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MonthNovember 2016

Kasimedu Fishing Harbor – Diptych Instax Street Portraits Plus

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography (Dashan Sheying –大山摄影).

It’s my pleasure to submit to you, the viewer another photo blog post of the life and times here in India.  If you choose to keep updated (and we wish you would), please “FOLLOW” along.

Please feel free to like, share and/or comment on the Big Mountain Photography blog as feedback is always welcomed.

Thank you for stopping, y’all comeback – you hear?

Note: Red-Colored, Underlined words are hot links for you to gain further information on a particular topic, person, website, …

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The twice a month Chennai Photowalk group held its 105th photowalk at of all place, Kasimedu Fishing Harbor / Fish Market.  I’m in this crowd somewhere holding up my Fuji GF670 Medium Format camera.

On this photowalk, I once again used my Fuji X-Pro2 to wirelessly transmit JPEG images to Fuji’s SP-2 Instax Printer as gifts to those deserving street portrait subjects.  Isn’t a print what we as photographers strive for and what a great way to say thanks.

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X-Pro2 Manual showing how to transmit an image to the SP-2 Instax Printer
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Instax SP-2 Printer: Film cartridge holds ten prints at ~50 cents each.

I choose to use Diptychs (Greek for “Two Fold”) to display the printed Instax image alongside the subject holding the Instax print.  Cool.

Diptych Instax Street Portraits

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1) He was pleasantly surprised that as the 3rd person to photography him reading his morning paper in the warm morning sun that in return I gave him a print.  I need to stop by again to see where he hangs it.
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2) Enjoying a morning smoke in the warming rays, he enjoyed being photographed and even better when I gave him his Instax print. Sweet.
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3) Another morning scene with this gentleman enjoying his South Indian filter coffee under the morning sun. Look at that smile as he holds his Instax print.

Fish Market Plus Gallery

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4) One of my favorites for the soft colors and glowing reflection.  Used for all these image the Zone System Express Panel for Photoshop by Blake Rudis f.64 Academy
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5) Up high on a pile of 2m by 2m concrete blocks (4 layers high) was an excellent observation platform to witness the crowds of buyers, sellers and fishermen during a hectic Sunday morning frenzy.
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6)  An odd numbers of things work well to capture the viewer’s attention with an image.
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7) Just look at all the stories being told in a single slice of time.
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8) Melissa up high capturing her next winning image.
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9) There is an sense of order in this visual chaos that in the end prevails.

US Followers – Missing 12 States

Here’s an interesting tidbit from tracking visitors from countries around the world.  In particular, the US visitors breakdown by location, i.e. which State.

Still trying to figure out who from CA is visiting my photo blog.  No problem, keep stopping by.

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Okay, I have 12 states to “collect” to complete the US.  How about forwarding to a friend(s) in one of these 12 states asking to visit Big Mountain Photography to help me complete the map of the US.

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Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India: Part IV – Ghats on the River Ganga

Thank-you for visiting Big Mountain Photography where the Varanasi, India adventure concludes with a visit to 5-6 Ghats and the River Ganga. The Ghats’ uniqueness is the foundation of Varanasi’s strong character.  If you plan on visiting India, please place this city on the top of your list planning a 2-3 day minimum stay.  You will not be disappointed.  Good Luck

PS Bring your camera.  Film cameras preferred.

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High pressure washing away the hardened silt back into the Ganga River only to return next year.

Side Note: In July – August each year, the Monsoon floods rise the water level on the Ganga River 12-14 m higher than what I experienced. There is another ~10m drop to go until the steps rising out of the water revealing the true shoreline.

So every year after the monsoon flood resides, the work of high pressure washing the hardened silt from the Ghat’s steps begins with the cycle repeating year after year as it has for years gone by.

Link to Part I, Intro

Link to Part II, Faces

Link to Part III, Alleyways

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

Your patronage is appreciated in following Big Mountain Photography, i.e. hit the FOLLOW button.  

