Friday, November 30, 2012

Lonely, my photo at 500px

Lonely, a lone tree that I shot from the passenger side of the car while driving on the Pennsylvania turnpike from Pittsburgh. I have posted this picture at my site.
Again, I have used textures on the sky, which on the original photo was rather uninteresting.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Playing with Textures

Textures are fun in photoshop. One can make your own textures and superimpose them on photographs and turn dull pictures into interesting art. There is no dearth of finished textures available on the internet and the choice of textures is infinite. This opens the door to the world of artsy photography or what some call the painterly effect. Here are some examples, which I have processed, today and I will post the non-texture with the textured ones for comparative purposes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to Birds

Yeah! I am back into birds after a long haitus, which had me, dabbling into other subjects for photography. Birds are sublime and as colorful as flowers. Therefore, it is always, such a joy, photographing birds. Come winter and the birds that dont migrate became scarcer to find but, they do hide in the warmer nooks and corners, which you need to make a concerted effort to discover. For some reason, they lose there colorful plumage during winter and start becoming more colorful during spring, just like flowers. Here are some photographs that I have processed, today. And, I must confess, that they have brought me great happiness, as if I finding a lost love again!

My Daily Photo, 11/26/12.

Pizzeria, my daily photo posted to my smugmug site.!i=2237850467&k=9HhCSsf&lb=1&s=A

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lincoln Tunnel, My photo at 500px

Linclon Tunnel. My photo posted at

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My daily photo, 11/21/12.

Barn. My daily photo at Smugmug. Shot taken from moving car while driving on Pensylvania Turnpike. Part of my Rural America series.!i=2228629347&k=L38W73s&lb=1&s=A

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Photo at

Birdie. My photo at

Tragedy in Gaza

The curtain of violence again drops on the Gaza strip unfolding another tragedy with the major players being the militant Hamas pitted against the might of the state of Israel. There appears to be no solution in sight as the tensions escalate with the vicious cycle of retaliatory attacks by Israel in response to the furtive missile/rocket strikes of the Hamas, which is a guerilla outfit that operates in the heavily populated Hamas strip. Innocent civilian bystanders have become the victims of this madness and more than 200 children have been reported to be injured in Gaza. The  rest of the world watches helplessly and can only express outrage at this totally avoidable conflagration between two hostile parties, each blaming the other for having drawn first blood.
Who started this imbroglio can never be ascertained as facts can get murky as charges and counter charges get exchanged and the level of rhetoric drowns reason. Violence begets more violence as rockets stream across the Israel/Hamas border southwards into Israel wrecking havoc and disrupting the fragile truce that had been in effect since Prime Minister Netanyahu came into power in Israel. Netanyahu, a hardliner has been swift in initiating retaliatory responses with air-strikes against the Hamas, who intermingle with the civilians and are difficult to target without affecting innocent bystanders. Hence, the high civilian injuries reported with many Palestinians left with their homes destroyed, if they escape these so called surgical strikes. Many Palestinians and Israelis recount the horror of previous attacks and have had their loved ones injured or dead, as a consequence. The human misery inflicted has made the civilians bitter and further hardened their resolve to fight each other to the tooth and nail. Thus the violence that has flared up has no end, as the attacks intensifies.
And, when the bombs or rockets explode, the fire will rage, leaving the Gaza strip enveloped in a cloud of black smoke. As these clouds clear, the devastation will be apparent to the rest of the world via the media. We are inundated with pictures of this tragedy on facebook and twitter as well as our television channels and we can only watch with a repressed anger questioning the compulsions of our fellow brothers to indulge in such rabid madness. When will it all end is what the rest of the world ask! The answer is when enough of either parties die. When there has been a satisfaction of the retributions. When more than enough blood has been shed. We hope at least then, there will be some sense left for a truce,
Till then, we can only cross our fingers and hope for the best. But, the truce will only be momentary as the surviving factions again amass their weapons and replenish their arsenals for another bout of confrontation. There is no end in sight for this madness!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Aerial Views

