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 Post subject: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:14 am 
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Posts: 143
Recently got a chance to visit Sikkim, a small state in India above West Bengal and on the eastern fringes of the Himalayas.
This is a mountain top tourist destination of great beauty and the best time to visit is from end March till June end when flowers at this region are in full bloom.There is in fact a place near Yumthang in North Sikkim called the valley of flowers and called so not for no reason.
Now is end winter there. To avoid rush and to view the snow covered peaks, selected this time to visit.

In 2011 Sikkim - mostly North Sikkim was pounded by a sever earth quake which caused huge land slides. The state is still recovering from that blow and from the ensuing very lean tourist season that followed.

Came back with some pictures trying to present fractions of the mountains,roads,scars left behind from the quake, few people and monastery. Here are a few of them. The quality of these shots is not good in most cases and many are taken from a moving vehicle, but yet I post them just that it will be possible to visualise Sikkim to a little extent.

The crown
Mountains always look misty from a distance but that adds to the character of the place IMO.
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Ice Crevice
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Where Eagles Dare
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Freezing Moments
A honeymoon couple freezing a few moments in the frozen weather.
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Light and Shade
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Chhangu Lake - frozen
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Height Adjustment - tourist trying to get a different perspective
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Road between ranges
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Risky Road - These narrow paths full of ice and slush can be very treachorous to the new hands and slightest lapse will direct towards a destination of no-return!
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Stairway to...hell...
This stairway that once was... is now as visible...totally broken and covered with glistenning ice. The inclination is much more than appears in the photo. Climbing down is no less than any trekking adventure!
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Range
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Rock wall
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Photo Sensitive
A tourist showing her photo to the subject.... and she is happy. The image is faintly visible on the LCD of the Lumix.
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A vendor waiting
A vendor by the road side while travelling from New JalpaiGuri to Gangtok via Sevoke road.
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Shanties
These houses also serve as stop-by eateries and tit-bit provision stores
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Wall in ahotel room
Due to devastating earth quake last year, there was a very long dry season for this tourist destination....the termite affceted painting bears testimony to the detachment from maintenance and gives a feeling of neglect that there is still now as Sikkim limps back to normal.
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Curio shop
These ethnic handicrafts are a big attraction to tourists and are superb examples of craftsmanship
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Replica Prayer Wheel - silver alloy
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Ranka Monastery
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Never too early
Kids are also initiated into life of a Lama. Kid lama turning prayer whee.
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Local Devotee
Prayer wheels have Buddhist religious scriptures embossed on them. Turning these wheels is said to have same effect as that of chanting these 'mantras'.
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When Nature Calls...
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Road to Chhangu Lake
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Baba Harbhajan Temple
Baba Harbhajan temple is dedicated to a soldier of the Indian Army who met an accidental death. Folklore goes that he (his spirit) protects the soldiers and others from various mishaps even today. Indian army pays salary and sanctions leaves for this dead soldier, even to this day. Reflection on temple wall shows snow on the mountain opposite side.
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Textured rock near Baba Temple
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Adventure Unbound
The tracks at some places are just wide enough for a 4 wheeler to pass through. The road seen here is one such at the hair-pin bend.
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Another Risky road - vehicle bonnet lines to lead into the road.
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A little flower
The rocks here have high mica content, seen shimmering in the sun.
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Between snowy walls
This 4 wheel drive is trying to clear a steep hairpin bend between ice walls. It is free rotaion for the wheels causing zero movement and dirt to spray on the ice wall- down left. The driver looking out gives a scale of proprotion.
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Young Lamas
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Satellite Antenna
A satellite antenna at a most unexpected place.... by two almost uninhabited dwellings.
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Seven Sisters Falls
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Another Fall
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Near Source of Teesta
Teesta is the arterial river in this and adjoining region providing the major source of utilisable water.
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Bridging Source
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Nerve Cell Tree
The tree portruding from a rock above head was shot in such a way that the trunk and the rock conical edge overlapped.
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Rock garden Pool
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Oh Bubbly
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Local Lass in traditional attire
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A Queer Gaze
This person was roaming around aimlessly. When the camera was pointed, he struck this pose.
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Prelude to Kanchenjunga Falls - a smaller fall on the way
This fall is on the entry path to Kanchenjunga falls, the biggest fall in Sikkim which has lot of water around the year.
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Crystal Froth
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Kanchenjunga Falls
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The Fall Guy
Local people like him help tourists to cross over the slippery boulders and rocks to reach Kanchenjunga falls.
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Monastery near Khecheperi lake
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By the way to lake
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Scriptures on the rocks on way to lake.
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Fern sprout
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Khecheperi lake
Maintained by the local Budhist Lamas, this lake is considered sacred and respected.
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I Mean Business
This is a vehicle repair workshop on the way back from Khecheperi. Driver having a chitchat with peeping Tom.
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Local old woman returning from work.
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More pictures are available at this link if you feel interested.
http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee4 ... _c/SIKKIM/

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/89030952@N04/
http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Jagadish_c/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/46710427@N07/


Last edited by Jagadish_C on Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:30 am 
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Location: Beavercreek Ohio, USA
Nice Pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:36 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
To me some shots look out of focus or camera shake or perhaps some misty days. The set is interesting and I like it.


Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:42 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:45 am
Posts: 143
Thank you Rogersrus and 4xxxx.

