Gokarna: From Eyes of a Photographer


Introduction: Gokarna, a small town on the west coast of Indian Peninsula, is famous for its 5 beaches, namely: God’s Own Beach, Paradise Beach, Om Beach, Kumta Beach and Gokarna Beach. Before you judge the place with just the beaches, I would like to tell you that Gokarna is majorly famous for Mahabaleshwar Temple. But with Gokarna Beach Trek, you would also find salt farms, handicraft items, rocky hills, and a world without the crowd. As your journey starts with Nature Walkers from Bangalore, there would be times where you would like to click pictures and capture your very own unforgettable moments. I would like to share my views and experience as a photography hobbyist so that you could get the most out of it.

The road to Gokarna: Before reaching Gokarna, long stretches of road will welcome you covered by trees on both sides. One could click nice views while sitting beside the driver in the early hours of the morning. These roads provide a view of your dreams. As you enter Gokarna, you will find white patches of land in the middle of a farm. These are salt farms from where farmers produce salt from seawater. This must be a new thing to look out for. After freshening and a light breakfast, you move towards the first beach where you start the Beach Trek. This is where adventure beckons.

Flying eagles: Everyone has seen elegant pics of an eagle flying in the blue sky. How about adding rocky hills and seashore in the backdrop? What if there are few boats on seawater fishing during sunset. All these can be seen and captured while trekking and enjoying the natural and unaltered landscape. Just imagine your desktop has wallpapers sliding with numerous pictures which are actually your pictures.

Beachscapes: Not just a typical scenery from a seashore but one can actually click great moments while on a beach too. Capturing your own moments with your friends playing on the beach or just clicking at random people/kids candidly, one can enjoy looking and capturing random people laughing and enjoying their vacation moments.

Rocky adventure: There are many rocky hills along the shoreline where you can either pose for a good photo or capture your friends’ mischievous activities. All these make a good memory of the place and fun that one can have over here.

Tent views: We always want to live at least one night under the starry night in a tent. Not just live but to show others that you actually lived that moment and you want to click pictures of being inside the tent. Additionally, you could also light a bonfire nearby and make your friends sit around it. In this kind of a setup, take a few pictures of your friends enjoying the moment while keeping the tents as a background for your photo. Next morning, try to wake up early in the morning so that you could catch the view of the moonset. Yes, ‘Moonset’ is actually cooler than a sunset. At Gokarna, you can see the moon setting down in the Arabian sea right from your tent. That is the view which only a few people have experienced.

Sunset points: Everyone has seen a sunset, but, capturing a perfect sunset at the perfect location is what matters the most. It matters because you can cherish those moments every time you see that picture. One of these perfect locations is the sunset point at Om Beach. Sitting and relaxing on the last rock towards the vast sea and waiting for the sun to set while the sea breeze gives you the best feel and the birds flying right above you. All these along with fishing boats at the distant sea are worth taking a photo and the view of the sunset with this backdrop is worth taking a full HD video.

Beach football: If you miss the sunrise, it’s better to enjoy beach football. Although it’s difficult to play it’s actually fun to watch and experience the difficulty in playing on beach sand. It’s even better to capture those moments where your friend is about to kick the football or just kicked it and the sand is in the air and imagine when your friend is about to take a header shot. All these moments can be captured keeping in mind that the sea is in the background. During this early morning time, the blue sea looks even darker which give you a picture of the deep blue background that catches your eye.

Ferry boats: Ferry boats also give a nice seascape photo. If you are able to include some more elements within your frame then it will be more attractive. An example could be a boat sailing on one side of the frame, a piece of land or rock or even a small hill on the other side of the frame with some birds mainly eagles flying randomly in the frame. It would be better if you could include a coconut tree, which is commonly available in the area, in your frame.

Type of cameras that can be used: There is no particular camera that will be useful for every sceneries and type of photography. This means that every kind of camera will do your work. For beginners, point and shoot camera are preferred so that they need not carry extra weight along the trek just for photography purpose. Those who have DSLRs can have an extra lens, either wide angle for landscape photography or zoom lens for close-ups. There is good news for those who don’t have any camera. Their mobile will work absolutely fine with various filters and stunning color production. With a little tweak, mobile users can produce eye-catching photos and upload them to social media instantly. It’s better to keep your mobile phones ready in video mode just before sunset.

Photography tips: Everyone has a different taste when it comes to a type of photographs they see or click. Some want vivid colors while others prefer black and white or sepia. Some want close-ups while others want wide angle. According to me, what matters is how you frame your pic. If you can frame it properly half of your work is done. Color reproduction can be done later also. But once the moment has passed, it’s past. For almost every photograph, a proportion of the main subject, location of the subject within the frame, depth of the surrounding, viewing angle and sub-elements are few things that need to be taken care of. Once you frame your photo, it becomes your perspective of seeing things. My personal favorite is looking for the best portion which I could make my laptop wallpaper.

Time of photography: The best time for photography is actually all throughout the day. The trek starts from the beach where you could start your beach photography.  While crossing the region you will find spots where you can capture either the view or just take a selfie with the sea. Once you are in the sea water, best is to enjoy every moment. Even if you fear water, just go in a few steps, stay there for few waves and come back. After that, there’s sunset point, bonfire, night sky from a tent, lighthouse from the distance, and sleep. Early morning there’s sunrise point on one side and moonset on the seaside. Then there’s early morning beach football or volleyball match or just beach walk. And at last, there are shops, stalls, and temples. Every now and then, you can find places to click pictures.

Post-processing: For post-processing of photos, almost all of us have heard of Adobe Photoshop for Windows/Mac. For mobile users, Apps like Adobe Photoshop Express or Adobe Lightroom CC which are available on Google Play Store as well as Apple Store do a great job. With just a little tweak, anyone can produce great photographs. For the laptop, if you don’t have Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, you can still edit your favorite pictures on Picasa or any other photo editing software which you are comfortable with and which provide basic editing tools like contrast, brightness, temperature, and saturation. Other than that Instagram provides many filters which generally fit your needs.

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Anupam Ghosh


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