Have you ever been to Lahore or seen it's mosques? Even I have not, but I have been lucky as I have been following the works of some of the photographers from the city who bring to fore the beauty of the city and it's historical monuments. No matter how Pakistan is portrayed in Indian media, it would remain my dream my visit the country, especially the city of Lahore. So today, I bring to you a budding photographer from the city, Amjad Nawaz, who has been capturing Lahore and especially its mosques in the most beautiful possible way.

Travel Mosques of Lahore Pakistan Amjad Nawaz
Mosques of Lahore, Pakistan

So, who is Amjad?
Amjad is someone who is not very expressive someone who'll always keep his secrets to himself. Someone who usually cares a lot about his friends and family but always fails to express it. He's lucky to have family that always understands him without him needing to explain what he is going through.

I am into import business, my company imports interior furnishing products that includes wall and floor coverings. Did my honors in Human Resource Management back in 2011 but have been working for over 10 years now.

Travel Mosques of Lahore Pakistan Amjad Nawaz
Inside Wazir Khan Mosque

I was born in Bangkok but moved to Pakistan when i was 8. After that it was a mix of good and bad times probably the best time was living with my grandparents in Rawalpindi for 8 years before my mother also moved to Lahore with my siblings. The worst patch probably was the one when me and my brother had to go to boarding in Abbottabad for 6-7 months, waking up at 6 in the morning and living by a school bell wearing 2 different uniforms the whole day, eating food that was cold and living in a hall with 8 different kids from 8 different regions of the country was difficult probably all our life we had the liberty of living our life our own way and moving to such boarding school we had to manage everything around that school bell.

Moving to Lahore and living with my siblings ever since has been an amazing experience.

Is there any person, any incident which left a lasting impression on you and shaped the way you are today?
I have lived with my grandfather for more years than I have actually lived with my father, we were really close and he always treated me like his friend. In 2010 he had his by-pass surgery in Lahore, I was with him all the time after the surgery he was moved to ICU where we had our last words. The next day he couldn't recover and died. It was tough specially when my dad wasnt in Pakistan and I had to arrange for everything from paying hospital bill receiving his body and arranging the ambulance. Doing that at your early 20's is a tough call but now when I look back and think about it, I feel stronger that if i can face something so heart-wrenching I can probably face anything. 

Travel Mosques of Lahore Pakistan Amjad Nawaz Wazia Khan
Fresco work at Wazir Khan

What does photography mean to you?
I started photography right after I got married because initially i didn't wanted to live that typical "Shadi Shuda Uncle Wali Life" but instead wanted to have a hobby that would take me out make me travel and explore more and photography was an easy pick. I had a DSLR but didnt actually knew how to use it so i started using my Samsung S2 and posting random stuff on Instagram. My first inspiration were all the amazing Instagrammers from subcontinent before coming across them I was only capturing architecture, but people like Sadri, Ahmed, Anuj Arora, Jasmeet, they were always good with portraits and showing the amazing culture of the Subcontinent, that is what I wanted to do but with a mix of what I was good at.

Initially I used to plan a shot or would simply go bonkers shooting everything I can and selecting the final image when am back home but recently I have been selective shooting what clicks to my mind and only posting stuff that I like from a pool of 50-60 shots. Overall photography and instagram has been a very good experience, I have met amazing people around the globe that share the same passion and made some amazing new friends which isnt normally possible when you are out of college or university because the only friends you will be making after that will be your colleagues or people from your business circle. 

Tell us more about your city Lahore and your romance with it's mosques...
Lahore is an amazing city, here you will find two extremes of everything the urban and rural setting the modern Lahore and the culturally rich Lahore. For those who are reading this from India let me tell you Delhi and Lahore looks really very similar, starting off from the Mughal Era to the newer construction there are many structures that are similar to the ones in Delhi.

