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The Zoo Visit

For the longest time I have wanted to visit the Zoo in Mumbai. Over the last year I regularly passed by it while coming back from work, but never visited it. Finally, over the weekend, I decided a little photography needs to happen and hence the visit to the Zoo was planned. For people who want to visit the Zoo, it is open Tues-Sun 9:00am to 6:00pm.

I picked Friday to go there, I thought it was a weekday and there would be less people, unfortunately that was not the case; due to it being Friday, there were schools and menacing kids waiting outside, yelling and creating general hooliganism. I manoeuvred through the crowds and managed to reach the front gate; it took about 5 odd minutes before they opened. I quickly ran to the ticket counter, out running about 50 kids and waving my hands as if I have won the 100 meters world championship. It cost about 5 rupees to enter the zoo and another 20 if you have a camera, I had 2 cameras so cost me double. As soon as you enter the zoo, the first thing you notice is all the greenery and vast space. I was surprised to see a dedicated work force of people running to keep the place clean and also take care of the animals in the there. I moved clockwise. The first thing I came across was a green house, the same can only be seen from the outside, visitors can’t actually walk through it, next on the cards the monkey cages; please note our zoo is prehistoric we don’t have open areas for animals we still have cages, which is very sad. It was early so there was limited activity in the cages just a guy cleaning the place. From there I moved on to the deers, these guys had it set, large open grounds where they can move around; unfortunately, taking pictures was a challenge, purely based on my distance but managed to sneak a few in courtesy the zoom lens. Next on the cards the elephant enclosure and the crocodile enclosure. The elephants were kept very far away and were having their breakfast so could only spot one of them, the crocodiles were lying in a dirty swamp motionless, onlookers watching them kept saying they’re dead……I wanted to throw one of them in the pond to test the theory 🙂

From there, I moved to the Hippopotamus shelter. There were two large hippos resting in the water all I could see was their backs, I was disappointed I was really looking forward to seeing a hippo in all its glory. As I moved away from the enclosure, I heard a loud noise that startled me a little, moving towards the sound I saw there was another enclosure where a Hippo was eating. I quickly grabbed a picture of the enclosure with a smile on my face. From there I moved to the lion cages, unfortunately there were 2 domestic cats sitting in the cage, the cleaner informed me the lion had passed away. Next was the birds, the smaller birds are kept in small cages which is sad, the silver lining here is the cages are clean and the birds are fed well. The bear enclosure was massive, but unfortunately I could not spot the bear, he probably was trying to avoid the morning sun. While I was near the bear enclosure, some kids yelled out “UNCLE, UNCLE”. I walked there, they called me to show me a Porcupine cage, where they had spotted an albino Porcupine, I quickly took a few shots and moved towards the last exhibit in the Zoo.

Final destination in the Zoo the very large Bird cages. While on my way there, I noticed a few large statues, placed in the middle of floral arrangements – these immediately reminded me of Gears Of Wars, do have a look at the picture to your left. After a fairly long walk and empty enclosures I reached the massive bird cages, these were birds that lived around water, Flamingos, Swans and so on, I was fairly impressed with the way these birds were kept, of course I could only stand a few minutes near the enclosure, annoying kids came and started going “Uncle one photo, one photo”. After not taking their pictures finally decided to exit the Zoo, all in all I was disappointed with the experience, not only the photography, the Zoo has become a barren place with hardly any animals; I would not recommend a visit here unless you want to be very depressed. Do check out some of the pictures around the blog and comment or send us feedback in the section below. All images shot using Nikon D5100.

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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Photography and Bike connection

To start with, I think we are both wannabe Photographers and Bikers. At some level, both these hobbies are interconnected.

Let me explain. Both these can only be enjoyed to their fullest once you are financially secure – that would be between 30-50 for most people; the excitement and adrenaline rush one feels riding the bike on an empty road is equal to a great picture taken; like a camera, a bike needs constant attention and customization, this to fit your style of shooting/riding, both activities are social and get you to meet new people who share similar interests. The list goes on and on….

I generally carry 3 cameras when I mix both riding and photography; an Olympus SPUZ 565, Nikon D5100 and my handy telephone camera, currently it is a HTC sensation XE. It is a pain to lug all these around with additional lenses for the Nikon but the end result is definitely worth the effort. I would like to emphasize all hobbies or past times do require effort; people generally have a perception that one can pick up a hobby and magically he will find Utopia! Reality check does not happen………..you have to put in effort. That being said, I have been learning about photography for about 4 years now. The facilitation started pretty much after getting married and seeing awesome wedding pictures clicked by a friend (the gorgeous pictures were of the Mrs. I look scary on camera). Anyway, after a lot of R&D and debates, I bought a super zoom Olympus SP 565 UZ camera, read up everything there was to about camera and photography. To give you an idea I was familiar with words and phrases like aperture, depth of field, HD, FPS, Shutter Speed 1/2000, bulb, macro etc. From then on it’s been a snowball effect, pretty much live with my camera; I don’t take that many pictures though.

By now you are hopefully getting where I am going with this. Post the purchase of our bike, both my photography and riding have merged together seamlessly; the locations I discovered while travelling across the city are absolutely amazing. Check out some of my work in the gallery below. Beyond that, it has also gotten rid of my reservation with communicating with strangers. I end up speaking to people about both the bike and taking their picture; also strangers will randomly come and help you when you are juggling trying to change lenses while holding up the bike.

About the pictures – I generally shoot using the P mode on both my camera; this is where you control the aperture and the camera does the rest for you. I find pictures with controlled depth of field to be more dramatic, I try to follow the rule of thirds and general best practises but most times the discipline eludes me. I shoot because I enjoy doing it not because I want to boast about my technical genius with the camera. Over the last few months, I have found my zoom lens to be an invaluable tool; this especially when I am shooting from bridges or getting in a portrait from across the road. The Olympus has now been restricted to shooting panorama and macro images (the Nikon is just so much better). I am still figuring the ideal way to carry my camera stand on the bike… currently the bag I have does not support a stand. Once that is done I pretty much will be sorted.

Do share your riding experiences and images if you enjoy either of these hobbies. I hope to cover a lot more of photography while adding to our riding, food, movies and other escapades as we publish more articles on the blog. The street Panorama is where we live – do enjoy the gallery and leave comments.

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Posted by on April 27, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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