29 March 2013

One Step at a Time....

I thought of doing a revamp and a name change to my photo blog since I'm hoping to start off a new blog (somewhere in the near future) reserved only for my photographic attempts, trial and errors, discoveries and any tidbits related to the subject.

So.. I've decided to use this blog to share only travel related pics - be it from my old mobile camera (that I haven't shared thus far) or the latest from my digital cam.

About the name.. I kind of felt it suits the new theme better. And to make it more reasonable I even added that super lengthy description to clear away all doubts and questions. ^___^

In fact, sometime later I'm hoping to do a URL (link) change too, to resemble the new blog name, but that too would be done.. one step at a time. I need to make sure I won't repeat the same mistake I made when I once switched the old URL from harumisfotoblog to this current one. I forgot to inform my old visitors thus lost many of them, for good. -___-

So... with this new change, I hope to explore and bring you to different places, discover hidden facets, uncover interesting tidbits, and much more.

Even the monkey walks one grip at a time...

Even the tuskers move one stomp at a time...

Even the pigeons soar one flap at a time...

And so I set off... counting... one step at a time.

Enjoy a splendid weekend!


Photo #1: A monkey simulating a tightrope walk at my old Sunday School, resting below Udawatta Kele Sanctuary, captured on June 11, 2012 from my digi cam.

Photo #2: Relief carvings on the exterior wall of the shrine hall at Kelaniya Temple captured on January 26, 2012 from my old mobile cam.

Photo #3: A flock of pigeons flying above the shrine hall at Kelaniya Temple captured on January 26, 2012 from my old mobile cam.

12 March 2013

When Art meets Architecture

Inspiration meets Enchantment.... Knowledge meets Wisdom...
Life meets immortality... Time meets Infinity.


Today I will share a bunch of photos taken in November 2012 at Kelaniya Temple (in Kelaniya - a suburb of Colombo). It's famous as one of the most sacred temples in the island to the Buddhists and is also highly acclaimed for its magnificent arts and architecture. In March 2011 through the post Kelaniya - a fountain of Art I shared few pics captured from my good old mobile cam. So let me share a bit of that magnificence once again, this time captured through my not-so-new digi cam.

[CTRL + Click to expand the photos to their original size]


This ornate pediment-like structure sits at the very top of the big shrine hall of the temple. It features a typical 'Makara Thorana' (dragon pandol) with a relief statue resting in its niche.

The facade of the imposing shrine hall. Every bit of its structure running from the base of the columns up to the frieze and beyond, and everything around are adorned in finest relief motifs and sculptures.

As I stepped in and looked up, a portion of the ceiling caught my eyes. It was nothing short of a world of vivid motifs and carvings unfurling its magic in all directions.


Then there was this tall narrow window, which stood behind me, silently watching the interior walls and ceilings filled to the brim with murals and patterns.

Devotees can enter the big shrine hall from three directions, and when I stood at the direction facing the Stupa, this was what I saw.. the soaring Stupa framed between the shadows of the pillars. Kelaniya Stupa has a unique 'Dhanyakara' shape (a.k.a. paddy heap).

The premises of the temple can be accessed through two entrances, and when we arrived from the rear entrance we encountered this relief carving, snuggled on the shrine hall's weather beaten exterior wall.


Caught this person by chance when I was trying for a perspective shot while standing beneath the shade of the sacred Bo Tree of the temple. The golden railing, brass flags, cloth flags and festoons, and the tawny toned midget-demon army (and the hidden swan brigade) are also captured here, bathed in the sweet scent of the burning incense (bottom right corner). If you're wondering what those ribbon like knots hanging around are, they are strips of cloth tied around coins offered to the Bo Tree, to invoke blessings during the times of trouble and sickness.

