Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 47, Tuesday July 11, 2006



If I can shoot, then so can you

There are times in one's life, when one feels like the black sheep with pink ears in the family. For me that time comes during every occasion where there are cameras. That's right, somewhere in the gene pool game, I lost something called the photography gene. Hence, every picture I take is either fuzzy or makes Victoria Beckham look like Matthew Perry. Unfortunately enough, for a certain part of my family, photography is a sacred hobby and worse still, a profession. Though this article isn't about my woes, if there is someone else in my predicament, there is excellent news.

The mushrooming of photography schools in the city means one thing that while it has been an established hobby amongst many for years, photography is finally acceptable in our society as a career. Whether you wish to snap your way to fortune or just want to embrace photography as a leisure pursuit, a course conducted by experienced instructors can help you achieve your goal. Several institutions in Dhaka offer numerous courses in photography including basic courses for beginners and advanced courses for amateurs.

For beginners' courses, previous experience and knowledge are not necessarily required as they introduce the students to various techniques and procedures. These include taking pictures, functions of cameras, light, composition, portraiture etc. Most institutions will provide beginners with all the equipment they may need. Here comes the tricky part: while the romance of snapping a shot works well with almost everybody, the science of it doesn't. I don't want to be discouraging, but the fact remains that when it comes to the technical aspect of photography, some people find it a bore while others show a natural aptitude for it. But what really matters is whether you are willing to learn and with the reasonable prices at which these courses are being offered, I would encourage anybody with a little interest to go forward.

If you feel that you already know enough of the basics, you can sign up for a diploma that will take you deeper into the subject and open new doors to the different fields within photography itself. The course generally includes a history of photography, dark room techniques, photo editing, photojournalism etc. These courses may include practical experience and if you are lucky, an opportunity to interact with visiting professionals and instructors.

As for me, after a disastrous first attempt to go solo and take pictures at an event by myself, I can safely say that I have since improved. My pictures still turn out with unexpected hands, necks and hovering heads on the borders but they contain the people, the places and the moments I want to remember and for me, that's what photography is all about. For anyone who has a desire to improve their photography skills, these courses are a great opportunity. Best of luck to them!

For further information, contact: Pathshala, The South Asian Institute of Photography 16, Sukrabad, Panthapath, Dhaka phone 9129847 or Bangladesh Photographic Society 63/2 Science Laboratory Road, Dhaka. Beg Art at 83, Laboratory Road, Phone no 9669288. Alliance Francaise at 26, Mirpur Road, Dhanmondi R/A also has photography courses. Their phone no is 8611557.

By Shoaib Alam

News flash
Rong celebrates monsoon

Monsoon changes life because it brings changes to nature. The colour of the cloudy sky, the greener landscape, all leave impressions on life. Along with these changes come changes in our outfits. You must always prepare yourself for a sudden downpour-the right outfit, the umbrella and so on. That however does not mean you cannot adorn yourself with something stylish and gorgeous during monsoon.

Fashion house Rong just introduced their monsoon line up and all these thoughts played a role in its motif, fabric and colour scheme. Blue, grey, green are the colours of choice. Mostly made in cotton, these garments are embellished with block print, spray paint, appliqué, tie-dye, embroidery, hand paint and more.

Prices of three-piece sets will cost Tk600 to 2000. Saris range from Tk360 to Tk3000. A wealth of dupattas and blouse pieces are available for Tk90 to 450. Men's fatua and shirts range from Tk300 to 750, panjabis cost Tk350 to 1500 and t-shirts cost Tk100 to 260. While you are there, remember that they are giving a 10% to 50% percent discount on selected items.

To grab hold of one their items visit their showroom at Twin Tower, Shantinagar, Sunrise Plaza, Lalmatia and UAE shopping complex, Banani.

-LS Desk


Habibs @ Persona adds spa

The pace of modernisation is constantly changing lifestyle. All the hustle bustle is adding new pressure on life creating stress and stress related diseases. People are constantly searching for quick and easy ways to relieve stress. Spa is considered a wonderful approach to pamper and unwind tension. Spa treatments are geared towards revitalisation and rejuvenation, with special emphasis on stress reduction. It has a holistic approach of stress reduction and healing by simultaneously addressing the body, mind and soul.

If you are all stressed out and looking for an east way out, this July 6th HABIBS@Persona added Spa in their Gulshan premises.

The Spa is aptly decorated with herbs and flowers, with individual compartments for facials made of wooden floors and bamboo partitions. The décor will make you feel close to nature and pampered. HABIBS@Persona brings you 16 new skin rejuvenating facials and skin treatments. Facials like Pearl, Oxygen, Marrow, etc can bring dramatic effects on the skin, mind and soul. Prices of these facials range in between Tk600 to 1800.

The Spa also brings a number of body massage services specialising in relaxation, rejuvenation, fat burning and skin lightening. Body massages along with steam and hot herbs are designed to stimulate ultimate relaxation. Therapeutic massages with fat reducing strokes, fat reducing belly massages with mineral oils and Thai foot massage are also other attractions of the Spa. All these massages range between Tk.300 to 1,200.

You also get membership privileges free of charge, which brings you at least 10% service discount round the year. The spa is situated at House No-121 D, Road 44, Gulshan

-LS Desk


Design tips for houseplants

There are many reasons to keep houseplants: to clean the air (and aren't we in such desperate need of it in our 'not so polluted' city), to absorb carbon dioxide and to have someone to talk to who doesn't interrupt. But with a pinch of creativity, a houseplant can also be an artistic masterpiece. Here are three easy ways to increase your plants' decorative qualities:

Unusual Containers
Almost anything can be used as a container, even an old shoe. If you can't drill a hole in the bottom for drainage, set a slightly smaller plastic pot inside. Or, put down an inch of gravel and pot the plant on top of it but be very careful not to over water.

You can find a wealth of interesting containers in antique shops (also any storage room in the house) in the form of old serving dishes, teapots, vases, and bottles. Try planting a tall vase with a plant like ivy or pothos that will trail down the side. Train ivy or another climber around the handle of a rustic basket. For particularly striking plants, opt for a plain container that won't attract attention away from the plant.

Plant Groupings
For an instant arrangement set two of the same plants on either side of a mirror or painting. Surround a large plant with several small ones with the same form. For example, a tall spiky dracaena flanked by several small snake plants. Buy several of the same style pot in contrasting colours. Buy the same style and colour pot in different sizes.

Grouping Several Plants In One Container
You can't go wrong with a cactus garden. Buy a shallow pot and plant three or more small cacti in it. Finish it off with a layer of colourful gravel on top. Group several plants in a basket. You can leave them in their pots and fill the space between with moss. Line the basket with plastic so the straw doesn't rot. This is an easy decoration that can be changed seasonally. Plant several African violets or cyclamen in a large container. Mix two different flower colours. Disguise plants with ungainly stems by surrounding them with smaller plants. The best groupings have some sort of theme. Pick plants with similar colour, form, texture, or shape.

There are as many ways to design with house plants as there are people, so let your creative impulses run wild. Mix and match until you find a design you love, and then sit back and wait for the compliments to roll in.

-LS Desk


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