• Nice job on the smoke here. Not much overlap at all which is pretty impressive considering the amount of frames you used. - secretive quilt
  • I don't know the city, but I'll bet there's not that many hours in the day when this road is devoid of traffic. :-) - secretive quilt

Montreal holiday panorama.

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Shot at an ISO of 5000, this 185 HDR/ panorama image was photographed at a bone chilling -12c

I woke up at like 3:30 am to get this shot. It was about 11 or 12 Fahrenheit, way bellow freezing. I had just walked about 5 minutes from my car before I realized just how cold it really was outside. I did not have a scarf winter hat or gloves with me, still I knew it was going to be an interesting sunrise and I just had to capture this image so I did not turn back to my car. My D3s preformed well in the cold, my hands after being exposed to that cold for about an hour were in the end, not as happy with me! Oh it is good to be young...


This is an HDR panorama made from a total of 185 images. I hope you digg it (;
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Participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. In a study that will appear in the Jan. 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Harvard-affiliated researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter.

“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”

Previous studies from Lazar’s group and others found structural differences between the brains of experienced meditation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. But those investigations could not document that those differences were actually produced by meditation.

For the current study, magnetic resonance (MR) images were taken of the brain structure of 16 study participants two weeks before and after they took part in the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. In addition to weekly meetings that included practice of mindfulness meditation — which focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings, and state of mind — participants received audio recordings for guided meditation practice and were asked to keep track of how much time they practiced each day. A set of MR brain images was also taken of a control group of nonmeditators over a similar time interval.

Meditation group participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness exercises, and their responses to a mindfulness questionnaire indicated significant improvements compared with pre-participation responses. The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.

Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. Although no change was seen in a self-awareness-associated structure called the insula, which had been identified in earlier studies, the authors suggest that longer-term meditation practice might be needed to produce changes in that area. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.

“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany. “Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change.”

Amishi Jha, a University of Miami neuroscientist who investigates mindfulness-training’s effects on individuals in high-stress situations, says, “These results shed light on the mechanisms of action of mindfulness-based training. They demonstrate that the first-person experience of stress can not only be reduced with an eight-week mindfulness training program but that this experiential change corresponds with structural changes in the amygdala, a finding that opens doors to many possibilities for further research on MBSR’s potential to protect against stress-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.” Jha was not one of the study investigators.

James Carmody of the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the co-authors of the study, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the British Broadcasting Company, and the Mind and Life Institute. For more information on the work of Lazar’s team.


jackdavinci, Franz Haryanto, and 56 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. LIW Photography 87 months ago | reply

    Your Absolutely Stunning 'Scape should be shared with our group. Please join us and comment on 1 other 'Scape. Invited Photos Only. Please tag your photo with "AbsolutelyStunningScapes"

  2. LIW Photography 87 months ago | reply

    Your stunning 'scape was seen in Absolutely Stunning 'Scapes **INVITE ONLY**. Thanks for sharing. Please tag your photo with AbsolutelyStunningScapes

    Seen in the group"Absolutely Stunning 'Scapes ***INVITED PHOTOS ONLY*** " ( ?² )

  3. ViaMoi 87 months ago | reply

    Pretty slick Million... easy to get lost in. I browsed for for about 10 minutes. Horizon and colours.... awesome.

  4. Milusa 87 months ago | reply

    Very Specials Pictures ( Admin Invited Photo Only)

    Lo siento mucho, tu foto no tiene invitación de ningún administrador para entrar en el grupo.
    Este grupo sólo admite fotos con invitación de Administradores del Grupo.
    Por favor, lee las normas del grupo.

    I am very sorry, your photo does not have invitation to enter the group.
    This group is Admin Invited Photos Only
    Please, reads the rules of the group.
    Thank you!


  5. Morten Hoff 87 months ago | reply

    That's really great! Impressive ISO5000 performance.

  6. konrad_photography 87 months ago | reply

    Your panos are the best on flickr, always happy to see new ones!

  7. ryanswerdlin 87 months ago | reply

    Sick Jazz! Great work and I hope your hands heal quickly :)

  8. secretive quilt [deleted] 87 months ago | reply

    Beautiful job Jazz, really nice work. How do you manage to keep the white balance whilst dealing with 185 frames? Surely the time it takes to execute in the dawn light, the tonal range must vary considerably?

    I'm up in NWT right now but heading for BC in the spring after a coast to coast to coast 6-8 weeks road trip. The initial itinerary looks something like: Northwest Territories
    Alberta, British Columbia (gotta get some snow before the season is through) back through AB then south to Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (maybe) Quebec (possibly) Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec (definitely) Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC.

    Further to our correspondence earlier this year, I'll call you when I get there. Hope you have a great Christmas and a wonderful and exciting 2012. Thanks for your efforts on Flickr and your input in my own 'stream, it's always appreciated and good to share.

  9. flyingfoto's 83 months ago | reply

    outstanding work!!!!

  10. Luís Henrique Boucault 53 months ago | reply

    Very nice shot! Well done!

  11. panocrop 47 months ago | reply

    This is to say thank you and inform you that this photo is used
    as the source of a 2D-Animated Video on my photo stream,
    and I have a link pointing back to this Photo.

  12. Young Perspective 43 months ago | reply

    Thanks for posting under CC, this image has been used to illustrate an article on www.young-perspective.net

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