Nov 052017

Watch Ladakh Time Lapse Captured by Somabrata Pramanik

In these Ladakh Time Lapse videos, Somabrata Pramanik takes us on a beautiful journey over the moonscape of Ladakh. Time passes in slow motion in Ladakh, more so when you are on a leisurely journey to capture the beauty of the rugged region on your camera. IT professional and photographer went one step further and he captured the movement of time in slow motion using Time  Lapse technique the result is to be seen to be believed.  Over to Somabrata :

The City of Leh in Time Lapse -From Leh Palace & Shanti Stupa

We were at Leh in the month of August 2016 planning to climb Stok Kangri which is at 6,153 m up from sea level. We, the people from plane needs at least two days of acclimatization before attempting such a trek. It gives our body some time to adjust to the low air pressure and less oxygen in the air. So for next two days, we planned to visit Shanti Stupa and Leh Palace, the local point of interest in the city. Both of them are high above the ground and provides a clear top view of the city.

From Shanti Stupa, the afternoon was quite dramatic with the sun rays playing with clouds. Light from setting Sun was hovering over the city through cloud holes. So I decided to check the patience of my non-photographer friends and started a timelapse clip of half an hour. Cloud movement was fast enough to set the interval at 2 seconds. Answering the same ‘How long?’ query, again and again, I got my second ever time-lapse clip. Well, I forgot to set the camera focusing on manual mode and you can see the scene jumping due to autofocus. This is the way you learn, it always reminds me to check the focus mode before starting a time-lapse sequence.

Next day, it was Leh Palace. East and West side view from the roof of the palace is very different from the other. Eastside is crowded with houses surrounding the big polo ground works as a parking space now and without any touch of green. The other side looks greener, richer and less congested. The snow-white Shanti Stupa shining on top of a hill on the west with a background of barren mountains.


Stok Kangri: Stunning Time-Lapse of Stok Kangri – The highest peak you see from Leh City


If you are in Leh city, you will see a mountain range on the southern horizon. Yes, that is the Stok range and a part of Hemis National Park. Stok Kangri is the highest peak of this range with an altitude of 6, 153 m. This summit trek became very popular to the amateurs as it does not require any technical climb. But it is not free from the other hazards of a mountaineering expedition like AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness).

The hotel we checked in during our two days of acclimatization to avoid AMS,  in the city, grants a magnificent view of the range from the window. Every time you see the peak and whisper to yourself that you are going to touch that beauty. First full day in Leh, I woke up early to capture the first sunlight on the peak from the window. It’s 5 in the morning and outside is still dark. Sunrise is supposed to happen around 5:30 and the peak will be front lit in few minutes. This is going to happen fast so I kept the shutter interval at 1 second, the minimum my camera can manage. Later, I took some more sequences from the same window while resting in the hotel.

Stok Village is around 15 km towards southwest from Leh, where our trek starts. The route goes through the rough and rocky terrain of Stok Chu river valley and gains height gradually. On the first day of our trek, we skipped the first camp at Chang Ma as everyone in the group was fit enough to go to the next camp. Getting time for timelapse is difficult when you are with a group and don’t want to fall behind. I had to move faster to manage some extra time.

The second camp at Mankorma was decorated with almost a hundred tents of different color and shape. The camp was busy with trekkers and donkeys moving to and from the base camp, 4 km away and 600 m higher than this camp. I just sat there on a rock setting my camera on a tripod to capture the white clouds on deep blue sky floating over the mountain of multiple shades.

A water stream beside the camp is the lifeline here, this is the source of drinking water. In the morning, the chilled water is flowing fast. You can see the peak of Stok Kangri standing tall in the background. I took a picture in a slow shutter speed of the scene. Why not a timelapse here? the scene has a nice dynamics and a story to tell.

June to September is the best time to attempt the Stok Kangri trek. Due to change of weather and global warming, the ice cap of the area is depleting rapidly. We went in August, and there was no ice before base camp which is at 5000 m. The temperature was also moderate, around 15° C  in day.


Lakes of Ladakh in Timelapse

A timelapse of Tso Moriri, Tso Kar, and Nubra Valley

In mostly grayish-brown Ladakhi Landscapes, blue lakes add that awe-inspiring contrast enjoyed by photographers as well as spectators. The most advertised lakes here are Pangong, Tso Moriri, and Tso Kar. In our way back to Manali from Leh, we choose to visit the last two.

These two lakes didn’t get the hype yet thus cleaner and more serene, also there are very few accommodation nearby. Anyway, we were carrying our tent so thought to camp on the bank of Tso Moriri in the village of Karzok. Now it is summer in Ladakh, the water level in the lake is not that high. We had to walk a little to reach the water from the village. Though the Sun was shining in afternoon, the weather was chilly due to the cold breeze coming from snow-covered peaks in the northern horizon. Lakebed is exposed and covered in green grass bordering the blue water which is again touching the brown mountain range on the other side. This is where I took two time-lapse sequences capturing the beauty of this alpine lake. In the afternoon, a lite storm interrupted us and had to get back to our tent.

Next morning, we were headed to Tso Kar which is a salt lake and a lot different in nature. A white ring of salt surrounding the lake will catch your eyes at first. The reflection of mountain and clouds were very clear on the water as the weather was calm. We had a packed schedule for rest of the day. So I did my best to make use of selfie time to get a time-lapse sequence over here.  



About Author and Photographer: Somabrata Pramanik has done M.Tech in Computer Science from Indian Statistical Institute, he works with Netelixir as a researcher and software development engineer. He likes visiting historical places, trekking, bouldering and is an avid photographer. Please do  check and like his work here on his Facebook page Explore with Somabrata  and on Flickr

Note from desi Traveler:  Somabrata’s post & pictures about Bamboo Chicken- A delicacy of Araku Valley is the most copied post & pictures from this blog and we have fought some big websites also to take the stolen images down. He has also written a wonderful post about  A Visit To Belum Caves in Andhra Pradesh on this blog.

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  7 Responses to “Stunning Ladakh Time Lapse Captured by Somabrata Pramanik”

Comments (7)
  1. Somabrata, great capture. I did timelapse also for Ladakh last year. Do check those also from my travel blog.

    Prasand, you are doing great job. as a travel blogger you are inspiration for many others. Keep it up. Also please visit my travel blog also, looking forward to your valuable comments

  2. I wish you had done this last year before I got there without a clue

  3. Nice article , well portrayed.
    Hope to pair-up with you some.

  4. Thank you so much for this great informative article! I love this blog.

  5. beautiful pics. Do visit my site and share your valuable opinion please.

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