One Love


Well, when I saw this week’s Photo prompt, I thought of the song One Love by the band Blue, and somehow, of this photograph that I clicked at Sagrada Famรญlia, Barcelona.

The lines, the textures, the light, the shadow, the pose — I love all of it, and I didn’t do many edits here: just burning and some cropping.

The face of Nandi

On our visit to Lepakshi a few months ago, my friends and I stopped at a sculpture of Nandi on the way. Nandi is the bull that serves as the mount of Lord Shiva. Usually, temples dedicated to Shiva have a statue of Nandi as well in them; there are also sites dedicated solely to Nandi. This is one such monolithic sculpture. I’m impressed with how the curves and contours of the bull’s face are carved in the stone, not to mention the repetitive details in his adornments and ornaments. Though I love the colored original, I’m (as usual) partial to this more contrasty monochrome version.

I’ve submitted this one to the themed Monochrome Madness of this month, ‘Curves‘. I did feel uncertain about this picture at first and wondered if I should look for a different one, but on second thought, I did (and still do) appreciate how many curves there are in this statue, so I just hit ‘Send’ in the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do head over to Leanne Cole’s post for more submissions!



This is at Banteay Srei, Cambodia. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is built of red sandstone, which gives it its beautiful color. I experimented with HDR for this picture, and though I’m not usually a fan of HDR that is at the extreme end, I can’t believe that the more extreme version was the one I liked for this temple! I still don’t really dig the way it looks at the upper edges of the temple. The sky made the edges jarring, and further processing made it seep into them; I retained the seepy version. (I think I should take a tripod with me on my next vacation. Or maybe I should inlay my own sky. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I’m blown away by the details in the rest of the structure, though.

Eventually, I tried this HDR version on a few other architecture photographs that I brought back from that vacation; I liked some, and some I didn’t. I’m still experimenting…

The lions of Pre Rup

Lions of Pre Rup
During my recent vacation to Cambodia with friends, we visited quite a few historical / archaeological sites; Pre Rup was one such temple. From what I learned, the Cambodians apparently associate this place with cremation rituals, though not much is known about why that is so. What I found interesting here is the presence of pairs of lions that flank stairway entrances — these are supposed to be guardian lions. I think they still look majestic, and couldn’t resist clicking their pictures whenever I could see them while strolling around the temple’s perimeter!

This is a processed version of one of those photographs, which I’ve submitted to Leanne Cole for her Monochrome Madness weekly series. (Do visit her post if you’d like to see some fantastic monochrome photographs.)


Temple prahara (courtyard)
I’d been on a day trip last weekend with girl friends — we visited the historical temple complex at Lepakshi, just 120km from Bangalore. It was fun, and we clicked (and posed for) a lot of photographs in the serene place. I’ve still not processed most of the photographs that I clicked, and feel guilty that I’ve not shared them with my friends yet — especially since one of those friends has very promptly shared the ones that she clicked. I’ve just not been able to catch up with things this week; even this post is delayed and I’m writing it in a hurry. I’m hoping that I’ll get to it in the next couple of days.

So this picture is (the only) one that I did process — a part of the temple courtyard. It’s a panorama that I converted to monochrome, with some split toning to add that additional depth. It goes without saying that I’ve submitted it to Leanne Cole for this week’s Monochrome Madness. ๐Ÿ™‚

Knock, knock!


A door at the historical site, Chitradurga Fort

Doors are such fascinating structures. I don’t know why I’m drawn to them — probably because the proverbial grass is always greener on the other side, and a door is a means to get to that other side. Photographing doors reminds me of my sister’s Pinterest board of windows and doors — I’d really like to visit some of the places pinned in her board just to click those doors! ๐Ÿ˜› Maybe one day…

Asymmetrical symmetry

Who isn’t fascinated by symmetry? I know I’m drawn to it. But after a while, clicking symmetrical pictures gets repetitive. When that happened to me, I stopped clicking the ‘same old same old’ pictures because I just didn’t feel anything new when I saw those pictures.

In time, I learned to change the way I see things. I’m back to capturing symmetry, but now I make sure there’s something different, something asymmetrical, about the capture. I personally feel I appreciate the objects of these photographs better because the symmetry doesn’t overpower the object itself.

Symmetry in a ceiling

Symmetry in a ceiling

I clicked this at a cathedral in Madrid standing slightly off-centre below the ceiling. Do you think this gives a different perspective to the scene than if I’d stood right below the centre?

One Four Challenge — The Path 4, Night light

This is the final version of my photograph in a very fun and experiment-filled month for the One Four Challenge series hosted by Robyn. After last week‘s color splash, I decided to do a muted-color version of the path that I clicked at Chitradurga.

