Saturday, May 30, 2015

Posture of regal bearing

Image: Courtesy of Grandma's Goulash

Posture of regal bearing stood
the test of time oblivious
of developments around
Served its purpose now an
anachronism fondly remembered

(140 characters)

For GG's Succinctly Yours week #219,
a Micro Fiction of not exceeding 140
characters and to include the word  - posture

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

trappings of the 'knife acrobatics'

                                                               Attribution: Kowloonese (CC-BY-SA-3.0-;GFDL)
Image: Tempura of fried shrimps
and slices of vege (here)

The given words:
Sunday Whirligig  - boil late hat sequence 
thought shoe outside nifty white cherry

came to a boil late in the day
hat tipped at an angle every bit
a gentleman followed the
sequence of an earlier thought

shoes left outside proceeded
to take a seat with feet dangling
in a dug-out of sorts sitting
Japanese style

one nifty enough to be comfortable
in that position and ready enough
with the white napkin laid across

the chef popped a cherry into his
mouth and munching commenced
right away in front of the diners

Tempura and trappings of
the 'knife acrobatics' and juggling
to spice up the cooking movements
All done not behind at the galley but
right in front of their very eyes

What a meal!

Note: The chef very deftly and delicately
threw up the knife every now and then
like a juggler or twirled it around in his
hands like a gun-fighter all the while cooking
and smiling. Those right behind the counter
in front and not in the dug-out would get
a grand-stand view while enjoying their meals

For MMT's hosting at Sunday Whirligig #9
with the given words

Yusuf Hashim with the Berbers - YH#14

Continuing the Yusuf Hashim saga of global travel again and this time 'armed' with a just-acquired 'toy' to make it even more memorable.

This is the Modern Day Explorer #14
The Modern Day Explorer #13  (here)

The given words:  
3WW  -  misery privilege stale

The Haiku
Slow moving camel
train. Misery to the butt
just temporary

Privilege of a
desert journey a unique
experience indeed

Etched in memory
Not in anyway stale but
longing for repeats

                                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 1
Yusuf Hashim says:
This was shot in the Dunes of Merzouga, deep in the Moroccan Sahara near the border with Algeria. We were riding camels to our Berber encampment in the desert. My ass was hurting after an hour on the lead camel of camel train #1 which I led. We were riding parallel to camel train #2 for a few minutes, which enabled me to shoot this photo as they came alongside. — at Sahara Desert, Merzouga

                                                                                             Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 2
Yusuf Hashim says:
This is Milhoud, a Berber from Essouiria whom I shot framed in one of the tiny doorways of the fortress walls surrounding the mighty fortress on Morocco's Atlantic seafront. — at Sahara Desert, Merzouga.

                                                                          Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 3
Yusuf Hashim says:
For the gearheads ... all the photos in this post are samples of photos shot with my brand new toy ... the EF 11-24 mm on my 1Dx. I love this lens. Simply brilliant for street photography, and shooting from the hip. I got it it just before I left for Morocco, but I didn't get the 5DsR which hadn't arrived yet. I like this lens so much that this lens hardly left its IDx host the entire time I was in the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara. All other lenses needed were mounted on a battered 5DM2. I came home with just under 400 GB of RAW files. More than half of them shot with the 1Dx/EF11-24mm combo. But you have to be a little careful about shooting people with it although it could be perfect if properly handled as seen in the photo of Milhoud. I believe it's going to be the perfect lens to shoot Miss Aurora Borealis when I go sailing in Greenland in November.

Hank takes the liberty to append Image #3 above just so for those interested in photography. Obviously one needs the right 'tools of trade' to take great pictures.To see more great pictures Yusuf had conveniently compiled them into books and can be accessed below:

Books by Yusuf Hashim

For Thomg's hosting at 3WW week #429

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Perseverance unwittingly works!