Plane view, a view from the window of an airplane over Phoenix. Photo posted at 500px.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pier 39 Marina, San Fanscisco

A night time view at the Pier 39 Marina, San Franscisco. Shot this in Oct. 2012, when visited my son, who is at UC Berkeley. My photo posted at

Pier 39 Marina, San Francisco. My photo posted at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Photoshop CS6 Postprocessing with color lab

Recently, discovered that color lab was better than RGB or CMYK for post-processing color photos.
There was a good tutorial on a blog that I found and I took it for a test drive.  See link below:

You can watch an easy youtube video tutorial on how to use lab color at below link:

Now for my own experimentation.
I had this dull looking landscape of Miami, which had colors which looked very tired as below. RAW/NEF image processed in LR4:

The below was the post-processed photo that I used with Colr Efex pro 4 with tonal contrast,
polarization filter and a graduated filter for bluing the sky. The photo is still dull.

Then, I used photoshop CS6 and did levels and curves in RGB and tweaked with hue and saturation, brightness & contrast and lastly sharpened the photo with unsharp mask with result as below:

I then processed it using color lab in photoshop CS6.

The color and luminosity now pops out and the photo was salvaged.
Voice of India, 2G auction flop is Congress's show

The recent flop of the 2G auction which netted a mere  9000 crores or so, when it was estimated that the figure should have been 5 times larger, reflects more on the failure of the Congress govt. than anything else, including the predicted estimated loss by the CAG.
So, to attack the constitutional body, CAG is erroneous and an attempt by the Congress to undermine its impact.
Imagine, yourself as a telecom company owner and you were contemplating participating in the 2G auction. The auction comes after the 3G spectrum has already been auctioned, so, already your interest in this retrograde commodity appears to be compromised. Why will any sane telecom player buy a slower spectrum for communication unless it can be had for a bargain. Therefore, the 2G auction can be likened to a liquidation sale or a sale of 2nd hand goods. Furthermore, this comes after strong scrutiny of the supreme court and tightening of credit by major lending banks which contributed to the buyers staying away from the Chor Bazaar of the 2G spectrum auctions.
It was a pathetic sight to watch Minister Manish Tiwari come on national news channel and taunting the CAG by asking, "Where is the 1.76 lakh crore loss.". The Congess's stand of a lesser or no loss is by no way vindicated. The value of the 2G spectrum in 2008 when it was auctioned was at a time when 2G was at the cutting edge of technology and a hot commodity and hence was valued much higher. Yesterday's technology is today's trash in the fast pace telecom sector.
The lack luster interest in the 2G auction should be construed as a failure of the Congress govt. Instead, the Congress party is portraying this fiasco as a vindication of its stand and has called for a press conference on friday, as a celebration party. This must be condemned by all and serious questions must be asked by the scribes covering the press conference. Furthermore, the CAG must also be permitted to have a press conference and contradict the misinformation, put forth by the Congress.

Born to be Blue- a touching jazz song, great lyrics!

Chet Baker Lyrics

Customize : Left Center Right

Ringtones Send "Born To Be Blue" Ringtone to your Cell Ringtones

Some folks were meant to live in clover
but they are such a chosen few
and clovers being green
is something i've never seen
'cause i was born to be blue

When there's a yellow moon above me
they say there's moonbeams i shoul view
but moonbeams being gold
are something i can't behold
'cause i was born to be blue

When i met you
the world was bright and sunny
when you left the courtain fell
i'd like to laugh
but nothing strikes me funny
now my world's a faded pastel

I guess i'm luckier than some folks
i've known the thrill of loving you
but that alone is more
than i was created for
'cause i was born to be blue

When i met you
the world was bright and sunny
but when you left the courtain fell
i'd like to laugh
but there's nothing that strikes me funny
now my world's a faded pastel
My Daily Photo, 11/16/12.

