Michaelson Samuel, Database Engineer on Music and Photography

What I love the most about playing music is that it helps you recharge your soul. I can get lost playing the guitar and singing along with someone else for hours – I forget my daily worries. Music disconnects everything and helps you be in the ‘now’.

My name is Michaelson Samuel. I started off as a graduate and landed the role of a Database Engineer (DBA) at Verizon Connect – I have been doing this for about a year and a half. I had been a Business Intelligence Engineer for about 2 years before this, which dealt with a significant volume of data, processing them and finding patterns. Wanting to be a DBA just felt right, with data being tomorrow’s oil and with my love to interrelate everything to find patterns.

I’m from a small town from South India called Coonoor. Dublin has been my home now for 2.5 years. I wanted to progress up the ladder in the field of IT faster, so I decided to do my Masters, which brought me here. The reason I wanted to climb up fast was to be financially stable and to start my life as soon as possible with my high school sweetheart officially. I was determined to get here, and we both planned it and executed it perfectly.

Outside of my job, I love photography and making acoustic song covers with my guitar. I first became interested in music when I was in 8th grade – my best friend and I were introduced to the guitar at church and we picked it up quickly by ourselves after just a month of regular classes and watching YouTube videos. I currently listen to a wide genre of music – I like anything slow and acoustic, or acoustic renditions of the original song itself. My go-to artists are Housefires, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, and Hillsong United to name a few. The type of music I play the most are Blues, Acoustic renditions, Pop, and Slow Rock.

I still play music at church. While on stage, the crowd sometimes participates more than anticipated – we let them take the song in the direction they want and we change accordingly. The drummer stops, people clap to keep tempo, the guitar and keys play softly to keep key, and we build in again to continue from where we left off when the crowd took over. That moment always overwhelms me.

Looking at my other pastime, I picked up my interest in photography very recently (4 years ago). I bought myself a camera with my first job’s first bonus and treasured it. The equipment I currently use is a Nikon D3200, an 18-55mm Lens, a 55-200mm Zoom Lens, a DJI Mavic Air Drone, and a GoPro Hero 8.

I take both photos and videos with my camera. I like blending them to give viewers the best of both worlds. I started off focusing on the finest details and was fascinated by how much the human eye chooses to skip the awe and wonder of the present (for example, the details on the wings of birds, insects, colours on the neck of a pigeon, etc.). But I was self-aware about having a narrow vision, so I am now trying to actively focus ‘on the bigger picture’ and get the whole view.

In the future, I would like to make blogs and vlogs to tell about my travel journey with the world and inspire people to travel too (mainly because travelling changed me).

I definitely see similarities between music & photography and my current occupation. Relating data and patterns with music is easy. When data is processed, it becomes information; likewise, the right chords and notes put together with the right timing produces music (otherwise it’s just noise). Sometimes, you also need to look with a wider angle to notice the pattern when it comes to data; this took me a while to do – being introspective, it’s difficult for me as I like perfecting things with a narrow-angle (like my photography with birds and insects) rather than the entire frame itself. It’s beautiful to figure out, inter-relate, be self-aware of strengths, and turn weaknesses the other way round. It definitely takes time, and both my hobbies help me to become a better me.

My advice to anyone interested in photography or playing music is to start small and do it because you like it. Don’t do it for a social platform, and don’t do it because you want to be like someone you saw on social media – do it because YOU like it and think it will help you. There are plenty of online classes and videos to choose from (and tutorials of your favourite songs) that you will definitely find on YouTube, which will help you kick-start your passion.

There is always more than tech. Tech is a tool to elevate your talents and figure out yourself more. If you learn to use these tools to create a platform for the real you, you are lucky.

 

To see some more of Michaelson’s photography, be sure to check out his website The Way I See Through a Lens: https://thewayiseethroughalens.com/.

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