My journey into Photography

World Photography Day. [Kashyapnimisha]

World Photography Day. [Kashyapnimisha]
How many of you remember the first time you clicked a photo? Clicking photos in “Auto” mode and falling in love with each image captured is the first phase of photography and I am sure everyone must have gone through this phase. I started photography with my mobile phone (Nokia C5-03). I used to love all the photos clicked from that phone. Next, I switched to Apple’s iPhone 5C. Switching from a Symbian 5 MP camera to an iOS 8 MP camera, with other differences including resolution, display, and other things, was a great change.

My photography life was going good with mobile photography. People around me would ask me to take pictures that would make me feel proud. And then one day my company decided to send me to Cambridge, UK for 3 weeks. I was excited but my teammate, who was also going with me, said “Buy a DSLR, Cambridge is a beautiful place and you will regret clicking it with your phone”. I, anyway, wanted to buy a DSLR but never knew which one and what should I buy. All thanks to that teammate of mine who helped me in gaining knowledge about DSLR, how to hold a DSLR, where to focus, what to click.

The moment I disclosed the news of buying a DSLR to my parents, their first reaction was “such an expensive camera”. And then the questions followed – what will you do with a DSLR, buy a point and shoot camera, come home we will buy you a nice and cheap camera. But somehow I managed to convince them for an expensive camera. But trust me, my Canon 700D was cheaper than my iPhone.

Anyway, my experiment with a DSLR started 4 years ago in Cambridge, UK in “Auto” mode. I am still learning and trying to get better each day. But now, I rarely click in Auto mode.

Do share your journey in photography with me in the comment below.

Coming soon….

WordPress message.

So today i have completed 8 years of blogging or rather i should say 8 years of having a wordpress account. Eight years ago, all i knew was a website called bloggers where people would write a diary (mostly about their love stories) which would be public. I got to know about wordpress only because of darling sister. She is a writer and her blogs were private. To read her blog post, i had to request her to give me access code. And just to read what she is writing i made an account on wordpress.

This website doesn’t look 8 years old as I have not been active. Also, when i created the account, i had only one thing in mind and that was a photography blog. But then Instagram happened and this photography blog was lost. I started traveling, and then i used this space for travel blogging. In this pandemic situation when people are more safe in the house, travel blogging will be on hold. Not that i won’t be posting about my travel stories but right now i am taking a shift. I have been reading novels and recently i started collaborating with kitaabaurkoffee for book reviews.

I have been planning a new section in my blog which will be related to cooking. I know what you all have been thinking now. Very clumsy blog, not dedicated to a particular topic or subject etc etc. But just like my instagram page, i want this blog to have anything and everything. I do not want to limit myself to a particular subject. This cooking section will go live this Sunday. I have been working on it from the past some time. And the posts will go live every Sunday.

I am also working on two secret projects, one may go live in December and the other will take more time as i need more time for RnD.

SHE

The hands of a working woman during lockdown.
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Have you ever woke up in the morning dreaming you will be served breakfast in the bed ? Have you ever woke up in the morning, fasting the previous day and you feel so week that you just pray to go God to send you an angel to prepare breakfast?

No matter what day it is, she works without a complain. One cannot define priority between household and office work because both are equally important. During lockdown, when the maids and cook are not available, I don’t know how many of you (woman) are oscillating between Kitchen and Laptop and, how many of you have made kitchen slab as office desk. I have been doing both. Each day is about struggling and learning. Some days household work require more attention, other day office. And days like this (Vatsavitri) when the family members are waiting for puja, you have equally important office work.

Shuffling | Struggling | Learning

A day in Seattle

I am in Seattle from the last few days and have been planning to visit some of the major attractions here. When I searched for “Places to visit in Seattle” the first few search results were the following:

  1. Pike Place Market
  2. The Great Gum Wall of Seattle
  3. Space Needle
  4. Chihuli Garden and glass

Since I didn’t have any company, I decided to be a solo traveller for a day. Trust me I have never roamed around places alone. I always wanted to do so but never did. Before starting my trip I downloaded Moovit app so that I get to know from where i can take which bus. One thing which i liked about the Moovit app is it shows bus stop ID as well along with the bus number. For a person like me, who was new to the place, it helped a lot.