                                                                                                      Attribution Paulix8
Image: Birds and Cages (here)

Sitting there all forlorn
Still as an old pillar box
but its plumage glistens
more so when it moves

Sadly the perch is barely
a few inches to allow that
much freedom of movement

It is no bother it still moves
like the grandfather clock's
forward and back but sans
sound of the tick-tocks

Perhaps there will be sounds
if the pace is quickened

That will be fun
Will give it a try

Hey, this is fun!
The cage is shaking

Like a rickety bone-shaker
Faster, faster,faster

Snap! What's that sound
What do you know.
It is open!
The cage 'door' is open!

Away it flew like an inmate
scrambling out of a jail-cell

This is freedom!
Perseverance unwittingly works!

Note: Writing an everyday poetry. This is just
one lucky episode that happened one day

For MLMM's Photo Challenge # 62 and
Gabriella's hosting at d'Verse  - everyday poetry - poetics

Monday, May 25, 2015

To browse the reversed view of colors!

                                                                                 Attribution: Frank Vincentz (GFDL)
Image: Shop Display of Choice Jeans (here)

MLMM's 10 of 12 given words:
bedraggled browse reverse jeans tweak knuckles
truculent (fierce; cruel; savagely brutal)
stria (narrow stripe,of parallel arrangement)
slack pewter

She came in fierce with a vengeance
Hugging her tightly around the hips
Beyond repair and out of fashion
Bedraggled repulsive in she sneaked

To browse the reversed view of colors
Not of loose pants but jeans sexy jeans
Not the usual blue jeans she now abhorred
Perhaps one that tweaked like pink

She knocked her knuckles to make it fast
Perhaps truculent red brutal for impact
Hard to decide but it should not be a laugh
Certainly not a stria striped kind of slacks

Must be tight-fitting to accentuate the lines
Pewter or steel buttons not a preference
Drive them crazy was how to stay relevant
Flaming red tallied with her conscience

For Georgia's hosting at MLMM's Wordle #62 nd
Marian's Tuesday Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Yusuf Hashim in the Sahara - YH#13

Continuing the Yusuf Hashim saga of spectacular journeys around the globe! Yusuf was in the Sahara where he even found time to celebrate his 69th birthday. Happy Birthday to you once again buddy and may with God's grace you have a safe and enjoyable journey!

The Haiku
Adventure in the desert
Not for faint-hearted

Camel back-riding
Quite sore on the rear even 
for short distances

Special trip with a
birthday do thrown in, happy
birthday good buddy!

This is the Modern Day Explorer #13
The Modern Day Explorer #12 (here)

                                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 1
May 15, 2015
Yusuf Hashim says:
My lunch today .... The Haji Mustafa Roast Lamb at Chez Brahim in Marrakech . .... check out Lonely Planet's testimonials. IMHO the two places for the best roast lamb in the world .... Haji Mustafa is numero uno. The other similar roast lamb was somewhere in the desert between Afghanistan and Pakistan about 200 km north of Zahedan on the Iranian-Pakistan border.

                                                                        Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 2
Yusuf Hashim says:
Tinghir in the Todra Gorge, on the way to the Sahara
The Todra Gorge and the Dades Gorge are fascinating places to visit. In some parts the Todra Gorge is only 4 o5 meters wide with Towering Cliff faces on either side. I will post a few photos when I am home because internet here is very slow

                                                                                             Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 3
May 19,2015
Yusuf Hashim says:
Celebrating my birthday at the Kasbah Ben Haddou in the Todra Gorge of the Atlas mountains of Morocco. Life is good. This building was my B and B last night. We have 7 Landcruisers taking us through the mighty Atlas mountains, via the Todra Gorge to the Moroccan Sahara where we'll be camping with the Berbers on the dunes. Looking forward to sleeping in our hotel of a thousand stars

