I have been trying to learn photography, not so much I want to take professional-looking photos to impress others, it’s more that I want to take reasonably good pictures family activities, church events and my holidays. However, I always find it hard to pick up my camera. Time is such a scarce resource that I hardly find enough of it to rest, not to mention the luxury of taking a few hours strolling around with camera.
Someone told me when you have a will there is a way. I admit I don’t have enough passion for photography to sacrifice my other activities. However, there are specific times when we go for holidays. I would surely not miss the opportunity to experiment and try taking reasonable shots. If you are like me, hard to find time in your normal busy schedule to play with your camera set, don’t have enough passion to sacrifice others for this hobby – don’t loose heart, just learn the skills naturally when you are away from your normal routines – holidays and traveling. I am yet to form the habit to bring my camera along in my normal days.
I find the blog post below good for inspiration and motivation that we should not give up the hobby. You can find the original post here: http://digital-photography-school.com/3-tips-on-how-to-approach-photography-as-a-hobby/
One day we will be surprised that we can actually take good pictures that even amaze us.
Happy photographing! Continue reading
What do you value the most in life?
I received this inspirational video from Pastor Inky – and I like it!
It spells of wisdom from the professor and it highlights the main issues facing us today:
We chase after the unimportant things and forget about what is the most valuable.
What is valuable can be very different to different people. To me a simple test is this:
What money can buy cannot be most valuable;
I am looking for things which matter most in life – relationships.
Looking with a Creative Mind
I came across this excellent article by Digital Photography School (Click here to go to the site), which I just copy and paste into this blog. This is a resource site that you may want to spend time reading it. The “Tips and Tutorial” section contains thousands of gems. This article is just one of the many good ones, it is very well written and it really helps me to understand the importance of perspective and positioning of the photographer to take a creative and great photo. I hope this is helpful for all of you.
How to take extra-ordinary photos by thinking creatively – By Digital Photography School
A Guest Post by Piper Mackay from www.pipermackayphotography.com.
The creativity in your photographs is what will make your imagery stand out. Most of us, if we commit the time, can technically master the craft of photography. Capturing a compelling image can be much more difficult especially when you are excited, experiencing something for the first time, and are visually overloaded.
You begin pointing and shooting at everything you see. You arrive home, look at your photographs, and see that you have captured extraordinary subjects or a beautiful location, but the images are somewhat mediocre. Taking an extraordinary photograph of and extraordinary subject is what you want to strive for.
I want to share with you a few tips that can quickly help elevate the creativity in your photography and help you to focus on the artistic side of photography; without the creative process, you are really only turning dials and pushing buttons.
The eyes are the windows to the soul. If you are going to place your subject in the center, get close, fill the frame and deeply connect with your subject.
A more interesting portrait composition is to place your subject off center, looking into the frame at a slight angle, with a blurred out or clean background.
Now up your game and add layers of impact by adding a simple, but beautiful background.
Take it one step further by adding a second person to draw the viewer more deeply into the frame.
Drawing the Eye
One of the basic rules of composition is leading lines, but if there is more than one, it can be more effective in keeping the viewer in the photograph longer. In this image there is a leading line from the bottom right to the top left and another one that leads the viewer back across the photograph.
Using layers of impact makes for a very powerful image. When photographing people I love to use a wide-angle lens, getting up close to my main subject with something interesting in the background to draw the view into the photograph. Here my main subjects are interesting, positioned in front of a beautiful background along the Omo River that curves and leads to the women in the distance, creating layers of impact and depth in the image.
I love using selective focus to draw the viewer’s eye exactly were I want it. This usually works best with repeating patterns and groups of items such as: spices or vegetables, crafts at a local market, flowers in a field or a herd of animals, as a few examples.
Change your Perspective
Being at eye level with your subject makes for a more dynamic image. So, if your subject is down on the ground, hit the dirt and get dirty. Picture in your mind how this photograph would look if you stood and shot down on these subjects. This angle makes the viewer feel as though they are there.
