Nurturing Thursday: Meditation

I took this photo around a month ago and like it very much. I call this photo “meditation”.


These days I am reading a book “The Sun my heart” by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. I love the “apple juice story” in which he explains how meditation helps us to let our mind settle. For Nurturing Thursday this week I would like to share it with you all.

I got this version of story from internet which is slightly different than in the book but I hope you like it.

One day, Thuy (a five year old girl) and a few other girls were playing near the hermitage, and they came in to ask for water to drink. I had some organic apple juice a neighbor had given me. I offered each child a glass. The last serving of apple juice went to Thuy, who did not want to drink it because there was a lot of pulp inside. She left it on the table and went out again to play. About an hour later, she came back very thirsty, looking for water. I pointed to her glass of apple juice and asked, “Why don’t you drink that? It’s very delicious.” She looked at the apple juice and saw that it was now very clear, because after an hour or so, all the pulp had sunk to the bottom. She was very happy to drink it.

Then she asked me why the apple juice had become clear, and I answered that it had been practicing sitting meditation for an hour. And she understood! Because we left the glass there for one hour, it kept still and became clear. She said, “Now I understand why you practice sitting meditation—you want to be clear.” I said, “Yes, you understand what sitting meditation means. If you know how to sit, how to put yourself in a stable physical position, if you know how to handle your in-breath and out-breath, then after some time, you become peaceful and clear.” That is why we like to do sitting meditation every day. We imitate the glass of apple juice, or the apple juice imitates us!



Monochrome series 5


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~Albert Schweitzer

Playing with lenses

It’s time for a post on another session of learning photography. In his 11th lesson Raj discusses issues related to various lenses. It’s a very informative post and I was quite happy to learn about different lenses.

I own an entry level DSLR Nikon d3200 and have only two sets of lenses. One the kit lens 18-55mm and a zoom lens 55-300 mm. I am very glad that I bought this zoom lens as I travel a lot and also I enjoy taking birds photographs. Here I show the way I use my lenses in different situations.

The first picture was taken on our way to Marleshwar Shiva temple. I was glad that zoom lens was attached to the camera.

1/125 sec. f/5,6, 98mm, ISO 280

A note: One of the moeny is looking at prasad in a thin plastic bag which he snatched from a girl. A big challenge of dealing with monkeys near our temples from north to south in India. May be there is not enough food in forests now a days.

During our journey I saw these small red-yellow flowers. Most of the time they were hidden in heavy green vines but I managed to capture this one photo.

1/500 sec. f/5,6 300mm, ISO 200

The next shot of a sunset, I tried with zoom lens but it did not work (I am not sure of the reason). Within no time I changed the lens.

1/2000 sec. f/7,1 55mm, ISO 400

Next image was taken at Mandu. To capture wide angle image I used the kit lens.

1/400 sec. f/32 40mm, ISO 6400

Whenever I am out around lakes to captures birds. The zoom lens is a must. You see the result here “for a morsel of bread”

1/2000 sec. f/7,1 260mm, ISO 400

And lastly, for capturing the scenic beauty around Villa d’Este  in Tivoli, near Rome I used the kit lens.

1/250 sec. f/8 18mm, ISO 100

Time for your comments Raj!

Photograph should speak: XDrive Photo Lesson 2

We have heard about back benchers or/and late comers. I introduce myself as one late comer ( 6 weeks late 😀 ), to “Learn Photography” sessions  introduced by Raj@XDrive!

In his second lesson Raj talks about “Photograph should speak”, an excellent post. The bullet points are fantastic.  I agree to many of his points. When I share a photo, I want it to express something different. To tell a different story.

Landscape in late winter!

He suggests us to think

(A) “……“Why should I click this picture?” Before you click always imagine a finished photograph what you are going to create. Think about it, ask a question, is this going to be an unique photo I am going to be taking?” He has given excellent example of Taj Mahal.


(B) “don’t just jump at it and shoot, take a moment to think about what you are trying to showcase here?

My point of view:

With due respect to Raj, I would like to say (A) & (B) are possible when my subject is still. Also in the beginning (for me as a newbie), it was very difficult to imagine a finished photograph. After lot of trial and error now I feel (a little) comfortable about the end product when photographing still objects. After using different focal lengths and by changing my positions I see the difference in my results. Yes, I can take a moment, observe my subject and think if I should photograph.

These days I work more with moving objects specially birds. Sunshine and proper light is a big issue in my part of world.  Oh yes! and I cannot forget rain. Which restricts my practice time to a greater extent. Capturing bird movements is hardest ever assignment.  I have less than a fraction of time to think. My simplest solution is I focus and as I see some movements I follow a bird.


The first photography was taken from inside a moving bus.  Earlier I was not able to focus, but now I manage better. My goal was to capture the snow,  mountains and part of the road.

In the other two, I was observing birds and that’s what I want to show!

Please help me, how shall I review my work without being biased! Thanks in advance!