Friday, November 27, 2015

52 Weeks of Creative Exposure : Week 46, 47 and 48



Just a few more weeks and we will be stepping into the new year….unbelievable! I really enjoyed doing the 52 weeks of creative exposure - 2015.  I started 365 days of photography in 2014, I wanted to learn about photography and grow my vision. It really helped me to learn and hone my art. 

I wanted to do something different in 2015 - creatively using an exposure was the vision, I spread my wings to landscapes and opened my eyes to things other that still/food. I think it was a great exercise, landscape photography helped me to see holistically, it taught me how to frame and see layers within the two dimensions. It taught me how to lead the eyes and to use exposure to create a mood. 

Till now, I have used light,  the power of shadows, the visual impact of colors and framing the shot to create my image. What can I do different? How can I make a connection with my image and the viewer? I have been using light n' shadows to depict depth. It's still a work in progress, but I want to add another dimension to my enchantment with light. 

2016 is drawing closer, I want to  use all the creative tools I have learnt to start narrating visual stories. I don't think art has any dimensions, even though photography is a two dimensional medium, it can create multi-dimensional impact with the two dimensions in hand. For me story-telling is the next dimension I need to add to my work, to grow as an artist. 

2014, was simple - it was one image a day, 2015 - use creative exposure to make one image a week. Now, 2016 is a bit more challenging as it will be hard to deliver something as ambiguous as story telling, since it is open to so many interpretations. It's a great challenge and creatively very awarding to venture in that direction. 2016 will be a year of Visual Storytelling. I think I will limit myself to an image a month. 

Any suggestions, links, ideas, inputs will be more than welcome. Please help me in this journey.  Thanks a ton! I do hope to live unto this commitment, as this one is not easy. Looking forward to enjoy this journey with you guys. 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holiday Sides

Honey n' ginger brussels sprouts

Vegan, Vegetarian, Holiday sides, Easy recipes, Veggies, Simple, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New year, Simi JoisPhotography

Links to Holiday sides 
Potatoes n'  Crunchy Spinach 
Roasted Cabbage Wedges 
Sweet Potatoes Baked In Coconut Curry
Spicy Sweet Potatoes 
Stuffed Peppers 
Baked Green Beans 


The kitchen counter has a bag of all purpose, a bottle of molasses with molasses dripping on one  side, ginger, sugar, butter plus more. The gas stove has a big cooker whistling, veggies washed on the side, chopped herbs.…A cup of coffee, which has been heated twice. A camera on the side, a few prop boards, some plates…

A few years ago this scene would have given me high blood pressure, I used to be a neat freak. I have no idea what changed and exactly when. I look at all the mess and a sense of warmth and homely feel embraces me.  I always wanted things in order and could never work in an untidy kitchen… fast forward a few years and I can see through the mess and see the beauty in it. I guess we are constantly evolving and hopefully for the better, to me this is definitely a step in the positive direction. I want to celebrate life, my home, for me is to enjoy not to be spic n' span.

I think my journey with brussels sprouts is quite similar, I did not like that tiny cabbage look-alike, to say the least, a few different recipes and now it has found a place in my veggie section of the refrigerator. I really love this recipe, it's simple, easy to make and absolutely delicious. This is how my teen makes it, love the flavors.

Thank you everyone for being there and the constant support and encouragement. I hope my work is worth it. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Lots of love!!


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pumpkin and dried pea soup

Creamy delicious vegan pumpkin and dried  pea soup #VegetarianSoup #VeganSoup #FallSoup #Soup #EasySoup #Recipe #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotogarphy


Nothing like a good bowl of soup, I just love soups. I can live on it and never complain. First, it’s just super easy to make, you can have so many variations and it’s literally a meal in itself. And last but not the least it’s the ultimate winter comfort food.

I had some leftover pumpkin from halloween, paired them with dried yellow peas and the result was a fabulous full-bodied flavorful cup of soup.

Looks like a super busy day ahead of me. I have a ton of errands to run, yesterday was cold and wet, so I postponed everything to today. It’s going to be a long day, but had to post this before I did anything else. So I shall run, while you guys enjoy this soup.


