Imagination and Mental Health: The Real Benefits of Art Therapy

When we hear about various creative fields like music, poetry, or the visual arts being used in therapy, we feel the urge to shun and judge what many consider New Age hocus-pocus. We have to remember though that they all have long histories of experimental trials and interventions. The pioneering theoretical expositions of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung on the therapeutic possibilities of art (i.e. visual) helped in its validation as an alternative to the more cruel methods used in asylums.

The shift from asylums to mental hospitals was a crucial one in the establishment of the changes that were to take place in the twentieth century. The redirection of focus from procedural medication and diagnosis to healing and a more interpersonal approach to it provided the entry point for most alternative practices.

So how does art become a medium, or an outlet, so to speak, for people suffering from different mental health issues? Experts usually mention communication as one of the most common struggles of patients. The prospect of talking to another human being is daunting, demanding emotional and mental openness. Art can serve as an intermediary between the patient and the rest of the world. Jung talked about patients giving “visible form to the image” as a way of “doing something about it.”

Image source: pixabay.com

Obviously, learning a skill also promotes a sense of achievement and builds overall confidence, especially with the help of a supportive community that recognizes the tedious process of overcoming these mental problems but is resolved to wait for the patient to come to terms with the necessity of self-revelation in his or her own time.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala has written a number of medical abstracts for scholarly journals and enjoys doing acrylic and oil paintings in his spare time. You can learn more about his interests and professional bcakground by visiting this site.

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Dad’s Best Friend: Strengthening Father-son Relationships

Father-son relationships are beautiful and complex. However, some fathers think it’s not so “manly” for them to build a communicative and intimate relationship with their sons because of what others may think. This can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding as the child grows. Here’s how fathers can make stronger bonds with their sons.

Image source: shutterstock.com

Develop similar interests. Even if fathers work full-time, they can still make ends meet by spending time at home. Weekends are a great time for fathers and sons to explore similar interests like sports, literature, and other activities. Bonding over activities can both father and son become more open to one another.

Don’t be afraid to talk and listen. A lot of men struggle with expressing their thoughts and feelings effectively. When fathers take the time to talk (and listen) to their sons, they are teaching them to become effective communicators.

Image source: thewildvoice.org

Encourage sons to do better. A little word of encouragement goes a long way. Stress and negativity might bombard them in school or with their friends, but fathers must always focus on the positive. When fathers encourage, sons feel that they celebrate their accomplishments together. This develops trust and excellence.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is a medical abstract writer, artist-at-heart, and a proud father to a four-year-old boy. He is currently based in Greensboro, NC. Learn more about fatherhood, writing, and art when you visit this blog.

How To Encourage Children To Appreciate Art

Image source: lowes.com

They say that a child’s brain is like a sponge, which means that toddlerhood is an opportune time for parents to teach kids the skills necessary for them to succeed in life. And art is known to improve children’s literacy and early development. Appreciation and practice of art help encourage their self-expression, imagination, creativity, open-mindedness, logic, and courage to take risks.

The following are some tips how to motivate children to take up art:

Give them access to open-ended art materials

When toddlers are given room to experiment and discover things they enjoy on their own, it is easier for them to fulfill their potential. Thus, in the home, there should be a wide variety of materials, including non-toxic drawing materials, papers, collage materials, and more. Parents should remember, though, that children are prone to putting things in their mouth, so kids doing art projects should be supervised, if possible.

Compliment the artworks

For young ones, the process of creating the artwork is much more important than the end product. Parents should then avoid criticizing the work of their children, and instead, focus on making open-ended comments to understand how the kids came up with the artwork.

Image source: whitevan.org

Take the kids to art museums

Not only can art museums sharpen the children’s comprehension of art elements, but it can also enhance their emotional, communication, and social skills. Parents should be prepared to discuss with their children their observations and analysis of the pieces of art they find in the museum.

Medical abstract writer Vijaya Boggala is an artisan at heart who enjoys a wide array of arts. He is also a proud father of a five-year-old boy. Subscribe to this blog for more articles about arts.

Grand Slam Kings And Queens:Players With The Most Slam Titles

The just-concluded French Open saw Rafael Nadal win his 10th championship in the Grand Slam event, further cementing his title as the “King of Clay.” The French Open is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments held every year – Australian Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open are the others.This makes winning even one a rarity for the hundreds of tennis players that compete, except for these all-time great men and women athletes.

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Image source:zimbio.com

Margaret Court

Margaret Court won a total of 24 Grand Slam singles titles in a professional career that lasted 17 years. With these championships, it is hard to argue with people who consider Court as the best player ever. She is a pioneer in the sport as she is the first woman to include fitness training and weights in her workouts, and as a result, she had a long and generally injury-free career.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams trails Court by just one singles title, and given her dominance of the competition in the recent years, everyone assumed that she would pass Court’s record this year. However, Williams announced earlier this year that she was pregnant with her first child. Thus, overtaking Court would have to wait for at least a year.

