And it was all yellow

If I were musically inclined I would have certainly started singing Yellow; or woven words together like Sting about The Fields of Gold. Or like the author of A Sea of Poppies written a historical saga about love, money and opium.

But being a poor wordsmith, I could only take my camera out and try to capture the hillsides covered with yellow sunflowers.


In November when the cool breeze begins to blow, the green hills turn golden as the Mexican sunflowers blossom. During this period, if you travel from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son by Highway 108, you will be fascinated by a sea of golden Mexican sunflowers blooming along both sides of the road over the rolling hills for miles.


Unfortunately it was unseasonably hot this year, and the sunflowers were barely there. But to my city dwellers eyes, the little which was there was a marvel to behold.There were green fields, blue skies, smooth roads ahead and rolling hills behind and around me. The bees were buzzing and I had I could only marvel at the beauty all around me.

But no I couldn’t sing Yellow.




Meandering Around Minara Masjid

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Revisiting the area around Minara Mosque in Crawford Market was the same yet different this year. For one, it was not raining which was a positive relief to me. Carrying an expensive DSLR camera around in pouring rain wasn’t an experience I was looking forward to.

All of you, who are new to this page, must be puzzled already by the oblique references. You can go back to an earlier post aptly named “Twelve Pots A Simmering” for more details. I was in the streets near Crawford Market in Bombay where during Ramzan food stalls crop up and swell in size as they get ready to serve the devout Muslims breaking their fasts after sundown. The virtual cornucopia of food attracts foodies irrespective of their religion, bloggers intent on covering the nuances of this eat street and photographers keen to photograph it all.

I claim membership of the last three groups and had plenty to keep me occupied. The food was delicious and the glow of the bare bulbs cast interesting shadows as I tried to capture the spirit of the place.

We didn’t go for the quails this time but there was plenty for the carnivores. Beef, mutton, chicken in various forms all lovingly coated with a thick layer of oil accompanied by tandoori or roomali rotis (flat breads) and parathas . There was kidney, trotters and tongue for the adventurous and desserts galore.

A stomach filled to dangerous levels prevented me from trying out the delicious biriyani but didn’t stop me from making the obligatory visit to Suleiman Mithaiwala. From the previous year I remembered that the malpua (a kind of deep-fried pancake) was too eggy for me, but the delicious mango and saffron phirnis (rice puddings) didn’t let me down. With a promise to be back again I wrapped up this three-hour food and photography marathon.

Chinese and Grill is one of the well-known restaurants of this area and a special mention has to be made of the extremely colourful, but of dubious authenticity, dish of Thread Chicken these young men were obviously enjoying. Enough to keep the cash registers ringing through the night.

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The Magic of HDR (TMH)


The Magic of HDR (TMH)

Theia Photography presents The Magic of HDR – a workshop by UMESH DAUNDKAR on High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography.

If you have been wondering what HDR is, what you need to start, and how to create it or if you are not happy with your efforts at creating HDR images which get more bouquets than brickbats, this is the workshop for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What separates TMH from other workshops?

• It’s the time and attention we put into each workshop to see that you have the most amazing experience of a lifetime. The course content is thoroughly discussed and then finalized just before the workshop keeping in mind the skill levels of the participants. The mentors have years of experience in their respective fields and spend considerable time and effort to ensure that the content is easy to understand and pertinent to your needs.

What can I expect to learn on your workshop?

• Introduction to HDR;
• Concept and technical details about HDR;
• When to go for HDR;
• How to take HDR photos in camera (RAW);
• Application of HDR Techniques – Landscapes, Architecture & Portraits;
• Introduction to various software for building HDR photos;
• Work process in 2 major HDR applications; and
• Tips and tricks for natural looking HDR.

When is the workshop being held?

• Sunday, 18 May 2014 from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Where is the workshop being held?

• The workshop will be held at a studio near Andheri. Final details will be intimated a week before the workshop.

How much does it cost to be a part TMH?

• Your investment for the workshop will be Rs 2,500 inclusive of guidance by the mentors, course materials, a working lunch & tea/coffee.

How can I pay for your workshop?

  • Cheques payable to “Debi Sen Gupta” can be deposited at any branch or drop-box of Citibank. If you are depositing at a drop-box, please ensure that it’s meant for bank accounts and not for credit card payments. Also mention the account number at the back of the cheque.
  • A direct transfer can be done to the bank as per following details:
    • Account Name:       Debi Sen Gupta
    • Bank:                     Citibank
    • Account Number:   5249603114
    • Branch:                  Fort, Mumbai
    • IFSC Code:             CITI0100000
  • Do you offer any discounts? Can we book as a group?

    • We are offering an early bird discount of 10% if you pay by 3 May 2014. Group booking will receive a discount depending on the size of the group. Please talk to us for more details.

    Do I absolutely need to bring a laptop with me? What about software?

    • A laptop is important for the demonstration as you can practice what’s being demonstrated immediately. In case you can’t carry a laptop, please take extensive notes.
    • If you are carrying a laptop, please load it with :
    • Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop CC ( OR
    • Photomatix ( OR
    • Nik EXEF Pro ( AND
    • 3 Bracketed images which can be used for practice and review.

    What if I don’t know very much about HDR?

    • A basic knowledge of the use of a DSLR camera is essential for this course. Our workshops include photographers with varied experience, which makes the workshops more interesting and rewarding. The less you know, the harder we work. You’ll even be surprised how much you will learn from other students who are attending as well.

    We hope this was helpful.

    Please email us or call Debi Sen Gupta ( / + 91 98190 00347). We will be happy to assist you. To find out more about us please check out and

    We look forward to seeing you at The Magic of HDR

    The Grumpy Gourmet

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    The Grumpy Gourmet is a unique Old World European-style shop specializing in artisanal and imported cheeses, preservative free pastries, authentic croissants, baguettes and breads, as well as many gourmet pantry items. We also offer charcuterie and pâtés to order.

    Sampling is a key part of the TGG experience. Customers are encouraged to sample the cheeses as well as a number of products on the shelves. We try to create a very interactive experience for our customers, sharing the stories about who made these products and how, as well as offering ideas on ways to use them.Tasting & awareness sessions are a regular part of the shop’s activities.

    The store will be open on 1st March 2014 at Powai. Its an AC outlet with mall parking close by.

    100 Heera Panna Shoping Centre, Ground Floor, A S Marg, Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 400076

    No Plastic Zone

    Here are a few more pictures taken in and around Calcutta last month. These are from the airport, Victoria Memorial (VM) and Babughat or the promenade along the Hooghly river.

    I was impressed by how clean Calcutta looked this time. Frequent signs announced VM and Babughat as no plastic zones and the effect was clearly visible. The water bodies in VM were clean and free of algae. The riverside wasn’t littered, it was well-lit and piped music was playing.

    But somewhere inside me I wished the old Babughat was there. No lights, no music but yes I would still like it cleaner.

    Nearly forgot to mention that this last picture has been taken outside a restaurant which sells the most divine pork momos, thukpa and the works. If you want to know the secret you must message me.