Cold Beautiful Sky On Fire – IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only framed in Photoshop & saved image as 4.2MB JPG.

The end of April, one of the rainiest I have ever lived, in 2011, possibly the windiest cloudiest year I have lived on Long Island, gave just enough cloud cover to make the sunset, finally visible after dozens of sunsets burnt to dull nothingness by wet dark clouds.

In the words of Jefferson Starship,

Will you light the sky on fire?
Will you light tonight like
You did the night before?
Hey, you could take me higher
Than the diamonds in the sky

As this day was coming to an end in New York, the last day of the life of a once freedom loving later genocide-inspiring terrorist was starting.

Within about 24 hours this photo, Usama Bin Laden, whose desire to teach America a lesson led to the policies that set fire to the Middle East and rained death over Afghanistan, whose henchmen and hell-bound dogs of urban war unleashed the fiery torrents of suicide bombings on innocent Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Jews everywhere….

As Bin Laden’s last 24 hours of raining death on fellow Muslims in the name of Islam, and on democracy lovers in the name of freedom, started, …. I saw the promise of a cloudy night of uncertainty, and, before a bright new dawn could rise, the symbolism of this peaceful, cool, beautiful Sky On Fire.

May Peace Be With You.

© 2011 IMRAN
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Untouched, unedited, unmodified Nikon D300 photo ISO200, 300-450mm, f/5.6. 2.3eV, 1/125 second to compensate for nasty Nikon bug that makes Nikon’s own lenses show up as “Non-CPU” unrecognized lenses with no way to change aperture. Nikon makes great cameras that always have manufacturing defects. Shame!

Balance Of Power Balance On Flower – IMRAN™

 

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only framed in Photoshop & saved 14MB RAW image as 4MB JPG.

As the world grapples with terror and fear, death and destruction, threats of preemptive attacks and death raining from the sky trying to eradicate those who blow themselves up in crowds of innocent people, it makes one wonder what kind of planet we have turned this into.

As a nation united on 9/11/2001 now stood a nation disunited in the United States of America on 9/11/2010… As the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was flooded, by water and downpours of tears mourning the death the life giving liquid caused, as so-called Islamists murdered thousands more Muslims in suicide attacks while the corrupt leaders fought over who should have the right to rape and pillage the country…. As the….

As this non-stop flow of horror stories of so called humanity in my own two homelands made the news, my hopes were raised by this simple shot taken in the flower beds of my next door neighbor. A beautiful bright yellow butterfly, in a perfect balance of power, balanced on a yellow flower, in perfect matching colors and in perfect harmony, giving me hope… Yes, we CAN all get along.

© 2010 IMRAN
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PS Stopped at the side of the road en route to Boston and typed these lines quickly to post for your enjoyment. I will check for typos and grammar later. Thank you for your appreciation.

 

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Fog Horns Way Into (Long Island) Sound Vision – IMRAN™

A Long Island Sound Vision To Remember. … I knew, this is it. My mind raced, my soul stood still. I clicked. I shot again and captured this Sound Vision in a miracle of life, light and line of sight. (This is the full frame, no cropping, luckily even the horizon is fairly level so no straightening done either)….. The Hunt For Red September…. Mission Accomplished.

Dark Fog Horns Way Into Lighthouse (Long Island) Sound Vision - IMRAN™ — Read The Action Movie Storyline!

My 23rd Photo In Explore! September 3, 2010.

A Long Island Sound Vision To Remember.

It was Wednesday. News was pouring in that Hurricane (or Tropical Storm for some people) Earl was racing up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. It was headed towards Massachusetts by Friday, with a glancing blow expected on Long Island.

Ahead of the storm’s impending arrival, I knew the air would start getting moisture laden. Since there was no heavy cloud cover, it meant there was a good chance of catching the setting sun’s light through the hazy prism precursor of nature’s looming fury.

I had to drive back from Boston to New York. Even though the ferry ticket for car & driver ($50) and a bite to eat ($20) would add to the cost, it was a calculated gamble I had to take.

I timed my Boston departure to ensure I would get on the New London, CT Cross Sound Ferry to Orient Point, NY departing at 6PM.

