Saturday, April 14, 2012

Horsely Hills

The last days of March ended with a flurry of holidays that had piled from my vacation list. Being the last month of the financial year, I had to exhaust my leaves. One of these days, I went to Horsely Hills early in the morning with Roshan. Three hours away from Bangalore and half an hour from Madanapalle, Horsely Hills is one of the few tourist spots of Andhra Pradesh. We were aiming to catch the sunrise from the hills and also to get a glimpse of the birds who nest in the Rishi Valley. I was carrying my manual SLR Nikon F80 with me and my sketching materials. We had reached just in time for the sun to come out and our only company was a dog barking from far off trying to keep us away from his owner's premises. The morning mist was warding off slowly slating the silhouette of the hills around. I tried taking a panorama shot and a few of the sunrise.

Click on the image to see the full panorama shot.
After roaming around in the small zoo/park nearby we had some tea at a stall and got to know about the other side of the hill. We drove to the given direction and found a flat eroded hill that follows the thick woods spread around called Gangotri. There were beer bottle glass thrown all around and as expected the scraped names of the tourists were everywhere who like their names to live longer than themselves. But, this didn't mar the wide view of woods and the inbetween chirp and calls of birds coming out of it. There was one particular rock that shone beautifully in the morning sun. It's red glistened and magnified the yellow sun moving over the grey hills. After taking a few photographs I decided to draw it too while Roshan went following the birds.

Courtesy: Roshan Ali

Courtesy: Roshan Ali
After taking a good look around, we went back to the guesthouse to have some breakfast. Very hesitatingly, we ordered some coffee there after being very sure that the tea wouldn't be good. But, to exceed our expectations they gave us a coffee that can be made no worse. As Roshan said, you need special talent to make such a bad coffee. Spare the coffee, the morning trip had a satisfying aftertaste.

I got my film roll developed and with each year passing by the number of scratches passed during the developing process has been increasing and the number of days taken to do so. Sadly, using manual SLR is becoming a dying practice. The dark room techniques would soon be left in the dark. But, I shall stick to my ideology that anyone who is beginning to learn photography should always start with a manual SLR. Then only one realises the importance of each photograph clicked. It becomes about taking 36 judicious good shots than 3600 wasted shots on a memory card. And not to forget, shooting from a manual SLR builds the confidence in your photography skill. You don't have to check your display screen to judge your shots. When your camera makes the clicking noise, you should know that you have got it right. Once you are good with a manual camera, then owning a digital SLR seems justified. Let's see for how long I can afford continue with this old school habit. 


  1. crisp expressions-' longer than themselves;....would be left in the dark';and, the painting is as breath catching as the morning view.

  2. Somesh..
    As usual I enjoyed not only your drawing and photographs but the interesting story you have written. Very entertaining.

    Agree with what you have written about using a manual SLR camera. I have a matched pair of Nikon FM's I carry around with all the lenses etc. However; the bag seems to get heavier each time I take them out. I love these camera's and have had them since the 1970's and they are still faithful companions, but as you say it gets harder to get quality developing and the processing time gets longer. For convenience now I also get the images put on CD.

    I have resisted buying a digital SLR but have a small pocket digital camera, but the results are never what I expect from it. It seems to give strange results with different light conditions and I do not have the control I want. The little camera seems to have a mind of it's own :-)

    Keep up the great work with the magazine. I love your illustrations and the amusing but informative articles.

    I hope I will see some more of your sketches next week with Sketchcrawl 35. I always enjoy your sketching style and the places and things you sketch.

    I was thinking for this Sketchcrawl of doing some postcards and Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) as a bit of fun in addition to my regular sketches. I like to try something different with each Sketchcrawl. Drawing on the smaller area is interesting as you have to simplify and edit a lot of what you see for the sketch to fit.

    Take care... I think I'll go and make myself some tea.
    Vancouver, Canada

    1. Thanks for the comments David. I am sure those camera will be a delight to use. My Nikon F80's body has become a bit sticky. I think this is a common issue with this model. And yes, I am never comfortable with the small digital cameras, I feel handicapped using them.
      Ya, I have marked the calendar for the next sketchcrawl. Since the magazine work is low right now, I will be able to go for sketching easily. Even I have been doing sketches on postcard size watercolour papers. Need to pick the choice of drawing medium for this Saturday. Hoping to have a good time and the same for you.