Pike Place Market: This market was one of the few things I wanted to visit. They call it “Historical district” as one can find hundred years old shoops here. Roaming around in an unknown city all by myself was quite an experience.

The Great Gum Wall of Seattle: It looks colourful in pictures but trust me its smelly and gross. They had cleaned this wall for the first time in 20 years in November 2015. It happens to be one of the major attractions in Seattle. I thought i’ll have to search for this wall, but its at the entrance of Pike Place Market, yo ujust have to take left to the alley.

The Great Gum Wall of Seattle

Space Needle: The iconic Seattle’s landmark and tourist attraction center. It has a revolving glass floor 500 ft up in the air. I walked all the way from Ivar’s fish bar to the Space needle. It’s a good 30 mins walk (1.5 miles). The entry to the observation tower is not free. But you can get some discount if you are taking ticket for Space needle and Chihuly garden and glass together.

Chihuly Glass and Garden:
Named after Dale Chihuly, this place showcases his glass work but for some reason it was never in my list of places to visit. I guess i was underestimating the power of creativity. When I went inside, I was just mesmerized with the fact that everything was made up of glass. During my visit, various thoughts were crossing my head like, how can someone make such a beautiful thing out of glass, how many people would have been involved and how many days would have been spent on each detail. At the end of the tour, they showed a small documentary on how the glass chandeliers are made. I came and searched for all the videos related to glass blowing till my eyes started paining. Photos from Chihuly Glass and Ganden can be found on my instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/p/B2D_c0nl7U-/

After walking more than 10 kms, i was so tired that i wanted to take a cab back to the hotel. I got a mini heart-attack when i checked the cab fare, it was 40 $. I thought it would be a good idea to take the bus again. I had to walk a bit from Seattle space needle to catch the bus, also, there are no direct buses for Bellevue. One has to take bus till Kirkland and from there take a bus for Bellevue. Anyway, after walking for a while i found the bus stop. I got into one of the buses and I reached Kirkland. One thing which I learned from my bus journey was unlike India, there bus drivers don’t talk to the passengers while driving the bus. I wanted to confirm with the bus driver if it was the correct bus and he was listening but not answering. Later at a signal he told me he cannot talk while driving. But i was in the right bus.

Do you have any such travel story? Do share in the comment your experience.

World Photography Day

I know its a pretty late post for “World Photography Day”. Here I am, sharing my world with the world. Thanks to family and friends who have always inspired me. Special mention to these, Rajashree (whom i call Raja), Sobhana, Anitesh (who loves being called as Ani), Nishant (my childhood friend from Gujarat) and Anshul (whom I call PanDAY). Anshul has promised me to give his camera. This post is dedicated to the people who have inspired me for photography.

I have learned a lot from Raja, personally as well as professionally. Raja happens to be my ex colleague, now a very dear friend of mine. I remember when she bought her Nikon camera in the year 2014. She was so excited. Till that time I was happy with my phone and its camera. She was the one who explained me in and out of a camera. I was too naive in the field of photography, i still am. She introduced me to the world of .raw and Lightroom.

I met Sobhana through a common friend and we became friends. Sobhana’s into photography since 2013. We have done lots of photography activity together. We did our common friend’s pre wedding photoshoot in three stages, first in a park during evening time, second near a lake early morning and third at her home with fairy lights. We went on a trip to Kodaikanal. And we were just discussing about the photos and angles. We would click photo and show to each other, would discuss about the clicked photo and would go back to click again. We attended maternity photoshoot workshop together, which was a great learning.

