Stops in Photography – A Beginners Guide

No doubt that if you have started toying around with photography you will have come across the term ‘Stops’.

What is a stop?

In photography, a stop is a measurement of Exposure.

For example:

If you were to increase the exposure by one stop – you would in effect be doubling the exposure.

So if your settings are

Aperture: f/4,

Shutter Speed: 1/100

ISO: 100

And you upped the ISO value to 200 you will have effectively increased your exposure by 1 stop.

This function of photography can be a bit daunting but understanding this is instrumental in helping you achieve the results that you are after and knowing what needs to be done.

Let’s see a little simple sample of this.

Say you are shooting at f/2.8, 1/100 Shutter Speed with an ISO of 200 but the effect you are after is a shallower depth of field. Widening the aperture to f/2 will produce the required effect but knowing that this will double the amount of light that is entering your lens will allow you address this problem.

You’ve made a full stop with your aperture to get the correct DOF.

The consequence is that the exposure is too bright now.

To combat this you could halve the ISO to 100 or double the shutter speed to 1/200 of a second.

Each of the 3 elements will have different stops. Let’s see the difference between them.

ISO

ISO doubles between stops. So in effect:

ISO 100 -> ISO 200 is one stop.

ISO 200-> ISO 400 is one stop.

So far so good. Let’s move onto Shutter Speed stops

Shutter Speed Stops

The simple one here is when you are using shutter speeds of 1 second or longer. The same principle as above applies. You simply double the time 1->2, 2 -> 4 etc…

When shooting at fractions of a second (which will probably be most of the time at least during your early journey in photography) you will need to halve the number on the bottom (the denominator)

So 1/100 is twice the length of 1/200. 1 Stop, double the exposure.

1/50 is twice the length of 1/100. 1 Stop, double the exposure.

Phew… that wasn’t so bad. Now let’s move on to

Aperture

This is where I’ll need you to bear with me.

This little puppy is the most complicated and mathematical of all.

The aperture scale doesn’t follow the same path as the shutter speed or ISO.

Aperture is measured in what is known as the f-stop scale. This f-number tells you how wide the aperture is which affects the exposure and the DOF. The lower the number, the wider the aperture (or bigger the hole).

The scale is as follows: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and f/22.

The most important thing to know about the numbers above when dealing with stops is that each number decreases the aperture to half its size (1 stop).

Keep in mind that the scale above does not show every number that will show in your camera. There will be other numbers in there (i.e.: 3.5 and 3.2) these are known as third stops and won’t be doubling of halving your exposure but lie somewhere in between.

Take out your camera, compose your shot and play around with the settings to see what the outcome is.

Compose? The next big factor in your photographic journey. Stay Tuned.

How to Penetrate the GateKeeper and Make the Sale

Getting past the gatekeeper or a prospects voice mail can be the biggest roadblock that is keeping you from meeting your sales goals.

We have always been taught hundreds of techniques on how to close a sale, but the books and sales trainers forgot the most important step and that is getting your butt in the account.

How can you close a sale, if you are unable to speak to the prospect?

You can learn and master every closing technique and not make one sale because you are unable to stimulate the interest of the buyer because you are unable to speak to them.

If you want to increase you sales then you must learn how to get in the door. No more than ever it is harder to speak to a prospect because they have put a guard at their door keeping you out.

That guard may be a nice lady sitting at the front door answering the phones. We have all been through the initial call when a gatekeeper answers the phone and wants to know who we want to speak to and why.

The Gatekeeper is now the person we must learn how to sell before we can even think about speaking to the buyer. You mess up with the gatekeeper and away your chances go.

If you want to penetrate the “Gate” you must learn how to seduce and gain the approval of the gatekeeper.

When I am trying to speak to a buyer and offer them my new product, I will speak to the gatekeeper and entertain her with a great conversation. I will ask them how their day is going and let them know that I am not familiar with the buyer and tell her what I am trying to do.

If I am not sure who I need to speak with, I will tell the buyer what I am trying to accomplish and whom can best help me.

Instead of sending the buyer a sample of my product, I will ask the gatekeeper if should would evaluate my product for me. I will send her samples for her to keep as a gift.

