Tag Archives: photography

Do you take a camera with you on your holiday?

A Lomo Camera La Sardina

A Lomo Camera La Sardina

Do you take a camera with you on your holiday?

This would seem like a no brainer question to most of us. Cameras are every where.The mobiles cameras get better & better. The digital cameras get cheaper & cheaper. Film cameras are quite cheap too. And who can resist the urge to own one? And what holiday is complete without pictures from the trip gracing your mantlepiece & your Facebook page. Of course you need to take a camera with you on your holiday. Only piece of obvious advice though is to enjoy the holiday first & record it later. Take in the whole picture & not just what you see thru the viewfinder.

What gear to take with you on a trip?

If you are not a professional photographer a simple point & shoot digital camera with spare memory cards, a USB drive, ready to use rechargeable battery, battery charger & flash light with its batteries will do. You will also need a waterproof bag which can be tied around the waist or which you can hang from your shoulder or neck. This way  you can keep your hands free while you operate the camera & keep all the photography stuff is in one place. If you are going abroad do not forget to take along a power adapter too for the battery charger.

If you are planing to take pics by a mobile phone then it would be a good idea to open an account with websites like FaceBook.com, Twitter.com & Flickr.com to share the pics as & when you click them. You will also need an internet account on your mobile phone. If you are a twitter fiend you already know you can attach pics to your status updates. You should also familiarize yourself with the FAQs of the website. You do want everything to work properly once you are on the holiday.

What pictures should you take?

As taking digital pictures is relatively cheaper give flight to your imagination. Click what ever looks interesting to you, including you!

Please make sure that you have the necessary permissions from the relevant authorities to take pictures & that you have paid the relevant fees by buying a ticket for the camera. Do not assume that it is OK to take pictures wherever you are. Make sure by asking.

When you get back home, copy the pictures to your computer hard drive make a back up on a DVD or a CD & have a holiday album/ holiday photo book made professionally by somebody like  snapfish.in & gift a copy to all who went with you on the trip. If you shared your pics from a mobile on facebook.com or filckr.com, snapfish.in can print these pics too.

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Bored In Jaipur?

Sunrise

If for some reason you have to stay in Jaipur for a longish period of time-what do you do-how do you pass the time of the day? You have been to all the Forts in Jaipur, shopped for all your friends, seen all the museums, now what?

You can delve a bit deeper in to the Jaipur other people breeze through, here are some options…

1. Make friends with other expats living and working here.

2. Learn a new skill. If art is your forte you can learn miniature painting from the masters.

Or you can learn yoga.

Or you can learn to read, write  & speak a local language like hindi or sanskrit.

Or you can live in the elephant village near  Amber and learn how to care for the elephants and how to train them & drive them.

Or if you want to continue your higher education the Rajasthan University has an excellent faculty for the foreign students wishing to do just that.

Or you can learn to cook the various local indian cuisine.

3.  You could ask the expats already working here, if they would like a helping hand at their trade, while you gained a few pointers in their trade.

4.You could write a book!

5. If not that you could write an article about your trip for a journal back home.

6. You could write a blog about your stay in Jaipur from your personal point of view.

7. You could get involved with a charity in Jaipur, there are lot of reputable ones around.

8.You could take classes in teaching your mother tongue to the young folk of Jaipur.

9. If books are your forte you could help out at the Jaipur Literature Festival and meet writers galore!

10. If you still want to travel some more there are places  near by which you can visit for a day or two and return to Jaipur. Here is a list.

11.You could learn to dance a local dance like kathak.

12. You could learn to play a local musical instrument like sitar or harmonium.

13. You could teach the young folk of Jaipur how to do some popular western dances you might be proficient at.

14. You could hire a Royal Enfield Motorcycle and explore the nearby villages.

15. You could hire a bi-cycle to explore the city.

16. You could make videos of your daily life to put up on www.youtube.com

17. You could start a 365 day  photo project to post  still photos of your daily round to  www.photoblog.com a photo blogging website.

18. If you are learning hindi and like movies you could watch a hindi  Bollywood movie everyday. It will improve your hindi & who knows you might fall in love with the song and dance in the hindi movies.