I wish to visit Delhi one day and document the similarities between Delhi and Lahore. Another great thing about Lahore are its mosques, from Badshahi Mosque (which is identical to Jamia Masjid Delhi) and Wazir Khan Mosque for its amazing Fresco Work to Sunehri Masjid (that has great history attached to it) and some of the more recent constructions like Grand Mosque in Bahria Town. They all have amazing architecture and history attached to it. For someone who's visiting Lahore I would totally recommend them visiting these places.

Travel Mosques of Lahore Pakistan Amjad Nawaz Badhshahi masjid
Entrance of Badshahi Msajid
Travel Mosques of Lahore Pakistan Amjad Nawaz moti masjid lahore fort
Moti Masjid inside Lahore Fort
Travel Mosques of Lahore Pakistan Amjad Nawaz Badshahi masjid
Entrance of Badshahi Masjid

Let's talk about your personal life...
Well I am Alhamdulilah a father of two now, 3 years old Ayyan and a new born daughter who's just 12 days old Noor E Zahra. Married the love of my life 4 years back and it has been an amazing experience so far, you do feel the pressure at times but I guess that is where you feel the responsibility and the encouragement to do better so that you can provide a better life style to your family.  

And finally, 'What is your dream?' Amjad?
My dreams is to be just half as good as my father, he has achieved so much in life that I know it will be tough for me to do in one life time.

Travel Mosques of Lahore Pakistan Amjad Nawaz
Amjad Nawaz
To connect with Amjad:
Located on a small hill right in the middle of Barcelona, Bunkers del Carmel offers some of the best views to the city, especially around sunset and later. However, I had never heard about the place, and so it was just not on my itinerary. However, when soon after I landed my plans changed and I got to see the city in a very different way!

barcelona sunset night photography skyline
Barcelona in the night from Els Bunkers del

So when Ruben, my airbnb host and friend, offered to take me to a hill for the best views of the city on his sports bike, I had no clue what I was getting into. My evening was free and I was just happy to get a motorbike ride (though it was far too cold for such adventure) in a new city and had almost no expectations about anything else.

As we rode up the hill on the steep slopes, I could feel excitement in the air. Ruben drives extremely well and it was a pleasure to be ok the bike as we navigated the sharp curves.

barcelona sunset night photography skyline
Just around sunset....

We reached about half an hour before the sunset and loved how the city looked like from top. With Sagrada Familia bang in the centre, and the perfectly aligned blocks all around, it's a sight to die for. However, the true beauty of the city was revealed as the sun started setting and the sky started getting filled with colours. Soon the city was lit and with the background of Mediterranean Sea, it made for perfect shots.

We stayed for quite sometime, till I saw another hill behind us and got excited about it. Ruben saw my excitement and offered to take me there on the bike, an offer which I readily accepted, despite the cold. The ride was great, and though my balls froze, I was happy with this unexpected adventure.

barcelona sunset night photography skyline
Just behind the hill...the view still so spectacular!
barcelona sunset night photography skyline
Light show seen at the museum...

We came back to the city and picked lunch from a Pakistani shop whose owner was happy to speak Urdu with a guest. I ate pizza and immediately crashed.

I think I am getting old.


Practical tips:

WhereEls Bunkers del

Best time to go: plan to reach before sunset

Parking: you can just park on the street that leads upto it. If you come late, it might be difficult to find a place to park.

Fee: it's completely free.

Clothing: carry an extra layer of warm clothing, it's a few degrees cooler on top than in the city below.

barcelona sunset night photography skyline
Some more of the city in the gorgeous light...love the blue/ yellow combination!

barcelona sunset night photography skyline
A close-up view of the high rise buildings...
Spinnerei at Leipzig is now well known as a home to galleries, exhibitor halls and artist studios. It’s the hub where you can find the most happening people of the city - working together and creating something new and wonderful yet preserving the rich heritage of the compound where it is located. However, the history of the region dates back to the 1840s at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution across Europe.

