Thursday, June 2, 2016

Central Texas Ballooning

Central Texas Ballooning Association at their annual Lake Travis flight at sunrise, Saturday the August 8th 2015 at Mansfield Dam Park, Great little park to walk around and have a picnic, you can even swim off one of the Docks.

I got there before 7 AM, The Ballooning event was crowded and parking was an issue, still managed to get a few good Pictures.

Went for a walk along the Park to get a picture of the Sunrise.

MY camera is Sony NEX-3

The Balloon above and the picture below represents the Lone Star and Colors of the State of Texas Flag.

Below are some other Balloons ready for take off.

Check out Central Texas Balloon Associations Web Site for info on their Events

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tajmahal and How to get there

From the 16th Century, the love of great emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz has been standing proud demonstrating the story of the eternal love of this great Mughal Emperor. This marble Mausoleum is actually the tomb of Queen Mumtaz lying beside her beloved husband Shah-Jahan. Tajmahal is made of white marble, with beautiful precious and semi-precious stones like Lapis-Lazuli, sapphire etc. A paradise for every traveler, Tajmahal brings millions of tourists every year to the small town Agra, closer to the capital, Delhi.  For over a century, this city has served as the capital of Mughal Empire. 

About Tajmahal

Shah Jahan was the son of Mughal prince Jahangir and the grandson of the great sultan Akbar.  The story of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan is somewhat debatable. There are three to four versions available how exactly they had met. However, the facts said that Mumtaz, priorly known as Arjumand Banu Begum was the daughter of Asaf Khan, who was an influential minister in the court of Jahangir. Empress Nur Jahan, the powerful queen of Jahangir, was believed to be the aunt of Mumtaj. Shah Jahan first met Mumtaz in Meena Bazaar, the market of women inside the palace when he was 14 years old. He fell in love with 15-year-old Mumtaz, but they didn’t get married until after 5 years. Mumtaz died while giving birth to their 14th child. Their marriage was a happy one and the emperor became heartbroken while his beloved queen died in childbirth. After her death, according to her request, he started making a Mausoleum for the final resting place of his beloved queen in the bank of river Yamuna. It had taken 22 years to finish the construction of this great Mausoleum of love. 

Tajmahal looks different in every time of the day. So, the visitors are always requested to visit Tajmahal during Sunrise and Sundown. A special trip is conducted in Tajmahal during the Full Moon. 

How to get there: 

Tajmahal is situated in Agra, on the bank of river Yamuna. Agra is nearly 210 km away from Delhi, the capital of India. Delhi is well connected by air and road both nationally and internationally.  The expressway which connects Agra with Delhi is named Yamuna Expressway. It takes around 3 hours to reach Agra from Delhi tentatively without major Traffic. Along with that, there are some normal and superfast trains available to travel to Agra from Delhi. This list includes the newly launched Gatimaan Express which is till date the fastest train in the country. Agra mainly has three major train stations. These stations also connect Agra directly with the rest of the country. 

The life around Tajmahal is quite unlike the feelings you have ever experienced so far. So, hop on a bus or take a train—Tajmahal is sure to welcome you with its indefinite charm.
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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Republic of Texas Biker Rally

ROT Rally 2015

Visited ROT Rally after 9 years, I have since sold my Kawasaki, its still good to see the thousands of bikes, watch the Bike rally as it makes its way to the Texas Capital. From 6th Street Downtown Austin to Congress Ave, one can see an awesome display of bikes parked along both side of the Street, this year several motorcycles has LED lights on then.

Met bikers from as far as Finland this year that had come to attend the Rally.

ROT Rally 2006

Republic of Texas Biker Rally (ROT Biker Rally) held on second Thursday in June. Thousands of Bikers come to Austin from Texas and rest of the Country.

Went to the Travis County Expo Center bought the T Shirt, and rode downtown  on my Kawasaki Ninja. Austin 6th street was one big party. ROT rally is the biggest event in Austin, bigger then Austin City Limits. It was awesome, some pictures I took.

Click on the pictures to Enlarge

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Singapore No longer just a stopover

Charming, elegant, traditional yet modern, Singapore is a city of contrasts, an economic powerhouse and a fine example of diversity in South East Asia. The chaotic and ancient port is one of the worlds largest centers for trade, while stunning luxury hotels, quiet botanical gardens and endless mysterious temples lie behind the skyscrapers and exterior of the city. Singapore airport was once the home of a stopover, but today it has transformed, to become one of the most interesting places to visit on the continent.

