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August 31, 2005

Jaipur - Amber Fort Ganesh Gate

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 28mm
Shutter / Aperture1/80s / f/5.6
ISO100

This one is for Kevin who was nice enough to have his fiancée call me to remind me to reboot my router and post this entry. I'm sorry the entry isn't as great as I described, Kev.

I think I fixed my calibration problems. It turns out I had my monitor gamma set to 2.7. I blame it on the bit-badgers digging around in my hard disk again.

Today's photo is of the Ganesh Gate at Amber fortress. Given Ganesha's Appearance it is very fitting that elephants deposit you in front of it.

Not knowing what to expect on the ride up after seeing the intricate architecture and the beautiful colors of the gate I had a good feeling about what wonders were held inside...

 

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August 29, 2005

Jaipur - Amber Fort Elephant Jockey

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron 28-200mm f/2.8< @ 50mm/td>
Shutter / Aperture1/640s / f/5.6
ISO100

More things seen along the way up to Amber fort. Are elephant riders called jockies?

I've noticed that ever since I've reinstalled my PC that my color conversion settings haven't been quite right. The gamma and color saturation have been all off. Luckily, the color balance seems okay. I've tweaked things a bit today.

If you would be so kind, please leave your comments as to how this image looks with respect to gamma—is the image too bright or too dark?

 

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August 26, 2005

Snake Charmer

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensMinolta 50mm f/1.4
Shutter / Aperture1/300s / f/10
ISO100

I apologize in advance if any of you find this a bit trite. I'll admit to secretly hoping when I visited India that I would find a "snake charmer" and snag a picture. Low and behold, I as was rounding a bend at Amber fort, there he was.

I wanted a decent picture. I made the poor guy play for about five minutes while I was snapping pictures of him. I still don't think I gave him enough money but I am sure he was raking it in from the other tourists.

I had my doubts as to whether or not the snakes were real. I was pleased to see they were. He told me they weren't poisonous. I wasn't taking any chances.

 

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August 24, 2005

Determination of a Girl at Amber Fort

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 105mm
Shutter / Aperture1/400s / f/6.3
ISO100

Our first foray in to sightseeing while in Jaipur was to pay a visit at Amber Fortress, the old capital of the historical state of Jaipur.

Jaipur was a trip of many indulgences for Jim and I. First and foremost there was the stay at the Rambagh Palace, shopping in the city, and at Amber there was the elephant ride up to the fort.

It was perched upon the rolling back of the elephant that I spied this girl walking along the side of the road, determined in her little dress, hands full with pink wrapped packages. I'm not sure what she was up to, but she and her shadow framed up beautifully against the warm tones of Amber.

 

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Rambagh Palace Grounds Sweeper

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 150mm
Shutter / Aperture1/80s / f/4.5
ISO100

Nothing in India can make you feel quite so much as a Western Colonial bastard as seeing people doing their jobs. It made me realize just how much guilt I carry around with me when I travel. Staying at an expensive palace certainly does not make you feel like are you making the world any better, either.

Despite this, for better or worse that certainly didn't stop me from taking people's pictures. This woman struck me as I was walking around the palace grounds. It is amazing how doing things the old fashioned way has not left India amongst certain strata at all.

 

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August 23, 2005

Jaipur - Rambagh Palace Mounted Guards

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensTameron 28-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm
Shutter / Aperture1/160s / f/5
ISO100

Colors again! The India we know and love!

I would wager the Rambagh Palace is just about the nicest place you can stay in India and probably one of the nicest places you can stay in the entire world. It was built in 1835 as a hunting lodge and then converted into a palace in 1925 as the residence of the Maharajah of Jaipur, who reportedly still owns it and leases it to the Taj Hotel Group for a handsome fee: a popular way for former India rulers to keep up their regal lifestyle after the democratic revolution.

Jim and I stayed here for two nights. It was two of the loneliest nights of my life. A very small pity when the rest of India is considered, but it was personally very tragic to be in one of the most romantic settings I had or ever hope to be in during my lifetime without anybody to share it with. Even at our discounted rate of around $400 per night, I still felt weepy.

I took this shot during our first morning walk around the hotel. I couldn't believe this place was so opulent as to have mounted guards! Wow!

For those of you who are interested in seeing pictures of the rooms; shots are forthcoming...

 

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August 22, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Jami Masjid from Tomb of Shaykh Salim Chishti

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/4
Shutter / Aperture1/40s / f/4
ISO800

This is a view of the Jami Masjid as framed by the serpentine struts of of the Tomb of Shaykh Salim Chishti, the famous Sufi saint interred in a dazzling white marble tomb with detailed filigree screens and carvings.

The Jami Masjid complex was ledgendarily built around the tomb Shaykh Salim Chishti as an honor for his service to Akbar. A component of this legend was the recommendation of Salim Chishti's to solve Akbar's problem of producing an heir to the kingdom by recommending that Akbar marry a Christian.

On this advice, Akbar married a Goan Christian named Mariam and who indeed provided him with his favorite son and the next Mogul ruler who would succeed him, Jahangir; who was also tutored and prepared for rule by Salim Chishti. The complex of Fatehpur Sikri and the Jami Masjid quite literally grew up around the dwelling of Salim Chishti whom was finally laid to rest in a tomb set at center of the Jami Masjid grounds for his many services to the kingdom.

 

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August 19, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Jama Masjid Complex

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter / Aperture1/160s / f/8
ISO (Metering)400 (Spot)

The Jama Masjid Complex, of course, contains the famous Jama Masjid as well as a few other important buildings built during the rule of Akbar the Great. Aside from the Masjid, with its elegant Persian architecture, is the tomb of Shaykh Salim Chishti--Akbar's famous Sufi advisor--of whom I will talk more of later.

