London's Tower Bridge

The Mystery of the Floating Bed

Much thanks to Roséline at This is Glamorous for identifying the talent behind the beautiful floating canopy bed image that I posted this past weekend. I had stumbled upon the image on the web, but was mystified as to who the photographer was. I searched and searched with no avail. No photo credit was given to this talented artist {that's a topic I'll cover later}. In any event, Roséline was a great help with my endless search.

The artist is Vincent Olinet. French, but of course. The work is titled, "Pas encore mon histoire," and is an installation piece from the Lauren Godin Gallery in Paris.

I've located a French design blog that details this unique installation and have done my best to translate it into English. Follow along and enjoy the lovely photos and story behind them!

"Pas encore mon histoire," 2007
Floating bed, installation by Vincent Olinet
Presented by Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris
2009 in the Tuileries

A bed canopy floats elegantly over the basin. As it sails delicately, the cushions call for a romantic girl. A fairytale that appeals to little girls who love stories about beautiful Princesses in danger to be rescued by a Prince Charming.

Upon closer inspection the seemingly pristine bed reveals its yellowed blue and white veils. There are slight tears in the muslin and gold swags from heavy rain. The wonderful yields to the blows of reality and the nightmare is not far. The bed is a crumbling fairytale. The Princess is missing and Prince Charming is not coming.

Vincent Olinet anchored his four-poster bed in the Exedra north of the Tuileries Gardens. Pushed by the wind, the ghost ship drifted a few inches into the basin. Ducks climbed onto the bypass or white sheets at the risk of soiling. The bed was flanked by statues inspired by classical Greek mythology: on one side, Venus Callipyge (Aphrodite), the other Apollo chasing Daphne.

The time for fairy tales are over. Visitors gazed at the facility with pleasure, attracted by the sweetness of the first installation.

First 2011 Photo Expedition

I'm on my way back to New York from teaching a multimedia class at the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Istanbul, and thought it opportune to announce that my first photo~expedition in 2011 will be to Gujarat, India. I have yet to pinpoint the dates, but I am leaning towards January 23 to February 6, 2011.

The Travel Photographer's In Search of Sufis photo~expedition will focus on the visual exploration of the syncretism which exists between Islam (especially Sufism) and Hinduism. Syncretism is the combination of disparate or contrary beliefs, often fusing practices of various traditional philosophies.

This expedition will travel in the southern peninsula of Gujarat, and photograph at the various Sufi shrines/darghas as well as Hindu temples, where a multitude of pilgrims arrive to supplicate. It will also include a foray in the tribal belt of Kutch to document the unaltered ways of life of the area, to include religious rituals exclusive to Gujarat.

The maximum number of participants is 5 (excluding myself), and participation will be based on a brief portfolio review. This photo~expedition is not for first-timers to India, is for self-starters and requires an interest in Indian religious traditions. It will include coaching in multimedia techniques and story-telling.

The photo~expedition will commence and end in Ahmedabad, which is well served by flights from Delhi and Mumbai. Hotel accommodations will range from 4-star hotels in the larger cities/towns to whatever is available in the more remote areas.

Details of the photo~expedition and its itinerary will initially be announced to my newsletter recipients in a few days, and then to the general public via this blog.

This photo~expedition is inspired by the remarkable work of my friend Asim Rafiqui as per his The Idea of India project.

My Work: Belly Dancing In Istanbul

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

Due to the distance between the historic Sultanahmet district and Kadikoy where the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop was based, I wasn't able to photograph much of Istanbul...except for some grab shots with my new GF1.

However, some of us did manage to take some time and attend a folkloric dance program in Sultanahmet, where we were allowed to photograph at will.

The above photograph was made at the Hocapasha Cultural Center in Eminönü during a wonderful performance. The dance was under black light or UV light...and was minimally color corrected.

I used my Canon 5D Mark II and a 70-200 2.8 Canon lens....and yes, my Foundry class attendees; it's a vertical!!!

Horsley Hills Tourism

Consistently a firm favorite with many tourists, Horsley Hills is a scintillating hill resort in Andhra Pradesh. Named after W.D. Horsley, once the Collector of Cuddapah district, the hill station serves as his summer retreat. A popular escape from the sweltering heat of the plains, this hill resort is of immense beauty, which will inspire your imagination.


