Tag Archives: Street Photography

Notes from my first expedition

Trekking the Milam Malari route in the Indian Himalaya back in 1990

The author trekking the Milam Malari route in the Indian Himalaya back in 1990

While clearing out my parents garage I found an envelope containing my note from my first trek that I organised back in 1990. I had chalked out a challenging route that ran 150km through the Kumaon Himalaya and over two high passes. This trek was rarely undertaken. There were far easier treks I could have chosen but I was determined to go far off the beaten track. As it turned out we couldn’t complete the trek as we didn’t have the required permits from two districts. This trek runs along the Indo-Tibetian border and leads to a number of strategic mountain passes. After a few days on the trail we were stopped at a military checkpost and ordered to turn around. I still managed to have a great time and learned a lot from the experience.

IMG_3439 web

No contours, no scale, no detail. This was the best map that we had to take on the greatest mountain range on Earth.

 

Permit

Our inner line permit made out by the Special Police Force to provide us with assistance

 

Notes

“Any worthwhile expedition can be planned on the back of an envelope.” Bill Tilman

 

Posted in Himalayas, Maps, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Expedition Photography – Sony Rx100

Sony RX100

My camera gear for the 16-day Kamchatka expedition

On my recent expedition to Kamchatka we were going to be carrying very heavy rucksacks. When we had finally loaded all out food, fuel and gear the packs weighed over 30kgs. Luckily most of the weight was made up by food and fuel so the packs would get lighter as we consumed our supplies.

With this in mind I very reluctantly left my Nikon D700 and 24-70mm behind and opted to take my small but capable Sony RX100 on the expedition. I bough four extra batteries and lots of memory. I took about 3000 photos on the trip as well as a few short videos and had nearly two batteries left after the trip. This setup weighed about 450g. (Yes, I know the tripod is pink; it was in the bargain bin and going cheap. And it weighed next to nothing.)

Trekking in Kamchatka

My pack weighed in excess of 30kgs

The camera performed very well, even in the cold but I have say it provided a very different shooting experience when campared to my trusty D700. I missed the precision and control I am used to when using my D700. Using an LCD rather than a view finder is also a very different experience. While the RX100 is a great camera it is no where as good as the D700 in low light conditions.

That said, I am very pleased with the photographs from the trip. I will post a full report and gallery when I am done editing the photos.

 

 

Posted in Kamchatka, Photography, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , , , |

Birth of a dragon

Dragon egg

Here be dragons

Kamchatka is really a ‘Here be dragons’ kind of destination and sure enough I witnessed the birth of a dragon. Earlier I had posted this photograph of a dragon’s egg cracking open. Here’s a new one of a dragon being born.

 

Birth of a dragon

Birth of a dragon

 

I took this photograph on the lava flow of Tolbachik volcano which erupted in November 2012 and continues to remain very active to this day.

Posted in Photography, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Midnight in the Land of Fire and Ice

Tolbachik

One of my last shots as I headed back to camp in the dark

As I was stumbling back to camp in the dark at midnight I turned around to see this amazing sight – Tolbachik volcano glowing in the dark. I was cold, tied and all alone, miles from my camp. I was in two minds about setting up my tripod to take the shot as it seemed like too much work. I unloaded all my camera gear on the lava flow which I was negotiating, set my tripod and camera and took a few shots. And I am very glad I did. I find it’s always worth making that extra effort, even when you are cold and tired, to try and get that perfect shot.

Taken on my Nikon D700, 24-70mm

Posted in Photography, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Starry night

Camping under a giant gum tree

Camping under a giant gum tree

Another fantastic night under the stars in the Grampians. We spent four days camping in the Grampians National Park in Victoria and did lots of bush walks and sat around a campfire till late into the night.

Posted in Photography, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , |

Nanda Kot (6861m), Kumaon Himalaya

Nanda Kot (6861m)

Nanda Kot (6861m), Kumaon Himalaya

Nanda Kot or “Nanda’s Fortress” and is the home of the of the Hindu Goddess Parvati.

The first attempt to climb Nanda Kot was made in 1905 by T.G. Longstaff, and the first successful ascent was made in 1936 by a Japanese team led by Y. Hotta.

In the 1960s, the CIA and Indian government planted a nuclear-powered a surveillance device on the top Nanda Kot to monitor Chinese nuclear and missile activity in Lop Nor, Tibet. An attempt to place a similar device on the nearby peak of Nanda Devi failed and the device was lost in an avalanche.

MS Kohil, the leader of the expedition wrote a book, Spies in the Himalayas: Secret Missions and Perilous Climbs, about the entire episode. More recently, Pete Takeda wrote a book, Eye on the Top of the World about this incident.

Posted in Photography, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Panorama of the Nanda Devi group from Kurwaia Top, 3258m

Panorama of the Nanda Devi group from Kurwaia Top, 3258m

Panorama of the Nanda Devi group from Kurwaia Top, 3258m

Panorama of the Nanda Devi group from Kurwaia Top (3258m) has to be one of the best views of this group of mountains. From the east: Bangatia (height unknown), Nanda Kot (6861m), Nanda Devi (7816m), Maiktoli (6803m), Trishul (7120m)

Posted in Photography, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Rhododendron and fresh spring snow

Rhododendron in full bloom

Rhododendron in full bloom

I was lucky enough to get to Kumaon at just the right time to get to see the Rhododendron in full bloom. The trees were at their best, covered with flowers of crimson, purple, mauve and cream.

Rhododendron

Rhododendron in full bloom

Rhododendron

Rhododendron (from Ancient Greek ῥόδον rhódon “rose” and δένδρον déndron “tree”)

Flowers with an icing of fresh snow from a storm the night before

Flowers with an icing of fresh snow from a storm the night before

Posted in Photography, travel, trekking Also tagged , , , , , , , |