nighttime-star-photo-truck_hGreat nighttime shots can be captured by using a few simple techniques. You no longer have to be disappointed by having difficulty making out the subject of the photo. No more evening shots that are blurry and dimly lit. Capture mesmerizing star trails and many other scenic details that are difficult to see with the naked eye. Mastering the nighttime shot is essentially mastering long exposure shots. Long exposure images have an amazing depth of color with water adding an attractive glow to the image.

Scouting your destination in advance

It’s possible that this tip could be the most important one of all. The key to getting beautiful nighttime shots is knowing the location you’re going to ahead of time and knowing it well. Arrive well before sunset so you have plenty of time to set up your equipment. Familiarizing yourself with the landscape lowers the risk of accidents to you and your gear. You’re able to browse for locations through a site like Flickr, that allow you to search locations by coordinates or general terms. Bring a digital compass along if you plan on getting shots of particular star trails. Plus, the compass will help you always know your position which is helpful when hiking or out in a spacious area.

Rules on flash

Be sure to take your camera out of auto mode so that the flash is disabled. Your camera may try to use the pop-up flash function if it remains in auto mode. Flash causes the foreground to be over-lit, while the background is in utter darkness. Simply choose a different camera mode to avoid this issue.

Using the self-timer78494.image0

The camera shakes when the shutter button is pressed. To avoid the shake, use the self-timer function as well as the mirror lock up feature. This will help ensure that the photos you take are not blurry. You could also use a remote trigger or shutter release as another option. If you do choose to do this, get a trigger or release that matches up with the model of your camera.

Bring a tripod

You need the tripod in order to achieve long exposures. If your tripod is easily blown over or lightweight, try weighing it down with a heavy bag in the middle of the tripod. Believe it or not, the wind can ruin your long exposure shot. Cut down the risk that the tripod stand will move at all by weighing it down. You can choose from a selection of tripods on

Stick to manual focus

It can be difficult for a camera to achieve autofocus in a low light setting. Find the object that you will be focusing on in the dark and determine how far away the object is in meters or feet. Then adjust the distance scale on your lens accordingly. If the subject of your focus is very far away, you may want to set the lens to infinity and allow everything to go into focus.

Try high ISO testing to determine exposures

Every increase of the ISO dial cuts your exposure time in half. Finding the best exposure can sometimes become a game of trial and error. It can be disappointing to wait 15 minutes for a shot only to find out that the shot was not level or out of focus. High ISO testing is not really needed when the final exposure will be less than two minutes. Before you begin, make sure there are no distractions in the frame. Confirm the camera alignment, composition, and focus are all correct, this will help eliminate frustration during your photo session. During the ISO test, the number of seconds during the test exposure equals the number of minutes at the native ISO. If your camera has Live View, definitely use it to help you lock down to focus on the subject of the picture. Work with your focus ring until you get the ideal focus.

Many people believe that it’s impossible to take a great photo at night simply because they haven’t done so. It can be a bit tricky, but by applying diligence, you’ll find the exposure that works for your shot. Some photographers find that good exposure lies three to five stops above what the camera’s light meter thinks it should be. If it is very dark outside, you may want to try setting your camera’s ISO to 6400 or higher.


Your new, better lifestyle starts today with a plan that involves bringing an end to bad routines and starting new, good habits. Sit down with pen and paper and write down what you think needs to change. Now, write down next to each item how you plan to change it. Making that list and being honest with yourself is difficult. People usually want to make excuses and blame their genes or factors outside of their control for feeling washed out, chubby, and tired. In fact, much of what ails Western society is lifestyle-related and many health problems spring from poor choices.

Detoxifying the Body 

detox written with vegetables in healthy nutrition and cleaning body toxins concept

What’s the first item on that list? Nothing else matters until your body is cleared of toxic waste. A build-up of chemicals is causing you to feel bloated, to lay down extra fat, and leads to lethargy. You might be in a fog or forgetting things much of the time. It’s time to detoxify the body. I’m not talking about detox from drug addiction or alcoholism. Everyone consumes toxins throughout the day unknowingly. Pollutants outside and in recycled air enter our lungs all the time. Food often carries toxins remaining from the sprays used to prevent insects from eating them. Mold, mildew, and carpeting contribute to personal toxicity.

