Light

fruits and kids
my most overused photo

When it comes to decorating your home, there are many things that come to mind. You want to have the right decor, the right flooring, and even the right color on the walls. But what many people don’t spend enough time thinking about is the lighting in their home. Good lighting can help to tie a room together, to make itself into a piece of art and be woven into the feel of the room. In the same vein, a bad lighting choice can be jarring and take away from the design you have worked so hard to build. This is especially true for me who enjoys taking photos of my kids even at home. The right lighting definitely brings out the best colors. (Of course, I could setup photography lights for this – but candid shots wouldn’t be candid if I do that all the time.)

For many people, coming up with the right lighting choices for their design is the hardest part. Thankfully, you can look around online and find websites to help you, like Zappobz. This site  offers a wide array of specialty lighting at prices that are affordable. It can help you to get an idea of what you want, and what is a good price to pay for.

When it comes to choosing the right lighting fixture for your home, you will want to take into account what kind of design you are trying to build. If you are looking to build a room with a modern feel, you may want to look for lighting fixtures that are made of stainless steel or glass. They will give you the sleek feel that is a big part of modern designs. In the same vein, if you are looking for a classic or more rustic feel, you may want to look for light fixtures that showcase dark, rich woods and brass. These evoke a classic feeling of days gone by.

Another thing to consider when lighting your home is not just the fixtures that hang from the ceiling, but table lamps and other lighting options like sconces. A sconce design can completely change the feel of the room and give you something a little warmer and softer with your lighting. Table lamps can help you to fill in the dark corners if your overhead lighting fixture leaves something to be desired.

No matter what lighting you choose, you will want to be careful when it comes to installation. Always choose a licensed professional, and make sure that the breaker is off before doing any sort of electrical work in a room in your home. This can help to protect you and any contractors from injury.

Red

snow play
Winter Wonderland

If wanting to become a kid again was a crime, then I’m guilty as charged, and deserve to be sent to prison for the rest of my life. I often feel that I have this Peter Pan syndrome of not wanting to grow up. I find myself seeking refuge in anything that reminds me of my childhood. One of those things is snow.

I will never forget my first experience with snow. It was magical seeing something for the first time. When I grabbed a handful of ice, it felt surreal. Something which I only saw in the movies has finally come to fruition.

The neighborhood kids and I used to frolic in the snow and bask in its immaculate whiteness. We had no notion of time and would pass the hours just burying ourselves in the cool ice. We made snow angels like there was no tomorrow. We had a contest to see who could build the best snowman.

Now that I’m all grown up, I’m delighted to see my kids having fun in the snow, Nothing makes me happier than knowing that my kids are able to experience the same kind of fascination I did. I almost feel that it’s a legacy I have passed on to them.

Through the years, the experience of snow never fails to enchant me. I am still captivated by its undeniable charm. It continues to remind me of who I am underneath all the drama and pain adult life may have given me. As I playfully scoop a dollop of snow, I feel like I’m a kid all over again. I’m back home to my true self.

Vintage

bike
Somewhere in the Nuremberg fort

 

Sometimes I wonder how it would have been if the TV wasn’t invented. Whenever I turn it on, images of famine-stricken nations or of self-serving politicians greet me. Sure, you get informed, sure you get entertained but sometimes, what should otherwise be a relaxing activity becomes a source of stress and anxiety- at least for me!

So, I have turned to either reading my good ‘ol books or visit museums and when I’m up to it, I tend to look at old photos as a better alternative. I’m lucky I was able to keep old pictures inside my trusty boxes. They never fail to strike a chord with me. They bring back a flood of memories from years gone by. I am all of a sudden enveloped in nostalgia- and I’m not about ready to break free from it.

When I look at pictures from high school activities for instance, I feel that giddiness come over me again. I remember how we, young and clueless would dream of being this and that….

Looking at vintage-colored photos leaves me longing for the past. They send me back in time to a place where I felt safe, comfortable, and just overall happy.

With all that’s happening in our lives, we all need to find that safe haven where we are reminded of events from our past which have molded us into who we are today.

If technology wants to be my friend, somebody has to invent a time machine. It would be nice and refreshing to relive happy moments from the past. But until that happens, I’ll just have to make do with these vintage-colored photos in my hands.

 

Lake

lake
calm and placid (both the ducks and the lake)

Fact:  We all feel a little down in the dumps every once in a while.  No matter how cheery one’s general disposition is, he or she is bound to get a bout of the blues at some point.  Life, as we know it, is riddled with experiences- both the good and the bad, happy and sad.

