Empire Of The Sun – IMRAN™

I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul, the architect of my destiny. And, some of the brightest visions lie behind the darkest clouds, saddest scenes, and foreboding skies.

At that spot, in that moment in time, I realized…

I am the ruler…. of my own Empire Of The Sun.

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Empire Of The Sun is a 1987 movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, which came out during the years of my first arriving in the USA, and settling into New York City. Then, more than 2 decades flew by. As a result, it is still on my list of movies to see.

But, that title has always remained with me. Even as I captured this breathtaking, SOOC (Straight Out Of Camera {except framing and titling} unedited, unprocessed), photograph.

It was taken from my yacht, in Biscayne Bay, returning from the Atlantic Ocean, on what had initially appeared to be a gray afternoon.

My then companion and I almost decided not to go out, but, a day of boating, on the ocean, beats a day driving around town. So, off we went.

As we headed back towards home port, in Coral Gables, Florida, timing the crossing of the channel to coincide with the sunset hour, I planned to capture the abandoned homes of Stiltsville silhouetted against the sun.

The sun was getting more rich, the haze more like natural camera filters. The clouds were really layered like thin muslin sheets across different distances and altitudes, creating a once in a million year combination of patterns, colors, hues and shades.

I had no idea, that without any skill on my part 🙂 , the Nikon D300, and the f/14 1/800 second ISO200 0eV exposures would lead to possibly the most stunning series of photos I had ever captured in my life.

Some will need to be straightened because I was slowly letting the Sea Ray Sundancer drift, its twin 8.1 liter Mercruiser engines idling, as I both maneuvered the boat with one hand to position the boat, and clicked the camera with the other hand, to capture the sun from different angles, and from between and behind different structures. The water was choppy.

As I stood in the cockpit, with no vessel or persons around me for miles, the vast openness of the darkening Atlantic Ocean to my left, other homes of Stiltsville behind me, choppy waters of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline to my right, with no other souls in sight…

I gazed at the sight that lay ahead…

And, it made me gasp out to the Creator, “Oh, My God!”

I felt what I was, and remain…. a humble, insignificant, man, in front of nature, and God.

But, also, in that same moment of clarity I knew…

I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul, the architect of my destiny. And, some of the brightest visions lie behind the darkest clouds, saddest scenes, and foreboding skies.

At that spot, in that moment in time, I realized…

I am the ruler…. of my own Empire Of The Sun.

© 2008-2011 IMRAN
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Solar Fire, Solo Flier – IMRAN™

A solo flier appeared when all other birds had given up and gone home. A natural aviator, silently, hopefully, bound for its destination unknown, knowing somewhere along the way it would find its mate, and its dreams would come true…. even as a seemingly endless night appeared before it.

Steve Jobs, visionary, genius. Thank you for everything. RIP. Hat Trick +2 ! My 5th flickr Explore in a row.

My 45th Photo to make it in Flickr Explore on October 5, 2011!

Smith Point County Park Bridge is a place which has many special meanings to me.

It is a place I visited with my beloved Father when he was in the USA in 1996, at a time of great difficulties for me.

Over the 15 years since, it is a place I visit by road like others do. It is a site I have boated, sailed and yachted by, on both the bay and the ocean sides. It is a sight I have flown over, spreading my wings over its beaches and near-by islets, to practice flight manuevers. Its parking lot offers a level of comfort — as an potential emergency landing spot (assuming it is not crowded), especially during fall and winter flying on the ocean.

Walking on it, I have felt its sand in my toes, and I’ve marched across the asphalt to walk up to the bridge to capture some of my most spectacular sunset photographs.

This was not a particular clear or bright, day, much like the murky uncertainty that surrounds us as individuals and even as nations and a human race. It was not even an interestingly cloudy day, when the infinite variations of cloud shapes always ensure differing shades of red.

But, as the golden sun set, as it set the sky alight with a solar fire, I got what I was waiting for.

An image, a moment in time, a symbolic alignment of man, machine, planet, and the universe with the stages in life I have faced in the last 3 years….

A solo flier appeared when all other birds had given up and gone home. A natural aviator, silently, hopefully, bound for its destination unknown, knowing somewhere along the way it would find its mate, and its dreams would come true…. even as a seemingly endless night appeared before it.

And, even as I was posting this picture, little did I know that someone of far greater significance would be flying away, forever, within hours of my posting this photo. Steve Jobs, RIP.

A Solo Flier Against A Solar Fire.

May we all soar above our troubles and find all the joy, love, and happiness we seek, deserve and desire.

© 2011 IMRAN DSC_7850

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Sailing Stunset – IMRAN™

But, it was all worth the zigzag rushing to get in place at just the right time to take this stunning, pastel, orange, pink, red, gold explosion of natural colors captured by the Nikon S6. The trees and the bridge in silhouette completed the mood.

