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Archive for December, 2009

When we started this blog, our aim was to write mostly about photography and things relating to it. But with the recent act of terrorism that shook Karachi, Pakistan and made a large religious procession its target, we thought we’d remember all the innocent lives lost in the suicide bombing on Dec. 28, 2009 and write about the significance of the day when Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him), and his seventy-two companions valiantly sacrificed their lives for Islam.

The synergy of any large gathering can be electric, but the arrival of the Islamic month of Muharram brings with it a period of mourning and daily congregations for Shia Muslims which are spiritual in their foundation and stirring for those who partake in them. To mark the 1300 year old tragedy of Karbala, Shia communities organize processions worldwide in a peaceful manner while practicing their own rituals which include reciting poetry seeped in sadness and hitting themselves on the chest.

The quizzical looks of bystanders observing the procession and those not familiar with the history of the sad events of Karbala are made aware of its importance through huge banners carried by youngsters featuring facts about the tragedy. Apart from remembering the martyrs of Karbala, Muharram is a time for showing solidarity; it is about voicing injustice and standing up for what is right as a community… a message we can all take to heart.

We leave you with photos taken during a Shia procession in Mumbai and a few words from a Hindu poet named Mathur for our Urdu readers, followed by a gist of the message in the poem:

Kam jiski ziya’ay hon woh tanveer nahin hoon
Biddat se jo mitjaye woh tasveer nahin hoon
Gham hai meri fitrat mein to gham karta hoon Mathur
Hindu hoon magar dushman-e-Shabbir nahin hoon

 The spirit of grief is universal and the recognition of injustice is not limited to any creed or nation.

 

   

 

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Photo by Shabbir

Special thanks to Sukaina, Erteza and Hamza for their beautiful shadow art.

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10,000 words…

No, it’s not the length of this blog post, so don’t turn away ;). Let me ask you: What is worth ten thousand words and sideswipes the thousand words conveyed through a photograph? A moving picture or what is plainly known to us all as a video is the right answer. With life moving at a pace that is akin to a marathon runner, it’s a delight to have a DSLR like the Nikon D300s which processes and captures pics at the speed of life.

For someone who loves to shoot street scenes, the fleeting moments of amusement, excitement and zaniness that are to be found on the streets of San Francisco satisfies the photographer in me. But that satisfaction has grown twofold ever since the Nikon D300s arrived at our doorstep; the HD video recording feature adds the flexibility of capturing moments in fluid motion or churning out a sequence of images that are saved to the memory card faster than you can say “Life in shutter clicks!”  In spite of having HD video recording functionality, the D300s is not the best in the market for this purpose, though it’s excellent and on the mark when it comes to making images.

Here’s a video from an outing to Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular San Francisco attraction. The video was color corrected in Sony Vegas. I’m working on a video project with footage shot on the D300s and the focus is on San Francisco city. Until that video project comes to fruition, enjoy this little clip… Shabbir

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Bay Bridge at night

San Francisco… a beautiful city, with lovely weather (except for now!), but a sore in the neck when it comes to finding photography related work.

We’ve all heard of the idiom ‘a dime a dozen’, but for the first time I have realized how it feels to be that dime a dozen… times a thousand! There are so many photographers in the San Francisco area; the established ones and those starting out. A post by someone seeking a photographer on craiglist.org goes away as quickly as it makes an appearance. This had me annoyed to the point that I started checking the site at three in the morning just to jump on any opportunity that pops up. We were lucky occasionally and very unlucky almost all of the time.

I remember what my teachers at UC Berkeley and my photography guru Kohi Marri used to say: “You have to offer your client something unique, something that nobody can offer”. I do believe that your work should set you apart from everyone else, but I now know for sure that it takes a while to reach a greater level of achievement and that only happens with trial and error. You can be technically sound when capturing an image but you are never sure if it’s
captivating or interesting for the client.

For my husband and I starting out in a new place is a lesson of survival in a jungleland filled with professional and primitive photographers. It goes without saying that we will get through this phase of being just a speck on an elephant’s back. As for now, we are offering a New Year Engagement Photography Package for $300 (it’s actually a $500 package but as they say, ’tis the season to be jolly fa-la-la-la-la…)

And for those of you who do not know what I’m going on about, let me welcome you to Shabbir & Salma Photography; a husband and wife duo pulling no stops in becoming recognized photographers in the SF Bay Area and to boldly go where no husband and wife photographers have gone before. – Salma

A bit of marketing :) ….. view our portfolio here: http://tiny.cc/2iVyC

You know we love comments so leave one :) :D :P

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Photo by Umme Salma Hamdani

Photo Shoot of a local band The Paper Sons for Yeah Live! TV.
First ever project of Shabbir & Salma Photography.

View more pictures at: http://tiny.cc/k5BbE

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Photographer:  Syed Shabbir Siraj

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