Saturday, November 7, 2015


Thin crowd in Helsinki streets is one reason that makes outdoor photography in Helsinki simple. On a bright day , while strolling along Mannerheimintie and around Kanavakatu , I captured several interesting shots on glass facades  of  imposing buildings. Sunlight made taking photos of North-South roads difficult as shadow of one row of buildings dictated the quality of the capture.

Reflection of steeple of National Museum of Finland 
on the glass exterior of 'Music Center ', Helsinki.

Sun-light & shadow spoilsport  !
Tram-route 4, as it turns off Kanavakatu.

Shadows bring another kind of rewarding photo opportunity too. I found two interesting shadows  of  Uspenski Cathedral's Cupola on a neighbouring building. And......several shapes of shadows on other buildings.


 The prized photo-capture  of reflection among the ones I have collected is that of the tower of  National Museum of Helsinki upon the black glass panes of a mini-van parked in Lippuautomatti parking lot, just off the  Mannerheimintie . Reflection of a tree and its branches makes the image more captivating !

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


From our house to the neighbouring horse firm. 
Half the trees are bare in October,15.

During October,15, we were blessed with beautiful sunshine for a large nos of days. It was one such  bright day - 3rd Friday of October, when we went for a walk in the neighbourhood of Puistola , Helsinki . We went from our house to the near-by horse-stable  through a path strewn with leaves , shed by the shrubs and trees through this path runs. We walked into the cluster of  houses in the neighbouring area. And... then we came out on E75 , strolled on the foot-path for a whole before we returned home. During this leg of our walk, we noticed a few trees - not many though  - whose leaves were wearing a copper-like colour. Bright mid-day sun made these trees stand apart from the ones whose leaves have turned yellow or deep orange. Unfortunately, I was not carrying my camera and missed the opportunity of clicking.

 Copper-coloured leaves. 
Lack of sun-light affected brightness !

After 3 days, I went out with my camera, tracing the same route, capturing the photos of  neighbourhood in general , colourful trees and shrubs as well as the bare ones. But, the sky was mostly covered with cloud . Occasionally, sun-rays pierced the cloud , offering little photo opportunities.

 Sun less noon !

During this walk, I discovered a tree with copper-colour leaves in the compound of a house in a by-lane of my route. Fortunately, a gentleman was coming out as I posed  with my camera from the road outside. With his permission, I went inside the compound, took several photos of the leaves adorning its branches . When I walked out, I noticed : this gentleman was talking to  his neighbour as she was preparing to out in her car and watching my movement !

 With thanks to the 'unknown'  gentleman.

Combines a bare tree and that with copper-co;our leaves.

My eyes and camera looked for the trees with copper-colour leaves. Yet, other scenes also crept in.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015



another winter's come, the trees lay bare,
mere skeletons, stiff standing, 'pon the ground,
like you, protruding from the mind, no sound,
a quiet remnant, gone, but always there,

the trees wait patiently for that one day,
when life returns to every waiting thing,
I, too, await the Day of mankind's Spring,
when you'll return from where you've gone away.

Sourced from : 'Hello Poetry ', written by Christos Rigakos

Friday, October 23, 2015


..............................ENJOYING THE AUTUMN SUN

Spire pierces the deep blue sky of Helsinki, 
as the Eiranranta neighbourhood's red roofs 
are bathed in orange light of setting sun.

A friend of mine, who was in Helsinki for a long time, advised me to take a stroll on the sea-side around  Cafe Carousel.On a sunlit afternoon in October,2015 , we spent hours walking between these two points and taking photographs.  I had visited Scandinavia earlier during 1980s/90s several times when I was working with Flakt India. During every visit , I used to be impressed by beauty of Scandinavia's nature . This year, now in Finland, I got the opportunity of viewing this 'beauty' from so many angles ! Her seaside, her  deep-blue sky , the colour of sunset on light white cloud, her lakes,morning light adorning tree-tops with yellow leaves.

Adam ,Eve,the Apple  and ...... 
instead of Eden, Gulf of Finland.

Here are some of the photographs I have taken during my walk on the sea-front and the beautiful residential area parallel to this walk, along the street Eiranranta.