                                                                                               Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 4
May 21,2015
Yusuf Hashim says:
Celebrated my birthday and the very next day,we hired a few camels to go and stay with Berber nomads in the dunes of the Sahara in South Eastern Morocco near the border with Algeria     
                                                                                           Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 5
May 21,2015
Yusuf Hashim says:
Setting out into the Sahara. Had to wait for the sandstorm to subside a little..
Choen, on the right, out of the frame, in fact are the ruins of a Thousand year old kasbah .... a caravanserai or an ancient rest stop for the traders and their camel trains bringing goods and slaves from Cairo in the East, to Casablanca in the west. The Dunes of Merrzuga lies on a part of the ancient trading route between East and West
                                                                                           Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Image: 6
May 21,2015
Yusuf Hashim says:
Greetings from the Sahara ... roast lamb with the Berbers tonight in the Dunes... after an hour and a half on a camel. My ass is so sore

For Mary's hosting at PU's
Poetry Pantry #253

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The pine of Takekuma

                      Attribution: Camedia E-100RS
Image: Takekuma twin trunk pines
- free use of image from (here)

Spectacular sight
Phenomena awaited
Gone in a jiffy

Cherry blossoms gone
Takekuma twin trunk pines
were consolation

Note: "The pine of Takekuma was famous in poem and
fact because it was split into two trunks"  -  Chev

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #737  -  cherry blossoms

Rejoiced at bumper harvest

                                                                                              Attribution: Daniel Julie
Image: Terraced Rice-fields (here)

Young maiden's first try
at haphazard rice planting
made the willows weep

Care and affections
Ensured fertility for
subsequent seasons

Willows wept no more
Rejoiced at bumper harvest
Cool air winked with smiles

For Chev's hosting at CARPE DIEM #736
- one patch of a rice-field

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Is there a method to solve a problem?

                                                                                           Attribution: Alves gaspar
Image: Young Paper Wasp Queen
Guarding her Eggs and Nest (here)

The given words:
3WW - intimate jagged thirst
Sunday's Whirligig - method bleached sheep humming
men fool needlework stones country olive dominoes laugh

Not having an intimate knowledge
Jagged in approach
What a thirst!

Is there a method to solve a problem?
Bleached of responsibilities
Shoved or led like sheep
But still humming a tune
Must men just fool themselves
with self denial?

Problem analysis and decision-making
An art form of meticulous needlework
woven into a fabric of factual imagination

Lest they disintegrate one needs to
draw on many known and unknown facts
Rummaging through even eventually
with soiled hands is a must
Leaving stones unturned is sacrilege
Hands-on so they say!

Armed with the potential sting
at the ready
As a wasp guarding her domains
Or a leader over his country
Perhaps an olive branch
waved occasionally to maintain stability

When all relevant elements
are factored in difficulties arising
will not as a consequence make
them fall like dominoes

Triumphant, one has the last laugh!
Happiness written all over
Still easier said than done
But has to be done

For Thomg's hosting at 3WW week #428
MMT's Sunday's Whirligig #8 and
Susan's PU's Midweek Motif - Happiness

It is the 2 am dread!

                                                                                               Attribution: thennicke
Image:  Blurred Night-time Truckers (here)

What is alive what is dead
It is the 2 am dread
Most are asleep
under warm sheets
But the homeless
Snug under cardboard boxes
Without a care in the world
For as their life twirl
With no change for the better
Not affecting their slumber

Some sectors of activity though
Take it as the start of their show
Airlines and airport workers
Emergency doctors and nurses
Janitors and graveyard-shift workers
Even long distance truckers

All within the cross-hairs of union leaders
Who are much concerned of their welfare
For which they are fully aware
Targeted for adequate compensation
For the unearthly work-hours' inconvenience
So it is that such a bother
2 am certainly is no laughing matter!

For Anthony's hosting at d'Verse Insta-Poetics

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

seen better days!

                                                                                                 Attribution: Zvaella
Image: Red - Courtesy of MLMM (here)

A Ninette
"The Ninette is a form that uses nine lines.
Each line increases by one syllable until the
middle line, (five syllables) after which the
syllable count in the lines following goes
back down from four to one. The first and
last words of this poem can be 1) the same
2) antonyms or 3) synonyms"  -  Vandana

a pair
seen better days
not the way to treat 
had to be mean?
just not fair

Note: Credit to Vandana who used this
form (here) and Hank took a liking for it

For MLMM's Photo Challenge #61 and
Kerry's at Real Toad's Tuesday Platform

Monday, May 18, 2015

It hung over her head!

