Tree Rays

Tree Rays

Merced River outside Housekeeping camp, Yosemite National Park.

For the first time ever, I ended up staying at the housekeeping camp in Yosemite National Park. I have previously stayed at the tent city in Curry village – and this was a treat. The housekeeping cabin consisted of three concrete walls, concrete roof, one canvas entrance, beds, and a patio with a fire ring. It was also right next to the Merced river. It was so cold in the night that the two space
heaters we got were life savers.

Waking up in the morning and walking to the Merced is a treat in itself. Add to that the fog burning away, the smell of wood smoke and breakfast cooking at various campfires, the sound of the Merced flowing over the rocks, the muted sounds of humanity waking up…and the sun light streaming through the trees… what a sight! I had to try to photograph and this is what I ended up with.

Technical Details:

Camera: Canon EOS 50D 15.1MP Digital SLR Camera
Exposure: 0.6s at f22
Focal Length: 17mm
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Date: October 8, 2011

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Arches

Arches

Arches – off Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain.

A photograph from walking around Barcelona\’s Las Ramblas with the Oly E-PL3 and the Panny 20mm. This was some old building in the Gothic Barri area, on the right side of Las Ramblas (right walking towards Playa Catalunya). There were chairs and tables setup underneath these arches – outdoor seating for a restaurant.

Processed in Lightroom Beta 4, using Mikey G\’s Kodak Film emulation preset – Kodak Technical Pan and then made some more adjustments.

Other photos from Barcelona:
By La Rambla – www.suprada.com/photoblog/archives/2183
Pillars – www.suprada.com/photoblog/archives/2192

Technical Details:

Camera: Olympus E-PL3
Exposure: 1/20s at f1.7
Focal Length: 20mm
Lens: Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH
ISO: 400
Date: February 19, 2012

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Pillars

Pillars

Pillars – Next to the La Boqueria market off Las Ramblas, Barcelona, Spain..

Another photograph from my first evening walking around Barcelona\’s Las Ramblas with the Oly E-PL3 and the Panny 20mm.

Processed in Lightroom Beta 4, using Mikey G\’s Kodak Film emulation preset – Kodak Technical Pan and then made some more adjustments.

Other photos from Barcelona:
Barcelona – By La Rambla – www.suprada.com/photoblog/archives/2183

Technical Details:

Camera: Olympus E-PL3
Exposure: 1/13s at f1.7
Focal Length: 20mm
Lens: Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH
ISO: 400

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Barcelona – by La Rambla

Barcelona - by La Rambla

Boys by an old water tap on the side of La Rambla.

My first day – actually evening at Barcelona, I was walking around with the E-PL3 and 20mm on the notorious Las Ramblas at night. This is one of the more satisfactory photographs from that evening – for some reason was not feeling inspired by Barcelona yet – maybe it was the jetlag?

Processed in Lightroom Beta 4, using Mikey G\’s Kodak Film emulation preset – Kodak Technical Pan and then made some more adjustments.

Technical Details:

Camera: Olympus E-PL3
Exposure: 1/15s at f1.7
Focal Length: 20mm
Lens: Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH
ISO: 400

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Reading on the Plane

Reading on the Plane

Note: This seems so appropriate to post right now, sitting at the Frankfurt airport. Who knew I would be back travelling again – and taking photos at airports and planes. I don\’t even know if I should be sleeping or staying awake – messed up by time zones. This is only going to get worse over the next couple of weeks…sigh!

Reading on a airplane to somewhere…
About Photograph:

During my vacation in December 2011, I was on a lot of planes, travelling a lot on my vacation. At some point on this plane ride, I woke up and it was dark. However, there was this lady some seats to the left who was reading, and the lamp light was falling so beautifully on her shining hair. I had to take a photo using the extremely amazingly lovely Konica Hexanon 50mm F1.7 (did I tell you that I love that lens? almost more than my Canon 10-22mm EF-S?)

Technical Details:

Camera: Olympus E-PL3
Exposure: 1/25s at f1.7 9manual aperture, manual focus)
Focal Length: 42mm
Lens: Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.7 with Konica AR to Micro 4/3rds adaptor
ISO: 200

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Stones at Capitol Reef National Park

Stones at Capitol Reef National Park
Stones at Capitol Reef National Park, by Suprada on Flickr.

