What does Smoke Art Photography, Arthritis and Depression all have in common? Well, these are the main topics inside my new book (just published earlier today)!
The description in the photo caption (above) gives a really good indication of my book’s content.
- My book shows 34 of my smoke art photographs, the Ethereal Dreams & Hope Collection, which includes photos taken between 2007 and June 2011.
Because I have suffered with arthritis for many years, a little over 30 years now, and have coped with long bouts of depression, I wanted this book project to be more than just a book of photographs. I wanted to mix in words of hope, and together the photos and the words of hope make up this project.
- I discuss a little about my beginnings with photography. I also discuss very general details about ankylosing spondylitis, and depression. I talk about some of my own personal experiences finding out that I have these conditions, and some story about dealing with these medical issue.
Over all, I just want to offer my book as a way to help other people dealing with pain and despair, a way to see things in terms of ‘hope’, and to stress the importance of ‘action’ to make ‘hopes,’ ‘dreams,’ and ‘goals’ to come true.
- If nothing else comes out of my book, I will be very happy if someone, somewhere, has gotten some reassurance from my words, that things can be better even when living with pain and sadness. It does not always have to be this way, but much of the effort will be up to you.
Perhaps by reading my book, this can be a small step, at least to see things in terms of ‘hope.’ You may also like seeing my photographs of smoke art – and that would be a real added bonus.
Thank you and take care!
TITLE: “Super Red HOT M&M!”
GENRE: STUDIO STILL LIFE
CREATION DATE: 03 DEC 08
ARTIST / PHOTOGRAPHER: NAWFAL NUR
COMPANY: NAWFAL NUR PHOTOGRAPHY
OWNERSHIP: NAWFAL NUR
RIGHTS: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PHOTO DESCRIPTION: A single, red MINI M&M (about 50% smaller than normal M&M’s), sitting atop a tablespoon full of VERY, VERY, VERY BURNING HOT Vietnamese Chilies. You can see how small they are, but so very potent. The good thing about these chilies is that you can eat them raw like this and they don’t have very many seeds! ;^) HOWEVER, they will make your teeth melt!!! LOLOL!!! I like to put these in Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice).
CAMERA: CANON POWERSHOT A620.
LIGHTING: METZ 32 Z2 STROBE (HAND HELD).
DIFFUSER: TESCO (LOLOL) HUGE SALAD BOWL.
SUPPORT: bogen 3001 Professional Tripod, bogen 3025 Head, and MANFROTTO #352 Ball & Socket Head.
SOFTWARE: PHOTOIMPACT X3.
PHOTO NOTES: I wanted to create an image with extreme subjects: The chilies are SUPER HOT; and, the Single M&M is SUPER SWEET. And, I wanted to get in really close to show how small these tiny chilies are. Also, I wanted to capture a still life with complementary color matching: Shades of green and red.
Side Note: MINI M&M’s taste NO DIFFERENT than regular sized M&M’s! Hahahahahahaha!!!!
“The Magic Pill.” Well, there’s really NO “magic pill”, but for me with combating Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), my weapon of choice is Voltaren, thus the big-“V”. It is an OK choice for AS.
However, there are OVER 100 types of Arthritis out there now!!! One source claims 171 types of Arthritis exist. Thus, depending on what you have, certain drugs may or may not relieve the swelling and pain.
Here in Malaysia, there is a launching of National RA Day…6th July. This is good because it will help bring awareness to the general public as well as help those who suffer from arthritis, and in this case, Rheumatoid Arthritis.
I wanted to do my part to spread the word, make people aware, and do something creative with my art photography to advertise the National RA Day.
If you are concerned about, experience RA, or know someone who suffers from RA, then please, get yourself educated on this disease so you can help yourself, or someone you care about!
What I couldn’t quite understand, however, was why would they hold an Arthritis talk-event in the early morning, and 8:30am is early for many of us, because it takes longer than that, some days, to start feeling halfway human and moving looser. 1PM or 2PM would be a better time to have an Arthritis event, well, in my general opinion.
