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When faith is challenged and shaken one will still have nothing else but faith only!
My heart goes out to the Texas church shooting victims and their families it hurts to see the blood shed and pain involving innocent people that includes little children!

Sorry about the bad quality of my photo because it's taken with a phone in blazing sun light. I saw birds sitting on the cross and which is why I took this pic. This is a beautiful church I used to cross while going and coming back to my work for many months. While passing, this church used to talk to me and it would grace me with it's presence on the space that I pass by and I used to feel blessed.

On the last day I went to work, while coming back I had this wish to go inside the church and see how it looked. I have always loved seeing the statue of Jesus inside a church, not that I have gone inside many churches.

I could not find any one in the premises. Everything looked closed and so I decided to check the school/day care section. I assumed that if a parent were to get information about admissions, there should be some one to help/give out info. And I thought I was right when I found the front door to the building open. But inside I did not find any one. I knew I was not going to come back again this side.. put one shoe on the door since I was terrified about getting locked in there some how! Still no one, came out, called their number, to be connected to the answering machine!

So was headed towards my car when I saw this man coming out carrying a ladder. Ran up to him and told him the whole story and asked him why the day care center was not locked when no one was inside. He said "I saw you on the security camera, going inside the building. The church is open every day and any one is welcome to come in."

I was so surprised that in today's times the church stayed open like that! But I still went inside the church with permission and sat for a few moments.. there was no statue of Jesus to look at but it felt so peaceful to be there. May be I would drive by the church again just to get that feeling of being loved and welcomed in that space!
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A celestial kiss, a moment of their congruence in space and time !

What we plan is not what happens.. didn't plan to witness this totality but looks like I was destined to be there. But then again, I wasn't prepared to photograph this at all. But... and as stupid as it could get, just for some brief time that included this, I turned the image quality to JPEG fine because I was shooting my daughter and since I felt guilty about all the thousands of the raws that I never edited especially of my children, I wanted to be able to not have to go through the "process everything" part!! And this is what happened.. once in a life time experience (may be not) or rather shot (wait... I need to do more research now) got ruined!

#BeenaRPhotography #solareclipse2017 #Beenasbeenhere #solareclipse #Aug21solareclipse #thegreatamericaneclipse
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I had some one come and wish me Happy Earth Day this morning!

But every other day as well, when mother earth gives me a hug by sending one of her envoys to wish me a day worth living. They are the bugs that dance around in front of my eyes that mimic angels when I am out in the middle of the night photographing a conversation between the flowers and moon. Or is a bug that looked like he wanted a ride with me stuck to the outside window of my car trembling in the wind speed still holding on. They may be the squirrel that walks side ways with a flexed tail because he thinks he has something to communicate (like why were your friend chasing me the other day ;) to an innocent looking dove sitting in the middle of the vegetable patch.

They come in many shapes and forms but they all speak one common language.. that we are all connected. That they are all part of me. With out their presence and interaction, life is not worth living.. no matter what else you do that feels really important!

#BeenaRPhotography #EarthDay2017 #BirdPhotography #Nature #Birds #Dove
#Beenasbeenhere
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The observer Vs The observed! Or, lot of times, is it easy to figure it out? I should have posted this on WordlessWednesdays but since G+ has become worldless (and people less too would you say, in case silence were to have a voice), all I care about it a monologue at best. I meant, a rant!

I did not do the #MuseumDay2016 on time. But I did want to do it. This was taken in Jan 2017 in the #HighMuseumofAtlanta. It was a pleasant surprise to see this man watching exactly this portrait. I had this "Tintin moment" where I say to myself "It's now or never Snowy, come jump with me" and there he jumps from this train passing over a bridge god knows how many feet above the ocean (or river) ! If you enjoy the French comic The adventures of Tintin by Herge, you would know what I am talking about. (ofcourse I am talking to the silence)

So I walk over to this gentleman and explain my idea/wish for this photo and he readily agrees. I did tell him that he had an English aristocratic look (to my untrained eyes of course) and how he looked like some one from the pages of history. God knows how much of what I said really made any sense to him, but he and the woman he was with were very graceful to agree for a picture. So, here is a staged picture inside a space scrunched museum corridor.

And I love the little hair that is disobedient making him look like he is somehow related to Dennis the menace :))

#BeenaRPhotography #Beenasbeenhere #highmuseum #highmuseumofart #streetphotography #Georgia #MuseumDay2017
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Conceived and realized in full moon light alone, 2 nights ago!

