Thursday, 5 April 2007

Madras Sightseeing - with Company

The following day it was time for a bit of traditional sightseeing in and around Madras, but this time in the company of the group from Denmark, which I had met up with the day before.

The two ladies in the front left part of this picture was my connection to the group of about 20 people. I know these two from my political work back in Denmark. In the black dress Lisbeth is the chairman of my local party branch and to the left of her Margrethe is our city council member. Margrethe also has a small travel agency specialising in South India, so she was the mastermind behind the trip. The rest of the group you'll get to see in later post. I believe the Church you see is called Basilica of San Thomas, after the apostle whose tomb allegedly lies beneath the church.

From the church we went to the nearby 16th century Kapaleeswarar Temple with an impressive 40 metre tall Gopuram. In typical South Indian style it is covered with colourful carved figures.

A closer look at the amazing works of art decorating the Gopuram.

And finally an extreme closeup of two characters I believe to be brothers.

A dog relaxing outside small house near the temple.

Later in the day we moved on to a great open air museum south of Madras, called Dakshinchitra. It displays traditional 19th and 20th century architecture from the four southernmost Indian states. The concept is very much like Den Gamle By open air museum in my previous home town of Århus, Denmark. What you see in the picture above is a coastal house from Andhra Pradesh, made round to better resist the furious hurricanes that are common there. Outside Lisbeth is with the help of a local lady trying to figure out how to operate a small, noisy hand made toy.

A view of the inner chamber of the same house as above. You can walk freely in and out of most of the houses on display making it a very enjoyable experience.

Traditional house of Karnataka state made in a completely different style with stone being the dominating element. A great part of the joy of this museum is discovering just how different the architectural styles are just between four neighbouring states in South India.

Inside the Karnataka House.

A bedroom from the family of a Syrian Christian family in the state of Kerala.

A Tamil Village Street, once again modeled after real life house - although I imagine this street to be a bit cleaner than a real life 19th century Tamil street would have.

Outside a Tamil weaver's house.

Inside the weaver's house.


costa rica said...
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oreneta said...

I am teetering on the brink of buyingthe so far as to fill in the forms on an on-line purchase....

one last question, can you adjust the photos down from 10 megapixels if you want something a little faster and dirtier and more e-mailable?

Do you post full 10.1 photos? Does it use up unbelievable space?

Thanks again for answering this digital camera newbie's stupid questions.

As always the photos are amazing.

What do you think of the FZ-30? Whoops, that's a second question. Or third. Sorry.

oreneta said...

OK, I got the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ7....I really wanted the 50, I agree with you that it is probably the best camera for the price on the market, but with a couple of kids yaddah yaddah, the budget vs the toy made me step down to the 7. It still has the 12X optical zoom, manual controls, and stabilisation. Only 7 megapixels, but for 200 Euros less, or there abouts, I think i can live with that.

Lets hope it works out

Thank you so much for all your help with was really very very useful.

Esben said...

Hi again Oreneta

Sorry, for the late response - have been a bit out of reach for a while.

Let me answer the questions that still seem relevant. For all the Panasonic Lumix cameras, you can choose to take pictures at less than full resolution, although it might be a bit silly, since you might as well have bought a cheaper camera to begin with then. But otherwise it's very to do afterwards, for instance in free software such as Picasa (which is highly recommendable to keep track of all your photos).

Yes, I do post pictures in full 10 mega pixel size, although I think Blogger might automatically reduce quality and size a bit. So far I have used half my picture allowance on Blogger, so I'm afraid the day will come when I have to buy additional space.

But good luck with your new camera. It seems fairly good also, just watch out for the noise. Use it at as low ISO levels as possible to keep noise down. If you are not sure what ISO and Noise is I'll be happy to explain as well as I can.

Esben said...

Oh, and did you remember to get an extra battery? In the long run you'll be happy that you did.

oreneta said...

Yup, got the extra battery and a bigger memory card. I knew it was a bit of a trade off, but looking at my kids that really do both need new shoes, I just thought this would be good enough. The F7 got some very good reviews.

Please, feel free to give me your take on noise and ISO, I've read about them, and I am getting a feel for it, but the articles all assume that you know what they are, so I am coming at it sideways a bit.

Esben said...

Okay, I'll try to do this as clearly as I can.

A basic precondition for taking good pictures is that get enough light into the lens. There are three ways to increase the light intake into your camera, each with it's pros and cons.

1) You can change aperture. The LOWER aperture is, the more light you take in. Drawback: You lose depth of field meaning that only things at a particular distance are in focus, whereas everything else isn't. Sometimes you actually want this effect for instance for portraits or closeups of something (Like here, but whenever you want the whole picture to be sharp you need to keep aperture fairly high.

2) Shutter speed. Obviously the longer your shutter remains open, the more light you take in. Drawback: It works fine for still image, but throw in just a bit of movement and the picture quickly gets blurry. A tripod alleviates this problem so at least the blurriness from camera shake is no longer an issue.

3) ISO. Increase the light sensitivity of the sensor. The HIGHER the ISO the MORE light your sensos registers. Drawback: As ISO gets higher your pictures get "noisy", meaning they get filled with little (mostly grey) dots that were not part of the scene you took.

So as you see going high on ISO can prevent losing depth of field and getting blurry pictures, but at the cost of more noise. But unfortunately the Lumix series can be a bit too noisy, so it's worth doing whatever you can to keep ISO down even in low light conditions. I always carry a tripod for low lights shots such as these ones:

If everything else fails and you cannot generate enough light for a shot by fiddling with ISO, aperture and shutter speed, then you can always use the flash. But that should be a last resort really. Flash pictures just don't look very nice in 9 cases out of 10. People look shiny and the natural light gets completely ruined, with for instance a candle light dinner looking like it is held under the halogen light of a badly run government hospital.

Does all this makes sense, or am I talking complete gibberish?

oreneta said...

Brilliantly clear....thank you so much. Please don't delete that comment I may be back again. I knew about the shutter speeds, and the apeture, though I wasn't aware of it's impact on the depth of focus. That's how they do that....

Thanks so much.

Anil P said...

A lovely post. Keep writing, I'll be following your travels.

Esben said...

Thanks you very much Anil. You are always very welcome here.