nawfal nur

Where to stand

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams

There is a lot to this quote that is not said, but if you read between the lines, you know what Adams is talking about.

This quote is similar to what I heard once, another quote that I believe is attributed to him (Adams), something like: The photograph is created within twelve inches behind the camera.

I think what these thoughts mainly mean is that there are A LOT of other considerations involved in GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY, rather than the technology.

You can have the most expensive camera equipment and still make fairly crappy photographs.

If you have no skills, or instinct about what makes a good photograph, then your images will continue to come out crappy no matter what camera you use.

Hvgf78 – my cat, Maysa’ just did some typing on the keyboard, the “Hvg…” nonsense was her work, not mine. It is some kind of secret cat code.

Anywho, as I was saying, the good photograph is still made by the photographer’s vision, and skill. Better camera equipment means, perhaps, more options, more functions, better durability, more choices, and just more things. However, I guess it would be a very cold day in Hell before I believed that equipment, equipment and more equipment makes passionate, well composed, smart, effective, powerful, emotional and gripping photographs.

At least, that is my general feeling on this topic.

5-Foods to Avoid if you have Arthritis

This is post 250.  I guess 250 is a blogging milestone.

I thought I would quickly mention a few of the foods that cause my arthritis to flare-up.  Perhaps these foods also affect you.

I will start with the Nightshade family of vegetables that cause me the most pain the day after eating them.  Unfortunately, I love many of the nightshade veggies; but they are killers for my Ankylosing Spondylitis.

NIGHTSHADE VEGETABLES TO AVOID

The connection of nightshades and arthritis-type disorders was brought to the forefront largely by the efforts of Dr. Norman F. Childers, former Professor of Horticulture at Rutgers University. Dr. Childers knew first-hand the affects of severe joint pain and stiffness. He discovered that after consuming a meal containing any tomatoes, he experienced severe pain. As his interest in the inflammatory responses to nightshades grew, he observed livestock kneeling in pain from inflamed joints – the livestock had consumed weeds containing a substance called solanine. Solanine is a chemical known as an alkaloid, which can be highly toxic. [SOURCE: http://www.leakygut.co.uk/Hidden%20cause%20of%20inflammatory%20disorders.htm]

I really like tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant – but they do not like me!  Of the three, potatoes are the most difficult to stay away from – I mean, who doesn’t like French fries or potato wedges?  Oh well, I do my best to stay away from these foods.

CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES TO AVOID

  • cabbage
  • cauliflower

I do not know why, what scientific reasoning there is behind these two veggies, in particular, that cause me more pain after eating them.  I’ve seen some reports on the Internet that say that these foods, cabbage in particular, may be beneficial for joint swelling:  I would have to disagree on a personal level. Cabbage and cauliflower are as bad for me as the Nightshade vegetables.  I would have to say that cabbage is the worst!

Perhaps these vegetables act differently on a per patient basis.  All I’m relating here are the five vegetables that cause me the most problems with joint pain.

If you suffer from any form of Rheumatoid Arthritis, keep a food diary.  Try not to eat any two of these vegetable at the same time.  For example, eat potatoes one evening and then see how you feel the next day.  Keep track in your diary.  Eventually, you will have a list of the foods that cause you more inflammation.  And, you will know what foods you should “try” to avoid.  As I said, French fries are very tempting for me.  If I eat them, then I know I may have to pay the price the next day.

Bread Man Smile

Bread Man Smile, originally uploaded by Nawfal Nur.

Some of my personal best shots are done on the street. Being out and about, running into interesting people, getting in close, showing what people do, catching that interesting face – these are the moments, sometimes, that make wonderful moments in photography.

This is a street portrait of a local “Bread Man” (Mamak Roti) – someone who goes around on a bike or motorbike with a BUNCH of bread on the back of their “ride”, who sells bread (and other goodies) as they travel around on the streets.

It’s an old-time trade here in Malaysia, but very much a part of the culture in Penang.

BLUE SPRAY BOTTLE IN THE RAIN

BLUE SPRAY BOTTLE IN THE RAIN, originally uploaded by Nawfal Nur.

La Salsera says:
How did you manage to make this one??? Great!