Image Gallery: Ghats on River Ganga
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1) Fuji GF670 Medium Format Camera, Yes Film: These stairs rising from the Ganga River were the most colorful of all.  A fresh paint job in time for the full moon festival the day after I left where 100,000s of people converge.
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2) Fuji GF670 Medium Format Camera, Yes Film:  Wall mural art along the Ghats.
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3) Fuji GF670 Medium Format Camera, Yes Film: The same set of descending stairs now immersed with enthusiastic schoolboys out to make their mark.
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4) Here the family of deceased purchase their wood for the cremation with prices varying on quality and weighed with simple a counterbalance scheme.  Appears the previous buyer had ~80kg of wood purchased visually the weights’ size.
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5) This wall mural struck me immediately as a symbol of death and rebirth at the Cremation Ghat, 1 of several.  A good candidate for a Tatoo Artist.
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6)  Not sure what these Mexican Standoff between two diagonal men, but it did create the leading line I was looking for.
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7) A view from afar of this Cremation Ghat as it’s not appropriate to take photos up close.  Some people did after paying the local operator yet not for me.  I did see a YouTube video where there are photographers (with a small p) whose job it is to take close up photos of the deceased for the family.
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8)  Another view of Cremation Ghat from the Ganga River with a telescopic lens showing one fire ends, one fire underway and another fire starting.  So is death along the Ganga.
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9) A view upstream along the Ghats in the early morning mist.
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10) A Ganga Riverboat waiting for its next voyage.
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11)  The Laundry Ghat with freshly washed clothes from the Ganga River (hand scrubbed and rock-pounded) set to dry on the open steps.
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12) The evening Ganga Aarti in sepias.  A must see event.  There are two simultaneously Aartis underway and adjacent to one another.   I viewed it from off shore on a rowboat yet will try it on shore next time.
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13)  Another close up of the Ganga Aarti.
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14) Early morning cleansing of the soul and body on the Rive Ganga.
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15)  Another view of the Laundry Ghat from off-shore.
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16) Chinese tourists / photographers shooting their big gun Canons and Nikons.  I just had a little Fuji X-Pro2 to compete. 🙂
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17)  Cremations continue 24×7 at this Ghat.  PS I did take a photo of a dead, bloaed cow left to float off-shore on the Ganga.  So is life, so is death here.
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18) A Fish-Eye view fo the boats along the Ghats of River Ganga.
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19) A morning River Ganga ritual repeated over the 1000s of years past and years to come.
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21) Fuji GF670 Medium Format Camera, Yes Film: A fresh coat of paint and he’s ready for the 1000s of tourists descending the steps of the Ghats looking for the special boat ride on the Ganga.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India: Part III – Alleyways

Thank-you for visiting Big Mountain Photography where the Varanasi, India adventure continues with a visualization of the network of narrow back alleyways which parallel the 87 Ghats and River Ganga. Varanasi alleyways are but a dichotomy stuck in time while all else in Varanasi works hard to modernize. I enjoyed the feeling of times gone by.

It’s easy to get lost and even Google Maps may not set you in the correct direction – be careful. 🙂

Link to Part I, Intro.        Link to Part II, Faces.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

Your patronage is appreciated in following Big Mountain Photography, i.e. hit the FOLLOW button.  

Image Gallery: Alleyways of Varanasi

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1) What do you suppose he’s carrying, milk, water, …?
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2) Pooja-ware for sale with eyes peering above the table in the morning sunlight.
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3) Morning prayer finished.
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4) Up and to the right.  Watch out for cow pies.
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5) Turn right and loss 200 years.
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6) Morning pooja starts.
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7) A great read in solitude.

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India: Part II – Faces

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography where my photographic journey continues with Part II of IV from a visit to Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Link to Part I – Intro.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

Your patronage is appreciated in following Big Mountain Photography using email alerts, i.e. click the FOLLOW button.  

By far this is the most photogenic experience I’ve ever witnessed with the character of an ancient city still alive with the smell, noise, visual tension, … from years past.