Ani and Nishant are my school friends my Gujarat and Jharkhand. Ani was into IT but from the past few years he moved into full time wedding photography. He shares his stories from wedding photoshoots and also gives me ideas about photpgraphy. Nishant is in banking sector and lives in USA. He keeps asking me why you dont click so and so type of photos. He infact gifted me Canon 40 mm pancake lens and 85 mm prime lens.

Lastly, would like to mention about my family. My family inspires me a lot. They keep asking “Its been so long and we have not seen your clicks, where are you going next to take pictures.” 🙂

My kitchen story – Pure veg omellete

Blessed are those who know how to cook and have interest in cooking. I dont have any inerest in cooking. I don’t even feel like cooking. I am happy if i get food served infront of me without going to the kitchen.

I am on my business trip. And this time i have decied to cook rather than hopping restaurants. I try to cook something which requires less preparation + cooking time. I have been trying to cook anything and everything in microwave because it takes less time and attention.

One fine sunday i decided to prepare omellete with veggies. I wanted to have lots of veggies so i added spinach, carrot, cauliflower, tomatoes and potato. I prefer to have only two eggs a day. While chopping the veggies i did not realise that i am going to add only two eggs. Very happily i put all the chopped vegetables in the bowl and added two eggs. The eggs were not enough for the vegetables. I mixed the veggies and eggs nicely in a bowl. It was very clear I screwed my omellete but i was just going with the flow.

I poured the mixture in a plate and put it in oven for 10 mins. After 10 mins when i took it out from the oven, it felt like a vegetable cake. I could cut it in slices. But it was a good learning. Now whenever i put veggies in omellete, i double check the proportion.

My first ever microwave cooked omellete will always be memorable.

What’s your kitchen story?

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Hashtag Instagram

A lot of my friends are confused about the hashtags on instagram. Many of them don’t know the use of hashtags, some know but they find it irritating and few don’t know what hashtags to use. So I thought I will pen down my thoughts on hashtags.

The Hashtag “#” is just a sign or symbol but when added before a word or a phrase the meaning changes. The word or phrase does not lose its literal meaning but the content  gets categorized. The hashtag words are more easily discoverable, hence your content reaches to more number of users. Some hashtags become quite popular or trending, using them with your content can improve the statistics of your posts. Also, your content starts appearing in that particular category of hashtag. When someone clicks on a particular hashtag, all the contents having same hashtag appears in the result. Or in other words, user is directed to a page where all the contents have same hashtag. The latest post with that hashtag is always on the top of the result. One can include hashtags anywhere in their content but usually a lot of users prefer puting the hashtags separate from the message of the content just to make the post readable apart from being discoverable.

Hashtags on Instagram serves the exact same purpose. Generally these hashtags are used by brands for customer engagement and of course marketing purpose. But that does not mean we should not use. If you want your content to be viewed by people beyond your followers, you should use hashtags. Without hashtags your content will be limited to your followers and won’t be discoverable on a large scale. The hashtags and discoverability are very useful for budding artists / photographers / writers / models / entrepreneurs and anyone who want their work to be seen or recognized by millions of people.

Not every word or phrase can work as a hashtag. If you have added space in your hashtag then it will be treated as two different words. For example, if I use #food photography in my content, then my content will be discoverable only in the #food result and not in the #foodphotography result. Instagram will not take space as part of the hashtag.

I have seen a lot of users using #followforfollow and #likesforlike in their posts. These hashtags claim to increase the followers list and likes on your posts. Who would not like to have 100s and 1000s of likes on their post but I would prefer keeping my profile very clean and would love to have genuine followers with whom I can connect, learn, grow and help them grow. Users should be careful about the hashtags they are using, it should not attract unwanted attention. I remember an incident where I had posted a photo of my foot with an anklet on it. The anklet was given to my mom by her mom and I wore that on my sister’s wedding. That photo was really special hence I wanted to share that with my followers on instagram. I still can’t figure out what went wrong with my hashtags, suddenly there was a huge increase in my followers list, that post became famous and I started getting lots of message requests to repost my post. Trust me I did not use #followforfollow or #likesforlike or any such hashtags. I would trust a public profile on instagram more than a private one. All the repost requests were from private profiles. I started feeling that the sentiments with which the post was made was lost. And I had to delete that post for the unwanted attention it was getting. Don’t use random hashtags if you are not sure about it just to increase the visibility of your post. 

