Have the Lakers and Lebron reached their peak?

With the NBA season halfway through, the highly-touted Los Angeles Lakers are only a half-game ahead of the Utah Jazz in the last spot for the playoffs and barely above .500. The Western Conference is a lot less predictable than ever with Lebron James’ transfer; however, the question now is have the Lakers reached their peak?

Image source: washingtonpost.com

It has been a rollercoaster ride for the NBA’s biggest market as the Lakers have had stretches of both brilliance and mediocrity. And with the NBA’s number one star, James, out on a groin injury, I, Vijaya Prakash Boggala, have noticed the Lakers in danger.

Sure, guys like Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball have stepped up, but not consistently. Rajon Rondo, as effective as he is, has also been plagued by injuries all throughout the season. These factors have to be taken into consideration since people, especially Laker fans have high expectations of their storied franchise.

Image source: si.com

With their lineup intact, the Lakers have shown that they can beat even the mighty Golden State Warriors. But a complete lineup seems to be elusive. What’s more is that this is only the regular season. The playoffs are a completely different animal. With teams like the Houston Rockets and the OKC Thunder hitting their stride, it’ll take much more from the Lebron James and company to stay competitive.

So, have the Lakers reached their peak? For the sake of Laker fans everywhere, I hope that they haven’t. This is Vijaya Prakash Boggala signing out.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is currently honing his skills in action photography, slow shutter speed photography, and landscape photography. For similar reads, visit this blog.

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Night photography tips for beginner photographers

We’ve all seen amazing shots of great cities like New York, Amsterdam, or London shot in the night time. But when we whip out our cameras and try night shots for ourselves, they don’t come out as polished or as good as the ones we’ve seen. Professionals have spent countless hours mastering how to take great night photos. And since every professional photographer was once a beginner, everyone can simply put in the hours and get better. To help you achieve amazing night photography shots, here are some useful tips you can follow.

Image source: snapshot.canon-asia.com

Always bring a sturdy tripod
Shake is the biggest problem when it comes to photography, and even more so for night photography. Because of dim conditions, you’ll be taking long exposure shots which requires a non-moving camera. Even the smallest movement can ruin a time-consuming shot. Try to look for an aluminum or carbon fiber tripod to avoid carrying heavy equipment when taking photos. If you don’t have one, simply find a place where you can rest your camera on, as long as it’s secure.

Always rely on manual focus
While autofocus works wonders during the day, it’s quite unreliable when taking photos at night. Cameras simply struggle in dark conditions. By manually focusing your camera, you save yourself the problem of the camera randomly focusing on other objects on the viewfinder.

Image source: sympathink.com

Switch from high to low ISO
It might make sense to go for a high ISO for night photography, but that just increases the noise on the photos. Even with noise-reduction technology, it still wouldn’t produce crisp pictures than that from a low ISO setting. ISO 400, 800, or even 1600 should be good enough for night photography sessions.

Vijaya Prakash Boggalahas written a number of medical abstracts for scholarly journals. An artisan at heart, he also enjoys the arts and is particularly fond of DIY projects. More on Vijaya’s work and interests here.

End the holiday blues with these DIY projects for parents and kids

When it’s too cold outside, and there’s nothing much to do at home, parents and kids can still have a great time indoors with arts and crafts activities that will maximize their creativity. Check out these easy to make DIY projects:

Image source: Pexels.com

Artsy paperweight: This project requires fist-sized flat stones, art brushes, and paint. Parents and kids can have fun choosing their own designs and patterns. Or if they want to go with the stone’s shape, they can make it look like a turtle, fish, car, or a face. Throwing in some quotes or catchphrases with fun patterns is also a good idea.

Crate storage: Old wooden or plastic crates can be turned into storage bins that will eliminate clutter in a child’s room or play area. These materials can be upcycled by painting them in bright colors before mounting them in a child’s room. Parents can let their children have fun in the designing and painting process. As for the finished product, these crates can serve as sturdy shelves or baskets for toys, books, clothes, shoes, and even gadgets.

Image source: Pexels.com

Corkboard wall: Corkboards are cheap and easy to mount. To start, get a large-sized corkboards and heavy-duty mounting tape. Parents and kids can decide whether to paint the boards or add embellishments such as washi tapes and stickers before putting them up. After painting or designing the boards, put them up in a good spot where a child can proudly show off his or her artwork, awards, and other interesting stuff. The corkboard can also be used for notes or reminders.

These easy do-it-yourself projects are quick and cost-effective, perfect for hours of old-school creativity. Turn cold and lazy days into memorable times with these artsy activities.

Vijaya Prakash 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.

Top tips for better landscape photography

There is a reason why amateur landscape photography pales in comparison with a photo taken by a professional. Professionals take into consideration multiple elements and plan ahead when taking a picture instead of just whipping out a decent camera. If you want to take frame-worthy landscape photography, here are some tips to help you out.

Image source: lightstalking.com

Showcase depth: One of the strengths of landscape photography is the amount of detail one can show in an image. Simply wasting this space with a subject and the sky or the horizon as a background won’t get you much. When taking landscape photography, imagine a visual journey where the viewer sees one layer after another. Using a wide-angle lens immensely helps you capture a bigger frame.

