Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The mighty Atlantic in my backyard...

Well, not literally... But how cool would that be! Over the last year or so, I've had a few chances to go see the Atlantic - in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Florida. Each time, I've been taken aback by its grandeur and beauty. I think the water in Florida has a more beautiful turquoise sort of color and is much warmer (!) than up North, but the view of Atlantic from the viewing towers of the numerous light houses in the North is much more grand!

Here's the view of the Atlantic for you, through my eyes... Pictures of the ocean seashore and all are easily available in many places - I thought I'd give you a different view...
These pictures have been taken @ 1) viewing window of the Highland Lighthouse at Cape Cod 2) viewing windows of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Hampshire and 3) viewing window of the Fort Constitution in New Hampshire.

Btw, now that I've stumbled upon the collage feature in picasa, I'm not letting it go! Apart from its own artistic charm, this feature is letting me save space on my blog here... which is great and probably greatly needed too!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Mix a little bit of sunshine with a lot of water and you'll have a recipe for beautiful reflections! When I first started taking pictures with our Canon Rebel film camera, my mom told me to think of a theme while taking pictures - e.g. flowers, mushrooms, beaches, smiles, shadows and what not! I've tried to keep that in mind since then and here's a product - Reflections! Thanks aai :-)

I took a picture of the elderly couple enjoying a nice afternoon and later realized that the reflection in the water behind them was interesting! After that my eyes kept looking for such reflections and I soon found another when I saw my husband standing on a rock boulder enjoying the beautiful view of the sea... Click! The third picture is a reflection of a lighthouse in New Hampshire (the Portsmouth Harbor Light) I took that same evening. This was our 'Halibut point in north eastern Massachusetts and Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Hampshire' trip this weekend. More photos here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Picturesque Nantucket

The island of Nantucket is situated just off of the East coast of the U.S., near the Massachusetts border. We drove down to Harwich port from Boston and then took a ferry ride to the island. Home to beautiful 17th century architecture, picturesque beaches, quaint shops, light houses and the juice guys (!), Nantucket island is a photographer's dream come true.
I've been smitten by anything New England-y/Lighthouse-y since last Summer (that's when I first saw the light houses on Cape Cod) and when I saw an advertisement for a sandcastle festival being held on Nantucket, we just had to go see it! We went to Jetties beach, where the sandcastle festival was being held. Micheal Phelps and the Olympics were a favorite choice of sand sculpture, while we also saw Nantucket based themes, popular literature (Moby 'Brick') , a sea turtle and a Ganesha sand sculpture!!!We rented a couple of bikes and roamed around the island a little bit - went to the Surfside beach which is known for its big waves... While coming back on the ferry, a hailstorm caught up with us! And guess what - in a true amateur fashion, I made use of that opportunity for taking pictures :-) Oh, by the way, I've finally decided to upload my pictures to Flickr. So now you can take a look at the Nantucket photostream here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The story of 7 letters and a board

Do you Scrabble?

Well, you ought to try... I am slowly getting the hang of it and it is so much fun! I am perpetually stuck with letters such as A, E, L, and R! The scrabble gods hardly ever smile in my favor (and having a geeky opponent who is really really good at this doesn't help my case either!). While these As and Es help me form good words, they hardly ever make a good score because they all count as 1s! So I end up losing most of the time... but its still fun :P I think the competitive spirit in me keeps me going. Apart from a good vocab, I'm also learning that scrabble needs a lot of thought, patience and strategy...

7 letters & a board - think of the possibilities!

This was our board yesterday - WALTZ and QUIZ were both my words! Yay!
A missed opportunity of a good score? Perhaps. But the game was awesome! ... and guess who won this time :D... Yours truly indeed...

P.S.: The red triple word score square with everything else discolored in photo # 3 - thanks to the Color Accent feature in my Canon Powershot A530.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Depth of field

I may have said this before - taking pictures is helping me learn about photography basics more than sitting down with a book! Here's why... I found my crayons while unpacking this morning & decided to indulge in some artsy coloring. It doesn't take much now-a-days for me to decide to take pictures. These pictures were taken on auto mode - I use a canon A530 powershot to take pictures and didn't see the manual aperture adjustment (am I missing something?) on it.

So here's some color in my life! If you will, pay attention to the subject in focus and how many parts of the picture are out of focus due to the low depth of field...
And here's the art... a top view.
Then I decided to try another angle - a very low one. Here the camera has decided to put everything but the middle portion of the picture out of focus. If you look at the next picture, the bottom part is out of focus while the rest of it is in focus.A low depth of field throws most of the stuff, other than what it thinks is your main subject, out of focus - a great way to do portrait/ people photography. But if one wants everything in the picture in focus, a high depth of field would be necessary.

This one would have turned out to be a fine photo if not for the bottom out of focus part. Oh well...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Digital photography for dummies!

Finally I bought a photography book - the obvious choice was Digital Photography for Dummies. I figured it was high time I actually learned a few things about photography than just being a clicking maniac! I did take a quick class about photography basics a few months ago, but I need something more - like a quick guide with comparative examples - what happens when you take a picture at 1 fstop vs. another.
Another beauty I found was this book - Digital Macro Photography by Ross Hoddinott: This dude is apparently a leading nature photographer who is into macro and has won a lot of different competitions. I liked the book because it gives a lot of examples with particulars about how the picture was taken. The language is easy and the book has great tips to improve shots considerably. Now on to actually reading the book...

Some recent photo expeditions

There has been a lull in my photo expeditions lately. I have moved recently and had to take care of a lot of work before moving. Plus I hate packing & unpacking - which means I take more time than necessary to do these things. I do, however, have a few pictures to share - couldn't let nice summer weekends go to waste, could I?

First stop - Black Moshannon State Park in central Pennsylvania. The main attraction here is the bog that gets its name Moshannon from the local Indian name "Moss-Hanne" meaning Moose stream. The 'black' in the name is derived from the color of the water which, although clear, appears black because it flows through moss & other plants and becomes colored because of plant tannins.
I also recently attended the Central Pennsylvania Festival of Arts in State College, PA. Among a lot of other pictures, here's a picture I took of crayons being used by two street painters.A flower I saw walking down the arts fest... a regular automatic shot, but the day was really bright - almost too bright - and that almost gave a flaming quality to the flower which I really liked. Next stop - Flume gorge & Mount Washington in New Hampshire!All in all... not a bad month :-) And guess what? Summer is still not over... who knows where this weekend will take us!