What this allows me to do is befriend the gatekeeper and when I call back she can give me input as to what she thinks about my product. If she likes it, she is know my personal inside salesperson. She will feel important that I asked for her opinion.

I have used this technique so much that it is like giving candy to a baby. The gatekeeper will thank me for the samples and then they will go sell my product to the buyer.

When I call back the buyer will have already received my product with a special endorsement from their number #1 Guard.

Enlist the Guard and they will give you a key to the door.

Babybjorn Baby Carrier: Comfort for You and Your Baby

Go hands-free with Babybjorn Organic Comfort Carrier when traveling or simply strolling around with your baby. This comfortable and classic carrier is a sure win that enables you the perfect usefulness and durability of the product. Made with a breathable mesh fabric, the Babybjorn carrier gives a support system that allows air to pass through avoiding a sweaty feeling or discomfort. It is also made in a two-piece design making it effective without having to hold your baby. It also ensures comfort for the baby because of its well cushioned lining.

Not only does the Babybjorn Baby Carrier emphasize comfort, it is also made with a back support system making it easier for carrying for long periods of time. Its special form enables it to rest properly on your back. It also allows lower back support managing the weight being carried to avoid back pain and strain. The form of the carrier is perfect for supporting and enhancing the posture.

Even if you find the price too expensive, it is nothing to worry about because the Babybjorn Baby Carrier ensures the product’s long time use. It has adjustable straps suitable for your growing baby. The buckles on the side straps are made in an easy slide design. The shoulder straps may also be adjusted to suit your built and comfort. The Babybjorn carrier can carry up to 26 pounds maximum weight.

Apart from its benefits and comfortable design, the Babybjorn Baby Carrier also accentuates the materials used for the product. Its hypo allergenic material makes it safe for the adult and the baby at the same time. The cloth and fabric is made with non-toxic materials making it safe for your baby’s skin. There are no harmful elements that can be unsafe for the user’s health. The material is also machine- washable. It can be easily cleaned with fabric soap and warm water. Also it allows for fast drying time so that it may immediately be used as soon as possible.

Carrying your baby is truly made easy. If you worry about moving your baby from one position to the other, the adjustable straps can do wonders with manipulating your baby’s comfortable space. It is easy to detach allowing you to change your baby’s position from facing inward or outward. Also, the Babybjorn Baby Carrier introduces the comfort it ensures for your baby. It has a soft neck support allowing your baby to move his head without having to worry about neck and back pains for your baby. It also enables good posture for your baby and safety because the straps are surely secured.

Get the quality, innovation comfort, and style from Babybjorn carrier. You will never go wrong with this quality product because of its promising features. There are way too many benefits making it a top product for you and your baby. Even if you have few doubts with the product, the Babybjorn Carrier reviews say much about its reliable benefits and assurance. Grab your baby carrier and enjoy being outdoors without the hassle of carrying your baby.

Tarot Meditation

In the following we will provide instructions about how to perform one easy but powerful tarot cards meditation technique. At first glance, meditation and tarot are two disciplines far apart from one another. This, however, need not be true. Our meditation can benefit from using the tarot cards since they are strong and potent visualization objects. On the other hand, tarot card practitioners can use meditation as a tool for discovering new, previously unknown, relationships between the cards and their symbols.

Here is a step by step guide into a relatively simple but efficient tarot meditation method. The goal we are trying to achieve is to project our consciousness into one selected Tarot card at a time.

  1. The duration of your tarot meditation is up to you, but it should not exceed 10 minutes in the beginning phase.
  2. You should use only the Major Arcana Tarot Deck. More precisely, you should start with The Fool, Card number 0 and successively go through all the Major Arcana up to The World, Card nr. 21. After a month, if you feel like doing it, you can extend the meditation time to a maximum of 30 minutes.
  3. It is not unimportant what tarot deck you use in this type of meditation. Take a look at our suggestions for online purchase of tarot decks.
  4. Position your card in front of your eyes. Adjust the distance, so that you can observe all the details without any effort.
  5. Gaze at the Tarot Card for a couple of seconds. Then close your eyes and mentally try to reproduce what you have just observed. Open your eyes again and notice the differences between your mental image and the card itself.
  6. Repeat step 4 several times, while gradually increasing the gazing period, and equally, the period where you visualize the card with your inner eye. Remember that your complete meditation should not exceed 10 minutes.

