All posts by danemutalib



I began to look within myself and I could see how all of the challenges in my relationship was a reflection of my loveless thoughts and the lack of connection I had with myself. I was only focusing on my external life with no awareness of my internal landscape, which is not just our body but also our thoughts and emotions. When I was ready to look at it, I saw that my thoughts and emotions were based on lack, fear, doubt, and limitation.

The way we treat ourselves will affect how others treat us. The truth is, I wasn’t giving to myself what I wanted from someone else. I wasn’t giving myself the love and attention that I wanted. Everything I was withholding from myself I was looking for to the other person and was not getting it. I wasn’t taking care of myself — I was choosing to focus all of my attention on taking care of others or taking care of “the relationship” and trying to fix it.

We are meant to live to our full potential and when we do so, we allow our relationships to be the fullness that they can be as well. The universe lines us up with experiences that will allow us to make new choices and break out of old patterns, which is a deeply liberating experience and one in which we discover our power and the connection with the loving force within us and around us that is constantly nudging us and guiding us to our right thoughts, and our right actions and right choices.

Ditto. And I smiled.

Our Travels: Jaisalmer, India. (Part 1)

It’s been a long while that I wrote anything about my travel in India and the last post was my experience in Jaipur. Now it’s time to share my experiences while in Jaisalmer and Agra, India.

The first thing to note, if you decide to take a car to Jaisalmer from Jaipur, which is an 8-10 hours drive away, please do not embark your journey during at nightfall. We had a very traumatic experience and we strongly encourage travelers to either board the plane, train or travel by car in the day. You can check for train and flight timings on and make your booking through the site.

We paid approximately Rs12,000 for the night ride and boy, it is definitely not a ride that you would want to pay for.  The driver picked us up at about 8-9pm from our hotel in Jaipur and we were only out of Jaipur at about 11pm or so due to bad traffic.

I shall skip our terrible experiences on the road and skip to the part where we reached Jaisalmer. We reached outside of the Jaisalmer Fort at about 5am. It was a whopping 10 degrees. We were all shivering and jittering while we climbed up the slope into the fort. Our hotel, Desert Boys Guest House, is located in the fort itself.

Once we reached the doorstep of the guest house, we were ushered to our rooms. There’s six of us and our rooms are all located at three different levels. My partner and I got the room located on the top floor and I was in awe. Both of us literally looked at each other with our jaw dropped.



Picture from

That is exactly how our room looks like. It was marvelous. It feels like were royalty. Lol.

Just as we settled down and put our stuff in the room, we stepped out of the room and we were about to witness the sunrise in Jaisalmer. From where we were at, we were able to see villages, the desert, and the horizon. The feeling is surreal.

We showered and took a nap before we head out to the town later in the day.

Here is the address of the Desert Boys Guest House:

Inside Fort
Vyasa Para
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
345001, India

Do check them out if you are visiting Jaisalmer and also, they are really affordable!

To be continued…




Our Trip: Admiralty Park


We did something that was out of the ordinary yesterday. But it was worth it. Nothing much to say about the trip because everything was pretty far for us to shoot. However, a kind soul shared with us a piece of information. He came across a Large-tailed Nightjar that was perched on this little signage (i think?). It is pretty uncommon to see a Nightjar in the open because they are known to camouflage themselves amongst the dried leaves and litters on the ground.


So here it is. 🙂


Large-tailed Nightjar
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 3200
Focal Length: 600m


Our Weekend “Getaway”: Day 3 of 3 (Singapore Botanic Gardens)

We managed to start the day pretty early. But to our surprised, the day was pretty slow until we saw the Buffy Fish Owl. Our first reaction, “OMG”.

Buffy Fish Owl
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 558mm

There’s not one but two of these perched on the tree. I managed to get the other owl when it was stretching itself.

Buffy Fish Owl
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 459mm

After a short break, we continued walking around the area and decided to enter the forest trail (i forgot what’s the name of the trail). We bumped into a fellow photographer from Japan. We were talking about the different birds that we looking for. He told us that he was looking for a Pitta but it went further into the forest. We bid farewell and wanted to continue with our walk when suddenly a bird flew right past us. We turned and look at it and realized it was the Greater Racket-trailed Drongo! Another “OMG” moment for us.

