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Welcome to A Zillion Ideas

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Using a 300mm long lens #photography

The kit lens that comes with a DSLR isn’t usually the highest quality and if you’re serious about photography you soon find yourself buying more lenses. I mostly use a 18 – 105 mm lens for events but for some events you need more zoom. I’m thinking about buying a 18 – 300mm long lens but they are very expensive. It will cost at least £500 and for one that goes really wide it would be more like £750. I’m using a 55 – 300mm lens now and I’ve been using it more to get some idea of how useful a 18 – 300mm would be. A long lens is very useful but you also need to be able to zoom out.

LONG LENS PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE ST GEORGE PARADE

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Happy St Georges Day #ramble

Yes, it is Sunday morning again here in Merry England and I share my thoughts with you once again. What’s on my mind this morning? It’s St Georges Day of course. St George according to legend slayed the dragon, did he not? We all have our dragons to slay, those challenges that life puts before us that we must overcome to succeed. Today’s picture is of two foxes that I saw when I opened my curtains this morning frolicking in a trench filled with dried grass cuttings at the bottom of the garden.

Foxes on St Georges day

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Politics and market confidence #investments

The announcement of a snap general election didn’t do much to inspire confidence in the markets did it? Market confidence is all important. Investors want stability and certainty unless they are contrarian investors who like to profit from the volatility.

Market confidence

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Finding the spring bargains #thrifty

There has been a big shift in recent years to online shopping and that has changed our high streets. We still have to shop locally for fresh foods like fruit and vegetables. You can shop around and the small shops have lots of bargains but struggle to compete with supermarkets that bulk buy. The bigger shop can also do loss leader which can save us money on our shopping bill. Watch out for spring bargains on fruit and vegetables that are just coming into the season. In Aldi this week the super-six were just 19p. I had the leeks and cauliflower. The super-six has changed again today and has fruit and veg on offer at 45p. I might have the onions when I shop at the beginning of next week, warming soups are still worth cooking in spring.

spring bargains

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Developing a photography project #photography

I constantly develop as a community photographer. I take photographs at events as part of my role as a public relations officer doing publicity.  I also do landscape photography, food photography and portrait photography. I not only try to develop the photography skills but the social skills to deal with people and I’m also trying to develop as an artist. I have two art projects at the moment. One is for a competition and is loosely on the subject of spring flowers and the other project is photographing people. I’m photographing people with a wide open aperture and a long zoom lens. That project needs a lot more thought and work. Yesterday, I was out taking photographs to publicise an event and a local company on social media.

Publicity project

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I’m starting to feel my age #ramble

Yes, It’s Sunday morning and so I let you into the labyrinth that is the internal working of my mind and share my thoughts with you once again. What’s on my mind this week? I’m starting to feel my age, I have a few aches and pains. I need to get out in the sunshine and get some exercise. My photography is a good interest for getting gentle exercise on a sunny day.

Feel my age?

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Never put all your eggs into one basket

The stock market is closed today after a 4 day week that saw a lot of nervousness. Geopolitical risks seemed to be heightened by tensions between the EU and the UK and the US under the leadership of Donald Trump seems to lack direction. The Federal Reserve plans to increase interest rates, Trump wants them to stay low. The United States needs its own people to save and invest. They can’t rely on more inward investment from China and so a more regulated and less risky financial system coupled with higher interest rates would seem to make sense. Meanwhile, we small investors need to avoid putting all our eggs into one basket by diversifying.

eggs in one basket

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Smart shopping in the modern world

It has been scientifically demonstrated that more intelligent people can imagine the future better than less smart people. They are less likely to need instant gratification and so aren’t tempted so much to use credit or finance. Smart people tend to be more patient. Patience can save you money and it can even make you feel better and stay a little healthier.

smart shopping

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Taking springtime pictures #photography

Last weekend, I went out wearing a tee-shirt and my ‘sun hat’ for the first time this year, it was springtime at last! I had advanced knowledge of narrowboats on the canal and they make for a colourful picture. The light was quite harsh and you can’t always choose which way to shoot. I took some shots into the sun which isn’t always a very good idea.

springtime photography on the Walsall canal

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Look at the time! #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so here I go trying to write another Sunday morning ramble. I was out early yesterday photographing narrowboats on the canal. I was even invited to join their tour but that involved walking up some abandoned locks and I know how steep that hill is! It’s a nice day again today and so I’ll be out taking photos again this afternoon. I usually start writing at about nine a clock, but today I thought, look at the time; it was after ten!

Look at the time. I wanted to photograph that boat under the bridge!

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Looking for certainty in an uncertain world #Investments

Any sign of common-sense and cooperation between the superpowers is good for the global economy. There doesn’t seem to be much chance of that at the moment as things get more volatile. Someone once said there is never a bad day on the stock market, when it’s down you buy and when it’s up you sell. It’s not quite as simple as that but there are always opportunities. We need certainty but we find continued risk and uncertainty.

certainty in an uncertain world?

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What drives us to spend so much money? #thrifty

I am an admin of our history page on Facebook and so I know we can learn from the past. Gas and electricity have given us all our modern gadgets, but before the development of gas, people had to cook on open fires. That was something of a chore and even today cooking on a modern gas cooker seems like a chore to many people. So we have seen a proliferation of takeaways and fast food joints spreading across the UK this century. We don’t just have fish and chips on Fridays, fast food and eating out has become the norm for many people. Delicious foods zap our reward centres and it is our reward centres that drive us to do most things. We are addicted to pleasure! The smooth delicious taste of chocolate drives us to eat more than one bite and we end up eating the whole bar.

Thirst drives us to spend money

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