Bargaining – with whom?

Have you seen people bargaining in a mobile shop for the price of an iPhone?

No!

They just ask the price of the product, check for extra offers and straightaway make the payment.


Have you seen people bargain with a rickshaw driver for  Rupees 50 extra that he’s charged but are ready to pay extra Rs.500 for a mobile case in a retail store?

Seen people bargain in a fish market for the fresh fish that is being sold but remain silent when the same fish is bought in a supermarket in cold storage for double or triple its original price?

Have you seen people bargain with road side boys for a door mat that costs Rs.60 but are ready to pay Rs. 600 for the same door mat kept in a richly set up shop in a mall without asking any questions?

Yes !

So what is this tendency that people have developed among themselves? And why?

If you sell a product road side, people bargain with you. But if the same product is sold in a big showroom which has a rich look, people just look at the price board and straight away get it with their credit or debit cards swiped without raising any questions.

The perception that people have developed among themselves is:  You can negotiate with a poor guy but not with a rich guy. This is even worse than racism. Treat people equally! To be frank, the roadside buckets, flower pots, banana tray, sunglasses, t shirts really last longer than the ones purchased in an air conditioned showroom.

Stop bargaining with these poor people! They are innocent! There may be cheaters but not like those professionals you see in big retail stores. If a road side guy cheats you for Rs. 20, a big retail shop guy would cheat you for Rs. 500 and even more depending on your level of stupidity and inclination to artificiality.

Encourage these poor people. They need your support! That money you bargain for might leave them struggling to feed their children. Never bargain with poor people. Show your bargaining skills with big marketers rather than people who sell their own hand made “genuine” products.

Is there Life after Death?

There are certain religions that say you’ve got a life after death. And there are other religions that say you’ll go to heaven or hell based on your deeds. So what’s really gonna happen?

The “real” answer is “no one knows”. “Life after Death” is the only question that cannot and will never be answerable.

In order to ensure people follow a set rules and regulations or to make the people belonging to a particular section abide by the rules and regulations of a particular religion, each and every religion come up with a powerful weapon known as “Life After Death”.

How many of you are ready to follow “your” religion with no idea of what it’s gonna take you to in the future? I would say “none”.

This is the reason your religion says “Be good. Do good. Provide offertory to the concerned establishment.(God knows where it goes) As if God is gonna merry with this money, and then shower his blessings on you. Satisfying God is not what a so called superior Holy power wants (if so it exists). A superior power(if so it exists)  would want its people to be good for his/her own self. But religious heads are well aware that there exists no superior power and that’s the reason you hear a lot of news regarding religious heads being involved in scandals, drinks, drugs, parties, etc. But they need the imaginary religion to have real followers. And to make sure the followers stay real till the end, they show you a very beautiful unreal beyond imagination place.

Science has a term for it -“mirage”.

Life after Death - The Mirage
Life after death

It’s something that appears so beautiful at a distance. But as you near it, it slowly disappears and when you are at the exact spot where it initially appeared, it’s totally gone. “Mirage” can refer to heaven, seven lives, paradise, golden plateau or whatever depending on your religion.

Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an expanding desert of ignorance.

Will Durant

Apple Watch Series 1 – My Experience (in India)

It’s been a week since I purchased the Apple Watch Series 1 from Amazon, the 42mm model.  Just wanted to share my experience with you all as a user in India.

Apple Watch Series 1 is a device that works complementing the Apple iPhones (models after iPhone 5), and has its own pros and cons. The design is cool as any other Apple product. I was more interested in the 42mm model as the 38mm looked very small on my wrist. Let me quickly drive through the specifications of the product. The 42.5 x 36.4 x 10.5 mm Apple Watch Series 1 comes with an AMOLED Capacitive Touchscreen with a body mass of 30g and IPX7 certification. It currently runs on WatchOS 3.2.3.

Apple watch series 1 screens
Apple watch series 1 screens

The Apple iPhone and the Apple Watch pair in no time with simple steps to follow.  It is indeed fun to work with the various options provided. You can also choose the Apps that you want to mirror on your watch from your phone. So, in case you miss a notification on one device, you can always check it in your Smartwatch. The “Raise to wake” option is cool but refuses to work at times for no reason.

So in my initial one week of usage, I found it helpful in certain situations. For instance, answering phone calls right from my Watch when my phone was in charge in another room. Checking Whatsapp messages, texts, football, cricket scores from my watch. The scribble option helps you type and send messages in addition to the already existing default messages. The activity tracking and breathe app are cool. You no longer need to swipe through music from your phone, because your watch serves as a remote control for your iPhone’s Music App. This helps when you are traveling in a crowded bus and find it difficult to take the phone out of your pocket and switch songs.

