Photography: Traveling light without sacrificing Quality, extremes on body and equipment, India April 2016.



From one extreme to another… the streets of Kolkata,
the spectacle of Kumbh Mela and the
awesome, ancient ruined city of Mandu.
India, April 2016


Oh Boy…this post has been long overdue, but you might notice also I have changed the look of the Blog and that took time… or shall I say, making decisions, decision, decisions…
plus some technical issues.
Anyway here it is, a slight new look and a new post from my last trip to India with a small but exceptional group of good friends.

Warning:

Some viewers might find a few images offensive;
Sadhus (Nagas) do not wear any clothing at all.
Viewer discretion is advised.

It was an awesome Journey, and If you ask me if I do it again… YES, of course I would!
I selected some images from each place for this post, but if you like to view more from this amazing Journey please click on the LINKS below to my
PhotoShelter Gallery.
There are so many other great Images but
unfortunately I can't squeeze them all into this post.

-
Kolkata, 2016
-
Kumbh Mela,Ujjain 2016
-
Mandu, 2016

It all started in the streets of Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta
the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River
(
I love Kolkata… its never boring!)

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This is Kolkata!

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The streets of Kolkata.

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The famous Kolkata Oil massage at Babu Ghat along the River Howrah

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In the back streets and hidden Alleyways of Kolkata.

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A Slum area in Kolkata.

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A worker at the Flower Market braiding flowers, Kolkata.

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A porter counting his daily income at the Flower Market, Kolkata.


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Preparing flower arrangements at the whole sale Flower Market, Kolkata.


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Break time with a small cup of Masala chai (Tea) at the whole sale Fruit Market, Kolkata.

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Group of Fisherman in the Wetlands outside Kolkata.

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Locals from a small village wading through the Mud
searching for the last fish in the Wetlands outside Kolkata.


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View towards a modern Buildings from the Wetlands
outside Kolkata.


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"The Window Cleaner" modern and colorful architecture in Kolkata.

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Shadows in the streets of Kolkata.

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Colorful steel gate at a metal workshop.Kolkata

After a great week roaming the streets in Kolkata we flew to Indore (Madhya Pradesh) near Ujjain for the Kumbh Mela, witnessing first hand the spectacle of this one in a lifetime event.
This event in the Hindu calendar takes place only every 12 years, and it is here where you have
“Butt naked, Penis exposed and Pot smoking” Sadhus mingle freely with the crowd.
Our other destination was the ancient ruined city of Mandu, an amazing and historical site in the state of
Madhya Pradesh.
Then back to Delhi; but before catching our return flight home we made another two-day trip to Vrindavan and Matura,
Uttar Pradesh about 3 hours drive from Delhi.

Kumbh Mela
- The gathering of millions; pilgrims from all over India mingled with the most amazing Sadhus you ever can encounter, from the naked Nagas, to totally bizarre characters amongst devotees and pilgrims, an endless sea of moving colors.
The real challenge began at the Kumbh Mela.
Moving around with cameras looking for the right images in soaring heat with very little or no shade amongst millions of Pilgrims.
Just getting from our humble Hotel to the river took some serious walking (there was absolutely no vehicle access allowed due to security) and navigating amongst this enormous crowd was certainly not an easy task and
definitely not a walk in the park.
(Note: I actually booked the hotel some 6 month ahead of time and the usual wakeup calls were around 3AM)
The other “hardship” we had to endure; our Hotel was pure Vegetarian (which I don’t mind) but also no beer or other alcoholic beverages were available.
My dear friends Hubi and Bob were suffering a bit more on this occasion, especially the craving for a cold Beer after a long day in the heat.
The actual event: - Ujjain Simhastha is a Hindu religious mela held every 12 years in the Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh, India. The name is also transliterated as Sinhastha or Singhastha. In Hindi, the fair is also called Simhasth or Sinhasth (due to schwa deletion). The name derives from the fact that it is held when the Jupiter is in Leo (Simha in Hindu astrology).

