Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Photographer in the Making?

For Mother's Day, hubby took me to the local electronics store and let me pick out a new camera.  I've been wanting one for a while, but finally took the plunge and bought a digital SLR camera.  (I have no idea what that means, so don't ask!)  Now that I have a fancy camera, I figured I better learn how to use it.  So I found a link to Two Peas in a Bucket, which offers a FREE 12 week Photography class online, with reading materials and "homework" each week.  Here is a link to the classes if you are interested.

So far I have learned about aperture and ISO and Shutter Speed. Adjusting the aperture adjusts the amount of the picture that is in focus.My pictures didn't turn out very well because I didn't have good lighting.  But here are the pictures I took for homework: 
Low Aperture = Small area of focus

Large Aperture = Large area of focus

Can you see the difference? The first picture the only thing in focus is little leaves.  The picture on the right has the leaves in focus, as well as the branches all around the leaves.

But the more fun pictures are the ones I took today.  Today the lesson was on shutter speed and ISO.  ISO has to do with lighting...higher ISO for darker areas (think indoors) and lower ISO for brighter areas (sunny day outdoors).  And then there is shutter speed...the higher the number, the faster the shutter closes.  High numbers help freeze and capture action.  So the homework was to take a picture of water from the kitchen sink falling onto something.  Again because of bad lighting, my homework didn't turn out the best, but I ended up with a really cool picture anyway!  I had my ISO set really high since I didn't have any natural light.

Low Shutter Speed

Fast Shutter Speed

I had to do some lightening in Photoshop for the high speed picture, but hopefully you can spot the difference.

 But the true work of art came when I decided to use the flash to try to get more light. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thoughts on Weight Loss

Lately I have been paying a little more attention to any weight loss products I might hear about or see about on TV.  I've never really been into the weight loss supplements (o.k. I did try Slim Fast before my wedding, but that's the extent of it for me) because I truly believe that it is too good to be true.  There is no magic pill, formula, or anything else that is going to help you to lose weight.  If it were that simple, everyone would be skinny, right? 

So what made me stand up an pay attention? The success of a friend .  She is taking a certain type of supplements and she has lost a good amount of weight and inches...and she looks great!!  So I started looking into what she was taking, but a month supply of some of that stuff was going to cost over $100.  And that made me think can't take this stuff forever....what happens when you stop taking it?  Isn't this why almost all diets fail, no matter what they are? You can't buy the supplements, special food or whatever else you are doing forever.  What then?  Not to mention the possible side effects of this stuff (remember the pill that was killing people??)

So, even though my friend looks awesome, I'm gonna pass and stick with the tried and true method.  Healthy diet and regular exercise.  This is not a diet to me, it is a lifestyle change. I have the exercise down pretty well, so it is now time to concentrate more on the food I am eating.  So far, I have lost about 10 pounds, and even more exciting...I am down two pant sizes!!!