Scott Kelby WW Photowalk 2016-10-01 in George Town, Chennai, India

Welcome back to Big Mountain Photography!

(大山摄影  Da Shan Sheying).

Please enjoy the following images and the story told from our life and times in South India, i.e. Chennai (Old Madras).

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…

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk – 2016 Facebook Link

It’s been 6 weeks in the planning, walked once to ensure safety, fun, photographic opportunities, fun… and it was deemed a “Go”.  Today was the day.  The photowalkers staggered in for the 6:00am start with eyes full-open for the adventure ahead.   Now I need to work these images and more for my one global submission by 10/10.

Please provide your feedback on which image I should submit for the global competition.

Just a word of thanks to the Scott Kelby organization who pulled this global event off with ~22,000 photowalkers across ~1,200 global event sites. Cool.  Also, a special thanks to “RK” for help me organize and walk the route ahead of 10/1.  Went smooth.

Our Photowalk Route, 2.42km in George Town


Notice the wavy blue walking line – why? Had to avoid puddles, streams … of standing water from the night’s downpour.

Photowalk Image Gallery


1)  Over the last 2 months, I’ve been providing Fujifilm Mini-Instax Prints to those who may have never touched a print of themselves.  My small way to say thanks.  Here I left ahead of the full film exposure as I want him to enjoy the experience alone.


2)  Finally found some light rays in this alleyway as these three gentlemen were preparing to weld a store sign frame.  Safe work practices – maybe.


3) I surprised this young man with a shot as he was in the wash mode in scrubbing his body for his morning bath.  Later as you will see, we laughed.


4) Again I provided this gentleman an Instax Print of this image in color as I’ve rendered it a Monochrome – Coffee Look.


5) As we approached this Rickshaw, the driver immediately stood next to his rickshaw wanting us to take his picture.  He’s very proud of his “Ride”.  Wonder how much the fare is?


6)  With less than 2,000 Rickshaws left in Chennai, here we see parked amongst the “Autos” a lone “Rickshaw”, i.e. still a popular mode of transportation as witnessed this morning.


7)  What would a Chennai Photowalk be without a few Cows crossing our path on their morning walkabout.  Gentle creatures, fearless of traffic – straight ahead they plow.


8)  We Laughed 🙂

Reminder – Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk Here in Chennai Saturday 10/1

There’s still time to sign-up for the photowalk:  Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk Sign-up.
Please join us on Saturday October 1st at 6:00am in George Town, Chennai.
Back on Sunday Sept 4th, we took a pre-photowalk in surveying the landscape and people we will encounter – it’s a great diversity of colors, smiles, fruits, vegetables, rickshaws, people – young and old…
Here’s our route: FullSizeRender
Here’s a previous post explaining the photowalk route we will take on 10/1.

See you there as we start at 6:00am sharp.  As my old friend would say: What time does a 6:00 am photowalk start?  We know the answer don’t we.
Thanks, Stuart
SK WW PW Host and Leader



UPDATE: Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk – George Town, Chennai, India

Participant sign-up is progressing well with 24 remaining slots from the 50 allotted.   If you haven’t signed up please do.

Saturday 10/1 from 6:00am to 8:00am

Map George Town SK WW PW 2016-10-01

Starting point at the corner of NSC Bose Road and Malayaperumal Street

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 4.45.44 PM

Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk 10/1 in Chennai, India


Dear Friends,

I will be leading a photowalk in George Town area and hope you’ll be able to join us.  Time: 6:00a-8:00a Sharp.

Photowalk Details and Sign-Up

Map George Town SK WW PW 2016-10-01

Arcanum Follow-Up – Sphere 1 Challenge 20

Thanks for visiting my photoblog, hope you “Follow” as the best is yet to come.

Previously, I provided some background on my learnings in The Arcanum ahead my final Sphere 1 image critique in Challenge 20.  Here are my final five (5) images for you the “Viewer”.

Thanks to my cohort members who provided which five (5) images held their interest and “Told a Story” and held their attention as “The Viewer”.  More importantly right up to the last minute they shared what if anything bothered them in the image which I’ve attempted to correct.

My Critique is set for 5/24 then on to Sphere 2.

Image 1

Arcanum S1-C20-1

Image 2

Arcanum S1-C20-2

Images 3

Arcanum S1-C20-3

Images 4

Arcanum S1-C20-4

Images 5

Arcanum S1-C20-5

PS  Interesting that my initial focus was on portraits yet I only present just one (1) today.  Secondly, four (4) of five (5) images are Infrared Photography from my Nikon D300S converted camera at 720nm.  Maybe this is an indication of transiting to some level of a visual artist.

Reaching The End of Sphere 1 – What?

Dear Viewers,

I have been in “The Arcanum” since August 2015 as an eager Apprentice in Les Saucier‘s Cohort.  Les is a fine Master teaching us how to visualize the final image first in camera and through the image processing workflow.

Red Colored words are hot links for you to gain further information on a particular topic, person, website...

Although the Cohort specializes in Landscape Photography, we cover Macro, Infrared, Gear, Software Processing… you name it.

