5 Photo Projects You Can Start And Finish In A Weekend

5 Photo Projects You Can Start And Finish In A Weekend

So this one's going to be a little different. I recently had the insanely humbling experience of being a guest on the popular Improve Photography podcast with Jim Harmer. We recorded the show with the understanding that it could, or could not be, posted. Well, the team at were gracious enough to post it this week. The topic we discussed was '5 Photo Projects You Can Start And Finish In A Weekend,' and

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A Monday Motivational Kick In The Yahoo – July 21, 2014

Wasim Muklashy Photography__Samsung NX30_Topanga Beach_Monday Motivational_July 21
Wasim Muklashy Photography__Samsung NX30_Topanga Beach_Monday Motivational_July 21

“Instead Of Trying To Be The Mountain,

Be The Valley Of The Universe.

All Things Will Come To You.”

-Tao Te Ching


From me to you, There's This Week’s

Monday Kick In The Yahoo!


Be Inspired!

A Monday Motivational Kick In The Yahoo by Wasim of Nazareth - July 7, 2014

Wasim Muklashy Photography_Motivational Monday_063014_Water-Under-The-Bridge_1200
Wasim Muklashy Photography_Motivational Monday_063014_Water-Under-The-Bridge_1200

“If you’re not lost, you’re not much of an explorer” -John Perry Barlow

Monday’s suck. Yes. It’s never easy to get back into the swing of things after a weekend, especially a long holiday weekend, so I figured I’d try to do a little thing to hopefully ease the transition a bit. While the rest of each week's posts will focus on tips, tricks, and journeys, every Monday I’ll be posting a motivational post - an image with a quote, mantra, saying, tao - to try to focus on and remember throughout the week. Easily digestable - quick - bite-sized stuffs and things.

Admittedly I’m selfishly doing this for a personal kick in the arse at the opening of each week, but figured perhaps you all can get something from it as well!

So, From me to you, Here’s the first Monday Kick In The Yahoo!

Nelson Mandela. A Eulogy.

At first it was just news - a ticker under some inconsequential sporting event on the TV above the bar as I sat with a friend, dipping pita bread in hummus and scraping at the final bits of a mound of shawarma sitting between us. Then it was just another part of the never ending social media stream…Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter - another one of those mindless swipe up…swipe up…swipe up…

oh…stop…pretty picture.

ok…swipe up…swipe up.

Then, when I got home, when I sat down on my couch, and when I found myself suddenly and uncontrollably weeping, that’s when it became real.

He was gone.

Nelson Mandela was gone.

I couldn’t discern between whether I was weeping for joy…celebrating a beautiful man’s life and the insanely invaluable contributions he’s sacrificed his own life and time and youth (twenty seven years in a South African apartheid prison!?? TWENTY SEVEN YEARS!!) to improve the future of society and humanity as a whole -  the ultimate empathy - or was I weeping out of desperation and sadness, wondering whether the sacrifices he made, ones that are absolutely harrowingly unimaginable to the majority of today’s population - out of the realm of reality - were they all for naught? Have we absolutely let this man give what is usually the most fruitful and passionate years of his life in absolute vain? Have we learned nothing and taken all he has done for us for absolutely granted? Has anything really changed?

As a Palestinian living in a post-911 America, it doesn’t take too much digging to see that bigotry and ignorance is still not something of the past, it just happens to manifest itself in new and creative, and, unfortunately, often primal and savage, ways. Ask any Latino living in Arizona, ask any Arab living in the Midwest, ask any Jew living in Europe, ask any African American living in the South, ask any caucasian living in the Middle East. Bigotry, hatred, ignorance…they have not disappeared. And more likely than not, they never will.

But then, as I was thinking about all of this, out of nowhere, and very suddenly, I stopped. I stopped weeping. And within a fraction of a second, that weeping was replaced with a smile. A undeniably joyous smile. And I knew exactly, and immediately, why.

While racism and hate and bigotry may never disappear, while everyone may never have everyone on everyone’s side, the world is still closer together and more connected today than it has ever been. And that is a HUGE step forward. We began to separate as we roamed the earth over millennia, and now we're coming back together again. It’s only a matter of time before we all realize that we are all brothers and sisters, and always have been, and no matter what we try to do about it, we’re all in this thing together. And that, perhaps, may be the only absolute truth and, ultimately, our saving grace.

I started to think this. I started to express this. I started to write this. And now, here I am, publishing this. Me. By my own will.

Because I am free.

And it’s because of you Nelson Mandela. It’s because of you. And those who inspired you. And those whom you’ve inspired.

You have done your work, you have done your job, you have more than earned the right to

rest. in. peace.

As for us, it’s now our turn to take that baton and run with it. Hopefully, Mr. Mandela, hopefully…we shall do you proud.

Thank you.

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.” -Nelson Mandela

New Photo App, OKDOTHIS, Feeds Creative Block To The Fishes!

OKDOTHIS_App_Screenshot_Wasim_MuklashyIt happens more often than I like to admit - I want to make images, but either I’m not feeling inspired, or there’s always the lame default ‘I don’t have my camera’ excuse. But more and more lately, that hasn’t been the case as I, along with the rest of the world, always have a camera with me. In my case, it’s an iPhone, and I’ve found myself using it more and more, perhaps not for paid gigs and official shoots, but for, brace for it…FUN! So there goes that excuse. But I was still left with the ‘I’m not feeling inspired’ nonsense. Enter OKDOTHIS.

