Adimalathura Beach

Adimalathura beach, Trivandrum

Kovalam, Shanghumugham and Veli beaches are very popular in Trivandrum. But, there are a few other beaches which are more beautiful and tranquil. One such beach is Adimalathura, a little south of Vizhinjam before Poovar. This is also called Chowwara Beach by some.

A few high end resorts like Niraamaya, Travancore Heritage etc are nearby. there is a Shiva temple and a hill top Christian shrine.

Photography and the Environment

I never thought that my activities as an amateur photographer had an impact on the environment. In a casual talk with my daughter, Sruti Harihara Subramanian, founder of she emphasized that every activity leaves impact the environment. Our duty is to keep it to the minimum.

As an amateur photographer from the film era, I shudder to think of the environmental damage a small film processing unit would have brought about with the all its toxic chemicals. There was a miniscule recovery industry trying to salvage milligrams of silver form the negatives.  This is one of the reasons why we lost some of the early movie negatives.

In the pre electronic flash era, we had single use flash bulbs and cubes which were discarded after every frame.

We were then, blissfully unaware of the damages we were causing.

Thankfully, we have moved to a digital age with lesser use of toxic chemicals and materials. However, the astronomical growth of photography has its impact on consumption of material and energy and leaves behind a huge carbon footprint and e-waste.

I am happy that environmental awareness is increasing in the industry. The proof of this is a Special Green Issue of the Amateur Photographer (June 6, 2020) with a feature “How to be Greener – How Photographers can reduce Carbon Footprint”.

With an array of new gear being introduced regularly with improved features there is a natural tendency among photographers for GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). This could lead to large carbon footprint by way of manufacture and disposal. Thankfully, many professional photographers go for trading-in or ‘rescuing’ their old gear instead of blind upgrade.

In this context, my policy of ‘essential gear only’ (imposed partly by budget constraints) seems to be an eco-friendly practice.

I am also happy to learn from the above mentioned magazine that many professionals while ordering props, albums, clothing etc. for shoots are looking for eco-friendly options. Hope this trend catches up.

Pushkar Fair Ground

Pushkar fair grounds, a week after
Pushkar fairgrounds, a week after

Pushkar, is a town in Rajasthan, situated about 150 kms from Jaipur It is just 15 kms from Ajmer, the district headquarters. Pushkar is famous for two things: he only temple dedicated to Brahma and the annual camel fair.

We had visited Pushkar a week after the fair and this is the scene of the Fair Grounds which doubles up as a parking lot for the temple visitors.


Intricate Stone Work

Intricate stone jaali work
Intricate stone jaali work

Looking towards Amer Fort through a stone jaali window in Jaigarh Fort. Jaigarh Fort was built by Jai Singh in 1726.

Like many Mughal – Rajasthani architecture of that period, the Fort has many such windows intricately carved out of stone.

Such windows are a photographer’s delight.

Biggest Cannon, but Never Used

Jaivana, the biggest cannon

If you are visiting Jaigarh fort in Jaipur you are sure to see Jaivana, believed to be the biggest cannon in the world. It was cast by Maharaja Jaisingh II in 1720. Jai Singh II took a keen interest in developing armory and munitions. Perhaps he also wanted to impress his Mughal overlords. The gigantic proportion of the gun is quite impressive. It is 20 feet long and weighs 50 tonnes. But the size and weight itself would have been a weakness. It was (test) fired only once. Folklore has it that the 50 kg cannonball traveled 45 kms. Ballistics experts reckon that it would not have been more than 5 kms. Definitely worth ticking the box if you visit Jaigarh.