This would ensure I would be making the nearly 17 miles long angled crossing of the Long Island Sound (Atlantic Ocean water between Long Island’s North Shore and the states of Connecticut) as the sun would be signing out in anticipation of the hurricane’s outer edges.

I-395 was a pleasure to drive on as traffic was clear enough for me to arrive at the terminal by 5:30 PM. I boarded the ferry, posted a few tweets and FaceBook Wall updates and got ready for the ride.

The haze was getting heavier and the late afternoon sun made the sky behind the New London skyline appear to glow a dull orange tinged gray.

But, I smiled. From my experience photographing sunsets yachting in Miami, Florida, I realized it also meant the Sun would likely become more and more gold-red as it set. A photographer’s dream.

I snapped photos ( 12-14MB RAW Nikon D300 images, presented here at less than 4MB framed) from the top deck of the ferry. The wind was gusting, in my face, slapping my cheeks, bringing tears of joy only a mariner knows and loves standing against, yet being one with, nature’s power.

Despite the whipping wind the water inside the Sound to the West was eerily calm as you can see in this photo. It was protected from the wind’s effects by the body of Long Island.

As the Ferry approached the North East tip of Long Island, and Orient Point Ferry Terminal came into view, I realized that the best shot of this marker with the Sun over and behind it would be from the lower deck. As the boat’s droning engines hummed, the vibrations of powerful motors lifting the bow (nose) cone reverberated under my feet. The vessel carrying it’s cargo of nearly 100 cars and several hundred people arced into the space between Block Island and Long Island, where, in an irony of names, the waters of Block Island Sound and Long Island Sound collided in total silence.

Nikon strapped around my neck and behind my shoulder, like an assault weapon that shoots beauty and joy instead of bullets, I did my best (wannabe) action movie star impersonation.

I confidently moved on the rolling deck towards the staircase. Hooking my arms around the railings on either side of the stairway down, I took a leap of faith, childish joy and adrenaline rush.

Sliding down, like sailors we see going down submarine stairways in movies and TV shows, I ensured that the Nikon lens was hugging me tight in front and not likely to hit the metal frames.

Landing on my feet like a Shock and Awe soldier, in one fluid motion I was already stepping towards the side of the boat, with a “Shoot & Ahhh!” moment facing me.

My left hand was starting to zoom out the lens while the right hand was powering up my shooting weapon, as a well trained Marine(r), while the “actor/director” in me wrapped that (silent) movie scene of my non-Hollywood action star career in one take.

I crouched, semi-kneeled, camera up to my face…. The viewfinder framing perfect moments of beauty going by at nearly 20 mph…

At this close distance and relatively high speed, wind gusts and the turning boat’s rolling motion were all conspiring for the perfect capture to elude me.

I knew, I had faith, I could do it. I knew it was the start of a new month, a new phase, a new chapter, a new mission…. like my own action movie, it was, The Hunt For Red September.

The moments are in caught in a warm hued freeze frame. I click. I frame. I shoot. I dot not ask questions. Time slides by. Water rushes by. One moment merges into the next. That moment, yes, that one, there it went. It would never return in this space-time continuum. I have to capture it for all eternity.

I twist to my right, still zooming, framing, aiming and keeping the camera level, as the structure seems to be sliding to the right and the sun behind it trying to escape the camera frame. I shoot again.

I knew, this is it. My mind raced, my soul stood still. I clicked. I shot again and captured this Sound Vision in a miracle of life, light and line of sight. (This is the full frame, no cropping, luckily even the horizon is fairly level so no straightening done either).

The Hunt For Red September…. Mission Accomplished.

© IMRAN
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Fly Eye-Popping Popping Cherries Fireworks Fireballs

Fly Eye-Popping Popping Cherries Fireworks Fireballs - IMRAN™

 

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, sharpening, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only framed in Photoshop & saved 14MB RAW image as 6MB JPG.

After the stunning nearly 3D quality Eye-Popping Popping Cherries, I felt it best to present something so different and so similar at the same time.

Around the same time those cherries were popping in bright cherry red and budding orange tones before ripening, almost exactly the same colors of eye popping fireballs were filling the skies on my beach at home, as the stunning Fourth of July Fireworks lit up Fire Island and the Great South Bay, visible to mariners on the Atlantic Ocean as well.