I only had my iPhone 4 and 6 years old pocket Nikon S6 in my pockets as I went sailing/racing with my friend Peter Ehatt and his wife Jean.

The bay, between Smith Point beach and the landmass of Long Island, became our playground, as we first met the challenge of almost no wind, followed by a rapidly chaning wind that, at one point during an aggressive maneuver, almost had us capsize in a comedy of errors. Note to self, learn to swim properly.

But, it was all worth the zigzag rushing to get in place at just the right time to take this stunning, pastel, orange, pink, red, gold explosion of natural colors captured by the Nikon S6. The trees and the bridge in silhouette completed the mood.

The image does not have the fine resolution of my Nikon D300 12MP shots, but the colors were still magical.

The unreal reflection on the water made it almost appear like a bowl of a golden liquid with a fire dancing atop it.

To top off the evening, as we headed home, the same spot the sun had set lit up with mid-summer fireworks. But, the memory of the day was definitely this, Sailing Stunset!

© 2011 IMRAN
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Natural 3D – IMRAN™

SOOC Image Straight Out Of Camera!! NO editing, tweaking, of ANY kind. Only framed in Photoshop & saved image as 6MB JPG. Handheld, 450mm zoom ISO250 at f/5.6 1/60 seconds with flash.

Walking around my home after a morning of rain, I shot several photos of the wonderful flowers that were blooming in the beds.

I was amazed by the almost 3D effect this photo’s bokeh background, the foreground flower and the sharply in-focus buds, created.

No editing on these natural colors, brought to life by firing off the flash – though it was morning and an outdoors scene.

© 2011 IMRAN
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Is Pacific Ocean Big? Sur(e)! – IMRAN™

Is the Pacific Ocean Big? Sure. But, at Big Sur it is just a tiny microcosm of what makes our beautiful blue planet the home not just of our living beings, but our souls that feed on the beauty of nature.

About 18 years ago, my friends based in California, and I, had taken a brief trip along the famed Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1), from San Francisco / San Jose to the towns of Carmel and Monterey.

It was a beautiful scenic drive, and a great time with friends, who, like passing time, can move into the memory drawers of life.

This year, after a hectic business trip to Santa Clara and San Jose, I changed my return flight, from San FranciscoLong Island, to a departure from Orange County, near Los Angeles.

My goal was to take a 2 day slow drive along Route 1, and get to visit a dear cousin, who had visited me with her then-brand new husband (LOL) about 12 years ago in NY, and whom I had long promised to visit.

My trip was delayed because unexpected meetings meant I could not depart from Santa Clara til about 3 PM.

That is when I actually started calling around for hotels to have another interesting twist. It was coming up on the last weekend for many families before schools started. So, there were no hotel rooms available anywhere, except for $500 or more per night.

But, I plugged away, sitting in the parking lot doing searches on my iPhone and calling around but in specific areas on the ocean route.

I was also sorely disappointed that the day of this trip was completely overcast weather in California.

I decided to head towards Irvine and Newport Beach (where my cousin and her husband and three daughters I had never met lived). My plan was to stay the night in a scenic place, which I ended up picking Cambria to be. (A lovely place, where I also got a reasonably priced, well under $200 or so compared to $500, for an only remaining room, on the ocean, with breakfast included, so it was quite a bargain at that time).

But, as I made my way down Route 1, I realized that my photography plans were pretty much foiled, both by the weather, the lateness of my departure, and a misbehaving camera.

One primary place to visit on my list had been the Big Sur area, and its rocky structures along the cliffs and hills along the Pacific Coast.

Interestingly, as I got to that area, the sun had started falling, but the clouds were lifting enough for the sun to cast a hot yellow red tinge on the rocks of Big Sur. At the same time, a contrasting fog was rolling in from the ocean just a mile or two further away.

The scene was surreal… the green trees and sandy, muddy, rocky mountainside was appearing saturated in yellow, the rocks jutting out from a darkening blue were almost overexposed looking white, while the hills just a few miles away merged into a hazy blue layer of hazier bluer mists, with the waves rolling onto the sliver of sandy beach were a beautiful combined shade of turquoise and teal.

All in all, it ended up being a unique, once in a lifetime, set of weather conditions, of a small slice of our planet worth seeing in many different lights.

Is the Pacific Ocean Big? Sure. But, at Big Sur it is just a tiny microcosm of what makes our beautiful blue planet the home not just of our living beings, but our souls that feed on the beauty of nature.

I hope you enjoyed this travel experience I am sharing. Thank you.

© 2011 IMRAN
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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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