Detox Ideas

You can cleanse your system with an extreme all-liquid diet for a few days which will leave you clean but tired. If this is your preferred method, choose three days when there is very little stress expected, and you can sleep or watch TV. A long weekend is ideal. The lemonade diet is hard work, and you will feel lighter, but most of what you lose is water, not fat, so don’t get excited. A smoothie detox is easier to handle as smoothies are filling and nutritious, read things like the  Red Smoothie Detox Factor review, for more; but even that can’t last long. Hunger is sure to set in.

Reward the Body

How will you reward yourself? Number two on the list was “eat better.” If this seems like a good time to eat something sugary, guess again — in fact, those cravings might be entirely gone. Expect a dramatic change in cravings. People often want really clean foods after going through a detox. Their diets alter dramatically. Fried food, sugar, refined snacks, and alcohol all nauseate the senses. Your body wants salads, whole grains, lean protein, and lots of water. Reward your newly cleansed system by not reversing all the good you just made; stay away from terrible food.

Food Choices

When choosing protein, opt for items which contain omega fatty acids, like fatty fish. Select chicken breasts and cut away the skin if this part remains. Cook foods in water which has been lightly seasoned or add broth in order to steam, poach, or bake your food. Lay fish on a piece of tin foil. Top with sprigs of parsley and lemon slices. Cover and cook at a moderate temperature until the fish is flaky. Fill a plate with fresh, raw vegetables.

Vegans, read labels, especially where soy is concerned. Stay away from genetically modified examples (GMO). The same goes for nuts, particularly peanuts. If soy and peanuts are organic, you aren’t consuming foods which have been sprayed with chemicals or meddled with in a lab.


A better diet will lighten the mind and body, leading to better focus, more energy, and improved moods. Take advantage of these new sensations and start an exercise program. This was the third thing on your list. Begin with something gentle like yoga or Pilates. Park the car further from your destination or, if possible, walk the whole way. Ride a bike to work. If you already feel good, doing things like these every day contributes to consistently good health. Otherwise, build upon improved fitness with more intense workouts and set goals like going to martial arts and earning a belt, being selected for a casual soccer league, or reaching a certain tension level on the elliptical machine at your gym.

Healthier Living Is Easy

Achieving your goals is painfully simple. You will see, with the list above, how it’s just a matter of being intentional and committed. Most people need a nudge, and the rest is common sense. By following the guidelines above, pre-Diabetic symptoms, symptoms of Diabetes Type 2, heart problems, high blood pressure, joint pain, and mood disorders could all potentially be resolved without medical intervention.


Singing is a wonderful form of relaxation; an excellent stress reliever. Singing brings joy to people, even if they sing to themselves, and is also a source of joy to listeners when one’s voice is beautiful. You don’t have to be a good singer to like singing, but anyone can be trained to sing better. A naturally beautiful voice with wonderful tone, vibrato, pitch, and clarity can still be improved by enrolling in classes with a personal coach or taking part in a course like the Superior Singing Method. Let’s look at five simple ways to improve your voice right now.

1. Improve Your Posture

If you slouch or sit hunched over when you sing, this is not doing your voice any good. Slouching will not damage vocal chords, but the sound can’t get out and, besides, it’s bad for your back. Air needs a clear pathway from the diaphragm to your vocal chords in order to reach an audience. Practice sitting with a straight back, chin at a ninety-degree angle with your body, feet flat on the floor, and hands clasped. Standing to sing is even better as you are not folded in half and can really reach deeply for more air.

2. Take Care of Your Throat

You can’t avoid colds all the time and the flu tends to get us all one way or another. Respiratory problems and a scratchy throat get in the way of good sound. Every little interruption in your vocal chords can throw sound somewhere you didn’t expect and causes the voice to crack. Take Vitamin C. Eat a healthy diet. Use cleansing salt water periodically to keep sinuses clear and prevent sinus drip. If you have allergies, take something for them. The constant need to clear your throat is getting in the way of lovely timbre.

3. Eat Right

Processed foods stick to your teeth and they also stick to your throat. They leave a coating, a residue, that you are constantly having to clear. Avoid junk food and baked goods when you sing. Baked treats are terrible for you anyway and should be reserved as treats for once in a while. Milk products and some juice also leaves a strange coating. The best drink for singers is water, although professionals often claim that quirky things like broth, hot peppermint tea, or black coffee are soothing.