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
Reflection at Spinnerei after a brief shower

Always a fan of exploring past and history, I was immediately drawn to Spinnerei when I read about it during my online research about Leipzig. However, it was not until my last day in the city that I actually got an opportunity to check out the place and fall in love with it.

My day at Spinnerei

It was a cold day and the rains in the morning didn’t help at all. It was my last day in the city and I was completely on my own - just the like the last few days. I had planned all my days just how I like them - looking at maps, reading about the city in books and a few conversations with the locals, and today was no different. I had been planning to visit Spinnerei right from the time I heard about it, but somehow it was left for the last day and I had the entire say to explore it.

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
The walk from the tram station...

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
Chasing the light...

Braving the cold and slight drizzle, I stepped out of the hotel leaving all my luggage at the reception and took the tram no 14 to take me to Spinnerei. As luck would have it, the sky started opening up and sunlight made everything glow in golden light. This was certainly unusual and I immediately unpacked my camera and got busy capturing moments around me.

I was rather confused when I dropped off at the last station and had to actually ask for directions to reach this old Cotton mill full of art and artists. The light was so good and I was really glad that I came here today. Somehow I had assumed Spinenrai to be this clearly demarcated area, but it’s actually so large that the space is more like a full neighbourhood. With only a few vehicles in sight, and even fewer people around I was rather unsure on how to actually explore the place.

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
The brick buildings at Spinnerei
Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
A man on way to his studio...

I asked a couple of young guys who gave me suggestions on walking around and also recommended a nice little cafe for lunch. There are more than a hundred studios, though these are not really accessible on all days of the year. Check the details below about Spinnerei Gallery Tour when the studios open up their doors and let visitors come in to see these magical places. Unfortunately, when I was there, no studios were open but I could peek into some and could still see quite a bit of active artistic life.

My day ended with lunch at Cafe Versorgung and I loved it totally - actually the place more than the food also. It was full of people who certainly looked very interesting, though I didn’t really disturb anyone during food time. I enjoyed my food and kept looking at the large chimney in the reflection of my window. It was a gorgeous view. A man kept staring at me constantly as I ate my food, but I simply smiled at him :)

Soon it was beginning to get dark and I could see the rains coming. Completely unprepared for any downpour, I decided to bid adieu to this old cotton mill and rushed to the tram station. It started drizzling, but thankfully the tram was already there and I got into the warm coach.

The place is as interesting as it’s history and I think it’s really interesting

A brief history of Spinnerei

As I mentioned, the history of Spinnerei dates back to 1840 when the area of Plagwitz spearheaded the industrialisation of Leipzig. Leipzig was already at the forefront of business in Germany and it’s foray into fast industrialisation was but obvious. Dr Heine is often credited with leading the industrialisation - he bought large farmlands, drained the swampy land, build housing and developed factories. This all developed in conjunction with railways and canal-ways which were intended to carry the industrial production from Leipzig to across the world.

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
Some more lovely light :)

Starting 1920 after World War II, the business activities in Plagwitz begin to decline but it continued production all the way till East Germany collapsed in 1989. The area was doomed to decay into oblivion, but fortunately that didn’t happen. The city council decided to revive the area and all the old industrial complexes were became of hub of fresh new wave of entrepreneurship.

The most prominent cotton mill of Plagwitz was Spinnerei, set up in 1884 and formerly the largest cotton mill of continental Europe. With this new wave, the factory has been developed into a cosmos of art by the artists which have made this mill their new home.

When artists started moving in this area, the first one was Neo Rauch who is also part of the ‘New Leipzig School’ of art. Now he is world famous and many celebrities also buy his creations, including Brad Pitt. About 100 artists have their own studios, along with 11 galleries and non profit space HALLE 14 (www.halle14.org). The not-for-profit art space HALLE 14 has existed since 2002, using 20,000 m² of space in the largest production hall on the Spinnerei site.