Located at an altitude of 1,265 meters above sea level, the hill resort of Horsley Hills lies on the southwest border of Andhra Pradesh.

Sight Seeing
Horsley Hills - Hill Resorts in India

Once been there, you cannot resist the temptation of visiting the Horsley Hills again. The fragrance of the Sampangi flower, the breathtaking vistas of the hills the towering Eucalyptus all these beckon the tourist to visit the hill resort.

The flora of the Horsley Hills includes a wide variety of flowers ranging from Reeta, Sandalwood, Shikakai, Beedi leaves, Amla, Bay leaves, Blue gum, Red sanders, Mahogany to Bamboo. There is every possibility of spotting animals like bears, wild dogs, jungle fowl, sambars and panthers. A 150-year-old Eucalyptus tree Kalyani is a major tourist highlight of the Horsley Hills. Among other trees found in the hill resosrt are Jacaranda, Allamanda and Gulmohar.

Pay a visit to the famous Rishi Valley School run by the Jiddu Krishnamurthy Foundation. The school is in close proximity to the Horsley Hills.

Another major tourist attraction is the Mallamma temple well worth a visit.

The Horsley Hills is largely inhabited by the Chenchu tribes who keep the renowned Pungannur cows, known for their high milk yielding capacity.


Within a short journey from the Horsley Hills there are some superb places well worth a visit. Prominent among the is the Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary where you can track the cheetal, four horned antelope, sambhar, mouse deer, hare, porcupine, wild boar, pea fowls, panther, jungle fowl, jungle cat, jackal, sloth bear, and elephants. The flora of the sanctuary comprises Albizia Amara, Ficus Tomentosa, Ficus Religiosa, Ficus Bengalensis and Bamboo, Santalum Album etc. 87 km away from the hillock of Horsley Hills. Located at a distance of 87 km away from the hillock of Horsley Hills, the Kaundinya Wild life Sanctuary a well worth visiting.

Best Time to Visit

The Horsley Hills experiences cool all round the year. The temperature of the hill resort witnesses no major fluctuations. So the best time to visit the resort is throughout the year.
Kaundinya Wildlife Sanctuary, Horsley Hills - Hill Resorts in India

Getting there

By Air: The airports at Tirupati and Bangalore cater to the air transport to the Horsley Hills. They art160 km and 165 km respectively from the hill resort.

By Rail: The nearest railhead to the Horsley Hills is at Madanapalle Road. It is located at a distance of 43-km.from the Horsley Hills.

By Road: Horsley Hills is well connected with Madanapalle and Tirupati by bus services. buses run by the state transport of Andhra Pradesh ply to the hill resort of Horsley Hills.


Accommodation facilities are available in abundance in the hill resort of the Horsley Hills. The A.P. Tourism's Governors' Bungalow, Forest Bungalow, P.W.D. Inspection Bungalow or the Chittoor Cooperative Society guesthouse are some of the places where you can stay.

Aruku Valley Hill Station

Location: Visakhapatnam district
Altitude: 1,300 meters
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

Aruku Valley Andhra PradeshAraku Valley is a soothing hill station in the expanse of Andhra Pradesh. Enveloped in pastoral beauty, this beautiful valley has an elevation of 1,300 meters. Imagine a deep valley, where lush greenery is accompanied by shimmering waters of gorges and then you see an isolated hut and wish, if you could go there. Aruku Valley is essentially such a place, where the scenery exactly goes with your mind's eye.

On your drive towards this peaceful hill station, you will be greeted by many tunnels, bridges, orchards and waterfalls. Aruku Valley is actually a faction of five unfathomable valleys. It is certainly a great place to relax and unwind yourself. Over and above, you can go for trekking in the serene hills. Ranging from salubrious weather to beautiful landscape, Araku Valley has each and every asset to acclaim it as a Shangri-La.

The immense and incomparable beauty of the valley comes alive in its waterfalls, gardens and forests. It is also known for its tribal settlements and you can check out the Aruku Tribal Museum, to have a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage of the tribal people. Some attractions not to be missed on your trip to Aruku Valley are Damuku View Point, Padmapuram Botanical Gardens, Tida Tunnel, Government Silk Farm and Mulberry Gardens.