Most people would have just taken this photograph from the shore with a zoom lens but I wanted something more powerful. I planned to be in this area during the dry season, suffering in 110+ heat when the river would be at its lowest. I got into the river with my wide-angle lens and photographed this at eye level with the canoe. There were a lot of challenges, watching out for crocs was one of them, and although I did not get the photograph I had envisioned, I knew I and a unique perspective.
Shoot from a different angle. Getting lower than your subject adds drama and power. The opposite can work as well—get above your subject and shoot down on them.
Most importantly, it does not have to be new; it has to be you. We all see things differently and express them differently. This is the reason many of us picked up the camera, to seek out places for ourselves that we have already viewed through someone else’s eyes. We want to experience it for ourselves, capturing our own vision. The way you express your unique view through the lens is what makes it new and interesting.
Piper Mackay is a professional travel and wildlife photographer whose work is heavily based in Eastern Africa. She is currently leading both wildlife and cultural safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Her work is represented by Getty images and she is and instructor for the Travel and Editorial track at Calumet. View her work at www.pipermackayphotography.com.
I love traveling.
Travel around the world, learning about different cultures, enjoying the beautiful scenic places, seeing the majestic creation of God – that is what I would like to do when I am much older and I am free from financial obligations to my children.
Invariably I will bring my camera along when I travel. Taking pictures I have no problem but taking great photos is really not something that I dare to dream about.. Those of you who know me well, you know me as a person of order and discipline. Creativity is far removed from my traits.
A Great Photography Workshop
In this year’s church family camp, I attended Continue reading
Do you speak these words to your spouse?
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of communication in a marriage relationship. I have shared before about learning the love languages of your spouse so that you can generously lavish the right kind of “love” upon him / her (click here to read of my book review), there are some words that are ever green and effective no matter what love languages you speak.
Of course there are many words words that could help improve your married life and make it a blissful one. Some of them are “may I help”, “I am sorry” or the commonly used phrase, “I love you”. There are other words to show you care and truly love the one you are with and perhaps the two most important words/phrases are shown below.
Children have been thought to speak kind words to each other as they grow up. Simple words, Continue reading
Today, I am going to change my topic slightly. Instead of focusing on family issues, I would like to deviate a little bit to share a skill which is important and we bound to face it one day – public speaking.
I am not an excellent public speaker although I speak regularly in church meetings. Over the years, well intended friends and family members have been giving me feedback and critics about my public speaking, I really appreciate their honest opinions.
I know, there are some people who are born with the talent of public speaking. As soon as you give them the stage, they have no problem delivering an interesting speech that intrigues many. I am not sure about you. I, like most people, don’t possess such gift naturally; I used to struggle a lot when I need to make a public speech. It varies from small jobs like making announcement in class, laying down rules of games to big and important tasks to make a convincing presentation in attracting investors or customers to sign on the dotted line. The fact remains, Continue reading
Before Julia and I walked down the aisle, many friends told us from their experiences that one of the toughest challenges in marriage is to agree on the ways to manage household finances.
Due to different family background and the way that our parents brought us up, we have different attitudes and habits on spending and saving. We cannot expect a couple to have the same priorities in managing finances. Compromises and mutual respect are keys to work out an agreeable pattern together.
After nearly 30 years of marriage, we must say household finance has not been a great issue for us. Why? Besides the fact that both of us share the same trait of being thrifty, we also established 2 basic principles and stick to them religiously.
1) Find your comfort level with merging your finances.
Have you ever worried about your family member’s safety? How about really concerned for your children’s education? Or may be anxious about a sick and elderly parent? Chances are you do face some form of fear, anxiety and worrisome. Yes. You’re right. Having fears is a natural part of life. Fear enables us to be careful and not subject ourselves to danger. However, fear turns out to be unhealthy and undesirable when you allow it to take control of the way you live your life or relate to others. In fact I have seen many cases where fear has so gripped the person’s life and emotions that he is totally “paralyzed”, it means his mind goes completely blank and he cannot make any normal decision in that situation.
