Just for SeriousAmateurPhotographerS
We are so intent on capturing the scene, that we forget to take in the sight with our eyes and marvel at the beauty. I have often rued at my idiocy in the past when i did not capture the sight in my heart. This time i was determined to be sensible and from 7:02 am, i sat enjoying the scene. It only got better! The mist lifted and the Himalayas were stretched out magnificently. But i did not succumb. I sat enjoying the show for an hour. Then it was time to get ready and i took a last parting shot.
This is a short report of an affair i had at Ranikhet...Got your attention, didn't i?
My friend invited us to stay with them at Ranikhet and the beginning of the Navratri saw us fly to Pantnagar via Delhi; where a car awaited us. We preferred to stop for the night at Rudrapur at the Radisson Blue and after a hearty breakfast the next morning, left for Ranikhet which we reached in the afternoon.
Our daily routine was walk-eat-relax-walk-eat-relax-eat-amble-relax; with an extra walk thrown in if we over imbibed. The easiest of walks were the early morning, 4-6 kms long walks, with a gentle incline most of the way, and a tough incline in some parts. The mandatory late morning walk was a gruelling 8 km walk, one way, with a back breaking incline ( up Chaubattia hill). The car would ferry us back the down slope. How i wished it could be the other way around!
A heavy lunch would necessitate another walk in the evening- about 3 kms- and a gentle amble after dinner- almost a pleasure! 17 kms a day if one over indulged and with 12 kms as mandatory.
I had lugged all my photographic gear, totally weighing 23 kgs in the hope to capture the mystic and awesome Himalayas and some exotic birds. Alas! I was to be disappointed. The rain had ensured high green cover and it was difficult to photograph birds. Particularly given the fact that the trees were at least 75+ feet high. As far as the Himalayas were concerned, they were wrapped in a non permeable mist and one could only imagine them.
The days flew by swiftly with our daily routine and all i had photographed were some night shots of the sky on the one night when it was clear (of clouds). We were to leave on the 11th morning at 9:30 am to go by car to Pantnagar and then onwards by flight to Ahmedabad via Delhi. I awoke at 4:45 am and decided to see if i could get the Milky way. ( The Photographers Ephimerus had shown the moon set timings as 12 midnight and sunrise at 6:15 am and i reckoned that i had half a chance to get some shots. i lugged the tripod and the 14-24mm, along with a torch, remote down and set it up.
The morning rays of the sun was lighting up the Trisul peak in an orange glow. I thought excitedly of capturing the peak with orange as is in our Mac OS Sierra.
I ran up and got the 70-200mm and feverishly changed it with the 14-24mm. It was 6:12 am now.
The sky was bathed in an orange glow. The mist was rising and i fully expected the sight to vanish any moment now...
It was a challenge to figure out where the big dipper was since the sky was not dark and the ambient light was quite strong.In addition, i had forgotten to get my spectacles and was too lazy to go up and get them.
The time was 5:35 am now and the pre dawn light was creeping in...
Disappointed at the elements, i turned around to see if the dawn light would make for an interesting composition with the trees and greenery around..
I took some shots and vaguely looked at the tree line. Was it my imagination or was the tree line significantly higher than yesterday? Could it be...?
Then i got greedy. Why not use the 600mm to capture a Sierra like image? Ran up again and lugged the 600mm down. Not before waking the missus. (would have been in the dog house for ever, if i had forgotten to do that). Again feverishly set it up. I was in my pyjamas and bathroom slippers but i hardly felt the cold or the dew creeping up my pyjamas.
I got the shot, though a far cry from the Sierra:
I kept on changing lenses and taking shots, all the while checking the settings since i have on occasion made snafus when hurried.
An Affair to Remember
Having been disappointed for 10 days in a row and not having seen even a glimpse of the range, i was understandably quite sceptical, though ignorant. The Mountains are finicky and the weather protects them from prying eyes. It was 5:50 am and i saw a shred of orange up in what i thought was the tree line. It couldn't be, could it? Yes, it was!
It was almost as if the Himalayas were tempting me to stay back. My friend sensed this and also suggested that i postpone my departure, but alas, prior commitments had been made and i had to leave.
I left with a glad heart. The Gods had been kind, once again.
This was an affair, i would not forget!