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 230mm

My partner has been dreaming of looking at this species with his own eyes for a few years now, ever since he was still in school. When we started bird watching and photography together last year, he was talking about it and I was surprised and couldn’t believe that a bird can look this unique. We did come across it once when we were at MacRitchie but it just flew past us and didn’t stop. So you can imagine our excitement when this gorgeous bird stopped and posed for us. 😀

Once we are done getting our shots, we walked further down and exited the area.

We decided to walk for a bit more before we make our way to Pasir Ris Park in the afternoon. While walking, we saw a group of fellow photographers wandering around the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. We followed them and to our surprise, another rare species!

Von Schrenck’s Bittern
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 1600
Focal Length: 600mm

We made our move to Pasir Ris Park right after but to our disappointment, there’s nothing much there. It could be the weather because it was quite cloudy and rained for a bit. Nevertheless, we did manage to spot a Dollarbird (didn’t get a shot, sadly), an Oriental Piped Hornbill and a Grey Heron.

Our Weekend “Getaway”: Day 2 of 3 (Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore)

The second day at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve was a better day. We arrived later than what we have initially planned but the day went on pretty smooth.

Sadly, we did not manage to witness many shorebirds in action except for one who made an appearance after we photographed the Little Egret.

Little Egret
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 600mm

I got better with the Sigma 150-600mm lens. I managed to rectify the problem and was elated that my photos turned out sharp and clear.
As mentioned in the previous post, the issue that I have with the Sigma lens was that I am not able to AF on the subject. I will explain the suggested solution that I used to rectify the problem.


Image result for sigma 150-600mm
Top view of a DSLR camera with Sigma 150-600mm lens.
Credits of photo:

With reference to the image above, the ring that adjusts the focal length the one that is closer to the body. After you slightly depress the shutter button, the camera will AF on the subject. It may or may not be a sharp focus and to rectify that, simply adjust the focal length after the camera has focus until you get the subject at its sharpest focus before depressing the shutter button fully. (I hope this helps those photographers who face the same issue.)Moving on to the next photo, here is the little shorebird that I mentioned earlier, Common Greenshank.

Common Greenshank
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 569mm

After slightly more than an hour camping in Hide 1C (one of the observatory huts in the area), we decided to walk around and hoped to see more birds. Luck hit upon us when we arrived at the Main Hut. A group of Milky Storks and Grey Herons were found perched along the river.

In case I have never mentioned it in my blog earlier, the Milky Stork was one of the first few species that I was first encountered last year on my birthday. I was elated when I saw it that day.

Milky Stork & Grey Heron
Shot using Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS on a Canon 760D.
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO: 800
Focal Length: 600mm

Look at that drama captured on still. It felt like there’s a story behind this image. The love story between 2 different species (lol!). On another note, I finally managed to get a still shot of the Milky Stork still in flight! That’s an achievement unlocked for me. I am always in awe when I come across photos of other bird enthusiasts that managed to get photos of birds still in flight. And on that day, I achieved it! I think that I can be better at it but for starters, I think it looks great.

We decided to call it a day because we were quite worn out from all the walking and we still have another full day of walking the next morning.

Day 3 was the best day out of the whole weekend in my opinion. From having a good start of the day to the first time encounters and conversations with other photographers, I couldn’t be more excited to share the story. Stay tuned readers. 😀


Getting back to my hobby

An awesome read on his birdwatching trip over the weekends.

When Shah Shoots

0122I can’t believe three months of not bird watching can be excruciatingly painful. Ever since this hobby re-ignited in the beginning of 2017, I was fortunate enough to be able to bring my camera out at least once a month to shoot photos of wildlife, particularly birds. However, mid-year was a bit tough due to time and financial issues (I rent the Tamron 150-600mm lens when I go shoot birds).

The long Christmas weekend finally allowed me time to be back in nature. 3 full days of birdwatching around selected Singapore parks and reserves made me realize how much I needed peace from nature after all the stress from work and responsibilities. My hobby took me to Gardens by the Bay, Sungei Buloh Wetlands, Singapore Botanical Gardens and Pasir Ris Park.

Rusty from spotting birds after 3 months of bird watching inactivity and having to get used to the Tamron…

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