While sitting on one of the stairs and enjoying the peaceful serenity, I saw plenty of feathered friends, pigeons and crows, flying all around and perching wherever they pleased. Their favorite spot was this square stone fountain sitting right behind the main entrance. The fountain is surrounded by concentric square stairs spreading in all four directions, making it a captivating architectural piece. The devotees usually come here to wash their hands and feet and spray water to the flowers and fruits before entering the premises. But when there's no one (two legged folks) around, it becomes a wee paradise for the birds. They dip in the square pond to cool off the heat from the scorching tropical sun.


And there was also this couple of pigeons sunbathing after a dip in the fountain. Think they're rock doves. After their baths most of the birds would shake off the remaining water while puffing up their plumage like fluffy porcupines. It was such a wonderful sight.

More pics can be seen here.

PS: Some of these pics didn't come out nicely aligned or framed cause I was in a hurry to shoot them, while avoiding the local devotees as they were bustling about.

06 March 2013

Which is better?

This is something I've been wanting to do for a while, upgrading my camera, so have been doing a bit of online research lately. After reading dozens of reviews, checking out sample pics and all, I still can't seem to find what's best for me. Though I did end up with a few options.

My BenQ cam has been a great help for my work and pastimes so far, but lately I keep noticing its weak points more than its good points. It is to be expected from a low-end point-and-shoot with tricky advantages of 14MP resolution and 5x optical zoom.

Unfortunately its drawbacks don't come up when I'm leisurely clicking away in my neighborhood, but tend to pop up when I'm busy at work, taking important shots for my articles. Of course it has produced good shots, some surprisingly nice ones too, but sometimes based on conditions like the glare of the sun, winds or no tripod - it doesn't perform as much as I want.

BTW I didn't get a tripod since it looks pretty odd carrying one around, and it doesn't feel right to use a tripod to support a simple point-and-shoot cam. Also I think my BenQ doesn't have IS (image stabilization) though it warns me when my hand shakes the cam even slightly. And though it has pre-focusing, sometimes taking macros is also a feat, as it mischievously blurs the very subject I'm trying to shoot! And when zooming in to 100% of its actual size, the photo becomes a smudged mosaic!

So yes, after all that hassle here's what I'm looking for,

1. A high-end point and shoot digital camera
2. Something that isn't bulky, but with a good optical zoom like between 8X - 14X
3. Resolution between 8MP to 14MP (I read somewhere that higher resolution isn't always the best)
4. Optical IS (image stabilization)
5. Output: Clear, sharp images
6. Flash

So what am I going to capture with my cam?
1. Facades of buildings or landmarks
2. Indoor shots (with or without flash)
3. People (occasionally)
4. Landscape shots 
5. Macro shots (bugs, flowers, leaves)
6. Nature shots (trees, mountains, birds and all kinds of critters - big and small)

In any case a DSLR is out of question (it's also out of my knowledge and budget), so I'm opting for a good point-and-shoot with the best performance I could bargain for.

Now these are my options after going through dozens of camera reviews:
1. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150 (18MP, 10x optical zoom)
2. Nikon Coolpix S9100 (12.1MP, 18x optical zoom)
3. Canon PowerShot SX260 HS (12MP, 20x optical zoom)

So which camera do you think suit my requirements the best? And feel free to name different brands and models too that can outwit these three options plus something that fits along the same price range. 

Thanks a bunch in advance. ^__^

19 February 2013


... of a feline junior.


Hellow! Yeah, I'm talking to you over there. Got something to tell.. something very important.. you know.

Wait.. let me climb up so you can hear me better...

You see.. the little me is having a big problem these days... a very big problem...

So big.. that it makes me really sad.. oh...wait, let me get a tissue (don't want to pose with a running nose)

So now where was I? Oh yes.. the problem is our Director.. that stingy old man has to shoot a film in a jungle.. but know what he did?

Shhh! don't tell anyone ok? He says he can't pay big money for our big brothers in the wild.. so he's hiring us.. the junior stars to do the job for a small pay.

