In search of the shot

I've been back in the desert for a while now, and while the mercury is threatening to reduce us into liquid form I'am adamant as ever that there are images yet to be captured.
During the summer months the hostility of the weather here is immensely dramatic, but what constantly beckons me to the outdoors is its unspoiled beauty. The landscape in certain areas is treacherous, yet adds volumes to the final image and as a photographer I'am a sucker for an image like no other.
Donning some loose clothing and accompanied by what I thought was a sufficient supply of water I set out to find what I was looking for. I think its fair to say that I came back thoroughly exhausted, bordering on dehydration yet extremely satisfied.
This was shot inside the depths of a wadi while waiting for the last bit of the summer light to fade. Let me know if it captivates you as much as it did me.

'Flash' update!

My old flash unit decided that it had had enough with me, and since there was no option of walking away, it quite simply, killed itself. It served me well. However, there was no time for sentiments. I had a shoot coming up and rocking up without a flash was not an option. I therefore had to fast forward my thought process and do some quick reading to accustom myself with the newest flash units available.
I finally narrowed it down to what suited me the best and bought it. It should be here soon and when I do finally get my hands on it I will try and write a review for it. This is exciting. I can't wait. If you have already subscribed to my blog then you will know the minute I get it:)

The calm before the storm

One of the perks of photographing landscapes is that it instills a wonderful sense of actually being there when you view the image. As a photographer however, I have learnt, that every perk usually comes with a pitfall. Shooting amidst the dense tropical country I call home this came in the form of bad weather.

Over the years I've found myself shooting in different adverse conditions, so much so that when the local village folk scurried away I just carried on with what I was doing. What amused me was the look on their faces as they went past me.To be quite accurate it probably translated to 'this guy is stark raving mad'. As amused as I was this also intrigued me, so I caught up with a young chap and asked him what the fuss was all about. He just looked at me blankly, pointed towards the heavens and murmured something akin to 'trouble is coming'. OK, I must admit that the skies looked darker than usual, but hey this was Sri Lanka. It rains here as often as chameleons change colour. My smile just perplexed him even more and off he went, apparently in the right direction. What came a few minutes later confirmed every bit of it.

Bone dry to soaking wet, all in under a minute. I did try and outrun it but clearly nature had won before I even began. What made matters worse was the rain brought with it a formidable ally, in the form of the wind. Not just any summer day breeze.This was a howler of a gale on an agenda to tear me up into minuscule pieces and disperse me like pollen from a dandelion.I was well and truly beaten.I had to swallow my pride and seek refuge among some foliage beside the upper bank of the river, hugging my camera gear in the process. Definitely not how I envisioned my day to go. Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity the storm passed and I dragged myself back to the car and drove home. A shower and a hot chocolate later I sat down and processed the images that I had managed to capture before nature unleashed its wrath on me. The one below is my artsy twist on a pre-storm landscape.
Comment here and let me know what you think.

The Evening glow

The summer is well and truly here. Forty two degrees in the shade. You're thinking Fahrenheit. I'm talking Celsius. Ouch is right! Don't worry, I'm typing this seated in a cozy chair surrounded by conditioned air that's nearly twenty degrees cooler.

No matter where I'am I thrive on being able to capture images. Unfortunately in this kind of weather that was like asking to go on a date with a heat stroke. Such a shame. I obviously had to give in to nature and wait it out till the mercury dropped. Basically this meant having to stay indoors till about late evening. Once the environment was comfortable I was back on my feet scouting for opportunities. Living near the beach completely simplified the decision and off I went.
One a few occasions I walked past a bunch of dense weedy undergrowth. Not giving it much attention I chose to use it as a prop in my bigger picture of the surroundings. The resulting image was bland. I needed something of substance, something that spoke to the viewer and gave them the sense of a vibrant image. Getting a little closer I noticed how the weeds possessed a beautiful texture that really shone when hit by the sun at the right angle. I decided to exploit this and make the weeds my actual subject. Crouching right next to it I fired away, maintaining the fast evading sun in the background. Every now and again I'am left surprised by how a certain not-so-interesting subject can actually make an image pop. This was one of those moments.
Let me know what you think.

La Paf

Few would think that this is the nickname given to a bunch of precision aerobatic pilots who fly at speeds and formations that would make the average person puke his guts out.
Yes, case in point and better known as 'Patrouille Acrobatique de France' these guys are a cut above the rest. What they do makes Bear Grylls's adventures seem like child's play.( I'm just kidding, I have a lot of respect for Bear and what he does)

I had the opportunity of watching them live. Yes, LIVE! You're probably hating me right now, but that's ok. What was also cool was that this was one of the few times I got to whip out my telephoto lens and really use it to its maximum focal length. All 200mm of it. I must say I was super pleased with the performance of the lens. The added feature of VR (Vibration Reduction) was a definite plus and the focusing was spot on.  For reference sake these 'Alpha Jet' beasts climb at a rate of 51 metres per second and have a maximum speed of 1000km/h at sea level. Imagine keeping up with that.

The show seemed to run forever but eventually when it was done and dusted I had amassed 2 gigs worth of images, courtesy of my trigger happy finger.
Back at home and browsing through the images I realized that action photography was one amazing field to be in, let alone just for a day.
The image below was one of my favorites. I timed the shot to catch the 'La Paf' drop right out of the heavens.

This was one epic day. I would go see them all over again, and again and again.

Going for glory

When you have a camera in hand you are constantly looking for a scenario with the least of faults, such that the ultimate image is nothing less than spectacular. You could have perfect lighting, adequate sharpness, brilliant colour and still ruin an image. I for one have made this mistake countless times. One of the key areas to how 'great' an image looks is in its composition.
I've learnt that if you compose an image well then half your battle is already won.

Just recently on my trip back home I had the opportunity of shooting some elephants. We have an abundance of them and quite honestly the standard elephant image is now bordering on 'pretty boring.' I decided to glorify the shot by shooting the elephant in a way that it captures more attention.
What do you think? I love feedback, so please do leave some.