Through the window

Whenever I am in an airplane, I am fascinated by the scenes that I get to see through the window. I remember that one time I was travelling and I didn’t have a camera at hand (ya, pre-camera-phone era existed – believe it or not) and I saw the most wonderfully shaped hanging clouds – they were like sculptures lit by the orange glow of the sun and appeared to be made of cottony sandstone. I was very disappointed at not being able to capture that. Although the funny thing is that now I keep the camera or at least the smartphone (in flight mode) handy but then I’m asleep during most of the time in the flight :-).

But sometimes, I am awake and the gods of photography reward me for that. Sharing some of the images I captured through the windows on various flights.

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City under the wing but hey, what’s that yellow thing?

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Mountains look interesting but is that the moon there?

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Is that a sphinx in the clouds?

For more images of or through the windows, you can this page.

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Layered

It’s quite a coincidence that the theme of the photo challenge is “Layered” which was the exact feeling I have from my recent trip to Italy. Why, one would be curious..

That’s because the present day Italy has several layers of civilizations underneath it. I am not sure which city of Italy wouldn’t have ruins of as far as the Roman times, if not even older, under it.

But for the photo challenge, I’d like to present these terracota statues – “The Compianto” made by Niccolo dell’Arca in the 15th century, which are today housed in the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita, in Bologna. The statues are so lifelike that it feels like someone froze a moment in time. Now what is the connection to layers here? The traditional statue making with stone involves chipping off the stone but in terracota, one needs to add one layer over the other to achieve the effect. It was considered by sculptors of the likes of Michelangelo an inferior form to create something by adding (putting layers of clay) than by removing (chipping off marble)! To each his opinion. My opinion is that art forms are means of expression of the same thing inside us human beings that wants to come out – and hence, no form can be inferior or superior. A form can be easier or difficult to work with – but ultimately, it is the end result that is important. Does the work on display evoke any emotion in the observer? If yes, then it’s good work. If not, then it probably could be made better.

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For more interpretations of the theme, you can visit here.

Niffling

The fans of Harry Potter would know the magical creature – Niffler. The one which just gets pulled towards anything shiny. For me, that niffly characteristic comes to the surface upon seeing nicely done street art and quirky shop windows. The prettier, the wittier, the better. Then I forget where I was headed to and get busy collecting the “shiny stuff” (in my camera). Here is a glimpse of a few of those things. Enjoy :-).

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The lady with the mask..

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Alien Dinosaur?

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Danger ahead!

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That should start the day right…

For checking out what distracts other people, check out this page.

Elements of nature

It’s amazing how the same setting can evoke different emotions inside us. See for yourself.

The photo below was captured at night when the wind was howling, skies were overcast with clouds but the moon was able to peek out briefly. Makes you think of ghosts and werewolves I guess.

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And the picture below was taken the next morning when the sun was out, winds had calmed down and the skies had cleared a bit. Makes you think of serenity – doesn’t it?

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For getting some more visuals of elemental forces, you can go here.

 

Out of the ordinary

Most days we just go by life and everything else, on a kind of auto-pilot mode. Wake up, get ready, go to wherever you are supposed to go, come back, sleep and start all over again the next day (breathing, eating and drinking – that’s kind of necessary).

But some times, while you are on autopilot, something just jumps out from background to foreground, making you take notice. Those are moments which make you think a little, before you again go on with your routine.

Sometimes, I get to capture those moments when I have the camera, at other times not. For the former, it’s great because I can show the object of my surprise also to others. The latter ones are nice, and leave behind this longing to see it once again (happens often when the night sky has interesting positions of moon, planets and stars and I don’t have the right gear to shoot those scenes)!

Here are some of those moments that I found unusual and also managed to take a photo of, of course.

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Have you seen a sleeping bird? I’d never seen one before this dude..

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The swan that turned into a pumpkin! Could it be a curse of the magician that the swan was bothering?