Most of the shots look out of focus because of a combination of camera shake due to taken from moving vehicle, misty days ofcourse and even through widscreen of vehicle which again got strewn with dust on such tracks.
But then why I pposted is not for photographic quality, posted because atleast a little can be made out from the shots about Sikkim :)
Agreed many posts should not have been made as this is specificaly a photography related forum and it is expected that good pictures be displayed, but friends please excuse me the over enthusiasm :)
I returned knowledgable that to get proper photographing opportuinity, it is a must to fully reserve a vehicle during the tour and not share with other tourists which ensures avoiding clash of expectations.


Regards,

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/89030952@N04/
http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Jagadish_c/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/46710427@N07/


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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:49 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
Hi Jagadish, The forum is to gain positive feedback so keep on posting your shots. I had looked at some of your exifs and thought they may be shot to slow. I wondered why you shot manual on some of the shots with quite slow shutter speeds especially in a moving car.

I would suggest a higher shutter speed and let the camera work out the aperature and ISO in those conditions.

As I said, the set was interesting.


Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:15 am 
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Location: bit east of Melbourne
awesome pics, I really enjoyed that. Also try keeping the aperture closer to wide open and pick your focus points. Maybe leave it at 5.6 and use centre focus.It also wouldn`t hurt not to compress your photos quite so much. like your work, they tell a story, that in many ways is more important than anything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:59 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
[quote="maxjj"]It also wouldn`t hurt not to compress your photos quite so much.

Not sure what you mean by this, could you expand on it, thanks.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:44 am 
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Thank you very much Mates.

The words you had to share about my post would only increase your risk of facing the brunt of more such pictures :twisted:
But kidding apart, 4xxxx, if you have noticed the ISOs in those shots you mentioned, they may indicate low light and so higher ISO.
If fast shutter is selected in shutter priority to counter shake, there is a chance that aperture would get opened wide and for landscape situation shallow DOF due to wider aperture may not be the best choice. Plz rectify me if am mistaken.

Maxjj, I have no idea about compressing the pics. I just transferred these from cam to the computer and uploaded to photobucket through the bulk-uploader with size limit of 1024 max on any side. Yes there is a noticeable difference when viewing the pictures with irfanview software and in photobucket.
You have correctly noted, like most people interested in photography, I too try to portray a place through pictures.
As expressed my confusion above, if aperture is opened wide, the DOF will get shallow and for landscape type photos this may not give good result.

One thing that surely will produce better end result is when I am able to devote adequate time while taking the photos and that's exactly what is the plan. May be less in number but greater chance of proper quality shots.

Regards,

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/89030952@N04/
http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Jagadish_c/
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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:22 pm 
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sorry should have clarified, its seem that the pictures are suffering in quality a bit much due to the settings of your jpg compression when resizing. Save them as a higher quality.

Also what settings for sharpness, contrast and saturation do you have set in your camera?
your pics could do with an increase in them. Unless you shoot raw and do it in post process later, they just look a bit flat.

Just had a look at you exif data, some of your settings are a bit unusual. Dare I suggest you try the camera in Auto iso, AV mode and keep aperture open around 3.5-5.6 and close it in to f8-11 for more landscape shots. That should cover most of your shots. Keep in mind that using f22 is pointless if the subject is far away and there is nothing in the foreground that you want in focus. Have a read about hyperfocal distance, ie everything past a certain point will be in acceptable focus.
put some of the exif data of some of your photos into this calculator http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

As an example look at your fall guy picture iso 3200 f 18 and 1/250 . Consider f5.6 iso around 100 or 200 in a bright day and maybe 400 to 800 if overcast. Even stick it to full auto and use pop up flash to lighten his features. See Gordon`s tips here http://www.dslrtips.com/ http://www.cameralabs.com/photography_t ... ooks.shtml
See the last pic, why not take it at f5.6 and have her be the main feature and blur out the background, high iso and shutter speed not necessary

Anyway keep up the good work, you have a good eye.

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:53 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
I guess it all about practice, out of the car try different setting with distant objects and find out what the DOF is suitable for you. I would suggest leaving the ISO on auto. As a base line have a look at what the program or auto mode would shoot at, then put in on landscape and again see what the camera would shoot. These setting will give you a pretty good result but it does not know you are moving.

Anyway keep posting and enjoy.


Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:20 am 
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Thank you maxjj and 4xxxx for your time and patience.
Apologies for the delayed response.
100 percent agreed on all your advice maxjj.
As for jpg, the settings in camera are for fine and large but when uploading to photobucket, this issue with resizing may have happened.
Sharpness is set at 5 and others like saturation and contrast are set at factory default.
There is a good amount of difference the way these photos look when viewed in irfanview software and in photobucket. Irfanview just displays a much more lively and clearer image! Not sure what it is due to.

Hyperfocal distance calculation is a bit too much for me, knew about this earlier too but lots of variables to consider and calculate :?

4xxxx has the ultimate advice and exactly that is what is needed… more and more practice. I am sure that with practice and experience I too will be able to produce good photos.

Thank you once again.

Regards,

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http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee472/Jagadish_c/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/46710427@N07/


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 Post subject: Re: Sikkim Visit
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:34 am 
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I wasn`t happy with the way photobucket displays images, I mainly use flickr now. Might be worth looking at changing or at least try and see if there is a difference, the ads in photobucket are annoying.

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