The sharp and beautifully balanced cherry and orange colors of these fireballs in the sky are a perfect contrast to the Cherries photo.

NO editing done to this picture. 10 seconds f/8 expsoure on tripod at 450mm zoom equiv. with ISO 100.

 

© 2010 IMRAN
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Almost 3D? Aye, I Eye Eye-Popping Popping Cherries

I love popping cherries. The fresh luster of new life, budding with promises of fresh tastes and dripping with juicy delights. George Washington would be proud. I cannot tell a lie. I did NOT cut the cherry tree.

I love popping cherries. The fresh luster of new life, budding with promises of fresh tastes and dripping with juicy delights.

George Washington would be proud. I cannot tell a lie. I did NOT cut the cherry tree.

Instead, I planted this hybrid cherry tree a few years ago. It has 4 different kinds growing on the same plant. I planted it next to my deck (too close to it, I suspect, if it grows too large). It was bought at Home Depot in my area.

Yes, I get lucky, with my camera and even with plants 🙂 . The flower beds where I planted it still have pebbles and rocks the lazy builder had not bothered to remove 16 years ago, when the house was built. So, after shoveling hard, I found it nearly impossible to get to the required or recommended depth for this planter. I did the best I could.

The next few years, the plant grew, from about 2 feet to about 5 feet tall, without any contribution from me except ensuring the sprinkler system did not fail. This year was the first that it delighted me with eye-popping cherries, which I enjoyed eating right off the plant (as did some birds, you can tell!) and sharing with neighbors.

To take this photo I stepped on my deck furniture and stood precariously on the deck railing looking down and sideways at the plant. I wanted to get a view of the red and orange fruit with the rich green grass in the background below it.

What was stunning about this photo (25% crop of a 14MB RAW image) was how shiny bright the cherry was. Even at the relatively lower detailed cropped version here, you can see my white shirt reflecting ON the fruit! Even the green (post bloom Spirea) bush growing under the tree is actually reflected on the red cherry if you look at it in large size! Look hard at the reflections on the cherry and you almost feel that dizzying 3D sensation.

Yes, I Love Eye-Popping Popping Cherries.

© 2010 IMRAN
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PS I am playing with 3D photos too but not posting here. If you have those cheesy 3D red/blue shades, take a 3D look at my living room.

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Sun Signs Out, Sets Off Home, Over Dark Daymark Outdoors

 

The sun signs out from a full day’s work. It sets off for home and sets off a home on the water in brilliantly dark silhouette.

In time, the sun sets over a dark daymark, set in the channel, splitting the sun’s reflections on the water, separating shallow water from deep, providing one more geometric and symmetric element in this imagery, this memory — electronically etched in the silicon of a memory card, eternally aligned in the magnets of a hard drive, permanently painted on the neurons of a mind dazzled by the sights it saw in a wondrous lifetime.

Stiltsville, in the channel outside Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, is a place I have seen more spectacular marine sunsets from my yacht than any place else.

Just idling the engines, soaking in the sights of the ends of a passion filled afternoon, the juices of the day melting over the shades of dusk, I captured this with my Nikon D300. No cropping.

I saw the sign, the sun, out of the blue and into the red, and my sun sign (Gemini) made me see the duality of the moment melding time and tide flowing past and rising ahead. It made me vow, like the sun set to rise again, I too would be back, to make new memories, of another day, on another day. Amen.

 

© 2010 IMRAN 
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PS1 No color processing, only frame & title added in Photoshop. I could have reduced highlights on the sun and lightened shadows on the house and sign but just wanted to savor it as it was.

PS2 I did notice a stunning amount of greater detail in this image the Nikon stored as a TIFF compared to the JPGs I normally save. The camera has a memory card large enough to store TIFFs in any outing. But at that time I was concerned about the iPhoto library growing too large for my MacBook Pro’s hard drive. Even with 99% images as JPGs it is already over 50GB. With another 60GB for my iTunes library, pretty soon, I’d have no space left for anything else.

