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Viewing entries tagged with 'photography'

End of Year Retreat 2008

7 January 2009 | 9 Comments | Tags: ,

I just got back from a 10-day Christmas retreat. Most of the Hare Krishna devotees in New Zealand attended this festival of inspiration, rejuvenation and association. Over 100 devotees were there, in total.

The retreat was held in the Otaki region of New Zealand (1 hour North of Wellington). We rented out two retreat centers: Riverslea and Waihoanga; and also used our own retreat center Gaura Haven for accommodation.

The 10-day passed quickly. There were so many brilliant talks, inspiring presentations, delicious spiritual food (prasadam), and nice people to talk to. A slight downer was that everyone (and I do mean everyone) got sick. A nasty flu virus managed to infect everyone's bodies. It lasted about four days in most people. Nevertheless, it was a brilliant time.

I took about 900 photos over the course of the retreat. A selection of images is available in my picture gallery.

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Gaura Haven: landscape photographs and photo presentation

12 November 2008 | 3 Comments | Tags: ,

I have been taking some pictures in and around Gaura Haven / New Gupta Vraja, located in Otaki (about an hour's drive outside of Wellington). Here is a gallery the best photographs, the so-called "glory shots".

I'm relatively new to landscape photography. So, advice and suggestions are welcome.

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Additionally, I gave a photo presentation about Gaura Haven at our recent Vyasa-Puja festival in honor of Devamrita Swami.

Gaura Haven: eco-retreat photos

11 November 2008 | 8 Comments | Tags: ,

Last month I went on an eco-retreat with a group of young interested persons who have been coming along to the Gaura Yoga center in Wellington New Zealand. We went to Gaura Haven (New Gupta Vraja), a retreat center recently acquired by Gaura Yoga. While there we proceeded to plant a variety of organic vegetables. The idea is to slowly move towards self-sufficiency.

Here some pictures from the weekend events:

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Vyasa Puja Festival 2008 Pictures

6 November 2008 | 8 Comments | Tags: , , ,

On the weekend of the 25th of October, 2008 the majority of practitioners of Krishna consciousness in New Zealand (and a few from Australia) went to a retreat center in Inglewood, NZ called Vertical Horizon. There we celebrated the Vyasa-Puja (birthday of the spiritual master) of Devamrita Swami.

It was a grand festivals. Nearly 100 devotees were present. It was expertly organized by Visnumaya and Gopal Guru. So many great activities, presentations and speeches. The spiritual food (prasadam) was over-the-top great. I also really enjoyed seeing and speaking with many, many old friends.

I took over 800 photos. You can view a selection of the best shots here:

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(the images 0.8-megapixel images in the gallery are fine for viewing on screen, but not nearly detailed enough for large prints. If anyone wants to print out any of the images, please email me and I can supply the original full 14.6 megapixel images from the Pentax K20d)

Pictures of Gaura Yoga June/July 2008

11 July 2008 | 3 Comments | Tags: ,

IMGP1686.jpgI have now been in Wellington, New Zealand for exactly one month. It is great!

I have uploaded a photo album of some of the pictures I have taken here over the last month. The images are of the events, activities and prasadam (food) in and around the Gaura Yoga center.

All shots were taken with a Pentax K20d D-SLR. I continue to be amazed at the quality of images this camera produces. Infamous photographer Ken Rockwell preaches that the camera doesn't matter. He argues that just like owning a B??sendorfer piano will not magically make you into a great pianist, similarly owning a good camera does not automatically mean you take great pictures. The folks at the Luminous Landscape respond by saying that the camera does matter. They argue that it is critically important. A good set of tools can turn a okay craftsman into a great one.

I think both viewpoints have some truth to them. A good camera does not automatically result in better pictures, but it does definitely allow one to take pictures in more demanding situations (less light, fast moving subjects, far away subjects, distracting backgrounds, etc.). Even in ideal situations, a good camera and lens combination can turn a good photograph into a great one. However, the best equipment alone will, of course, not magically turn a run-of-a-mill photographer into Annie Leibovitz. Artist's consciousness is ultimately what creates the artwork. The tools are just instruments through which the artist manipulates the world of matter around him or her. A better tool allows for more detailed precise manipulation of matter.

So yes, I like the K20d. Check out the new pictures.