Note: Hank chose to write on Blood and Carnage in this Blogfest

The Girl Who Played with Fire
is a 2009 Swedish thriller film directed by Daniel Alfredson

Lisbeth Salander is under suspicion of having murdered a journalist and his girlfriend. Mikael Blomkvist has to do what he can to find her before the authorities do
Journalist Dag Svensson is writing an exposé on prostitution in Sweden. Dag and his girlfriend are about to leave on a holiday and ask Mikael Blomkvist to come and collect some photographs. Mikael arrives at their apartment but finds the two dead. Lisbeth Salander is the prime suspect, as her fingerprints happen to be on the gun.

In order to find Lisbeth Mikael contacts her friend, Paolo. Paolo witnesses Salander’s friend Miriam being kidnapped by tough guy Niedermann. Paolo gives his account to the police. Meanwhile, Salander tries to find Niedermann by patiently staking out his post office box. She eventually sees someone retrieve his mail and follows him to a small house near Gosseberga. Salander enters the house, but Niedermann has been alerted by motion detectors and knocks her out.

Niedermann and his sidekick Zalachenko lead Lisbeth to a shallow grave in the woods. She tells Niedermann the police will find him soon. All that he has said has been published online through her hidden cellphone. Seeing through her bluff,  Niedermann shoots Lisbeth and buries her alive. Left for dead, Salander digs her way out using her silver-plated cigarette case Hiding in the woodshed, she surprises Zalachenko with an axe. She then keeps Niedermann at bay with Zalachenko's gun.Just then Blomkvist arrives with the police who take them away.

It hung over her head 
but Salander was innocent
It was left to Mikael to find her
Paolo her friend should know

In the meantime Salander
went to look for Niederman
who had kidnapped Miriam

She tailed someone to a house
in Gosseberga but Niedermann
caught her snooping 

She was led to the woods
shot and left for dead
She dug her way out and
hid in the woodshed

She surprised Niedermann
and his sidekick and kept
them at bay before the police
arrived brought on by Mikael

A Haibun for Alex's Blogfest.
Hank is kaykuala at # 45

Sunday, May 17, 2015

....but this is Orlin! - MF

Image: Courtesy of Grandma's Goulash

To berate a cat is
easy but this is Orlin.
Don't you dare for my
rhyming prowess is
fantastic so also
my computer skills
Caught you now!

(140 characters)

For GG's Micro fiction in Succinctly Yours
week #217 and to include the word  -  berate

Faint sounds of bells heard?

                                                                                          Attribution: Irmgard
Image: Grazing Cow with Bell (here)

Faint sounds of bells heard?
Cows are as yet to come home
What a waste of time

Bell sounds yet to ring
But Pavlov's dog salivates
Just too long waiting

Absence of bell sounds
Waiting in minutes before
roaring times erupt!

Note: writing about ... something that doesn't take place

For Georgia's hosting at CARPE DIEM # 732
with  -  the bells at sunset and
Mary's at PU's Poetry Pantry #252

Friday, May 15, 2015

He knocked it simple but it came off complicated

                                                                                      Attribution : Alchemist-hp
Image: Tree eats Sign but Who to Blame (here)

He knocked it simple but it came off complicated
He blew his tops in utter rage but later relented

Who done it he remembered but it suddenly wore off
Racked his brains hard but only to scoff

What did he do wrong he thought it was right
He tried to think hard but for all his might

He could only go some distance and tried harder
There were lots of nonsense he could not remember

So who was there to blame he thought he knew
There were many but managed to single out a few

He tried to go back in time perhaps it would strike a chord
Tugged at his conscience but he was innocent he thought

He was angry minutes before but not anymore
It was not material so why bother!