It then becomes a challenge to find inspiration from things that surround us.  Simply resting your eyes on verdant pastures which stretch out for miles or just looking up at the blue sky help ease your pain.
I for one have turned to winged creatures for inspiration.  I marvel at the vivid colors of the feathers on a kingfisher.  I gape in awe at the majestic feathered crown of an egret.
Looking at winged beings take flight reminds me of the magnificence of God.  It’s nothing short of miraculous how hollow bones and bright wings come together to lift a creature off the ground.
Whenever I catch myself on the brink of needless worry, I look at birds.  When I see them take off, without a care in the world, I am suddenly comforted.  I see how God takes care of their needs.  He directs them with the wind, and lights their way with the sun.
I then become wrapped in a blanket of security, and remember that I am a child of God.  He guides me just as He does those birds.  He loves me no less than the moon and the stars.
I may never grow a pair of wings, but as long as I turn to creatures of flight for inspiration, I know I have already flown.

 

Nullifier

 

kiev sunset
Sunset somewhere in Kiev

Celebrities – and some of my admittedly vainer friends- have taken to Botox and collagen injections to keep themselves looking young. Not that I’m afraid of needles, but I just don’t feel that I need to go down that route. Sure, they can do what they want with their money, but I have found a much cheaper alternative to preserving my youth.

Worry and stress are the usual suspects when it comes to stripping us of our youthful glow. So whenever I feel a stress attack coming on, I simply look out my window. I guess I’m blessed to have a window in my room which is large enough to frame the beautiful view outside.

Looking at the various hues of the sunset (or sunrise) gives me an overall sense of calm. It reassures me that all is well in the world, and that tomorrow is still sure to come and wash away my worries. I’m reminded that whatever sorrow I’m feeling at that moment is but fleeting. It too shall pass.

Nature has a way of making me feel lighter. It almost has this hypnotic power to put me in a trance, to stabilize whatever hypertensive, physical manifestations I may have at a certain moment. If I can’t go outdoors, I just sit by my window sill, and take in the spectacular view. I let the wind kiss my cheeks and envelop me, as if giving me a virtual hug.

Our lives are laden with worries and petty preoccupations. Although these are realities we can’t just easily escape from, we can still manage how we think or feel. What we can do is to find that which relaxes or comforts us. For some, it can be a hobby or listening to music by Bruno Mars or Christina Perri. To each his own… no judgment here at all!

Even in the absence of people around us, we can pull something out of ourselves or from our surroundings to help alter our perspective on things. When life throws curveballs at us, we just have to cope however which way we can.

 

It Really Takes Two to Tango

couple
two

Cliché et Touché. Remember Ernie and Bert? They have a lot to teach…for one, they were always there for each other.  When one couldn’t sleep, the other would help him count sheep.  Whenever Ernie had a problem with his rubber ducky, Bert would always be there to console him. In this manner, both a man and a woman must be willing to give a bit of themselves for the betterment of the other, and of their union.  It takes two to tango.  If they wish to make their relationship go anywhere, they both need to give each other time.  They have to put in effort to resolve any disputes and to strike a compromise whenever needed. Despite stark differences, a good couple could still manage to overcome life’s challenges together.

In the same manner, it does take two to tangle.  When a relationship breaks down, you can’t put all the blame on just one person.  Inevitably, both parties are responsible for the demise of a relationship.  One way or another, either one of them must have done and said something to cause the other pain.
Whether things are looking up or are on the downside in relationships, it always takes two people to make it happen.  Relationships are about two individuals coming together, each contributing to either the success or failure of the union.

 

lgg2
LG G2 5.2” Full HD IPS Display: 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, and 423 ppi

I could say the same about a photographer and his camera. Many would say that it’s not the camera but the photographer who takes great shots! True, but come on! Give credit to where it’s due…cameras are tools and without them no photographs can be made (obviously). It’s always a tandem…a photographer needs to learn about the camera and the camera in some way should deliver – grossly depending on the one holding it. I believe that yes, they should be compatible too.

I, for one, love to use my current “toy” but being bulky as it is, I tend to use phone cameras as well…and there are really good ones out there – physical attributes aside, just like the LG G2.  This smartphone is wonderfully packed with goodness! I mean photography-related goodness that every user will love. It’s a huge 5.2-inch Full HD phone with a powerful quad-core 2.2GHz processor but isn’t bulky. And since we’re talking cameras, let’s focus on it. Its 13Megapixel (13mp) rear camera could rival your point and shoot when zooming – come close to your subject without sacrificing the quality (unlike many that would go pixelated). It would certainly produce better images on low-light conditions resulting in less noise.

The LG G2 has a dual camera – you can take photos and record videos using both the the front (2.1mp) and rear (13mp) cameras – simultaneously too!

Another awesome feature that the LG G2 boasts of is the Multi Points Auto Focus (AF) –  enabling fast and accurate focus for multiple moving objects (or faces). There are twelve shooting modes namely: Normal, Shot and Clear (erases something from a picture), HDR, Panorama, VR Panorama (Photo Sphere shot), Beauty shot, Dual camera shot, Night scene, Sports, Time Catch shot and Intelligent Auto mode…and of course, there’s manual settings you can tinker with.