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A small temple of worship at the Kumbh Mela,
Ujjain April 2016


It is one of the four fairs traditionally recognized as Kumbha Melas, and is also known as Ujjain Kumbh Mela. According to Hindu mythology, Vishnu dropped drops of amrita (the drink of immortality) at four places, while transporting it in a kumbha (pot). These four places, including Ujjain, are identified as the present-day sites of the Kumbh Mela.“Kumbh” the literal English translation means “Pot”, which emerged from “Samudra Manthan” (Churning of the Ocean) between Gods and Devils.
The term ‘Mela‘ signifies’Fair‘.-


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The Kumbh Mela in Ujjain, April 2016

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Sadhu (Naga) with his cellphone, Ujjain Kumbh Mela

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Sadhus (Naga's) smoking a Bong, Ujjain
Kumbh Mela 2016


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Naga Holy Man roaming around during the,
Kumbh Mela in Ujjain, April 2016



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Sadhus (Nagas) "it is the look after-all," Ujjain,
Kumbh Mela 2016


I have to admit this Journey was very different but also awesome in many different ways, a constant challenge, putting up with unbearable heat as temperatures reached way above 40 degrees and walking miles on end, not only in Kolkata but even more so during the Kumbh Mela.
On the brighter side, making images by walking is better anyway as long you have plenty of water.
Due to the heat, starting the day prior sunrise was a must and made it somehow bearable at least during the early hours of the morning, plus inhaling the ever-present smoke from the Sadhu’s smoking weed during the Kumbh Mela had a “calming effect”.


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"In trance" Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016


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Pilgrims surrounding this Naga Holy Man,
Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016


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Ujjain,Kumbh Mela 2016

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Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016

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Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016

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Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016

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"Blessed if you ring the bell on his penis" but I am not sure why he is wearing two watches on his ankles. Ujjain,
Kumbh Mela 2016


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Another cool Character, Ujjain Kumbh Mela 2016

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"Blues Brothers", Kumbh Mela, Ujjain, April 2016

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The colors of the Kumbh Mela 2016

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The colors of the Kumbh Mela, Ujjain 2016

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The colors of the Kumbh Mela,women drying their Sari after their holy bath. Ujjain 2016

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Women worship and taken their holy bath.
Kumbh Mela,Ujjain April 2016


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Its all in the Eyes…Kumbh Mela, Ujjain 2016

Of course we had to carrying our own water supply and cameras for the day, since going back to the Hotel was
not an option at all.
What made also a difference, some of us including myself used the
Panasonic Micro Four-Thirds Lumix Cameras
and
Lenses instead logging around those heavy DSLR’s.

For additional equipment used (Lenses etc.)during this Journey and more info see below at the end of this Blog Post.

Traveling light without sacrificing Quality certainly proved a point this time around.


Mandu or Mandavgad is a ruined city in the present-day Mandav area of the Dhar district. It is located in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh, India, about 35 km from Dhar city. In the 11th century, Mandu was the sub division of the Tarangagadh or Taranga kingdom. A fortress town on a rocky outcrop about 100 km from Indore. The oldest mosque in this area dates from 1405; the finest is the Jama Masjid or great mosque, a notable example of Pashtun architecture.

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The entrance hall at the Jama Masjid or great mosque
in Mandu, April 2016
The Construction of this mosque was started by Sultan Hoshang Shah Ghuri and completed by Mahmud Shah Khilji in 1454 AD.
By far, this is the most majestic building at Mandu. It is said that the builders had designed it after the great mosque of Damascus.



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The main durbar hall of Hindola Mahal, Mandu, April 2016

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He greeted me at the entrance to the Jain temple in Mandu, April 2016


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He honestly was just there…
Mandu, April 2016

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Carrying a heavy load…Mandu, April 2016

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"Should I eat first in the Restaurant or should I check in first? Mandu, April 2016

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The ladies having a break at a small tribal Village near
Mandu, April 2016


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Sunset and silhouette of an ancient Watchtower and Boab tree. Mandu ki Imli, a local parlance
for Baobab seeds, is a special kind of tamarind used by the people of Mandu in the State of
Madhya Pradesh, India. The fruit which looks like papaya is originally the fruit of the Baobab tree
and Mandu is the only place in the whole of Asia where one can found Baobab trees.
Scientifically known as Adansonia the tree is a native of African lands.


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On the road near Mandu April 2016


Even so the heat was still with us exploring this part was a lot more laid back and we had all the area for ourselves, the mammoth crowd had “disappeared” and Mandu become R&R for us, in particular for Hubi and Bob since beer was not an issue anymore.
Now I like to thank Bob, Hubert and Reinhart for the surprise Birthday cake, I really don’t know how they managed it but somehow they got a super nice Cake for me in this remote part of India.

