Sunday, June 30, 2013

My next camera

Agfa click III

Isoly -II

Yashica Electro 35

Nikon Coolpix 4300

Canon SX20 IS

These are the (only) cameras that I have used so far (in the same order) and frankly speaking I was really happy with them. 
All the photographs you have seen so far on my blogs are from one of these cameras and they are all point and shoot.
But the fact is that everyone around me, left right and centre has a DSLR and they give me a weird look when I tell them that I don't have a DSLR.
So like the old saying goes "If you can't beat them, join them" I decided that I would buy my first DSLR.
I mean there is no point looking embarrassed when I face a tiger and the tiger asks me "you have come here to click me with that silly camera?"
But before I buy one I wanted to know some finer points of the camera. I realized that the best way to learn was to attend a workshop.
Found this site (toehold) which was holding workshops in all major cities in India and luckily Pune was included in the list.
It was a two day session with some special attention given as to how to operate a camera (especially a DSLR). That was a big plus for me as I am one of those who can't do anything by reading a manual. So a hands on experience with doubts clarified immediately with practical demonstration was something that I liked.
I also discovered some of the functions that were there in my existing camera (Canon SX20) which I was not aware of.  By the way this is the camera that gave me maximum mileage (and the one most abused - look at the score marks)

The cross section of the people who attended the workshop was also interesting. It varied from a Brigadier to a young lad who came all the way from Kolhapur.

While all were engrossed in the lectures I took the liberty of clicking some of the participants.

The disappearing act about to begin, or more commonly known as the “ghost effect”

The second day included some outdoor sessions.

In case you are wondering about this bad picture above, it was my first attempt at panning. 
This is the best I could get. But watch this space. With practice I hope to upload some good panning pictures.  (and it could be yours if you are zooming around on the Pune roads)
Special attention was given to wild life photography as our faculty (Mr Rahul) was basically a wild life enthusiast.
Those who want to have a look at the participants of the workshop, click here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

On the way - Part 4

Continuing with the journey (from part 3)  . . . . . . .
In a child’s life, learning is a big step. I like the way this mural covers the wall of a school building. You get to see graffiti and paintings on walls but this is something very rare.

All Saints High Sschool
You will come across many churches around this cantonment area and it is good to see that they are well maintained.

175 year old All Saints Chuch

St Andrews church Khadki
One the oldest railway stations of Pune is the Khadki station. It was (and is) the siding station for the Ammunition factory and the 512 Army Base.  There was an old hand operated Fire engine at this station, some thing like this.

 I wonder if it is still there.

Talking of the siding, there is a gate (probably was used as a level crossing) near the station. As it was a bottle neck for the flow of traffic, they have paved the way on either side of the gate, without removing the gate. I assume it could be the paper work/red tapism that goes on between the State and the Centre. (Railways and things related to it come under the central govt.)

Once you cross the station a side way glance gives you some wonderful view of fields and trees. An unexpected sight from a highway with heavy traffic. It’s the Military farm area. Probably that explains why it is still green and not gobbled up by the land sharks.

The Harris bridge is the third bridge that I cross over the Mulla river.

It  has a parallel bridge that takes care of the railway line between Mumbai and Pune. If you are lucky you will get to see the Deccan Queen passing over it around 7.25 am.

There are many firsts for the Deccan Queen. The first Super Fast train of India being one of them. It being the first train to have a dining car, the walls of the diner is lined with pictures from the erstwhile GIPR (Great Indian Peninsular Railway) The first class fare in 1930 was Rs 11 and 4 annas. Today it is Rs 330.
The culvert that goes below the bridge has eased out the traffic a bit. Pune was once upon a time known as the city of cycles. I am happy that at least one cycle has come in my frame.

The CME is one landmark that no one can miss.

Earlier we could see some interesting things that are inside from a double decker bus. I presume these were the props that were used to train the Engineers. This is not possible now for two reasons. One, the double decker buses are off the road and the height of the wall has been increased with the road widening.