I’ve learned a lot, a lot and feel I’ve notched it up in the images I present to you.  Of course, my bus doesn’t stop here given I have so much more to learn and experience.

During “Image Critiques”, Les wears two hats seamlessly:

One hat he wears is that of the “Viewer” to state
  • what he sees.
  • what holds his attention.
  • what's the perceived subject.
  • where his eye goes.
  • what may be distracting him from the subject and why?
A second hat he wears is one of a “Teacher
  • On what he would do differently in holding the viewer's attention, i.e. add to it or take it away.
As Visual Artists, we use our cameras, skills and craft to emphasis what we want the viewer to see and in the end be entertained.

In our Cohort, there are many talented photographers where we share and learn together via on-line Cohort Hangouts courtesy of Google+.  Take a look at their amazing images.

Mary Presson Roberts     Douglas Sandquist

Richard Barrow     Ron Santini

The initial foundation is Sphere 0 with ten challenges (C1-10) followed by another 10 challenges in Sphere 1 (C11-20).   I’m now nearing the end.

For Sphere 1 - Challenge 19, I present to you ten (10) images from which I need to whittle down to the final five (5) images which Les will formally critique in Sphere 1 - Challenge 20.

Critiques in The Arcanum are a painless event – no worries mate.

Really – painless?

  • If you did something not quite correct – you learn.
  • If you did something correct but could do it better – you learn.
  • If you’re way off, you’ll be pulled back in – you learn.

In the end it’s all about learning to level-up your skills, techniques with a personal artistic expression.

Here are my ten (10) images which I’d like you the viewer to tell me which ones hold your attention and tell you a story in the comments.  Feedback is a gift so thank you.

Image 1

Arcanum S1-C19-1

Image 2

Arcanum S1-C19-2

Image 3

Arcanum S1-C19-3

Image 4

Arcanum S1-C19-4

Image 5

Arcanum S1-C19-5

Image 6

Arcanum S1-C19-6

Image 7

Arcanum S1-C19-7

Image 8

Arcanum S1-C19-8

Image 9

Arcanum S1-C19-9

Image 10

Arcanum S1-C19-10

If all goes well, I move on to Sphere 2 in the Arcanum with a new Master and Cohort taking me to the next level.


Off Topic – Bus Stop Seat Heights

Welcome to my photoblog.  Today we’re off topic to reveal the variation observed in Chennai Bus Stop seat heights.  Why?  As a photographer one observers the light, determines the subject, creates the composition,… which is the art of “seeing”.

Over my 40 years in the Quality profession, I’ve been challenged to get the mean (average) on target to the standard while reducing the variation (standard deviation) whether it was a product dimension, a business process output or a production process parameter.  This has influenced me as to how I see the world.

As my eyes wander whether on a production shopfloor or the back seat of a vehicle, I’m always observing the environment and its variation.  One item that caught my attention is the varying heights of bus stop seats.

The variation seen for Chennai bus stop seat heights is only “a reflection of Chennai’s unique character” which by the act of variation, creates those wrinkles of interest forming our Chennai memories.  
Thanks for the memories.

I’ve observed the full spectrum of people waiting at Chennai bus stops with their “knees up in one’s torsal”, “legs in a full dangle” and “leaning against the seat” as it was too high to sit.

So I set out to understand the statistics of this issue with the premise that there must be assignable cause to the high variation and not just common cause variation one would observe in a normal distribution.

Extreme 1:  11″ Height in Action


Extreme 2:  36″ Height in Action


The “Stats”

1)Frequency Count, Sample n=40

Frequency Count With Outlier

2)Summary Statistics

Given a p-Value of 0.013, the data failed the test for normality – not a normal distribution as the value is not > 0.050.  There must be a special cause driving the

Mean 22.14′, StdDev 4.52, Min 11″, Median 22.5″ Max 36″

Statistical Summary With Outlier

Short Poll

Inferences and Conclusion

I Googled the ergonomic dimensions for bench set heights finding a 17″-19″ targeted range.  
If we accepted 18″ as our target then the 4″ shift on the sample average with a range of  25″ leads one to conclude we have special cause(s) at work as confirmed by a low p-value for normality.  This variation is not normal.
I leave the root cause of the special variation to the readers.

Post Script

After finishing this post, we found even a shorter bench seat height of 10″ for which I didn’t re-do the statistics.  Is there one taller than 36″?


Confluence 2016 Photo Exhibition – 5/30-6/6

Dear Viewers,

As you may be aware from previous posts, I’m a member of Photographic Society of Madras, PSM in Chennai, India.  I really enjoy the camaraderie, learning workshops, new photography genres (Macro)… offered by PSM.  A great bunch of guys and gals to associate with.

I’m very please to announce that five photos have been selected for the annual PSM members 2016 photo exhibition.  This is a very humbling honor to have been selected for the exhibition as the professionalism and competency of my peers is well-known.

First, I owe a big thank you to my wife for having the patience with my photography deep dives and the tolerance to be woken up at 5:50am every other Sunday for Chennai photowalk (see Facebook group).

Second, to my experience in The Acranum and Les Saucier as my Master for his patient teaching which over the last 8 months has leveled me up in photography.