While I was trying out things, I had this thought on making a ‘night’ version of the scenery, with all discernible colors dulled and replaced with some sort of moonlight effect. And this is what I came up with –

Path -- Night light

Path — Night light

I think this is the darkest the picture has been, and the most highlighted the path has ever been, and I feel that together, they skew the shot somewhat. Well, I’m consoled by the fact that I at least got the night effect that I was aiming for… ๐Ÿ™‚

The How:

I duplicated the image layer in Grain extract mode at 65% opacity, and applied ‘Difference of Gaussians’
edge detection on it. (Yes, I’ve used edge detection for an earlier version too, albeit with different settings. I think I’ve to make a conscious decision to not use it much next time.) I then added a layer in Multiply mode at 85% opacity, and filled it with blue. Finally, I added a layer in Soft light mode, and filled it with white — that brightened the scenery and made the glow on the stone, the grass and the path more prominent. Evidently, I like how that glow turned out! ๐Ÿ˜€

Earlier images

Path -- sepia tones ย  Path -- monochrome textures ย  Path 3 - Color splash

The original version is very, very similar to the first photograph (I did minimal editing there) so I’m not going to post it this time. However, if you’d like to tell me which of these four versions you like most, I’m all ears!

One Four Challenge — The Path 3, Color Splash

Yet another week, yet another post for the One Four Challenge series hosted by Robyn. ๐Ÿ™‚ I continue from last week‘s photograph of a path to a structure at Chitradurga that I processed as a monochrome of stony (and other) textures.

This time, I’d thought of bringing the focus to the grass and plants abundant around the structure. What I’d wanted was to highlight only the grassy colors in the photograph, and make the rest of the picture subdued. The grass in this photograph, though, is vague and hazy at most places, and really distinct at some other spots; and no matter what I did, the colors either did not stand out much from the rest of the scenery, or stood out so much that it marred the picture. So I decided that I would deviate from the original plan and instead, introduce splashes of color to the plain, boring green that I’d wanted to highlight.


Path — two-tone with color splash

After playing around in GIMP, this is what came closest to what I had in mind. Now the color splash makes the picture reminiscent of spring, and not the original cloudy, rainy day! ๐Ÿ˜›

The How:

I duplicated the image layer in Value mode at 65% opacity, and mapped it to two tones with a threshold that I liked the result of. This gives a black and white image — not with shades of gray, this has just the two colors black and white. (The higher you set the threshold, the blacker the image is.) Let’s call this Image #1.

I then duplicated Image #1, restored the black-and-white layer to 100% opacity, and merged both layers into one. I selected all of the green colored areas in this layer, and filled them with bright green. I then copied the selection and pasted it as a new layer in Image #1 in Grain extract mode at 65% opacity. The pink had already started showing! ๐Ÿ™‚

I now selected the opaque areas in this layer again. (An easy way to do this is to select by color, since all of the opaque areas are bright green now.) Keeping the selection intact, I shifted focus to the original (bottom-most) layer. I copied the selection from here and pasted it as a new layer in Burn mode at 85% opacity to make the reds emerge. Done.

Earlier images

Path Path

One Four Challenge — The Path II — Monochrome

This post continues from my first entry for this month’s One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn. This time, I wanted to focus more on the stone of the structure itself, and the stone wall behind it. I know — this, when the title for this series is ‘The Path.’ Well, what can I say? ๐Ÿ™‚ Only that the path will still feature in all of the pictures this month; taking it away makes the picture look incomplete to me.


During some very fun experiments, I found that I liked this monochrome version. Well, that means I’m also submitting it to Leanne Cole and Laura Macky’s Monochrome Madness series, hosted at Leanne’s. Of course, this picture looks very processed, and that’s alright. I like the sharpness of the stones in the wall and the altered texture of… almost everything, really.

I’m mostly on Linux, and I use ImageMagick for simple processing, and the impressive GIMP for anything that deviates from easy with ImageMagick. For this picture, I cropped the image at the bottom for a 5:3 aspect ratio, and converted it to grayscale. To exaggerate the texture, I added a duplicated layer above it in Divide mode with 50% opacity. I embossed this layer, performed edge detection using Prewitt Compass algorithm, and applied a Gaussian blur to soften the edges slightly.

Earlier images

The One Four Challenge

This month, I’m participating in the One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn. In short, this challenge involves processing a photograph four ways, and posting each week about each kind of processing that we did. And I’ve decided (after a very quick search) to use this photograph of an unknown structure and the path leading to it. I clicked this on a cloudy-and-rainy day at the Chitradurga Fort, a historical site in Karnataka, India.

Path This time, I’ve done precious little in terms of processing. I brightened it some and added a bit of contrast (the usual), then added a semi-transparent layer of sepia for the slight brownish tinge.

I have to admit that I only have a couple of processing ideas for this photograph so far. (Shhh!) I’m hoping that inspiration strikes at the right moments. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reach for the sky

Rise Up to the Sky

Mosque-Cathedral of Cรณrdoba

That’s what I felt when I photographed this tall tower, a part of the Mosque-Cathedral at Cรณrdoba, Spain. The tower is tall, yes, but it looks reeaally tall here since I was standing almost at its foot. The converging lines of the building’s outline seem to be reaching for the sky. I also like the halo around the building from the Sun behind it.

[Update: Looks like the deadly pingback plague has struck my blog too — my entry hasn’t appeared in this week’s Daily Post challenge. Apparently, the WP staff’s working on it, but there’s no date for resolution yet. Sigh, these issues are annoying.]