Cafe Carousel to Hegila Brigittas Park in Google Map

Sailors' delight, viewers' envy !  

Cafe Carousel has  quite a warm ambiance , with several large glass-panes opening on the sea. We were fortunate to get one free during Sunday lunch-time. Self-service set-up. Average plus quality. Pizza pieces and salads appeared to the least inviting.  Western sensibility often does not approve of candid photography in such places where people can be in intimate postures. So, no photo of the interior was taken by me. Ruby is undauntable.... she clicked a couple of photos.

Sun slowly disappearing behind Hernesaari

After the lunch, as we progressed slowly from this Cafe to the Park, we saw numerous boats sailing in the deep blue sea, Helsinki -to- Stockholm ferry leaving Market Square, sun slowly disappearing behind Hernesaari, orange sunlight lending every object a surreal glow . Finally, people in bubbles plying foot-ball in the ground adjacent to Cafe Carousel.

 Bubble football match - courtesy Surath Chatterji

Friday, October 16, 2015



You can't kill me
You can't kill what you do not see
Oh how  you've tried 
To blow my brains out with bigotry
Chopped off my wings
So I couldn't fly free
And dared me to be me
And all the other brothers 
Who were sacrificed for the price 
Of our freedom
And for love of living
And dancing on clouds sipping sunrays through a straw
We live in awe of ourselves 

You can't kill me
You can't kill what you do not see.
 - Abiodun Oyewole

Thursday, October 15, 2015



This blog is going to be different from my usual ones as I try to put across a point about which there can be arguments.The subject of discussion  is :  A photographer need take permission of his/her subject before clicking.

The answer is : YES, Specially before capturing private moments. But, otherwise, if  a part of  a street scene ? Secondly, should a photographer ask target/s pose and show-case the same as the as candid photo/s ?

This is a law in many Western countries regarding the 1st point.  I have glanced through some of the discussions in the Internet - mostly questions & answers - regarding this topic. Also, some street photographs - old and new . I conclude : this is a norm which is highly 'respected'  when in , say, France or UK.Volume of candid photographs is , therefore,  shrinking.

When tourists and photographers from  Western world  visit India, how  they conduct themselves ? Do they obtain permission of the beggars, old people in the streets,so-called 'sadhus' in popular temples and other places of worship ?

My observation - based on several incidents in Hampi,Karnataka, Konark, Orissa and Udaipur , Rajasthan - is that  this is often done. Yet, there is a big 'BUT'!!

Young boys and girls, appearing to be from families of lower income group  are offered toffees or cheap pens, beggars and 'sadhus' are given tenner to pose for photos. This conscious behaviour of photographers from the Western hemisphere has changed the habit of  good no of Indians living in places of tourist attractions. I have been repeatedly pestered for pens and/or small gifts , even if I am not  interested in clicking his/her photo and I hardly look like a Westerner.In fact, I rarely took photos of passers-bys' faces , whether in Cities, Towns,temples or other places of  tourist attractions ! ( Only now I am changing my habit) .

I believe, this process of obtaining concurrence by INFLUENCING the subject/s is not at all commendable.I kept some photos and mental notes of incidents to write down my feelings , to which my friends may OR may not agree.

The above brings into light two sides of this 'concurrence before click' arrangement:
  • Overdone in streets of Western hemisphere ? Pl view the photographs below. Not only VM - who is much older than the current generation - but others have projected shadows in staircases, feet below knees, faces obscured by opaque glass-pane in their portfolio. Very often, the spontaneity is just not there.Instead, we find conscious posing   as seen the TL's photo here.
  • Photos taken in 3rd World that often portraits,poverty,misery,mal-nutrition and chaos.

 A photo from Vivian Maier Collection

A photo from Thomas Leuthard Collection

Photo taken during my Konrk ( Orissa) visit in 2012.

NOTE :This boy pestered me nos of times for money in exchange of  taking his photograph I was NOT interested in.He walked parallel to me just to annoy !!
I eventually clicked his photo & made a mental note  for  use in a Blog  on this subject.

A photo of a Somalian in distress , picked up from Internet.
Was concurrence taken ?

