bhargavkesavan

Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…


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Low light Photography


It’s my first article about photography & I’m starting it with Low light Photography.

Light plays an important role in Photo, be it day light, or night photography, light is the main source and it can define your photo the way you want to convey it.

My interest for photography goes back to the time when I have never touched a camera & we never had one at home. My dad use to express his interest on how we could have shot a photo if we had a camera on that spot, as a child I have grown up cultivating that interest in me. I bought a first digital point & shoot camera in 2010 for my dad & started taking so many photos whenever we went out.

Four years before I bought this Digi cam, the first time I ever got my hands on to a digital camera was when my friend Praveen got his cousin Anand anna’s camera. He gave me the first tips to shoot a photo without leaving space about head & to avoid unnecessary blank space on a photo. After my dad he is my first mentor for photography.

Lowlight Photography:

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I called it “Yin-Yang: The actual meaning is different here

I shot this 8 years back with a point & shoot camera, I held this “Spadiga Maalai” in one hand and shot with other hand. As it was a cloudy day our home was more dark when i shot this pic.

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This is 15th photo in my Flickr account. My friend Vikky’s photo is the first photo that I’ve uploaded to my Flickr account.

I got my first DSLR camera two years back & exploring various categories from Landscapes to Portraits. Though I love all the categories, shooting in low light or at night interests me more. Let’s talk about it now.

Low light photography needs an important quality – Patience. If you have patience & dedicated time to take the shot you have in mind, you can certainly produce good quality photos. You don’t need more fancy accessories to shoot photos, just keep a clear idea of what you’re going to shoot & find a spot for your photo.

I’m not going to explain every details like a pro, I’ll talk about it to the level I’ve exposure about it. You need a camera with manual setup, based on how much light is available in the spot you choose, you will have to manually adjust your aperture and shutter speed. One thing to keep in mind is that you will have to keep your camera absolutely still. You cannot let it move a bit. You will end up with a blurred photo without any details. So, find your angle & keep your camera on floor or compound or if you have tripod you can keep it anywhere you can.

You don’t a remote for all your shots, you can use timer but remember even the click that you press in your camera will shake your photo & will end up as an useless shot.

Here are some low light photos that I shot.

 

Below shot is a form of light trails, my wife posed 30 seconds without moving for this photo. Keep in mind, when your subject moves or your camera moves you will end up in a blurred image.

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ƒ/22.0 30″ ISO 100

This is a light trail shot.

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ƒ/22.0 30″ ISO 100

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f 1.8 ISO 400 1/125

Now give it a try & share your shot with me & Do let me know if this article  was any useful to you in comments.

Checkout my photo works on my Insta & Flickr pages.

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It’s been a decade!


A Short Flashback

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Flashback

Ten years ago on 18th May 2008 my friends & I moved to Bangalore to join Accenture the next day. Although I’ve been to Bangalore a lot of times in past as my hometown; the beautiful place Hosur is close to Bangalore, it was a new experience for me to be in Bangalore away from my parents.

Day 1 morning we all started from our guest house that was provided to us by Accenture around 7 AM, we didn’t know the bus route, we didn’t find anyone to ask that early morning, so we took an auto. I bargained with the auto driver in Kannada the first two days. Our Induction was at Windsor Manor Sheraton in Vasanth Nagar. IPL has just started or may be it was about to start. I don’t remember about that as I’m not a big fan of cricket. But it was a treat for my friends that day!

As we entered Sheraton for our induction, we saw RCB bus and we got to know that all RCB players were staying in the same hotel! Two hours after our induction has began we were given a 15 mins break, no one returned until 30 mins, some coordinators came to the hallway and called us inside to attend the induction! Everyone got to see the players wandering in the hallway and in gym.

Rahul Dravid was talking on his phone in Tamil “sollungo ma, ava laam anga irukka” or something similar to that, I still remember his tone over the phone and walked next to me and my friends who were in the hallway. Since it was a surprise to have them in the same hotel where we stayed, we had to leave that place for our induction!