As you go along, you may find some peculiar items being sold  at the traffic signals, especially in the morning. This is one of them.  A bunch of lime and green chilly.

Some say it will ward off evil if you tie it on the vehicle. Some believe in it and some don’t. To each his own.  I say it’s a waste of vitamin C

Morning is the time when the supplies are carried from the main market (Gultekadi) to the smaller markets.

By observing a few vehicles you can make a rough guess about the items in short supply and what is abundant in the market for the day.

Transporting families on two wheelers is a common sight in Pune. Sometimes it is four on a vehicle. One can imagine who the first causality will be here in case of an accident.

And talking of safety, one unsafe practice that we observe on a daily basis is the way children travelling to school.

I wonder if anyone can guess how many are inside this auto rickshaw.

As you approach Nashik Phata you see this huge flyover being build. It is supposed to be a multi-layered one, and when completed it will look like this model (hopefully)

When my vehicle crosses this part (the partially built one) I imagine that it is going to take a leaping jump from the edge of the unfinished bridge

Something like Sandra Bullock did in the movie Speed

(no harm in allowing your imagination to run wild)

I must say that the work is moving at an appreciable speed and the highest level could be a little uncomfortable for people having acrophobia.

I wonder why those sieves are dangling under those drain holes. To disperse the rain water?

From the way one part of it is being painted (with spot lights added) I presume a part of the flyover will be thrown open for public use very soon.

Some uncommon sight on the highway. This man has probably found some fire wood for his home fire, which may last for some time.

I think I will conclude this with some of the greenery on the way. Its good that the city fathers made the six lane roads without sacrificing the old trees.

Maybe we can start the detour in the next episode (if I have enough pictures)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

On the way - Part 3

Continuing with our journey. . . . . . . Crossing the Holkar bridge was a real pain as it was very narrow and the traffic moved real slow, till they came up with an alternate wide bridge. I must say that the construction of the new bridge was pretty fast.
For those who want to know the past of this bridge, it was built by Madhu Rao Peshwa and named after Malhar Rao Holkar who was accustomed to pitching his tent in the vicinity. (the Holkars were the Maratha rulers of the Malwa region)
There is a water colour painting by Lester John Fredrick dated as back as 1870 showing how the bridge looked during a flood that happened in July 1870.

I came across an old B&W photograph too, clicked maybe a century ago.

I tried to click a recent picture of the bridge from the same location.

One can visualize the passage of time by comparing the painting and the two photographs above. 

And to have a look at the new bridge that was built just an year ago, here is a view from the river bed. You can see the old bridge on the extreme left.

The city fathers planned well in advance and made this new bridge real wide with a bifurcation going to the highway via the Kirkee War Cemetery.  On some days we do take a detour from that side. (but we will explore that side later under the title Detour)

I appreciate the fact that very few trees were sacrificed to build this new bridge.
If you are lucky you will get to see some scullers rowing in the river

There are some washer men who wash their load of clothes, the traditional Indian way

And if you are really really lucky you may get to see these small birds moving around in hordes. It’s a wonderful sight to see a wave of yellow suddenly moving from one tree to another.

It is a lovely sight to see the new bridge disappearing into the jungle of trees.

And that takes us to one of my favourite roads of Pune. This road is lined with huge trees on either side giving ample shade.

Recently when I was clicking some pictures on this road, this vehicle overtook me and made the road all the more colourful.

At the end of this road there is this small quaint little Methodist church.

There is a dilapidated house that I see daily. I can’t help imagine how this house would have been a century ago. Could have been occupied by some British Military officer with his family, and an array of servants.

May be that tree could tell us some stories.  

Right next to this tree is an open playground. The best time to play football is on a rainy day and even if it is not pouring it is a lovely sight to see those youngsters engaged in a game of football.

But our love for cricket does not take a back seat. If you look closely you can see a game of cricket in progress in the midst the football players. (the guy in black stripes is bowling)

What do we call this?  Peaceful co-existence? 
To be continued in part 4.
For those who have missed out on Part-1 and Part-2.