While doing this exercise, it is very important to teach yourself to be a neutral observer. No involvement, no projections, no tensions of any kind. Just be there and look at the image on the selected Tarot card with ease and in total relaxation.

After some time, you will see how (provided that you managed to be sufficiently relaxed) it takes virtually no effort from your side to see the exact copy of the Tarot card you have just gazed at projected on your inner screen. When you have mastered this step, you will have completed the first phase of this tarot meditation.

After this beginner’s level, you are ready to take on another step. Now, we will try to make the inner image more vivid and alive. We will try to transform it from being a 2D image into a 3D real live object. If done properly, the frame of your selected tarot card will become a window (or a portal) into another world. This world will be filled with light, color, objects and figures. In meditation, you should do the same thing: be there and observe this vivid image in peace and calm.

Yet another, more advanced stage would be stepping through that portal, and entering (projecting yourself into) that created live image. It can be an astral or mental projection, but it need not be. You will be there, and you will be observing the environment. You are passive, but you are conscious and observing.

What will happen afterward, depends on the individual features of the person doing this form of tarot meditation. Maybe, you will realize some new relations between a given pair of symbols, or new activity among the figures of the Tarot Card. Use all your senses to discover the hidden meaning of the symbols. When this inner image becomes more real than the external image depicted on the card, you have established the most important prerequisites for symbolic communication.

At the end, it is important to terminate your meditation properly. You should reverse the steps in the following way.

1. Extract yourself from the inner image.

2. Reduce it from a 3D to a 2D image.

3. When this image has become similar to the one depicted on the card, focus on recording your inner meditative experiences. Best way is to write them down, or verbalize them in some way. By doing this last step after each meditation session, you will establish a bridge between your normal superficial consciousness and the deeper levels of your psychic. Thus, the benefits of this tarot card meditation exercise will be expressed through your ability to access and understand your sub-conscious content more easily. And, the fact is there is hardly any self-growth and self-realization without getting to know and dealing with the deeper levels of your own being.

Coal Mining and Mountain Top Removal – What Say You?

It is without doubt that mountain top coal mining is safer for humans than sending people into tunnels to dig it out with machines, however environmentalists warn us about shaving off mountain tops to get the coal out. When shaving off a mountain top the excess dirt is scraped into canyons and ravines and theoretically everything is level, once all the coal is gone some of that excess dirt can be pushed back into the hole and a mound is built where a mountain once was.

Environmentalists understand this, but claim it looks like a war zone within a few years, as one mountain little coal is found so they go and shave off another, then another. This is true it can get out of hand. Yes, but with proper technology, they can know in advance which mountains are viable, and with a proper plan we can mitigate the environmental risks of water flow, storm flooding and erosion.

Next, if the plan is done like the forest harvesting, where they cut down one area of trees, remove underbrush for timber, and allow it to re-grow, it’s actually workable. In this case, the company’s job in an area would not be complete until the watershed was re-grown, and they’d have to have a bond with their permits for doing so, in case they went out of business. However, environmentalists still have a problem with this right? Yes, how so you ask?

You see, that 50-100 year flood will come, they always do and unless everything is perfect huge landslides, flash flooding and an eco-disaster will occur later on they claim. This is why, “if” mountain top mining is done, it must be done responsibly and honorably with regards to environmental concerns and mitigation, but that should be done with “real” data and facts, not political power, or monied interests. Please consider all this.

History of the Cheerleader Uniform

Though you might not believe it by the outfits today, cheerleading uniforms started out very conservatively. At the turn of the twentieth century the majority of cheerleaders were male, and they did not wear uniforms but just participated wearing street clothes. Women did join the ranks of cheerleaders, and as they did the cheerleading uniforms they wore were appropriate for the day. There is a postcard from Cornell University, printed in 1906, that shows a female cheerleader carrying a school banner, wearing a very conservative outfit in school colors – a long sleeved dress with a high neckline and long, flowing skirt.