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
Artists carrying their essential sullies to the studio...
Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
Some art on the door...
HALLE 14 promotes contemporary art, and presents it to the public in various forms and in a way that invites discussion. A separate exhibition programme, an art library, the «Kreative Spinner» programme and partnerships with other institutions dedicated to promoting art, like the Universal Cube and the Columbus Art Foundation are the cornerstones of HALLE 14’s ambitious work.

Opening Hours During the Exhibition: Tue-Sun, 11am-18pm
Regular Opening Hours: Tue-Fri, 11am-18pm, Monday closed

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
Entrance to Hall 3

To reach Spinnerei

The best way to reach Spinnerei is by Tram. Tram 14 ends at Spinnerei and can you can catch it at the Central Station. To go to Spinnerei, walk back a little and take the left and walk through the underpass (train line above) to reach the other side. Spinnerei complex would be on your left, but do explore the area more.

Eating tip: I ate my lunch at Cafe Versorgung and it was a wonderful experience.

Spinnerei Gallery Tour

Three times a year, all galleries and exhibition spaces open up new exhibitions. It’s the best time to visit Spinnerei as the place is buzzing with activity and you can even catch up with some of the most famous artists of the world. Below are the dates for Spinnerei Gallery Tour in 2016:

16 January 2016
30 April - 1 May 2016
10/11 September 2016

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
The Chimney of the old Cotton Mill
Apart from this, from Tuesday to Friday you can also take guided tours through the site of the Spinnerei.

1. The intensive group tour takes approximately 2 hours. During this tour you gain an insight into the history and the development concept of the Spinnerei. On the agenda there is furthermore a visit to the archive, 4-6 of the 14 galleries and exhibition spaces, two workshops and a tour through the site. We charge 150€ (20 person max).

You can book the 2-hours-tour via E-Mail: archivmassiv@spinnerei.de.

More information:

Spinnereistr. 7
D-04179 Leipzig
Phone: +49 341 4980270
Web: www.spinnerei.de
Main opening hours: Tue-Sat 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Spinnerei Leipzig Cotton Culture day tour travel tip
A view of the old mill compound...

Disclaimer: I spent my days at Leipzig as a guest of Leipzig Tourism. All views expressed are unbiased and my own.
It's weekend time and it was also my birthday yesterday, so cakes are certainly on my mind. And when I think of cakes, there is one person who has impressed and inspired me lot, especially because he is so good even at such a young age. So today's feature is on the boy who loves to bake - Shivesh.

And the magical Puff Pastry Strawberry tart

If you look baking and food styling, he is one person who should certainly be on your list-to-follow. You can also follow his recepies at his blog -Bake With Shivesh.

Here is his interview; let's learn more about him through his own words :)

So, who is Shivesh?Shivesh is a 19 year old boy who lives in Delhi. He lives with a big family of 12 people, loves them the most, goes to college, has the best time with his friends everyday, works, blogs and also wastes a lot of time. 

I'm doing my graduation in political science from Hindu college, Delhi University. I've had the best one and a half years of my life in college and I'm super excited about the another one and a half years that I have. College is my happy place. I have a group of 10 friends and everyday is a happy day with them. Since I don't have too many classes in a day, I do have a lot of free time. I use that time to do what I enjoy the most- I bake, style my desserts, photograph them and blog about them on my website - Bake With Shivesh.

I am also working for brands like FoodHall, KitchenAid and DelMonte among others. I do recipes for them. There are days when I have too much work piled up but I enjoy the task of balancing work with college and studies. Luckily, I've been able to manage that pretty well! 

