My Trip to North Berwick

North Berwick is a small town just 40 miles off Edinburgh and is definitely not as crowded as Edinburgh which is a good thing. Just off North Berwick are a few small islands such as Bass Rock and the Isle of May.

Bass Rock Island

Isle of May is home to rabbits, puffins, guillemots, fulmars, eider ducks, oyster catchers, gulls and a few other birds. Sometimes you may spots seals basking on the rocks. Bass Rock island is home to gannets, the entire landscape of Bass Rock is colonized by gannets, over a million. There is the Scottish Seabird Centre which looks after the welfare of these birds mainly through the support of volunteers and they also organize boat trips to these islands.

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Trip to Edinburgh May 2018

Edinburgh in Scotland is a nice city with so much going on but with so many tourists, it gets very crowded. It is a good place to visit but if one wants to avoid the crowds, then the best time is in winter. It is a mix between traditional and modern architecture.

Edinburgh castle

However there is lots to do for all age groups from kids to adults. This trip was mainly a family visit and was long train journey from Birmingham to Edinburgh. We stayed at self catering accommodation at Corstorphine which is a suburb of Edinburgh. Self-catering is a good option if one does not like to eat out all the time. Here it feels like you are at home even when on vacation. On some days we used to get a taxi but also there is good and reliable public transport which saves alot of money.

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Why use back button focusing?

Shot using Sony Ultra XA2
Here I use both the AF-ON and * button to focus on moving or still subject

Back button focusing is taking focusing away from the shutter button and assigns it to one of the buttons on the back of the DSLR. Focusing using the back button of the DSLR is a very useful feature. It can be used to shoot moving subjects as well as still subjects. With the shutter button half pressed in AI Servo mode, it will refocus each time as the camera tracks the moving subject and this results in a lot of wasted out of focus images and one will need to switch from “One Shot” mode to “AI Servo” and vice versa (Canon cameras) when subject stops and starts moving randomly. There is no point in the camera having a high frame rate if it simply cannot lock focus using the shutter button and this reason is enough to use the back button to lock focus.

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Keoladeo National Park Experience

Early morning at Keoladeo

I had visited Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur last December of 2017. It is not very far from Noida, a 4 hours drive. However it took me over 6 hours to reach the guesthouse where I had arranged to stay due to some traffic congestion. I arrived just after 10pm where the owner was nice enough to provide dinner after settling in my room. I had stayed at Kiran Guest House for the next 4 nights.

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Photo Walking Safari at Chitwan National Park

After Mera Peak trek and climb, I still had a few days in Nepal so had decided to visit Chitwan National Park in Sauraha district. I wanted my trip to be different compared to what regular tourists do when they visit Chitwan National Park. I was wanting to arrange a walking safari within Chitwan. Rajan Khatri from Visit Himalaya Treks was very helpful in organizing this trip. I was set to stay in Chitwan for 3 nights.

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Climbing Mera Peak and Double Mountaineering Boots

Mera Peak summit

After trekking and climbing for a number of years, I wanted to do something more challenging and opted to climb Mera Peak a 6476m peak in the Himalayas. However it is a non technical climb, it does require determination and endurance as one would be climbing in extreme cold temperatures upto -15C and at high altitude. I had organized a solo trek and climb to Mera Peak starting and ending at Phaplu.

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How to shoot sunsets?

There are a number of ways to shoot sunsets. Here I will talk about how to shoot HDR sunsets. A tripod may be required depending on the shutter speed. All that needs to be done is bracket 3 different shots at different exposure levels and merge them in Lightroom or Photoshop. One shot will be underexposed at for example -2EV, one shot overexposed at +2EV and one at standard 0EV.

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How to Shoot in Bulb Mode?

ISO-100 f/8 172.3 sec

If one wants to shoot long exposures of over 30 seconds then it will be necessary to shoot in bulb mode. What bulb mode allows us to do is to increase the shutter time from 30 seconds to infinity and for this task, we need a steady tripod, an ND filter and a remote release shutter cable. With an ND filter, we will know how much light we are blocking and then it becomes easier to calculate the new shutter speed. For example when composing the initial frame, if the shutter is 1/4 second and aperture is set to f/11, on using a 10 stop ND filter will increase the shutter to 4 minutes 16 seconds. For this we will need a shutter remote.

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