Category Archives: techniques

First Snow … get out there and enjoy

Today was the first day of appreciable snow in West Michigan with Mother Nature blanketing us with a foot or more.

It’s cold outside – about 20 degrees – but if you bundle up you might appreciate the beauty that comes with the first snowfall.

Here’s a suggestion for the photographers among you. The white fluffy stuff usually “tricks” your camera’s automatic exposure into thinking that it’s brighter outside than it really is. I usually set the camera to add an additional one stop of exposure (+1 exposure compensation) when shooting in the snow so that my pictures don’t appear overly gray and washed out.

Following are a few snaps that I made on a short walk down the street to get my morning coffee.

DSC02749 DSC02752 DSC02753                 DSC02754

                    
DSC02756   DSC02760 DSC02762

Bundle up to stay warm and then get outside to enjoy the outdoor sights!

Not Afraid of the Water

There’s a few weeks still left on the summer calendar so jump on in – the water’s fine.

After seeing a demo of this camera last January, I took the plunge and ordered this Nikon 1 AW1.

What’s unique about this camera is that it uses interchangeable lenses and can be submersed – the specs say down to 50 feet. But I’m not a diver so I haven’t used the camera that deep. Instead, I wanted a camera for snapping the family on the beach or in the water.

A sandy beach isn’t a problem – just dip the camera into the water to clean it off. Underwater shots are easy – especially if you’re wearing a pair of goggles – the LCD screen is very visible beneath the surface.

This camera is also built to be rugged. Nikon says that it can withstand a fall from 6 feet, but I didn’t test out this “feature”. When winter arrives it can withstand freezing temperatures down to 14 degrees.

The camera with an 11-27.5mm interchangeable lens sells for about $750. I bought the orange silicone protective sleeve which makes it easier to hold underwater.

The AW1 is mirrorless with a 14.2MB sensor. It’s very compact. Two lenses are submersible: the 11-27.5mm zoom and a fixed 10mm. You can mount other Nikon 1 lenses but they are not submersible. The built-in flash works underwater too so you can add light should you find the subsurface water dark.

This is a lightweight, compact camera that takes good quality images and as you can see is really a blast to use. And a lot of splashing won’t hurt a bit.

The Fix

I’m a frequent visitor to Chinese restaurants. You might say that I’m a big fan of Chinese food.

But something has been bothering me for the last several years. Let me explain and then you can judge for yourself whether it bothers you too.

When the server seats us, she brings the usual: a napkin, a tea cup, a plate and chopsticks. Of course the bamboo chopsticks are wrapped to keep them sanitary. By the way, I hate those plastic chopsticks because they’re slippery, but that’s not what bothers me. You’ve undoubtedly noticed that the chopstick wrapper usually has printed instructions explaining how to use the chopsticks, but that’s not what bothers me either.

Actually, the thing that bothers me has nothing to do with Chinese restaurants at all. What bothers me has everything to do with the non-Chinese restaurants.

What if someone went into a restaurant, say to have a meal of spaghetti and this person doesn’t know how to use a fork? How would he get those long strands of pasta into his mouth? Of course, this dilemma isn’t unique to Italian food – think German sauerbraten, French coq-au-vin, English roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and Spanish paella – the food has to make its way from the plate to the tongue.

To be fair, this isn’t much of a problem with pizza, tacos or hot dogs since you can always eat these foods by hand. But by and large, the culinary world doesn’t look kindly on hand-food.

So I’m proposing an easy fix for those guests who have not yet mastered the art of consuming food with a fork. For the benefit (and non-embarrassment) of these guests, the restaurant establishment should consider wrapping their forks with the following instructions:

So now it’s your turn. Did I hit the nail on the head?

Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 
 


Stay Focused Guides – free download

tips and techniques for popular DSLRs

Since 1978, we’ve published hundreds of books including the seven books below – for users of popular DSLR cameras.

Today we decided to make these PDF formatted eBooks available free of charge to anyone who wants to download a copy. Don’t fret if you have a different model camera than those below since the problem solving techniques described in the book are similar for almost any advanced camera.

* Canon XS
* Canon XSi
* Canon T2i
* Nikon D40
* Nikon D60
* Nikon D3000
* Nikon D5000

These are full, complete books to help you solve common shooting problems. Each chapter has easy to follow steps with camera settings for turning problematic “before” pictures into gallery-quality “after” photographs.

The printed edition of these books sell for $22.95. You can download the PDF edition right now free of charge.

There is no obligation, but if you’re so inclined we’d like you to subscribe to our newsletter if you want to see what other tips, techniques, reviews and lots of other “things photographic” are coming from Stay Focused.

To get a free download, please visit our Stay Focused site.