Walk and Shoot Weight Loss -5 Photo Tips For Better Results

If you want to really lose it, pounds that is, photography can be a great vehicle.

Surprisingly, a DSLR camera could actually become your ultimate, hand-held, total-mind-body fitness machine. However, like most fitness equipment, the only time it provides a real benefit,  is when you use it.  

Heading out for a walk in the park, along the beach, or on a hike through the wilderness -or even the “urban jungle” with  camera in hand can give you a great cardio workout that’s fun. It might even seem like the fastest hour of exercise you ever had, because when your focus becomes taking pictures you forget that you’re getting exercise!  

So let’s get started.   Before heading out, you need to have a subject. A purpose. A focal point. A good photo outting, like a good photo, must have a singular point of interest. To wander around aimlessly has it’s place, but as motivation to action it won’t work here. So decide where you want to go,  pick one place, and go. Once there you can begin your walk in search of great photographic subjects.  

For maximum enjoyment on your photo-fitness adventure, keep these secret photographer’s tricks in mind and you’ll be bringing home the best photos possible:
1. Rule of Thirds: Imagine your view screen is cut by 2 lines vertically and 2 horizontally, creating 9 equal squares on your viewfinder. Always try to place the main subject of your photo along one of those horizontal or vertical lines. Avoid placing your subjects directly in the center box, unless absolutely necessary. You’ll see an instant improvement in your photographic skills.

2. Contrast: Light against dark or vise versa. Try to photograph a dark object in front of a light background. Or a light object in front of a dark background.

3. Color Contrast: Imagine the color wheel (or better yet, get one) to see which colors are opposite on the wheel. Try to find subjects together that are opposite on the wheel for maximum visual interest (contrast).

4. Angles: Try to create a diagonal through your photos with streets, or grassy edges or buildings, fences or any natural element. Start it from the lower left corner of your viewer in towards the center of your photo. This helps to draw the eyes into and toward your subject.

5. Focus: A couple of points here. Eyes should always be sharply in focus when photographing people or animals. To have your subject stand out from the background, blur the background by using a large lens opening on (D)SLR cameras (that means a small f number like f4.5 rather than f8 or f16).  

Browse through magazines, retail stores or anywhere pictures are found and you’ll be getting great ideas about the most popular things people like to see: Flowers, trees, gardens, garden paths, butterflies, stone walls, architecture colorful umbrellas, sea shells, fountains, statues, pets, animals, birds, reflections from puddles, windows, lakes, ponds, farmer’s markets, countryside, cows, horses, tractors, kids, couples, doors, churches, clocks. Then, for variety and challenge, each day pick only one subject and try to photograph as many examples as you can. On your next trip, choose another. 

Get out, look around with purpose, and a whole new world will begin to reveal itself to you. I guarantee, once you get out there, you’ll be hooked! Getting exercise will be fun!  

As a bonus, once you get home and look at the photographs you took, you’ll be like a kid on Christmas eve…eager for the new morning so you can get back out there to capture more of the beauty that surrounds us. All the while burnin’ calories without the dreaded…”exercise.”  

Try to get that excited about your treadmill!  

Photography can be a great vehicle for fitness and a great motivator if you’re trying to lose weight. With just a few simple tips to get you started, and a regular program of activities to follow, you can be looking slim and trim in no time.

Photographing Our Beautiful Butterflies

How to Properly Hang Your Photo Or Art Frames

Pictures frames, art work, and even butterfly collections truly make a room more beautiful. They bring life to otherwise boring and plain walls. They also show photos of memorable events and artsy craftwork whether done by family members or other well-known people.

Hanging frames is an art in itself and how you place them and hang them can really emphasize or otherwise diminish the beauty of the photo or art work. Just like any other thing you put on your wall, hanging framed artwork should be done with a keen eye to the surrounding decor.

Here are some basic steps to ensure that your frames will look more beautiful and that the photo or art work in them will be highlighted and focused on.

