"Bay Bridge at Dawn"
Location: Embarcadero Plaza, San Francisco, California.
I don't think I had to wake up early to see this because what I saw was nothing less than a beautiful dream :)
Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L @ 22mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Exposure: 25sec at f/14 and ISO 50
Filters: LEE ND Grads 0.9 and 0.6 soft edge
Post Processing: Adobe Lightroom for white balance, Adobe PS for wide angle lens distortion correction. Rest is straight from the camera.
"Majestic El Cap and Mighty Merced (Portrait Version)"
Location: Yosemite National Park, California.
The grandeur of Yosemite valley is best seen from spots that are hidden away along the curves of Merced river. The view is particularly appealing when major landmarks in the valley, such as El Capitan in this case, can also be seen. It was not just the view but also the photographic process that I enjoyed at this location. It was dull gray and raining when I arrived at this spot. Then it started clearing and El Cap appeared out of fog in it's full glory.
This is a scene in the valley during spring season when when the Merced river is at it's peak flow and there is a good chance to see fog and clouds shrouding the granite peaks. In this particular image I also liked spots of penetrating light on the pine trees. As the storm was clearing in the sky, pockets of openings were creating interesting displays of light. I made several images but likes this one very much.
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L @ 45mm
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II
Exposure: 1/4sec at f/14 and ISO 50
Filters: LEE 0.6 (2-stop) and 0.9 (3-stop) soft edge ND Graduated filters
Yosemite is the arguably the most beautiful national park. It's grandeur and the time scale it took to evolve is very humbling. I learnt that the granite peaks started out as molten magma deep below the earth's surface about 100 million years ago. Merced river then carved it into a "V" shaped valley and finally glaciers shaped it into its present day "U" shape. The beauty of the valley has inspired many. It's lush forests, tall granite peaks, amazing monoliths and beautiful waterfalls are so pristine that a visit to the park often overwhelms the senses. A visit here at least once in lifetime is a must.
Location: Fushimi-Inari, Kyoto, Japan, Map
There are apparently over thousand of these torii gates at the Fushimi Inari shrine and it's a wonderful experience to walk through them. Each of these torii gates has been donated to the shrine by individuals and business and their names are written on the torii pillars.
One of the biggest challenges to photograph here is to avoid the tourists crowd, so early in the morning is the best time to be here. The shrine itself is very beautiful as well but nothing beats these torii gates photographically.
Fushimi Inari shrine is also located little bit outskirts of Kyoto and city bus, for which you can buy day pass, does not go here. So train is the best option and one can get down at Fushimi train station and walk half a mile or so to reach this shrine.
I had a wonderful visit to Japan during late summer of 2013 and got to see both it's historic and modern faces. Kyoto was my destination of choice to see old temples and shrines of Japan and I focused on Tokyo to witness it's modern lifestyle. Below are a few images from the trip. I was thoroughly impressed by how well Japan's public transportation worked and how easy it was for me to visit all these places. Being mostly a vegetarian eater, I was a bit concerned about the food at first but was pleasantly surprised by abundant and excellent food choices available. Japan is a country everyone should visit at least once. There is so much to learn from it's culture and day to day life practices of Japanese people such as their approach towards conservation, food and emphasis on being polite.
Link to sites I visited