Now I know where my cherry tree draws in it's magic from, when spring finally arrives !
See.. when it blooms, there's moon light that's hidden on the petals. Now I know. If I go to take a couple of pictures, it just locks me in magically. Yeah, I see other affected parties from the nature around my house too, like the birds, especially the cardinals.

Warning: This is shot with my heart, (not camera) so it might not look beautiful to the viewer. And if it looks like the moon light is burning the tree branches, it's simply because the moon light was too abundant :))

#BeenaRPhotography   #Beenasbeenhere   #moonlight   #moon   #fullmoonphotography  
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Happy Halloween G+ !

How could I go to sleep with out wishing Halloween! Today, is one of the few festivals that I love celebrating.

Do you ever think about the real person behind the appearance(s)? This person made me like him actually because of his sense of humor for one reason. I hung around him a lot since I loved the red and black combination and kept clicking. And he did have a good sense of photography and lighting. He said "You again?"
I said, "Yes, with the mellow yellow lights I could get really nice shots". And he laughed saying that "That's why you are using the flash!"
And much later on he laughed at me again because my fingers were fumbling over some one's cell phone camera confused! He said "Look at her she can manage a complicated camera but she doesn't know what to do with a mobile camera!" So there you go buddy, that's your head shot ;)) But I do think that you are too graphic in your appearance!

#BeenaRPhotography #Beenasbeenhere #Halloween #Halloween2016 #scary
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The bare minimum basic thoughts on World Food Day 2016

#WorldFoodDay #Google

If you have had a thought that has been nagging you day in and day out, you have to start somewhere some day in order to address it or at least make an attempt at it. The UN has started addressing it a long time ago but as long as we have hungry people who cannot sleep in the night because they are hungry, we all need to poke inside our consciences and look at what role we as citizens of the world could take up for eradicating hunger and poverty.

I have had an idea playing out in my brain for a long time. While driving on the usual roads in India, I used to visualize big huge bill boards displaying a slogan Donate a meal with pictures of burgers.

I don't know why it was burgers instead of traditional Indian food like chappathis or rice. May be because it's less messy and easy to hand over to a hungry kid! And I have always been meditating on how this could be made into a huge success in getting each and every person living in India who could afford more than a meal to consider donating a meal to another hungry human that he or she comes across .

The success of this idea would greatly depend on spreading the word, I would say, like wild fire to specifically India and broadly to the whole world. Basically it would all come down to the above mentioned slogan "Donate a meal" which any human being who could afford regular meals could do or consider doing.

A bit about the culture and belief systems in India

People of India especially those from the Hindu religion, believe that a good deed like feeding the poor/needy helps to gain points on the after life. This means that one has a better chance of going to heaven when they die. So it's a huge part of the culture to feed the needy.
At this point, usually it's the needy who goes to where the donor is. If my slogan were to be realized, the donor would go to the needy and provide a meal(or many meals) depending on their affordability of time and money.

I wouldn't want to be a part of anything that manipulates money in the name of poor. I would rather have a successful campaign where free money could flow in to get this idea realized! And free money could flow in if individual organizations could benefit from publicity doing good things for the greater good of the human race!

I hope that some big corporation (like Google) could take up this idea and make it big. I do not need any credits, I just need the word spread effectively so it almost looks stylish to share food to those who couldn't afford it. Of course I believe I am sharing this thought on the right social media platform ;)
Especially when it comes to spreading the word !

By the way, this kid in the picture I believe is a rag picker. He was leaning over the bike placed closer to the stuffed animals and looking at all the colorful stuffed animals for a long time. Then he hung the bag behind him on his shoulder and started walking away slowly then he noticed me and the next moment he was smiling at me because he realized the camera was pointed at him. It broke my heart to see the kid in that situation. I know most kids like them have some food daily because they are working to earn money. This is a catch 22 situation very hard to solve without the good hearts of all the citizens of the world.

There are currently many programs to support this cause and there are several ways that one could get involved in the smallest possible way. But, as I said, if there is even one kid who had to go to bed feeling hungry because it was beyond their means, then we still need to keep working to bring in more programs, more slogans and more people.

