Suicide, the unspoken word !

#Suicide, the unspoken word ! #SuicidePrevention #NotoSuicide

Every year, almost one million people die from suicide.

This roughly corresponds to one death every 40 seconds.

The number of lives lost each year through suicide exceeds the number of deaths due to homicide and war combined.

Suicide is among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 years in some countries.

Suicide worldwide was estimated to represent 1.3% of the total global…

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Watch this 7 years of selfie in 90 seconds

Watch this 7 years of selfie in 90 seconds

We’ve never seen a kid grow up quite so quickly as YouTube user Hugo Cornellier, a 19-year-old who has been taking one selfie every day of his life since the age of 12 and who has just fashioned them into an incredible new video that shows him maturing at an astonishing pace. (more…)

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Exclusive Guest post by Dr. Hitesh Patel

What Causes Star Trails?

The earth’s movement causes star trails. As the earth rotates on its axis, it appears that the stars (and the sun and moon) are revolving around us. To illustrate this, if you stood up and turned in a circle, it would appear that the room in which you were standing was circling around you. In reality, however, It is just your movement that caused this. Another important concept to understand about stars is that if you stood on the North Pole and looked straight up, the area directly overhead in the sky is called the North Celestial Pole (NCP). The star at the NCP is Polaris, also known as the North Star. Because it is almost directly above the North Pole, the North Star’s position barely changes over the year, and the circular motion caused by earth’s rotation is almost imperceptible, which is why Polaris is so useful for navigation. A South Celestial Pole (SCP) also exists, but the brightest star located there is barely visible to the human eye, so it is not useful for navigation.

What causes such beautiful star trails?

What causes such beautiful star trails?

How is this knowledge useful in star trail photography? For one, if you point your camera at Polaris, you will get arcs around it. Star trails around Polaris Secondly, the arcs will get longer as you move away from the North Star, until you hit the Celestial Equator, the area of the universe directly over the Equator. After that, the star’s trails begin to shorten again.

Quick start guide to do Star-trails :

Day of lunar calendar:

Choose day around new moon. So night will be more or less moonless. Study the Sunset, moonrise, moonset and sunrise time carefully of that particular day. Moonlight can give blue hue too your whole image and only bright stars are visible. So pre plan your night of shoot according to lunar calendar.

I pick usually Saturday around the new moon, because I feel very tired and sleepy next day.

Location:

Choosing your location wisely is the first tep to get beautiful star trails.

Choosing your location wisely is the first tep to get beautiful star trails.

Choose location with zero or minimal light pollution. Taillight of small vehicle or small torch-light also ruins your image. But some time a light source one or two in frame create the magic and give extra colours as well as dimension to image. As soon as you noticed light pollution, moved to other area, because many time you choose place in daylight as a dark place, and you turned out wrong when you visit in night. If possible choose place at night by visiting the place prior to execution night.

Make a Gang:

Yes! Make a few calls and with willing persons make one group of people, include four or five people who are brave and adventurous photographer. The reason behind it is, you have to stay whole night out in lightless place, which is usually very remote from civilization. Your friends accompanying you may give you some feedback on your photos, so that you can get some idea about the changes you should make in the camera settings.

Weather:

Clear weather means stunning images

Clear weather means stunning images

Finally, once you know your location, you want to make sure you have a cloud free night otherwise you will be photographing cloud trails instead of star trails.

Equipment Needed to Photograph Star Trails:

1. A sturdy tripod: A tripod is almost as essential to taking star trails, as is the camera. Without a tripod, long exposures are impossible.

2. Camera with Manual setting and “Bulb” mode: Camera, which has manual mode, is must so you can adjust aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Camera offers ISO more than 1600 is preferable. Bulb is a setting that lets you keep the shutter open for as long as you hold the shutter button down. This is useful because you can start and stop the picture taking process whenever you want.

3. Wide Angle Lens: A wide focal length of 35mm or wider is recommended for capturing as much of the sky as possible. Use the widest aperture you can. Lens with focal length is more than 50 mm are useless.

4. Lens Hood: This will make the picture more saturated, especially when photographing near major light sources, such as floodlights at night.

