China Lights Festival – Milwaukee

These were taken at the China Lights festival held at Boerner Botanical Gardens, Milwaukee.

Armed with my GX1 fitted with the reliable Samyang fish-eye, I knew that I’d have to invest time in composition and framing while on the move, without the help of a tripod. Since I was with the kids, the time for each shot should have to very brief or else they’d wander off without me. Most or all of the shots were taken at 1/6th of a second @f/5.6 (if I remember correctly) at ISO 200. Luckily for me, I was able to use proper breathing techniques and timing to reduce shake as much as possible. Enjoy.

As always, you can view the whole album [here]

 

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Chinese Light Festival

Shedd Aquarium Chicago

Here’s a photo heavy post from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. I’ve been to a few aquariums but this has to be the biggest one I’ve seen so far and even more impressive is that it was opened in 1930!

One of my favorite sets here was the dolphin observation deck. I spent some time patiently watching people on the deck and really liked the dark silhouettes against the blue background. Hope you enjoy them.

As always, you can click on the pictures for a closer look in Flickr or visit the album directly [here]

 

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

The Royal Air Force Red Arrows – a post that’s 4 years late

So this is one of those posts that took about 4 years to make. Its a long story but to cut it short, I took these photos in 2013 and I shot all of them in RAW. Now thing about me shooting in RAW is that I sometimes get OCD about tweaking and processing and sometimes I overthink certain shots to the extent that I end up deleting all the processed ones and start from scratch. Finally these ended up in my archives I forgot about them till recently.

Since this was an aerial show I used the ‘spray and pray’ technique in the hope that I’d get at least a dozen or so good ones. I ended up with around 300 frames and finally just worked on two dozen and finally 19 made the final cut. So here they are 4 years later and was it worth the wait? Heck no! I’m quite disappointed in them actually since I was using my 55-200mm that had poor contrast and vignetting around the edges. Here you go!

 

Red Arrows in Kuwait

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

RAF Red Arrows

Photos from these United States

I haven’t had much time to actually go out just for taking photos but I do manage to take a few now and then time permits. This post has a few from Milwaukee, Minneapolis and a lot from Washington DC. A future post will be dedicated to Fort Worth Dallas, Texas as I was lucky to spend a whole evening there.

Milwaukee

These were taken at the Riverwalk in Downtown Milwaukee,

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Heeeeeey! The Bronze Fonz!

Bronze Fonz

Minneapolis

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Washington DC

I only spent three days there but I went out for walks every evening after work as my hotel was just overlooking the Potomac river. There was a nice South Asian man at the reception who changed my room to one with a view so this is what I woke up to every morning.

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Marine Corps War Memorial

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A Visit to Kuwait Dino Park

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A couple of weeks ago I took the kids to the Dino Park Exhibition that had been operating in Mishref since March. The exhibit was in an open area behind Hall 6 in Mishref International Fairgrounds. The main attraction was about a dozen or so animatronic Dinosaur puppets that had some basic movement and sound effects.

I grew tired of it after a while but the kids had a great time and after we had seen all the dinosaurs in action they had some fun on the amusement rides at the venue. If the park is still open I’d suggest you take your young children there as they’ll get a kick out of it.

The ticket prices were advertised as 4KD but when we visited it was 2.5 KD per person and children below 3 went in free. I was also trying out a new lens and took some strategically angled photos there to avoid the cluttered background but some of them needed some photoshop manipulation as well.

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Senseless Killing of Wild Birds

Kuwait birds 07

In a previous post I’d mentioned how my friends would go out into the desert to shoot the local wildlife and migratory birds. During the last couple of outings they had also come across instances where birds where shot with shotguns and other live ammunition and left there to die in the desert.

It’s a shame that people get a kick out of shooting these rare birds for fun then and leave them to die. A few months back there was even a news report of a crane shot on Gulf road, which is not only a danger to the birds itself but to passersby on the street.

As you can see from the pictures below, the desert habitats of these local and migratory birds are something that needs to be cherished and maintained in pristine condition. All photos taken by my friend Manoj Olikara.

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Exploring the Wild

It’s been a while since I’d joined a group on a photo-shoot, so in January when some friends were out exploring the ‘wilderness’ in Kuwait I tagged along. Apparently there are a lot of bird species in places like Wafra and Abdali and several other places like the nature reserve. The group I was with, Q8Clicks, has a bunch of avid birders and they manage to get some great shots of birds on most outings.

Here’s some from my trip with them.

Tall grass 01

Tall grass 02

Tall grass 03

Herd

Profile

Close encounter

Camel herder

At the peak

Sunrise

Tele

Low angle

One word of advise though, if you’re gonna spend time in the desert, be sure to clean up after yourself. It’s disgusting to see the amount of garbage left behind by campers and visitors.

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Quick Trip To Kerala

I made a really short trip to Kerala during the Eid holidays last week to attend to some personal matters.

I knew I had a tight schedule but while packing my cameras I figured I’d get some free time to go out alone but that didn’t happen.

Here’s some of the few photos I did take during the week I was there.

Cormorant

Boatman

Navigating

Vigil

Another thing I found out that most of the bars in Kerala have now been shutdown due to some court order and that means getting a drink with your lunch means you’d have to go to a place that’s above 4 Stars. Quite a shame really as there are many hotels in Kerala that have a nice ambiance but the alcohol bans keeps out the clients during lunch time like this place below.

Playing with Fire and Light

A couple of weeks ago, a few friends of mine arranged a night photo shoot to have some fun with light painting and long exposure shots. We headed to this abandoned building in the middle of nowhere and a brave volunteer worked his magic with just some steel wool stuffed in a whisk and swung on a chain. Here’s what I got. I loved the results and can’t wait to do some more of this.

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Here’s something I tried while I was playing around with the 2 axis head on the tripod. I set the exposure to around 10 seconds and then moved the camera on X and Y axis while focused on a string of street lights. This might make a good wallpaper for my mobile phone.

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There was this structure that I lit up using a flashlight and managed to get the stars in the shot as well. The yellow haze is light reflected off clouds from the street lights and just above that the stars are visible.

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Towards the end of the session we played around with one of those LED key-chains and got the following samples.

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While I was editing the pictures I remembered that I’d taken some similar pictures of the Fire Dancers at this year’s Sand Sculpture expo so I figured those would fit into the theme of this post. So here are some shots from the event.

Fire dancers at Remal Festival 2014

Fire dancers at Remal Festival 2014

Fire dancers at Remal Festival 2014

Fire dancers at Remal Festival 2014

Fire dancers at Remal Festival 2014

Fire dancers at Remal Festival 2014

Evening at Souk Sharq

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The blog has been inactive for a while so here’s a random post to liven things up a little. Its been ages since I’ve been to the marina at Sharq so the other night a friend of mine and I went there to take some night shots. All photos were taken with the GX1 and the Samyang fisheye.

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Souk Panorama

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