Himalayan view from Kausani

Golden sunrise over Trishul peak

Kausani is a small town in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. It is famous for the view of Himalayas.

The above image is of sunrise over the Trishul peak (23,300 ft). We were told that on a clear day, one can see nearly 300 kms. of the Himalayas. Kausani is also the home of Anashakti Ashram started by one of the disciples of Mahama Gandhi. The 9-10th Century temple of Baijnath is also nearby on the banks of river Gomti.

Aurangabad Caves

Aurangabad caves are 12 rockcut Buddhist shrines cut in basalt rock on a hill not far from the Maharashtrian city of Aurangabad. While they are not as spectacular as Ajanta or Ellora, these 6/7th Century CE caves are interesting all the same.

This is an outward view from the caves.

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 Golisodastore.com 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.