Nawfal Nur says:

Thank you! The first thing is that it has to rain really heavy. Then, the next thing is that you need to be able to let yourself take your camera out in the rain, and know that it will probably get wet. You can always use some underwater casing, but oh well, I don’t. These are the biggest things that are needed to take this type of image. Then, it is a matter of trial and error – a lot of error!

EGG in White Bowls Study, No1, Edit B

A photographic study of raw eggs in white bowls. Just something I wanted to do for awhile and finally took some time to do it.

Uploaded by Metal Rain on 22 May 10, 8.38PM MYT.

NOTB-667, Edit G3-njn

NOTB-667, Edit G3-njn, originally uploaded by Metal Rain.

This is another ‘kind-of’ abstract concept photo – NOTB-667.

NOTB stands for NEIGHBOR – OF – THE – BEAST; and, 667, must be the street address number.

Some days, don’t you just kind of wonder…

When you are trying to work hard, do everything right (to your own perception), and yet, someone (something) seems to be throwing the ol’monkey in the wrench.

And then, you wonder, how the *&^$ can I change my address?

Causes me to ponder…some days…

Photography and Arthritis

Photography & Arthritis

Photography & Arthritis:  There’s got to be a link.  No, no, not a medical link…Don’t think I’m that totally crazy to suggest that sort of thing, LOLOL! ;^} )
I’m talking about a link (the CHALLENGE of) between HAVING Arthritis, and, DOING Photography.

It’s quite difficult sometimes to even think about doing photography when I’m feeling pain from my arthritis.  Nevertheless, the overwhelming drive to be creative…and to be a CREATIVE in the face-of-pain, is what makes even the “Arthritic Photographer” sally forth in the quest to pursue and to capture a tremendous capture.

Click HERE, to see the rest of the blog entry.

Predictors of response to anti-TNF therapy in ankylosing spondylitis

http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/kep422

Here is the results of a recent study done by researchers at the ARC Epidemiology Unit, University of Manchester. This may be useful to some people with ankylosing spondylitis.

Happy 2010 – Getting out of Procrastination

Happy 2010!

Take this anti-procrastination message with you into the new year, and I will too:

“Do what you can do, given what the conditions are.” {Brooks Jensen}

Meaning: Don’t wait for the situations, conditions, or for the equipment to be perfect before attempting to do something. Yes of course, we can always complain that the photographic equipment we have is not right for us to do something. However, don’t allow any of these things to stop you from doing some photographic “thing“. Just try it anyway.  Or, find another way of doing some “thing“.

There will never…hardly…ever, be “perfect” situations, or conditions presented to us when we need to do something. Procrastination is sometimes just an excuse we use when trying to avoid any possible chance of failure, because failure is painful!

Nevertheless, deep down inside, we all know that failure is always necessary to grow and get better. Sometimes we win – YEAH! Sometimes we lose – Yuk! But this is necessary to improve the next time.

I guess there is no stopping failure from knocking us in the teeth, but with that bit of pain, we grow, we learn, HOPEFULLY we duck the next time failure swings at us.

Dennis Keeley said something like this referring to failure: Failure is necessary, it is like a stop on a train ride, but I don’t have to get off.

With that said: I hope we all grow more this year. And, that we procrastinate less, that we learn more from our failures, and we improve on whatever it is we do!

This is my New Years 2010 Message, and I hope to learn from it, more and more.

Have a great year!

ps: I’ve been working on a new website to host my Smoke Photography images. This is like…what…day 5 and many hours later. Maybe I’ll have the website up and running today. When it happens, I’ll post the new website link here.

Iritis Attacks, Some Thoughts 16 Dec 09

Today, I just want to share a few more thoughts about Iritis. 

Why do I get Iritis?

That is one of the search phrases I see often from people who find my blog entries about Iritis.

With that said, and from my own experiences with Iritis, I propose that there is one main reason you may be predisposed to Iritis; that there is at least one main psychological cause that contributes to Iritis; and, one modern day activity that contributes to Iritis “Attacks”.  I say, “attack” because it feels like an attack on your eyeball.  If you have had Iritis, you will know what I mean.

So let’s begin…

  • There is one main reason that you may be predisposed to Iritis:  It is a secondary condition of another disease.  In my case, I have an Autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.)…a type of arthritis.  I am also positive for the genetic marker, HLA-B27.