– Determine the layout that you want to have. It can be a series of frames in a slightly arched position or maybe arrangements similar to layouts seen on a dice.
– Next, try out this layout by placing cardboard or any piece of paper across the wall using the layout that you want. You can immediately see whether it is exactly what you have in mind. Remember to use paper or cardboard that is almost the same size as your frames. You can outline the frames and then cut them out to get the sizes. This way, you can also identify the placements of the frames according to size. A visual trial always works best.
– If your placement doesn’t seem too appealing, try another layout. Your layout will also be affected when you have items hanging from the ceiling at low elevation.
– It is important that the frames can be seen at eye level.
– Have prominent markings when you finalize your placement. Placing nails in the wall will not be easy to remove in case you change your mind or miscalculate. That scar on the wall will not look too good, so be sure to measure carefully.
– Have equal distance between the frames and do not put one too far or too close to the next one. This way, you will be able to have balance in the room through the placement of the frames.
– Note the positions of lights in the room as well. Since framed art is generally composed of glass material on the front, you may want to keep the frames a bit farther from the lights as the light can reflect on the glass making the image of the picture less visible.

Make sure that the frames and the clips are sturdy so they do not fall. Especially if you are hanging frames on a wooden wall, be mindful about the strength of the nails and how they are attached. One important factor is the depth or how deep the nail is inside the wall. For thin double-faced walls, use smaller nails so that the frames on the other side are not affected. With a little planning and coordination, you can make your walls look beautiful with your framed artwork and photographs.

The Favorite Flowers of Bees and Butterflies

Flowers are one of the people’s favorite creations of God. They are widely used for different purposes. Flowers are the best weapons to melt someone’s heart. But don’t you know that bees and butterflies have their own favorite flowers, too? Do you want to know what their favorite flowers are? Read on.

For sure, you are pretty aware that bees and butterflies need flowers for pollination and for their own benefits. Furthermore, they also help in maintaining the balance in the ecosystem. Flowers are the number one reason why you are still enjoying the mouth-watering taste of honey from bees. Bees and butterflies have their favorite flowers. Yes, you read it right! Though they are naturally attracted to flowers and they are exposed to millions of flower species on this planet, they do have their favorite flower specie, too.

These are some of the most favorite flowers of bees and butterflies:

• Asters – These flowers will bloom during mid-summer and late fall. This flower is one of the latest blooming flowers in the northern climate. There are different colors of this flower. They come in dark purple, white and others call them dark blue. You can trim these flowers for several weeks on summer days. This will make their clump grow thicker. You can also let the flowers grow naturally to about 20 to 24 inches in length.

• Bee balm – It is one of the herb flowers that come in different colors, like red and deep purple. They bloom in mid-summer until early fall. Bee balms can be grown easily from seed, and they will grow in loose open clusters. Furthermore, bee balms are at their best if you will keep them away from mildew.

• Columbine – These flowers bloom in early spring; and they come in a variety of colors. Columbines have a lengthy tube-like flower top. Thus, bees will surely have their tough time. if you are afraid of bees and have a limited space, this flower is not suitable for you.

• Penstermon, Pink Chablis and Husker Red – This is one of the most favorite flowers of the female bees. They love to crawl inside the tubular blooms of this flower. You will only see their cute bee hinds, which will be left, exposed; while most of their bodies are inside the flower tube. These flowers are one of the native Mexican flowers. They bloom in early summer days and they can grow up to 8-36 inches in length.

• Butterfly weed – These flowers can easily attract the butterflies; and they bloom in summer season. They grow easily; and their seed can be invasive, if you do not pick their seed pods on the ground before they dry and burst open. Butterfly weeds come in different colors, like orange, yellow and red.

• White and purple cone flowers – These flowers are the honeybees’ all-time favorite flower. In fact, there are lots of photo evidences of bees while gathering these flowers. They bloom in early summer until early frost. However, they can stay longer with proper care and protection. These flowers will grow 24-40 inches in length.

• Blanket flowers or Gaillardias – These flowers, like any other flower, come in different colors. The yellows are called yellow goblins; while the reds are called Burgundy Gaillardia. They will give their best if they are exposed to full sunlight; and they grow up to 24 to 36 inches in length.

• Perennial Geranium – These flowers are known in Michigan as Cranesbill. They bloom in early summer and can survive until the fall season. They grow well in full sunlight or full shade to about 15-18 inches in length. These flowers come in different shades of purple and blue. They are one of the major sources of nectar for the wild bees.

• Sedum (Autumn Joy) – This flower blooms in late summer and will last in the early winter season. You will not be able to see these flowers during 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the last days of fall due to the swarm of bees in it. Bees crawl on each other just to get the nectar from it. Some of the bees will wait for their turn while staying on the leaves. Honeybees surely love these flowers.