Tortoise. Found this cute guy swimming in the pool, trying to find his way out but could not , so the boys helped him out with a shovel. He stayed around to thank them and pose for a photograph and then vanished from our backyard. I offered it a leaf to eat but he declined and vanished into his shell. When, I checked later, both he and the leaf were gone! Photo posted to my Smugmug site.!i=2217037893&k=RpV5H6R&lb=1&s=A

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Windmills of your mind. My all time fav. song

Round, like a circle in a spiral  
Like a wheel within a wheel  
Never ending or beginning  
On an ever-spinning reel
Like a snowball down a mountain 

Or a carnival balloon  
Like a carousel that's turning  
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping  

Past the minutes of its face  
And the world is like an apple 
Rolling silently in space
Like the circles that you find 

In the windmills of your mind
Like a tunnel that you follow  

To a tunnel of its own  
Down a hollow to a cavern 
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving  

In a half-forgotten dream 
Like the ripples from a pebble 
Someone tosses in a stream
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping 

 Past the minutes of its face 
And the world is like an apple  
Rolling silently in space
Like the circles that you find  

In the windmills of your mind
Keys that jingle in your pocket  

Words that jangle in your head 
Why did summer go so quickly?  
Was it something that you said?
Lovers walk along the shore 
Leave their footprints in the sand 
Is the sound of distant drumming  
Just the fingers of your hand?
Pictures hanging in a hallway  

In the fragment of this song  
Half-remembered names and faces  
But to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over 

Were you suddenly aware  
That the autumn leaves were turning 
To the color of her hair?
Like a circle in a spiral 

Like a wheel within a wheel 
Never ending or beginning  
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind 

Like the circles that you find 
In the windmills of your mind
Pictures hanging in a hallway 

In the fragment of this song  
Half-remembered names and faces 
But to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over  

Were you suddenly aware  
That the autumn leaves were turning  
To the color of her hair?
Like a circle in a spiral  

Like a wheel within a wheel 
Never ending or beginning 
On an ever-spinning reel
As the images unwind  

Like the circles that you find 
In the windmills of your mind 

VOICE OF INDIA-Mamata, a lost soul

Mamata Banerjee, the fiery head of the Trinamool Congress and the Chief minister of West Bengal, who rode the wave of revolution against years of Communist miss-rule, now finds herself in a state of disarray. She looks like a lost soul in a state that appears to have missed the boat.
A new administration under Mamata was elected with an overwhelming majority by the people of West Bengal that had wanted a change. Instead, Mamata's Govt. has provided more of the same policies as its predecessor, the CPM. It has failed to keep its coalition with the Congress in the state and resigned from the central Govt.. It has further alienated corporate investments in the state and more businesses are leaving the state. Law and order appears to be a major problem and her ministers appear high handed, often taking the law into their own hands. Land reform appears to be a sore point as before. Hospitals and public works are in a state of decay. And, in the civil rights arena, the record of Mamta Banerjee appears more wanting with the arrest of jounalists and teachers on flimsy grounds, as trivial as drawing caricatures r criticizing the Mamta Govt..
And, now comes the greatest of her Blunders. Instead of concentrating on administration of her state, she has taken the central Govt headlong and will propose a no-trust motion in parliament against the Manmohan Singh govt. because of its FDI policy in retail.
Why is FDI needed in India? The arguments for foreign direct investments in India has to be looked at through a global magnifying glass. The crisis in western Europe is due to the lack of incentives for foreign investments in the past decade or so, as compared to the more open policy of the south east Asia such as China. To maintain a high growth rate, India needs FDI expansion in its different sectors. The current controversy is mainly in the Govt. policy of opening up the FDI in multibrand retail to 51%. Single brand already are approved to have 100% FDI. In the past, the Govt. had relaxed the FDI in several other sectors such as communications, real estate and air carriers. The stock exchange and the investment rating services such as Standard and Poor have reacted favorably for the push for FDI in retail. Manmohan Singh is in charge of the Finance ministry and has staked his credibility on this move to implement this policy via an executive decision. The parliament is meeting next week and the opposition parties have rallied together to oppose the Govt. on this FDI policy. Much of the reason have more to do with politics rather than substance. The main opposition party, the BJP has previously supported FDI in its private policy statements, when it was in power in the past, but now appears to oppose FDI, without offering any strong arguments against it. It is out of character for a right wing party like BJP to oppose FDI which will benefit consumers due increasing competition amongst businesses.The govt, also argues that the farmer will benefit by getting better prices for their produce by the elimination of the middleman, as they will deal directly with large retailers.
Therefore, it is apparent that Mamata Banerjee has determined that the FDI is detrimental to her state and hence, will go to extent of passing a no trust motion against the govt.. She does not realize that under the Manmohan govt's FDI policy, the states have the final say whether they would implement the center's policy. So, it just does not make any sense for her to oppose the Center's policy. Her motive is suspect and is more influenced by retribution for the maltreatment she received as a participiant of the UPA coalition, where her opinions on major decision were overlooked and had culminated in the departure of the TMC from the coalition.
West Bengal, under the stewardship of Mamta Banerjee is in dire straits. And, the future only portends more trouble as she takes the center headlong in a miss-adventure, the consequences of which will be erosion of her votes in the coming Lok Sabha elections of 2014.
My Daily Photo, 11/14/12.

