Golconda Fort – Part 1

No trip to Hyderabad in India can be considered complete without a visit to the magnificent, awe-inspiring Golconda Fort. Situated a few miles out of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secundarabad, the Golconda fort shows a formidable presence in the horizon. The fort itself dates back to original construction by the Kakatiya dynasty (a branch of the Chalukya rulers of south india in the 12th century.

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The Golconda Fort, Andhra Pradesh

The fort was expanded and further fortified by the Qutub Shahi kings of Hyderabad in the 16th century when they made Golconda the capital of their kingdom.

The narrow entrance served to slow invading armies
The narrow entrance served to slow invading armies

The fort itself is in many levels, with the imperial residences at the very top of the citadel (120 metres above), while the lower levels served as garrison quarters and administrative offices. The fort is surrounded by a wall 10KM long with many bastions to ward off attackers.

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Part of the inner ramparts of Golconda Fort
Stables
Stables
Administrative complex
Administrative complex

There are over 80 semi-circular bastions in the fort (below) that provided excellent 360 degree view of the neighbouring countryside.

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One of over 80 semi-circular bastions at Golconda

More photographs of the challenging climb to the top of the fort follows in part 2 of this fort. Please click on any of the pictures above t see a larger version. All photographs from a Nikon D80 camera with a Tamron 18-250mm lens. Processed in Adobe Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.

 

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Playing with HDR

I’m new to HDR photography, having only seen some fantastic examples of what is possible from sites such as http://www.stuckincustoms.com/. Of course, none of these examples get anywhere close to the brilliance and professional look of really good HDR photography.

All pictures shot with a Nikon D7000 auto-bracketed 3 exposures -1, 0, +1 and then processed together in HDRefex Pro. Minor adjustments to exposure and grain with the help of a few existing presets in the software. The original middle exposure is below the HDR version for each photograph.

 

A tree in all its magnificence
A tree in all its magnificence
Original middle exposure
Original middle exposure

 

An icy bush
An icy bush
Original middle exposure
Original middle exposure
A frosted tree.
A frosted tree.
Original middle exposure
Original middle exposure
Cherry tree blooming ice
Cherry tree blooming ice
Original middle exposure
Original middle exposure

 

Would love to hear what you think.. Please click on each picture for a full size version.

On a frosty day

Hoar frost affected most of Cambridgeshire this morning when the temperature was about -6C.. During the day it did warm up to about -2C, but still too cold to go out and take some interesting pictures. These are a couple I managed in the cold!!

Hoar frost on some unfortunate blooms.
Hoar frost on some unfortunate blooms.
A confier covered in ice needles
A conifer covered in ice needles

Technical Details:

Nikon D7000
Sigma 28-70 f/2.8 lens

Cambridge on the Cam

I have now lived in Cambridge for over 10 years. As it so happens this is also the longest period of stay by me in any one place in all my 40+ years. And yet I don’t have many pictures of the city (something I will need to change in 2013!).

Cambridge: the famous university town with more famous ivy-clad venerable colleges, historical institutions and personalities. There is a lovely river, the Cam that runs its placid route between the colleges (the backs), under myriad bridges and plays host to punts filled with wide-eyed tourists as they hear tales of history, science and culture that stemmed from these colleges.

Trinity Lane - bounded by Gonville and Caius College on the left, and Trinity College on the right. Unchanged in centuries.
Trinity Lane – bounded by Gonville and Caius College on the left, and Trinity College on the right. Unchanged in centuries.

As rivers go, the Cam is a mere 40 miles from its humble beginnings in the tributaries Rhee and Granta. But in Cambridge, the river takes on a life of its own with punting, rowing and canoeing activities throughout the year.

Punting on the Cam
Punting on the Cam
Punts waiting for customers
Punts waiting for customers

There are some 23 bridges on the Cam in Cambridge alone. A majority of these bridges are private and link the colleges with their extensive grounds towards the back. None is probably more evocative than the St. John’s College “Bridge of Sighs” that links the Third Court and the New Court of the college.

The Bridge of Sighs, St. John's College, Cambridge.
The Bridge of Sighs, St. John’s College, Cambridge.

Cambridge is a great place to visit at any time of the year, more so to be able to enjoy punting on the Cam. A future article will deal with some of the more famous colleges.

A blogging experience!

Happy New Year!

When I started active blogging last year I didn’t expect the scale of the journey I would be embarking on. For me, this was more an exercise in being able to share some of my pictures with a wider audience of like-minded photographers. And it has been a great journey so far!!

WordPress offered summary statistics for my blog at the end of the year which I am sharing. I’m not so much concerned with the numbers or liked but that more that more than 3000 people actually saw a picture or two, read a word or two on this blog!! Thank you!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.