Flipping to the negative side, this smartwatch doesn’t really replace your iPhone.  The camera app in the watch doesn’t really mean much because it just switches on the camera app on your iPhone, but slightly finds meaning when you need to click a groupie. The Map application in India doesn’t provide you with navigation. Just helps you view places. With no support for Google Maps as well, the main functionality of an Apple Watch is itself missing.

To sum up, it’s been a mixed feeling for me about the Apple Watch Series 1. But let’s see if the Apple Watch Series 1 really changes my views on it with upcoming updates. With more applications added, customizability enhanced, map navigation enabled, I would definitely recommend this to any iPhone user.

 

 

 

Photography – My journey and take on it!

Photography – The initial phase

When I first started clicking pictures using my Nokia (some model which I really am not able to recollect now), it was just pictures of my friends, parents, birthday parties, movie posters, scenic places and yeah some beautiful girls I was in touch with at that time (yup with their permission indeed).

As time passed by and I slowly crept into the world of social media, I started to get startled witnessing certain “appealing” pictures that were posted in Facebook pages. I then joined Instagram after seeing a lot of my friends tagging their Instagram pics in Facebook. The moment I joined Instagram, I was then that I felt a spark of love for photography.  I loved photography to the extent that I got an iPhone 5s in 2014 to use it as a handy camera. It was just mobile cameras that crept into my mind when I thought about photography. I got my first DSLR Nikon D3300 recently and it is after that that I actually felt the real bliss because its me playing with the manual settings to click pictures.

Photography – The Transition

It is after this that I learnt that “smartphone photography” isn’t really true and DSLR is what “real photography” stands for. So what does this transition really mean to me?

The joy of clicking a appealing((according to me :D) picture is a joy second to none. It gives you a sense of satisfaction that none can provide. A shrill of happiness that wants me to explore more in photography. For people clicking pictures in automatic mode or in Smartphones, this joy isn’t really possible. ever.

My main learning from photography is that “There is no picture that is really perfect”. It depends on your taste and its synchronisation with the settings that the photographer has opted to go for that particular scene. Manual settings gives the photographer full freedom to showcase a particular scene in whatever way he wishes to portray it. And with the likes of the aperture, ISO and shutter  speed being chosen differently based on the taste of the photographer, there really isn’t a perfect click. A scene that is in front of you, will be seen in an entirely aspect depending upon the photographer.  But a perfect picture is the one that makes you feel happy inside and enhance your outlook to explore more. It gives a sense of joy that equates to a personalised creation of a masterpiece.

People usually make pictures more appealing by adding automated filters to it. (it is more evident in mobile photography, and with the enormous number of photoshop and editing tools). So people new to photography, never get to this artificial tool based photography. You will find no joy in automated photography. Real joy clicks when you set everything manually according to what your heart says and tap on the click button!

Photography – The Ever learning Phase

Yes, I am indeed clicking pictures of my friends, parents, scenic places and parties, but now its more under my control than what it was initially where the machine took the upper hand. Photography helps take off stress and bring out that hidden “creativity” factor out from deep inside your mind and heart. So if you haven’t started “real photography”, then better start it straightaway.

There isn’t really a proper way to learn the art of clicking pictures. All you need to know is the basics, which I learnt from viewing Youtube videos. So start exploring this and make it as your hobby! You will certainly notice a great contrast to your otherwise normal life!

Take a look at My Photography Page to check pictures I’ve posted starting from my HTC M7, iPhone 5s/6/6s to Nikon D3300 now. Also check me out in Instagram : Neeb Praveen (Username: n.e.e.b)

Cheers!

Few clicks from my shelf!

  1. Stone temples of Mahabalipuram

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2. Panaroma click of Kanyakumari Beach with Thiruvalluvar Statue

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3. Focussed shot of iPhone (with manual lighting)

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4. Flowers from my Mom’s garden in Nagercoil (Kanyakumari)

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5. Christmas Tree in my home in Chennai

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Mobile Photography – My Journey and Tips

Taking great photos with your smartphone depends purely on the way you look at the piece of art in front of you. Your laptop, earphones, pet or even a cup of coffee can be used as objects for photography. It just depends on the way you look at it. A straight linear way of clicking photos isn’t attractive always.

I started developing interests in smartphone photography right from my HTC M7. It wasn’t a great smartphone camera but its Ultra-pixel camera feature wasn’t that crummy. When I then shifted to iPhone 5s, it felt like a huge leap in photography right from the simple interface to the quality images that it produced. It was just a 8 MP camera but was definitely the best amongst other even higher megapixel camera phones. Apple’s software that goes in image processing is definitely well ahead of many similarly priced smartphones. It creates a true to life colour image and doesn’t create that artificially over saturated images which many smartphone companies call “outstanding pictures”.