19. You could help manage a hotel or guesthouse catering to foreign tourists.

20. You could learn to fly kites the way Indians do. It is a very addictive past time.

21. You could make Indian friends. They will welcome you in their lives!

22. If you are a Motorsport enthusiast you can go for weekly Off The Road (OTRs).

23. You could race bikes on a dirt track.

24. You could do social service in an old age home or a hospice.

25. You could teach your local cuisine to the young ladies of Jaipur.

26. You could read the Hindu scriptures, Ramayan & Mahabharat.

27. You could do a course at the Jaipur Vipassana Centre

28. You could visit the local fairs and festivals taking place round the year.

29. You could take long early morning walks in the hills surrounding Jaipur.

30. You could try out all the heritage liquors available in the local market and find out the ingredients used, the legends associated with the liquor and the family history of  the house to which the liquor recipe belongs to.

31.You could learn to play Polo. Or learn horse riding. Or you could watch Polo matches during the Polo season.

32. You could buy a book detailing the birds of north India and go birding in the parks and the hills and lakes surrounding Jaipur.

33. You could reaffirm your marriage vows according to hindu customs in a local temple. Or you could have a grand affair and get married again in a Rajput wedding ceremony and have your friends flown in to witness the ceremony at one of the heritage hotels.

34. You could honey moon at the luxurious  Rambagh Palace or at the Rajvilas Hotel.

If I have missed an activity please fell free to add it in your comments to this post. I will be glad to add it to the list.

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Photos Of Some Common Birds Found In The Parks & Gardens Of Jaipur.

OWL

Spotted Owlet (Athene brama indica)

Recently a cousin of mine,Madhav Rathore, an experienced, enthusiastic birder, bought a  Canon EOS 7D with a huge telephoto lens. When I kidded him about buying   such an expensive  camera he insisted on taking me birding in  the Central Park one evening. That is when the use of the camera became apparent to me.  He was shooting birds perched at the top of tallest of trees where as I was limited to shooting squirrels and birds sitting in front of me in the grass.

But I got hooked to birding that day. I am no expert birder but by my own experience it is far easier to watch birds today. I take a picture of the whichever  feathered friend which dares to cross my path and later on I put an ID to it with the help of a couple of Books. Where the books fail The Net comes  to help. This method helps to engrave the names of the birds in the mind too. So the next time I come across the same bird I  say smugly,” That is Brahminy Mayna you know !” and so on…

One thing you will notice is the exotic names of the birds.  I can bet you powers that be who gave names to the birds put more thought in naming the birds than in naming their newborn sons. They have names like starling,Black  Drongo,Grebe,darter etc. And each bird has its own charm. Own uniqueness which will hold you in thrall.

I have been to the Central Park many times before the day we went birding but I  did not notice the birds before that day. Oh I could see the pigeons and the doves but the other beauties were hidden behind a muslin curtain as it were. Somebody had to  point the birds out to me. Do you know  usually we see two types of Doves in Jaipur one is Laughing Dove and the other is the Eurasian Collared Dove. And that the house sparrow may be endangered soon enough! Who would have thought of it!

I have been posting photos I take around Jaipur to www.flickr.com for some time now. If you see the stats on the photos you will realize that people like photos of flowers and plants more than photos of birds. I do not know why that is so but we have to be more aware of the beauty surrounding us in the form of birds more. Birds forage in the early morning but people go for their morning walk just then too. So the birds perch themselves on the highest branches of the trees. I suppose they come down later. I do not know.There are some birds which do not mind people at all and are all over the grass in the Park.

Now a days in every home there is a computer and a digital camera. All you have to do is to buy a beginners guide to birding. Be sure to buy one which has photos of the birds & not sketches. You can graduate to the books with sketches  later.

Now find some time for yourself and the birds and go for a walk in the nearest Park or garden. Happy Birding.

I am posting  some photos of the Birds I found.

Brahminy Myna/Starling

Red-vented Bulbul

Black-Rumped Flameback

Black Drongo

Bank Myna

Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna) - Adult

Green Bee Eater

Asian Koel Male

Rufous Treepie

Partridge

Purple Sun bird female

Eurasian Golden Oriole

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