For Bjorn's hosting at d'Verse : MTB  - Anti-thesis -
where one is to write into the opposites!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Until shoved to the ground...

                                                                                            Attribution: Ireen Trummer
Image: A Young Ural Owl That
had just left the Nest (here)

The given words:
prodigal, treasure, tavern, sun, longing, find
rushing, roar, gravel, learn, grieving, candles, 

The prodigal son
Squandered a treasure trove
Lazing in taverns
or soaking the sun
longing to find
all good things in life

Was seen rushing to capture
fun and games
and to create a big roar

Until shoved to the ground
of mud and gravel
The prodigal son
would not learn

Back to their parents
And parents being parents
There were no grievings

Welcomed back with smiles
Short of lighted candles
to light the way
The prodigal son
was accepted into the fold again!

For MMT's hosting at Sunday's Whiligig #7
with the given words

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nature's salvation

                                                                                              Attribution: Mwanasimba
Image: A solitary melon (here)

Growing melon left
alone akin to hermit
to fend for himself

Sheltered in lone hut
Today was another day
Nature's salvation

Provided setting
for prolific writings passed
down unselfishly

Note: Following Basho's definition of 'seclusion'  a kind
'of estrangement from the world, living in solitude'  -  Chev

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #729  - growing melons

Monday, May 11, 2015

In dire need of strong arms

                                                                                          Attribution: Vampire-Zombie
Image: "Catching the Rain" Picture prompt
Courtesy of MLMM  (here)

The 11 of 12 given words:
screw bristle bombinate (to make a humming or buzzing
noise) classic slant impinge dire tunnel vellichor (the strange
wistfulness of used bookstores) intricate corduroy

Her life was all screwed up
It was all bristles pricking her heart
Loving words fondly bombinated
in her ears

The classic 'I love you'
though slanted in many forms
but still extending the same meaning
sounding so faintly
impinged on her senses

In dire need of strong arms
to hug her in that warm embrace
and floating on air
in the beautiful tunnel of love
she yearned for him

But why was she hiding away
submerged in the cold
trying to keep her head
above water just so she
could breathe and live

Water smelling like vellichor muck
that occasionally lulled her
into intricate distractions
made her mad

She still had feelings for him
with memories of that hunk
in light corduroy
still playing in her mind

It was not too long ago
they shouted with joy on
seeing their names many times
on the Dean's List

To think a dumb blonde came
between them now!

For Yves' MLMM's  Wordle #60 plus
Neeraj's the Photo Challenge #60 and
Marian's hosting of Tuesday
Platform at Real Toads

Sunday, May 10, 2015

attracted not just birds but...

                                                                                      Attribution: Roger Culos
Image: A Colorful Caterpillar (here)

Abhorrent as a
caterpillar but became
one so beautiful

Both are colorful
But why it was a put off
but later transformed?

A butterfly flies
inviting for grabs as it
flutters leisurely

Beautiful colors
attracted not just birds but 
avid collectors

Note: Following Basho, Hank's attempts 
at creating paradoxes not knowing it works
or not

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #727  -  a butterfly flies

Gregarious in their dealings

                                                                                 Attribution: JohnDoe0007
Image: A dealer button next to a deck of cards (here)

They were startled
dead in their tracks
They had the gumption
to put their foot across
It was a near discovery but
their finesse was exemplary
The gullible beware!

Gracious in their outlook
Gregarious in their dealings
Manifested themselves
in manifold routines
The gullible beware!

But any semblance
of sensation
or embarrassment
were ably avoided
Surreptitiously helpful
low-keyed by nature
Their activities were
sheathed shielded
and shrewd

Intended victims
could have
been alerted
as there were some
careless moves
But not to be!

Their nefarious jaunts
could now have been
known but it was not
common knowledge
But they were still lethal
in their own ways

Seemingly sedated
The gullible beware!

For Mary's hosting at PU's #251
Poetry Pantry 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Little flowers peep out bright!

