Friday, December 30, 2011

Dance, Theater & Public Events, Best of 2011 Pics

Colours, costumes and crowds make for great photography possibilities. I especially like to click pictures with stage lights and whirling movements of dances. 2011 gave different opportunities for clicking pictures of dances, theater and big public events. The three most important events were - international youth festival in Delhi, the Venice carnival and the Par Tot summer festival of Bologna.

So here is my selection of some of my favourite images from 2011.

(1) Street theater, Brazil: The first image is of street theater in Belem, the capital of Parà state in Brazil. We had just reached Belem that day, and Luis Agusto, our host in Belem had taken us to the old port for dinner. Finding the performance of street theater had been a pleasant surprize.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(2) Folkdancers from Karnataka: The second image is of folkdancers from Karnataka. I had just arrived in Bangalore and on my way from the airport to the hotel, I had seen the group of dancers from the taxi. So I had quickly checked in, left the luggage in my room and quickly ran back to the place where I had seen the dancers. It was the inauguration of all India kabaddi championships.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(3) Blind dancers and the dance of lights: The next image is again from Bangalore (India). A group of blind students from Sri Raman Maharishi blind Academy had come to dance. Their bharatnatyam with candles was breath-taking.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(4) International Youth Festival of Delhi: The next three images are from the International Youth Festival in Delhi. The groups are - odissi dancers students of Harekrishna Behera, Abhimanyu dance drama by Mahendra Rawat and group, and students of Sadhu Vaswani International school doing kathak dance.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(7) Venice Carnival: The next four images are from carnival in Venice. It was a wonderful experience with incredible masks and costumes. From the hundreds of pictures I had clicked that day, it is difficult to select a few for showing here.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(11) Bologna Carnival: The next image is from Bologna carnival. It was more of an event for children with some colourful floats.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(12) Readings on the River festival: As part of the summer festival, there were some events along the river with theater, music and readings from different writers. I liked the short play about homeless persons enacted under the bridge where often homeless emigrants sleep.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(13) American Astronauts: Another public event in Bologna was the visit of some American astronauts, who held a public meeting in the beautiful Sala Borsa building of the central library. I had goneto the library to return some books and was surprized by the large number of young people who had come to listen to the astronauts.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(14) Protests against Berlusconi: 2011 was the year of massive public protests in Italy asking for resignation of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who resisted as long as he could, till he was finally forced by the economic crisis.

This same period had the Anna Hazare protests against corruption in India.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(15) Another important anti-Berlusconi moment in Bologna was organized by Michele Santoro, a TV journalist. Santoro was thrown out of the state run TV channel RAI for his anti-Berlusconi stance and as a protest he organised a web-based TV transmission in a park in Bologna. Thousands of persons had turned up in the park to show their solidarity to Santoro. During the event, among others, Roberto Begnini also turned up to show his support to Santoro.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(16) Bharatnatyam by students of Alessandra Pizza at the Vecchia Son dance festival. I really liked the red and black costumes they had chosen for this show.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(17) Par Tot Summer Festival of Bologna: The last four images are all from the Par Tot summer festival of Bologna. With almost 3000 participants, including many Italian and international students, the festival presented a huge variety of dances and costumes. My personal favourites were a small group of persons dressed as Avatar/Pandora inhabitants and the group with green and black faces.

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best dance and public events pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

So did you like my selection of pictures related to dances, theaters and public events? If you are asked to choose one image, which one would you choose?

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best of Art & Culture Pics, 2011

The digital camera and my frequent journeys mean that I have lot of opportunities to click pictures. A very small part of those pictures end up in a blog-post about the journey or on my photoblog, but most of the time, they are for my personal pleasure.

Thus, this year I have decided to present a few samples of those additional images, by selecting those images that have a special meaning for me or that I like a lot. Thus, yesterday, I presented the my Best of Nature and Wildlife pics from 2011. Today I am presenting my Best of Art and Culture pics of 2011.