The valley boasts of unmatched natural beauty and magnificent splendor. From various viewpoints, you can behold the heavenly vista of the profound valley. The wonderful landscape seems to be straight out of a fairytale. The surroundings are picturesque and the atmosphere serene. A visit to the valley is the perfect way to escape from the mundane tensions of the everyday life. Just a look of Aruku Valley is enough to remain etched in your memory forever and ever.

Anantagiri Hill Station Tourism

When the tangled nerves need some break, a hill station is the only term that comes spontaneously to the mind. Anantagiri Hills is one such hill station, which soothes you to the core. Amidst the refreshing natural splendor, this hill station is certainly a paradise for all, mainly because of its serene atmosphere. Located at Ananthagiri that comes under Visakhapatnam district, Anantagiri Hills is one amongst the only three hill stations of Andhra Pradesh.

It's a place where lush green hills appear bantering with the clouds and ravines pacifying the thirst of foliage. Known as a summer resort place, Anantagiri Hills serves as the best destination to beat the heat of scorching sun. The loveliest fact about this place is that its beauty is untouched by the commercial city life. Dotted with trees and gorges, the hill-station is a wonderful place to relax and unwind yourself.

Moreover, the drive from the city of Vizag to Anantagiri presents some cherishable scenes, ranging from mango groves to dense forests. The panoramic vista of this amazing hill station of India would make you feel out of this world. Coffee plantations make another picturesque sight from the vantage point. Infact, Ananthagiri is considered to be a salubrious hill station, since it has got pollution-free environment unlike the crowded cities.

Its sublime climate attracts ample of tourists throughout the year and in consideration of tourism, there are quite a few accommodations available at the hill. Regarding the flora, Anantagiri forests embrace vast variety of medicinal plants and herbs. Cascading gorges, beautiful landscape and lush greenery would replenish your energies and revive you to the soul. Once there, it is for sure that you would fall in love with the beauty of the Ananthagiri Hills.

Anantgiri Hills

Location: Elysian Tirumala Hills in Ananthagiri, Visakhapatnam district
Altitude: 1,168 meters
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

Anantagiri is also famous as summer resort place. Anantagiri in Andhra Pradesh is sure to sweep every tourist off the feet with its natural beauty and beautiful hill resort. Nature lovers and tourists are attracted by unchallenged beauty of this place. The journey from Visakhapatnam to Anantagiri offers unforgettable vistas ranging from thick forests to scintillating sunrise and sunset. The hill resort of Anantagiri is perfect retreat to the blistering summer months.

The Anantagiri hills is filled with gorguous sights and smells that attract tourists.The entire Anantagiri Hills has a lot of vintage viewpoints that offer enthralling views that will capture your heart. Amongst the variety of flora in the forests of Anantagiri are many medicinal plants and herbs which is used by patients.

Several swift streams flow through Anantagiri though it is the river Musi or Muchkunda that originates from Anantagiri.The coffee plantations offers an enthralling sight at Anantagiri. The wonderful waterfalls, ravishing ravines and the gorgeous gorges that dot Anantagiri add to the unforgettable memories of the tourists. There are many mango groves and orchades which wrap Anantagiri in their shade.
The Bhavanasi Lake Anantagiri is referred to as the Badrinath of the South.

Anantagiri is more of a health station that replenishes your energies and rejuvenates you to the soul. Indeed Anantagiri is a great getaway from the pollution and stress of the city life that gets unbearable with the heat and the dust of the summers.

Anantagiri is located of the top of the Elysian Tirumala Hills approximately 17 km from Araku valley, which is 112 kms from Visakhapatnam.Anantagiri is the located among the ranges of the Eastern Ghats at a distance of 40 km from Visakhapatnam .

The Borra Caves are around one-million-year-old. The beautiful of the Borra caves near Visakhapatnam make an excellent excursion option from Anantagiri. The natural formation of the limestone Borra Caves is unique of its type.


Owing to the lovely landscape Anantagiri experiences excellent weather all through the year. You can plan to visit this place all through the year.The salubrious weather and the calm surroundings add to the beauty of Anantagiri and make it popular.This place is also very famous for the newly wed couples.
Getting there

Anantgiri is well connected with Hyderabad by several can provide you All India Tourist Permit taxis and cars to reach your destination.

Anantagiri Hills has Srikakulam railway station at a distance of 3 km. The booking facilities will be made available by our concerned agents.