 

Perhaps, the most amazing thing the LG G2 camera has to offer is the Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS). Simply put, it stabilizes your focus that will result in really good shots – no shaking, no blurry images. How is that possible? The video above shows how…the principle behind a chicken’s non-bobbing head is the best explanation…in theory, using an LG G2 phone camera is like having Lizzie the chicken with a Galluscam attach to its head! You’ll get everything crisp and sharp (photos and videos), no matter how much you move.

 

Sometimes, I would like to believe that it takes a chicken to tango with you…I mean to prove the meaning of togetherness. ^_^

 

The LG G2 has a lot more lovely features which we’ll continue to review in the next posts. Yes, we haven’t started about the video specs yet! This blog post has been brought to you by LG G2 and the letters M and E, and by the number 7.

 

Horse

 

horse
There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness. – Han Suyin

Whenever I have this compelling need to put on a strong façade, I find myself struggling. It’s never easy to look tough on the outside but feel all Jello-ish inside. One animal which doesn’t have that problem though, is the horse. The one with the shiny mane, who neighs and trots about gracefully, looks so effortlessly powerful.

Horses are fascinating. What I especially like about horses is that they look so mighty and yet they can be as gentle as a lamb. Horses can fight wars, win police car chases in movies, and at the same time they are a little girl’s pet. These beasts of burden can likewise be Barbie’s unassuming BFF.

That brings us back to the age-old adage of not judging a book by its cover. Outside appearances can be deceiving. Although a horse packs a wallop in size, it has a meek demeanor about it. Same goes with people. Somebody may seem all herculean and tough on the outside, but cringes at the mere sight of creepy crawlies. Never be fooled by how a person looks.

I wish I were a horse. Not because I want to trample on people who annoy me (push me more and I might have to do that!). I just sometimes wish that people would perceive me to be a strong woman. Whenever tears feel like falling, I want to be able to suck it all in and have a “to-hell-with-it” attitude.

But I am a horse. If I think it, I will be it.

 

Colorful

 

clown
smile though your heart is aching

I find clowns ironic. Just as that song Smile is so ironic to me as is Charlie Chaplin’s rather deadpan humor. I find them ironic especially when they frown. Colorful as they are, without a smile, they lose all the warmth. I can’t remember now why the clown in the photo seems to be in a bad mood. Mind you, this is not a stolen shot. I, as friendly as a politician running for a position is, would either approach someone and ask for permission to take their photos or simply take a behind-the-back shot. On curious occasions, strangers seeing me with my camera lugged around my neck would ask me to take their photo – some with their own cameras, others with mine. On events as the latter, courteous me would show them the photo after and offer it/them to be sent via email should they be interested.

Not all people would welcome the idea of being photographed but, you would be surprised that there would be more who are willing to smile for you than those who wouldn’t. So take your gear, go out, be friendly and try shooting unfamiliar faces and capture 1001 characteristics you might not be aware of existing.

Smile. A smile is the universal language of kindness. You give it free, you get it back free and it’s sure to make a situation lighter for you.  One question that you might encounter as you approach strangers for their photo is; why? Don’t ever ignore this question. You will have a different reason than mine, of course, because I just love capturing moments and blog about them, it’s also given that I love meeting people from all walks of life even for a brief encounter. As a friend puts it, “we should somehow try to maintain a certain curiosity, enthusiasm and interest when it comes to the small things in life as well as gestures and acts of friendships.” And I couldn’t agree more.

When on your way to capture a character on your subject, try to give something back. That is – if they have something to offer. Like the clown above, he was also modelling balloons; so I asked for a dog and he did it in a few twists here and there and I  gave some coins in return. That’s about the same for a busker doing great music, a mozart-impersonator standing breathless and a breakdancer showing off his skills. If they don’t have those, your friendliness is a good enough something.

Wherever you go to take photos of strangers, smile at them, chat a bit then capture a moment; only when you show genuine interest in someone can you take home colorful stories to tell.

 

Sway

 

water
calm

Sometimes I wish I was a contortionist, so I’d have the flexibility to kick myself in the butt- multiple times! Nobody hates me more than myself whenever I say or do things which I later on regret. Almost as soon as I say something nasty, I want to roll my tongue up and swallow it. By then, it’s already too late to undo the pain I caused someone.

More often than not, it’s a case of “What was I thinking?” It’s irrational how I could’ve said something with no basis at all. It’s almost as if something has possessed me, voiding me of all sense and reason. Unseen outside forces seem to have some power to propel me to say or do things which I normally wouldn’t.

Once I find myself stuck in this quagmire, what do I do? The hair-pulling and self-berating of course will always come first. And then I become restless. I rack my brain for a way out of the prison I’ve put myself in.

When given the chance, I try to make up for the wrong I’ve done. I do my best to glue whatever’s broken back together. But, like a plate shattered to pieces, it won’t be the same.

And then there are some things simply beyond my control. The unfixable stays that way, until I learn to let go and virtually watch it float up to the heavens and beyond. I let time work its magic and trust that things will turn out better. There may be scars but, at least things will get better.