122 metres high.

Háifoss – pronounced how-ee-foss – in the Highlands of Iceland, seen on a classic wintry morning. We were lucky to have just the right amount of snow to add to the atmospheric conditions. For relatively narrow falls such as this one, retaining the natural flow of water is preferable to the ‘cotton candy’ effect obtained with a longer exposure.

Check out the short video below.

Háifoss, Iceland, Waterfall

5DS, 24-70L f/2.8 II

Háifoss, Iceland, Waterfall

Canyon walls
5DS, 100-400L IS II

Háifoss, Iceland, Waterfall

Háifoss downcanyon
5DS, 24-70L f/2.8 II

Háifoss, Iceland, Waterfall

Up close
5DS, 100-400L IS II

Háifoss, Iceland, Panorama

5DS, 24-70L f/2.8 II
Click on image to enlarge


Rajan Parrikar, Haifoss, Iceland

On the edge – your friendly photographer
Photo by Börkur Hrólfsson


Homage to Silicon Valley founders.

Carolyn Caddes‘s book, “Portraits of SuccessImpressions of Silicon Valley Pioneers,” is a photographic tribute to the pioneers of Silicon Valley and a document of historical value. Second-hand versions of this beautiful volume are available on Amazon and I’ve had a copy on my shelf for years.

Caddes‘s images are monochromatic, superbly composed and appositely toned. Her portraits distill the essence of the men (and one woman) who stood at the cradle of the technological revolution that gave birth to Silicon Valley. The engineers, scientists, mathematicians, academics, entrepreneurs, lawyers, venture capitalists, publishers, policy makers – dreamers all – who contributed to fundamental advances in semiconductors, computers, and business practice, nurtured the ecosystem, and transformed a placid valley of orchards by the San Francisco Bay into what it is today: the centre of the Internet universe.

Caddes initiated the project in 1982, accreting her material over 4 years. She writes that her catalogue is neither exhaustive nor complete. Nonetheless, there is no question that every one of her 63 subjects has impacted our digital lives in some form. Each entry is accompanied by a short biographical sketch as well as Caddes‘s own impressions of her encounter with the subject.

I think of this book whenever I hear the infantile boasts of Indians in Silicon Valley and beyond – “We created Silicon Valley! Silicon Valley runs because of us! blah blah…” Where do modern Indians get this hubris? Surely not from the Indic traditions which frown on such self-delusion.

And now, a few examples from the book.

Portraits of Success

Portraits of Success – by Carolyn Caddes
Tioga Publishing Company, Palo Alto, California, 1986

Frederick Terman

“Father of Silicon Valley” – Frederick Terman (1900-1982)
© Carolyn Caddes

Edward Ginzton

Pioneer in Microwave Technology – Edward Ginzton (1915-1998)
© Carolyn Caddes

William Shockley

Co-inventor of the transistor – William Shockley (1910-1989)
© Carolyn Caddes

William Hewlett (1913-2001)

The ‘H’ in HP – Bill Hewlett (1913-2001)
© Carolyn Caddes

Ted Hoff

Inventor of the microprocessor – Ted Hoff
© Carolyn Caddes
(See my post on Dr. Hoff)

Adam Osborne

Computer pioneer – Adam Osborne (1939-2003)
© Carolyn Caddes

William Hambrecht

Venture capitalist – William Hambrecht
© Carolyn Caddes

Sandra Lynn Kurtzig

Entrepreneur – Sandra Lynn Kurtzig
© Carolyn Caddes

Thomas Perkins

Venture capital pioneer – Thomas Perkins (1932-2016)
© Carolyn Caddes

John McCarthy

Mathematician, Comp. Scientist, AI pioneer – John McCarthy (1927-2011)
© Carolyn Caddes

Steve Wozniak

Engineering genius and Co-founder of Apple – Woz
© Carolyn Caddes
(See my post on Woz)

  • Ajay Divakaran - June 13, 2017 - 3:14 am

    Dear Rajan,

    A veritable pantheon of greatness. Always instructive to see how the firmament is made up of many superstars and is bigger than the sum of its parts. Btw, I could certainly imagine Prof. Thomas Kailath as part of this list because of his magisterial research and textbooks and the impact his students have had.


  • Atanu Dey - June 4, 2017 - 11:54 am

    Rajan, what a beautiful tribute to those who pushed the boundaries of human well-being through technology. Truly awe inspiring. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Premanand - June 2, 2017 - 8:27 am

    A very different post from your usual posts, but very inspirational! Please do more of these. Thanks! 🙂ReplyCancel

At Lipan Point.

Taken handheld while juggling my duties as a chauffeur for my visiting nephew & nieces.

Although the backlighting obscures the details, it is worth noting that at the base of the canyon, near the section of the Colorado River seen in the frame, is the Vishnu Schist. How these rocks got their names is described here.

“Each of the rock layers that you mention derived their name from nearby canyon buttes and mesas. Specifically the Vishnu Schist was named by geologist Charles Walcott in the 1880s after Vishnu Temple, a prominent rock formation on the north side of the canyon near Cape Royale. The Brahma Schist was named by geologists Campbell and Maxson in the 1930s after Brahma Temple, a butte overlooking Bright Angel Canyon. I am not sure who named the Rama Schist (probably Campbell and Maxson), but it probably derived its name from Rama Temple, a rock spire near Vishnu Temple. All of these landmarks can be seen from the major overlooks on the South Rim.

The logical next question is how did these mesas and buttes get their names in the first place? Many of the canyon’s landmarks were named by geologist [Clarence] Dutton who published one of the earliest (and best) detailed geologic studies of the canyon in 1882. Dutton believed that the canyon was such an important and impressive feature on the planet, that the names of its features should reflect all the world’s cultures and thus he chose many names from mythologies and legends from around the world.”

Sunset at Lipan Point, Grand Canyon, Arizona

“Let there be light”
5DS, 24-70L f/2.8 II


A tribute.

Togetherness – in Fljótshlíð, Iceland
5D Mark II, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

In Harvalem, Goa

Communion at breakfast – in Harvalem, Goa
5D Mark III, 70-200L f/2.8 IS II

Sheep - first light, Borgarfjörður Eystri, Iceland

First light – in Borgarfjörður Eystri, Iceland
5DS, 100-400L IS II

In Priol, Goa

Love – in Priol, Goa
5D, 24-105L

Mother & Son in Álftanes, Iceland

Love – in Álftanes, Iceland
5D Mark II, 85L II


Finally, an ode from a time when people knew how to compose and tune words.


Red Rocks country.

Courthouse Butte outside Sedona, Arizona, moments before sundown.

Courthouse Butte, Sedona

Courthouse Butte, Sedona
5DS, 24-70L f/2.8 II

Courthouse Butte, Sedona

Last light
5DS, 24-70L f/2.8 II