Stones at the viewpoint, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

This photograph was taken during the \”Utah\’s Golden Circle” workshop/field seminar with Rick Knepp during October 2010 at Capitol Reef National Park, Utah.

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon EOS 50D 15.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

Exposure: 1/320s at at f/8.0
Focal Length: 17mm
Lens:Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
ISO: 400
WB: Daylight
Date: October 21, 2010

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Molars at Devils Garden

Molars at Devils Garden
Molars at Devils Garden, by Suprada on Flickr.

Rock formation at the Devil\’s Garden in the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument

This photograph was taken during the \”Utah\’s Golden Circle” workshop/field seminar with Rick Knepp during October 2010. On the morning of Oct 19, we got out of Fosters Motel outside Bryce Canyon National Park. We headed out for a sunrise shoot at Kodachrome Basin State park.

At Kodachrome Basin, we hiked the Angel\’s Palace Trail getting on top before sunrise. In the newsletter we got at the entrance station, this trail is described as follows: \”Rising 150 feet (46m) above the basin floor, this 1.5 mile trail affords magnificent vies of Kodachrome Basin, Bryce Canyon and the surrounding area. It is an excellent trail for photographers. Difficulty: Easy / Moderate.”

It was a really enjoyable hike. However I have no photos I like from this expedition. I think of it as a scouting trip. Next time I\’ll be heading to Kodachrome for sunset.

We headed out to the town of Escalante for breakfast, restocking supplies and to visit the excellent visitor center of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. After gassing up, we headed out to Devils Garden – about 16 miles away. Unfortunately driving a rental sedan on the wash-boardy Hole-in-the-Rock road was very nerve-wracking. Next time I\’ll certainly drive at least a high clearance vehicle.

Devil\’s garden is pretty fantastic. Too bad we reached there around midday. It will be spectacular at sunrise and sunset. However, since I was there, i made this photograph – with the intention of making it Black and White during post-processing. I call these formations \”The Molars” since they remind me of – well – Molars.

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon EOS 50D 15.1MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Exposure:1/50s at at f 6.3
Focal Length: 10mm
Lens:Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Date: October 19, 2010

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Serene Cat

Wild Berries
Serene Cat, by Suprada on Flickr.

Gogol Chilling.
Here is a free pdf of more Gogol black and white photos.
Here are photos of Gogol on Flickr

Post – Processing Notes:
I shot this image in RAW mode and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 for my post-processing. After importing the photos into Lightroom and keywording them. I used the following presets for this photograph apart from the lightroom basic tools panel Soft Highlights by Joop Snijder and BW1 .

Here is the sample image and download link at Joop\’s blog. This

lightroom preset is highly recommended – one of the staples in my workflow. I love to use the 640 pixels Black and White presets as a strating point in all my Black and White photos as well.

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon G9
Exposure: 1/160s at f/4.0
Focal Length: 10.7mm
ISO: 80
WB: Daylight
Date: April 17, 2010
Processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3

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Magician\’s Pyramid – another view

Magician\
Magician\’s Pyramid – another view, by Suprada on Flickr.
Magician\’s Pyramid – another view, Uxmal, Mexico

Another view of the Magician\’s pyramid in Uxmal. Excerpt from www.luxuriousmexico.com website: \”Sometimes called the “Temple of the Dwarf,” or “La Casa del Enano” (House of the Dwarf,) this structure is one of the key structures in Uxmal due to its size and religious significance. This is the most impressive structure and the tallest standing at 117 feet (38 m) high; this structure dominates your view as you enter the complex. Unusually built on an elliptical base, this pyramid is the result of five superimposed temples. Parts of the first temple can be seen when ascending the western staircase; the second and third are accessed by the eastern staircase, in an inner chamber at the second level. The fourth temple is clearly visible from the west side, a giant Chaac mask marks the entrance and Chaac’s mouth is the door. Note also the series of Chaac masks on the sides of the stairway. Climb to the top of the east stairs to reach the fifth temple and view the whole site.

Located on the eastern side of the city, with its western face overlooking The Nunnery Quadrangle, this is the first structure seen as visitors enter the city. Though it appears as a single structure, this pyramid has in fact been built and added to five times in the course of history, in the known Maya practice of building newer temples on top of older ones at 52 year cycles. At the base of the western stairs archeologists have discovered the original temple that started the complete construction (called “Temple One”) and its birth has been carbon dated to the year 569. Though the overall temple as it appears now was completed between 900 – 1000 AD.

