Trying to Adhere to Commitments

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I did not write since September. Last two months were full of clutter in my mind. Don’t know how all the things went, if I want to recall them. It was like job from 8 to 8. (It looks like ∞ to ∞ to me.) Along with that, I was involved in photography. My nights went surfing yourshot.nationalgeographic.com and flickr.com. What else did I do? Nothing much. I was not trying to adhere to commitments but was struggling to carry out them.

Ten days of October were spent in a training in Chennai on a very tight schedule of Radiographic Testing classes. Radiography is a very interesting subject. More and more Radiation and Atomic Physics is inolved. The training was like remembering those days of school when Physics was my favourite subject (except for the mathematics involved). It was a good time.

Other than these ten days, I was supposed to follow some commitments I could not do justice with. These are as follows:

1. Daily physical exercise for HMI BMC 2013 due in March 2013. I will have to understand that this is the only thing which will help me complete the course successfully. I got to start it again even if winters are coming and only four months are left for preparation. Sometime or other I even have a thought to cancel the course and live a comfortable life in my room. But, then again I think even if I fail to successfuly complete the course or have to leave halfway through or even for a day, I will go there.

2. Writing for my blog. Sometimes I involve myself so much in one task that I don’t feel like doing justice with other stuff. And the result? Clutter. Unless I write my feelings or introspect what’s going on, I cannot clear the clutter in my mind. There is too much information and thoughts which have to be made straight and clear. Writing helps.

3. Photography. I took my camera to Chennai. And met Karthik Pasupathy (a flickr friend and an experienced photographer). He told me about his startup Kpture. It was nice meeting him. But, I regret not being able to click many photographs. I don’t know why I hesitate to take my camera out and click photographs. I will try to overcome this fear and click more photographs.

4. Peace of Mind and Minimalism. I was very much inspired by Leo Babauta’s ZenHabits.net and mnmlist.com. Somehow, I too feel the same way about our desires and the things we accumulate. Minimalism is a good philosophy and as Leo says everyone can have a minimalist life in their own way. Other stuff he focus on is breathing, meditation and mindfulness. I too felt good when I tried this stuff in the beginning. But, since last two months or so, I am not able to find time for this. Or better say I am not able to find time for myself. (And the fact is I have the same amount of time as I have before.) These habits are best inculcated and I will try to do that now.

When I have gone through these points, I feel that I had to travel for 3-4 sundays in this period. Travelling disturbes my regular habits like running, meditation and writing. And the only time I get to think is on Sundays during an evening walk in Polytechnique College ground on the outskirts of town. This Sunday, I am going back there but before that I promise to start these three activities atleast i.e. running, mindfullness and writing. Writing is fulfilled now. Tomorrow morning let’s prepare for a nice jog in the ground. Mindfullness will come through in every activity I do. Now, I guess I shall be trying to adhere to commitments I made to myself.

In Chennai, had an opportunity to meet with some old and new friends. It was a great time we had that evening together.
In Chennai, had an opportunity to meet with some old and new friends. It was a great time we had that evening together.

Becoming an Amatuer Photographer

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Still a Beginner

Not yet! Not even after one year of buying my first DSLR.Yeah, it’s true. I am learning the basics of photography now, after one year. Better late than never. As of now, I want to go out of Beginner shell and on my way to becoming an amatuer photographer.

Why I took one year to develop interest in photography? (even after having a decent entry level DSLR)

1. I stopped being in touch with the thing that inspired me. Very much interested in world issues, politics, economics, peace and development efforts, I got inspired by the images published on web, newspapers and magazines. As the busyness of my normal 8-8 (12 hours) job took over me, I had very less time.

2. Music Classes: From Sept’12 to May’13, I was involved in piano classes after duty hours. It was difficult to get time for photography (leave alone studying about photography).

3. Studying Photography: Photography demands technical and practical knowledge. And it needs time (especially if you are learning from internet like me). This requirement was not fulfilled.