I would like to share with you two very common fears happen in families. From the examples you could chose to react to your fear positively or the other way. Are you ready to look at them?
Fear No. 1: The Straying Partner
I am so happy to receive much encouragement from many who have read my blog yesterday on “Build your child’s self-esteem is your responsibility”. (Click here for the full article). With your support and cheers, I shall work harder to provide good tips in “building your family with love and confidence“. (Do you realize that this is our blog’s tag line? 🙂 )
I can see that many of us parents have the same problem of trying to build our children’s confidence which will benefit them for their whole life. The article contains only some practical pointers for us to work on. Do not expect immediate miracles. It’s worth our investment to continue nurturing our children’s future. They are our loved ones and will become the future generation of our family, nation and the whole world.
One of my friends who have read the article suggested that I should post a summary video of this article. Being new to blogging, I am not familiar with how this can be done. He taught me the easiest way to make Powerpoint slides, save them using Windows Live Movie Maker program and then convert it into Media Audio/ Video file. I managed to do just that. I also figure out how to add a piece of nice music to go along with the video.
Yes. Nothing is too difficult if you are humble enough to ask and learn. I know you are probably laughing, this video is really an amateur’s work. However, this is an important first step that I have taken. I am sure I will become better each time I try again. So……friends, the worst enemy we have is to stand still, procrastinate (read my other article on “6 ways of getting rid of procrastination” here) and not to take any action. Success will never come to you if you don’t even start trying.
Let us encourage one another to initiate and move on. 🙂
Here is my first VIDEO on “Build your child’s self-esteem”, hope you enjoy it.
Please give me some feedback and comments. I shall improve further with your encouragement. Thanks again.
Do you ever wonder why the child next door is full of joy and courage? He seems to take initiative to do things and speak his minds without feeling intimidated. When you turn around and look at your child at home. He seems not interested in anything. He does not ask questions like most children do. You are puzzled and think of what you have done wrong or what your neighbor has done right to raise two children with such different characters.
It’s important that a child is brought up with positive self image and self value. A child brought up in that way shall have the necessary confidence to face their adulthood. But how and where would your child learn self esteem and self worth? In my previous article “Parenting tips”, you would have learned that your child imitate you. Therefore, the most obvious place for them to build self esteem is at home and from you. When your child is young, you are the person who spends the longest hours with them. Your influence in your child’s life can never be underestimated.
Joy is independent of circumstances and environment. It springs from the inner most being a deep sense of security and fulfillment. The very source of my joy comes from knowing the Creator God, enjoying His abiding presence and trusting in His grace and faithfulness. My circumstances may not be enviable, I have my share of difficulties and sorrowful moments. However, the very presence of God helps me to focus on His greatness and provides me the sufficient grace and strength. What I am going through seems small compares to the glorious moments with Him.
I have so much joy in my life that I want to ensure others have joy as well. I like to share my happiness with the people around me. So much in life is wonderful, and I appreciate all the little things that make me happy, bring on laughter, or give me peace and tranquility.
Joy is contagious.
I smile at people when I see them, so they know I appreciate them. I thank others for doing kind things for me. I help people when I see that they are down, so they can find more joy in their lives.
Say “No” to procrastination
A week ago, my colleague Gary was in great distress. “I was supposed to enroll in the part-time MBA course at XXX University College a year ago. But I didn’t. I don’t know why I didn’t. Time just flew away without me realizing it. My girl friend is angry with me. She looks at me as though I am such a laid back person, without any ambition to achieve anything in life.” He said.
Do you have similar experiences? I am sure you do. Why? You probably know very well that you need to make certain decision and take some actions to achieve greater success in life. For some strange reasons, you didn’t move at all. You have been telling yourself, “No problem. I can always do it tomorrow.” The problem is that “tomorrow” never comes.
Yes. The name of the game is procrastination. What is procrastination? It is simply a habit of putting off until later what you can quickly handle it now. Procrastination kills your productivity and it destroys your chances of success by delaying decisions and actions. Continue reading