Singapore is a melting pot of culture, and a collage of ethnicities and beliefs; Chinese, Malay, Indian, and even Western influence can be found within the variety of foods, delightful architecture and many faces roaming the streets. Such extremes can often bring social and economic issues in other parts of the world, but it serves only as a foundation upon which to prosper in Singapore. Few places can claim such a harmonious atmosphere, where Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam can co-exist so peacefully, and this mass acceptance is something actively emphasized by the Government and peoples of the region.

Another highlight of a visit to Singapore is the food and shopping districts. With such a variety of culture, the staples of fish, chicken, vegetables and rice are infused into unforgettable dishes, while many designer stores and shopping malls are always within easy reach. Locals often choose to eat on the streets in the city, where the smell of fresh chills, lime and coriander drift through the air, but there are also many fine restaurants and high end dining for those with a preference.

And then there are the local attractions and thing to do in Singapore, from the Gardens by the Bay, the Singapore Botanical Gardens and the National Orchid Garden; there is an abundance of outdoor areas to explore natural environments, and all within the city itself. Singapore Zoo is one of the most clean and best regarded of its kind, while the Waterfront Promenade is perfect for a romantic stroll or evening meal, with pleasant surroundings and amazing views. Kranji War Memorial is a reflective place to understand more about the darker side of history in this part of the world and the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum is a idyllic example of how the long traditions and culture of Singapore, is still being celebrated in the modern day.

Singapore is a place of contrasts, but these differences are everything to the make-up of the city, and the personality which lies beneath. Whether you experience this splendor on a walking tour, in green leafy environments or in the exotic foods, the variety is always at the centre of the experience. Shining skyscrapers are often the image most people will have of the island state city, but in truth, there is far more to Singapore than meets the eye; Singapore is no longer just a stopover, but rather a modern economic powerhouse, full of experiences, infused with culture, and one of the most interesting places to visit in South East Asia.
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Taking Photos of People When Travelling

People photography while travelling, the one rule to follow is always ask for permission. Try to be different.

Fairly frequently, you'll get a yes, in some places you might be expect to pay, the picture below I took of a local Man outside a rock-hewn church, lalibela Ethiopia, he sure didn't ask for anything, though he did appreciate the money I gave him.

Below a Nihang Sikh, I politely asked him if I could take his picture

More on Nihang Sikhs

Below while visiting a metal polisher in Istanbul Turkey,  A picture opportunity.

A lady selling Bird Seed Turkey, She didn't want to look at the Camera, though she smiled

Below Inside step pyramid in Egypt, the Gentleman had interesting stories to tell

Below A Sadhu in India

Below A woman in Cambodia, she laughed when I asked if I could take her picture

Below Men in Rajasthan India

Happy travels!

My gear Sony NEX Camera

Sony NEX-5TL Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens

What Camera is in your backpack?

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Central Texas Christmas Holiday Lights

Round Rock Texas

Central Texas has an Awesome display of lights during the Christmas holidays. Town Squares have beautiful light displays.

Picture below Carnival at Old Settlers Park.

Below Round Rock Texas display

Rock N Lights is a drive through light show that has 2 million lights, the 1.5-mile road is the must see and also has light tunnel, pretty amazing.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Travel Photography

Travel Photography Dos and Don’t

With the advent of social media and the advances in camera phone technology, the worlds travelers consider themselves to be photographers par excellence.  However if you aren’t careful your Facebook, Instagram and Flickr accounts can become your own version of your friend’s boring holiday slideshow hell.

There are ways to avoid being “that annoying friend” however, and the first way is to put your phone away and use a proper camera; despite the recent technological advances there simply is no substitute for a solid, robust, purpose built camera for taking quality photographs.

Here are some dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t be a sheep and follow the crowd.  Try something different; something a little less touristy.  Nobody wants to see anything landmark surrounded by overweight tourists eating lunch on the run.
  • Use the personal touch.  Try to capture how the landmark made you feel by taking atmospheric shots with different angles or lighting.  Most of all wait for that Dude using a selfie stick to get out of the way!
  • Don’t take repetitive shots.  You might like fountains or bridges or road sins…well maybe not road signs, but there’s nothing worse than a set of holiday snaps which are repetitive, boring and too samey.
  • Take the time to edit.  Often you can tell a better story with a handful of shots rather than one hundred.  Get the pacing of your shots right and try to identify a theme such as light or architecture that you can run through your shots.
  • Don’t deliberate and pontificate.  Don’t doubt your shot, just take it.  You can edit, delete or ask permission to take pictures of government secrets later…Don’t let hesitation ruin your pictures.
  • Take pictures at all times of the day and night.  Early morning and late night can give you different lighting, hence your shots will have a greater spectrum and warmer atmospheric feel.

Picture I took of a tourist at a temple in Cambodia



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