The City of Varanasi is rich in Hindu history as the birthplace of Lord Shiva and his reincarnation the Lord Hanuman – (Monkey King)… the list goes on.

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Lord Shiva
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Lord Hanuman

I hope you’ll walk away visualizing the strong and appealing character of Varanasi in this IV Part Series.  As always your comments, likes, shares… are most welcome.

再见

Image Gallery: Faces of Varanasi

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1) This elderly lady just finished her early morning dip in the River Ganga which I assume is a daily event.
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2) This gentleman his proud and his confident stare tells the story.
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3) On the steps of the Ghat, this gentleman gives me the look, i.e. semi-stare.
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4) Although he most likely is some level of a holy man, it appears to be more of a tourist photo-op.
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5) Same here.  They both do make a great photo-op, i.e. couldn’t walk on by without giving the headshake and the camera held up.
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6) Fresh out of his morning dip in the River Ganga, this elder gentleman posed with water droplets falling from his face.
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7) This is daughter and grandson of the gentleman in #6.  A lovely image of motherhood.
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8) This rubbery-faced elder woman reminds me of Walter Matthau

who’s facial expressions were vast.

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9) What lovely colors.
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10) The twist of a stache means what?
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11) School children’s smiles.
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12) Temple bouncer hanging out at the front entrance.
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13) Lovely pose.
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14) I helped this gentleman as he appeared down and out.

Back to Film at Last, i.e. F.I.N.D. – UPDATE

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography where my photographic journey continues with my re-introduction into medium format film.  This is an update from my first post on getting back to film.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

I’d appreciate your patronage in following via email alerts, i.e. FOLLOW button RH side.  Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

The FIND Lab did an excellent job providing feedback on my exposure, contrast, … the look especially on how to manage Fuji Pro 400H film to bring in contrast.  This is valuable customer service at a small incremental cost as I would have never known this small yet important tidbit.

Here is their feedback on my first roll of film:

Hey Stuart!

Your basic plus scans for invoice 53061 are ready for download!

This roll looked really nice! Fuji 400H tends to be one of the more neutral film stocks, and if you consistently prefer warmer tones you may want to give Portra 400 a shot. We typically recommend rating 400H at 100 ISO for best results (it’s quite light hungry and does best overexposed by 2 stops).

These were slightly flat but we were able to re-establish some contrast in scanner (these were scanned on the Noritsu which gives us a good amount of control over contrast). I’d recommend overexposing a bit more to provide higher contrast in the negatives if you still find these a little flat.

Overexposure is particularly important when working in overcast conditions as the available light is more limited. Your exposures were very consistent from frame to frame. You had a few frames that were slightly soft. If you find this continues to be an issue I might recommend a bright screen (sometimes the focusing screen on these film cameras can become difficult to use, and a bright screen can make a huge difference).

Please let us know if you have any questions, and thanks so much for choosing the Findlab!

Leanna

info@thefindlab.com

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India: Part I – Intro

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography where my photographic journey continues with Part I of IV from a visit to Varanasi in the state of  Uttar Pradesh.

This is a photographer’s dream come true as the “Character of Varanasi” is unchanged from years gone by given its 87 Ghats alongside the Ganga (Ganges) River.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

I’d appreciate your patronage in following via email alerts, i.e. FOLLOW button RH side.  Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

I’ve decided to make four (4) unique posts on Varanasi to enable the full coverage it deserves, from an “Intro to Varanasi”, “Faces”, “Alleyways”, and the “Ghats”.  But  first, let me level set us with some visualization on the back alleyways, Ghats and River Ganga.

PS With the number of images to process, I’ll be sending out parts II, III and IV very soon.

Walking / Rowboat Routes

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Afternoon of the Day 1: Walked the back alleyways of the old city of Varanasi then up along the Ghats.
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Evening of Day 1: Again through the alleyways then via rowboat for the evening Aarthi performance (2 adjacent to each other).  Next time I’ll be on the shore, close up.
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Very Early Morning Day 2: Up for sunrise from the RH side shining on the Ghats.
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Early Morning Day 3: Moving further down for the southern Ghats. It was a very pleasant stroll with a minimum of people.

