"Where ever you go... just there, you are. Going day by day. So let's see where it takes me! Namaste. _/|\_"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Tree Named Joshua : California Nevada Dec'14 Series #3

Read here 
Chapter 1 : Finding Cuyamaca
Chapter 2 : The Road to Mecca

the very unique  and stunning Joshua Trees in Mojave

Why my very first research on Southern California left me perplexed is an interesting story. I have herpetophobia or ophidiophobia or both. Atleast I think so. Though I have seen a python in the forest and No, I did not run for my life, ( I surprise me everyday. ) but seriously, reptiles, in fact anything that slithers just make me feel very uneasy.

I remember one of my friend spent a few weeks in Mojave, and he kept posting pictures of these beautiful lizards ( beautiful from 'far' to be noted) and colorful sparkling snakes and though I kept giving a 'thumbs up' I always wished he wouldn't post another one. It also made me think that this area is full of reptiles and if I am every camping here, It'll only be car camping.

Having said that, No one ever told me about Bigfoot. Yes BIGFOOT - until I googled Mojave and There it rolled - one story after the other.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

And so, She decided to start living the life She'd imagined...

Emerge. Evolve. Embrace. Untitled

I may be 10-12, we used to live in this 2 floor house we built in 30-50 sq ft land and has this very small porch w/ no fence. an open colony of 20-30 houses, a good size park in the center, should someone yell on the other side of the rectangular park, each door would open in no time and everyone would be on the street and began chitchatting, sometime squeamish, the gossip will suffice for a day long fun. One of those fine days, a monkey visited our lovely neighborhood. It must be early morning, around 7 am or so, should have been a Saturday or Sunday, or why would i'd be sitting on the porch, holding my toothbrush, my eyes glued in to fresh green leaves of a bean plant my mum was growing in the small front-yard. I must be in deep thinking, when my mom came from inside, shooked me a little - Guddo, what are you doing here? and where is this monkey came from, I looked up, A huge monkey, old perhaps, sitting there like a statue, 4 feet away, just staring at me. Looks Hungry I guess, should get him some food I thought and announced. So my mother and I both went inside, I found a packet of roasted chana in the kitchen, thought the monkey would like it, I come out w/ the pack, throw it in front of the monkey and just sit there, watch. the fellow still doesn't move. I realize I have perhaps thrown like a immature spinner and ball stopped half way to the stumps, and he dint see it, so I slowly put two steps forward, bent my knees, try to reach the packet - just when the monkey grabs my long hair with both hands and next moment my 3rd eye is in his mouth.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review : The Official Guide to America's National Parks, & Road Trip USA By Jamie Jensen


I was in Utah recently, for a 5 days road trip to explore the national parks of the states of Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho. A 7th or perhaps 8th in the series of back-country travel through the states of north america, and perhaps the longest so far in term of miles, and toughest, though learnings from the Alaskan highway drive came in very handy and made it somewhat easy to traverse through storms, icy roads and bad weather. it was quite exhausting to say the least. I will be writing about the places I covered, along with those from the previous trip  in weeks to come, First I thought I'll do a quick review of these two books I have in my hands, since these two pretty much are with in the subject matter of what I blog these days. The first book titled "The Official Guide to America's National Parks" by national park foundation, I purchased from the visitor center of Golden Spikes NHS Utah where I was last month, for 20 something dollars. The second book titled "Road Trip USA" was sent to me for review last year, almost around this time. That means I had it w/ me for a year almost, clearly not a very good reviewer send books to, I am. But the delay I will justify right here in this short review.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Road to Mecca : California Nevada Dec'14 Series #2

Anza Borrego Desert State Park | California

Read Previous Post Here.

The Beauty of the Road, You never know what you'd encounter next. The uncertainty that keeps the adrenalin pumping, mind on alert, eyes on a constant look-out. No matter how many images you see, motion pictures you watch, stories you read, there is always something unseen there, no matter if you've been there before, there'd always be something new waiting for you next time you visit, and as for the plans, well, how about keeping all the planning aside and just being there at the moment, because, well, ultimately they're all gonna fail anyway.

If I could pick one memorable sight of all, then this has to be it. The hue of this wild grass, that left me awestruck. I kept looking at for minutes. What are those little things? wild flowers, seasonal vegetation, does it changes color during seasons? how it'll look in the bright sunlight? I kept asking me. Then took some images in iPhone, then in the Samsung or HTC phone my friend carried, in my DSLR later, the color was different everywhere. I thought of running in to valley and probably just sit there and write poetry on it. But I held my horses, It was already late, may be an hour or left of day light, and there was no point going to Salton Sea in the dark, unless I wanted to say hello to the ghosts.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

How To Photograph The Northern Lights & For The First Time

I still have few images to post-process before I could publish the half-cooked 2nd installment from the Nevada-California trip, and If I begin now, It'll sure eat away my weekend. But I can not just allow that, Sun is shining bright and I really want to head out, besides I have something brand new waiting for me downstairs at the concierge, that I have not picked up yet, only because I am not ready, and Yes its a new gear. :) yay. So I thought I'll write a short one today, that's been in my mind for about a year now.