Photo taken during my Hampi visit in 2011.

NOTE :On the LH side of the road leading to Hampi, we stopped to click details of a parked chariot. This group kept on pestering me for taking their photos & rewards like pens or chocolates.. I clicked this photo without any 'rewards' and they went away happy  after seeing their faces on Camera's screen.

I shall end by requesting friends from Western World visiting  India - and other 3rd World countries - not to 'influence' people, at least the young boys and girls for posing for photographs which are posted boastfully in their Social Circle pages.

Friday, September 25, 2015



View from the car-park.
The main building is at a small elevation.

 A nice spot to visit , very close to where we were staying - i.e. Puistola. It was 20/09/15  - afternoon of a bright Sunday Reached in 5 minutes by car. Passed by Malmi Airport where many families gathered, very likely, to watch some show as we noted cars parked around the Airport's entry.

Another view of the Main Building.

 A sprawling farm it is - just on the outskirt of Helsinki, off Malminkaari . We reached there nearly at the time of closing. We found horses and cows grazing outside  in areas earmarked  and separately fenced off. A near-by lane ran towards a big Flat-complex on rear side of the Farm - presumably the people around just strolled from there only with their kids just to enjoy the sun and facilities.

Horses and a pony graze in the area earmarked for them

Among the facilities, remarkable are a wooden horse for the children to climb, a long-bodied wooden dashound to sit down upon , log benches & tables  for having coffee & snacks.The penns are open to visitors on Sundays.

We found horses,cows,pigs,goats,lambs, ducks and hens ,rabbit (!) . The pig sty is very clean - little odour . Over-all standard of  neatness is amazing. Typically Scandinavian. Young girls were in-charge of managing the animals, probably a good part of house-keeping too.

This horse is fond of human contact !

On a dashound bench !

we took several photos sitting on this dashound -shaped bench . But, it was quite a popular spot. Though we were at this Farm quite late and stayed behind after the establishment closed, we had to wait quite a good amount of time for our turn. Among the persons who used this 'seat' for photography,two old ladies were oblivious to expectation of others. I sat there and called out my wife in Bengali to take my photograph, with the intention of disturbing the ladies- but without any success.

Our family photos are for restricted circulation - thus, stopping here without sharing some of the fun-moments we had at this spot.

Monday, August 31, 2015


Morning sky @ Hackensack,
 juxtaposed with scenes from New York. 

Time to say 'good-bye' to the current phase of our stay in the USA. Our stays here have so far been underlined by  serious events. When we reached  here in 2010, soon after our elder son's marriage, father of our daughter-in-law expired. This time - it was just the opposite - we were here to witness arrival of our grand-daughter. A girl for the 1st time in our family's lineage after two generations.

(Street scene ,Broadway)

We were mostly indoors during the first part of our stay. Going out was either for shopping or to  hospital. During the later phase of our stay, went around to various locations for photography, the last one being a night  through streets and avenues of New York. Here is a collection of  my photos tweaked by Photoshop.

(Street scene ,Broadway)

It is difficult to photograph street scenes in night. From moving cars, hindered by traffic ahead. And... without tripod. And... when one section of the frame is very bright, the other is not. Another problem I faced was garbage on footpath and vehicles for their  removal parked here & there.  

View across Hudson river ,from North Bergen

Wednesday, August 26, 2015



 Earth covered with green grass, wild flowers blooming. 
Sky covered with slate-coloured cloud.

This park on top of Camelback Mountain, Pennsylvania is at about 1980 ft height. The view reminded me of Mahabaleshwar, though the height of this hill resort of India is more than twice that of Camelback mountain.

Sun-set's splendour we missed.
An orange glow lit up the gap between the mountain range and cloud.

The observation point offers nearly 300 degree view, with Rim road, clearing at the top,walk-arounds. The observation point is a good picnic spot too, which benches and tables placed  facing both the visible ranges of hills on western and eastern sides.