“Confluence 2016”

May 30th thru June 6th at the

Lalilt Kala Academy on Greams Road in Chennai

from 11am – 7pm each day.

I’d appreciate those in Chennai marking their calendars and take time to visit the photo exhibition.  Given PSM has many talented photographers from all the genres,  you wouldn’t be disappointed.

Here are my chosen five images to be printed 12″ by 18″ (or 5400 x 3587 pixels):

A Black&White Infrared image of hard-working women planting rice north of Chennai.

Back-Breaking Work_StuartKinkade_01

Faux Color Infrared image of a Chennai temple tank with the ideal IR recipe: Green foliage to reflect IR, blue skies, white wispy clouds, water and reflections.

Reflections in IR_StuartKinkade_02

A Chennai photowalk street portrait from my “Faces of Chennai” collection – Grandma.

Faces of Chennai_StuartKinkade_04

A second Chennai photowalk street portrait from my “Faces of Chennai” collection – Grandpa.

Faces of Chennai_StuartKinkade_03

A misty morning landscape image from my visit to a Tamil Nadu Bird Sanctuary.

Misty Morning_StuartKinkade_05



Next Adventure – Indian’s Golden Triangle

Plans are set and we’re pumped to head out on a six-day holiday to navigate Indian’s Golden Triangle: Delhi, Jaipur and Agra.

Yes, this is an one-hundred percent tourist adventure where we can expect hoards of people yet still ahead of summer vacation.  Since we’ve arranged a dedicated driver w/Innova, we should be able to deviate the plan in a spontaneous manner as the need arises.

I’ve bolded/italicized those sites where I look forward to capturing some great images with an embedded link for those unfamiliar with the site.  As usual, I struggle with what camera gear to bring knowing the KISS principle applies, i.e. Keep It Simple Stuart. :))   [D810, Tamron 15-30mm, Nikkor 24-70mm and Nikkor 70-300mm should do]

For those who know the Golden Triangle, what should we focus on, what should we skip, did we miss a site, what should we buy that’s special…

Leave your comment below.  Thanks.

Day 1: Chennai-Delhi

Arrive Delhi from Chennai.  Relax, recovery and get ready.

Day 2: Delhi-Jaipur

We focus our first tourist day on Old Delhi with these sites: Rajghat, Shantivan, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Chandi Chowk.  We’ve visited Delhi before yet no time allocated for Old Delhi as we checked out the many sites in the National Capital Region area.  Playing catch-up here.

After sight-seeing, we drive 280 kms (5+ hours) to Jaipur the capital city for the state of Rajasthan.  Jaipur is the “Pink City” for it’s 20 ft wall city with eight gates.

In the evening, we’re off to the ethnic village of Chokhidhani for a sit down dinner with entertainment.

Day 3: Jaipur

This will be a tourist day with bazaar shopping opportunities. Sites included Amber Fort, City Palace Museum, Janatar Mantar Observatory, Hawa Mahal – Palace of the Winds, Jauhari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Nehur Bazaar.

Day 4: Jaipur-Agra

We leave first thing in the morning for a drive to Agra stopping at Fatehpur Sikria deserted red-sandstone city.  Another 24o km roadtrip around 5+ hours.

As we arrive in Agra, we hope to catch the Taj Mahal at sunset (~18:27) from its backside, i.e. north across the river at Mughal Garden.

Day 5: Agra

Taj Mahal at sunrise (~06:25) and sunset (~18:28) with all the time in between as this is on the “bucket list” of millions.  Have to take time and do it right.  We’re sure there’ll be sufficient “bazaar” time for those special souvenirs.

Day 6: Agra-Delhi-Chennai

We pack up and head towards Delhi Airport 225 km away for flight back home to Chennai.  Maybe there’ll be time for a great sunrise at Taj Mahal before we hit the road.  Along the way,  we stop at Agra Fort.

Viewer Poll on the Taj Mahal

Go ahead, don’t be shy.  Now it the planning stages for a Bhutan adventure in September.


Chennai, India

Welcome to Big Mountain Photography

Dàshān Shèyǐng  大山摄影

Well here goes nothing.  Not correct as I truly endeavor to create unique and wonderful images to share with family, friends and acquaintances which paves the path on my photographic journey towards a Visual Artist.

The journey re-started in 2014 by gaining technical competence with my gear (see “Gear”) and post-processing softwares (see “Software”).  Still learning everyday but have achieved a sufficient foundation to move towards my craft which at this point is focused on various genres (see “Galleries”).

Street Portraits is my favorite genre yet I’m expanding now to Infrared Photography as my latest path to journey down.  LifePixel (Seattle area) helped with an IR conversion of my never used Nikon D300S, i.e. hot mirror removed and a 720nm IR filter added.  Should be returning to Chennai, India soon.  IR images to come.

To accelerate my journey I joined “The Arcanum” in 2015-10 which uses a small cohort consisting of your Master and fellow Apprentices.

I posted my information and photos for selection to the Arcanum by a Master, very lucky to having been selected by Les Saucier. The Cohort can be and should be brutally honest with your posted photos to drive improvement along with share articles to advance our learning.

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