Landscapes. Part 1

There was a time when I thought a landscape image was anything that someone shot on their vacation and posted it on the internet for their friends and relatives to see… been there;  hiked that mountain; crossed those plains etc etc… But the fact is, its very difficult to shoot a ‘gripping’ landscape image… Something people will stop over and take time to watch, from those thousands of images that sites like flickr has. Thats an art that somehow always eluded me. Well nevertheless, this is my corner for expressing myself and heres my share to the galaxy of landscapes :). Perhaps I should be calling it my travelogue than a landscape post – just to blunt the edge of the criticism that’d come my way 😉

Goa. This place doesnt need any introduction. Its I guess the best destination when it comes to the sun, the sand and the sea in mainland India. I visited Goa in early 2008. Calangute was where we had booked a hotel; me and my brother. The beach was just 5 minutes walk away.  Calangute falls in north Goa, about an hours and 15 minutes drive from Dabolim airport. Its a small town on the two sides of the main road with nice restaurants lining the sides and a super market store. This one street has almost the entire town around it. Our plan was to travel up north covering, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim and Ashwem beaches.

This scene is from Ashwem beach where they have giant kites, that look like parachutes. Heres one…


Kite flying on Ashwem beach

Down south is Morjim beach; my favourite. I liked it so much that I came back the next day to experience the beauty of it a second time. More than a mile of undisturbed shallow water and white sands with very few visitors. You have alost the whole beach to yourself. The nearby shacks serve freshly caught and shallow fried king fish and other more exotic sea food. The bill ofcourse gives you a feel that you are paying in dollars not rupees :).

Heres an old cross on the beach rocks. I liked the way it had tilted a little, giving a feeling of neglect and decay. Added some good old film grain to enhance that feeling.


The forgotten cross

Coming down south further… way further… I mean all the way down south. Munnar! 🙂

Munnar and the surrounding area is known for its fine tea and the sprawling tea gardens that make its landscape so special. There are tea gardens in Ooty and elsewhere but this one is vast. There are endless hills covered with the crop that looks like a perfectly manicured lawn from a distance. I have been here twice and these pictures are from my mid December 2006 trip.

We had put up in a hotel in Devikulam (just outside the town) and that was a nice place to hike up the road to the adjoining tea estates. Heres an old cottage, probably belonging to the keeper of this estate.


The Cottage

This was a handheld HDR from my Canon 10D and considering the slow shooting speed, coupled with the fading evening light, this had some ghosting artifacts. I also reduced some greens and added a soft blur and some film grain to try to add some life into it.

The morning scenes are extraordinary.  Heres one on my early morning hike in the estates.



The last one in this series is from the Rajamalai National Park known for the endangered Nilgiri Thar. A bus takes you up the hill which is the prime habitat of the mountain goats. And its walk from there. This lonely tree caught my eye on the way.


Lonely Tree

I visited most of the tourist spots in and around Munnar. Excellent place.

I hope that was not too long a travelogue-landscape combo. More next time…

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  1. Absolutely LOVE them Niraj!! Keep them coming..
    Like i said before i really feel your signatures on the snap should be either on top right corner or bottom right corner or somewhere where it gels well with that particular snap (like its found in paintings..)
    Somehow i feel anywhere else, it takes away the look and feel of such wonderful snaps..:) Just a personal opinion and i am no professional photographer..So you might know better..:)

    • Thanks Dilip.. I really appreciate.. For the signature part.. I am increasingly seeing pictures being plagiarised. Recently found one such incident on FB where 2 guys were showing the exact same image; with one having his copyright under the picture. When i reported it to both of them, to my surprise, the image didnt belong to either of them. Then there was another good guy whose pics were being used without permission by an online news paper. Rather than getting out of these issues, i try to avoid them completely. 🙂

  2. Niraj,
    ‘Prehistoric’ is just too good!. The cris-cross lines formed by the landscape and the color gradient transforming into the misty background looks serene. Great work on this.

    Rajesh Kumar

  3. The ‘prehistoric’ photograph is a painting of light, shadows, color & mood. Outstanding photograph!!
    Composition is brilliant…

    What angle did you shoot in? A wider angle will perhaps have captured the canvas more…

    • Thanks Chetan for u took time to visit the blog and I am glad you liked it.

      A wider angle with the above photograph would have included the power lines which were just over the left. I had to walk down a bit to exclude them.

  4. Hey Niraj,
    loved the munnar pics.
    Nilgiri Tahr is endangered 🙂 while being engendered 🙂 in not so large

    • hahaha.. thanx a lot mahesh.. it was the auto spell check which is applied before posting.. 🙂 corrected

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