Thursday, October 26, 2006


I took a break this weekend and went to Hampi. I shot things that weren't alive! The first is the Kadlekalu Ganesha temple on Hemakuta hill by night. The other the pretty stepped tank. The third shot is the Virupaksha tower at dusk.

I even shot pictures of human beings.

And I even managed to wake up early in the morning!

OK, just for those people who want to go at some point. We got a lot of help from the internets, so heres some in return. We took a train, the Hampi Express to Hospet from Bangalore and were there at 6:10ish in the morning. Walked to Hospet bus stand which is about a 10 mins walk away and got a bus to Hampi almost instantly. When we got to Hampi, we were instantly accosted by folks pushing their lodges. We'd heard of Padmas lodge which is just a minute away, she had a decent room and roof which overlooks Hemakuta hill, so we took it. Theres water all day long, but no hot water. If you want that you have to ask for it. But even in October its hot so you don't really need it. Got a Kinetic for about Rs. 150, took 1.5l of fuel which was too much, about 1l should be enough, unless you're going to drive to the Vithalla temple which is a 12 km drive or a 2 km walk, guess which one we did? If you have the time, consider a cycle, it might be more fun.

Spend a couple of days if possible, the ruins are quite spread out and anything less than 3 days is a rush. We had to. I won't tell you too much about this, there are websites you can look stuff up on and decide what you want to see. Try and catch the sunrise from Matanga hill especially if you love rocky terrain. Its very beautiful and you will feel very virtuous for having gotten up early, at least I did. The climbs interesting and you'll meet the monkeys along the way, who seemed quite harmless to us, so don't worry about them.

Try and eat at least once at the Mango tree restaurant which is by the river. The foods faux European for the firangs and slow-train-coming & for-the-firangs Indian but the locations lovely. Be warned, food in general was slow in coming, its a good practice to ask what'll be quick if you're in a hurry. And when they say 10 mins, it might mean 10 mins to 30 mins!

On the way back we caught a bus out of Hampi at 18:00 and were in Hospet by 18:30, the last one out is at 7:00. Theres a Yatri Niwas on the way to the station which looked decent in which you could eat. We took the Garib Nawaj train at 20:20, which unfortunately runs only on Tuesdays. Unfortunate because it gets to B'lore at a very timely 6:00. The returning Hampi gets here at some ungodly 4 or 5!

C'est tout.

PS: the boy says my timings are way off, and add anywhere from 15 mins to 30 mins to all my durations! The last picture is of the town, yup, thats all of it!


Kalyan said...

*Bows down*

The first photograph is really something. Great work. How long was the exposure and did you that that red heated up pixels in the long exp shot ? I tried this many times, but never got it right.

Natasha said...

Its actually not that hard to do. I used an ISO of 250, exposure time of 10 mins, and f/5.6 at 20 mm.

This temple is just behind the main town. So there is a tonne of stray light from the town onto it, which is more than enough to overexpose the foreground, which is red heated up stuff, I didnt want!!! Its also why the stars are so dim in comparison to the sky and why I had to do a shortish exposure. Wouldve preferred a 30 min one.

Its hell on digital camera batteries though, this technique. Mine were completely drained out over maybe an hour or sos shooting. Off course this was after I'd used them for abt 150 exposures in the day, so maybe its not so bad. Also the camera locked up after the shot for abt 20ish mins processing the shot! So its time intensive also.

Kris said...

the first shot is amazing...definitely would like to see a bigger version....

Natasha said...

Thanks Kris,
I've put up a bigger version. Just click on the image and the bigger jpg will load.

Swapna said...

The first shot is amazing. Lovely pics and nice description.