After the two days of Induction, our two months GFT (Greenfield Training) commenced in ITPL so we’d to find our accommodation else where. After some struggle and we moved to a temporary place which I chose as it was less price, but we didn’t feel good after we moved in, so we shifted to the another apartment where our other friends got a PG. It’s Vijetha Lapis Lazuli.

It was my first time to learn that the rents of houses could cost more than 2,500 rupees, as until that date the maximum rent I know was 2,500 rupees. I was so shocked to know when our individual share for the rent was 3,600 rupees.

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Already he has a watermark so I’m not going to write courtesy for pic…

This is where we stayed for two months until we cleared our exams in GFT which we had to clear in order to continue in our job else we will get terminated.

All of studied more seriously than we studied at college. At college we’ll have time to write exam and it’s writing, here it was exam in computers and just radio button or check boxes, if a click goes wrong, we’ll lose marks – and of course our job, if mark goes less than 70. We get three attempts to clear the exam and if we miss the third attempt, we have to return our badge immediately and lose our job. Unfortunately we had to bid adieu to two of our friends in this course of two months.

Finally after two months everyone got projects in various locations and like birds scatter some of us scattered to different locations. I get to flew to Pune, first time in Aeroplane which I started calling Flight over the years. I got to meet new people there, literally I know every Tamil speaking person in Magarpatta, Hadapsar at that time. As I hear someone speaking in Tamil I will go talk to them and get their contact number and pass it on to my other Tamil speaking friends. I made friends who are very good and became room mates with Srinath & Srini who are still in touch irrespective of various countries they live now.

Worked with very good managers who are still the best – Sandeep, Somu, Umesh, Ganesh Pise, Vipin and so many friends. We learnt the corporate culture as the day passed. Team lunch, team outing, goodies and all these new terms became a regular use down the years.

As time passed, I moved to Bangalore and joined my friends who were then settled in a 3 BHK house in Koramangala, which became our den for several years until everyone scattered to various locations after few years. As my time at Accenture continued it was time for me to switch and explore new opportunities and so I switched to Cognizant. I got a lot of friends at accenture but I got a studious, talented and beautiful wife in Cognizant 😉

My friends who continued in Accenture explored their opportunity with other companies and moved to different parts of the world but we’re connected in our Whatsapp group, which itself is going to complete 6 years, in which my friend Praveen overthrown me and took the group ownership when I accidentally left the group one day & not giving ownership back to me. I think I’ll have to go to Vajubhai Vala to claim my ownership back!

Coming back from flashback to this day… 19.May.2018 I greet my friends a Happy 10th year Anniversary and to reach a great heights and to achieve their dreams!


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How I saved $400 on a 6 days stay in Vegas.


Recently my wife and I’ve travelled to Vegas. It was a week trip, we stayed in Las Vegas for five days with an additional day booking and in Grand Canyon for two days.

After booking flight and rental car the next point where majority of the budget is spent is for the stay. Since it’s one of the main tourist location and costs per night at hotels of all ranges were considerably high. Especially in Las Vegas, hotels near strip were approximately $85-$130 per night even in an average hotels.

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This is price as of today in other Hotels, It was more when I visited last month.

When it comes to hotel, we have very little control over the room that we’re going to stay and the reviews might not help sometimes as the review will be in general for the particular hotel in that location. For example Holiday Inn or Westin or Sheraton in a particular location has got 4.1 star review, there might be hundred rooms in that hotel and there are possibilities we might end up in a room that got one star.

When I made my flight ticket purchase through Expedia, I’ve also made hotel booking as Expedia listed a 15% discount or some discount. After I made my hotel reservation, I felt that we’ve spent more on the stay, that’s when I thought about Airbnb. I’ve already used Airbnb to stay in two different states. Once in Virginia and other time in New Hampshire. I’ve also promoted Airbnb in my blog when it was newly launched in India few years back.

I wondered why didn’t I thought about it at first and I went on to find a best home to stay in Vegas. It didn’t take me more than 15 mins to find a fantastic place which was very close to Vegas strip (the road with Casinos on both sides). And the best part was the price! I got a home for $25/night and the host had a great review and was a “super host”, a term in Airbnb for the hosts who has more 5 star reviews from the guests. I was super happy to see that and immediately made my booking with them for my day 1 and then again at the same home from day 4-day7.

