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Its was nearly 6 months since our last vacation - a trip to Hampi. Me and my wife had decided to go for another trip this May. But in May, the choice of places gets limited heavily because of the summer heat in most places in India. We were debating if it should be Ooty or Coorg - finally decided on Ooty. We had also decided that we would not be driving down to Ooty and instead take a KSRTC bus.Ooty Lake and Honey moon boat house
Travel and Stay
Travel and Stay
We have booked tickets in KSRTC volvo (Airavat) - which starts from Kempegowda (Majestic) terminal, Bangalore around 10 PM and reaches Ooty by 5 AM. The bus journey was very comfortable - we reached Ooty earlier than expected by 4:45 AM. We have stayed at Ooty 3 nights - 2 of them at KSTDC hotel Mayura and 1 night at Holiday Inn Gem Park. KSTDC Mayura was located on the outskirts of Ooty - near GoodShepard school and honeymoon boat house. The location was beautiful with a full garden in front of the hotel - the garden has been maintained by horticulture department.
|Chained Flowers - Taken near KSTDC Hotel Mayura, Ooty|
One major complaint about the place is food - its pretty bad. Add the fact that it is away from the town - Food is a major issue if one doesn't have own vehicle. Holiday Inn was pretty good - located in a hillock very close to the town. The stay at Holiday Inn was very comfortable and posh (it better be, considering the Rs 6500 tariff!). But I again found the food to be a bit disappointing.
|Panoramic view from the 9th mile shooting spot, Ooty (HDR)|
Honeymoon boat house is a smaller boathouse which was actually closer to the KSTDC hotel that we stayed at. This boathouse is a lot less crowded compared to the main boathouse.
|Honeymoon Boat house, Ooty (HDR)|
|Alone.. - near Boat House, Ooty|
|Siblings - Waiting for the mother, near boat house, Ooty|
St Stephens Church
This is the oldest church in Ooty - nearly 180 years old, built on 1830. Built by the British - one of the first buildings built by them at Ooty.
|St Stephens Church - Exterior View (HDR)|
|St Stephens Church - Interior View (HDR)|
|Panoramic HDR of St Stephens Church Interior|
|Boat house at Pykara lake, Ooty (HDR)|
Pykara lake is located 19kms away from Ooty. It is a huge lake with pretty clean water and serene surroundings - with a lot less crowd :) The banks of the lake makes wonderful leading shapes and colors that are great for photography
|Play of light and shadows at Pykara lake, Ooty (HDR)|
|Gloden Shine - Taken near tribal museum, Ooty|
About HDR Processing
Most of the photos in this post (other than the sparrow, horses and the flowers) are HDR images. I have used Luminance HDR - an open source HDR imaging software - for merging multiple exposures and tonemapping. There are various tonemapping operators in Luminance. My favorites are Mantiuk, Drago and Fattal - these are basically implementations of algorithms proposed in research papers. Most of the images here are a blend of images made by Mantiuk algorithm and Drago algorithm (using GIMP layers).