5. One of following tool for Shutter Release: It is impossible to hold down the shutter button for 10+ seconds, and acquired pictures will be sharper. So use following method to release shutter:

A. Use an Intervalometer :( ultimately this is the best way, especially if your camera has one already built in). If you are using a higher-end DSLR, your camera should have an interval timer-shooting mode (or sometimes called Intervalo-meter) already in the camera. The interval-meter will allow you to set Delay (Time before the exposure begins), Exposure Time (Time till exposure last), Interval Time(Time between the two exposure) and Picture Count(How much image you want to shoot).

B. Use a Remote (Wired or Wireless): If you camera doesn’t have interval-meter, then buy a remote. Remotes vary from simple models that just have a one button(shutter release), to complex remotes that not only have the shutter release button, but also other controls such as a Bulb Mode, Delay, Exposure Time, Interval Time and Picture Count.

6. Fresh Battery: Each night, start with a fresh battery. Using a battery grip is an excellent alternative. This accessory mounts onto the base of the camera and can power the camera using multiple batteries. The other option is to have extra batteries.

7. Torch: Penlight or small flashlight (your cell phone can work in a pinch) to be able to check camera settings and find an item in the bottom of your bag. To move in dark from one place to another. A powerful flashlight, Speedlight or portable flash to light paint the object. Like nearby tree, building, rock, hut etc.

8. Microfiber Cloth: A soft microfiber cloth is necessary for keeping the lens free from condensation, especially if you live in a humid area. Use a cloth meant for wiping lenses. The lens is sensitive and may scratch easily.

9. Non-Photographic but very essential things: Mosquito repellent, Packed Dinner, Snack packets, Water, Sleeping bag or Rug, clothing according to weather.

Dooms Day

It is better to reach at location before the sunset. For to take sunset photos, to observe the site with consideration of light pollution, frame, sitting point and direction of north (or direction of your choice).

I tend to look for locations that are having some foreground interest. It may be a lake, big tree, trees at horizon, Rock formation, an abandoned building and large infrastructure like a radio tower or a bridge. You may choose to add light to these features with a flashlight or keep them as silhouettes against the star filled sky.

Silhouettes can make great night landscapes as well!

Silhouettes can make great night landscapes as well!

Set you tripod and check how sturdy it is? Mount your camera with wide-angle lens with hood. Set your camera level right with help of horizon preview. Roughly compose your shot.

There’s 2 Ways to do it:

you can capture a star trail is either by one very long exposure or stacking many shorter exposures in to one image. When creating a long exposure there are many things to remember so that your shot shouldn’t become over-exposed. If the moon is out this going to create a lot of extra light that you don’t need.

1. One Long Exposure

Pros

        •Editing is quick and easy with only one image.

        •Using a low ISO means less noise.

Cons

•As you are shooting in Bulb mode, getting the correct exposure can be quite difficult

•If a plane goes through your shot editing it out can be difficult.

2. Multiple Exposures Blended Together

Pros

•You can control your exposure more and see how the image will look.

•If you shoot your camera in landscape you can also turn the shots into a time lapse video.

Cons

•Due to shooting at high ISO’s the images will have quite a lot of noise on them depending on your camera.

Camera parameters for single shot method: Set the parameters as I advise below. You can set your own by trial and error.

Focus Mode: Set manual on both camera and lens. (Your camera won’t be able to use Autofocus in these dark conditions.)

Metering: Matrix

AF-Mode: Set to shutter priority

Shutter Speed: Bulb mode. Take a test shot that is around 10 minutes to see if exposure will be okay. If everything is okay, press the shutter and leave the camera for 1-2 hours to get the best effect.

Aperture: Set minimal possible aperture value. So set the aperture to its widest.

ISO: Start with 100 and go up to 400, till you get desirable result.

White Balance: Using anything.

Image Quality: JPEG fine + RAW.

Using a Cable Release Or Remote: Cable releases or remote lock your shutter when in BULB mode so you can to the exposure for as long as you want, without shaking camera.

Manual focus your lens to infinity (the farthest away it can focus) because AF will not work at night. Take a test shot to make sure your stars are sharp and you set desirable frame.

Long exposure shots stacked

Long exposure shots stacked

Camera parameters for stacking method (Multiple exposures blended together): Set the parameters as I advise below. You can set your own by trial and error.

Focus Mode: Set manual on both camera and lens. (Your camera won’t be able to use Autofocus in these dark conditions.)

Metering: Matrix

AF-Mode: Set Manual.

Shutter Speed: 30 sec.

Aperture: Set minimal possible aperture value. So set the aperture to its widest.

