October 28, 2019 - No Comments!

First time in Skardu

Last year in September I visited Skardu for the first time, I’ve always been semi-scared of flying to north which is why I’ve been hesitant to go before, but it was 100 % worth it. We were there to officially cover and shoot a documentary about Sarfaranga Desert Rally and decided to stay for 7 nights so we could experience as much as possible.

We stayed in PTDC - Motel (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation) and although we didn’t spend much time there we were very happy with the location, fairly close to Indus River and the more scenic areas of the river and around.

Though mostly we were busy covering the events and the festivities, even with all the business and tough routine, we have loads of images and videos captured.

Meanwhile enjoy these images from our trip.

Flying Over the Mighty Karakorams
Playing hide and seek
Just about the right elevation
The beautiful Valley
World's Cold Desert, "Sarfaranga"
Nissan Patrol
Desert Rally starting point
The Desert
The Desert II
There is something specail about sunsets and rises over at mountains in Skardu
Qasim at Blind Lake
As I mentioned earlier, the sunsets are majestic in Skardu
Majestic Sun Setting
Just a tinge of light
Game of lights
Every passing minute has its own landscape view
The light is clean, crisp and shiny, every minute showcases best of the nature
Not to be missed the beautiful Pines surrounding Shangrila Resort
The beautiful but overrated Shangrila Resort
Qasim and Faisal

I have some aerial images as well, which i will share in some future post.

March 27, 2019 - No Comments!

Golden Affair

Being a local, I find myself trekking up to the hills, passing through the same places, walking past the same views regularly. Its a routine to hike through the moments which could otherwise occupy me for a short period. If we linger a bit long it becomes a battle against time and becomes risky for obvious reasons. I have walk through this magnificent view many times, not just walk but rode up this road as well, i can't count how many times, yet every time i cross, even the slightest of glimpses never cease to amaze me.

This time I decided to have a look at it through my lens, not just the cell phone. It was part lucky part tricky, the angle couldn't be more perfect, The Pillars of Faisal Mosque aligned, without any post work, for this is being in harmony with nature, perfect light, perfect angle and the every amazing view.

The Golden Hour - View from Margallah Hills, Islamabad - Pakistan
Pre Gold Era, As viewed from Margallah Hills, Islamabad - Pakistan.

Above are my take of the cliche, yet it always amazes, every time with different feel, a new thought and story.

The Mountains and the Golden Ball.

No words can describe, the crisp cold air, the warmth of the sun, the view and the hiss of the Pines.

A Post Card from the Wild Truth.

An affair so golden yet never really put to words and thought, a view which I saw frequently in my mini local expeditions, now captured in an infinite. There are lots of opportunities which appear for and to us, with many reasons why we give them a chance or not.

March 17, 2019 - 3 comments

Margallah Hills

The very first time I faced Margallah Hills head to head was May of 2008.

Ever since, I have climbed many other hills, trekked out in the wilderness along Murree Hills, Fairy meadows, Gilgit Baltistan and in parts of Skardu as well. But there is something magical about a weekend hike up to the Margallah hills, Its sort of easy to access if you live in or around Islamabad.

This past weekend was no exception. I joined forces with the group at Islamabad Run With Us Club. Explored a different location this time which i had only seen before in images, When i received invitation from Qasim, who actually organizes and run the club, I knew this was my chance, and I couldn't deny.

Islamabad Run With Us (IRWU) Group

For me there were two challenges, hike/trek and to take images with same enthusiasm as 10 years ago. With a challenge of using only one lens, which I love to take and set myself up for whenever I have the opportunity.

Qasim Briefing some must to follows rules from the trek.
Kamran Hashmi in Black, my first contact who introduced me to cycling community in Islamabad, back in 2015
Bilal Running in dirt and mud
Qasim with his ever famous line "GoPro Take a Photo"
Crossing the very first stream
Bilal Again climbing the tree
A runner holding his phone while posing for the camera.
Planning how to cross the next river bed..

Trips like these make it ideal for making new portraits of new faces, new stories and new way of looking at things.

Saba in the fields.
Baqir busy being busy.
Kamran Hashmi
Talking selfie on top of the boulder.
When the going gets slightly tough.
On top.
Baqir 🙂

Lets head to some experimentals 😀

Baqir at 50mm F1.2
Bilal at 50mm F1.2
Saba at 50mm F1.2
Sami at 50mm F1.2

Qasim in action while going full on with his GoPro.

Qasim on top of the boulder with GoPro Mounted.
Qasim inspecting GoPro.
Qasim in action.

On this trip i had the privileged to met Col. Retired Bhatti who has summited Mount Everest back in 2017, he too has a lot of stories to tell.

a man of courage, grit and persistence.
He lost these during Everest Summit, yet at 60+ he was stronger among the entire group here on this trek.

Though this post doesn't do full justice, This place demands an entire new posts with images dedicated to the beauty of this place. That shall soon follow in coming week, that's all for now 🙂

a trekker after deep dive. 🙂
a group photo with Col Bhatti 🙂

that's all for now, i am grateful to Islamabad Run With Us club for giving me this opportunity and showing us the way to this heaven nestled right into the Margallah Hills.

One last thing though, Video by Qasim.

March 9, 2019 - No Comments!

Keep Perspective

Margallah Hills, Photo by: Naved Ahmed

Keep Perspective

Most of the setbacks we think are disasters turn out to be blessings, in hindsight. I have faced things in my life that seem so painful at first. Thought its the very end. But with time, those evolved into the very things that made me strong and end up the best lessons and takeaways. One thing that helps us is our ability to make decisions. Decisions are very important. Indecision delays the solutions, which leads to anxiety, frustration and depression.

So I did some inner work around perspective today, only focused on the good, smiled, took my time and decided. I made the hard decision today. Right after i felt weightless, as if there is no gravity. things gradually fell into perspective.

I asked myself a simple question: "Will this matter a year from now?"

I got my answer, what about you?