Listening to the left shoulder

Last week I sauntered into the kitchen and found this big plate all piled up with mangoes which looked very pale.

I asked wifey “Hey why so many mangoes and why are they looking pale ?”

She said “its all sort of blanched”

Me : “Blanched?”

Wifey “ Well I don’t know if the technical word is blanched, but what I did was put them in boiling water till they sort of turned slightly yellow and then immediately take them out and cool them”

Me “ But who wants to eat boiled and cooled mangoes?”

Wifey: “I am not finished. Do you see that big jar down there. I have filled it with salt water. We have to slowly slide in these mangoes in that salt water one by one and make sure that all of them are submerged properly”

Me “Then?”

Wifey: “Then we wait”

Me “Wait? For what ?”

Wifey: “for the right time to take them out and relish them one by one”

Me “ And when is that right time?”

Wifey “ well, it can be anytime from one month to one year. You see when we don’t have any suitable curry to go with our rice, we just fish out one and have them as an accompaniment. Its heavenly and yummy”

Wifey went about with her other chores and I kept staring at the “Blanched Mangoes” My photographic instincts told me that I should take some photos of them before they were turned into heavenly and yummy.

Suddenly I found that there were two voices talking to me. One from the left shoulder and one from my right shoulder.

The one from the left shoulder said “go ahead take out your camera and click some pics. You can upload them on DT”

Right shoulder “Oh what is the use, any way its going to be rejected as usual”

Left shoulder “ No no just go by your gut feeling, put all your passion into it. If you click a good one it will get accepted”

Right shoulder “ Oh come on it’s a waste of time, remember this is not what we are looking for

Left shoulder “Come on Joe you are a good photographer, and you have an eye for it. Just make it happen. This time select your best camera”

Right shoulder “Good camera ? Ha that is a joke. Remember the last time you clicked with your latest costly camera. And what did they say “Chromatic aberrations and purple fringing and what not. They threw so much jargon at you that you did not understand half of it”

Left shoulder “ Go by your instinct. Open your cupboard and pick up that eight year old camera of yours.

Right shoulder “Oh that 4 Mega Pixel one which your wife got you for your B’day eight years ago? And after post processing and trimming how many mega pixels will you get? Just forget it and go and lie down on that easy chair and relax”

Left shoulder “ There are ways to overcome that. Why don’t you take a good close up so that there is no need for trimming. This time use your tripod. Make use of the reflectors that you have. Click many pictures, so that you can select the best”

So I did just that. Listened to the Left shoulder.

I carried the plate full of mangoes out into our patio and placed it on a stool (in the shade) Fixed up the tripod with my old faithful eight year old 4 Mega Pixel camera. Tried to place the object in the one third (or was it two third) of the screen.

Wifey from the kitchen “ Hey where did all my mangoes go?”

Me “ Its here honey, can you just come out and hold this reflector for me while I adjust the camera and set it up”

I put the camera on automatic mode and pressed the shutter and ran up to wifey to help her deflect the light on to the mangoes from the proper angle.

While I was trying to take some more shots wifey said “common hurry up, I am standing in the sun. And why are you using that old camera. Why don’t you use your brand new one”

Me “Well you will not understand, its what the Left shoulder said”

My wife gave me an open mouthed quizzical look.

Once I was done with the mangoes, I lugged the huge jar to the patio and repeated the same procedure to click pictures of the jar.

Later I did some simple post processing of isolation on white and made the mangoes look a little more greener (after all who wants to look at pale looking mangoes)

It too me some time for the isolation (but I had full confidence with the voice from the left shoulder)

As soon as it was finished I uploaded the mangoes (I had yet to do the post processing of the jar)

Now comes the waiting part with fingers crossed.

This morning when I logged onto DT , hey presto the Blanched Mangoes were accepted !!!

I ran into the kitchen and hugged my wife lifting her off her feet “I love your blanched mangoes, they are heavenly and yummy. See I told you ……… we should always listen to the voices from our left shoulder. Now the blanched mangoes will get sold and we can buy more raw mangoes and pickle them in salt water”

Photo credits: Joezachs.

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December 13, 2011


What a nice story! It made me smile :)

November 26, 2011


Very nice blog, made me think a lot about my photography, congrats.

May 19, 2011


Great blog!

May 18, 2011


Love the story. I can relate. My favorite is my leftover sushi, which, btw, already sold one. I wish you a lot of sales from your left-shoulder photos! :)

May 18, 2011


Haaa Haaa Haaa! I laughed so hard through this blog! This is just what it's like for me too!

May 18, 2011


Congrats! Just goes to show you don't need the most expensive camera to do the right job. Always did like the left shoulder more than my right ;)

May 17, 2011


Spread the word!!! There is a plate of blanched mangoes image available for purchase on!!! Like it! Buzz it! Tweet it! Re-tweet it!!!!

May 17, 2011


nice story, thanks to share

May 17, 2011


Great story!

May 17, 2011


Lovely story, I like the way you've told it, in most of cases is a true valid story for all of us, this is happening to me and I think to many others...Of course we don't have to listen always those voices, second my opinion, in order to buy "many mangoes for pickle" like you say we need much more, we need to plan what we shoot long time before. To create the subject, lights and composition in our minds ten times before asking ourselves many questions about, like: why a client should buy our photo and not other hundreds with the same subject, what use the client can make with our photo, how many photos of the same subject are on the market, and many others...But is just my opinion, of course is not a must.

May 17, 2011


So the left shoulder was right :P

May 17, 2011


Hi! Very good story! It is necessary to follow your example and listen to her left shoulder. :)

May 17, 2011


I agree , always the left shoulder ..... great story.

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