4. Economics: I was also involved in study for MA Economics. Unfoutunately, last year I could not get leave for examinations and they are now due in Dec’13.

But, I could have used holidays and sundays instead? Yes, I did. I photographed my cousing brother’s engagement ceremony, some scenes from day to day life, natural beauty and so on. But, all without any technical understanding of exposure, lighting, colors, composition and story.

Confidence Photograph by Manoj Yadav Mon Avis Becoming an Anatuer Photographer
Image titled ‘Confidence’ clicked on my trip to Omkareshwar. (F-stop:f/9, Shutter Speed:1/640sec, ISO:400, Focal length:55mm)

Inspiration to become an Amatuer Photographer

So why now?

Since May’13, I am not going to music class. I have kind of started coming home by seven forty-five at night. I have focussed my interest in two things as of now. One is HMI and another one photography. This blog is not an interest but a way of expression and understanding myself. Recently, we four friends visited on bike to Omkareshwar Jyotirling on a small island in river Narmada. My camera was also with me to let me click and enjoy the trip while a friend was rdriving the bike. I clicked a lot of photographs of the trip. Then we had two consequetive holidays which we utilized by visiting Ajanta and Ellora Caves (Aurangabad, Maharashtra) and Chikhaldara Hill Station in Amravati,Maharashtra. There also I clicked a lot of photographs.

This time I was well equipped with the knowledge of Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. I operated my camera in Aperture Priority mode while keeping ISO constant 3200 in the first part of the trip and 100 in the second part. Later, I understood it is the key to keep as low ISO as possible and in daylight 100 is best. So, 3200 was a big mistake.

Dream to Reality

How do I learn online?

I don’t rely on a single source and keep searching for better and more detailed information on photography. Still, there are some websites which I regularly visit such as:

http://digital-photography-school.com and http://photographylife.com

I have opened accounts on Flickr and YourShot.NationalGeographic.com.

Topics I have read about till now (but need to master with consistent practice):

1. Exposure Triangle (Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO)

2. Metering

3. JPEG vs RAW Image Format

4. Composition Rules

5. Different Cameras (I own Canon 1100D DSLR and hope to one day own Canon 5D MarkIII/II)

6. Different Lenses (Wide andle, macro, telephoto etc.)

7. Importance of keeping camera sensor and lenses clean.

and much more…

Journey Ahead towards Becoming an Amatuer Photographer

Hope you enjoyed my journey towards becoming an amatuer photographer from beginner. I too hope to continue this till I become a professional. Last night, my friend and his wife came to visit us dressed in bright shining purple shirt and red saari in golden and blue border. I thought they were coming from a party but in reality they wanted to get a good photograph clicked of both of them together and no photographer’s shop was open in town. Fortunately, I was practicing night photography with my DSLR and I got an opportunity to click their photograph which was real good. The EXIF file says that the photograph was clicked at F-stop: f/5, Exposure time: 1/4sec, ISO: 800, Focal length:40mm.

Now I analyse and think if I had a tripod to increase the exposure time with ISO 100 for a much clear photo. Their satisfaction with the photograph and appreciation has motivated me to move ahead. I am ordering a tripod today 🙂

Rediscovering Myself, Again!

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Rediscovering Myself
Rediscovering Myself

With September, starts the thirty day countdown to complete twenty-six years of living. Twenty six years! How long is twenty six years? It seems a huge lot.Time and again we discover ourselves again and again. Sometimes changed from the core and sometimes with a new identification.

  • The first time I realized my age must have been when I was eight years old. I considered myself older than the toddlers.
  • Then the thought came back to me at twelve years of age when I was admitted to a new school where classes from sixth to twelfth took place.
  • Then fifteen when I guess, it was the first feeling of love.
  • Then eighteen, when I became adult as per government standards.
  • Then twenty, getting out of the teenage tag.
  • Then twenty five, the silver jubilee of living and I already had a job since last one-and-a-half years.