PS3 The horizon IS level. The water gets shallower to the left and the sky was darker to the right, making the satiny reflection appear dipping towards the left, but you will see the actual horizon is level.

Have A Ball Above Towering Tree(ts) – Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

Have A Ball Above Towering Tree(ts) - IMRAN™ - Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

Enjoy this unique view of the Christmas Tree at Galleries Lafayette in one of my favorite cities in the world, Paris, France. You will like my copyright inserted in the picture. 🙂

Though I am a Muslim born in Pakistan, December 25, Christmas Day was always a special day. It is a national holiday in Pakistan (birth date of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of the nation).

Since I went to missionary schools for a great education in Pakistan, they also celebrated it as a Christmas break. And, on a more personal note, it was also the birthday of my beloved late Mother.

For Christmas and this holiday season, I think this is a perfect picture to wish all my friends lots of joys and treats having a ball under (or over) the towering tree(s) of gifts, love and happiness.

© IMRAN
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Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
40, Boulevard Haussmann, 
75009 Paris, France

loc: 48.87276862591975, 2.332355493122009

© IMRAN 2009
Web: www.imran.com
Blog: www.imran.com/media/blog/ 
Pictures: www.flickr.com/photos/imrananwar/sets/ 
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On A Clear Dusk, You Can See Forever

On A Clear Dusk, You Can See Forever - IMRAN™

This absolutely unedited and unprocessed photo (except frame and name added in Photoshop) shows how clear winter dusks can be. See it larger,

The day was one of 30-50 miles per hour winds, that brought with them wind chills on top of the cold weather moving through. But what the wind brought in coldness, it took away in pollution from the air.

I braved the wind to walk out onto the beach at my home in East Patchogue and catch the most amazing sunset colors — made more spectacular by the clarity of the air.

The plane even further in the distance and the birds in the air all fought the wind, which was gusty enough to almost make me fall over from the boardwalk railing I had taken some pictures standing on.

That is Robert Moses Causeway Bridge, literally 17.23 MILES (27+ km) from where I stood and took the picture on my beach at home.

On a clear day you can see forever. 
On a clear night you can see for eternity. 
On a windy day, you can see where the magic of winter sunsets lies. 


I hope you enjoy the warmth of this cold sunset photo of November 28, Thanksgiving Weekend, 2009 in my blessed home by the sea and may we all have even more blessings to be thankful for next year.

© 2009 IMRAN

This Will Live Online Forever
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Stunning Blue Waters, British Virgin Islands

Stunning Blue Waters Of The British Virgin Islands - IMRAN™

I have seen fewer places with more beautiful blue waters than the Caribbean and especially the waters of the British Virgin Islands at Tortola.

This particular picture was taken with a pocket Nikon S6 as we took a ferry towards Virgin Gorda, one of the most beautiful places I have been.

The blue water at the dock was cleaner and more beautiful than anything even in a swimming pool or bath tub we can imagine.

The boat’s propellor’s churned the ice-colored but perfectly mild water into shades of teal, turquoise and literally made you say aquamarine. It almost looks like one of those colored iced drinks like Slurpees of this color that you can drink.

© 2008-2009
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Location: 18°25’9.30″N 64°37’1.46″W

Web: www.imran.com
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Does Fall On A Tree In The Forest Make Sounds, Of Silence?

When Fall Falls On A Tree In The Forest, Does It Make Sounds, Of Silence? - IMRAN™

When Fall Falls On A Tree In The Forest, Does It Make Sounds, Of Silence?

The total silence and stillness of this moment I captured sounded like life passing by quickly in slow motion. The cracking Sounds of Silence that Fall makes when it creeps up and falls onto a tree in the forest.

Captured during a walk on South Country Road, near my home, in East Patchogue, Long Island, New York.

© 2009 IMRAN
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Camera:Nikon D300
Exposure:0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture:f/5.0
Focal Length:70 mm
ISO Speed:280
Exposure Bias:+4/3 EV
Flash:On, Return detected

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© IMRAN 2009

Web: www.imran.com
Blog: www.imran.com/media/blog/ 
Pictures: www.flickr.com/photos/imrananwar/sets/ 
Follow Me: www.twitter.com/imrananwar
FaceBook: www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=582866154
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/imran