Apparently they had ordered it from another very small town some 35Km away. Thanks a lot guys!

But there was also another cake that Hubi made in the Kitchen at the place we stayed and that one was very different indeed, (fresh Tomatoes with fried eggs over the top and a single candle) but I enjoyed that one too.
I love Tomatoes and my eggs and he knew this only to well. Thanks Hubi.
The cool thing was… I had a great Birthday in a very different and unique place, made only possible by a bunch of good friends.

Thanks my friends for being part of this truly awesome Journey.

GD

Just one more.

…but this is an entirely different story and believe it or not,
it is in Black and White,
oh… I might throw in a bit of color, lets see.



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Access to this facility was almost impossible, but I managed to get in and
we had the rare opportunity to photograph a leather tannery.
More soon…


Additional equipment info:
I used for the entire trip the MFT -
Panasonic Lumix GH4 and the GX8

See below a list of lenses I carried with me on this trip,
but about 70% of the time I used the Lumix G Vario
12-35mm f:2.8. with the GX8.

The ISO varied under normal condition
between 200 and 800 ISO In some cases I had
no choice but to go up
to ISO 3200 and I am very impressed with
the results. The Noise which is little up
to 3200 ISO looks more like a nice film grain
and I like that a lot.

I also tested on this trip the
New Leica DG
Vario-Elmar 100-400mm
handheld all the time
and never going beyond 400 ISO on the GX8
Here the Dual stabilizer made really all the
difference, this is truly an excellent Lens.

Other Lenses I carried on this trip included the:

Leica DG Nocticron 42.5 f 1.2
-
I totally love this one! One day I just took this one
out for the whole day
and nothing else using it with the GX8

Everything fitted nicely in one small bag including my
MacBook Proand I also pushed myself in bringing along
only little clothing everything was hand carried luggage
and traveling became easy.


My other Companions:

LUMIX G Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH
(superb)
Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH
(great all a-rounder)
Lumix G Vario 12-35mm f/2.8
(
totally awesome)
Lumix G 20mm f/1.7
(just so small but yet so sharp)
Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4.0
(excellent wide angle)



Photography: Watercolor the spontaneous and fluid look in water reflecting an array of colors

"Watercolor" the spontaneous and fluid look in water…


It has been a while since my last Blog post and today I like to share with you images of one of my favorite subjects "Watercolor" and pure reflections, see below a selection of images from different Countries.

I treasure water, the gift of our Planet to all living beings, without we can't sustain Life. It is easily the most precious liquid on earth, unfortunately it is also abused and seldom appreciated. During my travels in the arid regions of Australia I truly learned how to conserve this precious liquid, careful not wasting a drop.

I have also created a NEW Gallery in my PhotoShelter Archives where you can find many more images from my Journey through
"Watercolors and Reflections."



"My Watercolor" is like life, you have to get it right the first time -
there is no second chance. It is a constant movement of colors
and patterns created by the magic liquid called water.

-Gunther Deichmann


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Ganges River - India
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Inle Lake, Myanmar/Burma
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Bali,Indonesia
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"Watercolor", with all its subtle color and value gradations and its many
welcome surprises, is the perfect medium for capturing mood.

-Ray Hendershot


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Bali,Indonesia
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Varanasi the Ganges River - India
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Goldfish Pond in Bali - Indonesia
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Water supports all our endeavors, from the simple task of making paint flow,
to sustaining life. It is the common denominator that all humanity shares.

-
Sharon Crosbie

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Varanasi the Ganges River - India
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Under the Pier, Bali - Indonesia
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The spontaneous and fluid look in water reflecting an array of colors from
elements above or within only occurs when one observes the colors
with patience waiting for the right light and moment.

-Gunther Deichmann


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Traditional Fisherman at Inle Lake, Myanmar/Burma
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Boracay Island, Philippines
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The flow of water and reflecting colors can be uncontrollable and crazy, but
it is also freedom, an escape, therapy, joy, and, oh yes, very sensuous!
-Angela Lynch


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Under the Pier, Bali - Indonesia
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Pushkar Lake, Rajasthan - India
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Bali, Indonesia
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Bayon Temple - Cambodia
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Wherever there is water there is something reflecting,
it is up to your
imagination how to capture it.
-Gunther Deichmann


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Willow Trees reflecting in a Pond, Koenigslutter - Germany
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Floodplains in Kakadu National Park, Australia
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Bali, Indonesia
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"Watercolor" is an alchemical medium -
colors mixing with water, joining with it, being extended by it -
creating new life where none had been before.

