Monday, June 02, 2008

Voigtlander Perkeo

A vintage folding camera - a Voigtlander Perkeo from the 1950s. An example from a type commonly described as a `folder/folding' camera. With a simple push of the buttons on the inside of the door the lens recedes into the body of the camera making for a compact, pocket-sized pack. These are bare-basic photo takers. None of the auto or program settings that you find on modern cameras - you take one of these out, you do everything - set the aperture, shutter speed -- no metering, gauge/guess the lighting -- wind frame, focus, cock the shutter, compose and... yes, click to take pic. You really need to concentrate.
... And they are great conversation starters. Take one of these out of your pocket at any place... surely a bunch of people will want to know about these beauties or occasionally someone will recall with nostalgia the fun they themselves have had using these gems.
This one takes a 6cm/6cm pic on a 120 mm film.
Nothing like one of these fully manual cameras to help you unwind.

Friday, May 16, 2008


A few days back I landed up at the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary - not really the season to visit the place. But without the usual weekend crowds it is quite except for the sound of birds calling, the rustle of wings fluttering...
Here a flock of painted stork chicks seem to be taking their flying lessons...

A couple relax...A spotted owl - I think we disturbed this guys sleep

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Bylakuppe and Dubare

Some more pictures from the trip to Nagarahole, Coorg and Talacauvery...
Here is the meditation hall at the Namdroling Monastery at Bylakuppe, a settlement of several thousand Tibetans.
The next pic gives some details about the hall...

A picture worth a thousand words...
A distracted monk in a prayer hall at the monastery...

These pics were taken on an earlier trip. At the Dubare Elephant camp, where tourists get a hands-on experience of bathing and feeding the elephants. Gopi, the tusker. No one was allowed near this guy.


The common crow -- that is the name of this variety of butterfly. I think I took this pick at the Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary earlier this year.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


The Werra -- a 35mm viewfinder from the 1950s/60s. I believe this is one camera that must be among the top of a list that includes novelty in design for any period and at the very top for a deceptively simple look.

Just look at it... except for the shutter release on the top plate - that too, placed flush and very unobtrusive -- there is nothing of the usual lever for film winding, a window for the frame counter or a any of the usual controls that we would expect to see.

The back too -- nothing except for the viewfinder window...
Carl Zeiss, Jena, the legendary lens makers for cameras of that era decided to make a camera of their own and this is what they achieved.

You reverse the front cover and thread it on to the front of the lens to get a hood... and all is revealed. The shutter and aperture settings and the control for the advancing the frames. At the base of the lens, the ring with the ridges turns about a third of a circle to advance the film... no lever.
The rest of the stuff is tucked away neatly a the bottom -- the frame counter and the film rewind.

That is one Werra different camera.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Irpu Falls Coorg

The Rameshwara Temple, a shrine with a sivalinga believed to have been installed by Rama. This temple is at the base of the hill that has the Irpu Falls, a cascade also known as the Lakshman Tirtha, a major tourist attraction at Coorg, Karnataka.

A section of the track leading to Irpu Falls.
The Irpu Falls as it cascades over 150 ft down the hillock.

The falls further downstream of the main cascade.

At Nagarahole

A couple of weeks back I visited the Wynad and Nagarahole forests - both are contiguous forests and part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Wynad is in Kerala and Nagarahole in Karnataka.
December is actually not a very good time for wildlife sighting. Immediately after the monsoons the greenery is thick, water is available in plenty for the animals and they stick to the deep jungle. People do not often get to see the large animals. But we were lucky - here are some pics...
They are a random mix from Wynad and Nagarahole taken at dawn and late evening.

The forest trail in Wynad. It is about 7.30 in the morning and mist is yet to lift...

An Indian Gaur in the mist - at Nagarahole
A view from a boat at Kabini. Young darters, also called Snake Birds sit on the branches
More darters
A rare sight... at Nagarahole, it must have been about 6.30 pm, I have to thank the ultra zoom and the image stabilisation features on the FZ18 I used to take these pics. It was at full extension of the zoom at 23X (more than 750mm equivalent on film camera) and shutter speed was less than 1/50. The real life sight was actually not as clear as this... managed to catch this guy napping
the leopard in the glow of the setting sun...

fully awake

and glares at the intruding tourists

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lost in admiration

A red vented bulbul - is it just admiring itself or wondering how to free the one trapped in the glass cage... Picture taken at Coorg last week. This guy would turn up in the mornings and peck away at its reflection in the car window or just sit and stare for minutes together before getting tired and fluttering away.


At Talacauvery, the source of the River Cauvery in Karnataka.
Devotees seek the Cauvery's blessings