A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed, and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in it's entirety. . . I believe in photography as one means of achieving an ultimate happiness and faith! - Ansel Adams

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The Trogon of Creekpore - A Short Story

The Trogon of Creekpore is a short story (written by me) about the journey of a bird-watcher, looking for the Malabar Trogon, into the wild forest of Creekpore, and his encounters therein.
This story was first published on my literature blog, The Barobaug Diary.

You can read the full story by downloading the pdf document from here.

Copyright © Maneesh Goal. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: This story is entirely a piece of fiction. All names, characters, places, descriptions and incidents are a product of the author's imagination. Resemblance to any actual person, place or incident is mere happenstance.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A review of the ASUS 'Zenfone 2 Laser' phone

Recently I was asked to review ASUS India's latest offering, the Zenfone 2 Laser (ZE550KL) smart-phone. According to ASUS India, it is a great device for blog photography because of its brand new laser auto-focus feature (as fast as 0.03 seconds, which greatly reduces blurring and enhances image stabilization), and low-light imaging capabilities. Being a travel writer and photographer, they requested me to share my thoughts on the device (supplied by them) with the aid of pictures taken using the same. I present to you below what I discovered about its photography abilities.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

On the Leopards' Trail in Marwar

Alert Leopard on a boulder
Alert Leopard on a boulder in Bera

Trying to sight a Leopard (Panthera Pardus) in a jungle is perhaps no different than trying to find a needle in a haystack. On the many trips to the jungles of India, with some patience and luck, one can have excellent sightings of tigers, lions, even the shy sloth bear, and other mammals. But the leopard is an elusive beast. It can hide itself in any nook & cranny of the jungle, is smaller than the other carnivores, enjoys excellent camouflage, prefers hunting in the night, and with its acrobatic skills can perch itself on trees and boulders. Even if sightings occur, they are more in the nature of blink and you miss it. Though, we have heard stories of people seeing a leopard, sitting nonchalantly in plain view of the human eye, in the jungles of South India, such reports have been fewer from those of North India.
Despite several trips in the wild, we had thus far been unlucky in the matter of leopard sighting. The closest we ever came to sighting it was when we spotted a leopard’s kill but, not the perpetrator himself!
No longer wanting to leave things to a chance, we decided to take matters in our own hands and headed straight to Bera, a dusty village in southern Rajasthan amidst the Aravalli mountains and surrounded by water bodies. Here our abode was Thakur Devi Singhji’s orchard or rather the Leopard’s Lair Resort as it is officially called.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Shilonda Trail (Sanjay Gandhi National Park): Update

Morning rituals! (B&W version)

Here is an update to my previous post on Shilonda Trail in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (Mumbai).

Last Sunday I traversed the Shilonda Trail again with few of my friends. Here is a bit of dope for those wanting to go on this trail. This trail is closed for the general public and requires special permission from the forest department to go. Good news is that the Nature Interpretation Centre inside SGNP provides this permission for a nominal fee of Rs. 50 per head, albeit for a group size of 10 people. In case you are fewer than 10, then a lumpsum amount of Rs. 500/- needs to be paid. The department issues a receipt so everything is above board. 

This time around our focus was on birds and we managed to sight around 30 species of birds (fewer than we expected - but that's luck). Our prize catch was a pair of Indian Grey Hornbill. However, we didn't get any good bird photographs... but got some decent nature and street photography images.

Check out the images here.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Spiti Valley - Article published in Hindustan Times

Himalayan Patterns @ Spiti

The web edition of leading Indian daily, Hindustan Times, recently published an article written by me on Spiti (Himachal Pradesh). You can read the article here.

Leap of Faith!
Titled 'Discovering the charm of Spiti', it is a slightly modified version of the article I had written on this blog last year immediately after returning from Spiti - one of the most satisfying trips of my life!
Hope you enjoy reading the article. I also urge you to visit the place at least once in your lifetime for the spectacular sights it offers and the wonderful people who live there!

As always, I would like to personally thank each one of you for having patronised my blog and for supporting me. A special thanks to the team at Incredible Spiti for getting this article published in Hindustan Times, which is an esteemed newspaper of our times.

P.S. - The pictures published alongside the article in the newspaper are not mine. They have been mistakenly credited to me. All images on this blog are, of course, mine :-)

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Kaas Plateau - Article published in Asian Age

An article written by me on Maharashtra's Kaas Plateau, along with some pictures taken by me, was published yesterday in the Delhi edition of Asian Age newspaper.

Asian Age article

I would like to personally thank each one of you for having patronised my blog and supported me. You can also read the original write-up, which I had published in October 2010, on this very blog here. The newspaper article is a remixed version of the same.

Also do not forget to visit the place in September!

Thanks once again :)

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Ranthambhore National Park II - Charge in the Rajbagh Lake

Portrait of Tigress (T-17 / Sundari), Ranthambhore National Park
Portrait of T-17 / Sundari Tigress

It was a cloudy evening on our third day in the Ranthambhore National Park. As I looked heavenward, I said - well, bad light to add to our woes! Thank you! So far on our current trip, we had tasted limited success with tiger sightings - none worth photographing (see details at the end). Hence, for our fifth safari in the jungle, we were at the same time desperate for a decent photography opportunity as well as nonchalant about the prospects. We were getting closer to a tiger with every passing safari and we still had two more to go after this one!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Street Photography in Vasai

I am happy when my best friends have their arms around me :)
I am happy when my best friends have their arms around me :)

"When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!"  — Ted Grant

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Picture of the day: Rajasthani folk musician

Rajasthani folk dance / music performer

A Rajasthani folk musician enjoys a light moment during his performance in Mumbai. This picture reminds me of Indian farmers' smiling faces that we typically see on fertiliser sacks and posters / hoardings of Government's rural schemes :)

See more of Rajasthan here.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Ovalekar Wadi - abode of the butterflies (Part 2)

Common Jezebel Butterfly
Common Jezebel Butterfly

Our second outing at Ovalekar Wadi (read about the place and our first trip here) also proved to be somewhat of a damp squib. The light, though, was excellent this time around. But, the chill in the morning resulted in the butterflies taking a bit too long to wake up from their slumber and busy themselves with the task of looking out for breakfast!
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This work by Maneesh Goal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.