I hope this post would help my friends in getting an idea about hashtags. Do comment below your thoughts or experience like I had.

Alma mater

When was the last time you visited college??

I visited my grad school after eight long years. You won’t believe how excited I was. All the memories were flashing in-front of my eyes. 

I don’t know from where to start. Let me start from the beginning 🙂 

After my 12th board, I wanted to go for engineering because 

  1. Bhaiya did engineering 
  2. I thought it was really cool to stay away from parents so I would be free to do anything at anytime and no one will say a word to me.
  3. I never had an insight of what I should do with my career so engineering was an easy option. The only thing I knew was I have to study something in order to get a job!

I took a year gap to prepare for engineering entrance exams. I could not clear IIT JEE and AIEEE obviously as I was never focused. Also, because I was preparing for the above stated (1, 2, 3) reasons and didn’t really want to do engineering. In that respect, I really admire darling sister. She was focused since 9th grade about her career, what she wanted to study, from which university and where would she like to start her career from (as in which company, what job etc.). Everything was clear to her. And she made sure she was always on right track towards her dream job. 

Coming back to me now, I got some rank in Orissa Jee and was called for counselling in August-September. Meanwhile, my parents decided I should not sit idle and waste another year in order to wait for the Orissa Jee result. They suggested me to apply in the colleges for basic science / arts / vocational courses. Well, even then I had my own tantrums. I didn’t want to study “Arts”. Seriously!!! Yes, I said that. Because, again, I was not sure what would I do by doing “Arts”. 

Other colleges would take admission on the basis of marks obtained in 12th board exam but St. Xavier’s College used to take entrance test for all the branches. I gave admission test for Mathematics and Physics. I wanted to take Maths, particularly, only because Papa was a masters in maths. I never liked Physics because of the teacher who taught physics in school and, chemistry was always so confusing that I really never understood. 

The physics teacher in school had once told me that I would never do anything in my life. I will sit at home and will spend my dad’s money. Yes! That’s what he said. He made that comment only because I did an experiment wrong during our practical sessions. In spite of encouraging students to excel, he was discouraging me. I was so disappointed with his comment that I started crying. That’s why I never liked physics! 

Unfortunately or fortunately, I cleared Physics entrance in St. Xavier’s college for Bachelors degree. My name was on the third list. I was really horrified with the fact that I will be studying physics. Will I be able to understand what they teach? What if the professors in college were like my school physics teacher? What if I flunk in exams? So many things were going in my head. But, then, I thought these classes/lectures are temporary because I was secretly waiting for the Orissa Jee counselling. It was first day of the college, and I reached college an hour before the lecture time. I am the kind of person who prefers to be on time or before time. 

College campus
College campus

For an hour I was just roaming around in the department, going through the noticeboard where there was the  admission list. I got a chance to look at it to know who all will be attending lectures with me. I got my eyes on the anti-raging notices saying ‘senior students are not allowed to rag the fresher, in case of any ragging complaints the student will be suspended for that semester’, the syllabus for first semester, attendance notice warning students if they fail to achieve 80% attendance then they wont be allowed to sit in the semester exams, and previous semester’s result list among other things. After doing time pass for one hour it was time for me to attend my first lecture. I was getting goosebumps and exactly the same feeling as Lucky gets in the movie Main Hoon Na, when he visits his college library first time ever.

The first lecture was taken by Prof Dipankar Dey (DDey sir we used to call him), head of Physics department. I really didn’t know at that time who he was until one of the students sitting next to me told that he’s the HOD. He took the lecture of Mathematical Physics. He made that session so interesting that my hatred for physics vanished in the very first lecture. 

