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Old 11th January 2011, 13:57   #1
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Default The Vedanthangal Trip

Prologue:

Beep .. Beep .. Beep the Alarm sounded and it was 3:30 AM.

I woke up as the irritating beep continued and tried to stop it. I felt like a Man who has not slept for years.

I reached out to the plethora of wires in the switch board that was recharging four devices - two camera batteries and two mobile phones.

All the 4 chargers indicated success and I unplugged them slowly.

I heard a distant voice "Not ready yet? We don't have enough time". The voice was now closer and my wife was nearly shouting "Get ready!".

I was still in Trance and I don't remember how I removed the 14-42mm and snapped on the 40-150mm tele lens in my E-420. I also had to plugin the 4 AA batteries into the Fujifilm HS10 which my wife would be using.

The time was 4:30 AM and now I was holding the steering wheel with the Air con on our faces, driving on the empty road that is usually packed and the engine humming a muted tone.

Waking up early is a pain and it doubles when you do that on a holiday.

As I continue to drive, some thoughts turn my pain into a smile. It really pays to wake up early when you can

- Have the rarely cold chennai wind on your face.
- Drive on an empty road that usually leaves no space to breathe.
- When you can see the Sun rise somewhere you have never seen before.
- When you can see creatures that amaze you stating that they exist.
- When you can see creatures that are fast, attractive and dynamic than anything you have seen
- When you get to explore your biggest passion - travel and photography.
- When you get satisfying results of your experiment with umpteen number of guests doing the honours.

Continuing along the way, I said "Vedanthangal, here I come to revive my last trip and to take back something that I left last time and perhaps even more!"
Attached Thumbnails
The Vedanthangal Trip-p1011097_r.jpg  

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Old 11th January 2011, 14:14   #2
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

The Drive

I took the usual route which I took last time.

Home -> Tambaram - Chennai Bypass road
Tambaram -> Palamathur - NH 45
Palamathur -> Vedanthangal - SH

I was still enjoying the drive and I did not stop anywhere to click. It was dark too.

My usual stats meter told me the below.

Steed: i10 Kappa

Total Distance: 137 kms

Driving Duration: 3 hours and 2 minutes

Top speed: 102 kmph

Average Speed: 45.6 kmph

Fuel Consumed: 9.1 litres

Fuel Efficiency: 15.05 kmpl

Clicks with the HS-10: 223

Clicks with the E-420: 445

Time at the Sanctuary: 2 hours and 46 minutes
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Old 11th January 2011, 14:27   #3
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

This sanctuary is in my list
Thanks for the log. Now I can travel there thriugh your eyes.
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Old 11th January 2011, 14:43   #4
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by laluks View Post
This sanctuary is in my list
Thanks for the log. Now I can travel there thriugh your eyes.
Thanks Lalu. Hope you make it soon. Season is Nov-Feb

Bad Light and No play:

I was almost enjoying the drive through the state highway when a Milestone showed I had 3 kms left.

Aah, we have reached earlier than expected. The time was 5:57 AM and we were the first one to enter.

The person at the counter did not have cash to return the change to us.

We could hear the creatures shouting here and there. Yes, they are better. They have woken up already and have started their duties.

We took out our lenses and tried to snap! I was already lamenting about the low light and it proved itself.

What happens when you don't have enough light and your subjects are moving fast ? really fast ?

The results are here for you to see:
Attached Thumbnails
The Vedanthangal Trip-1.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-2.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-3.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-4.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-5.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-6.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-7.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-8.jpg  

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Old 11th January 2011, 14:59   #5
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Ray of Hope:

Waiting for light, we decided to roam around the place. The light was slowly appearing and the sun rose. The sun seemed to be coming out of the lake.

The rays of the sun turned out to be the rays of hope and was a reminder for us to get ready.

Here are some landscapes that we clicked including the sunrise.
Attached Thumbnails
The Vedanthangal Trip-1.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-2.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-3.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-32028129.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-32028229.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-32028329.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-32028429.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-32028529.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-32862829.jpg  

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Old 11th January 2011, 15:10   #6
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Beautiful captures. I think all "waran"s have some "varam". Hehehe.

I was thinking of heading here during my trip back from Cumbum. But then it never happened. Should plan one, probably Civv or Swift with the friends
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Old 11th January 2011, 15:17   #7
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Beautiful captures. I think all "waran"s have some "varam". Hehehe.

I was thinking of heading here during my trip back from Cumbum. But then it never happened. Should plan one, probably Civv or Swift with the friends
Thanks Maheswaran (hope I got your name right).

Lights, Camera, Action:

Yeah, now there is light. We have cameras. The guests are ready to do honours. What are we waiting for, let's get into action.

It is incredible to see how fast these creatures move. Getting one in the frame is really an accomplishment by itself.

This is where an SLR camera proved its worth. Fast AF, Live view, Enough options to play around with helped me to click some satisfying photos.