Image source: iso.500px.com

Use water to your advantage: Water can be used in many ways even in landscape photography. You can use water as a reflective mirror to fill the image further provided the water is still, and the reflected image is crisp. Capturing the movement of water is another way of utilizing the element. When doing this, try practicing your long exposure skills to create amazing images.

Use people as subjects: The difficult thing about landscape photography is when people are detached to the photo. To better appreciate the image, people sometimes need points of reference just to see how big the image is. Besides objects, using people as subjects in landscape photography magnifies the image further. Keep in mind that the subject doesn’t have to be at the center of the image.

Vijaya Boggala has written a number of medical abstracts for scholarly journals. An artisan at heart, he also enjoys the arts and is particularly fond of DIY projects. He is also a photography enthusiast. More on Vijaya’s work and interests here.

Fun and creative DIY projects to work on

There are tons of cool do-it-yourself ideas you can find online and inside magazines, all aimed at sparking that creative and innovative side in people. DIY endeavors also make better use of things laying around or ready to go to the trash bin, making for more efficient and less costly living while supporting the call for environment-friendliness. Let’s list down some awesome DIYs to try out.

Image source: pinterest.com

One neat DIY idea is to use old nail polish to color-code the heads of your various keys, so that you know exactly which one opens which door or compartment. They would not only look eye-popping but get you better organized.

Another is to recycle dilapidated winter coats and sweaters by tying up the ends of the sleeves, inserting pillows inside, and using them a comfy and fluffy sleeping beds for y0ur pets. This project is easy to do, obviously, and your cats or dogs will be very comfortable with your smell while, well, being virtually hugged by you every time they lie down.

Image source: averiemakeup.com

For your kitchen, get a chopping board and drill a large enough hole on it where peels and other excess parts of cooking ingredients can just fall straight to a waste basket you’ll place directly below it.

Lastly, test your lettering and art designing skills by using a sharpie marker on your white mugs to make cute, personalized logos and put witty statements, like “I like my sugar with coffee and cream” (which comes from a Beastie Boys song).

<ahref=”https://sites.google.com/site/vijayaprakashboggala01/”>Vijaya Prakash Boggalahas written a number of medical abstracts for scholarly journals. An artisan at heart, he also enjoys the arts and is particularly fond of DIY projects. More on Vijaya’s work and interests <ahref=”https://www.flickr.com/people/141907604@N04/”>here.

The many reasons tennis is a beloved sport

Most sports give individuals the opportunity to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically.  Tennis is among the most loved sports of all time.  The benefits of playing (even watching) tennis is enjoyed by recreational and professional athletes of all ages.

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Image source: pixabay.com

Tennis is a great workout.  From tossing the ball for service to hitting a volley, tennis keeps the body moving.  Over the years, team workouts have become a thing, yet tennis players have been doing that for decades.  The sport promises minimal injuries.  Yes, there could be sprained ankles or hurting wrists after hardcore tennis for years, but tennis is still considered a safe sport as compared to contact sports.

The sport can be considered affordable, even if it’s considered an elitist sport.  While tennis rackets, balls, and gear can be expensive, with the proper racket, footwear, and a free court, money won’t be an issue.  Tennis is played everywhere and is well-loved around the world.  Many friendships have been formed through playing the sport.  Learning to play tennis would mean having a skill for life.  Many tennis players who have quit playing for a time find that their bodies still know how to hit shots, thanks to muscle memory.

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Image source: auburnpub.com

As a social sport, it helps a person develop interpersonal skills that can be useful on and off the court.  Families are brought closer together by their love for the sport.  Tennis is a classic sport that has a wide following around the world.  It teaches a lot about how it is to have good sportsmanship in times of triumph and defeat.

Vijaya Prakash Boggala enjoys watching cricket, tennis, basketball, and other live sports.  Visit this blog for similar updates.

Essential tips and tricks for landscape photography

So you’re there, fronting a kaleidoscopic sunset or a break in the clouds that just revealed some majestic vista.  Understanding the basics of landscape photography is most important in these situations, as the challenge is in capturing the fleeting scene in all its glory.  Here are some tips to ensure that you will bring the moment with you.

Use a tripod

Even the most minute of shakings can ruin a photo, so a tripod is not just important but necessary.  Longer shutter speed requires such stability compensations because of the resulting small aperture.  Consider getting a wireless shutter to make the camera even more still.

A focal point is a must

As in all good photography, focal points allow the eyes to rest on a fixed position.  Without such a fixture, the shot will look dull and barren.  Use the rule of thirds when deciding where to situate the focal point in your shot.  These reference points could be, among others, a particularly interesting tree, rock, building, or plant.

Depth of field is key

Even more recent smartphone cameras have this function, and it’s because their depth of field is crucial in landscape photography.  Keep in mind that the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth.  Make it a point to get as much of the scene in focus; you are not taking portrait shots here.

Be conscious of lines

Lines that exist in the scenery, however subtle, lead the eyes of viewers into the image.  So be extra aware of them and how they create an illusion of movement and offer depth, pattern, and scale to your photo.

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Image source: playbuzz.com

Vijaya Prakash Boggala is a photography enthusiast.  Action photography, slow shutter speed photography, and landscape photography are among his favorite approaches.  For similar reads, drop by this blog.

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.

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.