ISO: Start with 800 and go up till you get desirable result.

White Balance: Using anything other than AUTO WB will ensure a constant WB in each frame. You’ll need to do this if you are combining frames. If you are doing one huge long exposure, then it is okay to use Auto WB. Using Tungsten White Balance will make the sky a beautiful purple colour!

Image Quality: JPEG fine. I do not shoot raw images for stacking to preserve my memory as well as battery to shoot maximum number of images to create beautiful trail.

Intervalo-meter: Set interval-meter with following settings: 1.Delay= 5Sec. (Time before the exposure begins), Exposure Time= 30 Sec. (Time till exposure last), Interval Time= 5 Sec.(Time between the two exposure) and Picture Count > 50 (How much image you want to shoot).

 Manual focus your lens to infinity (the farthest away it can focus) because AF will not work at night.

You may need to periodically check between exposures that the lens is free of moisture. Do not use protective filters. They will produce concentric circular patterns near the centre of the image.

How to do manual focus at night:

Without fail, the first problem that most photographers encounter when trying their hand at low-light or night photography is an inability to focus. After all, they’re used to autofocus, and their gear has likely been doing much of the focus work for the photographer up till now. As a general rule for night photography, completely forget that camera and lens can autofocus.

Flip the switch to manual.

Step 1: Turn off autofocus.

Step 2: Focus the camera on a distant light, or the Moon and then lock the focus indicator to ‘Manual focus’. If there is no Moon or distant lights you could try to focus on a bright star. This may be tricky. If your camera has a live view, use it. It really helps. If it doesn’t, set the focus manually close to infinity (strangely with DSLR cameras stars do not focus perfectly at infinity…) and then do some try and error attempts adjusting the focus and inspecting the photo until the stars are sharp dots.

Stacking software (all free):

StarStaX: This is my favourite software. Unlike other free programs, it runs on Mac and Linux as well as Windows. What I like about StarStaX is the incredible speed. It is way faster than using Photoshop and much easier as it does not require you to create any blank documents to get started. Open up the program and import your images. Hit start and within seconds your image is finished. Check out the homepage to see the great features it has.

Star Trails Photoshop Stacking action: This method gets the job done but is slow and ties up memory while stacking.

Startrail.exe: One major downfall of this software is that is only available for Windows.

This is what you can see on mars. Being on earth. Confused? :D

This is what you can see on mars. Being on earth. Confused? :D

Star Trails Tricks

Fading Star Trails

Over a long time, you can rotate your focus ring out of focus so that each star has a cone like shape to it.

Dotted Star Trails

If you are taking a single long exposure, put a dark object –such as a hat or piece of cardboard –in front of the lens to block the light from coming in. Do this every minute or so. Say about 5 seconds to exposure the light like normal, and then 25 seconds with the object hanging over the lens to block all the light out. Keep repeating this and you should get dotted star trails. If you are using an intervalo-meter, then obviously you would just set the exposure time to 5 seconds and the interval to 25 seconds. Try experimenting with different variations.

Star Trails with Illuminated Foregrounds

You can also use a flashlight, car lights, or a fire to illuminate a foreground subject. You can even illuminate entire landscapes at a distance if you have a powerful enough flashlight.

Star Trails with the North Star in the Centre of the Frame

In order to get the donut hole effect, simply locate the North Star, or just point your camera North. Remember that stars rotate slower near the North Star, so you will need to have your camera out a long time to get a good shot. You can place your foreground objects right in front of the North Star. This will have the stars circulate around your chosen object, which is great for composition.

Parabola Star Trails

It is the complete opposite if you point your camera away from the North Star. The stars will go by very fast, so you will get longer strokes in a shorter amount of time.

Useful tools:

Moon Phase Calendar

Sunrise, Sunset, Moonrise, Moonset and other details of particular place on earth

Earth Sky: Near Future Astrological events

Accuweather: Local Weather Forecast

Night Sky For Android or Night Sky For Apple

Visit the complete set of photos here:

[signoff icon=”icon-flag”]If you need any further help, you can feel free to contact me on my facebook account or via E-mail.[/signoff]

How to get #Startrails? - A complete #guide Exclusive Guest post by Dr. Hitesh Patel What Causes Star Trails? The earth’s movement causes star trails.
The Independent Flag

The Independent Flag

 independent flag

With India celebrating her 68th Independence Day, citizens of the country are like a live wire to celebrate freedom. Freedom from a long lasting British rule and India became free as an Independent nation on 15th August 1947. Indian flag is an ever green symbol of depicting Independence Day celebration all over the nation and world wide. Dr S. Radhakrishnan described the…

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CRAVING FOR LOST GLORY

CRAVING FOR LOST GLORY

by Kratika Jain [Guest post]

Sitting on the stairs with a pen in my hand,

I ventured to praise nature’s beauty so grand.