Image Gallery: Intro to Varanasi

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1) Back Alleyway of the old City of Varanasi: The lanes are narrow and well travel by man and beast.  Always watch your step and keep your camera ready.
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2) Faces: From children to young / old adults there is a wide diversity of looks one can capture.  Is your cameras ready?
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3) Steps of the Ghats: With 87 Ghats to walk up or down, you can image the variation of scenes you walk into from Cremation Ghats, Laundry Ghats, Bathing Ghats, Pooja Ghats…
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4) Rowboats: The best way to view the Ghats of the Ganga River as you have time to watch and watch again the rush of images you encounter.  Again, have your camera ready with a telescopic lens.
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5) People:  From young to old, they bath every sunrise to wash away one’s sins.
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6) Rebirth: Well organized outdoor (or indoor electric) crematoriums are busy 24×7.  At times bodies are just pushed out and sunk in the Ganga River.  I saw two dead cows floating just offshore.  Yes, there’s pollution yet people live with it from bathing to drinking water.

Back to Film at Last, i.e. F.I.N.D.

Welcome back to Dashan Sheying, where film is reborn today.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

It’s been 40 years since I last used a 35mm film camera, i.e. c.1976 or so.  Yet why today do I want to go backward?  Well, I’m shifting towards Days of Future Past c.76 (MB, not X-Men).

Given today’s digital progression, one could say digital has caught up with 35mm – okay maybe.  Yet not to 120 Medium  Format or larger unless you’re made of money for the big bucks for an MF Hasselblad, Mamiya Leaf, PhaseOne, … and the new Fuji GFX 50S coming in 1Q17.

“The Song Remains the Same (LZ)” as the appeal for me of an image shot with film is “The Look” as it is for other die-hards after all these years.  I’m one of those who admires the non-homogenous grainy look and all the detail, tonality, print size…

So today I received my first processed and scanned 120 film roll of Fuji Pro 400H in 6×7 aspect ratio from The FIND Labs.  Processed in LR with Mastin Labs Presets followed by the Zone System Express by Blake Rudis then finished off by a John Tuttle inspired framing scheme (still learning to find my Right Brain).

The Learning Process Again

My first five rolls experienced multiple mistakes and errors on my part, yes I make mistakes (or as they now say learning opportunities).  Okay, I accept this; so stand up,  shake off the dust and move on.  Here’s a listing of my initial thoughts:

** Corrected Already **

** Film Usage: Watch and align the film roll arrow when loading.

** Film Usage: Watch and use the tape from the roll to seal after exposed.   Had to place exposed film rolls into the original pouch. Hmmm.

– Film Usage: Bring scotch tape

** Operating: Watch out on closing with PeakDesign buttons

** Operating: Use two hands to open/extend and close lens/bellows

** Operating: Return focus to infinity prior to closing.

– Focus: Hold steady. Try a “New” grip, i.e. ThumbsUp – ordered

** Focus: Try the red soft button for ease of shutter release.

– Focus: Use a tripod, will do.

**Focus: Use of a monopod / ballhead. Tried it, much better.

– Focus: Maybe a hand strap, PeakDesign

– Focus: Get finger placed on the focusing ring – muscle memory required

** Film Holder: Free cashew tins from flying Indigo works great holding for five rolls of film

– Format: Try 6×6

– Cleaning: Blow out / dust off interior and exterior after use, changing film too.  Bring blower.

** Carrying: Works fine carried inside my ONA bag without a sling/shoulder strap.  Use the X-Pro2 strap when required.

** ISO: For a new roll be sure to double-verify the ISO and change it on camera. (Shoot a 100 ISO film in 400 ISO.  Okay so I need to push development 2 stops. Better to overexpose film than underexpose)

– Shutter: Get a feel for the stroke and/or of click as there is absolutely no sound nor tactile feel

** Exposure: Look at the shutter speed red indicator to be < 1/500 and greater than 1/30 for a handheld shot.

– Exposure: Try manual aperture and shutter speed

– Exposure: Try spot meter in Zone 3 for shadow details for an 18% Gray manual setting then move up two stops for Z5.