After the first lecture, I thought there won’t be any more lectures. But we had all the scheduled lectures. I had an impression that normal colleges would not be regular in terms of classes and students would be more free to roam around. But I was wrong. St. Xavier’s college, being an autonomous institution, was very strict in terms of lectures and discipline. With each passing day, I started enjoying physics. I didn’t make much friends because I thought I was there for some time only. By the time my Orissa JEE counselling came, I had already attended two months of college and got busy with the assignments and practical stuffs. 

I went for my Orissa JEE counselling. My turn was in second half of the day, but there was a big screen where we could see the seats filled in different colleges. Till the time my turn came to fill the form for the desired college and branch, almost all the seats in good colleges were filled. I had two options: Engineering from some random college in a branch which i never thought of or Physics from St Xavier’s College. I was just thinking during the whole counselling process and was discussing with Papa about future plans. Then all of a sudden I stood up and asked Papa to come with me. He somehow sensed my decision. The only thing he said was lets wait for your turn but since I was not ready to sit, we came out in the middle of the counselling. The only thing Papa asked was whether I was sure about it? Would I not regret later? I confidently said I won’t regret. I came back to Ranchi with a happy heart. Next day I went to college and everything seemed so good. I sat with new girls and became friends with them (Ankita, Rafia and Spriha). For the next three years, these three girls and I were inseparable. We would come to the college together, sit together on first bench, would prepare for semester exams together. I made other friends also from my department as well as from other departments. But these girls were special. Mummy would pack lunch for me and she would ensure she packed something new for me everyday. After the lectures in college I would ensure I reach home on time and get back to study. No roaming around in college after lectures. Sometimes after college if we would want to spend time together then either they would come to my place or I would go to there place but no hanging around outside. No movie, no birthday treat in restaurants, no shopping, nothing. It was not that our parents would restrict us from all these things, it was just that I wanted to spend more of my time in figuring out what next. Three years passed in a blink without realizing when and how. It felt like yesterday I was there in the college as a fresher and today I was an alumni. But I was somehow happy that college got over and I got admission in NIT Rourkela for Masters in Physics. I was more happy because of the option 2 I stated in the beginning of the post. 

After a few days Mummy moved to Kolkata with Papa and after a few months of their stay there, they moved to Mumbai. After completing my masters, I came back to Mumbai. I got a job in Mumbai and then in Bangalore. I never went back to Ranchi after my graduation.Two years back Mummy Papa moved to Jamshedpur. Since we are now working professionals, our vacations depends upon manager’s yes/no and if there is any important deadline to meet. With all these things my frequency of visiting home has reduced to twice / thrice a year. For some it may be sufficient but I feel if I could visit home more often. 

There are two ways to go Jamshedpur from Bangalore: a) take flight to Ranchi and from Ranchi take bus/cab to Jamshedpur, b) take flight to Kolkata and from there they can catch a train to Jamshedpur. Till last year I was taking route b. Only this time I thought of going home via Ranchi. This is the less tiring route. I have decided that from now on I would take this route only. After spending a few days in Jamshedpur, it was time for me to be back to work. Since my flight was from Ranchi, I decided to go a little early and meet a very dear friend (Rishabh) who got engaged just a day before. Due to some function at my place I could not attend his engagement. Rishabh is an Art of Living student and Geologist by profession.

Rishabh and I
Rishabh and I

We decided to meet at college. I was really excited to go back to college and see how much the college has changed. I was also excited to be back in Ranchi after 8 long years. I got down from bus and took a cycle rickshaw to college. Every single thing took me back to the time spent during the year 2000 – 2010. It reminded me of so many things. Going to Papa’s office, shopping with Mummy Papa in church complex, spending summer vacation at Tripathi uncle’s place, eating ice cream at Firayalal, going to wool house or Kashmir vastralaya with Mummy during winters because she would knit sweaters for us, that New Lords tailor where Papa would give his shirt and pair of trousers to get stitched, Punjab sweets from where we would buy sweets, Hanuman Mandir where Mummy would take me to every Tuesday, Daily market where I used to go with Mummy on Sundays to buy fresh vegetables. I don’t remember when was the last time I had cycle rickshaw ride so I ensured I get on one of them. Later I realised I was smiling like an idiot. 