On a different note: If you publish a blog from Flickr, DON’T believe it when it says it failed to publish the blog. It told me that three times, and I came to WordPress and it was published three times.
Updated Post: 4 March 2009: Well, if I can’t find a way to change the url for this post, then I guess it will remain as is, but the topic of this post has drastically changed.
Yes, these are my Abstract Photographs. And yes, if anyone has the desire to contact me for a purchase, I am very happy to discuss details: Please send me a note.
Nevertheless, I once heard a photographer advise, “don’t do abstracts because no one loves them but the artist.”
Is this true? I don’t think so, but it may just take like-minded people to enjoy particular types of abstract work.
I could say the same thing about people photography: I see an overabundance of really horribly (technically and interest-wise) designed people photographs, but I don’t go around telling people “don’t take photographs of people because no one will love them but the artist.”
Perhaps it is just important to have an “abstract mind” to appreciate abstract work? Could be…
These are abstract times…maybe people will start loving my work.
Just a few abstract thoughts for this update…
Hi All! I just wanted to mention that I now have my “BLUE” Photography Series on-line, and the photographs in this collection are for sale as prints and posters. Also, Royalty Free Licenses for these images can be purchased as hi-res digital files.
Please have a look: If you want to purchase a print or poster of a different size, one that is not listed, then please let me know and I’ll make it available for you. Click on the photo above, or here, to go to the “BLUE” Series Gallery to see the entire group of photographs. Thank You!
Today proved that the “best camera” you have is the one that you remembered to bring with you!
I had just picked up my kids from school and was on my way back to Tg. Tokong, looking for Nasi Kandar – not the best thing to do around 3pm (the food is not as hot or fresh at that time – IMHO), but we looked around anyway. Then, out of nowhere came two people riding these double decker bikes with all sorts of odds-and-ends strapped in the front, the rear and the sides.
They passed me by once and I thought, “Man, I got my camera…I need to get a shot of one of them,” but traffic was bad and they were headed in the opposite direction.
We didn’t find any nasi kandar open near Hillside at that time of day, but we did see a Malay food stall in operation near the reclamation project. So, we turned the car around and headed back.
Low and behold, there were the two bikers and they were headed in the same direction I was going. I sped up a little observing all traffic safety rules and regulations, of course, and overtook the two bikers, and pulled off to the side of the road about 50 meters ahead of them.
As I was getting my camera out of my Crumpler, one of the bikers blew right by me, but the girl biker was a little behind, so I had one chance, at least, to get a photo.
I quickly set my camera on Aperture Priority (I wanted good depth-of-field) and checked the shutter speed. It was a nice bright, yet overcast afternoon; nevertheless, I was able to manage a 1/250 second shutter speed – enough for this situation.
“BLAMO!” Well, my camera doesn’t actually speak, but I pushed the shutter button and got one shot.
I think she was totally oblivious to me taking her picture as she rode by: She was listening to music as she peddled head & shoulders above everyone on that very high bike.
What this pair appeared to have done was to weld another bike frame to one with wheels. They peddle using the peddle from the top bike so the chain goes vertical down to the bottom frame. The steering mechanism is attached from the top frame to the bottom frame.
I’m just wondering how they started out their ride. I would suspect, they have to use a chair or ladder to get on and then never stop until they get to where they want to go and make sure they time the traffic lights; or that is, blaze on right through the red lights like so many of the Penang motorbike riders do, ignoring most traffic laws…but that’s another issue.
Yes, indeed, the best camera in your stable of cameras is the one that you have with you!
“Grass in a Rainstorm”
© 2007 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved
Much about being a creative photographer is the ability to see things differently.
Maybe you are seeing the same thing, the same object, or the same landscape that thousands of other photographers have seen and photographed before; but are you seeing it differently through your viewfinder? Or, is it just another re-creation of what has been done a hundred, or a thousand times before?
With digital photography technology so viral and widespread, almost everyone has access to photography through one type of device or another. That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone knows how to take a photograph worth its electrons!
“Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing. Sometimes we have the feeling that we’ve taken a great photo, and yet we continue to unfold. We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” -Henri Cartier-Bresson, on photojournalism, American Photo, September/October 1997 , page: 76
Three cheers for H. Cartier-Bresson! Avoid being a “snapper” if you want to become a great photographer.
