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Welcome to A Zillion Ideas


A divided nation #ramble

We have an election on Thursday. Will it unite this divided nation? I very much doubt it. I’ve been looking at the policies of the different parties and I don’t think we can trust the Conservatives. Even moderate Conservatives are advising people to vote for the Liberal Democrats. I would actually like to vote for the Liberal Democrats but I see two problems in doing so. I need to vote tactically to stop the Tories and Jo Swinson is far too arrogant to be a leader. 

divided nation

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Adapt to the conditions #photography

Every photo-shoot is different and you have to adapt to the conditions. I went to a book launch in the library on Saturday. I set the white balance on fluorescent. It was a cold day and the people I was photographing looked slightly red-faced. The natural light coming through the window made their faces look a little purple! I changed to auto-white balance and it improved things a little. When I was editing I changed some of the pictures to monochrome.

adapt to the conditions

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Approaching the winter solstice #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. At the moment I’m trying to decide on a title for today’s post and a picture to put in before the ‘more’ tag! The thing most on my mind this week is a hospital appointment. It’s always I worry when you’re not sure what the outcome is likely to be. I’ll take my mind off it by going out and taking photos this afternoon. It is only 1 C this morning and so quite wintry. We are approaching the winter solstice which will mark the real beginning of winter.

approaching the winter solstice

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Raise the ISO in low-light #photography

We have had a lot of rain recently and dark skies and so any landscape photography has been difficult. I don’t often take dark moody pictures and prefer to wait for a sunny day. I took a few photos of a flooded road at the weekend and I did raise the ISO to take account of the dark sky. I raised the ISO to 1600 for this shot and decided to shoot on aperture priority. The camera set the shutter speed at 1/80 of a second for an f-stop of f/7.1.

raise the ISO

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The four seasons #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. My arthritis flares up and then subsides when I take an anti-inflammatory. I got stuck in traffic on Wednesday trying to get to the food bank to make a donation and it happened again on Wednesday. On neither occasion was my engine warm in the car so the heater was cold. That triggered the arthritis. It is only Autumn now, what will I be like when winter comes? Out of the four seasons I don’t really have a favourite. I like the spring, I try to take snow pictures in winter, I like the autumn colours and of course the warmth of summer is good for my arthritis and other problems.  Whatever the weather we just have to get on with it…

four seasons

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Speeding up your laptop #technology

There are a few ways of speeding up your laptop. You can add more memory and that’s not too difficult. Most laptops use DDR3 or DDR4 memory. Mine had 4 Gb of DDR3 and so I removed the little cover on the back of the laptop and there was a spare slot for another 4 Gb. So I just slotted another 4Gb in and that cost me about £18. If your laptop is really slow the first thing to do is to defragment the hard drive. Just type defrag into your search box to find the app to do that. I also use Ccleaner for removing junk from my computer and optimising the registry. You can also use a USB flash drive and the Ready boost app to add a little speed to your computer.

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My Amazon wish list #shopping #photography

My Amazon wish list is like my bucket list but things I would like to buy before I die! A recent addition to my wish list is the Feiyu Tech Vimble 2 Extendable Handheld 3-Axis Gimbal. A gimbal acts like a gyroscope and will keep my smartphone level and stable while I shoot video. My camera shoots better video but it’s heavy and so most of the time my phone would be a better device to use.

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Through the lens flash photography #photography

Through the lens metering to control the flash isn’t always accurate but is usually better than manually setting the flash. I have had problems with flash photography and I realised there were several problems. The first is the flash bouncing off the wrong things. When I’m photographing people the flash can bounce directly off their faces and that doesn’t look good. One thing I can do to prevent that is to bounce the flash off the ceiling or a wall and that gives a softer light and then flash can even be set manually.

 through the lens

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Another bright idea #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. It is dark and grey this morning but I still have photography on my mind. I’ll be going out and intend to buy some drinks for Christmas and then wander around and try to find something interesting to photograph. I need a bright idea for a really interesting photograph.

bright idea

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Creating art with a camera #photography

The 64 Million artists weekly challenge this week was about 10 things around us or about us that were good. You can look and see all sorts of interesting things and I decided to photograph what I saw and create a collage. I share my creation with the 64 Million artists group on Facebook. So yes, I am creating something to share with other people. That is what art is about, sharing your creations. Using a camera is much quicker than traditional artist methods, of course. It can even be very quick if I turn on the Wi-Fi and send pictures to my phone where they can be instantly uploaded to social media. Creating art with a camera is something anyone can do quickly and easily.

creating art with your camera

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Remembering the past #ramble

It’s Sunday morning once again and I’m preparing to go out in the cold and damp to photograph the remembrance parade in Wednesbury. I’m not quite sure why I’m doing it. I used to do it for the local newspaper but they seem less interested these days. I suppose with an election coming up, remembering the past is of little importance.

remembering the past

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Winter photography #photography

It isn’t quite winter yet but we do have to cope with low-light. How much light is there exactly? On a DSLR you have a light meter that will tell you how under-exposed or over-exposed your picture will be and measures the light quite accurately. You can decide to take quite dark wintery pictures or increase the exposure a little and take lighter pictures making the most of the available light. Winter photography doesn’t have to be all dark and dismal and we do get the sunshine sometimes.

winter photography

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