My wife felt a bit difficult with the slow AF of the HS10 but eventually caught up and managed some good clicks.

Here is one set. There are a lot more which I will add soon.
Attached Thumbnails
The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010870.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010875.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010877.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010882.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010888.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010894.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010912.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-p1010919.jpg  

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Old 11th January 2011, 16:19   #8
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Nice pictures. The birds flying all over reminds me of some scenes from the Avatar movie. But all in all I see only one type of bird in common in your pictures. Did you spot any other species of birds? Do they have some specific rare species that visit Vedanthangal?
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Old 11th January 2011, 16:38   #9
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

I have stayed in Chengalpet for 15 years and visited Vedanthangal plenty of times as I worked in a factory on the way to Vedanthangal. As soon as you take right from Padalam Cross road to vedanthangal, my factory is on the left hand side. Now it is closed out. Our company had a big farm and estate there.
You have bought back all the memories to me and thanks for that. Excellent photos and good write up, sir.
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Old 11th January 2011, 20:08   #10
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
Nice pictures. The birds flying all over reminds me of some scenes from the Avatar movie. But all in all I see only one type of bird in common in your pictures. Did you spot any other species of birds? Do they have some specific rare species that visit Vedanthangal?
I think they look same. Some of the breeds that I spotted were
  • Ibis
  • Spoonbill
  • Egret
  • Painted Stork
  • Pelican
  • Pond Heron
  • Coromant
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaisha8 View Post
I have stayed in Chengalpet for 15 years and visited Vedanthangal plenty of times as I worked in a factory on the way to Vedanthangal. As soon as you take right from Padalam Cross road to vedanthangal, my factory is on the left hand side. Now it is closed out. Our company had a big farm and estate there.
You have bought back all the memories to me and thanks for that. Excellent photos and good write up, sir.
Thanks Jai
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Old 11th January 2011, 20:34   #11
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

It has been on my list of things to do for so long.

There is only one possible way that I would be there at dawn, and that would be by staying the previous night --- and getting up would still be hell for this nightbird that whose biological clock says bedtime is 3.00am to 4.00am.

A year ago, we had the room booked: sickness forced us to cancel. This year, there's just been too much other stuff.

One thing your pics prove to me, though, is that when I finally do make it, it really is worth "getting up with the birds" and being out there at dawn.

Thank you. Now I'm going back to the beginning to look at your photos again
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Old 11th January 2011, 21:08   #12
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Quote:
It has been on my list of things to do for so long.

There is only one possible way that I would be there at dawn, and that would be by staying the previous night --- and getting up would still be hell for this nightbird that whose biological clock says bedtime is 3.00am to 4.00am.

A year ago, we had the room booked: sickness forced us to cancel. This year, there's just been too much other stuff.

One thing your pics prove to me, though, is that when I finally do make it, it really is worth "getting up with the birds" and being out there at dawn.

Thank you. Now I'm going back to the beginning to look at your photos again
Thanks Nick. But, why did you have to book a room.

Also, I do not remember any hotels nearby except for the Forest guest house.

It isn't that far. Probably a 1.5 hours drive during off-peak hours.

You could drive upto Kovalam from Kottivakkam? on the ECR itself, then join Vandalur and drive another 45-50 odd kms.

You'll realize it was worth not being so Nocturnal for a day

But! Pack Food, you will not find any nearby that suites your taste.



Up above the Sky so high:


The Action continued. The sun rose even further and our subjects were clearer now. Our cameras were happy too as they could focus faster.

We brought down the ISOs and bumped up the shutter speeds for those 'precious moments'

The sky was very co-operative by being clear enough and the sunlight was just enough not be harsh and not so low.

The subjects with the blue sky rendered some really dramatic shots.

Here are some:
Attached Thumbnails
The Vedanthangal Trip-1.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-1-1.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-1-2.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-1-3.jpg  

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The Vedanthangal Trip-1-18.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-1-19.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-1-20.jpg  

The Vedanthangal Trip-1-21.jpg  

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Old 11th January 2011, 21:46   #13
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Nice clicks.
I could not get so close to the birds even with 10X optical zoom in my Canon SX100IS.
Vednathangal is a very pleasant place to visit even during the hot summers.
I went there with my family last month in the evening and had a nice time.
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Old 11th January 2011, 22:06   #14
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by para_7k View Post

The subjects with the blue sky rendered some really dramatic shots.
100% true. It does make the whole picture as more special.

Time for a SLR.
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Old 11th January 2011, 22:14   #15
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Default Re: The Vedanthangal Trip

Quote:
Also, I do not remember any hotels nearby except for the Forest guest house.
Indeed, and it has to be booked through an office in Guindy. A friend of mine went a few weeks ago and said it is being renovated and the newly-done rooms are nice. She also said that morning is the time to be there for the serious birders. Later in the day it gets too much general crowd. Maybe that applies to weekends.
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