Rafael Nadal

While Nadal is considered the greatest clay court player ever, he is no slouch on other surfaces either. He has five non-French Open Grand Slam titles, bringing his total to 15. If it were not for recurring injuries, he might have won more championships.

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Image source:theringer.com

Roger Federer

Few people would dispute that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. He holds numerous records, including the highest number of Grand Slam titles among men players with 18. And at the age of 35, he is still competing for major championships; it would not surprise people if Federer bags another Grand Slam title or two.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is an avid watcher of live sports, which include tennis, cricket, and basketball. Read more about these sports by following this Tumblr page.

Photography 101: A Study In Exposure

Exposure matters. Even with the existence of cameras with automatic settings, it’s always best for photographers to handle exposure manually. By mastering exposure, the quality of an image can change for the better.

First, understanding the “exposure triangle” is crucial. Setting the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will dictate how much light will be processed in capturing the image. This is where underexposure and overexposure come into play. Underexposure happens when the finished image looks dark due to lack of lighting. Meanwhile, overexposure occurs when there’s too much light.

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Image source: Photographylife.com

Now, think of aperture as a small hole within the lens that controls how much light will pass through it. F-stops measure this aspect. The lower the f-stop, the larger the opening. So, if the setting is f/4, more light will enter.

Shutter speed controls how the camera will capture movement. For example, for sporting events, photographers favor a faster shutter speed as it captures each movement without blurring. For landscapes and portraits, a slower shutter speed allows for better processing of a still image.

And lastly, there’s the ISO. This aspect can be considered the camera’s sensitivity to light. A higher ISO is more sensitive to light while a lower setting makes it less reactive to it. For the majority, a lower ISO is always better as it prevents image noise.

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Image source: Itsjustlight.com

These three aspects are important to create a memorable image. Mastering how to manipulate these three requires trial and error. But once a photographer gets the hang of it, he’ll be able to come up with remarkable renditions of the images he captures.

Vijaya Boggala works primarily as a medical abstract writer. He is also a sports enthusiast, arts lover, and avid landscape photographer. Get to know more about his interests by visiting this page.

Make It Count: What Photographers Should Remember When Capturing Landscapes

Landscapes make remarkable photographic subjects. When captured artistically and passionately, a photographer can come up with a memorable image that will surely garner admiration from those who will see it. Sadly, many photographers haphazardly take landscape shots without taking into account the subject’s potential.

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Image source: Sepeb.com

When capturing landscapes, photographers should plan their shots. Of course, there will be times when taking spontaneous shots is the best option. However, careful thought must be given when planning a shoot. Checking out the destination, the weather that day, number of visitors, and other factors is important in setting up a successful shoot. Preparing the equipment such as wide-angle lens and filters, and keeping a schedule will make things go smoothly for photographers. This will also give them a direction regarding the photos they want to take. In taking landscape shots, the time of day can make a difference.

It’s easy to work when there’s a plan. When a photographer can envision what he or she wants to capture, it will not take a lot of time and effort to get the shot. Before going to a national park or a mountain peak, anticipating the kind of view one will see can give inspiration to a photographer. In this case, research is also necessary.

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Image source: Pexels.com

But as they say, some plans are meant to be broken. Regardless of this idea, when a photographer is prepared, he or she will find a view that is worth immortalizing. When setting out to photograph landscapes, it is also important to take in the glorious view. A remarkable photo is one that effectively translates the wonder and vastness of the scene as experienced by the photographer. When setting out to take landscape photos, it would be best if the photographer revels in the moment first.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is a photography hobbyist who is most interested in landscape and speed photography. Visit this page for photography-related updates.

A Photographer’s Tour Of North Carolina

With North Carolina’s many gorgeous beaches, beautiful mountains, and its rich history and culture, a photographer can do no wrong planning a tour of the state. But some places within North Carolina are guaranteed to produce some awe-inspiring shots with little to no Photoshop intervention needed.

Nature photographers will definitely enjoy the jaw-dropping vistas of the Smoky Mountains at sunset. Capturing the sun as it disappears behind the pine tree-covered mountains is as romantic a photo as one can get. Otherwise, there are the relaxing views around the crystal-clear waters of White Lake, North Carolina.Clifftops4-7-07 (1).jpg

Image source: wikipedia.org

For more picture-perfect small town charm, there are Edenton’s lighthouse and Beaufort City’s coastal city near the pirate Blackbeard’s old stomping grounds. Still, for grander architecture, there’s Asheville’s Biltmore House, a tourist attraction and private estate designed by Richard Morris Hunt for George Washington Vanderbilt II in 1889.
Or if one prefers historical landmarks, one can take a trip to Kitty Hawk, the site where Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully launched and flew the world’s first airplane, Kitty Hawk Airfield, or head to Wilmington to see the USS North Carolina, a WWII battleship.
Aside from all those, photographers may also find some whimsy in North Carolina if they take their gear to the thrilling Carowinds amusement park, the train-themed Tweetsie Railroad, or the abandoned Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain.kathyroberts_kathleen-roberts-edenton-lighthouse-roanoke-river-lighthouse.jpg

Image source: clickinmoms.com 

With these many options, photographers don’t even have to try that hard to find something to capture their fancy around North Carolina, thanks to the state’s widely diverse landscapes.