Then why do I have to rediscover myself just after one year of turning twenty-five? Its been only a year and there seems not much change in my status. But, the reason is a number of things happened in last one year and I feel that their is a need to rediscover myself again. Let me list out the major things happened in the last one year:

  • Job Dis-satisfaction: What makes a job satisfactory? A decent salary, good professional relationships, getting to do what you love,seeing results and being praised for a good deed done. What did this job lack? Is it about leaving what I loved and doing what others love me to do, ambiguous results and little praise by management. I will make it clear in some other post. Till then you can know what job I do.
  • Getting rid of a feeling after twelve years: Painful but relieving (or read it re-living).  Yeah, she got married last year.
  • Dreaming Again: When you are dissatisfied with your present condition, you starts dreaming of a better life. In my case, it is boss-less, freedom, thought and action, independent and closeness to the loved ones.
  • Action to Make Dreams Come True: I am now seriously working towards being free and independent (self-dependent). Let’s see how it goes. For example, HMI Darjeeling, continuing writing, photography and travelling.

I am going to be twenty-six and rediscovering myself, again. Being more mature and confident, I believe this is going to work.

Emotions Attached with People, Places and Things

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I am not an emotional person. Or maybe I am. But, when I took an MBTI test, I came out to be an INTP. I tried again at different sites and always it was INTP. But, when it comes to emotions attached with people, places and things, I have felt overtly emotional.

Past

When I was a child, I used to literally cry when my favorite relative visited as a guest to our family and left after a couple of days visit. That was really difficult. I was so much attached to people.

When our old black and white Dyanora television set (with shutters) was sold and a new BPL color TV with remote control was brought, for a couple of days, I missed our old TV and I did not enjoy the new one at all. As the sadness went away with time, I started enjoying the new TV set. This is how I loved things.

My village, where my grandfather, grandmother and uncle lived, was my favorite place to visit during summer vacations. I loved my village and always felt nostalgic and did not want to return back to my town. This is how I loved places.

Later also, I loved a lot of things in my life, to whom I cling for a long time until they were proved lifeless and useless (for things), distant relationship (for people) and people-less (for places). For example, a set of my poems from my school and college time which were about hundred and each one unique, I lost them in ISKCON hostel where I lived for not more than a month. I still miss them sometimes.

Present

Even though I behaved quite emotional, I sometimes feel that I lack the understanding of others’ feelings. I hurt them unknowingly. And when I become extra conscious, I fear hurting them. I never learned people. People are something which confuse and worry me a lot.

As far as things are concerned, they don’t worry me much because they do not get hurt. Regarding places, they remain same, but now days, I feel they also change as the people associated with them either go away or do not remain important in my life. Then, those changing places do not remain important to me.

But, people do. They have the power to hurt me, make me feel sad and make me feel guilty of hurting them. Sometimes I cross the limits. I become really sad and fearful even by a thought of losing them. And when it is the time to actually depart, when those fears of being apart become true, I compose myself by dreaming and planning irrational and imaginary stuff. And after a couple of days of being separated, the real life comes back drowning myself and only a slight memory of the people and places remain to be ignited again in future.

Conclusion

An amazing thing I have discovered is things and places have got no value unless for the people with whom you spent your time. Places when revisited, alone, they do haunt us with memories of past. Places visited again and again with friends and family makes the bond stronger than ever.

Ultimately, it is people who are important to us. People, living beings, are responsible for the emotions of sadness and happiness. It is the people who make non-living things important for us. As, Christopher McCandless said in the beautiful movie ‘Into the Wild’:

“Happiness is only Real when Shared”

I love my people and I want them all to be with me forever. This unfortunately, is not possible. So, the lesson is, in such a case, it is best to spend as much quality time I can with my beloved. They will make those non-living things and places alive and rich with bright sunshine memories, and I can cherish them when alone.