-
Joseph Raffael


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Mangroves, Chuuk Micronesia
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Bali - Indonesia
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Pushkar, Rajasthan - India
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Bali - Indonesia
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Varanasi the Ganges River - India
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Water benefits the ten thousand things and does not oppose them
.
-
Lao Tzu


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The Peace Pagoda at
Lumbini, Nepal and the Birthplace of the Lord Buddha.
Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in 623 B.C.
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"Watercolors"
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Thanks for dropping by my Blog, please take care of our Environment and conserve water.
For more Watercolors, please visit my PhotoShelter site.
GD


Travel Photography: People from all walks of life, teeth or no teeth

People from all walks of life, young and old, they had something
in common… showing me their teeth or NO teeth, happy or sad.


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Happy Street vendor in the Philippines
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He was such a happy guy… Aurangabad, India
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Very sweet and great teeth… Jodhpur, India
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So happy…Bali, Indonesia
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A 78 year old Tibetan Nomad, high on the Tibetan Plateau, Tibet
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He just turned around and smiled…Nepal
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The golden Tooth with a heart shape, Chuuk, Micronesia
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Happy in the rain, Cambodia
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So happy in Bali, Indonesia
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This old lady was a total scream…I almost fell in the water for laughter a real character showing me her "teeth", Cambodia
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Beetle nut has taken its toll, Myanmar/Burma
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Another classic, this time from Sri Lanlka
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"The grin" Dental hygiene at a Monastery, Myanmar/Burma
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"The family Toothbrushes", Jodhpur, India
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Showing me only one tooth…Nepal
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Laughter and fun with price stickers on the Island of Pohnpei, Micronesia
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A high school girl from the Island of Chuuk showing off her nice teeth
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This tribal Australian Aboriginal using his teeth to kill a File Snake the traditional way by putting the head of the snake in his mouth and then given it a sharp jerk breaking the neck of the snake. The fresh water File snake is not venomous and a delicacy amongst the Aboriginals in Northern Australia.
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Sad…A Tamil women approaches our vehicle, Sri Lanka
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Hard working but ever so happy In the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal
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One Tooth…fading-light in the streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka
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"There is a Toothbrush in the wall" - Jodhpur, India
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Happy and clowning around, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Highlights from Sri Lanka and the Thar Desert in India, the Photos and a lot more.

Short summery and some highlights - Information and a selection of images from our recent Journey to
Sri Lanka and the Thar Desert in India,
Feb. / March 2014.

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” –
Moslih Eddin Saadi


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Weaving Carpets at the Narhet village, Rajasthan India

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Women cleaning in the corridors at the Amber Fort
Jaipur, Rajasthan India

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First of all I like to thank all the participants who joined me on this amazing Journey and we certainly discovered at times the undiscovered…thank you all.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” –Lao Tzu


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Sunrise at Nuwara Eliaya, Sri Lanka

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Orange-breasted Green Pigeon (Treron bicincta)Yala National Park Sri Lanka

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I
t has been a week since I returned from a 5 week Journey to Sri Lanka and India, but the Internet sucked, including here since then… getting me even more behind schedule. Ahhh well...

Hopefully while I am typing the connection is not going to let me down again by the time I am ready to upload this post, I just have to cross my fingers…

There was little time or no connection to post anything during my travels but then getting the images in field is much more important and enjoyable, hence the reason for this long overdue post.

I am still in a major editing mode even so Aperture 3 has made my life a lot easier these days, but it is the fine tuning in the end that is time consuming and the decision making is never ending for those images.

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Sri Lankan leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

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I keep the writing fairly brief today, heaps of things to do, the editing from the last trip and catching up with emails. I am also planning new international Workshops and Photo Tours to India in 2014 and working on some excellent destinations for 2015 namely Tibet and Bhutan. I am updating the Calendar on my GD Photo Tours/Workshops shortly with all those amazing new destinations, so please stay tuned.

Please Note: If you like to participate in the amazing and confirmed Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, India scheduled for Nov. 30th - Dec. 12th, 2014 please advise me ASAP since there is only very limited accommodation available and we have to receive your bookings and confirmations way in advance.
The same applies also for the confirmed Photo Tour to the
- Hemis Festival in Ladakh - July 01 - July 12, 2014.