Christmas Cookies
Marlon poached Pear upside down cake

I was born and brought up in Delhi. I've always been super close to my family. I love love love my cousins and I remember playing weird games with them. We had this inflatable pool thing which was basically our home haha. I've spent my childhood in that. My mummy made us join a lot of hobby classes- music, dance, art, abacus, origami and what not! She always made sure we utilize our time properly and I'm so thankful to her for inculcating this in me. Besides that, making long trips to my nani house is a memory I cherish. She used to feed all of us so much! When I was 5,car moved to Dehradun for a year. It was just me, my parents and my twin sister there. It used to be so much fun. We used to spend the day playing badminton and painting. I remember collecting fireflies with my sister and two of my closest friends, who I'm still in touch with. We also used to travel a lot. I can go one forever on this haha :)

Any person who has been a major influence on your life?I think everyone who has been important for me has somewhere shaped me into what I'm today. I feel like I'm a sponge. I take up things from people every quickly. I learn to be humble from my papa, to be loving from my mummy, to be patient from my sister, to be giving from my grandparents, to be independent from my cousin sister. It is all about learning and growing. But if I have to name one person, it has to be my Nani. She was the most independent person ever. She used to make everything at home- from ice-creams to pizzas to even tomato ketchup. She was vegetarian but she used to make chicken for us when we visited. I think I've taken up baking from her. She used to make the most wonderful cakes ever! She suffered from a paralytic attack and passed away a few years back. She has definitely left a lasting impression on me and on everyone n the family, I'm sure! 

Orange Winter Cake
Festive cookies

What does photography mean to you?Photography to me is just translating how I see desserts into something I can share with my audience. I've never taken photography serious until very recently. I just photograph my desserts. Beyond that, you'll never see me with a camera. As far as food photography goes, I'm very instinctive. I don't plan anything. I just make sure I have enough natural light and I start clicking. After every few pictures, I make changes and try to make the frame better. I used to take pictures using my iPad. I got myself a camera last week and think it is already helping me improve.

Flourless chocolate cake

How about your love for baking? What's the story?Food runs in my family. We're a big fat Punjabi family that has always given too much importance to food. We love our breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and even mid-night snacks. When my Nani had the paralytic attack, I was talking about, we used to miss her cakes SO much! One day, my cousins and I decided to bake. We got bettycrocker cake mix and frosting. Although the cake was no where close to my nani's, I absolutely enjoyed my time in the kitchen.

Apple Cake

I never stopped baking after that. It became a part of me. Food styling and photography became important once I started sharing pictures of my bakes on Instagram. I started giving importance to this aspect as well and feel I've come a long way in terms of styling and photography. Everyone around me was surprised. They didn't know this about me. Even I didn't. This was something i had discovered about my self randomly one day and then tried improving every single day. I'm glad that everyone has been really appreciative about what I'm doing and that is what keeps me going. 

A special tip?I think it is very important to enjoy what you're doing. As long as you're having fun, it will be an easy task to translate your vision into reality. Enjoy what you do and you'll be the best at it, is my motto!

Chocolate Truffles

And finally, what is your dream Shivesh?My dream is to just keep doing what I like. At any point of my life, I don't want to be doing something that I don't like. I want to live and work on my terms and just keep getting better at what I do.
Of late I had been hearing a lot about BlaBlaCar and was very keen to check it out and review on the blog so that my readers can also potentially benefit from it. So last weekend I decided to use the app to plan a trip between Pune and Mumbai to experience it first hand.

Pune to Mumbai - my road-trip with BlaBlaCar

So what exactly is BlaBlaCar?
BlaBlaCar is the world's largest long-distance ridesharing platform – a global, trusted community of 20 million car owners and co-travellers in 20 countries! Recently they announced that over 1 million seats have been offered on its platform in India!

BlaBlaCar - a ridesharing platform!
To understand it simple, BlaBlaCar is a mobile app available for both and Android as well as iOS devices which connects people who are traveling with seats in their cars with potential travelers. It's a three step process after you download the ap and set up your profile - Find a ride, Get in Touch, Ride together.

So how does it work out in real life? Read my review below to learn more about BlaBlaCar.


Exactly at seven the car stopped, Rajendra rolled down the window and asked if I was Sid. I nodded, we shook hands and my road-trip to Mumbai started. With a complete stranger. I was rather impressed with him as he came exactly as he had promised me - sharp at seven!