Church complex
Church complex

With all the memories flashing in front of me I reached college. I didn’t see much crowd in the college maybe because of exams or maybe because of summer vacation. The college has changed a lot but the scooty stand and Xerox counter is still the same. The very first change I noticed was the auditorium, they have named the auditorium in the loving memory of late Father C De Brouwer. He was an inspiration. The second change that I noticed was they have changed the library entrance. The college has expanded and new buildings were there. Construction is still going on. Now they have new building for Arts, Humanities and Mass Communication. The boundary wall between the old St John’s school and our college is no more as the college has taken that part of the school. Some departments have been shifted to St John’s school premises. The chapel has been renewed and shifted to a new place. Earlier the chapel used to be open for students also. In fact, darling sister has been to chapel. But the year I joined college they closed chapel for students as they found that students were missing the lectures and doing time pass in chapel. The old canteen has been renewed. And the new canteen has a playing area too. They have kept indoor games also. The owner of old canteen now sits near the St John’s school premise. After roaming around in the college for one hour we decided to sit in the canteen. It was then I realised that in my three years in college I never visited canteen. When I confessed this to Rishabh he said you missed the fun. He, then, started telling me about the time he spent in college canteen, about his elections and college fest. While he was telling me his stories of college canteen, the only thing that was coming to my mind was – can I just go back to my college days? In order to focus on studies and career I somehow missed enjoying the college life!! 

Me
Just outside the college canteen. Happy me!

It’s very important to enjoy every phase of life without getting stressed out for the future. Be focused towards your goal and dreams but don’t forget to enjoy the present. With this, Baba Nimisha Kashyap is signing off with a hope to write another blog post soon.

 

Diwali

late-night-after-diwali-018It’s quarter to 4 in the morning, I’m still up, watching lights in my room which I decorated for Diwali, and sipping coffee. My love for coffee and lights will be eternal. I want to see my room decorated with fairy lights throughout the year. The fairy lights in the room keep channging its position with time. Sometime its simply hanging on the wall, at times it just hangs around my pic collage. Fairy light decoration makes me extremely happy. May be that’s why I like Diwali (the festival of lights) more than any other festivals. This was my third Diwali away from home, first time it was in the year 2011. I was in my final year of MSc in Rourkela, and Mom Dad were in Mumbai. Just a day off on Diwali stopped me from going home. Second time was in the year 2016. I had some urgent project deliveries hence couldn’t make it home. Third time was last year i.e. 2017. I was in Mountain View for some project!I miss Diwali at home. Mom would prepare the puja thali, Dad would wear dhoti and do evening puja. I used to be busy all day checking out for easiest rangoli design. I used to draw rangoli every year without a fail. Every year my design would be the same except for the colours. When we (bhaiya, darling sister and I) were in school, Diwali meant bursting crackers, playing with different kind of sparklers, anaar (flower pot), chakri, rocket, eating lots of sweets and helping mom in lighting diyas. Fairy lights were not common in those days. There used to be a secret competition among the kids on whose crackers would be noisiest. Mom and dad would stand in the balcony to see us bursting crackers and ensure we don’t hurt ourselves. Now that we are grown ups, we understand that bursting crackers is nonsense. It might be a way of expressing happiness or a symbol of celebration but with time it seems more like adding to the pollution and mere waste of money. People celebrate Diwali as a symbol of victory. Victory of good over evil. I think the major festivals in India (Holi, Durga Puja, Diwali) has the same significance “victory of good over evil” but with different stories.  With this I’ll end up this story hoping to write new stories soon.