I even booked an additional day with them as my flight back to New Jersey was very late at night. Since the checkout time was 11 AM and my flight was 11:50 PM, I didn’t want to keep my wife somewhere in vestibule the whole day till late night flight in that hot weather. So on whole I booked this home for 6 days (1+5) and my price was $177.77 with tax! It could have been even less if I’d a continues 6 days stay, as there was a break in my stay in Vegas, I’d to pay few breakage in both bills separately. This could have been easily $550-$580 with tax if I’d gone for even the lowest price hotel.

It was a villa with two rooms listed for guests. The host was at the ground floor and we’d our room upstairs. Quiet and cozy. Absolutely felt like Home away from Home! I went through the photos of the house before making the booking and went through the reviews, as the review here is particularly for the room that we’re going to stay. That’s the difference in reviews between hotel rooms and for the home listed in Airbnb.

And that’s how I saved $400 in my 6 days stay at Las Vegas! You can definitely save a good price if your destination is a prime spot or if you’re planning for different number of days. If you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, get a $40 for your first booking when you make a trip for more than $75. Visit this link and create an account www.airbnb.com/c/bkesavan

Do send this link to your friend who is planning for a trip!


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Limited தண்ணீர், Water, Paani, Neeru, Neelu – brings Unlimited Joy!


A good day that I coincidentally happened to write this! World Water Day!

Imagine this – yes assume this happens and Imagine now…

You wake up tomorrow morning – going to brush, finishing up morning duties… when you open the tap there is no drop of water! You’re not prepared for this situation. You didn’t know this would happen when you went to bed the previous night. What do you do?

This happened to me in 2008. Not just to me, for a few lakhs people on a single morning.

When I was in Pune, Magarpatta City (Hadapsar) on a summer morning, a sunshine Saturday morning as I woke up early to get ready to go out, My room mate who got up before me had a strict face and his eyes have turned red!!! Only then we got to know there is not a drop of water! Only then I went down to check the notice board to know there is no water until further notice! Everyone rushed to office which is within the same township, it was a busy weekend day at office! (They managed to get tanker water at office) & for others at home, it was too difficult.

This continued for two months, We use to get water only one hour per day. within that time all 4 room mates will finish bathing and all duties and fill water in a water container and whatever vessels we’d. As a bachelor we didn’t had water pot or more buckets.

I was grown up in a time where we use to get water once in a week or once in 9 days. I use to stand in line with my parents with a small pot a size which I can carry as a 6 year old boy. I use to go with my parents to fetch water from a well in our street, if it’s too crowded we’ll go to the well in next street or few streets away from our home. We use to fill this water in few buckets, pots and a small drum. This itself will occupy half of our small house. But this is how it was for most of us in our street and is now for lakhs of people across our country.

There is general saying in Tamil which translates to – My grandfather has seen water in river, my father has seen water in well & I’m seeing water in Tap – Where will the future generation see water? In photos and videos!!! Definitely that day is not too far. You may already be aware that a city (Cape Town) in South Africa has completely ran out of drinking water! Imagine if that happens to us!!! Money cannot bring back nature’s treasure.

Nature gives us unlimited wealth like trees, air, water & much more. If we forget to treasure that and don’t respect the gift it’ll start to leave us. Water is one such wealth. Already air is highly polluted in many countries and I never expected our national capital to be seen like china, where people wear face mask to avoid air pollution.

It’s high time for us to cut the water usage to half. If were using shower for 15 mins, cut it to 5 mins. If we’re using two buckets to bath, cut it to one and if it’s one cut it to half. When we go to restaurant & if the waiter fills the water glass even when we’re done eating, it’s our responsibility to stop him from pouring and save the drinking water, so that it can be saved for others.

Every single drop of water that’s wasted cannot be brought back when you absolutely need it. Do cut the usage of water which we consume in a different ways it’ll definitely reward you with a smile. Remember? Everything given to us by nature is unlimited, if we consume it with limit.