North Carolina-based Vijaya Prakash Boggala his time off following artistic pursuits like photography and painting. Follow him Twitter for quick photography tips and more .

Understanding Depths Of Field: A Tip Sheet On Better Landscape Photography

Landscape photography requires students to understand depths of field. This component is what distinguishes amazing shots from lackluster ones. Some photos need only a minimum depth of field; wherein one element in the shot stands out more. However, classic photography tips recommend having extensive depths of field to maintain sharpness and focus.

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Image Source: picturecorrect.com

Before anything, it is essential to clear up a few misconceptions regarding depths of field. Novice photographers believe that this refers to a specific zone in the shot that is sharp throughout its range. Depth of field actually describes the zone of acceptable sharpness in the image. This is because everything in the scene – other than the actual point of focus – is more or less sharp to a certain degree. However, it is the range of acceptable sharpness that needs to be defined. This is the depth of field. A good shot does not have sharp lines indicating the beginning or end of this zone. There is instead a gradual fading in and out of the zone. This does not necessarily have to center on the point of focus.

The rule of thumb with regards to landscape photography is that one-third of the depth of field lies in front of the point of focus; the rest falls behind. The degree and area of this zone are determined by the photography. This is where experimenting with shutter speeds, f-stops, and focal lengths come into play. Photographers have to ask themselves what exactly do they want to communicate with their shot.

A good reminder that is often forgotten is the camera-subject distance. Better landscape shots are made when the distance between the photographer and the subject is adequate. Remember that there is less depth of field when one is closer to the subject compared to when the subject is farther away.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is trying his hand in landscape photography, among other things. Learn more about his passions and hobbies when you follow this Twitter account.

Creating Ethereal Photos Through Long Exposure

Applying long exposure to capture moving water, clouds, or stars will create a dramatic effect and a softer tone to your photographs. Long exposure photography is not difficult, as it simply means setting shutter speeds to last for a few minutes, but there are important techniques to remember for proper execution.

long-exposure-landscape-photography-04Image source: Digital-Photography-School.com

Before setting up your camera, find the perfect spot and angle. More important than technique is an eye for good composition. Choose your subject and other elements in the photograph and be guided by the rule of thirds.

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A camera with a slow shutter speed will be very sensitive to motion. You would need to mount the camera on a steady tripod or surface; you would also need a remote, or you could at least set a timer to release the shutter because even the shake in pressing the shutter button will affect the photo.

Be conscious of the amount of light available. During the day, you would need neutral density filters to block excessive light during long exposure. At nighttime, watch out for other accidental sources of light that may interfere with the photograph, such as the light from your cell phone or a nearby bonfire.

A medical abstract writer by profession, Vijaya Prakash Boggala is an artist by heart. His hobbies include photography, DIY crafts, and painting. Follow this Twitter acocunt for more photography tips.

Reduce And Reuse: Inexpensive Diy Halloween Décor Ideas Using Things At Home

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to do some research for DIY décor that children would surely enjoy. Here are some ideas from the web that creatively reuses things you probably already have at home so that you can reduce your expenses during this fun, spooky season.

luminariesImage source:  Jollymom.com

Tin can luminaries

This is a great idea for recycling empty tin cans. Using a marker or Sharpie, write words or draw images onto the cleaned empty tin cans. Using a hammer and awl or nail, puncture holes along the outline of the letters or image, and space the holes evenly for a clean design. Paint the cans black, and when dry, poke the holes with a toothpick if they get clogged by paint. Place a candle in each of the cans and line them up on your porch!

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Ghost lollipop bouquet

This is another way to reuse empty tin cans or mason jars. Paint the same with black or any other color of paint. Cut 4 x 4 square pieces of white cotton cloth and drape each onto a lollipop. Tie the cloth with twine just right below the candy and around the lollipop stick. Using black paint, dab small circles for the eyes of your lollipop ghosts. Put a block of floral foam inside your painted tin can or mason jar and stick your lollipop ghosts in them. Put them on display or hand them out to kids during Trick or Treat!

Vijaya Prakash Boggala, a medical abstract writer, is also fond of DIY projects. For more décor ideas, like this Facebook page.