In the beginning stages of cheerleading, uniforms often consisted of a sweater (usually a cardigan) and the school letters on the front. Sometimes a turtleneck shirt would be layered under the cardigan sweater for additional warmth for cheerleaders outdoors. A megaphone (a device used to amplify the voices of the cheerleaders) would often accompany the cheerleading uniforms and they would have the school letters on them as well. Pom poms, another popular cheerleading accessory, started to appear as a part of the cheerleading uniform in the 1930’s. The original pom poms were made of paper – Fred Gastoff invented vinyl pom poms in 1965.

In the beginning stages of cheerleading, the male cheerleaders would wear trousers while the women would wear ankle length wool skirts. In the 1950’s the lengths of the skirts began to get shorter but were still on the conservative side. Saddle shoes were the footwear of choice for female cheerleaders. Male cheerleaders would often wear flat, canvas sneakers.

During the 1960’s the length of skirts changed – the below the knee length skirts worn as the uniform for female cheerleaders gave way to shorter, pleated skirts. Cotton began being used as the fabric of choice for cheerleading uniform skirts, and the use of cotton made the skirts lighter and made for easier movement. Cardigan sweaters were replaced by crew neck sweaters that were often short sleeved. You would usually find the school letters on the sweaters but some squads would incorporate the name of the cheerleader on the cheerleading uniform sweaters as well.

As time progressed, cheerleading became more organized and the routines became more complicated. Cheerleaders needed to have uniforms that allowed for more freedom of movement. During the 1970’s most cheerleading squads began to wear athletic sneakers instead of the old fashioned saddle shoes. Instead of sweaters with the school letters, some cheerleading uniforms were sweaters with stripes in the school colors, while some squads moved to wearing vests instead of sweaters. The 1970’s also was the time when the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders became a part of popular culture, with their skimpy, form fitting cheerleading uniforms consisting of boots, white hot pants (short-shorts) and long sleeved blue button up shirts that revealed their waists.

During the 1980’s the necklines of cheerleading uniform sweaters were more often than not v-neck lines instead of the traditional crew necklines. During the 1990’s the length of the skirts became even shorter to provide better freedom of movement for the jumps, lifts and tumbling skills that are a part of cheerleading routines. To determine how short is too short when it comes to the length of skirts in cheerleading uniforms, most squads followed a rule that the cheerleading skirt would end no shorter than the fingertips when the arms were held at the cheerleader’s side. Turtlenecks were often left out as a part of the cheerleading uniform.

The materials used in today’s cheerleading uniforms are polyester, or a combination of polyester and spandex. The cheerleading uniform top is form fitting, but depending on the squad it could be short sleeved, long sleeved or even sleeveless. The National Federation of High Schools have a rule that the tops worn by cheerleaders must cover their midriffs when their arms are resting at their sides, a change from the tops of the 1970’s and 1980’s that would show off the abdomen of the cheerleader. Cutouts on the chest, shoulders, back or arms are allowed in today’s cheerleading uniforms. Skirts are about 12 to 14 inches in length, but most women wear briefs in a school color under the skirt for modesty. Some cheerleaders refer to these briefs as lollies or spankies.

Even though the styles of cheerleading uniforms have changed through the years, there is one thing that has remained constant – a cheerleader will be decked out in his or her school colors to show spirit and loyalty while leading a crowd in cheers.

NY Wholesalers – How To Find The Best Wholesalers In New York

NY wholesalers have been known to carry the best selection and lowest prices by the retail industry.

Many retailers travel come from all over the country, and even from as far away as Australia and Africa, to visit wholesalers in New York.

The New York wholesale district has long been known as the wholesale center of the country.

You can find wholesale deals on brand name clothing, electronics, perfumes, handbags, and almost any other type of product that you can imagine.

Visiting the NY wholesale district can be an exciting experience. You will be surprised at the extensive selection and competitive prices that you will find.

But before you arrive in NY, you need to know how to find the wholesalers you are looking for.

For starters, you should first call the NY Chamber of Commerce. They can supply you with a list of wholesalers that are members of the Chamber.

Second, get hold of a New York city Yellow Book. The phone directory has a section devoted to wholesalers.

Next, visit the wholesale district. It’s located between Broadway and sixth avenue, from 20th to 29th st. Be ready to spend an entire day visiting showrooms.

Be ready to make a deal when you find a wholesaler that has the products you want. The wholesalers in NY are serious and will work with you, provided that you are just as serious and are ready to commit to making a deal.