Chip Munk. This chip munk lived in my backyard and I often sighted him behind some bushes. As he grew more comfortable with me and lost his shyness, he let me approach closer for a detailed shot. Posted on my smugmug site.!i=2215194319&k=QvTdRMN&lb=1&s=A

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Tigers

My photo with a tiger, revisited at the tiger temple in Thailand. Reprocessed with newer techniques.!i=2213921835&k=8KDChVT&lb=1&s=L

Monday, November 12, 2012

Voice of India
The CAG is not broke, so why mend it!

What is voice of India? Simply put, it is the echo of a sentiment of thousands of Indians that speak the same language. The language of justice for all and keeping in mind that we are the largest democracy on this planet. At the “ Voice of Inida”, I will periodically try to voice this sentiment and invite others, like minded persons for their commentaries or insights on current affairs or topics that are the priority of the thousands of Indians.

On this inaugral issue of the “ Voice of India”, I will try to lay the basics of what constitutes the manipulation of news in India. The news that comes to the lay person in India is managed by different forces in India which are continuously vying with each other often at loggerheads nudging each other  and competing for the same space. How then must the confused layman decide who he must believe? That is when, Voice of India steps in and reasons for that layman, on what he must believe and what he must discard as mere propaganda.

So, some basic rules we must follow. The mouth pieces for the congress, the BJP and other political organizations must fall on our deaf ears. TV channels are notorious for airing the spokesman for these political parties and they must be heard with utmost distrust. But, news channels also must be commended for propagating the opinions of other non-partisan and concerned individuals who speak their minds and have the nation’s well being in mind. These are the social activists, the bureaucrat crusaders, the whistle-blowers and the RTI activists.

The number one point that I wish to make is that India is a police state, only for the reason that the police force, the CBI and other govt, organizations work for the administration and target the enemies of the ruling party. So, any organization controlled by the govt. cannot be believed.

The second point that I wud stress on is that, India is a failed state. The current ruling party and the opposition parties are compromised and have failed the state. So, who shud we look forward to as a saviour to our great so called democracy. Foremost amongst the saviours is our common sense. We must as Indians, filter out the noise and give credence to our common sense. For example, there is no doubt in my mind that the “CAG” is one of the premiere astute bodies in India which has contributed to the purification of the ills of the Indian state. The current talk of changing the structure of the CAG can only mean that the Govt. wants to control the CAG and muffle its clout. When the CAG is not broke, then why try to mend it? That is the basic question, that we must ask! Our common sense urges us, that we send a strong message to the Govt. to leave the CAG alone!

Each of us must write to our legislators that we insist that the CAG be left alone.! And that is the only message of this first of Voice of India publication! Stay tuned for more of our newsletters!

Chandru Jain, MD
Why Photograph?

