Friday, May 27, 2016

Star Trails - Take 1

Last month, I had got the opportunity to try out Star Trails photography for the first time. As part of PPL(Pune Photography Lovers) group's monthly photowalk, I had travelled to Tikona Fort just on the outskirts of Pune. Our entire photography group had camped atop the Tikona Fort. While the experts went about capturing the star trails, first timers (like me and few others) to this genre setup our equipment, and attempted our photo captures after a good amout of quizzing people about all the steps to be followed.

It was a memorable experience to sleep under the millions of stars in the sky, the last time I did that was at my aunt's place when I was perhaps 12 or 13 years old.  The actual time duration when I was clicking pictures was about 2 hours in the middle of the night, I slept pre and post photoshoot, as I had a long day the following day. We had left from our respective homes by 2.30 PM-3.00PM, and reached the base of Tikona fort by 4.15 PM. After a quick snack break, we started the climb up to the fort. This fort is one of the smaller forts among all the forts of Maharashtra, and is said to be easier to climb than the others. Me being the lazy city dweller, I found even the climb to this fort to be a good enough challenge. Huffing and panting, by the time I reached up the summit, it was nearly 6PM and sunset photography enthusiasts were already clicking away to glory.  As we settled down, I was going about clicking some test shots, and by 7.15 PM dusk was over, and sky started turning dark. The good part about PPL group is the mix of photographers who land up at the photowalks, and you will always find people who are at your level. Using the confounded expressions on some the faces, I found some fellow shutterbugs who were new to this genre. 

As you climb up the small hillock, you would be blind if you did not notice the way the location for the fort has been selected, and the way in which the natural hill formation has been taken advantage of for security purposes. Along with me, my admiration for the Maratha warriors, especially for Shivaji Maharaj, also climbed up a few notches. There is a natural spring atop the fort which has clean potable water. I could observe that this fort as well had been built to provide all basic necessities to its residents, even in case of an enemy attack. 

This fort is a good overnight camping and picnic spot. I saw two other families bring snacks, bedsheets and tents and set up camp in the fort. It is a very small fort, so there is not much to see of the fort. But it is an excellent place to spend a good few hours while you empty your pent up thoughts and confusions to the skies and return back recharged.

On the whole, a new place, a new genre of photography, something new learnt, some good words exchange, some introspection done, some old memories refreshed, soon it was time to return back to realities. 

Here is my star trails picture, processed one month late - 

It is not much, this click doesn't have a circular start trail. But nevertheless, it is a reasonable start considering I am ZERO in post processing(necessity for star trails) and I am stubborn not to pay money or pirate a copy of photoshop.

So that's what I have been pottering around with. What have you been up to?

Monday, May 2, 2016

Honda Navi - Playing Dress Up?

So, I got a chance to check out this new odd looking bike from Honda. The looks of it got me
instantly excited. Upon enquiry, I learnt that it is a regular gear less scooter engine with a bike-y build. So reshape the activa, take away the closed boot space, and add a bike like headlight to it, and leave a gaping hole to accomodate some luggage, and you will get the Navi. They haven't even given it better wheels!! The TVS Wego has better alloy wheels (which makes a difference in the overall ride quality) than the Navi.

In the current version, I am disappointed and not tempted to go for a test ride. The only reason I would think of buying this vehicle would be to save about 5K-7K ruppees, and give myself a false impression of zooming about in a motorcycle.

That's the Honda Navi as of now. But I am hoping Honda has some interesting variations lined up in the pipeline for this platform. I remember seeing a video of a concept bike having a similar shape, somewhere on the social web.