I am so addicted to doing the Sky Watch Friday posts that if I do not have sky pictures I try to create pictures of the backyard sky. There is one balcony in my home from where I can see the evening sky. It was a weekend and I had some time to spare. There was a nice glow in the evening sky but on it own it was too flat to be of any interest.
Then I stumbled upon this old lamp that Chhavi had taken to the balcony. Now if she could play with it, so could I. Started by clicking the lamp against the sky and the effect was pleasing. But then I wanted to play more and I lit the lamp. To do so, I had to make a wick from an old cloth and I poured some coconut hair oil over it so it would burn easily.
Then when the flame went out, out came the smoke. I was now interested in clicking the swirling smoke instead of the burning lamp. So, down I went again to bring more old cloth and the hair oil bottle, so that I could play some more! All this while Chhavi was busy with her friends and I was left in peace to do all these experiments.
It was not that easy for me to click the smoke. After many trials and errors I realized I got the best pictures immediately after the flame went out as there was a lot of smoke then. As it thinned out, I could not capture it as well! I was using my SLR with a 50mm prime lens to capture the backyard sky. I so wanted to click more pictures the next evening but I never got time!
PS. This post is part of Sky Watch Friday, a great community of sky watchers across the globe!
For the sky watch today, I am putting up ten pictures, 8 from my travels in 2014 and 2 from the backyard. You might have seen those pictures in some previous posts but I was tempted to put the eye candies in one place!
10. A Sunset in the Backyard
I usually reach home after the sunset, except for the peak of summer when the sun sets quite late. This evening I was lucky, the sun was yet to drop over the horizon. I clicked it from my balcony. One day I am going to see more sunsets rather than commuting through them!
9. Mandvi Beach, Kutch Gujarat
I went to Kutch in January in 2014. It was a solo, last minute trip. I was so fed up with the hotel prices in Bhuj that I settled for staying at Devpur Home Stay. That was such a blessing as Krutharthsinh Jadeja ji fixed all my subsequent itinerary. It was because of his recommendation that I ended up at Mandavi and enjoyed the sunset at the beach.
8. An Evening in Hong Kong
This year I took my niece and daughter on a trip to Hong Kong. The kiddos were quite fascinated by the Victoria Harbor. They were so engrossed that they did not notice that I was clicking pictures. I am going to take them out again but next year.
7. A Para-glider in Srinagar
This was before the devastating September floods in Kashmir. I was there in June. I was getting out of Srinagar on September 7 as well, when Jhelum breached its banks. I hope J&K would recover from the disaster soon.
6. A Beautiful Sunset at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur
There are some sunsets that get itched in your memory. The sunset at the Monsoon Palace in Udaipur falls in that category. It was such a beautiful evening, the sky had just the right amount of clouds so as to make the evening beautiful without overwhelming the sun!
5. Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan
This was a morning shot. I usually open the curtains before I go to sleep. Around the time of sunrise I opened my eyes to see if there was something worth getting up. The mist had gobbled up the mountain range and re-drawn the shape of the mountain! It looked like someone had repainted the landscape. I went to the balcony to click a few pictures and then I went back to sleep again! That is how I approach sunrise photography!
4. The Beach at Maafushi, Maldives
The trip to Maafushi, Maldives has been such a joy. I loved this lone coconut tree which was reclining at such an impossible angle towards the sea. I clicked many photographs but I like this one the best.
3. Batal, Spiti
Mountains have been giving me only clouds, mists and rains since June 2013. Batal, Spiti was also going the same way till the clouds parted for a while in the evening. And that was the only time in this whole trip that they showed any mercy to me!
2. Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives
Sunset at Maafushi was a magical time. It was a pleasure to be out on the beach and enjoy the sea. Sunsets became all the more special. I always thought Maldives would be beautiful but I never thought it would be so beautiful.
1. Construction Work in the Backyard
Sometimes pictures happen in the backyard as well. I was trying to click the sun peeping through the construction site but it was not giving me anything worthwhile. Then decided to go for the silhouette.
After a very long time I took out my camera at home. I tried my hands at various things by doing some backyard photography. In the end I was most happy with this lonely leaf glowing in the sunlight. It was back lit. The realization for today was that a clean background makes a lot of difference to everyday pictures. I read it countless times, but putting it to practice really drove the message home.
My interest in photography grew slowly. I gradually got hooked to it though. But then I take too few pictures on a daily basis and I take too few with thoughtfulness at all. Most of the trips I do are rushed affairs as well. What to do, with a full time job and all. I do try to remind myself often that the daily job is what provides for the trips to Maldives and Hong Kong!
So on weekends I try to take my camera out, even if it is in my backyard. Sometimes I have been surprised as to what you can capture even in your humble backyard. The only trouble as of now is that I am not consistent. After commuting 60 kilometers every day for 5 days a week, I simply like to crash on my many weekends. The other weekends I try to put at least 300-400 kilometers between NCR and me.
I have seen countless stunning pictures of everyday things, that should be my inspiration. I envy people who find inspiration in colored pencils and a sliced apple! After all I could not be out there looking at stunning landscapes every day of my life, at least not yet. So, I guess the writing on the wall is to develop backyard and everyday photography!
Hope you guys also had a great weekend!
I get to see a lot of birds without even leaving my home. I put a bowl of water for them in the balcony throughout the year. On weekends I give them a further incentive to visit my balcony. I will put something to eat as well. From my experience I know that the birds like oranges! They are happy with any other fruit but oranges give a certainty to attract birds.
Jungle Babbler- Don’t Mess with my Food!
I then click the pictures standing inside the room. This time the oranges attracted the jungle babblers. This bird kept giving me a stern eye as if to say bugger off let me have my food in peace! I was not obliging.
After a few pecks the birds were interested in the water and posing for me! It is great fun to do bird watching in the backyard. However jungle babblers are not my most favorite birds. They are loud, they are pushy and small birds have no chance to drink water or nibble at the fruits if they are in the vicinity. But they are fun to photograph as they seem to have mastered a wide variety of expressions! They often quarrel with each-other which adds to the photo opportunities.
They are also called seven sisters probably because they often move in a group, whether it is strictly seven, I am not too sure tough. They often invade my front yard as well, always noisy even when I do not keep any fruits for the birds. They are actually quite regular in my area! I think they look for insects on the ground.
Bath Time for the Jungle Babbler
Finally it was bath time before the bird flew away! If you like bird watching consider participating in the The Great Backyard Bird Count.