There are also mini wholesale districts in outlying areas. For instance you can find a wholesale district in Greenpoint, which is a neighborhood in Brooklyn.

For instance, you will find a complex at 276 Greenpoint Avenue that houses over 30 different wholesalers.

You will usually find the best wholesale prices in areas immediately outside of Manhattan. Since the rents are lower, the wholesalers can afford to offer lower prices on their wholesale products.

Cell Phone Plans – Things To Know Before Signing

Cell phones can be very convenient, but before you sign a contract for wireless phone service, be sure to ask a number of questions:

Where can you make and receive calls? Most providers now promote their plans as local, regional or national. A local plan offers a low-cost option if most of your calls are near home. Regional plans generally offer a much larger geographic area, sometimes several states. If you call outside the area covered by these plans, you will pay long distance and roaming charges in addition to the airtime used. National plans are the most expensive, but they let you use your phone anywhere in the country for a single per-minute price. Roaming and long distance charges are replaced by a single, predictable flat rate.

How frequently will you use the phone? If you just want a phone for emergencies, an economy plan with a few minutes a month might be all that you need. On the other hand, if you are going to be a heavy user, a plan with several free hours and the lowest airtime charge is a wiser choice.

Is a family plan option available? Instead of individual cell phone plans for each member of the family, you can share one cellular service plan among several phones. Everyone shares the same pool of monthly minutes, and the monthly cost of additional minutes is usually less than if you purchased individual accounts.

Is the technology digital or analog? Digital service is clearer and more secure than analog, but coverage can be spotty. Analog networks have greater coverage, especially in rural areas. If you want digital service, make sure your cellular company has a “roaming” agreement that lets your phone work on an analog system when you are outside digital range. But beware: roaming can be expensive, and it requires a “dual mode” phone.

Is there a trial period during which you can test the service? Everyone has experienced dead spots where their cell phone doesn’t work. A trial period lets you test your service in places where you will be using it–the office, your house, your car, and the roads you travel-so you don’t get surprised by these dead spots.

Are there any fees or limits on changing your plan? Some providers charge a fee if you want to downsize or upgrade your plan. Others limit how often you can make changes. Moreover, what happens if you want to cancel your service? Most providers have a penalty, which can be a concern if you have to move out of the area covered by your plan.

Finally, there are ‘Pay-As-You-Go Plans.’ If you want cell phone service only for emergencies or aren’t sure how much you will actually use a cell phone once you get it, you may want to consider a prepaid cell phone before you commit to a long-term wireless contract. With a prepaid cell phone, there is no contract to sign and no monthly bill to worry about. You will know exactly how much you spend. The down side of prepaid plans is that you pay more per minute, and if you don’t use the phone for an extended period of time, you could lose the money in your account.

How to Make Hardcover Photo Books From Snapfish

Snapfish.com is a well known online retailer of photo based gifts and other products and services. Despite offering a plethora of photo printed products, like calendars, traditional prints, and even drink coasters, Snapfish seems to be best well known for their exquisite photo books. Photo books are created by the user, who uploads a set of their own digital photographs from their hard drive to the Snapfish website, and uses their robust editing software to assemble them into a bound hardcover book with text, backgrounds, borders, and other fun and appealing features. Photo book prices start at a low $19.99 for an 8×11 hardcover photo book with a linen cover, and 20 full color pages.

Before you can start designing a photo book with Snapfish you must first register on the website. To create a photobook, navigate to that section of the website and select the size you want to go with. For hardcover options they offer 8×8, 8×11, and 12×12. There are two different options for the 8×11 available – Leather or Linen covers with a “window” (showing a portion of the image on your first page), or a printed cover or jacket. You make these selections before entering the designing software, but you can change it later if you desire.

Before you start designing your photobook, you should first select and upload all of the images you want to use in that photo book. Once all of your images are uploaded, Snapfish offers to automatically design and fill in the photobook for you. While this makes your job super simple, it may not do things exactly as you would. Images are filled in in the order they’re uploaded, and page layouts are somewhat random. The design system will lay out your images in plenty of different ways. Sometimes it will put two images on a page with a text area, or one full page image with no text, or sometimes three images on one page and a page of text on the next. This is a great option for people who don’t want to spend a ton of time working on the book, but takes some of the personal touch out.

