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. ^__^
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