Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Canon Photo Marathon 2009 - Mumbai

Hi All,

I have been doing trekking and adventure sports since long time. With that I also developed interest for photography a bit. Mother Nature provokes you to snap the amazing things she has created. With time it became my hobby. I used to see the picture in very different manner. It does not mean that I am professional. It’s just that a lot of photography make you look at things in different manner.

I thank Shrikant Shimpi and Sameer Phanasalkar to provide me valuable inputs on how to handle camera’s different features and Dhawal to introduce me with this event. I was first thinking not to participate. But then it was something new that I could do. It will also give me opportunity to look at photography in different way.

I finally decided to go for it as there was no trek on that weekend. I registered my name online. Canon representatives called me for confirmation. I was give with Id number. It was going to get interesting for me. I started spending time in looking my camera features, asking friends about photography and searching on internet about Canon photo marathon. I looked at previous winner’s snaps also. Through this time I have learned that photography is all about timing.

Finally the day arrived. I was on the train for Dadar. Canon photo clinic is situated in shopping mall in Varli. I changed to local from Dadar to Mhalakshmi. I took help of BEST reaching final destination. The mall was huge, having showrooms of almost all types of great brands. Rolls – Royce, Bose, Canon and Haka were few of them. There were almost hundred photographers present to make an impression. Almost all of them were having SLR cameras with different lens attachments.

With my Canon S5 IS, I was feeling so outdated!!! Still I decided to give my best.The competition was theme based. There was one hour to take snap for that theme.

Themes given to us were

  1. Freedom ( I snapped eagle flying high)
  2. Standing Out ( I captured 100 year old building in Varli standing out of other modern infrastructure)
  3. On the Job ( I caught an eagle catching fish)

Satisfied with all the pictures I was very happy at the end of the day. I was very happy trying few new things which I did while clicking those snaps. I literally went into Varli slums. I almost scanned it. I also climbed on top of Mandir to get rid of 100 year old tower. I waited patiently for eagle to catch the fish.

It was nice to have many friends from photography domain (Use of IT language is must for me J). I returned to my sister’s home in Thane and next day to Pune.

Overall its very nice experience and I intend to appreciate in all similar events in future.

Now enjoy all my snaps throughout my tour. Hope to see you there too!!


Shridhar Purandare




Monday, February 15, 2010

Diveagar -- Konkan Feast

Hi All,

It's long ago since I wrote my previous blog. I apologize for that.

I visited sea-coast long back in Nov last year. Thrust of enjoyment on beach was now unstoppable. So I decided to do a coastal ride on bike. Biking in Konkan was always my dream. With this trip it went real. Seedalya and I decided to do something new on this trip. After long thoughts we finally agreed on tented stay and camp fire on beach of Diveagar. We felt that there should be no one in between sea waves and us. Adi's tent made it really easy. All this planning was done on Fri evening.

Trip Details:

Total expenses : 1000 Rs per head which includes ( Petrol for bike and all eatables)

Total kms 600


Day 1: Pune (5am)- Chandani Chauk - Tamahni Ghat(6.20) - Mangaon (7) - Veer - Mhaprat - Manddangad(9.30am) - Anjarle(11am) - Kelashi (12pm) - Bankot - Harihareshwar (5pm) - Shrivardhan(5.30) - Diveagar(6pm)

Day 2: Diveagar (11 am) - Shrivardhan - Diveagar (3.30pm) - Mhasla - Mangaon (4.15pm) - Tamhini Ghat - Pune (8pm)

Stay at Diveagar beach (tent was carried)

On Sat 13th Feb, I woke up at 4am. After 30 minutes of packing and revising I was ready to go. I did not think of winter though and moved with just T - Shirt and jean . Seedalya join me at Chandani Chauk by 5am. Within next few kms I felt as if I am travelling in Jammu and Kashmir. It was very cold till Paud passed. I wore double layer and went ahead. A tea stall open at 5.30 am, made me happiest person on earth. After few cups of tea I was now recharged. Now I was able to sense my hands a bit ,which were frozen by the cold. Seedalya was wearing gloves so he was comfortable.