                                                                               Attribution: Tuxyso
Image: Solitary flower steals out (here)

On  a mountain path
Trudging patiently along
Breaking barriers

And along the way
Little flowers peep out bright
Lighting the dim path

Life not all rosy
But help through Karmic powers
Salvation for some

For Chev's CARPE DIEM # 726 - a mountain path

Thursday, May 7, 2015

now come the digital age generation

                                                                                 Attribution: Derzsi Elekes Andor
Image: The online marketing and advertising community gathered
at ad:tech London to reveal the latest trends and market figures,
share best practices and address industry challenges (here)

The 10 of 12 given words:
twenty feeble consolation hollow leaning 
mystic southward soil purple breath

most already within mid-twenties
somewhat an adult with a license
to be seen doing adult things
rightly no more a feeble consolation

they were brave souls of all extraction
not anymore hollow in their casual bids
just unshackled off their Mom's apron
into new nests they conveniently hurried

leaning not on mystic tendencies
went southward to the land of the sun
Peace Corps workers to deprived societies
soiling their hands working as one

now come the digital age generation
with Entrepreneurial 'Purple Hearts'
with such breath-taking innovations
any more Zuckerbergs with guts?

For MMT's hosting at Sunday's Whirligig #6 and
Abhra's hosting at OpenLinkNight #148

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

neurosis of ideas devoid of impulse

                                         Attribution: Shadows by Manoevil
Image: Picture Prompt courtesy of MMLM (here)

3WW: the given words
hauntingly impulse linger

neurosis of ideas
devoid of impulse
likened to a
shadowy apparition
nibbling routinely
in the dark corner

it set in motion
ruefully but surely 
ripples that ruptured
their sense of thoughts

rigorously rollicking
as a consequence
hauntingly obnoxious
to the flock
of migrating birds

tremors of fissures
in the ground
turbulent in nature
surpassed only by
their nuisance value

nebulous thoughts
but pristine in memory
linger on
paltry to measures
to assist but ended up
to be an outright 

Note: Pablo Neruda has that uncanny 
style of short lines that accompanies a 
catchy flow very much like Jae Rose's

Apologies to Kanzen Sakura
Hank regretfully is not able to comment in 
your blog without going through Blogger. 

For Kanzen hosting at d'Verse  -  on poets that inspire 
MLMM's picture prompt of Photo Challenge #59 and
Thomg's 3WW week 426 with the given words

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Contending on its own self

                                                                                                     Attribution: P Smith
Image: Moss on a Dry Stone Wall (here)

Precariously placed
Contending on its own self
Blob of survival

Play safe stick to it
Rolling stones gather no moss
Wise words still hold true

Not the one buried
Non-productive happy but
Under swath of moss

For Chev's CARPE DIEM # 722
- buried in moss

Monday, May 4, 2015

There are big ones...! MF

Image: Courtesy of Grandma's Goulash (here)

There are big ones
lurking in the tall grass
Not many anglers would
dare step into the swamp
But all the mystery helps
accentuate the fun.

(140 characters)

For GG's Succinctly Yours #215  - to write a micro-fiction
of 140 characters and to include the word - accentuate

A pinch of informal indignity!

                                                       Attribution: Rennett Stowe
Image: A Lion lying Supine (here)

The given words:
pinch garden supine monarch extremity tantalize 
culpable fragrant orange dance oblivion 
phosphenes (a luminous image produced by
mechanical stimulation of the retina)

A pinch of informal indignity
On the garden grounds lying supine 
The 'Lion King' in all ignominy
A monarch still regal in a recline

Such the extremity of a royal person
Tantalizing that they do no wrong
Culpable of acts of intransigence
With a fragrant but delicate romp

Orange hues of the animal kingdom
Rituals of deathly dance before a kill
Prey's phosphenes' sight ticket to oblivion
Pounced on by big cats leisurely at will

For Georgia's hosting at MLMM's  Wordle #59 and
Kerry's at Real Toad's Tuesday platform!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


We've gone through a most exciting month in the A to Z April Challenge. In the course of the two previous months Hank posted a number of interesting snap-shots with permission from Yusuf Hashim (YH#1 - YH#11)

This is the Modern Day Explorer #12
The Modern Day Explorer #11 (here)

Yusuf posted in his FB yesterday about some tips. It is most educational to be read in a jiffy. It'll help to make one's photo snap-shot better. It is lengthy. You may skip it if you are already conversant in Fish-eye lens usage. Hank finds it useful and am sharing it here for those others.

