Delhi to Ladakh rejoiced (H series)


zoossh

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#1
2008/06 Ladakh via New Delhi and Manali (H, DSLR) photographic trip in group
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Criticisms welcomed. You can quote the thumbnail and the sequence number, for reference in commenting, remark or question.
Travel Summary: for details and links, refer to Travel & Variety rejoiced

Equipments in this trip includes
1. Nikon D50, Sigma 10-20mm, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8
2. Biermann+Weber CPL, Cokin P holder and Tianya GND
3. Manfrotto tripod 190MF3, Markins head Q3L, Nikon remote
4. Asus Eee PC 910 12GB, Buffalo & Fotomore hdd case
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Ladakh is a place where i think tibet would be like today if it wasn't occupied 60 years ago. I've watched samsara eons ago but re-looking at it, i realised the chamday (or chemrey) monastery is one of the shooting locations. you can see much of ladakh from this movie, video clip here. Also found nice photographs here but that is for homeland tibet with the tibetan national anthem sang.


#1

My favorite. Ladakhi girl accompanied by brother (on the left) going off to school.

(80611 leh / 52 main bazaar / format i)
 

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zoossh

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#2

#2

Jama Masjid at Leh. A small Muslim population living peacefully among the Tibetan
Buddhist majority. This is also the location where many people who have no jobs
comes here to look for jobs (as I was told) and towards the evening light, only a
few are left.

 

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zoossh

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#3

#3

started to realise severe handicap in handling landscape. i find it hard to compose
to my satisfaction and many shots turned out largely similar to each other without
character. but then, the myriad landcape opportunities in ladakh and the occasional
few good weathers does spurt a few decent shots. this frozen lake (vishaal taal,
not sure if taal means a lake) is one of the few surprises that we can stop over our
hectic travelling and i will seriously consider even more stringently to restrict
tranport time for my next planned trip.

 

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zoossh

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#4

#4

last one for the day. never have posted so many pics in a single day, i guess.
another pair of sisters having fun at the deer park in new delhi

 

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zoossh

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#5

#5

apple view guest house at manali in himachal pradesh, our first stop towards ladakh.
some lovely memories there. beautiful place, cheap and clean accomodation. highly
recommended.



roy got me when i was setting up my system here
.
 

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zoossh

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#6

#6

regardless of what has been said about dalai lama for whatever agenda there is,
he is widely respected in india and remains the spiritual and cultural leader for
the tibetans and the ladakhi buddhists.

 

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zoossh

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#7

#7

taken at Chamday monastery, renovating at the time of visit and probably less
known and less visited. the monks are indeed surprised and elated at our arrival. i
first spotted a group of monks in a courtyard seemingly discussing about something
and i was just about to make a u-turn when this monk gestured to me to go over.
although we cannot communicate via languages, they seemed very interested in
being photographed. we are subsequently invited into some of their very dark prayer
halls.

a more senior photographer pointed out to me that somehow this picture that i like
lacks a connection. that i guess i can understand. this monk was indeed very
anxious about being photographed and was fidgeting at most times. this take is
done when he was less fidgetty.

 

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emlee

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Mar 10, 2008
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#8

#5

apple view guest house at manali in himachal pradesh, our first stop towards ladakh. some lovely memories there. beautiful place, cheap and clean accomodation. highly recommended.

:thumbsup:nice pictures as usual. especially enjoy your narrative on the situation surrounding the shots.
for this particular picture, did you up the saturation? i find that (with digital photography) i tend to "cheat" and end up pushing the saturation a bit beyond the actual scene. that's why i'm wondering how does this picture look like if it's saturation is not adjusted (assuming it is).
 

zoossh

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#9
:thumbsup:nice pictures as usual. especially enjoy your narrative on the situation surrounding the shots.
for this particular picture, did you up the saturation? i find that (with digital photography) i tend to "cheat" and end up pushing the saturation a bit beyond the actual scene. that's why i'm wondering how does this picture look like if it's saturation is not adjusted (assuming it is).
the original picture is done at the appropriate timing and lighting when it is turning dark but not very dark. it is underexposed from matrix metering at -1.3EV which does help in the colors of the sky. a 2 stop grad ND filter helps to maintain the dark sky while the foreground colors will not be too dark. lastly, i alter a little on the levels (similar to curves or more easy to understand, the amount of "blackness" and "brightness"). no saturation or contrast function is being applied becos the two photoshop function usually ruin more details than levels does.

the below is before enhancement (direct jpg output) and after enhancement (from raw),

 

zoossh

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#10

#8

tibetan morning puja (prayers & breakfast) at thiksey monastery. the little
monks sit at the back, and occassionally give a little of their mischieveous
or inattentive daydream expressions.

