While tourism is largely driven by several constraints, passionate travel is beyond that and refuses to be contained by anything except perhaps human limitatons. All of us have been both at some point in our lives, so we all know where the difference lies. While a tourist tries to experience the best a place has to offer - the best season, the best food, the best tourist spots - a traveller tends to look beyond the obvious. For example, on a beach, while a tourist will be seen enjoying watersports a traveller will most likely be found trying to look below the surface, speaking to people, and discovering what they hold dear. Likewise in cities, whle tourists will be seen visiting the tourist spots, travellers will be seen walking the streets trying to soak the local culture. During summers, while people generally head to the hills, nothing breaks the cliche better than that one odd traveller heading to the desert. And this is just what photo journey chose to do this month.
One of the main highlights of May 2014 was our adventurous trip to Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park. We spent our days well, doing two safaris a day, and visiting local artists, speaking to the forest officers, conservationists, and even the village sarpanchs. And the fact that we got to see the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger in its natural abode was just icing on the cake. Here is a glimpse of what we saw:
Here is an excerpt:
"Last week Aircel team contacted us to join them for #SaveOurTigers drive from Delhi to Ranthambore with couple of more bloggers. To be precise, there were 4 other bloggers who were part of this drive. Initially I was not sure if I would be able to make it, because of other commitments in office. Finally I managed to take off from office to join the gang and saved Sunday to complete pending work, before joining office on Monday. This Photo Journey shares about the road trip from Noida to Ranthambore, interactions with various folks from wildlife conservation & blogging world, Tiger sighting and 3 safaris in different zones of Ranthambore National Park." Click here to read this entire post.
Apart from what we saw and experienced, we also had the good fortune of meeting Aneesh Andheria and Govardhan who work closely with the forest officials. Govardhan shared with us some good tiger photographs clicked in Ranthambore. Click here to see them for yourself.
And no account for our trip to Ranthambore can be complete without a review of the resort we stayed in - The Tiger Den. Click here to find out what we liked and what we think could be better.
But while at one end we were overwhelmed by our tiger experience, at the other end our other activities continued as usual. For the benefit of our fellow travellers, we have created the following city guides:
Shimla is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North India during summers. We have travelled to Shimla and the surrounding places quite a few times and have tried to compile a city guide based on our taste. Click here to read it.
Another popular tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh is Mcleodganj. Offering everything from a church, a buddhist monastry, a temple, a quintessential waterfall, a shopping street, and a collection of eateries offering delectable dishes from around the world, Mcleodganj offers something for everyone. Click here to read our recommendations for tourists visiting this town.
And when you travel as much as we do, you come across several experiences - some pleasant enough and some not so. In public interest, we decided to pen down a couple such experiences so that you can take a more informed decision if you ever come across such situations.
The first such experience highlights the plight of security in our country. Never have we felt so vulnerable ever. Even when we were in the presence of the carnivorous wild beast, the tiger, we felt much more secure than we did when we came across these human animals in the wild.
The second experience is much more commonplace and it is a matter of shame that we as Indians fail to value what we have and at times it takes people from other countries to open our eyes. This post is about the rampant problem of littering.
If you have similar experiences of your own, feel free to write to us at email@example.com and we would publish them on the site.
Apart from this, we also managed to put together the usual compilation of tips and tricks regarding some of the usual dilemmas photographers face and the difficult decisions they have to make.
Color Management is one of the trickiest aspect of photography, but at the same time, once you understand it, it is the most useful concept too. In this post we have tried to decode it for you. Let us know if you found it helpful.
And because these equipment are expensive and the choices are so many, we understand that it can be a tough decision. We have tried to answer this question as best as we can in this post. Do let us know if you would like to know about a specific camera.
While a good composition can go miles in drawing attention to the point you want to focus on, some simple editig tricks can help enhance some specific aspects of a photograph. We have tried to demystify one such trick in this post.
And finally, with plagiarism on the rise, we think this tip about watermarking your images will go a long way in preventing wrongful use of your photographs.
If you want us to talk about some technique in particular, either leave a comment on this post or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we would do the needful.
And finally no month is complete without a grateful acknowledgement for our wonderful guest writers:
Writing on Photo Journey for the first time, Astha Mittal won several hearts with the account of her brave solo trip to Spiti and Kinnaur. Click here to read her story.
Through his sparkling photographs, Jitendra Singh takes us to one of the most-scenic golf courses in the world - the golf course in Naldera. Click here to be dazzled by this story.
Our regular guest, Monidipa Dey, came up with yet another gem of a post - this one about Mcleodganj. Her flawless narration coupled with great photographs make this post a visual as well as intellectual treat.
Another traveller, Nisha Sharma, shared an inspiring account of her trek to Triund with her friends. In fact, her account has put Triund on our list of treks to do as well. Click here to read her story.
If you would like to contribute a story to photo journey, do write to us at email@example.com and we would take it forward.
And this was all for the month of May 2014. Hope we have managed to provide enough to keep you busy for a while. In the meanwhile, time isn't standing still, and nor is Photo Journey. We are already keeping up to speed with the rapidly passing June. Hopefully June will be as fruitful as May, if not more. But only time will tell.