camera with 8MP and all, but again, it faired a lot better and as I said, was very reliable. It was fast, its having a small size, easy to carry and use. In the last post, I showed you one photo of a railway station which I took from a running car in Darjeeling. I still believe that this shot would not have been possible if I was having a DSLR with me. Such was the ease of use this camera offered for me – any situation, you just power on the cam and bang it springs to life and gets ready for the first shot in just 2 seconds. So, taking these quick shots were never really a problem for me. But the battery life was one thing which was bothering me most of the time. You cant say when it would die out or stop working. So, I carried 2 additional batteries all the time, to be on the safer side.
So I was having this wonderful time with it for quite some time. I really learned how to take pics, with it. And I still believe that you dont need a high-end over-priced Digital camera to take stunning photos. You can just do it with even your mobile camera. All you really need is to be in the right place at the right time. I always loved mist and nature. And it was delivered to me in plenty during these years as I travelled many cool places in India, like Srinagar, Manali, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Coorg and Munnar (twice), thanks to my Dad for taking me to all these places, except Manali which I visited with my friends as part of our final-year tour from college. So wherever I went, I had this Sony Cybershot and with it, I got some really nice shots.(if you would like to see some of those, do check my flickr profile, http://www.flickr.com/photos/vimalsuresh/ ). Later when I lost this camera’s service, which I will tell you shortly, I used my mobile to take pictures of Thekkady, Vandanmedu and Vagamon. Again, I returned home satisfied. I really had thought that the trip would be a waste as I was handicapped without a proper cam, but I was more than happy when I checked those pics taken with mobile back home. This again confirmed my belief of having a normal cam.
So, how did I reach DSLR after all this?? The answer is this. Onam, 2011. As usual, I reached my hometown to meet all my dear relatives at our ancestral home in Omallur. Thiruvonam day, and athappookalam is ready. Everyone dressed in traditional Kerala attire and ready to pose for all the cameras snapping at them. I too took out my little friend and started taking pics. Wait a minute, there is a problem here…I cant see anything in the LCD screen after the photo is taken. All I can see is a very bright light all over, and some horizontal lines. I stopped and took some more pics to see if any settings were misplaced. Tried each and every setting and put it back to full-auto mode as well. No luck, the bright lines all over. Yea, you’re right, the lens is having a problem which cannot be fixed by me at that point of time. Slowly, sadly, I put it back into the pouch. Wondered what to do next. All those images which I dreamed of taking now looks blurred. Snap!! Yes, all is not over yet. I had just bought myself an android phone(Samsung Galaxy Pop) with a 3.2MP cam in June. Now, it was my only savior. Took it out and tested a couple of shots. Voila! Yes!! I got a decent cam in my hands. This cam is having a reputation of taking decent shots under proper lighting and a total waste after sunset. Maybe because of that, I never really noticed this little fellow’s capabilites. Trust me, it was at that time that I learnt that it can take take pics in 8 different modes(night, pprtrait etc etc..) in addition to a zoom feature. Yea, I really underestimated it. Anyhow, back to the scene. The entire Onam passed with our trip to Thekkady and Vandanmedu(Idukki) and a drive-through through Vagamon. All through it, I taken 100+ shots with my mobile cam. Interestingly, it even saved me from the utter depression of losing my Sony cam and it prevented me from even thinking about it. So, back home and I connected my phone to PC and transferred them. Yes, all are there and looks very good…. :) Thank God!!!
I survived a real scare.
So, two weeks later, I took my now-dysfunctional cam to the service center. The guy there had a good look at it and said that the sensor is gone and the lens has to be replaced, which will cost Rs.3000. Also an additional 2000 for fixing the lens shutter cap which stopped working 2years back. Hmm, total 5000 to fix this cam. No, I can get a new and better spec cam at the same price. So, decided to pack it up and time to look to fresh blood. Will tell you those details in the next post. :)
This image is by far, my favorite shot, simply because of the way I took it. I was travelling through the chilly and misty city roads of Darjeeling, in 2010. Just then, we passed this railway station(the highest in India at an altitude of 2257m) right in the center of the road(there is no usual train service these days from here, mostly we get to see a town-to-town slow ride cutting right through the city roads). The driver didn’t stop the car but I just wanted to snap this one. So I took out my small digicam, turned back and stretched my arms out. I didnt have the time to take a look at the LCD screen to check if its okay before taking the picture. So I just went ahead and took the picture. The only thing I wanted was to make sure that the rear part of the car don’t get into the picture. Luckily, the car stayed out of the equation and I got this nice picture. The mist and color pattern in this pic is the same as it was at that time. One more thing which adds color to it is that this picture made its way into the selected Daily Dozen photos for the first week of August, 2011 in the official National Geographic website, which was quite a surprise for me. So in any case, this lucky snap remains my fav. :)