 

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zoossh

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#11

#9

cows that goes home by itself after grazing on the grass next to pangong
tso (lake) at spangmik.

 

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zoossh

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#13
Would love to be at #3 :)

Dedicated vehicle overland from Manali?

Thanks for sharing.
yes, it is taken roughly 4hrs from keylong towards sarchu, along the route from manali to leh. but the above picture is taken while out of vehicle, gives me better composure to frame.
 

zoossh

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#14

#10

my travel mate, paul, and our best driver of the route, thakuk.
inside the dining tent in sarchu.

 

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nuts

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#15
Heh, of course should dismount from vehicle to take.

Must be quite a trip. *droooool* ;p

yes, it is taken roughly 4hrs from keylong towards sarchu, along the route from manali to leh. but the above picture is taken while out of vehicle, gives me better composure to frame.
 

zoossh

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#16
Heh, of course should dismount from vehicle to take.

Must be quite a trip. *droooool* ;p
the landscape portion is painful though. long hours of travel and cracking headache from altitude sickness.
 

zoossh

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#17

#11

one of the technique i develop for shooting people who are close to the vehicle as
it runs along the narrow strip of mountain road, using wide angle and repeated
single shot autofocus (AF-S... ok, maybe AF-C works the same but i'm not used
to using AF-C) while panning the approaching subject from while they are about
20m away. hit rate is moderate but results of spontaneous and natural postures
are gratifying. these people are probably road builders who are working under the
himack mountain road project aim at developing and maintaining transport into this
isolated area. from their complexion, they may be from faraway places, such as bihar.

 

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zoossh

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#18

#12

not being a particularly hardworking photographer, star trails for long exposure is
a chore for me and always need a little push from my ardent comrades. i have
totally forgotten how to do it after learning it in laos, now the 2nd time have to
relearn everything again but the teaching this time seems more complete,
although the technique is different. now there is no light painting. the painting
is done by the moon.

below picture is my probably best attempt, at keylong (can't remember hotel name,
something like delykin....??) and shooting while the moon lit the snow peaks.



to share what my friend taught me physically as well as to reiterate all the online readings, first of all, star trails can only be done where there is a lot of visible stars, and secondly relatively free from stray light pollution, usually overseas. avoiding these light pollution partially relies on your ability to frame them away.

to shoot star trail, one has to know where it revolves around. for that, i dunno but i just follow. if u have no one to follow, shoot first then adjust. anyway, the viewfinder is in complete darkness and framing requires multiple tries and adjustment too (while altering the setting). the shooting of cos will require a tripod on steady ground, using a remote control while setting to bulb mode (check your manual, usually is to set exposure to manual and push shutter duration setting over 30s for nikon).

the next step is to set the exposure at the highest ISO and an intermediate aperture of say maybe f/8 to f/11 for a duration of 1min. this gives a test shot of the amount of exposure from the frame. from there, one can decrease the ISO to decrease the exposure or increase the aperture to increase the exposure.

after a suitable amount of exposure is determined. the ISO and aperture can be further adjusted to gives a longer exposure (low ISO and small aperture) while noting that low ISO improves noise control while large aperture gives thicker (and in my opinion nicer) star trails. the maximum duration allowable for some nikon models is 1hr or 30mins with in-camera noise reduction (30mins exposure + 30mins in camera processing).

a few points i have noted, is the frame intensity may keep changing due to the moon (it does moves at night or may be covered by clouds at times) or due to reframing. second point i have noted is having a single stop ND filter might be handy as a two stop ND filter can be a little too tough due to the time limit of the camera.​
 

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zoossh

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#19

#13

to end today's upload with one of the many vegetable sellers in leh. it is a
long story... and i'll post more of these portraits some time later...

 

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zoossh

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#20

#14

a cute baby that the family ask me to shoot in new delhi. however, they dunno
how to write their postal address, if not i can send them the picture printed. also
promised to show a friend this cute baby but cannot send thru web msn.

 

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