Tag Archives: lighting

The Hunt for the Perfect Reading Light

During a recent power outage, as much as I was counting on getting a few things accomplished that night, I had to put my plans on the shelf because they all depended on electricity.

An attempt at cleaning the house in the dark became a time consuming exercise with the added step of redirecting the flashlight at different angles to keep checking to see if I hit the right spots. True enough, I had all the time in the world, but the brewing frustration wasn’t worth it.

I instantly saw the bright side, so to speak, in deciding that this would be a perfect opportunity to catch up on my reading. With stacks of books that awaited, I relished the thought of an evening in quiet serenity, enjoying a good read.

I went to the basement and pulled out my lantern-style LED flashlight. I poured myself a glass of wine and along the way, I picked up the book I was reading at the time.

When I found my comfy spot in the living room for Ivy the Wonder Cat and me to chill out, I put my glass down next to me, I set up the lantern and opened my book.

One minute later, I moved my lantern to a different spot because I couldn’t see half of the page, as my shoulder was causing a shadow. One minute after that, I moved the lantern again, this time a little closer, to give the light more intensity because the light was too weak to comfortably illuminate my page. Continue reading

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Filed under 50+, books, Humour

The Pitfalls of Nature Photography

Now that I have been out and about, enjoying the spring weather, indulging in a little quiet time, communing with nature and taking photos, I could not help but notice that my hobby does have its share of pitfalls.

In trying to capture the perfect shot, I often feel like a secret agent, trying to move in on a subject in stealth mode, intensely looking at the world through a viewfinder.

But in doing so, and in being so focused, I have occasionally lost track of the intricacies of the physical world around me, including time and space. From a health and safety perspective, it concerns me a little, given my tendency to occasionally be a bit of a klutz.

Yet even when faced with these challenges, I don’t seem deterred. The rewards of capturing a great nature shot are worth every bump and bruise.

Also, Mother Nature has a way of keeping photographers on their toes by changing the perfect conditions with little advance notice. It can get a little frustrating but I’d like to think that this is part of the thrill of the hunt when perseverance leads you to that shot that made it all worth it.

Here they are, my top 10 pitfalls of nature photography:

10. Losing track of time
It has happened that in the process of evaluating the composition and the lighting, taking a test shot, evaluating the result, making adjustments, taking another test shot and repeating until I think I have captured the best photo possible, before I know it, an hour has passed. It’s delightful to lose myself in the creative process when I have unlimited time on my hands, but it is quite another matter, when I am on my lunch hour and due back for a meeting at 1:00 sharp.

9. Wearing the wrong shoes
A subset of #10, sometimes I get so enthralled in my photo shoot, not only do I lose track of time, but I lose track of space and distance and find myself farther away than I originally planned. It is on the long walk back and dealing with a blister that I realize that I was not wearing the right shoes for such an undertaking. Continue reading

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Filed under Humour, Inspiring, Lists, photography

Instagram: For Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

InstagramMy social media journey had been an incubator of trial and error experiences, striving to see what catches on, what doesn’t, and hopefully figuring out the common denominator. For me, Instagram was the toughest to figure out.

You could say my first exposure to social media was email, which I have been doing since the time that my hair was almost as high as the C.N. Tower. I then launched my own web site in 1999, “The Spin on Life at 33 1/3”, a blog before blogs became popular, which lasted a couple of years. My next steps were Facebook and Twitter, which I figured out pretty quickly. Then of course came my blog, “It’s the Journey” on WordPress.

In my blog post “Blogging… More Than Words”, I explained how that venture into blogging led me to the epiphany and serendipity of rediscovering photography, a hobby I enjoyed since I was very young, to incorporate a visual to help draw viewers to my blog, whether through Facebook, Twitter, Google + or WordPress.

But Instagram remained a bit of a mystery to me. What pictures should I post?

At first, I tried using it as an extension to Facebook, posting random pictures and comments. Before I knew it, I was posting the same thing on two platforms, to essentially the same group of friends. That was a bit of a fail.

I then tried emulating some of the people whose Instagram accounts I liked and enjoyed. In doing so, I posted pictures of the occasional travel picture, plates of food that looked too good to eat, new CDs, new colourful socks, new shoes, pictures to promote my blog and random selfies. Then, as of last year, I posted pictures of Ivy the Wonder Cat. My Instagram account was all over the map.

Was it any wonder that my likes were low and attracting new followers wasn’t really happening. Frankly, when I stepped back and looked at it objectively, I didn’t like my account much either.

But it was in the process of taking pictures for the blog that something recently clicked… metaphorically speaking. Continue reading

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Filed under Inspiring, Misc blogs, Writing