So we have to spend another few days in this poorly made jungle, roaring and hunting and pretending to be our big brothers. Thanks to that.. now my back hurts... my paws are scraped.. and nails are chipped..

Sigh.. life in the wild is awful.. and our stingy old Director says we still have more scenes to do. Ah.. I think someone's coming...

Sorry pal, it's the boss... looks like he's mad at me for ditching the make-up artist. I got to go.. see you.. er.. no wait.. you'll see me.. yeah.. don't forget to watch our movie 'Jungle Cats'! You will see the movie.. won't you?

By the way.. keep it a secret.. what I just said about our dear old boss. Don't want him cutting my small pay into half. He might even ditch paying at all.. who knows. Oops! He's really mad now. See ya!


Took these shots of one of our kittens on 17th of January 2013, while I was capturing some macro shots, she came and hopped on to a branch nearby, and watched me keenly, so couldn't resist taking some shots. This one has a twin sister and she's still with us. But this kitten was taken away by our neighboring village's kids some days later after I took the photos.

21 January 2013

Sunny Day

....will blow your blues away!

After surviving through a terrible weather that lasted for months and months with heavy showers persistently pouring down like an entire sea flipped upside down, I'm finally able to breathe with ease while smiling (even grinning) at the blue skies and bright mornings...Oh, how I missed them so (too) much!

So let me share a bunch of those bright mornings and blue skies I've snapped right and left before the very long rainy season began, and the radiant rays of the fireball from outer space as well, to cheer you up. :)


As I woke up from my chilly slumber and gazed upon the sky


the rays of light tickled my skin, ceasing my days of black and white

the sky, earth and all around me were now painted in tints so bright

The azure blues and the fluffy whites all peeped and gleefully smiled

I stretched my arms, unknowingly, to embrace this warmth of light

then it steeped my soul with golden light, and my mind felt fresh and light

I gazed up once more, mingled in vivified tones, and smiled at the one who gives life

then the life around me gently woke up in glee and bowed at the morning so bright.


BTW in case you wondered if the two cats featured here are one and the same, well.. they are not, but they're definitely good buddies, um.. at times, which you can see from the last shot. I'm don't know the name of the flower in 2nd pic but the 3rd is a yellow bell flower, and the 4th is a jasmine flower. The jasmine was captured using the LOMO effect in my cam. And I used LOMO when capturing the tiny (2cm wide I think) spider who was nicely hiding in a hedge plant.

The 4th pic is of a dried coconut branch, which used to shade my pumpkin patch. Sadly the pumpkin vines died due to excess water from the rains plus the ant army made it worst by happily feasting on the pumpkin flowers. -__- But I've still got a new veggie patch with new vines, which I'll talk about in the future.

12 January 2013

Yet another beginning...

in 2013!

Yep, I regret for missing the perfect timing to wish, but I still want to say,

Best of Luck for 2013!
Let it be the year you realize your goals and dreams and everything between! ^__^

And to mark the dawn of a new year, here's my backlight shot of Sepalika leaves 
with the sun peeping over

So how have you been everyone? As for me, I've been out of the mood to blog for a while (yep, a very long while it's been) so no matter how much I thought and resolved.. hereafter I'm going to be a regular on Blogger, I never did. -__-

No posts, no blog visits, no inspirations, no cam shots, no nothing! And when I finally get to drop by, I cannot help but become intimidated (and petrified), and wonder... will I ever be able to catch up to all these new posts on my blogroll that's been rolling at warp speeds for months! O__O (my soul then turn into Casper and flutter away from Milky Way)

So what can I say? When the TIME is the culprit and the PROCRASTINATION is his accomplice and the MOOD is their mastermind, you just can't outwit yourself from becoming lazy-prone, now can you? So at least today I won't say that I will be a regular hereinafter. But at least let me make it a point that I will (may) try to cover the last few posts (if not at least the last) that I seem to have missed from my dear old blogroll, a bunch at a time. (in case if my wordings made no sense whatsoever, kindly blame it on the doomsday hype from last year) ^__^

So yeah, before I get on with 2013, let me finish dealing a few things with 2012...