(1) Images from Prague in Czech Republic: I want to start with a few pictures from Prague. The city is incredibly rich for appreciating wonderful examples of art, culture, history and architecture.

This first image is of the monument to the victims of communist regime. The broken up human beings on the stairs, surrounded by lush green gardens is very powerful.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(2) The second image from Prague is that of a group of socialist or Soviet style statues from the opera building in centre of the city. I have seen similar statues of healthy and happy looking peasants in different countries of ex-Soviet union and in countries like China and Mongolia.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(3) The next three pictures are all of sculptures by Anna Chromy from the city of Prague. It was love at first sight for me, on a rainy afternoon when I had seen her blind-folded musicians dancing to a silent music.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(6) This last image from Prague is from the Kampa museum.

Even with these six pictures from Prague, actually I feel that I am not doing justice to Prague and I could have added so many other images of sculptures and buildings.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(7) The next image is from the old city of Goias Velho in Brazil. I find the statue and the city square very Portuguese in its conception, and yet the presence of Amerindians living here and the black slaves brought here from Africa contributed something intangible and at the same time, concrete, to the character of this city.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(8) 2011 was for me, the year of discovery of Bidar in Karnataka. In terms of architecture, art and culture, I think that Bidar is a jewel of a city with the wonderful fort. The pictures below are of the other two special heritage sites that I liked - Khwaja Gawan madrassa and the beautiful Bareed Shahi park.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(10) In 2011, finally I could satisfy another of my long standing wish, to visit the Hampi ruins. It was a brief visit under a scorching sun and I didn't get the time to go down to Tungabhadra river. Still I am glad that I had this opportunity. It is a magical place.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(11) In 2011, I had 3 brief visits to London (UK). However, even though the visits were brief, I was determined to visit those parts of the city that I had not seen before. The next five pictures are from those visits - from Greenwich metro station, maritime museum, the women in the second world war monument, a statue near covent garden and the Victoria and Albert museum.

London is another incredibly rich city for art and culture lovers and I have so many wonderful memories from its museums and parks.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011


Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(16) The next picture is from Geneva in Switzerland. I also visited Geneva three times in 2011 and they were all short visits. Yet, in spite of the briefness of my stay, I used every small opportunity to explore the city. The combination of art installations and an extraordinary variety of flowers along the left bank of Le Man lake, made for a very pleasant experience.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(17) In 2011, I also discovered the Bologna's master sculpture Nicola Zamboni. The next picture presents one of his terracotta statues from Villa Spada in Bologna. I absolutely love these statues and can gaze at them spellbound for hours. In my opinion, they are pure magic.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(18) The next picture presents an exhibition of bronze and metallic statues with medieval warriors and women from Europe and Middle East by Nicola Zamboni and Sara Bolzani. It was another unforgettable art experience of this year for me.
Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(19) Sculptures by Mirella Guasti: I had seen works of Mirella Guasti for many years but somehow they did not make that impression on me till this year. Suddenly in 2011, I started looking at her work with new eyes and found them very beautiful. You can admire her work in the next picture.

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(20) This last image is by another Italian artist called Ericailcane. A rebel artist who became known by his graffiti art on the Bologna city walls, he uses giant figures of animals to provoke new sensations. The sculpture of the giant cat looking hungrily at a big box of fish is called "Cor Dubbium Habbeo" (My heart has doubts).

Best of Art and Culture pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

I hope that you have liked my selection of my best images from 2011 on art and culture.

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You can see more of my images at Kalpana Image Archives.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best of Nature & Wildlife Pics 2011

This was a wonderful year for my photography. My main interest is in taking pictures of ordinary people and daily lives. However, whenever I get a chance, I also like taking pictures of nature, flowers, plants, animals and birds.

I have a simple Nikon SLR D40 and I don't use any special macro lenses.