Structure like “El Castillo” at Chichén-Itzá are known for their angled, stepped appearance, but The Pyramid of the Dwarf is different from any other structure built by the Maya in that it resembles a truncated cone, with an oval base and no corners other than those found on the stairs and on the temples found at the apex of those stairs.

The Eastern Stairs are the widest of the two sets, starting from the base of the structure to the upper temple. The roof of the temple at the top of the eastern stairs stands 45 meters from the ground. Near the top of the eastern stairs is a smaller inner temple that cuts into the stairway itself. Once used for ceremonial purposes, this dark two-room temple is now a home for bats.

The Western Stairs overlook The Nunnery Quadrangle, and perhaps by virtue of them facing this significant structure, are very richly decorated and carved compared to the eastern side. Along both sides of this narrower staircase, images of the hooked-nose rain god Chaac line the stairs meaning that as worshipers climbed the stairs to the upper temples they would be in effect climbing a \”Stairways of the Gods” towards the place where they would perform their ceremonies. The Upper Temple of the western stairs is in the Chenes style, where the open doorway to the inner temple is meant to resemble the jaws of a huge Cosmic Serpent in the visage of the Mayan god of the sky, Itzamna.\”

Post – Processing Notes:
I shot this image in RAW mode and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 for my post-processing. After importing the photos into Lightroom and keywording them, I used two Lightroom develop presets available for free on the internet.

I first used the \”Wet Chrome” preset by Terry Johnston I found on Flickr. Search for \”Wet Chrome” in this page to download the preset.
I then followed it by using \”BW1″ from the set of BW presets from 640 pixels to convert to Black and White. Yes, this set of very high contrast and very good black and white conversions is free! I then tweaked the image using the adjustment brush and the other lightroom controls to get the image to my liking.
What do you think about the image and the post-processing?

Link to other posts from Uxmal
Link to other posts from Mexico

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon Rebel XT
Exposure: 1/250 at f/4.0
Focal Length: 19mm
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs
Date: December 25, 2009
Filter: Singh-Ray Neutral LB Polarizer

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The Pigeon\’s Quadrangle

The Pigeon\
The Pigeon\’s Quadrangle, by Suprada on Flickr.
The Pigeon\’s Quadrangle, Uxmal, Mexico.

During my trip to Mexico during Christmas of 2009, we visited the Mayan ruins of Uxmal in the Yucatan peninsula. From Locogringo.com \”The name Uxmal means \’thrice-built\’ in Mayan, referring to the construction of its highest structure, the Pyramid of the Magician. The Maya would often build a new temple over an existing one, and in this case five stages of construction have actually been found.

This photograph here shows the remains of the Pigeon\’s Quadrangle. The guide told us that pigeons used to roost on the square holes of this structure, encouraged by the Maya who used to live here. From luxuriousmexico.com:\”The huge crests that are the hallmark of the Pigeons Quadrangle (and the corbelled archway in the center of the surviving building) are all that is left of this structure. It is located directly west of The Great Pyramid. Now in ruins that may never be completely reconstructed, what remains of this structure tell us it is similar in design to The Nunnery Quadrangle. In effect, four long rectangle buildings open at the corners, with numerous inner chambers and dwellings that marked it as a ceremonial center. Visible in this structure, and not in the Nunnery, are the large roof crests still visible today.\”

Post – Processing Notes:
I shot this image in RAW mode and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 for my post-processing. After importing the photos

into Lightroom and keywording them, I used two Lightroom develop presets available for free on the internet.

I first used the \”Wet Chrome” preset by Terry Johnston I found on Flickr. Search for \”Wet Chrome” in this page to download the preset.
I then followed it by using \”BW1″ from the set of BW presets from 640 pixels to convert to Black and White. Yes, this set of very high contrast and very good black and white conversions is free! I then tweaked the image using the adjustment brush and the other lightroom controls to get the image to my liking.
What do you think about the image and the post-processing?

Link to other posts from Uxmal
Link to other posts from Mexico

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon rebel XT
Exposure: 1/3000 at f/4.0
Focal Length: 70mm
Lens: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Date: December 25, 2009

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Nunnery Quadrangle

Nunnery Quadrangle
Nunnery Quadrangle, by Suprada on Flickr.
Nunnery Quadrangle, Uxmal, Mexico.