Wednesday - Let's Have Some Water Fun

One Fine Saturday
June 26, 2010

We went  on a picnic nearby the place where I live!

 Photos will tell you more...









2 of a Kind - Up and Down

Up, down...

Up, down...

Finally, Up, Up, and Away!


map of africa
map of africa

Hill Stations Tours to Kerala

This spectacular classical dance drama of Kerala based on the guidelines laid by sage Bharatha's Natya Sastra, the ancient treatise on dance and drama, is over 1500 years old. This elaborate art form is usually performed in the evening and continues up to dawn, and is an integral part of all temple and cultural festivals in Kerala.

It's an intricate network of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine waterworld is navigable. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad lake which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port.

Theyyam is one of the most outstanding folk arts of Kerala and has its origin in the northern parts of the state. Also called Thirayattam, (because every thira or village performed this ritualistic art at the village temple) this primitive ritualisic art demands long hours preparation before the performance.

It's an intricate network of innumerable lagoons, lakes, canals, estuaries and the deltas of forty-four rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea. Over 900 km of this labyrinthine waterworld is navigable. The largest backwater stretch in Kerala is the Vembanad lake which flows through three districts and opens out into the sea at the Kochi port.

Tourism in Kerala, Velichappadu/Komaram, (literally, revealer of light): The oracle is usually
dressed in red and carries a sword and shield. Possessed by the spirit of the deity the oracle dances in a frenzy at the festivals in Bhagavathy temples.

Hill Station Tour Kerala

Kerala Hill Stations Tours Kerala present yet another facet of God’s Own Country. The high and rugged Western Ghats endow the state with a number of Hillstations, which unlike the rest of the state have a high rate of tourist influx during the summer months.

If you seek to beat the heat or enjoy the cozy comfort of Nature or wish to trek on the woody mountain trails or I you are simply answering the “call of the mountains”, get away to one of these beautiful chilly places in Kerala. The undulating paths, the rich variety of flora and fauna available, the beautiful gorges and valleys and the sparkling silver streams that skip and dance through the rocks, the settling clouds that one can walk through and the fresh plucked green tea, brewed hot- this is the irresistible lure of the land. Maps Of India is your guide in planning your unforgettable holiday in the mountainous retreats of Kerala.

Devikulam Tours:

Hill Stations Tours to Kerala, Located at a distance of about 13 kms from Munnar, this hilly destination is an arcade of natural beauty with its lush foliage, exotic plant and animal life and rustic mountain life. The lakes and their mineral springs and quaint charms make Devikulam an ideal weekend getaway.

Idukki Tours:

Hill Stations Tours to Kerala, Spectacularly rich in natural beauty, Idukki is a veritable paradise of flora and fauna. Known for its spice and tea plantations, the raging rivers and the beautiful wildlife sanctuaries, Idukki is a pristine haunt for the city weary traveler.

Munnar Tours:

Munnar is as lovely and as beloved as the indigo “Neela Kurinji” blossoms that bloom in this region, once every 12 years. Most tourists favor Munnar and that is understandable given the panoramic views, the clean surroundings and the refreshing mountain pastures.

Ponmudi Tours:

Kerala Hill Stations Tours, About an hour's drive from the state capital, Ponmudi is a quaint hill station at an altitude of 915 m from sea level. The gurgling mountain streams, the bloom of orchids and other mountain efflorescence and the rich spice plantations make a tour to Ponmudi therapeutic to both the body and soul.

Vagamon Tours:

Hill Station Tour Kerala, Vagamon, reveals itself at firs glimpse as a trekker’s paradise. The various pilgrimage spots, the woody landscape and the mountain paths are all testimony that Vagamon is best viewed on foot. An increasingly popular tourist destination, Vagamon is a cultural hub in Kerala.

Vythiri Tours:

Hill Stations Tours to Kerala, Vythiri in Wayanad is known for its forested green landscape and is a treasure trove of tropical flora and fauna. The plantations, the breathtaking natural loveliness of the region and the charming mountain air give us the impression that no other place on earth can exude the essence of nature better than this rustic locale.