View of mountain ranges,  winding road at a distance and 
a few glimpse of the Water Park among the trees near by

 This 'Mountain Back' is about 1 hour 45 minutes drive from our residence @ Hackensack - 82 miles or 145 Km. We drove along I-80, sometimes quite free, clogged with traffic occasionally. Crossed Delaware water gap - difficult to photograph while the car was speeding .The road up the hill was winding, as expected. We had little traffic during our climb up. There were traces of rain during the evening and many car owners started descending one after the other.

 Cars descending the winding path 
as the evening cloud threatens shower.

An arch-shaped cross-over seen from I-80, 
captured @ 65 mph (and PSed !).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Sun rises above  eastern horizon while  neighbourhood at Passaic Street sleeps

View of south east horizon

View from our balcony here is awesome . Specially, when the sun rises in the morning. Again when the sun is near the western horizon , a part of Hackensack is sunlit, yet in the distant south-western horizon, the tall and very tall buildings are under part shadow, part lit-up.

 A closer view of our neighbourhood.
Greenery spreads  till the horizon.

Our block has Prospect Avenue in its front -cannot be viewed from  our balcony. What we find is a slice of Passaic Street and nice cottages along its eastern edge. Then lot of greenery till the eastern horizon. Not many buildings can be viewed surpassing the green canopy of trees.

  For a few minutes every clear evening, buildings acquire a blazing tint 

The western horizon is blocked by the neighbouring buildings. The south-western horizon has a completely different 'personality. Trees, buildings, cars running along Expressway 80 ( connects Hackensack to  George Washington Bridge ) . Still further away are the sky-scrappers of Manhattan.  Different at different hours of the day. Different under different conditions of the sky.

Manhattan as the sky pours over. 
Neighbouring buildings in RH side block the Western sky

Lighted buildings in the south western horizon 
on a clear evening/night is a view beyond description.
( Courtesy - Ruby Chatterji)

This sky-line looks so wonderful at night. Can be hardly captured in my DSLR camera, as we do not have a tripod here.Miss a  binocular very much.

Rain-soaked neighbourhood.Bad photograph- re-touched

Wonderful was the day (11th August) when it rained since morning.The sky was covered with thick cloud. Manhattan often invisible. The very 1st few photos were spoiled because I messed up the 'Focus'( AF) setting .

Neighbourhood under canopy of cloud.

Friday, July 24, 2015



Dome of Helsinki cathedral, designed by a German Architect, Carl Ludviq Engel.
Opened in 1852 AD. 
Belongs to Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Cathedral of the Diocese of Helsinki.

A family situation took my wife, Ruby Chatterji, and me to Helsinki in April,2015. We stayed in a sunlit suburb of  Helsinki . Bright , long days welcomed us . The neighbourhood was having small and large living quarters, roads and footpaths nearly empty. Trees  green with young leaves. Lots and lots of flowers - so very different from a typical Kolkata neighbourhood.

Memory of Finland's past . 
Kept at Helsinki's South harbour area

During the only weekend we had, when the sun was in the Western part of the horizon, we were taken around for a couple of hours, which include a stop at a strolling area around back-water of the sea. We  visited  Helsinki Cathedral and the drove past  Kauppatori - the market was closed at that hour,  Central Business district neighbouring Rauttatientori ( railway Station)  etc.

[ Note - Rautatientori (Rauta = Iron, Tie = Road, Tori = Market/Station. Literal meaning: Iron-Road-Station aka Railway Station )].

A street scene - 13/06/15. Helsinki

A not-so-large Helsinki 'eye'

Remarkable were the cobbled roads and trams. We may visit Helsinki once more during September-October,15 when I plan to enjoy couple of tram rides and at least one ferry ride. I feel attracted by cobbled roads of Europe.The one etched in my memory is a lane with cobbled surface of Geneva and photos of those of Vienna.

                            Looking forward to  a tram-ride along the cobbled roads of Helsinki !

                                                          & a walk along this cobbled road.

Here are some photographs Ruby and I took during the car-ride and the stop-over at the water-front. The day was so bright, people enjoying the scenery and the environment - words cannot capture the spirit.

Walk along (back)water-front of Helsinki.
Sibelius Park.

Summer bloom.
Flowers in bushes of neighbourhood of where we stayed in Helsinki.