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People, Places, Politics and Photography

August 26, 2007

Some Photos of the City of Seattle


A view of Space Needle at Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle

Click this link to view the album.

Filed under: Places, Photography — Singari Vijay @ 11:28 pm

July 21, 2007

Photography is an Addiction

Believe it or not, it is an addiction to me. I might be very busy with my work and studies, and might not be able to spare any time for any hobby. But still, when it starts, it continues and it becomes uncontrollable. It is the craving to take pictures and see the results. That is what has happened last month. I wanted to completely stop taking pictures for sometime. At least until I finish my graduate program. But when we went to see all the waterfalls’ along Columbia River gorge in Oregon, I could not stop and I took some pictures. My addiction to photography is so strong that I still do it in the traditional way. I use a manual focus camera, film and tripod. I get the film developed, scan the slides myself and post them on the web. I know that it is an addiction, but I think it is a good addiction!

This photogenic and gorgeous Kittaya is also a reason and inspiration for me to take pictures, see the picture below.
Photogenic Kittaya

Click here to see more of my recent results.

Filed under: People, Places, Photography — Singari Vijay @ 11:00 pm

October 8, 2006

The Longest Drive Ever

Boardman,OH to Seattle,WA
5 Days and 2652 Miles

The world is vast, wide and wonderful. Limiting ourselves to Boardman for over three years of our lifetime didn’t seem right. There is a lot more world to see and explore and there are many things we can do, than what we did in Boardman. To do more, we need to learn more. So, I decided to go back to school (college/university).

And then, we started our longest drive ever. I left for Seattle with Indira, Kittaya and our faithful 1997 Camry on the morning of Wednesday, the 6th September 2006. We had a detailed and clear plan for our travel. We knew how long we were going to travel each day and where we were going to stop for the night. We had made all our reservations for the hotels and verified with the hotels before we started the journey. We were excited and also a little nervous about our move. I was totally comfortable about the plan we made for the trip, because I knew how the drive was going to be and how I would cover it. My only concern was Kittaya, because this was his first long drive.

The Camry
The Camry

We headed out on the Wednesday morning from Boardman in our car and with Annamayya Keerthanalu sung by M.S.Subbulakshmi playing in the car stereo. Whenever we go on a long drive, we start with these keerthanalu. These spiritual songs with extraordinary voice of M S and the melodious music always gave us a great start. The car was fully loaded, but we had sufficient space for Kittaya and his carrier. We had planned to reach Madison, WI by the end of day. Journey was very smooth until we reached the city limits of Chicago. If you have ever traveled to the city you would know how the traffic would be. We spent about two hours just to cross the city, and even with this delay were able to reach our hotel in Madison before sunset. We were traveling west and hence we were gaining time. That was an advantage.

Chicago Traffic
Chicago Traffic

When we reached Madison, one thing was obvious. We had packed too much stuff in our car. So, we went to an Office Depot near the hotel and took few things out of the car, put them in a big box and shipped them to our new address in Seattle. Most of those items we shipped were large comforters, pillows, etc. After clearing these items, we felt more comfortable in the car and Kittaya had more space to move around. We had our lease application approved and had already paid a holding deposit for an apartment in Seattle and hence we were able to ship the box to the new address.

We stayed in hotels at Sioux Falls in South Dakota, Sheridan in Wyoming, Missoula in Montana and on the last day in Bellevue, Washington. When we reached our destination at the end of fifth day, trip meter in the car read 2652 and the odometer reading was 112539 miles.

On the morning of the sixth day, which was September 11, 2006, we went to the apartments’ office and had a tour of the unit and the building. We liked the location and the unit, and signed a lease agreement. There we were, in our new home in Seattle.

Kittaya was the first to get settled in the new place. I think he knew instinctively that we had reached our destination. For us it took about two weeks to unpack, arrange and settle comfortably.

The landscape was spectacular and the drive was nice. The never ending corn fields in Wisconsin, open planes in South Dakota, wild west scenery in Wyoming, the mountains and creeks in Montana - all are just spectacular. During our travel we had told ourselves at least a hundred times, “we have to come back and explore all these places leisurely”. During our trip we crossed mighty Mississippi and Columbia rivers. We also visited Mt.Rushmore and enjoyed the short drive off of the highway.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River

Columbia River
Columbia River

Mt.Rushmore
Mt.Rushmore

The View from Our New Apartment
View from Our New Apartment

I must say that the drive was an experience we will remember for ever.

Few things we followed during our trip:

1. Food - Limited to healthy selections, like salads, fruits and Subway (a fast food restaurant chain in USA) veggie sandwiches without cheese, etc. Particularly for breakfast and lunch, didn’t eat oily or greasy food items. Took a couple of bread slices or an English muffin with little butter, coffee and a fruit for breakfast.

2. Driving Speed - Kept at the posted speed limit or few miles below the limit. I maintained a constant speed of 65 mph almost all of the time. At this speed I got the best mileage possible (32 mpg - overall) and most importantly there was less strain on us and on the car.

3. Kittaya, the Cat - I took our Kittaya for a drive every day, for about ten days before the journey. I took him in the car and drove him around for about 15 to 20 minutes. By doing this, he got used to the car well and he was not surprised to stay in the car.

4. Start Early - We started early in the morning, around 7 O’ clock each day. We were getting up early, eating breakfast and hitting the road. By doing this, we were able to reach our destinations before sunset comfortably. Start early and reach safely!

Filed under: People, Places, Photography — Singari Vijay @ 1:24 am

October 16, 2005

Hot Air Balloons

For me it looks like there is a relation between hot air ballooons and photography. The spectacular colors of balloons and the film’s ability to capture all those brilliant colors seem like made for each other.

First time I ever saw a hot air balloon in person was in Texas. We were in Houston, Texas at that time and there was NASA Open House and ‘Ballunar Festival’. It was in August 2001. I happened to capture some of those balloons on film.

The picture I liked most... Clear blue sky and a colorful balloon!
The picture I liked most… Clear blue sky and a colorful balloon!

Early morning _ Preparing for liftoff
Early morning _ Preparing for liftoff

Mass liftoff
Mass liftoff

AAA Texas Balloon
AAA Texas Balloon

Spectacular Colors
Spectacular Colors

You can find more information about this balloon festival by following this link: Ballunar Festival

Filed under: Places, Photography — Singari Vijay @ 11:41 am
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