During my trip to Mexico during Christmas of 2009, we visited the Mayan ruins of Uxmal in the Yucatan peninsula. From Locogringo.com \”The name Uxmal means \’thrice-built\’ in Mayan, referring to the construction of its highest structure, the Pyramid of the Magician. The Maya would often build a new temple over an existing one, and in this case five stages of construction have actually been found. Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the Yucatán peninsula, and at its height was home to about 25,000 Maya. Like the other Puuc sites, it flourished in the Late Classic period (around 600-900 AD). Indications are that its rulers also presided over the nearby settlements in Kabah, Labná and Sayil, and there are several sacbe\’s (white roads of the Maya) connecting the sites. The area is known as the Ruta Puuc, or Puuc route, from the nearby hills. With a population of about 25,000 Uxmal was one of the largest cities in the Yucatán.\”

This photograph here shows the highly carved western facade on the Nunnery Quadrangle, with the pattern echoing the serpentine pattern of the snake and decorated with the rain god Yuun Chaac\’s masks. From the Sacred Destinations website: \”The Nunnery Quadrangle was given its name by the 16th-century Spanish historian Fray Diego López de Cogullado because it reminded him of a Spanish convent. It may have been a military academy or a training school for Mayan princes, who would have lived in the 74 rooms. The rooms have no interior decoration and have mostly been taken over by swallows.
The buildings of the Nunnery Quadrangle were constructed at different times: first the northern; then the southern, eastern, and western buildings. The western building has the most richly decorated facade, featuring intertwined stone snakes and numerous masks of the hook-nosed rain god Chac. Above each
doorway in the the archway to the south of the Nunnery

Quadrangle features the motif of a Maya cottage, or nah, which is still seen throughout the Yucatán today.\”

Post – Processing Notes:
I shot this image in RAW mode and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 for my post-processing. After importing the photos into Lightroom and keywording them, I used two Lightroom develop presets available for free on the internet.

I first used the \”Wet Chrome” preset by Terry Johnston I found on Flickr. Search for \”Wet Chrome” in this page to download the preset.
I then followed it by using \”BW1″ from the set of BW presets from 640 pixels to convert to Black and White. Yes, this set of very high contrast and very good black and white conversions is free! I then tweaked the image using the adjustment brush and the other lightroom controls to get the image to my liking.
What do you think about the image and the post-processing?

Link to other posts from Uxmal
Link to other posts from Mexico

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon Rebel XT
Exposure: 1/180 at f/4.5
Focal Length: 22mm
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs
Date: December 25, 2009
Filter: Singh-Ray Neutral LB Polarizer

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Yuan Chaac\’s Nose

Yuan Chaac\
Yuan Chaac\’s Nose, by Suprada on Flickr.

Yuan Chaac\’s Nose, Uxmal, Mexico.

Yuan Chaac (pronounced yuuuun chaaaaac) is the ancient Maya god of rain and lightning. He was one of the earliest and most worshipped gods among the all the people of mesoamerica. Chac was often depicted with a serpentine axe in his hand a metaphor for lightning, and his body was scaled and reptilian. He was worshipped at sacred wells or cenotes, and was associated with the life giving rain needed for agriculture. At the dawn of time Chac split apart a sacred stone with his axe, from which sprung the first ear of maize. When he was not among the clouds the god could be found near falling waters.

Uxmal doesn\’t have very many cenotes (the underground fresh water pools). The Maya here depended on the rains. Not surprisingly, they built Uxmal trying to draw the benevolent eye of their rain god. Chaac is always invoked with the long hooked nose, shown in the photo above. He was a reptilian god, and the architecture in Uxmal echoes, celebrates and worships snakes.

Post – Processing Notes:
I shot this image in RAW mode and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 for my post-processing. After importing the photos into Lightroom and keywording them, I used two Lightroom develop presets available for free on the internet.

I first used the \”Wet Chrome” preset by Terry Johnston I found on Flickr. Search for \”Wet Chrome” in this page to download the preset.
I then followed it by using \”BW1″ from the set of BW presets from 640 pixels to convert to Black and White. Yes, this set of very high contrast and very good black and white conversions is free! I then tweaked the image using the adjustment brush and the other lightroom controls to get the image to my liking.
What do you think about the image and the post-processing?