Like any other professional pursuit, great photographs are created by Photographers who think carefully before pulling the trigger, so to speak. Forget that digital is cheap and that you are not spending cold hard cash on film and development any more. Forget that your newfangled digital camera can set everything for you so that maybe you’ll get lucky with an interesting photo once in a while. Photographic-Economizing and Luck just don’t quite cut it!
In my humble opinion, great photographs come from photographers with great eyes for a scene, purposeful compositions, good timing, fantastic sense-of-place, and superb technical know-how of their craft.
Seeing Differently is what can set you apart from the thousands of other photographers who take photographs of similar subject matter. It’s easy to blend in: It’s challenging and rewarding to set yourself apart and be different.
“Salticidae – TR”
© 2007 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved
Subject: Jumping Spider
Size: Approx. 6mm
Location: Malaysia, taken indoors.
Style: Macro Insect Stage-Glam Photography
This tiny Jumping Spider was photographed on the side of a shampoo bottle. These are fascinating creatures, much more entertaining than the typical, boring web weaving type of spider, who waits until something flies into their web before taking action. These guys are always on the go – totally proactive – looking for something to do, to eat, or curious about, well, almost anything. Salticidae is the largest spider family with more than 5,000 species worldwide. The name of the spider comes from the Latin, Salto, meaning to dance with pantomimic gestures, or to leap and jump. Sometimes, these spiders are called, “Salties“.
Apparently, Saltie males must prove themselves to any female Saltie they wish to hook-up with. They do this by doing a wild dance for the female spider and the female supposedly watches the male spider like a judge at the “So You Think You Can Dance” competition – the pressure is on for sure! First there was the US version of SYTYCD, and now there is one in Malaysia that just started. There are probably more franchises of this show airing around the globe. I think the Salties should have one too – maybe they are better dancers than their human counterparts, LMAO!
Their huge eyes help pinpoint food, which they are excellent at catching. Sometimes, I watch them stalk flies or ants and their kill rate is nearly 100% – they are perhaps what one may term, “natural born killers” – but they kill for food!
Jumping Spiders seem curious about anything that gets in their line-of-sight. This one, toward the end of the photo-shoot, actually got a little aggressive, and like a bolt, it quickly swung over a couple of inches off the shampoo bottle and tried attacking the spider it probably saw reflecting in the glass of the camera lens. What a silly spider!
These spiders use a fine silk thread like a safety line. This thread helps support them as they do acrobatic-jumping-insanity. If they miss their target, which wouldn’t be very often, they can pull themselves to safety by the thread. They are considered the bungee jumpers of the spider world.
As far as I understand, Salties have a special kind of natural hydralic system built into their bodies that give them their incredible jumping powers. “Their well developed internal hydralic system extends their limbs by altering the pressure of body fluid (blood) within them….Unlike almost all other spiders, they can quite easily climb on glass. This is because of the minute hairs and claws found on their feet, which grip imperfections in the glass.” [ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salticidae ]
Over all, an amazing family of spiders.
This was actually a trickier photo to take than it looks. These creatures don’t stick around for you to take their portraits all day long: They have things to do.
The goal was to put the spider in a spotlight, as if on stage. To do this, and being an avid believer in alternative “Available Lighting” – in my definition – that means, any “available light” that is at hand for me to use. At hand was my Mini Maglite®, which produces a wonderfully bright adjustable spot.
So, in one hand I had the Mini Maglite®, in the other hand, I had my camera. As the Saltie moved cautiously around the bottle to avoid the HUGE camera in its face, I also had to keep turning the bottle around, that is, until something caught its attention and he stopped (maybe a she, don’t know). Putting the shutter on Continuous Mode, and supporting my hand on a box to steady the camera hand, I hoped to capture some interesting, non-blurry shots. The EXIF data below shows the specs., for this shot. The distance between lens to subject was approximately less than 1-inch.
© 2006 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved
Just having a little fun making a blue toad landscape.