My two key moments in 2011 regarding nature-wild life photography were a visit to Mangal Das Graças in Belem (Brazil) and a visit to Delhi zoo (India). Actually zoos with caged animals and birds are the opposite of wild life but I like Delhi zoo, as it has so many open areas with huge spaces, and lot of migratory birds that come here in the winters.

From all the nature and wild life pictures that I clicked in 2011, here is a selection of 20 images that I really like.

(1) Curcuma in Kanakpura, India: I was at TRDC, a vocational training centre for disabled guys where they learn about agriculture and animal husbandry. It is run by Sri Ramana Maharishi Academy for Blind of Bangalore. Students here grow different crops. I was there for a meeting.

During the lunch break, I was walking in the fields, when I saw Chander following me. He is deaf and thus, we talked through gestures. He dug out a piece of the root of curcuma (haldi) to show it to me and I was really thrilled. I had never seen fresh curcuma before.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(2) Flowers and the butterfly: The next picture is also from TRDC in Kanakpura. During a coffee break, I saw two butterflies around some salmon pink colured flowers (called Ixora - name courtsey, Gughuni Basuti :)). Part of the wings of the butterflies were of a similar colour. I cautiously crept closer and managed to click the picture of one of them.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(3) Orchid gardens of Manila: The third image is from Manila (Philippines). We were staying in the middle of the city and I was busy in running a workshop and then coordinating different meetings. Thus there was little time to go out and explore the city. Still one morning I managed to visit an orchid garden. Though I didn't see any orchid flowers, the views of placid water in the canal were beautiful.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(4) Wild life from Amazon: The next 6 pictures are all from Mangal Das Graças, a beautiful wildlife oasis on Amazon river in Belem (Parà state, Brazil). Pheasants, herons, scarlett ibis, iguanas, colourful macaws, etc., there was so much to admire in this place. I was especially fascinated by the macaws, who seemed to have specific personalities and looked at me disdainfully.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(10) Monkey and the ancient tomb: The next image is from Tughlakabad in Delhi. It was a foggy morning and we were visiting the tomb of the Tughlak emperor from 13th century, when through a slit in the tower, I saw this monkey sitting on a tree outside.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(11) Autumn in Bologna: For nature and wild life photography, there are so many opportunities closer to our home, like this picture of yellowing autumn leaves. I took this picture one morning in the garden next to our home when I had taken our dog out for his morning walk.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(12) Moss and lichen: One of the wonderful experiences in 2011 was to go out for a nature discovery walk with Marco Colombari, who explained about inter-connections between plants, trees, birds, animals and human beings, and took us to discover an old sacred forest in the middle of the city. I love the bright colours of moss and lichen of this picture.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(13) Libelia Sifilitica: During a visit to Geneva (Switzerland) I went to visit the botanical gardens. Some ten years ago, I had lived in Geneva for a few months and at that time I had been to visit these botanical gardens many times. Going back to the gardens after ten years was wonderful for discovering so many medicinal plants like Libelia Sifilitica that was used for treating Syphilis before the antibiotics.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(14) Wild life from Delhi zoo: Next five images are from a visit to Delhi zoo. The images are of black necked stork, kite, great hornbill, lion and painted stork. I love painted storks and can look at them for hours without getting tired, and I had gone to the zoo especially, to look at them.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011
best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011
best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011
best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011
best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(19) Migratory birds in Kakkere Bellur: While coming back from Mandya, someone proposed that we visit the Kakkere Bellur village in Maddur sub-district. Here migratory birds come and live in the village trees, in harmony with people living there. Villagers are very protective towards the birds and say proudly that their daughters have come home for child-birth.

best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

(20) Sun flowers: This last image is of a variety of sun-flowers from a park in Geneva. I loved their beautiful colours and their satiny look.
best of nature and wildlife pictures - S. Deepak, 2011

So what do you think of my selection of the best nature and wild-life clicks of 2011? Which one do you like more?

If you want to see more of my photographs, take a look at my picture archives on Kalpana.

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