I gazed at the sky with its crimson streaks;

I watched the birds with their ravishing beaks;

And the trees so lush the grass so green…

How could I miss the rivers so clean??

But was it just a dream, a mere vision of past??

The majesty of nature which now doesn’t last!

The…

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HAPPINESS IS IN….

   Psychology fervently defines happiness as the state of pleasure, mental and physical health, satisfaction and felicity. But how do we laymen explain what happiness is? Do we need a formal definition of happiness? We just know it when we feel it. But where do we find happiness? Does it only lie in buying a Mercedes car or in winning a lottery? Can you become happy only when you get the top rank…

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Bollywood actors who disappointed their fans

#Bollywood actors who disappointed their fans

By Cheta Dhrangadharia [Guest Post]

Versatile powerhouses of talent and endurance, they’re regarded as Hindi cinema’s most trustworthy and reliable forces. Doesn’t matter how complex, experimental or central a role is, they tackle it with thought and significance often emerging as the ‘expectedly’ terrific attribute of a film. Yet even the astute cannot foresee how a seemingly exciting script may…

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Friendship with Mind

#Friendship with Mind #HappyFriendshipDay #HFD

August is in and so is Friendship Day. A time to share, care and remember all those “Dosti” wale moments and messages. Friendship is being initiated,cherished, talked about and resumed at times during these days. An air of unconditional warmth and care moves around and it is the time to spend time with all our ‘buddies’ , ‘besties’ , ‘bidu’, etc.

Credits : http://www.njfamily.com/

Credits : http://www.njfamily.com/

What is the…

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Abstract - One of the most pure art forms

Abstract – One of the most pure art forms

By Nidhi Rindani [Guest Post]

     Under the broad & endless field of Art, “Abstract Art’ is one of the most cherished & popular yet pure forms of art since few years. Abstract art is sometimes misunderstood, but that, ironically, is what makes it beautiful. You don’t need to be perfect in shapes and lines. It just believes in ‘Go With Your Own Flow’. And that something we like the most, doing as…

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World’s stupidest criminals: Watch this thief steal Google Glass and then go to a rave without realizing he’s being recorded the whole time

World’s stupidest criminals: Watch this thief steal Google Glass and then go to a rave without realizing he’s being recorded the whole time

Business Insider brings us the story of a tourist named Mike Geller who decided to bring Google Glass with him during his trip to New York, only to have it stolen by a man who asked to try it on and then ran off with it the minute he got it in his hands. (more…)

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Harvard wants to replace Honey bees with tiny Robobees

Harvard wants to replace Honey bees with tiny Robobees

Honeybees are really important to humans, sustaining Earth’s dominant species with help of their unique ability to pollinate plants. However, humans are not equally helpful to bees, as bees are dying at unprecedented rates thanks to a colony collapse disorder (CCD) that’s apparently so dangerous, even the White House wants it fixed. While some scientists are trying to figure out how to prevent…

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@Jiborobot - The cutest personal robot assistant available to preorder

Jibo is an intelligent yet cute family friendly robot that will ship to your door sometime in late 2015 to become your home-based personal assistant, assuming you’re ready to 

Watch this #wild #Boeing 787-9 #Dreamliner maneuvers [#video]

According to Engadget, Boeing has a new gigantic Dreamliner ready to fly you to a hot destination and the company decided to demo the longer 787-9 variant at the Farnborough Airshow in London.

North Korea files complaint with UN against James Franco, Seth Rogen’s new movie, says it’s an act of war

North Korea files complaint with UN against James Franco, Seth Rogen’s new movie, says it’s an act of war

the-interview

North Korea really does not like James Franco and Seth Rogen’s new movie and it’s not afraid of looking utterly ridiculous if it means putting an end to it. The Hollywood Reporter brings us word that North Korea has filed a formal complaint with the United Nations over the soon-to-be released film in which it declares that the movie amounts to “an act of war.” (more…)

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