March 17, 2019 - No 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
Bilal Again climbing the tree
Sami
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.
Ahtesham

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?

March 14, 2018 - No Comments!

Book Review: Making Ideas Happen.

The book is organized broadly into three areas: Organization and Execution, Community, and Leadership Capability.

This is book is good for you if you you are:

1. Independent Creative Working for yourself (freelancer) or from home or on contractual basis.

2. Managing team of creatives working on one or a broad spectrum of different technologies/products/projects.

3. Finding it hard to say no when it matters the most. *This book is full of ideas and action steps for that.

4.  A creative that struggles with project management, timelines and tasks, this book outlines a very practical system for actually getting things done daily.

Kind of Summary about the book

I am a creative person and so with most of the creatives, one of my least favorite things is spending time on the details and not on the ideas. But, I know it is essential and necessary and I am actually pretty good with the details, however most of my productivity plans have failed in the past.

That is why when I read what this book was about I got excited. Instead of having plans, motivations etc it promises to have a system designed to capitalize on my strengths and rather than just remind me of my weaknesses it helps me to strengthen those areas. The plan is called ACTION METHOD.

So here are a couple things I really liked about “Making Ideas Happen”

1. Design matters when it comes to your to do list. He points out that we need to advertise to ourselves in order to keep our own attention.

2. Organize your to do list into projects in order to focus on items that lead to action and refrain from reactionary workflow (working from your email inbox in the morning instead of prioritizing and setting your own schedule.)

3. The real world parables and stories to illustrate the points were challenging and applicable.

I enjoyed the fresh point of view of Scott Belsky and his take on issues such as “best practices”, “reactionary workflow”, “leadership”, “working with a team”, and “utilizing the power of community”.

This book is worth the read.

If you do freelance work or are thinking about dropping the 9 to 5 and working for yourself, do yourself a favor…and buy the book, read it and the most important point is "Get Practical and Take Action".

May 14, 2016 - No Comments!

The Curse of Facebook

facebook

The Curse of Facebook

During the year 2015, the only thing that I did with full dedication was cycling around Islamabad, its beautiful hills and the surroundings. Mostly solo and at times with groups. A part from that and after much thought and reflection, I have come to this conclusion that most of my time was sucked using Facebook. I Couldn't make anything out of using Facebook, it seem to me that this tools just waste your time. Yes I am being extremely blunt and may be negative about it. I do admit that many are making a living out of it and its a good tool of communication but comes with a huge price tag of ultimate time wastage.

My personal realization is that its not giving me anything good as of now. I was addicted to a virtual word. Something so unreal and fake. Being injected with shots of dopamine for every 5 seconds, leading most of us to another disease called narcissism. In November I publicly announced about quitting facebook.

fb_grab

I planned to stay way from Facebook forcefully for as long as one YEAR, the same goes with Instagram too. Later after few days I went a step ahead and deactivated my Facebook account. For how long? I have no idea, chances are might not come back even after a year, lets see what I am missing out.

After a month of not using both of these platforms, I felt a great change in my lifestyle, I am more focused, I waste less time online, actually I only use the computer when I need to get some important work done, since there is nothing to browse or scroll up and down to an over whelming amount of useless info daily and highlights of other people lives which has nothing of value to offer, my productivity has sky rocketed. I FELT ABSOLUTELY GREAT.

Back in 2013 Douglas Rushkoff wrote this article for CNN “Why I’m quitting Facebook” below is an excerpt from his article which I not only relate but endorse it and may be you would relate to it too.

Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time — our “social graphs” — into money for others.

We Facebook users have been building a treasure lode of big data that government and corporate researchers have been mining to predict and influence what we buy and for whom we vote. We have been handing over to them vast quantities of information about ourselves and our friends, loved ones and acquaintances. With this information, Facebook and the “big data” research firms purchasing their data predict still more things about us — from our future product purchases or sexual orientation to our likelihood for civil disobedience or even terrorism.

The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook’s paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we — and the young, particularly — spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.”

In the end I will like to conclude my battle against the "Curse of Facebook" in the very words of Douglas Rushkoff

“Maybe in doing (quitting facebook) so I’ll help people remember that Facebook is not the Internet. It’s just one website, and it comes with a price.”

Update 2018

I am till off of Facebook, I to be very honest I haven't missed much, in fact have regain my focus when it comes to projects that requires online access. Anyway I'm here to share this image which is 101% true.

April 30, 2016 - No Comments!

Welcome to my new website

forest

Welcome to my new Website

It was just at the 2nd year of my design school (2006) when I bought my first domain to create my online portfolio website. I took every possible project that came my way, (and mostly worked for free or less than anyone can imagine), in order to have some thing in my portfolio.

I read a lot over the internet about Graphic Design, but never get to learned about the real meat and aspect of design, I knew there were thousands of tutorials showing how to create awesome effects but they wasn't giving me any practical experience that i could use while designing and solving real life client problems.

I learned how to design by trial and error, experimenting on part time jobs that i had, sometimes with real life clients and discovering new techniques in practice. I had my "aha moments" during such projects, at those times i wasn't aware of what i was doing and or if its the right thing or in accordance with rules of design.

Later, I started learning about the art of design (still i am learning) and found out that most of the things that i discovered was covered by Conventional Design rules. I could be a much better designer if i learned about it at the start of my academic training era, however thanks to all those clients, jobs and real life situations i realized that not every design technique or idea can be useful or applied when we come up with solutions for our clients.

We need new rules and techniques that will help us to do the job in hand better, as the old saying goes, we need new solutions to new problems.

So, what is this blog about?

In this new blog, I want to write about anything that I have found to be useful in my work, creativity, design, photography and my other interests like cycling, running and exploring mountains. I’ll also share and show you my work process and how I design, photograph and create things

Summing up

I still learn new things every day, You or may not agree what all I say and believe, so lets discuss and find new common grounds in order to learn more from each other. I hope we can take this new journey together and learn from each other as much as we can.

Welcome to My New Website.