Thursday, November 22, 2012

Camping & Trekking Equipment Kolkata

The Adventure Point store in Kolkata - photo Tarun Sachdev

Delhi based Adventure Point ( has opened it's first retail store in Kolkata. There are a number of reputed brands on display like Deuter, N-rit, Salvas, Trek Mates etc. 

The store has jackets, thermals, boots, daypacks and backpacks and a host of other trekking items.

Do visit the location at :
51 Chowringhee Road ( near Bishop's House)
Ground Floor
Kolkata 700071. 
033 40014676

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photo Workshop with Aquaterra Adventures

I am conducting a photo workshop with Aquaterra Adventures at their resort/camp near Rishikesh on the banks of the Ganga  from Jan 25-27 2013 and again from March 15-17 2013. 

Rishikesh tours and travel

Jan 25-27th 2013 and March 15-17 2013

Day 1
Arrive from Delhi
1 pm to 2 pm lunch
2 pm to 6 pm First Session: Photography Fundamentals and Essentials followed by Q &

Day 2
Sunrise to 9 am: Morning Photo Shoot 3 pm to Sunset; Evening Photo Shoot
7 pm to 8 pm: Slide Show covering photo tips and techniques like Compositions,
Lighting, Exposure, Basic Photo Editing

Day 3
8 am to 12 noon: Photo Critique Session of three photographs taken by each
12 noon to 1 pm: Lunch
Back to Delhi

Master Exposure: Learn how to make a great exposure and forget all the guesswork.
Learn about auto modes, shutter priority, aperture priority etc. It is all about recognizing
middle-tones; exposing for all tonalities - grey, black, and white, understanding
histograms and using them effectively. Understanding exposure is one of the KEYS to successful shooting, and you will master exposure during this course! Also learn about depth of field, different lenses and their uses.

Composition: Learn the fine points of effective compositions - Finding effective
compositions, using lenses effectively; seeking the best perspective; texture, color,
point of view; knowing zones of sharpness; selective focus; and the rule of thirds. This
will also make you think like an artist. From trying to take pictures, learn to make
photographs. Learn some of the fine points from painters and others, who use visual elements to compose beautiful imagery.

Maximizing the Digital Potential: Learn color management, post-processing methods to improve the brightness, contrast, and white balance of your image.

Equipment & Lenses: Know what to buy and what not to buy and learn how to use your gear effectively. Learn from choosing the right body with right features to connect to the right set of lenses. Also tips about photography accessories like tripod, CF cards, flash,
filters, bags, etc., will be discussed. Understand the tools of trade for Close-up and
Landscape photography. This session will also teach you how to manage and take care of your camera gear.

Critique: This workshop also gives you a chance to get your images critiqued. A very constructive critique session which will include technical and aesthetic aspects.

Photography in Practice: Learn what it takes to push your photography to the next level and keep it going.

Bring your camera - DSLR, Point and Shoot, Compact etc. Cameras like Nikon
Coolpix, Canon Powershot are also welcome though it does help to have a capable camera.
If you are a DSLR user you may like to bring your extra lenses as well.
Laptops are welcome though not essential for editing and viewing photographs.

The costs of the workshop are given below for each of the options of accommodation. Please note that these costs DO NOT INCLUDE the cost of travel.

Workshop Fees: Rs 10,000 per person
Accomodation at Atali Ganga - Rs 12,000 per person
or Accomodation at Camp Silver Sands - Rs 4,200 per person

The above costs include all course costs, all accomodation, all meals.

For further details please do visit the links below 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nikon D5200 Announced

Nikon has just announced the launch of the D5200 a DX SLR which is an upgrade of the earlier D5100 packed with a 24 mp sensor, high ISO capability and muti cam 4800 DX AF with 39 focus points. 

  1. Sensor: 24.1 MP DX
  2. Sensor Size: 23.6 x 15.7mm
  3. Resolution: 6000 x 4000
  4. Native ISO Sensitivity: 200-6,400
  5. Boost High ISO Sensitivity: 12,800
  6. Processor: EXPEED 3
  7. Metering System: 3D Color Matrix Meter II with face recognition
  8. Dust Reduction: No
  9. Weather Sealing/Protection: No
  10. Body Build: Plastic
  11. Shutter: Up to 1/4000 and 30 sec exposure
  12. Storage: 1x SD slots
  13. Viewfinder Type: Pentamirror
  14. Viewfinder Coverage: 95%
  15. Viewfinder Magnification: 0.78x
  16. Speed: 5 FPS
  17. Exposure Meter: 2016 pixel RGB sensor
  18. Built-in Flash: Yes, full CLS compatibility
  19. Autofocus System: MultiCAM 4800DX AF with 39 focus points and 9 cross-type sensors
  20. LCD Screen: 3 inch articulated screen with 921,000 dots
  21. Movie Modes: Full 1080p HD @ 60i fps max
  22. Movie Exposure Control: Full
  23. Movie Recording Limit: 30 minutes @ 30p, 20 minutes @ 24p
  24. Movie Output: MOV
  25. In-Camera HDR Capability: Yes
  26. Camera Editing: Lots of in-camera editing options with HDR capabilities
  27. GPS: Not built-in, requires GP-1 GPS unit
  28. Battery Type: EN-EL14
  29. USB Standard: 2.0
  30. Weight: 555g (body only)
  31. Price: $1,150 MSRP (body only)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Emergency Evacuation Insurance for High Altitude Treks in Nepal

A rescue helicopter leaves Namche Bazar  for Kathmandu

On most of my treks in Nepal, I am asked how does one get emergency evacuation insurance covering helicopter evacuation?

This was quite a grey area for me but after some research and with the help of some friends in the USA and UK, I was able to put together this note which would be useful to all trekkers and climbers.

Firstly, let me say that you cannot get this insurance in Nepal or India. No insurance company in these two countries provides this insurance.

The largest world-wide rescue organization in the USA is Global Rescue, which provides rescue services in every country of the world, without elevation restrictions, for injury, natural disasters, and terrorists’ attacks.  International diplomats and business executives use Global Rescue. It is  however expensive for a recreational trekker/ climber.  

 The second option is to join The America Alpine Club as a member. It  provides limited evacuation insurance benefits, a maximum of $5,000 which  is sufficient for a  helicopter rescue  in Nepal. Their rescue benefit is provided through Global Rescue (described above). You can buy increased rescue insurance through American Alpine Club at a reduced rate. The cost per year is $50 or $75, depending on age or two people can join for  $125.00.

 However, please do keep in mind that Global Rescue (through American Alpine Club) is primarily an emergency rescue organization; it is not an insurance company as such. They keep trained rescue personnel on duty 7x24, helicopters, and jets on standby around the world (including India & Nepal), for the sole purpose of evacuating members in an emergency. Their normal coverage would cover Nepal helicopter evacuation, but would not cover flying you back to the U.S. for medical care if the need arose.
The Austrian Alpine Club (UK) provides  more extensive evacuation/medical insurance. This organization specializes in rescue insurance for Europe and Asia and they have members from the USA as well. Possibly, their insurance benefits are better than the American Alpine Club. The cost ranges from $45.00 to $65.00 depending on age. The  Austrian Alpine Club (UK) will pay for emergency evacuation in Nepal, medical flight back to the U.S or your home country, and all medical bills related to the injury, up to EURO 25,000 so this could well be the better choice.

For more information please do visit the web sites given above. 


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