The gorgeous Baspa Valley in Kinnaur is the place to be if you are looking to disconnect from the humdrum life in the city. And breathe in some nature and of course that rejuvenating mountain air. Baspa Valley, also known as Baspa River Valley, remains relatively untouched, and retains its pristine self with a scintillating panache. Its high mountains, thick forested slopes adorned with an endless swarm of pines, and the azure Baspa River running all guns blazing are sure to take your breath away with minimum effort.
A visit in September and you might even start questioning the very existence of heaven as a place for the afterlife, with places such as these thriving on the face of the earth. For such are its post-monsoon vistas, alive with a colourful produce of apples, apricots, okra, wheat, and walnuts. If ever there was an award for the ‘Most Colourful Valley’, Baspa Valley will definitely be one of the Top Contenders. Last but not the least, do not, I repeat, DO NOT forget to try out the lip-smacking Aalu ka Parathas; the region is known for producing some of the best quality of potatoes in the world.
Disclaimer: All the pictures in this blog post were taken from inside a moving car. Read till the end for some practical photography tips.
Baspa Valley and its Connection with Uttarakhand
The first time I visited Baspa Valley (Chitkul, Sangla, and Raksham) in Himachal I thought it looked incredibly similar to the topography in Harsil and Gangotri in Uttarakhand. Expansive, rocky giants, deodars, and a river after which both the valleys are named (the latter is called Bhagirathi Valley after the river Bhagirathi). It was later when I got my hands on the map that I got to know they are at the either side of the Himachal-Uttarakhand border and can be traversed on foot via Rupin Pass. Why am I sharing it? Just one of those instances that amuses me and makes me proud, not in a coy sort of way, as to just how satisfying it is not just look at the things around us but see through them. One of the many things travel teaches you: to be aware, even if you miss out reading on things.
Baspa Valley | The Place beyond the Pines
There are a few things as magical as light making its way through, lightly brushing the contours on its way out and finally embracing all creations like grace. Shot from inside a moving car, which brings me to use photography tips that I talked about in the headline: taking beautiful pictures from inside a moving vehicle. Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn’t. Not to mention that when the scenery is this beautiful, you hardly have to move a muscle.
Some Useful Photography Tips | Take Beautiful Pictures from inside a Moving Vehicle
Creating beautiful landscape pictures from inside a moving vehicle takes practice. And a trip through the Baspa Valley till Chitkul was the first time I got to practice, involuntarily of course, for reasons I won’t delve into. It is more than just shooting in burst mode and picking one less awkward shot from the bunch.
You have to think ahead, anticipate a frame a good few minutes before actually going through the process. It will help if you have been there before and remember some scenes better than the rest. Luck plays an important role too, needless to say. For example, a bump can mess it all up. Or a subject could enter straight into the frame, giving the picture a whole new perspective.
But anticipation is the key and will always be. Personally, I prefer Single Shot and not the Burst Mode. I feel the former heightens your intuition a bit and gives you the desired frame or at least something closer to what you had in mind.
As far as somewhat fail-safe camera settings are concerned
Shutter Speed – 1/800s
Aperture – f/9.0
ISO – Auto, but keep the maximum limit to 800
Focal Length – Anything between 16-55 mm should do great
Over the course of a few years, these digits have given me more than a fair share of good landscapes. Or so I feel. But take note that these digits are not rigid; try adjusting the Aperture shall the pictures come out in extremes: underexposed or overexposed. Hope it helps you too if you find yourself stuck in a similar situation.
In the meanwhile, I am leaving you with a few pictures from Baspa Valley.