While I am trying to get this all done I have to make a trip to Cebu next week for a Digital Photo Exhibition, Seminars and Workshop at the new Power Mac Center Training facilities. There just not enough hours in the day… grrrrr
______________________________________________


Excerpts from the Cebu announcement below:


(Kicking off the event is the Digital Photo Exhibit featuring published and award-winning images of internationally acclaimed and multi-awarded Australian photographer Gunther Deichmann. The exhibit will be open to the public from 10am to 7pm on April 7 to 10, 2014 at the Power Mac Center Cebu Training Center located at Unit G-2 Ground Floor, Creative IT Center II Bldg., Mindanao Ave., Cebu Business Park, Cebu City.

Following the exhibit is the Photography Training scheduled on April 11 and 12 also at the Power Mac Center Cebu Training Center. The training workshop, conducted by certified Apple Pro Trainer Deichmann, aims to provide participants with hands-on instructions on digital photography fundamentals as well as troubleshooting ideas for managing photos on Apple devices.)
For more details please contact the PMC at:
Power Mac Center Cebu Office, call 0908-8856277 or email
aatc@powermaccenter.com

Also more info at PHOTOiNEWS

_________________________________________________________


“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Henry Miller


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Grey langur monkey, Yala National Park Sri Lanka

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But now back to our recent Journey to Sri Lanka and the Thar Desert in India, everything went just great and all the Participants managed to get some amazing images.

In Sri Lanka we had some great wildlife shooting opportunities including the sighting of some 5 elusive Sri Lankan Leopards in one day alone, plus a vast number of amazing birds, Elephants, Mongoose etc. etc.
But we visited also some great cultural sites and had a breathtaking sunrise high in the mountain. I might add, getting up at 2:30AM was not so inspiring but in the end worth every bit of it.

A few weeks later we traveled from Sri Lanka to India into the fascinating Thar Desert which is teaming with wildlife, amazing Culture, a rich history, friendly people and vibrant colors all around us. And the truly amazing experience for everyone in the group when we confronted thousand of migratory Demoiselle
cranes in the Thar Desert.

In due time I post a few more short articles, relating specifically to certain areas and talk about first hand experiences.

During the entire Journey I only used the Lumix GH3 and the new GX7 with a variety of lenses including the amazing 100 to 300mm lens for most of the wildlife images. (35mm equivalent to 200 – 600mm) More info on the Camera performance later, but I can state already they performed exceptional well in all situations.

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”
- James Michener



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Holi Festival in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India

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Novice Monk at a remote Buddhist Monastery, Sri Lanka

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On a more personal note I certainly did enjoy the company of all participants, we had some very early mornings, late evenings but somehow managed to have a little fun in between.

Also a nice
Déjà vu since I had not done much wildlife photography for a long time, I actually started my Photography in Kakadu National Park, Australia, and Sri Lanka was a nice welcome back to the old days.


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Sri Lankan Elephants, Yala National Park Sri Lanka

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Towards the end of April when I have caught my breath again I post some of the shorter articles, so please do drop by and check out my Blog for the updates.

I hope YOU enjoy all those images I posted today a small selection from this truly amazing Journey.

GD

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Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

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Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

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Sigiriya - Kassapa Lions Rock Habarana, Sri Lanka

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In the streets of Virindavan, India
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Holi Festival in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India

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Rat Temple - Karni Mata, Rajasthan, India

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Bikaner, Rajasthan, India

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Thar Desert, India

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At the banks of the Yamuna river, Virindavan India
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Village in the Thar Desert Rajasthan, India

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Streets of Jaipur Rajasthan, India

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Interesting light patters and view towards the Jain Temple, as seen
through a small window from a staircase in Jaisalmer, Thar Desert, India


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Carrying a heavy load in the village pottery,
Thar Desert Rajasthan, India


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Keeping the fire going, village pottery, Thar Desert Rajasthan, India

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Migratory Demoiselle cranes, Thar Desert Rajasthan, India

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In the streets of Jaisalmer Thar Desert, India

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Sunrise at the Taj Mahal and fog rising from the Yamuna river, Agra India

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Sunrise over the Yamuna river, Agra India

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“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” - Jawaharial Nehru