All posts by Sukanya Ramanujan

Renaissance Soul, Polyglot, Wanderer

Plane Spotting!

Love planes? So do I.

I think I’ve told you that I could spend hours watching planes land and take off. I could easily be the person who sits for hours on the runway- if only someone could pay me to do that.

Anyway today I’ve got a HUGE album of plane pics- some from inside the plane, some from on the tarmac. Shot on my phone, on my mother’s phone, on my ipod with its front facing camera- you get the point!

I’ve got a few airlines that I’ve only seen once or twice- Libyan Air is one. Loads of airlines that operate in India- naturally.

Have a look- is there a specific airline or a pic that you like?

Todaiji, Nara, Japan

Last week I had posted a photograph of the Great Buddha statue of Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan. 

Here are some photographs from both inside and outside the temple complex.

Nio Guardian at Todaiji Behind a Grid mesh
Nio Guardian at Todaiji Behind a Grid mesh

The Nio Guardians are like the Dwarapalakas in Indian temple tradition. Door wardens who guard the entrance to the Gods.

Toe of the Nio Guardian
Walking Towards the Main Temple Complex
From a distance
Close Up of Buddha
One more of those fierce warriors

It was quite dark inside the temple at places so a bit hard to photograph without a tripod. Hope you liked the images!


Shadow of the Earth & The Belt of Venus

We all know that moon phases are caused by the shadow of the Earth falling on the moon. I think I read somewhere that the shadow of the earth travels about 1 million kilometres. Have you ever wondered what the speed of shadow is?

Anyway there is an easier more spectacular way of viewing the Earth’s shadow. Just look west during sunrise and east during sunset. I’m positive most of us have seen this and either dismissed it as a clump of clouds or just darkness creeping in. But it’s pretty cool when you realise that it’s actually Earth’s shadow that’s beginning its long journey.

Earth’s Shadow and Belt of Venus at Sunset looking East- South Rim Grand Canyon

The shadow of the Earth is that dark blue band and the pink band above it is called the belt of Venus (essentially refracted light).

Taken slightly later on the same evening- notice how much bigger the shadow has become

If you look west during sunrise you can once again observe the shadow.

Looking West During Sunrise at the Grand Canyon
Shadow of the Earth and Belt of Venus


Weekly Photo Challenge: Time (Part 2) The Grand Canyon

Yesterday I posted a time lapse which covered about an hour’s time of the early morning sky. It was great because I had no idea what the theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge was going to be when I was photographing the morning sky.

However, as I thought more about the theme I felt I had to do one more post. So I thought of what could represent the opposite of what I had posted yesterday (which was just a micro-section of time). And then it struck me- the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon South Rim

They say that the Grand Canyon never fails to impress- this is absolutely true. No matter how many images you see on the internet before you get there, you are completely awestruck when you walk to the rim and take in the views.

The Grand Canyon offers us a cross-sectional view of layers of rocks starting from nearly billions of years to old to a few tens of million years old. Every horizontal band/ line you see in the photographs represents a geological time that spanned millions of years.

Lines of Time- South Rim Grand Canyon

Erosion has done an amazing favour of revealing this timescale to us. If you thought about it- it’s not very different from a tree rings. Every line offers you information about what happened on the surface of the earth at that time- fossils, rock formations etc.,

Walking the Trail of Time

They have something called the trail of time when you walk the rim of the South Rim at the Grand Canyon. It has signposts and information boards on what would have happened at different points of time from the earliest points to a few million years ago. This extends from the Grand Canyon Village to the Yavapai Geological museum. What amazed me when reading these boards was just how many times the land had been taken over by the sea. Which is why they discover marine fossils in the Grand Canyon.

Time Display on a Grand Scale

Just imagine- beneath us are these hundreds and thousands of layers of rock and sediments deposited at every geological age. At the Grand Canyon you get to view this grand display of time passing.

It is actually a humbling experience when you realise how small human time is when compared to the slow but massive time of the Universe.

You can check out other entries for the weekly Photo Challenge theme here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Time(Lapse)

This week’s photo challenge theme is Time. 

Time, time, time- what is time? Is is just another dimension of the Universe that we can feel but we cannot see?

Time can be extremely frustrating- running away from us all the times(!) that we want it to stay and overstaying its hospitality when we want it to leave.

We’ve been told that we should enjoy every moment as if it is our last and yet we will almost squander away time on irrelevant nonsense. David Eagleman’s Sum has one enlightening short story (read here) which talks about how much time we spend on our daily normal activities.

This week I’ve been ensnared by the morning sky- for the second time in a week I sat up in the terrace just before dawn waiting for the sun to creep out of the horizon. The result:

What depicts time more than the passing of time?

From Darkness- It’s about 20 minutes before sunrise- all cloudy
Suddenly at about 10 minutes before the sunrise, the sky is awash in colour
But that show of colour is brief- here the small orange speck is the sun (you can see it at around 17 seconds of the video)

Somehow timelapses always remind me of Philip Glass and his music