Friday, 21 April 2017

Photo Trip to Jejuri Bhandara Festival - March 2017

Jejuri is a small town in Pune district in Mahrashtra, India. Nestled at very close proximity of the Western Ghats range, this small town is the abode of one of the most revered temples in the state, known as the Jejuri Khandoba Temple.

Apart from the resilient devotees, people may not even contemplate that this hamlet can hold something really special.

This tiny little town comes alive on every new moon falling on a Monday (Somwati Amavasya). All the devotees offer prayers and celebrate holi with turmeric powder, or Bhandara, as it is locally known. Yes! You have read it right, the holi is celebrated with turmeric powder. The place becomes a Photographer’s delight where one can unearth the treasure of exceptional Indian Heritage and culture in full swing.

This year, the first of such auspicious occasions fell on 27th March (there are two more this year – 21st August and 18th December). My club, Fotorbit India, arranged for a photo trip to Jejuri and I was fortunate enough to be part of this trip.

Jejuri is around 55-60 km from the Pune city so we drove to the place by ourselves. Guided by the experienced and the veteran photographer Mr Arun Saha, 5 photo enthusiasts embarked on this tremendous photographic journey from Pune. In addition to that, we had the privilege to have the renowned photographer Mr Saurabh Chatterjee with us.

Once we reached Jejuri, we could see the temple at the top of a hillock from the below (the temple was built as a temple-fort). The way towards the top is reachable by climbing a few stairs which can be tiring under tremendous heat but it is more rewarding for the photobugs, as one can capture numerous close portraits and action on the streets. One has to be cautious by not spending too much time here itself as the main spectacular event must not be missed.

After reaching to the top, one needs to manage one’s own sitting arrangement on the top of the fortification walls of the temple. The main grandeur would take place right beneath you so an unhindered view is a must.

Under the mentorship of Arun and Saurabh, we really had a hell of a time during the event.

  •      Once you manage your sitting arrangement, do not leave it as the place is heavily crowded and you may not be able to recover it and loose the opportunities to click some action.
  •           Have head covers for yourselves and drink lot and lots of water.
  •       Protective gears for the camera is a must – be ready to get completely drenched in turmeric J

Finally, be part of the next Photo tour of Jejuri organized by Fotorbit India on 21st August. Don’t miss this event if you are a photographer and have a keen interest in capturing a unique aspect of the Indian culture.

Route from Pune to Jejuri Khandoba Temple:

Now the photos:

The Temple:

Full on Bhandara Festival, the place literally becomes Yellow all around:

The devotees touch the Palkhi to be blessed:

The other side of devotion, guards trying to make space for the Palkhi:

The Crowd when the festival is in full momentum:

The Palkhi is arriving:

And the Palkhi has arrived:

Bhandara Festival - Offering in a group:

Solo offering:

Some headshots/close portraits on our way up and down (my favorites):

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Photo Drive to Tamhini Ghat in Monsoon 2016

This year (2016), during the monsoons I made a short half day drive to Tamhini Ghat. This was more of a photo drive than just winding up.

This was probably my fourth or fifth trip towards Tamhini but the place never ceases to amuse me with its breathtaking beauty. This year Tamhini received the most rainfall in Maharashtra (yes, surpassing even Mahabaleshwar), so the astounding greenery and the spectacular white streams were in abundance and perfectly complemented each other. 

We had to stop at several places and take photos to the heart's content.

Not a place to be missed during the monsoon, if you are in/around Pune.


The photos are clicked without any ND or CPL filters. I used a simple gorillapod to place my 5DMK3 on top of it.

The first spot where we reached by 8 am in the morning was the gigantic waterfall just besides the Mulshi Lake.

There were some tiny waterfalls around it as well.

And I certainly did not let go of any opportunity to try various angles and focusing techniques.

All these sources of water combined into one and a gushing stream was output through the bushes.

Everywhere as far as one could see, it was green all around...covered with white sheets of cloud...

...and small streams gently flowing to its destiny...

..and some tiny beauties...

..and some marvels of nature....

..and some fauna too...

Practicing with high shutter speed....

Monsoon brings out the explorers in us....

Sometimes only sitting in the car also can bring your attention to beauties around you....

And some more greenery on our way back...

We had a stopover nearby Mulshi Dam, and the beauty simply was breathtaking with the farmlands posing with a genuine grin (read 'green') in contrast to the last year's seriously dry spell..

Finally, before our ways part until the next blog, no monsoon photoblog can be completed without such pictures as below:

Time to say good bye. 

Thank you very much for taking your time to go through the post. If you like it, please leave your encouragement as a form of a comment.

See you!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Photo Walk at Pashan Lake by Pixavince

Date: 28-Aug-2016
Place: Pashan Lake
Organizer: Pixavince Photography Group

On a cloudy (and hence lazy) Sunday morning I managed to gather myself at Pashan Lake for a Macro Photography workshop arranged by Pixavince. And there were many other enthusiasts as well.

I did not carry any specific equipment for Macro and I still rue this fact. For an outdoor macro photography (and that too on a day with such clouds hovering around), you definitely need a few gears specific to Macro.

There are equipments like Macro lens, Extension Tubes, Reversal Ring, Diopters, Macro filters which would certain boost the magnification (read my post on Macro Photography). And one would also need a source of light such as inbuilt flash, external flash or some other lights (mobile flash etc).

The group at Pashan Lake. Photo courtesy: Pixavince.

Macro opportunities were abundant at the location but I was not able to create some good shots, because of the low light (and I was not carrying any flash) and the absence of macro specific equipment (I was just carrying the 24-105 mm kit lens). Hence the number of images is also limited to a very few.

All photos are in low resolution.

The Mushrooms:

The Gathering:

The Feast:

The Descendant of the DRAGON:

Nature's Symmetry:

The Climb:

Leaf Texture: