Photography : This is how I started

Disclaimer : This post will not teach you how to take good photographs.

A week back I got a text from one of my kid brothers asking how I started photography.And,he was the fourth person to ask me the same.It was then I thought,why not write about my nine months experience in photography.

For everything,there is a starting point.I was surrounded with brilliant photographers but they were not my inspiration.Yes,I loved being in front of the camera and I had enough excuses not to click pictures — DSLR cameras are heavy,technicalities behind taking pictures are boring and if I click pictures,then who will click my pictures.Like everything,photography was also an accident.The first DSLR camera was a gift for my Husband but he was too busy to use it.Then considering that there is a camera at home and nobody is using it ,I thought why not try my hands on it.Like every other beginner,I started off with AF(Auto Focus) clicking furniture,vegetables and clouds.I was too lazy to learn the mechanisms of DSLR camera and for a month I shot pictures in the basic mode.It was then I went for a photo walk and learned that there is much effort behind every good photograph.But,then I wasn’t ready to learn.

There are plethora of photography pages on Facebook and there were few which I was following without any particular reasons.Then something strange happened that I started noticing the photographs very closely.Some photographers had shared the EXIF details and they looked Latin for me.By this time,I had already started a photography page in my name for flaunting the pictures I had clicked.It was then I realized that I don’t have  any pictures to post on my Facebook page.That’s when I started to get out of the house to my neighborhood areas to shoot pictures.Then came the biggest difficulty — I didn’t know what to shoot.I had pictures of every flower,every cat and dog, and every road.Upon searching online,I saw photographs of my area and I couldn’t digest the fact that somebody else have clicked my locality so beautifully.Then it became a challenge and I started shooting the road in every possible angles and one picture came out well.That was a relief and a big break for me but I stopped clicking pictures from that day.

After few weeks,during a dinner party somebody brought up the topic of my photography page and appreciated me for starting one.I smiled and thanked him.But his wife,very naïvely,started asking me doubts such as what is a RAW image,why are photographers using a stand(tripod),how to take silky waterfalls etc.That was one embarrassing night because I had no clue what RAW image was or why people used tripod or what silky waterfalls were.Again,I was lazy to learn the photography jargon and I checked with some of my photographer friends.Most of what they told me went over my head but I understood one thing — I cannot click pictures without knowing the technical side of photography.Below are the steps which I followed to learn photography.

Step 1 : Of course,buy a DSLR camera

Invest in a good camera and lens.Like everybody,I also started with an 18 mm – 55 mm lens and then slowly started using 70 mm – 300 mm. There is a phase when you know that it is time to try a different lens.

Step 2 : Learn the technical side

There is a YouTube channel PhotographersonUTube which is run by photographer Jibran Aslam.His videos are very helpful for a beginner.He teaches you every minute technical detail in layman’s terms.I also follow the website which tells you about a lot of projects.

Step 3 : Everything starts from home

I am very thankful to my family and friends for patiently posing for me. I have pestered my Husband more than enough to experiment different shots.My friends helped me in doing a jewelry shoot which was more of a learning process of “how to shoot portraits”;you can check the pictures here.

Step 4 : Mimic other’s work

Follow a lot of photography pages and try to mimic their works.A lot of photographers give the EXIF details so you have the settings ready and you just need to find the correct angle and light.I keep a journal about the settings which have worked for me on my camera during various occasions.

Step 5 : Travel a lot

These days,I make sure to look up on internet before visiting a place to know the existing photographs of the locality.Researching helps in getting some predetermined shots.Traveling to one place a month makes a big difference in both you and your photography.

Step 6 : Do Photo Projects

Once you start reading the above mentioned website,you will come across a lot of photo projects.Each project will help you in learning various techniques.My favorite project was “Shoot everything you can”.In this project,I was suppose to be in a room and then click everything that is in the room.This project helped in learning how aperture works and by the time I finished this project,I had good control over using manual mode.Above all,I learned how creatively you can click an ordinary object.

Step 7 : Keep clicking!

Don’t get discouraged by seeing your first 200 photographs.Patience is the key.Always take your camera along with you.I turned my camera into my new handbag.Poor camera,now takes rest among the cosmetics and comb.Get rid of the shyness to take out the camera in public.Of course,people might laugh at you but you will get used to it.Don’t ever stop taking pictures.

I hope this post will encourage a lot of people to take up photography.

Happy clicking!


NB : Thanks to Vinod and Brags to pulling me into photography.

Err…I have a Photography Page now

I thought a hundred times before writing this post because I was very apprehensive about creating a photography page. Midst a lot of brilliant photographer friends,I felt very shy to expose the pictures have clicked.But,then I thought getting suggestions and criticisms will help me in clicking pictures better.So here is my photography page.Like the page and make my pictures as your wallpapers.

Bhavia Velayudhan Photography

Hello,My Dear Wrong Number

Samson sat up on his mattress and looked at his roommate. Ajmal has been walking from one end of the room to the other end for past ten minutes.

Are you walking to compensate for your evening walk?

Ajmal turned his head towards Samson and said nothing. He continued walking clutching his fists. Samson got up and stood in front of Ajmal blocking his way and asked, “What the **** are you doing?”

Ajmal again looked at Samson and continued walking. Samson sighed and went back to his bed. He pulled his bed sheet over him. Ajmal is tensed.He walks inside the room like a maniac only when he is too tensed. Nothing unusual has happened in office today except that the office beauty Pinky Sharma was absent, and we were slightly down. There wasn’t that emotional boost to work today. Then in the bus, both of us got to sit next to college girls.Huh, in fact the day was almost perfect.But, why is he tensed?

“Oh no!!”

Samson pulled off his bed sheet and jumped out of the bed and ran to Ajmal.

“You went for the Dinner?”


“Vivek Kevin?”

Ajmal looked at Samson and said,”Yes”

Samson rolled on the bed holding his stomach and laughed.But, got up after a minute and asked,”Oops! But this case is serious. You actually liked the girl; also the family liked each other.”

“Err, that’s the problem“, Ajmal sat on the bed and fell flat on it.

Where did you meet her?”



“Then, what!! The same Vivek Kevin problem”

“Tell me, what happened?”

“You have no clue how much I had to talk to her Father to get a permission to meet her for dinner. I wanted to meet her before I meet her with my family”

“Grr…Tell me what happened”, Samson sat irritated.

“I had booked a table for two and reached fifteen minutes early.I sat waiting for her and she was bloody thirty minutes late.”

…”Aah, she came late. It happened right after I said Hello to her.I said Hello Pinky”

“What the!!! Again”, Samson burst out in laughter and continued, “I thought you had problems only with Vivek that you always ended up calling him Kevin and with Prasad that you call him Prakash.Oh yes, then with Sandhya,you call her Shanthi”

“No! I can’t help it. My tongue slips all the time.”

“So, now what are you going to tell your parents? Do one thing, call your parents and find out whether the girl’s parents have informed any news”

“Good idea”


“No, Bro, there was one more problem”


“The bill came around Rs.2500 and that restaurant’s card machine wasn’t working”

“WT*, Then?”

“Then what? She paid the bill”

Samson died laughing hard.

“Shut up, you ************”, Ajmal threw a tumbler on Samson’s face.

Phone rang. Ajmal ran to the table and picked up his cell phone.

“Hey,Samson…Pinky is calling”

“What??!!??Why is she calling you?”

“I don’t know”

Didn’t I tell you that day that she has a soft corner for you?”

“Insha Allah, if she has a crush on me, then I will celebrate. No! Wait, then what about Shehnaz?”

“Who cares? Now pick up the call before she cuts it”

Ajmal cleared his voice and said, “Hello Pinky, what a pleasant surprise!”

Samson showed action to Ajmal encouraging him to ask Pinky why she was on leave today.

“Hello”, Pinky replied.

“Yes, Pinky”



The call disconnected after 30 seconds and Ajmal stood like a statue. The phone fell down.

“What happened?”,Samson asked excitedly.

“Pinky and Shehnaz are roommates”, said Ajmal and sat on the floor.


“It was Shehnaz who called from Pinky’s phone”

Ajmal continued walking from one end of the room to the other and Samson covered his face with the bed sheet and said in the mind, “Oh,God! Thank you, Now Pinky is mine”.


The Last Time I…

The Last Time I gifted someone was a week back,

The Last Time I kissed my parents was three weeks back,

The Last Time I watched sunrise sitting on the sands of beach was a month back,

The Last Time I helped a stranger was two months back,

The Last Time I walked in the rain without an umbrella was three months back,

The Last Time I dipped my legs in a flowing river was four months back,

The Last Time I held a baby in my hands was five months back,

The Last Time I took a long walk was six months back,

The Last Time I sat with and listened to an elderly couple was seven months back,

The Last Time I did a night out to finish a book was eight months back,

The Last Time I sang to a small crowd with butterflies inside my stomach was ten months back,

The Last Time I wrote an exam was a year back,

The Last Time I allowed a kid to experiment her Mehandi skills on my hands was two years back,

The Last Time I tried cooking something new was three years back,

The Last Time I traveled in the metro train without getting down until I finished reading a book was four years back,

The Last Time I went for a trekking was five years back,

The Last Time I wept like a kid missing someone was six years back,

The Last Time I got terrified when back stabbed was seven years back,

The Last Time I jumped out of joy of getting something I longed for was eight years back,

The Last Time I looked deep into somebody’s eyes was nine years back,

The Last Time I enjoyed the purest form of friendship was ten years back,

The Last Time I played cricket with friends was twelve years back,

The Last Time I saw death right next to me was fifteen years back.


When was the last time you did…?


Sherlock Holmes Spoiled Me

If you have watched Sherlock Holmes TV Series, you are going to love this post. If you have not watched Sherlock Holmes TV Series, then you are going to watch both the seasons after reading this post.

Except that I was born pre-matured, everything else happened late in life. Sherlock Holmes TV series is the latest addition into that list. Though its first season aired in 2010 and second season in 2012, I watched both the seasons only in December 2012.What a pity! 

Last month I bit my nails hard, held my cushions tight and forgot to bathe as I watched this series. This not an exaggerated explanation to make you feel great about the series but except gobbling my food at odd times without taking my eyes off the screen and attending only the utmost emergency nature’s calls, I did watch six 90 minutes episodes split into two seasons in a stretch. The series has a rating of 9.2 out of 10 in IMDB but I’m not really happy about it. I wish it had a rating of 9.8 out of 10.

Everybody knows what Sherlock Holmes does, so an explanation about his role is totally unnecessary. What attracted me a lot is that Sherlock Holmes is ultra modern in his techniques to solve his cases. He texts, uses GPS, does video conferencing and many more. One of the most striking features of the series is that it displays Sherlock’s text messages on the screen and displays what is in Sherlock’s mind when he is analyzing a person.


After watching the series without a break, I became crazy. And the craziness was in analyzing people. I started staring at people after the weekend and made analysis as below.

“She is married because mangalsutra/thaali is worn. She is newly married because she still looks like a kid and wears too much of gold. Possibly got married only couple of weeks back. She comes from a middle class family because her accessories are decent and moderately priced. Probably still coping up with sex life, sleeping late and waking up early for the household chores because she looks happy but yawns every minute and her eyes look sleep deprived. Romance from last night still lingers because she smiles like a fool and plays with her dupatta.”
“She is from a poor family,may be from a very poor family. She is not happy in life because there is no life in her eyes. Her face lacks nutrition and body lacks food. Her skin looks dry and her palms are hard and dirty. She is too poor to take care of herself; forget about the skin care. The nails are dirty and unclean which means before leaving to job she must be doing some household work. Her heels are cracked which means she runs around without chappals.Her chappals are torn and she has carefully adjusted one of the straps with a small safety-pin. May be the poverty has stricken too badly on her and the family. She looks tired, hungry too I guess because she has a headache and swallows too much of saliva.”
“Yet another software slave. But he doesn’t have a paunch and his arms are strong which means he works out well; possibly daily workouts. Early twenties and a bachelor because he has that I- don’t  care- what -the- fcuk- is- happening- around- me look. He is not from a very rich family but he is buying accessories for him. He has a brand new phone but clothes and shoes are below average. His bag is old and faded but his watch is new which means he is in the process of buying new things for him. He is not committed because in his Galaxy Note 2 he copy pastes his girls’ network’s inquirers with the same answer. Something is bothers him because he taps his phone on his knees. He gets a text and he sighs. He is relieved. Sigh! Something serious is going on with a girl because after getting the text he smiles and there is a sudden energy inside him.”
“Well polished nails, straightened hair, lipstick with lip gloss and sunglasses. Her head is covered to protect from the Chennai pollution. She keeps her legs crossed and her shoes are expensive. But I think she is not rich and she acts as if she is rich. The nail polish is applied more than four layers to make it look like branded one. Though she has worn lipstick with a lip gloss, it spreads at the corners of her lips which mean she is still getting use to wearing a lipstick. Her skin lacks that look and attitude of a rich girl which means it is all a show off to make people think that she is from a rich family. She is very bothered about wearing the sun glasses which means she doesn’t wear them often. Then why is she wearing them and acting weird? That means somebody is there in her vicinity whom she knows and wants to show off to them and not attract them.”
“Somebody is waiting for him; most probably his wife because it was a female voice at the other end when he talked over the phone. He is stressed out but he is happy and cheerful. May be he is going to attend a wedding reception. He is restless that means he is late for the function.Oops! He forgot something; yes he has forgotten something. He is searching his pockets, his bag and his lunch kit too. What it could be if he even opened his lunch kit to search for it? He calls someone named Gayatri; may be wife. It is a key. Oh My God! He keeps his house key inside his lunch box. I’m dumbstruck. He gets down and there is a woman in a heavy sari waving him from the other side of the road. Thus my guesses are equal to his actions. Hence proved.”
“The typical Indian working woman with kids. She feeds her family before she eats because time is post 11 AM and she eats her breakfast from the train. She ran into the train which means she was late today and didn’t time for her breakfast or she has the habit of eating it peacefully from the train. She stretches and folds her legs so she must be standing in the kitchen for a long time. After gulping her breakfast, she dozed off which means she works at the IT Park at the last station of the train and she must have woke up early that day. She has kids; two kids and both C-section because there are stretch marks and stitch marks on her stomach. Very carelessly dressed; Yet another mother struggling to balance both home and work because even in her sleep she frowns. She must be beautiful in her younger age because except the C-section belly, over used hands and legs, she looks pretty.”
“She is not beautiful but she wants to become beautiful. A late teen who is conscious about her looks. She wants to take out her mirror and check her makeup but she is embarrassed. She is restless and tensed. As she is a confused teen with an inferiority complex, she must have tried something new on her and that causes her this silly tension. Hair looks is normal, minimal compact powder make up, college attire, recently threaded eye brows and upper lip but I cannot make out why she is very conscious. She made an unnatural cough and took her phone out of her college bag. After playing with her phone, she checked her face on the phone’s screen. That means there is something new that she has tried on her face. Nose pin. One of her nostrils is slightly reddish and swollen.”

My Sherlock Holmes investigation style would continue until anybody punch on my face for staring at them and making weird faces and conclusions. Until then, happy staring.

 Caution to the descendants of Adam : Be careful while using the above technique to analyze the descendants of Eve.

Image courtesy : 

Solitary Walkers

Despite the geographical and cultural differences, the world hates changes. A history would be created if the world had ever encouraged anybody who has tried to deviate from the traditional, usual and tried out path. But, the interesting fact is that the ones who succeed in the end are always unbelievably praised, incredibly worshiped and gloriously thrown in air by the world.

Why does the world NEVER encourage people to go off the track and try to experience something new?

“Why you are not like other girls?” was the most common question which I have faced in my life. I would end up giving a blank stare to everyone who fired away this question. Let me not gender bias this issue.But, it is the same with boys/men too. If all the kids in a particular area play cricket, and if there is only one kid in love with tennis then, the family, relatives and everyone around him would make him know the brunt of being different from others.


Similar approach but terribly nasty handling happens if the off the track happens in studies or marriage; especially love marriages. An old man whom I met at the airport told me that he was a farmer. A farmer in the airport? My jaw dropped. Then I thought he was an owner of the farm-house. But NO! He was cultivating wheat and corn. He literally sank in the flood of my questions. He was an engineer who passed out with a 1st class but after wasting 10 years of his life doing jobs which he disliked, he moved to farming. Nobody supported him. But today his biography is a blockbuster hit in his hometown. After saying goodbye to him, I could imagine the scenes in his house which he must have undergone during his off the track decision period.Curses, teasing, emotional blackmail, the black mole who spoiling family’s pride and honor, blaming to be a fool and many more.

Why? Why does the world refuse to give a helping hand when someone wants to see and feel a different life?

It did Exist Somewhere Out There

Post lunch I ran to attend a meeting and nearly skidded at the door. After sitting on one of the round chairs placed around the round table for a round table conference, I curiously listened to rest of the team.

Suddenly my cheeks were diagonally twisted, my face went weird and I was into a war. I could see my boss glancing me at times, my best friend showed me her worried face and my nosy friend did her best to control her laugh.But,I couldn’t help not stopping my efforts with my face. The occasional bulges which appeared on the sides of my face were making people in the meeting deviating from listening to the show my boss was running. I was out of control of my body that I made all possible twists, bulges and expressions on my face.

My best friend kicked on my leg to stop doing nonsense inside conference room. I was getting tired of the war game I was playing that my face and mouth started aching badly. But I was adamant to win the game so I continued the game under the glaring eyes of my boss.

Finally after fifty five minutes, I sighed and laughed to myself. When I was about to give a shrieking cry of joy, my friend pinched me. Rest of the meeting I sat looking at the face of my boss as if I just woke up from sleep and have no clue about what was going on till then and expecting him to repeat his talk which was a sandwiched between inedible corporate and technical  jargons.

After the meeting, I was sure that the boss will be dying to have a private chat with me about the stupid drama that ran for an hour. Like I expected, the moment I logged into my machine, the office communicator blinked with extra brightness and frequency. So I walked into the glass chamber to meet my boss.

During the meeting, what were you doing with your face?, he asked.

I cannot tell you because it is very weird. I’m Sorry, I said making my face look very innocent.

You are not going back to your seat unless you tell me what was wrong with you then, He did a half the world trip sitting in his chair and played with the pen.

I was…I was just…, I mumbled.

Will you please tell me what it is, Bhavia!!! , he showed his irritation.

The chicken fry in the cafeteria was really good today and I ate a lot. There was a thread of chicken which got stuck somewhere in the gaps of my teeth and I was just trying to remove it with my tongue.

He laughed. He laughed as if I were a clown. He laughed as if somebody tickled him. He laughed as if I told the humor behind the world being weird. He just laughed and again laughed.

You may go now.” he opened his laptop lid and continued with his business.

I showed him my relieved face and turned back to leave.

His voice startled me as my concentration was on carefully closing the glass door without any noise.

Prepare the minutes of meeting for today’s meeting. I need the document by end of the day.” he immersed in the laptop screen.

After closing the door, I stood there and thought what had happened and talked in the meeting other than some facial exercises and hitting, dabbing and patting my teeth with my tongue.

An alarm rang inside my head and I ran to my best friend calling out “Help me!!!”


Silence is Beautiful

When was the last time you sat in “COMPLETE” silence?

Last night,during the bed time read,I came across the word “silence” and I asked the question to myself.I couldn’t come up with an answer because I don’t remember when was the last time I sat in complete silence.I even feel that I have never experienced complete silence.

At home,even if I switch off every electronic appliance,I get to hear the noise from the street or the adjacent flat.In office,there is no chance of experiencing slience.Even during the “moment of silence”(In my office,if any of the employee is passed away,we observe two minutes silence),I hear cell phones and extensions ringing non-stop.Temples!!!NO way;so forget about it.Doctor’s place is never silent;meditation centers too.

Now is there any place where I can find silence?

The only option to try is the park next to my place at the break of the dawn.I don’t know how much effort would the nocturnal creäture inside my heart take to wake up early tomorrow.

Silence is indeed beautiful but how do I find it?

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