when the mind travels

#FridayReads: When The Mind Travels – A Poetic Journey Into Photography

when the mind travelsTell the #FeedArt audience about your latest book and why they should read it:

My latest book is titled When the Mind Travels: A Poetic Journey into Photography. I wrote it because I believe photography and poetry are two powerful and (very) complementary art forms. When you bring them together, the resulting stories are not just amazing. They also awake the senses and foster meanings where / when we least expect it.

Nature and landscape photography has been a passion of mine for several years. In my poetry, I have always focused on the spiritual aspect of things. With this book, my goal is to offer readers a meditation on life and the human condition through images from several countries. You will find shots from Canada, the place I have called home for 12 years; France, my birth country; Syria, which I visited in 2009; and Alaska

I approach photography in the same way as I write poetry. It’s not about the tools. It’s about the moment when my eyes catch a silent, but fleeting story unfolding. What happens next, is a spiritual yearning to describe the scene with my camera. However, it is during the editing process that my poetic background comes into play. Every photo must achieve two goals: simplicity and serenity.

I don’t recall seeing poetry and photography together in a book. And, I think that is exactly what makes When the Mind Travels: A Poetic Journey into Photography such a unique concept. The world is not just black and white. There are many different shades that the naked eye may not catch. However, the soul or mind will actually see them 

When the Mind Travels is for the lovers of nature, travelers, and those who sometimes ponder what the ‘other side’ has to offer. I do not claim to have the answer, but the constant joy I experience as a poet and photographer cannot be wrong. 🙂

Give some actionable advice to writers and aspiring authors:

In this day and age, everyone can write and release a book. However, the difference between an amateur and a professional lies in the way he or she looks at and value his or her work.

Honestly, writing a book is the easiest part. What comes after, marketing, is really when the challenge starts. Whether you are self-published or not, this challenge remains the same. The brunt of self-promotion falls on you and you alone. 

My best advice would be to start promoting your work as early as possible to build momentum. Also, do not to expect too much from friends and family. It’s great to have them in your corner; but more often than not, they are not your right audience. 

Instead, educate yourself on marketing, branding, and social media to build the right awareness around your book. Invest time and money into the right tools, be a go-to resource to your potential readers, and connect with other authors.

And most importantly, be patient and work hard. Thousands of books are released every day. So, you are up against a lot of competition. 


Top Story – Why The Bathroom Is The Best Place For A Photo Shoot!


Today, photographers are constantly experimenting and trying to create unique shots. We live in an age where unique visuals can be such an asset, and your photography could turn up in unexpected places on the Internet. Separating your own artwork from the artwork of so many others is an increasingly difficult task for all creative people. Photography is certainly no exception, particularly not in an age when everyone’s phone has a camera and so many people take up photography as a hobby.

There are many ways to put different spins on any standard photography subject matter, but choosing an exotic location is certainly one of them. While many photographers feel compelled to look beyond everyday things and people in capturing their subjects, some others may try to find beauty in that which is ordinary. Everyday locations like living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms are only as trivial as you make them.

Bathrooms Have A Lot Going For Them In Terms Of Photo Shoots
Really, bathrooms have a lot going for them in terms of photo shoots. Photographers are always trying to capture people from unique angles with good lighting. Many bathrooms absolutely must have good lighting, since people apply makeup there and prepare themselves to face the world all in that one location. Photographers invest so much time in trying to create the best lighting conditions possible, that bathrooms can potentially allow them to take shortcuts that would be impossible under normal circumstances. Photographers always have to make good use of their surroundings and locations, and any person creative enough to be a photographer is creative enough to use the lighting of a bathroom to their best advantage.


Decorative Bathrooms
Then there is the issue of how bathrooms are usually decorated. While there are exceptions, bathrooms are typically designed to be cheerful and inviting. Bathrooms will often have pictures on the wall, cheery wallpaper, and so many other attributes that will only enhance the aesthetics of your average bathroom and the photograph within its premises. Even in a dirtier or less inviting bathroom, bathrooms are easy enough to liven up for the sake of a photograph, and they are far more compact than many competing locations.

Bathroom Mirrors Add A Charm
Mirrors are a great component to add to many bathrooms. They can create interesting angles, make the room look larger, and generally contribute to the visual appearance of the location. In bathroom photographs with the typical bathroom lighting, they can even make the whole room and the subject of the photograph look brighter. Achieving that same effect in almost any other room in any house would be much more difficult, but bathrooms come fully equipped with nice decorations that can enhance most photographs.

Bathrooms have a certain warm, friendly familiarity to them as well, even at the worst of times. It is the one room of any house guests are most likely to visit at one point. People may look very well lit in their bathrooms, but they certainly will always look at home there. All that positivity can be captured nicely on film.

Ashraf Pistawala is a media blogger and writes for AQVA Bathrooms, the on-line store in UK for designer accessories in bathrooms. You can interact with AQVA Bathrooms on twitter @aqvabathrooms

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