4. Don’t Eat Too Much Before Singing

Another problem singers encounter is that they feel full and bloated before singing. After a large or especially fatty meal, all they want to do is lie down and burp. They could burp the national anthem, but singing it is a lot harder. Pressure from the stomach on one’s diaphragm interrupts the flow of air and one’s confidence to let a note really ring true. You won’t be sure exactly what sort of sound will come out.

5. Better Breathing

It sounds like a silly piece of advice. Of course, you are breathing. Otherwise, you would faint. What singers really need to do is singing-3-singing-35633120-500-334breathe more deeply. Practice taking a breath and pushing it out. Keep pushing until there is no air left, then take a deep breath. Breathe normally a few times, then take another deep breath. Push that out, aiming to go further this time, pushing for longer. Repeat this several times with your hand on your stomach. Can you feel yourself filling up with air from the lower regions of your body? You are breathing more deeply all the time. Use breath to control the notes. Do not force sound from the throat. That will cause you to crack. Practice transitioning between your natural cut-off point, where you switch to falsetto, and try to maintain power with your breath. Throat singers push their chins forward and actually block air by straining their necks.

Better Singing, Better Living

Did you notice that a lot of these suggestions are good for general health? Fatty food, junk food, and overeating are not good for you. Drink lots of water; your body needs it. Good posture contributes to better spinal health and helps you to breathe. Better breathing technique allows oxygen to get into the blood and circulate more effectively throughout one’s body. Concentration will improve, you won’t feel as tired, and your skin will glow. Singing better could reverse the signs of aging and contribute to better performance in other areas of life.


Building items from wood is a relaxing and fulfilling hobby. The smell and feel of hardwood creates wonderful associations in the present and also raises memories of the past; of special rooms in the house and things you did there. Walking into a wood shop reminds adults of wood shop and school days or of dad’s shed and the projects he undertook there. Woodworking can be an art form or a means of building useful things. Here are some tips for safe building and a successful outcome.

1. Start Small

It takes some time to get the hang of wood. This is a fickle medium. Pick a project with few elements that won’t take too long. With a sense of victory, you will be inspired to try harder projects. If this one does not work out or you decide wood building is not the right hobby, you did not waste hundreds of dollars and hours of your time. Read lots of websites, blogs, and books about amateur woodworking to find some useful small projects, tools needed and required materials. Every project has been completed by someone who recorded his results.

2. Make a Plan

Set out with very specific ideas of what you wish to build. Is this an art piece or a cabinet? Are you constructing a toy chest or a bunk bed? Are you looking to supplement your income? Are there natural colors in the wood you hope to take advantage of or will the final result be painted? Get your plans together, including a list of tools required and hardware that will be needed to complete the project. Check out the wood profits review for more tips and tricks.

3. Select the Right Wood

The qualities of a type of wood influence its usefulness in a given project. Very hard wood will last much longer as the basis for types-of-wood-4something you hope to pass on as an heirloom. Exotic woods loan themselves to projects designed for beauty rather than mere practicality. Soft woods are best for carving. Oak, mahogany, cherry, and teak are really sturdy. Pine, birch, and hickory lend themselves to carving.

Choose a good piece of wood; one without knots. Knots get in the way of a hand saw or a chisel and make for stubborn obstacles. Then again, if you aren’t cutting in a knotty area, this feature adds a unique quality to the face of a door or a work of art. Watch out for signs of insect activity which could mean something is living in the wood or that it might not stand the test of time.

Certain woods lend themselves to painting and others are too beautiful to touch with more than varnish. As you study wood, the information will be available, but practice will also reveal the finer qualities of each type. Talk to someone who runs a lumber yard about buying scraps from him for a really low price. He might even give them away just to be rid of extras that simply make a mess. Use these to find out which woods are best for your particular project in terms of hardness or visual qualities.

4. Measure Carefully

Once you cut, it is not sensible to reattach a piece of wood with glue and pretend nothing happened. Put it this way: doing so would undermine the integrity of your finished piece, and that’s not a good thing if someone is going to sit or sleep on it. Legs tend to give way when they aren’t solid. Measure at least twice using the same measuring instrument both times. Use a level too rather than trusting your eyes to know the difference between “flat” and “sloped.” Ensure cutting instruments are sharp before starting, both to ensure precision and to prevent injury. Take your time; work slowly. Don’t let anyone distract or rush the cutting part.