According to an article in the 2004 edition of the “Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine”:

“84% of HLA-B27 positive patients with AAU [acute anterior uveitis] have other B27-associated diseases—specifically Reiter’s syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis.” 

Source:  The ramifications of HLA-B27 , by Nicholas J Sheehan MD FRCP

  • Main Psychological Cause:  DISTRESS

Yes, that is correct, I said “Distress.” 

Life is Stressful:  Stress is normal.  Some stress is even good for us – it keeps us on our toes, motivated and creates excitement.  HOWEVER, many people are better at coping with life’s psychological and physical stressors than others. 

Constant and overwhelming (continuous stress) causes DISTRESS – feelings of extreme worry, sadness or pain.    

Therefore, I propose that if you have a medical condition that causes pain a lot of the time, or, if you are feeling ‘extreme’ pressure from stress or sadness, THEN it may be possible that this distress assists in the outbreaks of Iritis. 

B27 Diseases + HLA-B27 POSITIVE + DISTRESS = VERY PROBABLY Iritis.
  • Main Modern Day Activity that could contribute to Iritis:  Continuous, Long-Periods of Focusing your Eyes at the Normal Computer Screen Reading Distance.

There is one thing that my Ophthalmologist tells me each time I pay him a visit with a new outbreak of Iritis: 

“You MUST NOT use the computer for the next couple of weeks, because you are focusing your eyesight too long ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN…at that fixed distance!”  [from eyeballs to computer screen – basically arm’s length distance

I’m not sure how scientific that statement is, but it seems to fit my situation quite perfectly because I notice that before I get Iritis, I’ve usually been spending extra ordinary time working at the computer, and usually feeling stressed about a project or…whatever.

In today’s world of computer-everything, we seem addicted to being on the computer, using the Internet, and staring at that computer screen for hours upon hours.  I propose that there could be a link between Iritis attacks and over-working your eyes while focusing on an object (i.e., the computer screen) at a rough distance of arm’s length.

My doctor’s advice for dealing with this is: 

“OK, if you have to work on the computer, at least get up and walk around regularly and relax your eyes from time-to-time, see things at other distances – don’t just continuously stare at the computer screen.”

I’m not a doctor.  I do not claim that any of my observations or advice are medically worth a hill of beans.  In other words, you don’t need to take my word for it. 

However, in my experience with Iritis, I know that being predisposed to Iritis via another B27 disease, having my share of distress, and long-term computer usage, I’m pretty sure it all adds up to my risk of getting new Iritis attacks.  What about you?  Does any of this sound familiar with your dealings with Iritis?

With this knowledge, I attempt to at least reduce my distress and reduce my computer usage – there’s nothing I can really do about the A.S., but I can do things to reduce the persistent long-term pain.

If you too suffer from Iritis, I wish you all the best.  Maybe you can keep a journal of the events you experienced and the activities you did before the onset of an Iritis attack.  This may help you determine which activities you can control, and possibly reduce the frequency of Iritis.  It’s just a thought.

Fifty Thousand Plus

50,004 Visits to my Photography Journal

I Reached the 50,000 viewers mark today.

I guess this is a landmark for me and my photography journal: I reached the 50,000 views mark.

One thing I am quite surprised about is that my more visited blog-pages are those dealing with Iritis. Because I have this eye condition (off and on), and I provide information about it, people flock to my blog seeking help with this painful eye condition.

That being the case, I will continue to add new information about Iritis, and also, of course, Photography.

Thanks for your views!

Nawfal Nur

Jamilah Bee Eyes, v1, Edit B

Type of Photography: Cat Portraiture.
Cat Model: Jamilah Bee.
Cat Age: 12-Years this Year.
Date Taken: 2 Aug 09.

Photo Tip: Flash placement should be slightly off center to avoid any ‘deer-in-headlights’ type of glare – the equivalent of the Human Red-Eye issue. It also helps if the ‘model’ is not staring directly at the camera.

Have fun!

Post 210

And,

Maybe I’ll ‘Sell My Heart for Stones.’

No, probably not, but this is an awesome composition!

This, being my 210th post, and being in one of ‘them’ moods today, thought I’d give a plug to my favorite group of musicians, NEVERMORE:  They have gone above and beyond.