It’s an app.

It’s barely been out for a week.

But I’ll tell you this right now - this thing is gonna be big.

It’s the brainchild of photographer Jeremy Cowart and at its core, OKDOTHIS is a never-ending photographic scavenger hunt in which the items being searched for are sourced by those who download and use the app. Basically, those that have the app can create a ‘DO,’ they put it out there for the world to see, and then if you’re part of that world, you go and ‘DO’ it…and by ‘DO,’ I mean take and upload a picture that fits that respective 'DO.'

For example, a current ‘DO’ is ‘fog.’ It’s that simple. Now you upload a picture of something that, in some way, however loosely interpreted, incorporates fog. 

OKDOTHIS_Jeremy Cowart_Screenshot

The current list of popular DOs range from “Let us peek inside your notebook,” “View out the window,” “Look up,” “Make now look like then,” to “Unexpected beauty,” “Interesting typography,” and “Create a mystery. Make them guess.” And all the DOs fit into a myriad of categories that include everything from ‘Art’ to ‘At Home’ to ‘Giving Back,’ ‘Kids,’ ‘Fashion,’ ‘Travel,’ ‘Outdoors,’ ‘Pets & Animals,’ and at least a dozen more. You name it, it exists.

The best thing about this is that, sure, it may not lead to your latest masterpiece, but it provides a gift far more valuable than that, it helps continually ignite ideas and approaches to both the ordinary everyday, as well as the extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime. Basically, it comfortably forces inspiration. You no longer just look at things, you start to really truly see…everything. Hell, it’s basically zen in an app (ok, perhaps that’s taking it a bit too far, but it’s kind of neat that an app is actually encouraging your eyes and attention to move away from the screen and actually pay attention to the world immediately around you).

I’ve only been an OKDOTHIS user for about 3 days and it didn’t take me long to realize that it was a godsend. I have already found myself uploading over 100 images, some taken as a particular ‘DO’ inspired me, and some that I’ve had before, and now have found a new home and audience. Anyhow, right now it’s only for iOS, but I have a feeling they didn’t quite know how popular this thing would be, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to find it on other platforms soon enough.

The video is below, and the website is If you decide to join in on the fun, make sure to find and follow me on there - my user name is @wasimofnazareth!

Just DO it!

Late Night Fun With Photo Filters…and Scotch.

So had a house I had to shoot this week for Airbnb. It was actually the second of two units on a property I shot before, but I hadn't seen the second unit as it was occupied that first time. Anyway, not important…so after I was done shooting the interior, I figured, no one was here, I was going to take advantage of the moment and just kind of chill for a minute. When you're standing on a deck with nothing in front of you but a gorgeous canyon that opens up to the Pacific Ocean (see image at bottom of this post), it's hard not to force yourself to take a break and soak it in. So as I sat down and took a few gulps of my warm ice tea that had been sitting the car since I showed up, I saw this ridiculously quaint and charming little candle holder with a pile of little rocks alongside it, being draped PERFECTLY by a grapevine. And when I mean, perfectly, it's as if it was staged. For some reason, my imagination took me to the Mediterranean coast, perhaps Spain, maybe Italy, I don't know, but my wanderlust got the best of me and I started snapping a few shots of it as if I was actually on that coast. So when I got home and started processing, I began doing what I normally do…Lightroom…Develop pane…etc…and I just wasn't feeling it. None of it. To top it all off, my favorite shot as far as composition wasn't exactly exposed too well. But I figured, let's see what we can do with it anyway…let's hit the 'reset' button.

First step..grab a glass of scotch and a chunk of smoked gruyere cheese (hot damn, if you haven't had smoked gruyere cheese…you haven't had cheese!).

Second step…lean back a bit and let's look at this from a different set of eyes.

Third step…NO! Not a different set of eyes…let's look at it exactly with the eyes that I was looking at it with when I snapped the shot…my imagination.

Fourth step…refill scotch.

Fifth step…get crazy.

And what you see up above here is what came of the madness.

Yeah, it has a lot of filters, yeah, it's super processed, and yeah, I added a flame! But I had to remind myself that it's okay!

So my favorite composition of the thing was one of the poorer exposed shots. So I felt the need to do something to 'cover up' what otherwise would have been a throwaway. But that's only one way of looking at it...

The other way is that, if I processed it the way I normally do with my normal workflow, then perhaps it wouldn't have worked, and if it did, I would have had a decent image, but not the image that was in my mind as I was taking that picture. It took me having to find a way to 'cover up' a poorly exposed photograph to tap into the creative side of me and find a way to get closer to that visual I was envisioning as I was shooting it.

I guess my lesson here is to not be afraid and not really give a mouse fart about what anyone might think or what any purist might criticize. I get so wrapped up in what's 'right' and what's 'proper,' I often forget that, well, there's really no such thing in art.

I suppose certain things do happen for certain reasons. This time something happened to remind me not to take things too seriously and to do what got me so passionate about photography to begin with…have fun.

And c' have to admit, that final version of the image above is kinda Mediterraneany...