The best part of iPhone 5s is that its really handy and helps click pictures much at ease. I started clicking photos of objects inside my home and then tried macrophotography with flowers in my garden. Tried clicking flowers with the backdrop of sun rays, and tried exploring the apt lighting conditions that would yield the best out of an image.

Though I missed the handiness of 5s, upgrading to iPhone 6 was impactful in terms of the image quality and the larger screen size. Majority of my skills in photography, I’ve explored through my iPhone 6 camera.

The tips I usually follow while taking pics in my smartphone are :

  • ANGLE

    I make sure I don’t take pictures in a straight linear “angle” (unless I feel its really good or gives that creative feel). Giving that slight tilt or getting down or a tad higher can result in much better images. 7.JPG

  • SHOOTING MODE:

    I shoot pictures with HDR mode on auto as iPhone’s software image processing is truer to life and eye pleasing. Never use your flash unless its really necessary.  Mobile photography is all about keeping things simple.2.JPG

  • EXPOSURE/AF LOCK

    It actually depends on your personal taste. Exposure depends on the lighting conditioning and your own take on the level of light you want “in” a picture. Its better not to change these settings unless needed. Better to lock your focus on objects which you want to completely focus, which gives that slightly blurry background vision, especially when you click image of a single flower in a large garden.6.JPG

  • EXPERIMENT

    Keep experimenting. Try clicking photos at various angles and lightings. Experimentation leads to better images.  Click images of your daily meal, objects that are in front you, your dog and anything and everything that you don’t even think of.3.jpg

  • Filters

    Try avoid using filters, unless it is really necessary. Necessary in the sense if you need to add brightness, exposure or contrast, and not those prismatic kind of feel. Natural images are always the true indicators of your mobile photography skills.4.JPG

  • SELFIE TIPS

    Try using your apple earphones for clicking selfies. It gives a handsfree mode of clicking photos. It also helps at times when you need to cover much wider field.

So, in general, a smartphone camera plays 50% role in creating a good image, and the rest depends on your level of creativity. Start experimenting and innovating mobile photography! Cheers!

Check my Instagram profile if you want to see more of my clicks. There are pictures which I’ve clicked with my Nikon D3300, do check them and let me know your comments on them as well.

Cheers!

Dog Lover in me! (Fluffy – my Puppy)

It was on January 1, 2016 evening that my girl friend “Alisha” decided we need to get a puppy.  Never have I seen her so enthusiastic before that. It was then that I knew that she was a dog lover right from her childhood. And we decided in minutes as to what puppy and from where we’ll be getting it from OLX. “Fluffy” “Pomeranian” age : 45 days was the new addition to our family.

Fluffy - the puppy
Fluffy when 2 months

I’ve always seen a lot of status updates , videos, pictures and sayings of “dog” being portrayed as the most loyal and truthful friend of any human being. I’ve also heard stories of dogs not eating when their owner is out of town. These were the other reasons that actually triggered me to get a puppy.

I had a very tough time initially adjusting to its lifestyle. It gets scared of darkness and cries often for no reason. It used to wake me up at 3am. Try biting my nose with its milky teeth. Shit right where I keep my leg down from bed. Piss on my slippers.

Discovery of the Dog Lover in me! 🙂

But it was a blessing.  A friend . A good listener . I used to talk a lot to Ms.Fluffy 🙂 It listens so carefully as though it’s gonna provide me solutions. But it gave me peace of mind. Inner peace. Licks me once I finish my speech as though it’s acknowledged my speech. Turned me into an ardent dog lover.

Dog Lover in me
Me with Fluffy

Now it’s 5 months old, bold, understanding, with the same love and affection it had on me the moment it started to know me . It understands me, Alisha and “us” very well.  Waits at 7pm near the door waiting for me to ring the bell. Then hugs me. Licks me.  Cuddles me. Such a blessed feeling.

Key Learnings being a Dog Lover

Unconditional love is very rare in this unreal world . People do things expecting returns. But for the first time, I see a puppy teaching me a lot of lessons about life without even uttering a single word. If you are too stressed about life and need some sort of change in your life, get a puppy. Love it. It’ll love you back like no one else.

“The transition to a Dog lover has been really fruitful according to my personal experiences” ❤️

Photo Editing Apps – Best for Smartphones

Smartphone photography just like DSLR photography requires certain levels of  software edits to make it more beautiful,  pleasing and at times to give it a different “meaning”. Here are few of my “Go To” Apps that I use for photo editing.