 

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August 18, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Last Surviving Painting of Akbar the Great

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter / Aperture1/3s / f/3.5
ISO3200

This, as we were told buy our hired guide, is the Fatehpur Sikri complex's last surviving painting of the Mughal ruler Akbar the Great (1542-1605) which considering Indian weather and ruin upkeep is pretty impressive!

When we were shown the painting we could barely make it out with our eyes. I had some success taking long exposure images hand-held with my camera to gather more light and detail and the technique looks like it worked pretty well here. Hand-held at 1/3s, neat huh?

Final processing included minor perspective correction, contrast adjustment, and cropping.

 

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August 17, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Birbal's House

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/1.4
Shutter / Aperture1/80s / f/5.6
ISO100

I waited paitently for the people from disappear around this building before carefully bracketing my shot. Although I loved the building and puzzled as to how it was lived in, I really like the material and appearance of the ground around it. It all seemed so unreal!

 

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Fatehpur Sikri - Older Ruins

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter / Aperture1/80s / f/5.6
ISO100

There was no clear way down to get up close and personal with these older runes so I had to shoot them from a level of the complex above. The ruins look old and poorly cared for so I processed the image to try and look the same.

 

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August 15, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Abdar Khana

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter / Aperture1/125s / f/6.3
ISO100

Ah, it is good to be back in the saddle again. My computer is restored. Software has been installed. Thankfully nothing has been lost (that I've noticed yet anyway!)

Japan was excellent by the way. We had some hair raising moments. If I get some time to chat about it I'll tell a few stories in my blog; I will try and tell in words the things I do not have pictures for; but for now, let's go back to India.

This is actually one of my favorite pictures from Fatehpur Sikri. I love the muted Martian colors in the sunset. I love the scrub plants. The architecture--I don't even mind the other tourists that put everything in scale.

If you travel the golden triangle of India do not be one to miss Fatehpur Sikri by going slightly out of your way in Rajasthan. It is definitely the highest yield in the area within the equation of time spent to cool things seen.

 

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Main > Diary

August 12, 2005

Harddisk Crash

So I have returned safe and sound and none too worse from the wear from Jolly Ol' Japan save a nasty cold which I seem to have received via proxy from my friend Jesse's Buddhist middle school aged campers in Kyoto--the little petry dishes.

I wish I could have said that my computer was as in good of health but I returned to find the hard disk making clicking and nashing sounds and completely unusable and apparently unrecoverable. Looks like death of the nastiest sort. I have to admit I did well in backing up everything before I left. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen...

The downside of course is that I haven't been able to get my photo-of-the-day blog rolling again because I need to get all of the software reinstalled on my system first. Hopefully I will be ready to go by Monday. I still have quite the queue lined up!

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August 9, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Diwan-i-Khas

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CameraKonica Minolta 7d
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter / Aperture1/60s / f/5
ISO (Metering Mode)100 (Spot)

NOTE: please see this entry in my weblog for information pertaining to the resumption of daily updates.

...and I'm back from Japan. Actually, I wrote this ever before I left. Ah, the magic of technology. I figured ahead of time that I would be so dead from jet-lag that the last thing I would want to do is mess around with posting another blog entry.

This is one of my favorite shots from the Fatehpur Sikri journey. I simply love the distortion of the lone building provided by the 15mm fisheye lens. What do you think?

 

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August 8, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Man Sitting in Front of Complex Building

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News: I am on vacation until 08-Aug-2005 gathering more photos and tramping around the island of Honshu, Japan. Pilot to co-pilot, everything A-OK: autopilot engaged.

Posting has been reduced to three days per week plus once on the weekend until I return. But you know, please still leave your comments. I love hearing from you and I'll do my very best to respond when I get back to the 'States.

 

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August 7, 2005

Minnesooootah Fishin' Folk Catch a Big One on Calhoun

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News: I am on vacation until 08-Aug-2005 gathering more photos and tramping around the island of Honshu, Japan. Pilot to co-pilot, everything A-OK: autopilot engaged.

Posting has been reduced to three days per week plus once on the weekend until I return. But you know, please still leave your comments. I love hearing from you and I'll do my very best to respond when I get back to the 'States.

 

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August 5, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - External Sandstone Carving Detail

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News: I am on vacation until 08-Aug-2005 gathering more photos and tramping around the island of Honshu, Japan. Pilot to co-pilot, everything A-OK: autopilot engaged.

Posting has been reduced to three days per week plus once on the weekend until I return. But you know, please still leave your comments. I love hearing from you and I'll do my very best to respond when I get back to the 'States.

 

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August 3, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Sandstone Ceiling

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News: I am on vacation until 08-Aug-2005 gathering more photos and tramping around the island of Honshu, Japan. Pilot to co-pilot, everything A-OK: autopilot engaged.

Posting has been reduced to three days per week plus once on the weekend until I return. But you know, please still leave your comments. I love hearing from you and I'll do my very best to respond when I get back to the 'States.

 

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August 1, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri - Anup Talao

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100th Posting! 100 posts in 100 days, truly A Plodding Mediocrity.

News: I am on vacation until 08-Aug-2005 gathering more photos and tramping around the island of Honshu, Japan. Pilot to co-pilot, everything A-OK: autopilot engaged.

Posting has been reduced to three days per week plus once on the weekend until I return. But you know, please still leave your comments. I love hearing from you and I'll do my very best to respond when I get back to the 'States.

 

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