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Entries in portrait (30)


Photoshop magic..

During the function for my dad on mom  last week, I had to be performing a lot of things.. which meant my stint with the camera was done.. 

I usually don't trust others with pictures for events.. and definitely don't trust others with my camera.. however on recent trips, have been handing my camera to my baby cousin (who is not a baby anymore) and teaching her how to hold steady, focus and shoot with the 5D mark ii and she has a really good eye for composition.. told her to keep clicking and leave the rest to me to photoshop..

She did me proud.. We did hire professionals for the event but they are working on the photos. We should have great pictures in a week or two.

Saw this one pic where San has her cute dimply smile and I really wanted to make a portrait out of it.. (Credit to my cousin for cracking the right joke at the right time!).. 

The background.. I needed some recently shot greenery.. and the photo from Amethyst gave me an idea..

So here is 2+2=6..

The original..

the background from a group photo..

and the end result..

Have been lost in photoshop for a long time.. work calls tomorrow. My cold is almost bearable.. have been doing yoga everyday during the break and resting and working on photoshop as a good distraction.

Also my wife is back from India and that alone is a big relief.. my girls know how to press my buttons and get anything they want and sometimes I don't know if I am authorized to authorize things.. good that the big boss is back in the approval loop.

Ta ta for now..


A social facial experiment

It has been a month since I deleted the folder on my iPhone that said "social" and also deleted the entire history and autologin for all sites on my laptop.

The accounts are all there, but with two easy steps I cut off the urge to go click on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin etc. 

This is not the first time I have tried this, probably the longest in recent years though..

Still kept blogging and am reasonably sure that deleting the cross post into Facebook/Google Plus for the posts made sure no one actually read any of my posts! Blogging is pretty much dead and other platforms have taken over. Those of us who still blog, do it for their own reasons. . . 

The world is doing what it is doing, my work kept me more busy than usual and I managed to do another 60 challenge, the first time in summer, against all odds. The absense of social media helped. 

Still had to check gmail and everyday would be getting emails from FB and Linkedin etc. saying "have you seen so and so's comment on so and so's picture?", "we miss you. please come back and login" etc. etc. Even my mom was not that concerned when I stopped calling her during my Ph.D qualifying exams in those days!

Given no one was going to see my face in pictures over this month absence, I decided to stop shaving. Everytime I try to grow a beard, there will be so much negativity from parents, inlaws, friends, not to mention San and the kids trying every trick in the book to get me to shave.. the pouting, the "dont kiss me with that beard" routine .. 

Also given the travel to Asia every three weeks, my face has to resemble my passport picture or I am sure there will be some "extra checks". Thought there would be a longer break between travels this time, but that was not meant to be. 

The beard growing was going reasonably well, till this morning. You see there is an activation energy for beard growing. It takes at least 21 days for me to get the beard looking like a real beard instead of patch facial hair. Once it crosses that point, there is some chance of making it with continued maintenance. It is my face, but apparently I have no rights to it per wife and kids! 

This morning I had to shave it off. It was a good experiment while it lasted. It is interesting to watch how people react to this.

Most people at work thought I was mourning something or someone. 

Most people at Yoga said "look different. it kind of suits you, but learn to trim it"

Most friends who saw me said "mid life crisis?" followed by "this too shall pass" or something to that effect.

Then there was one person who assumed I was a muslim because of the beard. That one was interesting in a funny way.

Asked Jr. to take a few snaps, with and without the beard this morning...

Apparently I look a lot better without the beard and look younger per the little one. I am allowed to kiss the family again and that is a big plus point! 

Now it is back to the routine. It is time to login to Facebook again and see who has been born, who has died, who has changed marital status, who has gone where etc.

Will be like visiting Chennai after three years! 


Navarathri Golu 2016

This year we had Navarathri over two weekends, which is always a plus compared to it being spread only over one weekend!

Was way busy with work and had just come back from another overseas trip at the beginning of the festival. Wife, MIL and kids made it to all the Golu's while I chauffered them to select places over the weekends only. They took pictures of Golu's I missed so we can add it to the blog.

The highlight of this years festival was these two photos which we will cherish for a long time. Many thanks to our friends for the clicks and cracking the right jokes at the right time!


You need two things for good family pictures. Good lighting and good jokes that the entire family can get!

Then there were the golus. Neat and clean and simple, to complex to creative! Best part was to see the little displays the kids create on window sills and on the floor next to the Golus.. National parks, Hamma bead towns, cricket sets.. you can see they all are still setting classic three slips and a gully while the New Zealand team is now going to a field set up that has only third slip and gully!.. okay, where was I? yes, Golus!

We also had kids sing and dance and Jr. played the saxophone in two of the Golus. She is getting better. I get berated by my friends for giving her "feedback" after her performance, which is interesting in its own way. 

Here is a video of her doing the Thillana this year.

Hope next year she will do the entire piece without any mistakes. I am very proud of her, but given her ability, if she just practiced a little more instead of two days before the festival starts, she could have aced the whole thing! 

Finally the Golus.. enjoy the slideshow!  

Thanks to all our friends who invited us this year. It was fun. Next year, will try to visit everyone!


A weekend in HDR among other things...

Last weekend my sister in law visited us and we went on a local bay area tour of sorts. While the people pictures end up on Facebook.. the Nature pictures and select pictures of me.. end up here! 

There is always an incentive to write a blog post to chronicle local travels, no matter how many times we have visited the place, if we have something new to show.. 

 While editing the pictures where yours truly is smiling, one thought kept coming to my mind.. I look like someone.. but it is not my dad. Six seven years ago, I used to look like a carbon copy of my dad when he was that age.. this time the smile was different. The percentages of "knowingness: sarcasm : resignation" was different.. It was like the basic composition of my face had changed to a different part of that ternary phase diagram. After staring at it for a long time, it struck me! 

I am slowly turning into the next version of my only maternal uncle aka "Ambi Mama"! At first I thought, it must be the receeding hairline, but NO! There is more to this than hairline. Going to take a shot of me with my rudhraksham and towel and match the color balance and you will see soon.. 

As always.. one thing leads to another and before you know it, a post that started off as a weekend in HDR suddenly changed to my facial resemblence to Ambi mama.. Let's get back on topic.. 

 HDR pictures.. 

 This was really one beautiful evening to be out there. Full moon, perfect weather and most important of all, great company! 

This time I took my camera, but did not have the filter kit.. Next time we visit, going to throw a dark ND filter in front of the lens and take a longer exposure shot to blur the waves.. 

That weekend hopefully starts off some travel with family and is a harbinger of better pictures to come this year! 


Happy New Year 2013

Yes.. it is the New year for south Indians and we had the usual good eats and spent quality time with family. 

We want to wish everyone a wonderful Tamil New Year, Ugadi, Vishu and anything else the New Year goes by in different parts of India.

This year is named "vijaya" for Victory. Hope truth and righteousness emerge victorious this year!

Here's to 2013 from the Traveling Naryanans.

Learned earlier this year that folks in the west used to celebrate their New Year around April 1st as well a long time ago.. then they changed it to Jan 1st. In order to discredit some folks who refused to change the New Year from first week of April to January, they called April 1st "April Fools day".. don't know if this is true, but thought of sharing this interesting tid bit. 

Apparently the atheist government in Tamil Nadu tried to move the New Years day to coincide with the Harvest Festival and that is being ignored for now. We live in a funny world with all these changes, daylight savings time etc.. Don't know how things will change in another 30 years. 

Hoping it is for the better! Happy 2013!