Before I parted from my teaching career, back in 2011, I was trying to realize my first life goal of becoming an author. There were a bunch of stories written by me since several years back, but most of them didn't see the end. (like the sleeping beauty they slumbered forever and ever) When I finally completed half the plot of one story I thought it was time to find a publisher for the book - for my maiden children's story. And I did contact all the publishers that I could think of.

But.. it never worked, and I mostly received negative feedback. Just one proprietor kindly gave me a load of tips on how to market my book. But many weren't even interested. And eventually I dropped the idea. Next I thought of translating story books. But it was like rewinding the past and playing it over and over. And after riding the high waves of negativity for a while, I realized that it all comes down to one thing. Either you ought to be a renowned author, or you ought to be able to self publish and market your own works. If not it's pretty hard to survive let alone enter the publishing world. But then again, maybe lady luck was not on my side.

And when I thought and thought about it, suddenly I found a new path opening up before me. In a way it's funny that I never thought of it before even though it has been suggested to me a couple of times, long ago. Indeed, I'm a writer and no matter where I work it doesn't change, and so this was the only solution. To make a name first and then try to publish a story. Though.. I never even dreamt before accepting this challenging task, that I will get an audience as big as our little island! Well.. then again who knows how many of them actually reads (despite our literacy rate being high, people still find less time to read, don't they?).

I was all giddy and excited to step into (not a publishing house but a huge building that housed a dozen odd newspaper firms in three different languages under one roof) and then start working for them since January 2012. Yep, it's been almost a year, though I'm still working as a freelancer from home. But thanks to this job, I was able to reach an unseen (some seen) audience and even inspire and motivate them on a regular basis. Those were my favorite, and were magazine articles. But I also started venturing outside, interviewing folks, doing bit of research and taking photos and have written a bunch of feature articles on a variety of topics. Visiting new places, meeting new people, discovering new things.. it's been a whole new experience for me. But I'm still taking it slow and steady. And of course, I'm still no where near a journalist, but doing a fraction of what they do daily, at my own snail's pace, still fascinates and excites me to no end.

And that's how my 2012 wrapped up... Now coming to 2013,

While continuing my work, I still couldn't give up on my dream goal that I lost one time. And so I started working on those idling stories, even hatching some new ideas, and trying to cook them, fry them, toast them, roast them... anyway I please and turn them into something irresistible (hopefully, if there will be any leftovers). In the mean time I'm hoping to go for translating story books once again (yep, I'm really bad at giving up!) and this time I feel like I've found the right place, as the time frozen from the end of 2011 seem to tick slow and steady now. So I'm waiting for some good news, with my fingers crossed.

Maybe... just maybe... lady luck may have smiled upon me? ^__^

PS: yes, I do tend to forget to add things and when I miss the timing, they willingly get pushed to the Postscript section. So now what did I forget? Oh yeah, about my photographic endeavors. Well.. I've been clicking a way lot more in 2012, though it has slowed down by now due to the long lousy weather = unstoppable rainy season. But you'll see some of them up in my future posts. For now I'll share a few, under PPPS.

PPS: Oh and I almost forgot to say that I joined the intimidating NGM My Shot community (think since April or so last year), and being a teeny microscopic speck amidst thousands of veterans and amateurs of the photography world, I've been taking baby steps in that field too.. indeed, it's a fascinating world - a one that lets you capture slices of stills from the streaming life. (and sorry if that didn't make sense either!)

PPPS: Here's a glimpse into those future posts...

The Sun...
 .... hopped, skipped and jumped
and then came tumbling down
[Sepalika leaf backlight shot]
* Sepalika = night flowering jasmine

... Yo bug! watcha doin'?
'Thou shall not utter a word of me, if thou value thy life!' says the agent under cover
[backlight shot of a yellow bell flower leaf]
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