Image Gallery

Not as many keepers as I hoped for yet with the above adjustments, I’m shooting for 100% keepers.

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1)Street Portraits are my first love and in South India they ask me to take their photo.  Love it.

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2) Blocks of ice (Rs250 each) being delivered to the Fishing Vessels as they ready themselves for sea including 500-1200 liters of diesel.

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3) In the end it’s all about The Fish, i.e the smell of money for these Tamil Fishermen.

International Photography Salons

I’ve added a new “Menu Page” showing the “Acceptances” I’ve received as I start to enter “Salons”.  Click Here to see details and images.

CLICK HERE

Sunrise at Kasimedu Fishing Harbor / Sunset at Mylapore Temple

Welcome to Dashan Sheying where my photographic journey continues with repeat visits to Kasimedu Fishing Harbor and Mylapore Temple.  I’d appreciate your patronage in following via email alerts, i.e. FOLLOW button RH side.

On G+, FB… please click on the link to my photoblog to view the rest of the story.  If you like what you see, feel free to share on the social media of your choice.

Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

I’ve taken you before to the Kasemidu Fishing Harbor for dockside and fish market images plus the Mylapore Temple yet each visit brings new sites worthy of capturing.

I’ve changed my framing look for now with the large band in “White” for color images and B&W has two choices using White-Black-Gray or White-Gray-Black bands.  Thoughts?

(1) Image Gallery: Kasemidu Fishing Harbor (Video)
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1) Captain’s Pilot House looking for a ship.
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2) A real rust bucket serving out its last years attached to the dock as a floating home for crew members.
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3) Calm as can be for this Dock Portrait
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4) This rust bucket is in for an overhaul, long way to go.
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5) Take our picture, no problem with this 10mm lens.  Distortion – yes but acceptable.
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6) Just finished pulled this boat into dry dock for repair and refurbishment.  Friendly crew.
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7) A new boat under construction using local wood combined with fiberglass reinforcement for the boat’s hull. Cool.

(2) Image Gallery: Mylapore Temple (Video)

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8) Temple Priests discussing particulars of which we are not privy.

 

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9) Street Vendor selling cauliflowers, look good.
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10)  The Temple Tower, i.e. main entrance on the east side.
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11) A great place to sit down and relax which I did.  Bill – Is that you?
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12) The Chariot / Car Mascots at rest.
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13) Temple colors are rich and full of life.
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14) Temple Cow holding and milking facility.

Tamil Nadu Fort and Temple Run 2016-11-05

Welcome to Dashan Sheying where my photographic journey continues with a road trip down southwest into the state of Tamil Nadu, India for a Fort (1) and Temple (3) Run.  I’d appreciate your patronage in following via email alerts, i.e. FOLLOW button RH side.

On G+, FB… please click on the link to my photoblog to view the rest of the story.  If you like what you see, feel free to share on the social media of your choice.

Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

Note: Red-colored, underlined text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

We left at 3:00am from Chennai and returned at 9:00pm.  The map below shows our route with details tin this link 429 km trip:

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  1. Gingee Fort and Anjaneyar Temple in Gingee, Tamil Nadu
  2. Melmalayanur Temple in Malaiyanur, Tamil Nadu
  3. Arulmigu Arunachaleswarar Temple in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu
  4. Sri Lakshmi Narayani Golden Temple and Vellore Fort in Vellore, Tamil Nadu
(1) Image Gallery: Gingee Fort and Anjaneyar Temple
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1) The entrance to Gingee Fort with signs everywhere – Hmmm.  Of course, the standard price jack from Rs15 to Rs400 – even for an Indian Gold Taxpayer.  Yes it irks me, maybe Trump should try this one at our National Parks.
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2) Well, it’s not a Kingfisher as the beak is too short, it’s a ??? – forgot.
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3) Sunrise at Gingee Fort side lake and temple.  Not allowed in until 8:30am to Gingee Fort.  
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4) Temple Tank at Gingee Fort with 8mm fisheye lens – works after perspective distortions removed in Lightroom.
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5)  This is the “Gymnasium” at Gingee Fort – amazing the size.  Again put my fisheye to work.  Cool.
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6) Archways at Gingee Fort – Many to Photograph
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7) With a Monochrome treatment.
(2) Image Gallery: Melmalayanur Temple
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8)  Sunlight caught as it begins to descend for the evening.
(3) Image Gallery: On the Road Fun
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9)  Took this image one purpose of demonstrating the confound factors of the Indian wiring skill set which is required to decipher the maze of wires so you can attach yours.
(4) Image Gallery: Sri Lakshmi Narayani Golden Temple and Vellore Fort
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10) Vellore Fort horse at rest.
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11) Vellore Fort Temple Tower Entrance.

Hyderabad, India Framed

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Welcome to Dashan Sheying where my photographic journey continues with a lesson from John Tuttle on adding frames to images in Photoshop using the Canvas Size tool under Image.  The color for the widest band around the image is created with the color eye-dropper by sampling the main color of the image thus obtaining an overall blended look.

On G+, FB… please click on the link to my photoblog to view the rest of the story.  If you like what you see, feel free to share on the social media of your choice.

Note: You can right-click to “open the image in another tab” to view in a larger size / resolution, right-click to download if you heart desires…  your call.

Note: Red-colored text is a link for more information, i.e. Wikipedia, YouTube, Map…

You must jump over to see John’s work on Facebook with his 4×5 large format camera of his recent images from New Mexico. Beautiful. The ability to capture tonality, texture, detail… with medium/large format film is the motivator for my next camera, i.e. a 120 film 6×6, 6×7 Fuji GF670 Folder.  Arrives Monday 11/7.

Watch for my next post.  I will be using The FIND Lab in Utah, USA for the development of negatives and subsequent scans.  Hoping for a two-week turnaround from mailing to scans being uploaded.

PS I have my eye on a ShenHao 4×5 large format with a 6×17 film back / ground glass accessory.  Not this year but maybe a 2017 adventure.

Fujifilm GF670 Medium Fornat
Fujifilm GF670 Medium Format

Three-Band Framing Gallery

Next, I’m fixing to add Chinese Characters to the LH side for a short poem representative of the image.  Will need the help of my niece Li Ying (excellent in oral and written English) to find the appropriate characters in telling a complementary story.  Thank-you John and Li Ying.

I appreciate your feedback on the framing as it’s potentially the beginning of my SMK “Brand Image”.

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1) Waiting: Another early morning scene in front of the Chicken Market.  What caught my eye doing 50kph was the man sitting on three-stacked plastic chairs – a first.
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2) Calling: A Muslin School for Orphans starts the day with what I presume to be one of the teachers catching up with friends.
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3) Sun(s)rise: A more artsy image as I’ve added a color gradient followed by adding a texture layer showing multiple suns at Sunrise.
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4) Illuminated Scarecrow:  Found this lonely scarecrow amongst the cotton as the field is in transition to bare its white fruit.
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5) Miniature Scarecrow: Using the Fuji Filter for a Miniature-Look (Tilt-Shift) placed on the JPEG file.
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6) Auto Conversation:  No doubt these two gentlemen are solving world hungry with an intense discussion.
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7) Speakers Corner: Past (deceased) Leaders from across India await a buyer yet in the meantime they’re in  good company.
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8) Toy Scarecrow:  Again with a different Fuji Filter for JPEGs the Toy Camera look is achieved.
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9) Golden Leaders: As they look out on their India, what do they think?
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10) Coffee Time:  Traveling a brisk 65kph, took this image noting the tw0-wheelers (motorcycles) loaded with goods, i.e. colorful winter blankets.  This is a 16×7 aspect ratio, popular amongst photographers for “panos”.
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