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The houses of this village had eyes! Some had one and some three..spooky

If you enjoyed this and want to see some more, then you can find other photographic interpretations of “unusual” here.

The Bridges

Bridges are fascinating. I wonder when was the first time humans created a bridge. But I’m sure that it must have been the day when the course of human history took a big turn. Humans were suddenly able to cross rivers and lakes for going from one place to another and returning back, thus making trading possible for everyone and not just the adventurous sailors! Bridges meant possibilities..

There is a reference to the construction of a bridge of stones in the Hindu epic – Ramayana – which is a story of around 12000 years ago! According to the legend, the bridge was made by the monkeys, to help Ram and the monkey army get across the sea to Lanka from the Southernmost tip of India to rescue his wife Sita who was abducted by Ravan, the king of Lanka. Believe it or not, in the satellite images, the remains of such a bridge can still be seen (immersed now), named Adam’s Bridge in English. You can read more details of the scientific analysis being done to determine the timelines here. So far, I didn’t have the chance to go there yet, but who knows, may be one day I will be there.

So coming back to the present, I’ve had the chance to see so many wonderful bridges. Some of them are world-famous and some are just serving the purpose – helping people get across from one point to the other.

Enjoy.

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A bridge connecting two villages in Switzerland

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An interesting road bridge in Eastern Germany

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A wooden bridge in Switzerland

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A brick bridge in Belgium

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The longest suspension bridge for pedestrians in the world, in Austria

For more interpretations and pictures of wonderful bridges, explore here.

Focal Point

I often am fascinated by the human body – what a marvelous work of engineering! Today am admiring the wonderful sense of sight – the eyes. It’s raining out here and I am just looking out at the scene through the glass window with a cup of coffee. With my eyes, I can see everything so clearly even outside but the camera can focus only on what’s closest to it. 

In this photo, you can see my coffee in focus and the chaos outside, even if it’s blurred. So I am very thankful for the camera because that’s possibly the only way I can capture and share the moments that I like, visually, with everyone, for lack of that kind of artistic talent which also requires time and effort to master. 

Coffee on a rainy day

For more photos about interpreting Focus, you can look here

And here is the photo of the same place after it has stopped raining.

Surprise!

This Easter, I finally broke the winter hibernation and travelled – not for business but for a vacation. Just returning and wanted to put it all down on “paper” asap! 

So, I booked a blind ticket with an airlines and it spat out Vienna at the end of the booking. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, it works like this – you give a set of dates that you are willing to travel on, the number of days for which you would be flexible, and depending on the offer choose from a set of cities that you could go to. By giving this flexibility on your part, the airlines booking algorithm will maximize it’s route plans and give you a cheap option. The catch is that the final destination will be revealed at the end of the booking i.e. after the payment, and the flight timings can be odd. 

But anyway, I did it for the experience and I would say that in the end, surprisingly the surprise trip turned out to be pretty good. Next time, I would try to keep an eye also on the flight timings.

The details of the trip itself would be coming soon. For the time being, I wanted to post this in response to the Photo challenge of Dailypost for the week – which surprisingly is titled “Surprise“! 

So here are some pics to show you from my trip that could surprise anyone!

Who’s the killer?


Ya, curry instead of Murray would be surprising!


Was I on Reverse Earth?


More to come..

On the top

In the day to day life, we are so caught up in looking forward that we don’t see what is above or below. But when you do remember to look up or down, sometimes you see interesting things. This specially happens when you travel because then you don’t have to be in a hurry to be at work, at school, at the doctor’s, at a restaurant or even to be at home. Then you want to take in all the sights of the place you are at.

So here are some scenes that I captured looking up, which the residents of those cities may find mundane.

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A man sitting at the top of the stairs at the train station in Brugge

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An owl overseeing the proceedings of busy Barcelona on a rainy day from the top

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Plane flying near the top of the tower of a building in Brussels

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The bridge connecting the top of two towers at the church in Esslingen

For more sights at the top or from the top, check out the posts here.