Review BlaBlaCar in India
With Ganehsa's blessings we started the trip :)

It was sometime the previous night that I made a plan to go to Mumbai for a day of photography and decided to try out something new. A unique concept of travel where you can share a ride with someone who is already going to a city where you want to go by sharing the cost of the trip - BlaBlaCar!

I quickly downloaded the app, set up my profile using Facebook (not something I usually like) and started looking for a fellow traveler who could offer me a ride. Since Pune and Mumbai are so closely connected, I found a few who were going early morning and pinged them. Later Rajendra replied, we had a quick call and decided to meet mid-way between our homes and that's it. I was set for trying out something new in travel, such cool new ideas always excite me. My family, on the other hand, were much less enthusiastic and wanted me to instead go by bus. Quite obviously they were not sure about the safety aspect, but I had checked out Rajendra's profile, read reviews about him and was fairly confident that my trip to Mumbai would be good.

Review BlaBlaCar in India sefie
Selfie :)

Going with a stranger in a car was different from going in a bus. I would get to meet some new people, maybe make new friends, share ideas and but importantly also have company on the journey. And that's exactly what happened - a bland trip to Mumbai became more of a road-trip where we played nice music, stopped for chai, talked through the journey, discussed travel, cars, banking, Europe and much much more!

Anyway, coming back to the morning, Raj and I started the trip and soon picked Deenbandhu (or DB as his friends call him) from Wakad bridge. Surprisingly he was already waiting for us when we reached there and I was curious as to what had suddenly happened to everyone - all three of us on time! The day had started well already.

Rajendra has been a part of the BlaBlaCar community for a while now and he has already done 7-8 rides between Mumbai and Pune. Not surprisingly, he had also started with some apprehensions but had been completely convinced with the concept just after one ride. As he goes every weekend back to his family in Mumbai, he now has a bunch of guys who join in often. He is a banker with a big multinational bank, so these rides are much less about money (though it does help to share the costs) and much more about the company he gets during the journey. He has never had a bad experience so far, and intends to continue with this on every weekend.

Review BlaBlaCar in India
Our driver for the morning - Rajendra

DB, on the other had comes from Bhilwara in Rajasthan, and uses Bla Bla for short journeys often, typically 3-4 hours long - Pune-Mumbai is perfect, and so is Delhi-Jaipur. He loved the fact that I was a travel blogger and we all discussed different travel destinations in the country for long weekends, though very soon he slept off and got up for a picture when we reached Mumbai :)

Review BlaBlaCar in India
Deenbandhu posing for me :)

It was a Sunday morning and we reached Thane in just over two hours. The ride was simply prefect, and I had completely forgotten that the people I had spent the morning chatting up with were unknown to me till last night.

In case you are wondering what I did in Mumbai, well I did loads of street-photography, like the image below from Thane. Later I traveled in the famous Mumbai local for a photostory which will be coming up soon :)

Review BlaBlaCar in India
A man check this phone in Thane...

So would I use BlaBlaCar again? Of course, I will. For a traveler like me, it makes a lot of sense as my plans are made late and I love interacting with people during journeys. However, I do feel that a single woman might not find this to be the best way of commuting. I did hear about families or couples using this from Rajendra though.

Based on my experiences, here are some of my recommendations for using the app.

Safety comes first:
It's a fairly new concept (just like Uber a while back) and one needs to be safe first. To use BlaBlaCar you need to use your Facebook profile and anyone who wants to take a ride with you can see your profile. This is the first filter and use it to pick your ride. The next filter would be to check the number of rides one has done and the references from previous rides. They will tell you a lot. And finally do a phone call before you confirm. Only if you are completely sure about the person, make a plan to travel together.

Plan a bit in advance, but not too much: Last minute seats can be available but it depends on your luck. The best strategy is to plan and look for rides a day in advance.