Yusuf Hashim says:

Hee hee hee ... its 3 am and I suddenly felt like talking about Fish-Eye photography. So here goes.
A fish-eye lens is an ultra wide-angle lens that produces strong visual distortions intended to create a wide panoramic or hemispherical image. Fish eye lenses were first used in the nineteen twenties in meteorology to study cloud formations.Their unusual angle of view of between 100 and 180 degrees, enabled them to see a wide swathe of the sky, and for that reason, they were called "whole-sky lenses".

These days a lot of fish-eye lenses are being made for hobbyist photographers. They are a lot of fun to use. They can produce quite unusual images, although you have to be aware of their peculiarities if you intend to use them creatively and effectively. For instance, when shooting with the fish-eye, lean forward, and try to keep the camera further away from your body .... and make sure your zip is done while you are shooting with the fish eye. If you are not careful, your toes, your tummy, and your willy might appear in the frame as well. Also be careful how you use Fish-Eye lenses. They've often been abused and its easy to create cliche images with them.

I've got both a 15mm fish-eye and another 8-15mm "full-frame" zoom fish-eye which gives a circular image at the widest zoom point. And I'm now eagerly waiting for the new ultra-wide 14mm rectilinear lens from Kwannon to arrive. The rectilinear ultra-wide 14mm would be an excellent lens to shoot the Aurora Borealis on my next PhotoSafari to Iceland from 1-7 September 2015, and to Greenland from 8-17 September 2015. Dr Chen and myself just can't get enough of Miss Aurora, and we are returning to Iceland this September, to shoot her again. If anybody wanna tag along, please PM me.

Hee .. hee... and the Fish-eyes and Rectilinear Ultra-wide would be ideal also to shoot the Aurora Australis in New Zealand's South Island too ....... when I do a PhotoSafari to the land of the Elves of Lord of the Rings fame in April next year....

If and when the mood is right, and if the right inspiration appears, I'll try and do a short tutorial on how to use a fish-eye lens effectively. In this rant, I'll just post a few photos from my collection of fish-eye images to tickle your imagination.

Street shooting with a fish eye-lens has some interesting challenges.

                                                                                           Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo# 1:
Photo #01 was shot at a train window, at a railway station near Maho Junction in Sri Lanka in 2012. It's a sample of the type of images you could get with a Fish-Eye in Street Shooting.
Would you dare put your fish-eye lens 10 inches from the nose of your subject?

In this photo I waited till the train was moving. Then I walked alongside this window and I asked this man if I could shoot his photo. He understood what I was saying, grinned and leaned out of the window. I put the lens in his face and snapped a few shots in 14 frames per second high speed mode. Surprisingly most of the shots were usable. BTW, I noticed the other man in the rear, and I deliberately included him in the frame as well, to create an illusion of depth, and to give contrast to my main subject. 

In order to shoot better photos, you've got to learn to see and to notice other elements which can contribute visual dynamism inside your frame. Fish-eye lenses gives a new dimension to immersive photography.

                                                                                        Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #2:
Photo #02 is the Boatman of Maiga. He was sitting on the roof of a small boat that we hired to take us to Pulau Maiga, a beautiful Sandbox in the Sun off the coast of Sabah at Sempoerna. I placed my camera with the 15 mm Fish-eye Lens just 10 inches from his toes, and pointed the lens upwards. The lens flare from the overhead sun was intentional. I included it just to add another interesting element in my frame. The fish-eye was pointed slightly upwards so the horizon is curved upwards. 