Rising high from the adjoining Arabian Sea, the Sahayadri or the Western Ghats endow Kerala with a unique topography which encompasses hill resorts and beaches; backwaters and forest terrains. Blessed are these Hill stations which house tea, coffee and spice plantations, a variety of plants and wild animals and serene mountain passes. Their beauty attracts tourist from all over the world.

Kasargod Backwaters

On your luxury Kerala travel you can visit Kasargod, one of the most popular backwater destinations situated in North Kerala. With the sea to the West and the Western Ghats to the North and East, Kasargod becomes a must visit on Kerala tours. Kasargod in North Kerala offers several opportunities for backwater cruises. Two of these Kerala backwater cruise options are Chandragiri and Valiyaparamba. With Luxury Kerala Travel you can enjoy these scenic Kerala backwater cruises.

The town of Chandragiri,situated 4 Km to the Southeast of Kasargod is famous for its backwater cruises. The backwater cruises from Chandragiri start from the Chandragiri Bridge. Enjoy Kerala Backwater cruises at Chandragiri near Kasargod on Kerala tours.

The town of Chandragiri, situated 4 Km to the Southeast of Kasargod is famous for its backwater cruises. The backwater cruises from Chandragiri start from the Chandragiri Bridge. Enjoy Kerala Backwater cruises at Chandragiri near Kasargod on Kerala tours.

The travel site, Luxury Kerala Travel, offers on line reservation facilities and other related travel details about Kasargod backwaters, located in Kerala, south India, India, as a travel tour to Kasargod, located in Kerala, south India, would portray. The travel site, Luxury Kerala Travel, is home to the wares of beatific and enchanting Kasargod backwaters, located in Kerala, in south India, India. A cruise down the thickly green coated stretch of vegetation of a picturesque Valiyaparamba, based in Kasargod, Kerala, south India, India, is a memorable one as the sound of the waves splashing on your boat coupled with the greenery fading past you is enough to transform a dry mathematician into a photography enthusiast. A travel tour to Kasargod, located in Kerala, south India, India, offers these visual delights, which remain embedded in our memories for years to follow.

The travel site, Luxury Kerala Travel, offers tour booking and travel packages to Kasargod, placed in Kerala, located in south India, India. More access can be had to the site by filiing in the below given form.

Chico Sanchez: Andalucian Flamenco

Photo © Chico Sanchez-All Rights Reserved

Here's another lovely audio slideshow by Chico Sanchez, a freelance photographer based in Mexico City. Chico worked in Venezuela, collaborating with Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, Agencia EFE, and freelances for various newspapers and magazines.

The title of this audio slideshow is The Angel.

This time, Chico documents the spiritual side of Flamenco, whose mystical, almost religious origins, are almost forgotten by the admirers of this genre of music and dance. Chico is well placed to do so...he's a native Andalucian, a musician and was involved in flamenco himself.

I would have loved to see a flip book effect in Chico's work...various shots of a dancer (or singer for that matter)...and arranged in such a way that playing the slideshow would have animated these almost-identical stills.

The well-known flamenco style of music and dance is emblematic to the culture of Spain, although it is actually native to only one region: Andalusia.

Gypsy, Sephardic, and especially Arabic musical influences are found in flamenco. For me, one of the best flamenco singers is Diego Ramón Jiménez Salazar, known as El Cigala, whose album Lagrima Negas fusing Cuban rhythms and flamenco vocals, made it an international success.

Wanna Join Me?

As you may have noticed, I've been having a grand old time with my latest obsession, Pinterest.

Pinterest is a visual bookmarking site that allows you to make ‘boards’ under any theme of your choosing and add to that board by linking images from anywhere on the internet!

I have always loved organizing things -- although I wish I could apply that organization to my housework. Pinterest lets you save any photo you come across on the web by just pressing a "Pin It" button and walla!

These are some random photos I've stumbled upon and added them to my "Think Pink" board.

My "Think Pink" Board

What more can I say? This is such a great way to organize your favorite things/photos all in one place.

Currently Pinterest is by invite only. I have some invites left, so if you'd like to join me, please leave a comment (email included...I'll need that to invite you). I promise you'll get hooked! I'm working on getting more invites so don't hesitate to ask...

Pinterest credits: pelicans;, chandelier;, dresses;, striped umbrella;, swimsuit;, woman in pink skirt; {This is not to say that these are the original photographers. Many have been "re-pinned" from other sites.}