Every now and then, I ask myself some basic questions, trying to get to the bottom of reasons for doing what we as intelligent beings do to make us tick. Yes! Tic tock tic! We must tic! We are all clocks, ticking at different times. But, what makes us different is why we tick! I hope that makes sense. But, the cynic in you will then ask, “ Why is it important to be different”.  Man, dont we want to be unique and leave behind a legacy. Or maybe something just as simple as being known as someone who lived life to the fullest with better tics, faster tics or tics with greater intensities.

So, with that perspective, I ask myself, why photograph? I have to understand what generates that passion for photography? And, whether the final product, the photograph is an effort worth expending the countless hours of input-the tic toc tic! Ha! Now time gets a certain quality. Certainly, photographing is a time well spent. It starts with an idea which ignites a certain amount excitement and gets your adrenaline flowing and the mind works overtime trying to figure out how it might be implemented. The idea is a thought combined with a vision and both, have multiple dimensions. A lot of hype is generated by the old time photographers that over simplify, photography as the capture of light. That is just one dimension of it and if light is white then what is black. You need black in your images and to beget black, you need no light. So, there goes the theory that photography is only about light- it is also as sinister as black. And, one can also move beyond the light spectrum and shoot in infra red. Many speak about photography being as good as what the eyes see. Ace photographers see the world in a different way, they see more and they see more penetratingly. Bull! We all see the same. It is just that our photographs see differently. The reason, I say that is because photography is more than what meets the eye. For example, in low light situations, the colors are richer and more vibrant because photographs capture more information than the eye. And, that my friends is the essence of long exposure photography, a technique that exploits the world of darkness, as in night photography or shooting landscapes with light absorbing filters, the notorious one being the ‘big stopper’ or the ND 1000. Artificially barricading light with such a filter enriches the color in the photograph as well as smooths out motion due to the long exposure times.

And, for those with the stomach for details, we can dissect the photograph for all its worth. Composition, balance, color tones, foreground, background, depth of field, motion, subjects, ambient light and artificial lighting are some of the ingredients that constitute the photograph. I will leave the details of photography gear and acquisition technique for the pros. Luckily, we have plenty of excellent avenues for learning on the internet highway from youtube videos, photography web sites & blogs, photography communities, gear manufacturers and the post-processing world. Take your pick and start your education. Some recent sites such as Creativelive are at the cutting edge of photography and one can learn a lot from these e-mentors. The best part is that, all this education is for free.

One of the most important aspects of photography is post-processing. The RAW image of digital photography needs to be processed with the veneers of the soft ware brushes. The end product is a composite of different layers of adjustments that we, as artist apply on our canvasses to make the images pop out and appear more appealing to the viewer. There is an ocean of soft-ware editing programs available but we all use the same fishing rod of Photoshop for assistance. We may apply additional baits such as plug-ins to help expedite our work flows.

So, my friends. The field of photography is open to all for its reaping. How you harvest it is your journey in this field. You can tread on it lightly as amateurs or plunge in headlong to become pros. The choice is yours to make. It will open your minds to a new world, the world as seen through your lens. You will be an author or poet reciting your stories in your photographs. You can treat your pictures as a canvas and let the artist in you come forth. You can be a journalist and document news stories and contribute to history. You can use your images to send social messages. Or, you can simply capture portraits of friends and families. Whatever you do, you will experience a thrill of creating something of your own. And, the best part will come when you sign your name on the photograph in one corner, permanently stamping yourself in the picture!

Chandru Jain, MD

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Good Memories!

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thirsty Tiger, My photo at 500px

Thirsty tiger. My photo posted to 500px site. A buddhist monk would squeeze a water bottle into the mouth of a tiger, every now & then and I snapped that opportunity. This was at the tiger temple in Thailand. Photo is in the popular category at

Poise, an elegant doe.

A wild life photo, that I shot at the tiger temple in Thailand. She sat quietly in the shadows and appeared at comfort with humans gazing at her. I cud slowly approach her to obtain a vantage point for a satisfactory shot with my 80-200mm f/2.8 lens on Nikon D800. Did a little cropping and a lot of lightroom 4, Color efex 4 and PS CS6. The photo is posted at my 500px site.

Tiger, My Photo at

Tiger. My photo enters the popular category on