Some links:
1) My previous photo of the same kid: https://plus.google.com/+BeenaR/posts/fjx6gEoCxNq
2) WHO http://www.fao.org/world-food-day/2016/history/en/
3) One of many Indian organisations, http://www.feedingindia.org/
4) This one I found out just a few days ago, but never too late to do..
http://www.stophungernow.org/host-meal-packaging-event/

I hope we can make a difference. And I hope I made a difference by sending this message across to at least one person who took the pains of reading through the whole post!

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Being there for each other !
#PLUSpost Blurs and Unsharp Photography Guided Play 2016 Week 7

My submission is a bit late but I found myself quite creative feeling relaxed about it. And I like the results although I would have liked to do a thorough job of reading through the materials provided (yes, guilty of that part).
This image was the result of my 13 year old feeling very cuddly and wanting to go and meet some animal friends. She wanted to squeeze them, it's dangerous to be around her at such times. I could hear lot of excited ooohs and aahs when they (my kids) were going around.

These parrots were shot in low light through the wire mesh of their cage and I was really happy to have the greenish colored roof through which the light created a glowing effect. And the textures of the walls added as well.
But I have no idea why the parrots/birds were so cuddly in each and every cage... If you have noticed, the birds in the wild are mostly having territorial fights all the time!
Thank you so much +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers for this opportunity and +Alex Lapidus for his real real hard work and fantabulous guidance through the whole mentorship! Always there is a ton of new things and techniques to learn in the mentorships, I love it..
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The blur (read noun) as to when to blur (read verb) has been removed!
#PLUSpost  (Week 5 Processing for blur)

Finally. While I felt at home playing with camera to create blur, it was definitely hard for me to figure out when where and why to blur while post processing! Although we were supposed to shoot sharp images for the purpose of creating blur out of it, I skipped that part since I was not interested in applying just a no-brainer blur to may be a flower shot. No-brainer for my brain because that's what it kept bumping into all this time until I started going through my archives to figure out the whys to do it meaningfully. And soon I found myself hooked and that's all I did all day yesterday which included breaking my head on the Photoshop wall as well! I don't have the patience to go through tutorials usually so it was all figuring out "doing" and getting frustrated. Also realized if I have to do a fair amount of dodging, Photoshop pays a visit to the Himalayas for fresh air!

And obviously I am grateful to our mentor +Alex Lapidus  and +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers for all the good things they do including setting up the assignments with deadlines :) Otherwise I doubt if I would ever find it in me to wade through all the mental blocks that I usually am happy to accept and move on!!
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I have a little story to share! #PLUSpost   (Week 4 Compose with your feet)
During the first week of May this year, I was so drawn to the framed wall art of a painting in a furniture shop that I kept taking it's picture. And one of them was a zoom blur starting on the nose.

This morning I was looking for a picture to post for my plus post for the mentorhisp I am in, the Blurs and Un sharp Photography: Guided Play offered by G+ Mentorship for Photographers  guided by the most inspiring +Alex Lapidus , and came across this picture accidentally ( I had another motion blur in mind originally).

After searching on the net for a while for this painting, I realized it was not a whole painting but part (only the face but my subconscious mind remembered those eyes) of a most famous painting by Sandro Boticelli and I was pleasantly surprised to discover the reason behind the feeling of being strongly pulled into it.

My Dad used to bring home almost all the weekly magazines that came out in my language Malayalam when he would come home after his night shift, some early mornings. They used to be a free gift from the local shop keepers. And one such magazine had part of a painting (The birth of Venus) by Boticelli on it's cover.. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BnXGpSgPGWg/UYnRlbuh9uI/AAAAAAAACdw/Eq9xod3oJHg/s1600/botticelli_birth_venus_2.jpg

I was a teen, ready to go to school that morning. It was early morning may be about 6.30 am, I must have been doing my studies on the dining table. Usually my Dad would throw these magazines onto the dining table towards me and he knows how happy I am to go through them!
I couldn't take my eyes off this picture and I had to submit myself to my urge of finding a white paper and pencil and drawing it then and there, only after which I could detach myself away from the painting!

Well.. my drawing captured the essence of her eyes I believe, later in life many time including the very first time I went for (just a few for fun) art classes here and there, my teachers wouldn't believe that I didn't (or never) had any formal training in art or drawing. I used to feel really flattered!

I am very thankful that I get to walk the corridors of art again and to feel inspired. It very much and very well works for me when I am in a mentorship and I have to do the assignments, while in the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers :))
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