Link to other posts from Uxmal
Link to other posts from Mexico

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon Rebel XT
Exposure: 1/180 at f/4.0
Focal Length: 15mm
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs
Date: December 25, 2009
Filter: Singh-Ray Neutral LB Polarizer

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The Magician\’s Pyramid

The Magician\
The Magician\’s Pyramid, by Suprada on Flickr.

The Magician\’s Pyramid, Uxmal, Mexico

When we visited Mexico last December, I specifically wanted to visit some of the ancient Maya sites. Doing my research for the trip, I came across multiple reviews recommending Uxmal. Uxmal is supposed to be the most elegant of the Inca archeological sites with very elegant carvings. It is also supposed to be a lot less crowded -fewer visitors – nothing like the insanity of Chichen Itza.

I must report that all the above is true. When we landed in Cancun, we drove directly to Merida. On Christmas Day, we headed out to Uxmal – hoping for even fewer crowds. We were not disappointed. It was a great day – the billowy dark rain clouds were moving around the sky – a photographers dream. At Uxmal, we hired a guide to take us around and explain the excavated ruins. That was a very good move – it brought the ruins to life and we got to know about the Mayans in a very entertaining way. Highly recommended if you want the place to appear more than a bunch of buildings and experience the site. We also got to know that a very small part of Uxmal has been excavated and a lot of archaeological work is ongoing. Here\’s more about Uxmal on the internet – http://www.locogringo.com/past_spotlights/nov2001.html

The photo here shows the Pyramid of the magician, taken with a very wide angle lens. Note the horizon line band in the center of the frame…no rule of thirds for me here! Here is an entertaining < href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_the_Magician\">story about how the Pyramid of the magician came about from Wikipedia – \”nother tale holds that when a certain gong was to sound, the city of Uxmal was destined to fall to a boy “not born of woman”. The gong was struck, one day, by a dwarf that was born unto no mother, but rather hatched from an egg by a childless, old woman. The sound of the gong struck fear into the city’s ruler and the dwarf was ordered to be executed. The ruler reconsidered the death sentence, though, and promised that the dwarf’s life would be spared if he could perform three seemingly impossible tasks.One of the tasks was to build a massive pyramid, taller than any building

in the city, in a single night. The dwarf ultimately completed all the tasks, including the construction of the pyramid. The dwarf was hailed as the new ruler of Uxmal and the structure was dedicated to him\”

Before I go on to talk about my processing, I must say that I have been influenced Mitch Dobrowner\’s excellent Black and White photographs.

Post – Processing Notes:
I shot this image in RAW mode and used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 for my post-processing. After importing the photos into Lightroom and keywording them, I used one develop preset available for free on the internet.

The preset I used was \”BW1″ from the set of BW presets from 640 pixels to convert to Black and White. Yes, this set of very high contrast and very good black and white conversions is free! I then tweaked the image using the adjustment brush and the basic exposures to get the image to my liking.
What do you think about the image and the post-processing?

Link to other posts from Uxmal
Link to other posts from Mexico

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon Rebel XT
Exposure: 1/750 at f/4.0
Focal Length: 10mm
ISO: 100
WB: Daylight
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM SLR Lens for EOS Digital SLRs
Date: December 25, 2009
Filter: Singh-Ray Neutral LB Polarizer

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Moon and Cathedral

Moon and Cathedral
Moon and Cathedral, by Suprada on Flickr.

Moon rising over the The Cathedral of San Idelfonso, Mérida, Mexico.

In December we spent a few days in Mexico. We landed in Cancun and drove directly to M̩rida РThe White City. On Christmas Eve, we were walking around
Centro (central plaza). Towards evening, the moon was in the sky above the Cathedral which made me make this photo.

More about the Cathedral: The Cathedral of San Ildefonso is the oldest in Mexico, completed in 1598. It was built over an ancient Mayan temple – the stones used to build this cathedral also came from that temple. More information about the Catedral de San Ildefonso

I also found a very good account of a visit to Merida on the internet. Here is the link to
LA and Susan Wyatt\’s travel log – Mérida visit

Technical Details:
Camera: Canon G9
Filter: Hoya 58mm RM-72 Infrared Filter
Exposure: 1/20sec at f/2.8
ISO: 80
WB: Daylight
Date: December 24, 2009
Processed in Lightroom

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