Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Photography at Chupir Char, Purbasthali

Its been a pleasure trip to Purbasthali to watch and photograph migratory and residential birds at about ten km stretched Oxbow lake, creating an ideal habitat for birds to nest, feed and live freely. The place is located at about 3.3 kms from Purbasthali Raliway station.

The location from Purbasthali Railway Station

How to reach?

Chupir char is easily accessible by availing Howrah-Katwa or Sealdah-Katwa railway connection. Frequent local trains are available and takes about three hours to reach the Purbasthali Station. From station hier an e-rickshaw, popularly known as Toto. Ask the driver to wait for you at the lake side from where you need to hire a traditional, hand run boat. The rate is usually Rs. 120 - 150/- per hour.

Alternatively one can take the road, reach Kalna by Grand Trunk Road and then take Kalna Katwa Road. Then at Parulia Bazar take the Purbasthali station road on your right hand side.

Where to stay?

There is not place for accomodation immediately beside the lake, however, I have seen a nearly finished guest house which is supposed to be open by January 2017. This is an initiative by the local panchayat. 

At present it is better to find accomodation at Nabadwip, where plenty of hotels are available. 

A few Snaps:

There are a variety of birds to see. Because of fog and my limited capacity camera, I had Canon SX30IS, I could capture only a few through my lens, but many more through my eyes. 

Yellow Wagtail

Boats are waiting for tourists to arrive with camera

Ruddy Shellduck

Bronze Winged Jacana

Lesser Whistling Duck

Leser Whistling Duck

Bar headed goose on the flight

Bar headed goose on the flight

Stork Billed Kingfisher

Wattled lapwings

Common Kingfisher

Black headed Ibis

Red Crested Pochards

White breasted kingfisher

Longtailed Shrike

A group of Red Crested Pochards

Red Crested Pochards

Common Coots

Common Moorhen

Pied Kingfisher

Things to remember:

Apart from the scenic beauty of the place, the boatmen were extremely helpful and caring. They know the strategic locations from where you can take good photographs. Additionally, they have been able to mobilise local government and local administration to put a ban on entrance of the picnic parties who used to disturb the birds and often hunt them.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Questioning 'Focus' - Mistakes and Celebrations

A brief archaeology:

Focus has always been a focal issue in Kaleidoscope's time of growing up! Lucky that he has been asked to be focused on one thing only - study, and that was good enough to make his life miserable. He can barely forget those days and evenings when he tried hard not to fall in the trap of being instructed "FOCUS KALEIDOSCOPE!" He cannot actually empathise with today's kids who are asked to focus on whatever they do, study, games, swimming, drawing, and yes that hurts!

Although as he was told and experienced, it was not difficult for many of his friends to focus on girls and pronographies! Yet, most of his friends have done pretty well in studies and careers!

Reintroduction of FOCUS:

Focus -  as a matter of fact, gets reintroduced ever since Kaleidoscope has managed money to buy a good camera. He always wants to have a focus on things he wants to capture through his lens. Well, he usually succeeds to do so. With Canon, it is so damn easy, all Kaleidoscope has to do is to half press the shutter and green box appears to confirm that its done!

Well, quite often, the result becomes just quite the opposite, and the chance/luck factors remind that notion of 'focus' is alive and well. For example, he once tried for about a few dozen frames to capture a small bright beetle to focus. No matter how hard he tried, the beauty remained out of focus. He tried automatic focus, which is like oh my goodness, most often precisely accurate, failed! His manual endeavour has been equally miserable! So, was it a mistake? Kaleidoscope for quite long believed that it was a mistake and he even tossed in the category at JPG Magazine as "My favourite Mistake" (please click, its fun)! 

The mistake which is supposedly favourite!


The point is, should these happy go out of focus things be considered as an outcome of mistake? If it is a mistake, is it a mistake from the perspective of the camera? or the person behind camera? 
If it is the person behind the camera, and if the person tries hard to focus on it, is it a mistake? Or sheer luck/chance! Just like other posts, Kaleidoscope does not have the answer to it. But he can, related a few oops moments with focus:

1. You tend to focus on something (your career or the person you want to be with!) and it gets slip away - focus/out of focus liminality

2. You tend to be in focus (to your higher authority/your lover!) and you are out of the frame - inability to remain in focus - you, the 'proletariat' looser

3. You tend to focus on something and end up focusing on something else, which you did not want at all, and you hate it/ or on a positive side, you end up having something you desired but never dared to chase - Needs for focus dies here, RIP

Now, don't tell Kaleidoscope, that he has made a discovery of how brilliant life is going in parallel with his camera and focus.

Meanwhile just see how badly Kaleidoscope failed to focus on a beauty and end up focusing on the ashes (do not remind him his point no. 3, it hurts!).
This is a beautiful Red Avadavat on a ash background, well the focus was reversed than originally intended, and it happend for a million times!

The bird when finally Kaleidoscope could focus on, but the ash background is gone, the award winning contrast is gone for ever!! 

Now, if Kaleidoscope wants to take another step forward, its analogous to what he strives to call life, and of course, this is why its beautiful to be alive!