  1. Snapseed

I’ve  used almost all photo editing apps in AppStore. Most of them have their own benefits and flaws, but snapseed has surpassed my expectations. It’s easy accessibility and plenty of editing options makes it a great tool for photo editing. Filters are limited but to the mark. Manual editing is where snapseed scores high. Sliding your fingers on the screen to adjust various features such as brightness, contrast, Saturation, shadows is so simple. It’s auto edit option for specific options is another noteworthy feature. Adobe Lightroom is a closely competing photo editor but requires payment to unlock more features.

Snapseed Photo Editing
Snapseed Photo Editor

2. Aviary Photo Editing

If you are less interested in adding filters but more inclined towards memes, adding texts, comments, mark up on images, then Aviary should be the way to go. It’s filter options aren’t noteworthy, it’s like any other average photo editing application.

Prisma Photo Editing
Prisma Photo Editor

3. Layouts Photo Editing

If you are the one who creates collages more often, this is an amazing option. Collage of various “layouts” is available. Background image editing and default options are great.

Aviary Photo Editing
Aviary Photo Editor

4. Lens Distortions

This is that type of application that embeds a very unique and picturesque look to an image. Try all the type of filters that comes with this app, each and every filter will give it a different feel. An interesting and worthy photo editor that definitely should find a space on your phone’s memory.

Lens Distortion Photo Editing
Lens Distortion Photo Editor

5. Prisma

Prisma is last in my list because I just don’t use it much and recommend the least to anyone who loves photo to look “real”. It is indeed interesting  but shifts the image to a more cartoonistic look.

Prisma Photo Editing
Prisma Photo Editor

Check my Instagram page at @neeb_pr

Cheers!

iPhone 7 – My Experience After a Week!

I got my iPhone 7 32 GB Gold last week after convincing myself hard that it would be a great jump from my previous iPhone- iPhone 6s. I’m not gonna review the product as there are so many experienced reviewers out there. Just thought of sharing few things I like and dislike about this new product from Apple.

 

Likes

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  1. Design – I’ve seen a lot of people raving about the similar design of iPhones for the past 3 years. But there’s this refinement of the antenna lines that makes the iPhone look a tinge more pleasing. This is a matter of preference, but I personally liked the slight changes plus the addition of black in this  latest iteration of iPhones.
  2. Storage – Base storage being marginally increased to 32GB starting with the same price is great, but I would have preferred a 64GB base start. Anyway , a 16GB to 32GB jump means you need not frequently free up memory for downloading new Apps or for making software updates.
  3. Battery – iPhones are always known for their better standby time. iPhone 7 stands tall in this league. My 6s would hardly last an entire day of above average use. But, the 7 seems to do better. At least for the first week.
  4. Camera – It’s the same 12MP camera but with a larger f/1.8 aperture. Just like the design, there is nothing much to boast about here, but the pictures seem to be more refined. Front camera with 7MP looks better on paper, but results kinda look the same as iPhone 6s.
  5. Dust and Water Resistance – I seriously felt that the iPhone 6s was dust and water resistant. I’ve dropped it in water twice. It worked perfectly fine even then. May be Apple decided to make the point more evident by scribing it in the spec sheet. None the less, it feels more convincing to hold it the rain now than earlier.

Dislikes

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  1. Stereo Speakers? Really? – Apple was really boasting about the stereo speaker set up in its latest offering. But they don’t really sound that amazing. It is fine, but if you compare it with those boom speakers of HTC’s earlier line ups, gosh!
  2. New year ? New iPhone? – iPhone 7 isn’t that big update you would generally expect from Apple going from a “s” to the next numerical model. The minor refinements don’t really seem like an upgrade, rather seems like a double “s” because the speed has increased slightly more than the already speedy iPhone 6s.
iPhone 7
iPhone 7 shot with a Nikon D3300

iPhone 7 feels top notch, looks refined, takes good natural images as always, comes with add ons like water & dust resistance, Optical Image Stabilisation and better colour options. The lack of a headphone jack really means nothing to me. I either use it with the added adapter or a bluetooth headphone. The home button isn’t a button anymore and it needs sometime to get used to it. It kinda feels nice to use the Taptic engine (Button?!) once it becomes a routine.

After the first week, I’m okay with my iPhone 7. I prefer the  “no whatsoever lag” and speedy nature of the phone. The Appstore with its millions of applications is a delight to explore. I’ve always been a big fan of Apple, but there is a bit of disappointment this time around as I was expecting a lot more additions. Hope the 10th anniversary brings in more excitement than the recent few mediocre years.

Click this link to purchase the iPhone 7.

Cheers!