Chennaimobile photographyTamil Nadu

Pongal celebrations in Chennai with Asus Zenphone Zoom

I pride myself on my ability to pack very light always, whenever I travel – whether its in India or overseas. But I get very stressed when I have to pack my camera kit. I dont like to carry too many lenses  and I always have a dilemma whether to carry my wide, my telephoto and a variety of other lenses.


Pongal Paanai – pots galore

Earlier this month, I was in Chennai and I wanted to capture the festive spirit of Pongal celebrations i.  I carried both my DSLR and my new toy, the ASUS Zenphone Zoom with me. There were folk performances galore and the colours were blinding. My first instinct was to take out my DSLR and my zoom lens, but I decided to play with my phone – and I fell in love with it instinctively.


It is a sleek thin 5mm smartphone with a 3x optical zoom lens but it gives you a range of 12X actually. Forget the numbers – the built in optical image stabilization (OIS) ensures my pictures are not blurred, even when I zoomed in completely. Despite all the heads standing in front of me, I was able to get focussed shots.

The phone is extremely light, sleek and designed to be “the world’s thinnest phone.”  The macro function in the lens is excellent. Some of these photographs were shot so close,  but I could focus on the subject as close as 5 cms or 2 inches. You can even use the long exposure feature which reaches up to 32 seconds if you are trying for a landscape shot.


My new toy – ASUS Zenphone ZOOM

I have become a great fan of mobile photography especially with instagram pushing you to come up with brilliant pictures on the go.  See these pictures for yourself and let me know what you think

Pongal Celebrations in Chennai with folk performances, colour and music

 A performer out there

A performer dances on Poikkaal Kuthirai  

Folk dancers daning in the Poi Kal Kudhirai

Folk dancers wait for their turn for their performance


The horse is the most important feature in the folk dance


Poikal Kudhirai – It literally means a horse with fake or no legs.  The dummy horse is built of materials like cardboard or jute  and is decorated with glass and the dancer fits wooden legs to the horse.  As the dancer dances, the wooden feet sound like hoofs.Its one of the most ancient dance forms in Tamil Nadu – the horse is as important as the dancer.  Drummers and “nadaswaram” artistes create the music. Nadaswaram is one of the instruments like a saxophone referred to as double reed wind instrument.

Meet the performer on ASUS

Meet the performer on ASUS

This is called Mayil aatam or the peacock dance. The dancer as you can see is dressed like a peacock and the beak is the most important feature here as it can be opened and closed with a thread. The dancer is then given challenges like these to display his or her skill in using the beak. The dancer stands on the wooden leg and struts around on the ground.


A dancer dressed as a peacock dances here . 


Another feature is the kili josiam, where a parrot helps an astrologer pick a card from his stack of cards and predicts your future. These cards are “believed ” to be the word of gods and goddesses.


The phone is now part of my regular kit – recommend it highly if you are travelling and you need great pictures on the go, especially a great zoom and a macro feature.

Take home the ASUS zenphone zoom

Take home the ASUS zenphone zoom

This post is written in partnership with ASUS Zenphone Zoom

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