Do think of a backup: It is possible that someone might have to cancel the plans at the last minute, so it's a good idea to plan for a backup. The rides are offered by people like you and me, and it's not a taxi service, so such things are possible.

Call and connect:
The app allows you to call the person offering a ride once you send him/ her a message on the app. Use this facility and make a call to do fine planning. Not everyone is always online and your message might be read much later.

Be open, make friends: What I enjoyed the most about BlaBlaCar is the fact that you have new companions on your journey and it's a great idea to connect with them and make friends. Be open and have a fun ride!


Disclaimer: I have written this post in collaboration with BlaBlaCar. Needless to mention, all the views expressed are my own and based on my own personal experiences. 
For a phone which claims to be world's slimmest with 3x optical zoom, I was quite excited to try out the latest offering from Asus - Asus ZenFone Zoom! But it was't just the optical zoom, the camera also boasted of 10-element HOYA lens for up to 12x total zoom, 4stops optical image stabilisation, macro focusing down to 5cm and an intricately-calibrated, dual-reflecting periscope design.

Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
At the Kalupur Swaminarayan Temple

Now it's no secret that I love taking pictures with my mobile phone, and have often written about it in the past. In fact I enjoy mobile photography so much that I spent the entire last year just taking pictures with my phone, even when I visited Singapore, Switzerland and Jordan. The camera in the mobile phone make the process of taking as well as sharing pictures so convenient that I love it to the T!

Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
ZenFone Zoom 

Now coming back to the Asus ZenFone Zoom, I used the phone for a few days not just for taking pictures, but everything else as well. It was my first time with a high-end Android phone, and I was keen to not just try the camera, but also how it performed for my daily needs as a photographer and blogger. I not just took the pictures, I also edited and shared them through the phone. The huge 5.5 inch screen worked great for reviewing pictures after taking them, and later for editing them.

The Camera

So let's start first with the camera. I was not quite sure how would the 3x zoom worked, so I put it to a lot of use. In fact most images you will see below have been taking with varying degrees of optical zoom. However, I was very impressed when I saw the images later on my laptop - they had all come out beautiful. All specs can fall flat if the pictures aren't great, but with Asus ZenFone Zoom I was pleasantly surprised with the final results.

Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
The 3x optical zoom camera 

I was in Ahmedabad on the weekend when the phone was getting launched in Agra and put it to good use there. Walking through the lanes of my favourite city, I tried capturing moments as they passed me by. The phone was my constant companion and I was never disappointed with it.

Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
An old man in the Pol
Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
Another man at the Pol
Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
Man in action!

The Design

The phone is carved out of a single piece of Aluminium alloy and feels good in hand, though it took me a while to get used to it's large size. The Italian leather finish at the back looks nice and provides excellent grip.

The phone has also won the prestigious Good Design Award and that's actually quite a big deal.

Asus Zenphone Zoom specifications

Display 5.50-inch
Processor 2.5GHz 
Rear Camera 13-megapixel 
Front Camera 5-megapixel 
Resolution 1080x1920 pixels
OS Android 5.0
Storage 128GB
Battery capacity 3000mAh
Colors Meteorite black, Glacier white

Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
5mm thickness on the sides

So is this a perfect phone for everyone?
I think it's a great phone with a really good camera, but the price tag of Rs 37, 999 might be bit of a dampener for some. However, if you love mobile photography and love to experiment (you can also take 32 sec long exposure shots), you would love this phone.

Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography

Before I leave, let me share a few more pictures from the phone from Ahmedabad. Trust me it's a wonderland :)

Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
Goats at Jumma Masjid
Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
A man and a dog in a Pol
Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
He stared at me, but didn't mind the picture :)
Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
Setting them free....
Asus ZenFone Zoom ZX551ML review photography
Inside the Rani Roopmati mosque

Disclaimer: I am writing this review in collaboration with Asus. Needless to mention, all views expressed are unbiased and my own.
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