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Thursday, November 12, 2015

52 weeks of creative exposure - week 44 and 45

#LandscapePhotography #Photography #SimiJois
#LandscapePhotography #Photography #SimiJois

The warmth of the sun was fading and the gusty winds were picking up, it was the end of October already. I expected it to be cold, I wrapped myself in my green cozy fleece and my old maroon scarf, it was still warm for boots, I slipped my cold feet into my Nike running shoes. “Should I drive to the trail or walk?”, I tossed my hair into an untidy bun and slipped the house key into my pocket, I was planning to walk.

It was calm,  the sun was just up….I  could almost here my heartbeat and a few chirping birds. The air so still that the landscape almost looked like a photograph. I looked for a spot to sit….the grass was mildly frosted and wet. I turned on the camera that was dangling on my neck….it was gorgeous, almost mystical. I closed my eyes to feel the cool air,  ’this is it’ I heard myself say. ’This is it’? I heard myself ask. Is this all I want from life ?Why is our lives so outcome driven, why is our life  driven by a continuous need to measure success, or to define it. Are we so insecure of who we are that we need to validate our individuality by a measure.

I have know people who have never chased success, it has come to them because they are true to what they do. Probably that is the secret to happiness - the golden key. To be true to yourself. I don’t think anything else matters. You don’t leave behind anything much, it’s probably more important to know what you will take with you.

I walked down the muddy pathway and yes that was it…that was my most perfect moment. I walked home with muddy shoes and a store house of wealth in my camera…

#LandscapePhotography #Photography #SimiJois

 A couple of things…

Thanks for all the comments on the blog, social media and emails about the painting done by my mom. I read her every single comment and she asked me to convey a big thank you. Thanks so much guys!

What do you think ?? Should I continue 52 weeks of creative exposure in 2016 ?? Are you guys bored and fed up of my non-stop chatter and never ending images from 52 ?? let me know.

Am also planning my next photo tutorial to wrap up the year. Any suggestions, recommendations, ideas ??
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Friday, November 6, 2015

Badam burfi

You can call it badam burfi or almond fudge. It really melts in your mouth.
#HappyDiwali, #BadamBurfi #AlmondBurfi #AlmondFudge #Dessert #Indian #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
#HappyDiwali, #BadamBurfi #AlmondBurfi #AlmondFudge #Dessert #Indian #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography
Painting by Jaya V Chala 

I grew up with paints, threads, canvas, colored pencils, clay and art books. There were books of art from Rembrandt’s landscapes, Michelangelo sculptures, Leonardo’s inventions, Macchietti’s manneristic style  to the nudes of Sandro Bottecelli. My mother an artist,  spent a good chunk of her day doing embroidery which she calls human moods in thread - portraits done with embroidery as the medium. Mom and dad would discuss her art for hours, even though dad was not an artist, he had a very keen eye, he really helped my mom grown as an artist.
Dad would always tell my mom, “I want people to know me as Jaya’s husband”.   He was her worst critic and her best fan. It was more ‘their’ art than her’s. Many times he would conceptualize and she would be the hand behind his vision.  

As my mother’s art work hangs proudly in my home today, it is more than just art. I think it represents a part of my childhood. Even though she is the artist but all of us have had our contribution, from color combination to how the hand should be, so many details…I really feel so lucky to have been born in a house that valued art. As kids we were encouraged to participate in local flower shows, art exhibitions and every summer vacation we always made a few paintings.

Not a lot has changed, even though I miss my dad, mom and me still talk a lot about art, her inputs on my photography to my critique about her latest sketch. One thing we never agree on is her dislike for tarnished props :)

The paintings in this post or Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha is done by her. This post is special for me as my mom’s birthday coincides with Diwali this year. 

#HappyDiwali, #BadamBurfi #AlmondBurfi #AlmondFudge #Dessert #Indian #FoodPhotography #SimiJoisPhotography

I love the excitement and the fervor the festival season brings. I am enjoying all the gorgeous desserts in the blogosphere and must have put on a few pounds just looking at the rich desserts.

I have been planning to make almond burfi for a while, Diwali was the perfect excuse. This recipe is from my husband’s aunt, who is an amazing cook and her desserts are fabulous. This burfi/fudge just melts in your mouth.

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali. A lot of happiness and a great year ahead. 

Here are some more choices for desserts you might like to make for this Diwali.
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