If you really want to dive in and make the best photo book you can, then you’re in luck – Snapfish’s design system is extremely robust. If you try to insert an image that is low resolution and won’t print well, you will be warned. You can also do photo adjustments from the design area, like resizing and cropping, flipping, rotating, red eye removal, color enhancement, brightness and contrast, and even color conversion (black and white, sepia, colorize).

You can also select page backgrounds and designs. You choose a “theme” before entering the designing area, but you can change every page individually if you prefer it that way. Just select the “Backgrounds” tab and drag and drop what you want onto the page. The “Layouts” tab is where you can choose how many images you want per page, if (and where) you want to place text, and the size and placement of images. There are a total of 78 different layouts to choose from, as well as “magic” layouts that allow you a much more customized layout experience. You can even add borders to your images here, but that option isn’t necessarily compatible with all layouts.

The hardest part of designing photo books is keeping track of which images you have and haven’t used, so that you don’t end up with duplicates, or leave some out. Snapfish makes your image management easy, however, by placing green checks next to images you’ve used. The full list of your images (and these checks) is found on the right hand side of the design area. If you decide you want to remove an image from use, or from your list, you can do that in this area as well.

Once you’ve completed your photobook, you can view a 3D rendering of what it should look like by clicking “Preview” at the bottom of the design area page. This is a navigable preview that lets you view pages in order, like you would if you were looking at the real book.

Snapfish.com makes some of the best photo books on the web, and hopefully with this article you are now better prepared to navigate their website, and design the best photobook possible.

Why Does My Cat Pee Everywhere?

Whether your cat is old or young, male or female, anxious or mellow, he or she can get the idea that peeing anywhere but the litterbox is a good thing. Many frustrated humans in the past and present have tried nearly everything to figure out why the cat does this – and, of course, to solve the problem.

Here are the first things that you should do when your cat insists on stinking up your house. You’ll have to be patient while you work your way through this list, but soon your kitty will be back to doing his or her business in an appropriate place.

  • Your cat needs a full health checkup. In many cases, cats pee right in front of you when they’re sick. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common health problems, which your vet can treat. Even if that’s not what’s wrong with your kitty, your vet can track down, and solve, the problem.
  • Cats who are older or who have health problems (joint pains, for example), can’t get in and out of the litterbox like they could when they were younger. Make the litterbox more accessible so that your kitty can get in and out.
  • The litterbox itself might be a problem. If you have more than one cat, you might need to put out additional litterboxes. The type of litter and how much of it you use can be problems. You should also change the cat litter and thoroughly scrub the litterbox. The plastic tends to absorb urine smells, which can turn off housecats.
  • Sometimes cats will act out by peeing all over your favorite things. This can be a sign that they’re unhappy about something. Try giving your cat more (positive) attention. Extra playtime with his favorite toy can cure the behavioral issue. You can also ask your vet about a product that will help soothe your kitty: Feliway is one example.
  • Tomcats often spray anything that they wish to mark as their own territory. Sterilization can improve this problem.
  • Elderly kitties can suffer from feline dementia. They honestly don’t realize that they’re doing something wrong when they pee all over your clean laundry. Buy housebreaking pads – the disposable kind that people use with puppies – and put them down where your kitty pees the most often. This won’t convince her to use the litterbox, but cleanup will be much easier compared to what you’re doing now.

You should do a few things when your kitty decides to mark something in your house.

  • Never hit the cat or rub her nose in the mess. Cats aren’t like human children: they don’t understand that what they do is wrong. You can deter behavior as the cat is doing it, but trying to teach the cat after the fact doesn’t work very well. Instead of scolding kitty afterward, catch her in the act and spritz her with tap water from a spray bottle.
  • Completely clean the marked territory. Even if you can’t smell the cat pee, the cat will. That’s her sign to continue peeing there. Visit the pet store for a product that removes all of the pet odors.
  • Give your cat plenty of positive attention. Despite the stereotypes that surround felines, cats do bond with their humans. They want our attention and will go to great lengths to get it from us.

Don’t worry: you’ll track down and solve the problem soon enough. In the meantime, be as patient as possible. Your solution will come and you can resume the carefree relationship

Copyright © 2008, Ian White housesitting.com