5. Woodworking Safety

Chisels and screwdrivers are potentially more dangerous than knives. A typical accident is one in which an individual holds the wood in his hand and faces the screwdriver or chisel towards his palm, thinking the piece of wood will protect him. One slip and that tool, being pushed with some intensity at the time, goes through a person’s palm. Use a hard surface and move away from your body when screwing, sawing, or chiseling. Keep a first-aid kit handy. Protect your eyes from flying debris if an electric saw will be used in this process. Wood chips can cause injury and even blindness.


seo-idea-lightbulbs-ss-1920Websites that successfully attract the attention of consumers are well written and strategically connected to other sites around the internet. Companies that run these sites hire SEO experts or people in their team have a handle on Search Engine Optimization strategies. There are loads of complicated elements to SEO which a full-length course and many years of professional study will reveal. They change too, but here are 5 of the top tips to improve your status with the major search engines, Google and Yahoo/Bing.

1. Figure out Keywords

Key words or phrases are the short points people use to locate things on the net. In the browser, they write “Houston coffee shops” or “Bellingham kids clothing.” Consumers don’t usually worry about grammar or even correct spelling. The internet tends to know that “Huston” means “Houston” and “clowthing” means “clothing.”

SEO strategists start by learning the keywords most frequently used to search for items in your industry. They use analytical tools in order to determine if words are correctly spelled most of the time, how they are organized (is it “coffee shops Houston” or “Houston coffee shops?”), and frequent variations. What’s this all for? With a grasp of ideal keywords, one can write effective content. This is any written item on a website, social media page, or blog. It could even be a caption under an Instagram photo. A search engine will find more references to your company and, thus, your chances of featuring on page one of a search increase.

2. Mobile Applications

As CDN hosting becomes more common and the web hosting industry improves reliability, websites are loading more quickly to smartphones. It’s important, however, that a firm or organization creates a format which is easy to read on a phone. A site does not just naturally look good on a small screen or iPad. You have to make adjustments to the mobile application for size and readability, fonts, even colors, and the density of information. The reputation of downloading speeds on mobile phones and fears about security have hindered e-commerce applications, but that is all changing, and SEO consultants can now take advantage of those changes.

3. Backlinks

Experts choose backlinks wisely as they represent positive or negative associations. A good website to host a link to your company will be one that Google ranks highly also. It’s a site with regularly updated content and keyword density isn’t too thick. In other words, when you read their content, it doesn’t repeat the keywords constantly in an unnatural way. Backlinks expand your reach, so take time to find connections to other websites. A Houston coffee shop might ask to have his website featured on a blog where someone writes about restaurants and conducts reviews of food and drink found in the Houston area or nearby towns. A clothing store could be linked to a website about children’s crafts. These links look good to the search engine and raise their ratings. Placing them in unrelated areas, like kids’ clothing on a site for pet food or coffee shops with a jeweler, tells the search engine to lower ratings for a website link and its host. An SEO Delaware expert may activate software to find all of your backlinks, encourage you to remove them from some spots, and might encourage you to look for exchanges where you host a site’s link and that site hosts yours too.

4. Search Engine Speed

We already touched on this with the topic of mobile phones, but loading speed in its own right is of critical importance. Viewers do not trust websites which take a long time to load. They believe these pages are full of viruses and imagine they will infect their own computers. Also, if the landing page is slow, what about the rest of it? The web is supposed to be quick, so make sure your website’s loading speed and uptime ratings are good. Switch to CDN if a page contains video. Readers are impatient.

5. Social Media

One reason people never find a site is that there are too few hits for the search engine to assess. Even if they are good, competition will rise above this website when there is more content available. Use social media to make regular posts and to increase your presence on the worldwide web. Give the internet something to chew on.


For my first post here at the blog, I’d like to touch on the topic of finding photos for use in your own projects. This can be a challenge, especially if you aren’t a photographer, or if you are writing about something and cannot create your own photographs, or if you aren’t an artist.

There are a lot of photo websites, and a lot of people have asked about how to find photos that they can use for their stories or slideshows to make the right points in their presentations. Well, you do not have to spend a lot of money! In fact, there are a number of stock photo sites like Clip Art sites, and (among many others) where, for next to nothing you can find tons of photos and images that you can use – some of which are in the Public Domain (granted by the photographer)!

So, if you feel like you’re in a bind to get images and don’t have a big budget, that’s one very affordable way to get started! See you again soon, and thanks for reading!