There are zillions of tutorials from every subject-matter expert, floating around on the internet currently then why would I really waste my time in writing this? The answer is, I am not writing it for who has already photographed the aurora and I am also not giving you an equipment lists and website details to find out if the sky is dark enough or there are clouds, or how do you prepare and later process the images. I am only giving you a short and simple list of things that I did not do and I think you should. This in a way is a checklist for me as well,  since I may be heading north, where Aurora has been seen before, and who knows I might get lucky and I definitely do not want to make the same mistakes that I did when I saw them for the first time. So you see it can be used the second time as well.

Alaska | Aurora | Northern Lights - http://blog.poonamparihar.com/2013/10/my-first-alaskan-adventure-y13octalaska.html

In past 5-6 years of my photography life, and choosing between 'using and letting the dslr sit home' and only use iPhone etc, there is one thing  I can tell, I haven't done yet and that is carrying a list of instruction, a checklist of settings or what  & where to do etc.  The other thing is I have GND , Haze and Polarizer filters etc and I haven't even used them once. The initiation of this write-up kinda got me thinking why I didn't ever and I think the answer was pretty simple, Its all too cumbersome, I managed few good images without them, and 3rd the foremost actually I was simply tired and I never had enough time at a place to set it all up and shoot. So technically I have not been photographing at all for all these years, in other words adventure took over, and when you are driving 2000 miles nonstop, braving the weather,  and processing all the new information your brain receives while on the road, photography does take a back seat. i.e. you are not prepared.

Having said all that, You do not need a 4 Page instruction list to carry with you when you are out photographing, and specifically when you go see northern lights. This is all you need and not need to know and do.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

To make an end is to make a beginning

...For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. - T S Eliot

Bookmaking, an art, and Self-publishing also an art, I discovered around this time 3 years back. I began my bookmaking journey with a short coffee table book dedicated to jewels of the Cold deserts, in this case, from Nubra Valley of one of my favorite place on earth, Ladakh. I did not know how to even write a forward then, and so I very smartly skipped it all and let the images do the talking. My  unwillingness to take part in over the top publicity and flooding the social media, may have not given me much monetary benefits but that wasn't the result I was wanting to achieve in this tedious ( i figured) process. But it taught me a lot about how I should look at art, a creation. I realized why mother nature, didn't just leave us looking like manikins, still as statue and with no skills to express.

A travel is not complete until you tell its story. all those emotions that you feel are to be expressed if not those weren't deep enough, or important really. Photography, sketching, painting, pottery or any art for that matter, is also telling a story, and that story should be complete. it should have an end, a thread that breathe us in to a new beginning. that's how affectionate bookmaking has been to me since, It is that fondness with which I am fastened to each and every article, every image of mine. A million thoughts and an indefinite amount of time, that I spent in its conception, and not seeing the end is like never seeing a baby after carrying it in your womb for nine long months.

One of the most viewed article on this blog is Dhanushkodi, a small island block in southern india, more than just another place, actually, and from what I experienced, standing in the shallow waters at the merging point of Indian ocean and Bay of Bengal, the time stood still. When I wrote the article, I don't think I felt so deeply connected to it. Something seemed to be missing there, that disconnection, mixed with my disappointment over seeing such living conditions made me vary from whatever i captured in imagse and words, I looked through images many a times, sit for hours try to feel what story they're telling me but all I found in my head was a zero.

Like most of my work is, out in an impulse, i.e these thoughts that would run away in seconds if I don't sketch 'em, 2 nights back, I decided I did need to end few things, and one of 'em looked like this.

Dhanuskodi : 

preview only shows first 15 pages of the book.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Letter to Santa : My 2015 Travel Wishlist

Anza-Borrego & Salton Sea i.e. the second post from California-Nevada trip has to wait. 1 day to X-mas, I need to finish my Letter to Santa. I have already written one on "macy's : a million reasons to believe" ( check the link for more details macy's make-a-wish donation campaign) though, 3 very basic, little things ;), I missed the travel part there, so tradition you know. Its a wishlist of course, but there is nothing much unrealistic about it, like for example,  I want to go there, but I don't think I can, still I wish to, kind, so here you go Santa, and Don't you worry, it'll be pretty short & sweet and totally easy for you to fulfill, my patron Saint.

1. India : 
First thing, I can't believe in less than a month, its gonna be been two years for me to not go out of United States, in other words, being away from India. Never before I stayed away that long, Not that I am complaining, I actually wonder, how I used to, widen and roll my eyes, when I hear my friends telling me, they've not been to India for 3 years etc. I think Its high time, I make a visit. I even have a road-map planned specially in the hope to attend Kumbh Mela in Nasik. So come July -Sep 2015, and if not April 2016 for Ujjain Kumbh, for one of these I just gotta go and get a dip in holy ganges.

image : ah.fm