We stopped in Tamhini to snap Konkan from good height. Then we took breakfast break at Mangaon on NH17. Now it was time of skilled driving. Next 80 kms to Anjarle was complete Ghat road. Very risky and lots of u turns. Madangad fort was on the way and we managed to drive bikes to top. Not much to view on the fort though. We left for Anajarle. We visited Kadyavarcha Ganapti which is believed to be very old(From Peshawe era). It was time to chill now. Avala, Karvande, Mango, Jambhul sharbat was on cards. After visiting the beach we went for Kelashi.

Kelashi is very small village with a clean beach. Its totally clean and lonely. We took lunch on beach hotel and went to peek the beach. After some time we left for Bankot from where ferry will take you on other side.

Next destination was Harihareshwar famous as holy place. Lord Shiva and Kalbhairav temples are present here. We did Pradakshina to temple while looking at rock formations.

By 5pm we left for Diveagar hoping to see sunset at the beach. Road was very good and we drove into Diveagar in no time. Sunset at beach is very special and beautiful.

We were very much excited to setup the tent. But I can not do with empty stomach. We had booked our dinner at Suhas Bapat. He provides excellent pure veg dinner at Rs 60. You can get Ukadiche Modak for Rs 8 each. I took lots of them with me and went to Surve's home where I ordered Surmai and Paaplet(Pomfret) fry. With authentic Konkani recipe they tasted delicious.

Now with full stomach we went ahead to setup tent and camp fire on the beach. We carried head torch as light source. Tent was setup within moments and then fire was also on. I stolen few timber sticks from compound of one Villa near beach. Finally we were converting our dream to reality. I felt 100% satisfaction as I felt asleep hearing waves which were few meters away. Seedalya was busy gazing stars and clicking few of them with his Canon 1000 D.

See at the end for how can you make camp fire.

Next day I woke up late. I was enjoying surroundings of my bed a lot. Tourists started flooding the place by 9 am. We entered sea to taste power of waves and play with them. After an hours enjoyment we were packing our belongings. Within half an hour we were off to do Breakfast. We went to Surve's home for breakfast. Tea, Pohe and Upma was on cards. We requested them to use their Bathing facility.

It was fun to discuss the Konkan condition in general with the locals. They told us stories about different guests they attended to. After cleaning ourselves we went for Coconut and Mango ice-creme. It was fresh and tasty. As our lunch was planned at 1.30 pm we decided to ride towards Shrivardhan. The route accompanies coast and provides amazing views. We spotted lots of migrated birds on the way and decided to catch them in our cameras. We parked our bike on road and walked a short trail to rocky area where birds were in huge numbers. As we tried to go close they used to fly away. So we sat down at one place and tried our zoom power. It was awesome to see them flying in huge numbers. After 100s of pics clicked we were off again to Diveagar for lunch. This time we were at Potnis's home for lunch. As always Seedalya ate veg food while I enjoyed Surmai Thali and Solkadhi.

Now it was time for fun ride on the beach. We drove our bike through sand to take into the waves. Riding along the wave was immense fun. We found birds here too and clicked few cool shots. With complete gratification we started our journey back to Pune. With two tea stops at Mangaon and Tamhini we were back in Pune by 8pm.

It was very different trip for me with no trekking at all. Just fine biking through Coastal Konkan.

Few important numbers:

Everyone can also arrange for residence.
Suhas Bapat(Pure veg) Diveagar : 9423837967
Potnis (Veg & Non Veg) Diveagar : 9422497300
Shubham (Veg & Non Veg) Kelashi : 9271661215
Surve (Veg & Non veg) Diveagar : 9421167551

Thanks for reading. Now enjoy watching. See you soon :)

Shridhar Purandare

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