Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Random Rajasthani

This trip to Rajasthan was quite an adventure for me, although it was not back packing by a long stretch. It was also a personal journey but I think that I will leave those thoughts for a last post on Rajasthan. There are plenty of random thoughts on how this trip was done. :)

1. I booked a car and all my hotels over the internet, on the Rajasthan Travel Guide. It was a real gamble but it paid off well. In fact the best hotel I stayed in, Jagat Niwas in Udaipur, was recommended by the manager of the web site, Manuj! The worst hotel was the Hotel Khadim in Ajmer which was a hotel I insisted upon. It was the cheapest hotel though and really not bad if I was in backpacking mode.

2. When I used to shoot film on holidays, I used to plan for film and batteries before the trip started. For this digital trip to Rajasthan, having a camera with flexible iso was great! Not having to worry about x-ray machines is cool too. There was a daily ritual of charging the camera battery, the Epson P2000 battery and the handphone battery. Adaptors are very important. I brought a multisocket adaptor but it was too heavy to use. The multisocket was so heavy that it and the adaptor would just fall out of the power point. Next time I will bring the adaptor and a multi-socket attached by wire.

3. In this digital age, don't leave home without a dust blower. It was essential to try and remove dust in the desert!! I know that there are images that I will have to do cloning work on when I return but I did manage to get rid of major dust spots when I needed to.

4. I used the tripod, which incidentally I bought for the trip, all of once. And the shots of fireworks during the Bikaner Camel Festival, just did not make it into my highlights.

5.I managed to finally plug the Epson P2000 into most of the computers that I used by downloading the win98 driver from the Epson America web site. Strange but Epson America is the only Epson web site with the driver. I had to use google to find it. Why could it not also have been mirrored on the Singapore, Europe or Australian webiste? I just don't know.

6. With the P2000 and heavy on camera editing, I only needed 1 2gig card. I did not find myself stretching for a second card once. I am bringing back about 20gigs of raw files. If I had kept everything I shot, I would want to show about 1 in 15 shots. With real time editing, I think that I will still only want to show 1 in 8 shots. The rest are interesting maybes that I may just look through in my twilight years.

7. My promise to give photos to people whom I shot has made me look for shops capable of printing digital files and back tracking to my subjects. I managed to print the photos in Jaipur but I was stumped by the fact that I could not buy envelopes to send the photos at the Jaipur post office! I finally managed to buy envelopes at Delhi airport and mailed off all the photos I promised I would. I must really think about that portable digital printer.

8. The light in Rajasthan can be beautiful, but it is harsh. So often, I loose the eyes of people even if the sun is behind. I think that the best solution aside from having an assistant carrying a screen with diffuser cloth, is to move the subject into an open shade. I must admit that I lost a few really good portraits to this problem.

Edited at 10.30 Delhi time while waiting for flight back to Singapore.


pfong said...

Have a good flight back Heng. Thanks for sharing your travels with us. I've had a great time viewing your travel pictures

Heng said...

I enjoyed taking the trip and being able to share it while I was out there. It makes it more immediate. It took me a year to get out my European travel photos and I did not want that to happen again. I forgot the names of some places when I eventually got around to the Europe photos. It was much fresher doing this instant blogging in Rajasthan. :)

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