When shooting photos, to get additional impact, try to shoot from a not-so-usual perspective. Shooting from bottom to top is physically demanding, so not many people will do it, so there is a little bit more of an 'oomph' factor by shooting from below. 

In a previous rant I mentioned MYA (Move Your Ass) to get a different perspective. In this photo, you need to remember WEVODPB . What is WEVODPB? If somebody has read this far, ask me and I'll tell you what it is.

I was Chairman of the organizing Committee when Malaysia hosted the Crossing Bridges Event #4 in Sabah in 2007. Crossing Bridges is an annual get-together of photographers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea and Sri Lanka. The objective is to build bridges of understanding between photographers from member countries. Each year the event is hosted by a member country in turn. Last year South Korea were the hosts. This year, the 12th edition of the Crossing Bridges event will be hosted by Sri Lanka. If you are a member of, you are invited to join us. Its almost 3am and this rant is getting too long to read. 

I'll just post a couple more fish-eye photos to give you an impression of what they can do..

                                                                                          Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo# 3:
Photo #03 was shot within seconds of Photo #02. After shooting the Boatman on the roof, I turned around, squatted on the boat deck, and shot my good friend the artist Tungtong Singapore.

                                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #4:
Photo #04 is an unusual Fish-Eye perspective of a beautifully maintained and restored Desoto which I shot in the streets of Havana in Cuba in 2014. DeSoto was an American automobile marque, manufactured and marketed by the now-defunct DeSoto Division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1928 to 1961. This particular specimen would fetch probably a hundred thousand dollars in the US, if it were to be bought by a collector. I asked the owner how much it was worth in Cuba. He said about US 25K. If you want to make some money, go to Cuba and buy up these old cars. Now that the US and Cuba looks like they will be normalizing relations soon, you could easily buy up a few of these cars and sell them to collectors in the USA. The DeSoto logo featured a stylized image of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The DeSoto marque was officially dropped by Chrysler in 1960, after more than two million vehicles were built since 1928. So one of these specimens could possibly be worth a small fortune. `— in Centro Habana, Cuba.

                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #5:
I call photo #05 the Rocket Boat, taking off towards space. No prizes for guessing who is the guy with the long hair at the bow of the boat. This was also shot during CB 4 off Sempoerna in 2007.

As I said, the unusual capabilities of the Fish-Eye can reward you with many unusual shots.
(More of Yusuf Hashim) here

For Mary's hosting at PU's Poetry Pantry #250

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Vicious blow came swift

                                                                         Attribution: Master Sgt. Roy A. Santana 

Image:  Medium sized urban search and rescue team of 57 members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and 60,000 pounds of equipment, activated by USAID, board a C-17 Globemaster III at March Air Reserve Base, April 27, 2015. The team is in response to the magnitude 7.8 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks which struck near the city of Kathmandu, Nepal on April 25. (here)

Already deprived
People of hardships given
unwarranted shocks

Vicious blow came swift
Survivors picked up pieces
Strength dissipated

Nepali resolve
Known for courage pulled them through
Outside help came fast

Note: Latest datelined to-day Saturday May 02, 2015
KATHMANDU: Another earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale struck western Nepal on Saturday. The quake was centred in Gorkha. This is the third earthquake to hit Nepal after the first on April 25. The death toll of the first quake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale is at 6.814. More than 600 aftershocks were recorded throughout last week. 

For Chev's CARPE DIEM's Special #145
with Yaba's 'no strength left'

Proudly standing unflinching!

                                                                                               Attribution: '64 Laitche
Image: Mount Fuji (here)

Misty showers play
against the distance's visuals
Mount Fuji subdued

Regal snow-capped tops
Proudly standing unflinching
Japan's great mountain

Undaunted presence
Solitary yet somber
Pride of Eastern skies

For Chev's CARPE DIEM #718 Misty Showers
with Basho's take on Mount Fuji