I just signed the petition to create awareness for #CuttingPaani do check this and sign the petition and share it with your friends.

https://www.change.org/p/cuttingpaani?recruiter=28226229&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_message.nafta_milestone_share_ask_victory.control

Checkout the below video – an initiative by LivPure to save water.  Now is your time to initiate your own ways to save water.


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Got a call from (206) 922 0193?


Did you receive a call from (206) 922 0193 that reads Seattle, Washington & not sure if it’s a real or hoax call?

It’s legit & it’s the call from Amazon’s delivery people. Don’t panic, pick the call. They’re either at your door to drop your order or calling you to check if you want to pick the order immediately.

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Fun Snow Tubing at Camelback Mountains


Winter is here! So is the Snow and snow sports and games! My wife and I decided to visit Camelback mountains to enjoy the Snow Tubing. Since the weather was good over the weekend, we’d planned to go out. It takes about an hour from our home to Camelback mountains.

They’ve Snow Skiing, Snow Tubing, Mountain Roller Coaster, Zipline and other adventure sports. As soon as we reached the mountains, we’ve got a slot for 2 o clock. It was less than half an hour for our slot, so we have filled the contract forms – we need to acknowledge the form stating they’re in no way responsible if anything happens during the adventure sports.

We bought our tickets, it’s $35 per person, military personnel have $2 off. Each slot is for 3 hours, so our slot was from 2PM – 5PM. We stood in the line to enter the snow tube area. It was not crowded like our previous visit that was last year. There are two lines at the entrance of snow tubing – one is for single tube and the other one is for double tube. Single tubes can be attached to make it double, they allow up to four tubes to form a chain. So it’ll be fun if you go with friends or as group.

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There are 22 lanes in each of the two snow tube mountains. We collected our tube and climbed up the mountain – basically an escalator/lift that goes from down to the mountain top. There was a short line in each lanes, as each batch goes down, we get our turn. The fun part is to hold the tube until we’re allowed to slide down, their staffs ensures that until previous batch moves out from downhill, next batch doesn’t slide down, as there are high possibilities for accident.

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So we waited until we were asked to slide down. And our turn! We’d great time sliding for 9 times in three hours! It basically takes 20 mins for us to get one ride down, as it depends on the crowd! Last year we were able to go only for 5 times in three hours.

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Since the weather was not too cold, we wore ear muffs, gloves and normal jacket on us. The first two lanes are photography lanes, meaning their photographer staffs takes snaps of the people slides in first two lanes and gives a tag to collect the photo later from the store. It’s little expensive for the photos, $10 each photo and $40 if you want all pics of yours. It’s not guaranteed all your photos will be good, depends on the day weather lighting etc. It’s not mandatory to collect the photos, we can just see and say no if we don’t like it. Anyways we can always take selfie – but selfie stick is not allowed as it might fall during the slide and cause trouble to others. Just take it with hand and make sure you can balance the tube.

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My wife and I’ve spent a nice day and headed back home with fun memories. Here is the video I took during our Snow Tubing day before yesterday. 🙂 Do comment if you like it!

Do checkout more pics in my instagram page & my photography page in Facebook.

Grace-Ful ICE – Sea Life

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We all have been hearing “Winter is here” from Season 1 and finally in Season 7 winter arrived!!! That’s in series… so is in real! Winter is arrived in 2017! And so are the winter friendly events.

If you’re following my blog you may very well remember the Ice Sculpting event, I’ve been sharing the photos of this event for the past 3 years.

2016 – Grace-ful Ice: Safari
2015 – Dinosaurs – Graceful Ice 2015

2014 – Microcosmos – Ice Sculpture

After the past themes that are Microcosmos, Dinosaurs, Animal Safari… here is the Ice bergs that got the shape of Sea Life by the Okamoto Studio artists. If you are in NYC today, hurry up, you have another few hours to see these sculptures before it melts. If not don’t worry, check out Okamoto Studio in Facebook for their future schedules for this Winter.

Without further wait, here are the photos that I took during Sea Life – Grace-Ful ICE

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Checkout all the photos in this slideshow.

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Click on individual photo in the below thumbnail to see in full screen.

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My wife and I took a selfie with Thomas. He is a live performer at Okamoto Studio and they’ve been doing the Ice sculpting since past seven years.