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Wide-open in low-light #photography

I’ve been taking photos at more events indoors recently and doing much less landscape photography because of the weather. Indoor photography poses its own problems with low-light. To get some scenes in focus you need a wide depth of field but struggle with the low-light at narrower apertures. The answer is to just stay wide-open and try to take close-up shots of people. After all, at events, it is the people who are the subject!

I kept the aperture wide-open for this shot.

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Is it still raining? #ramble

Is it raining?

Is it raining?

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I let you into the weird labyrinth where I keep my innermost thoughts. What’s on my mind this week? On a Sunday, I like to write this ramble in the morning and then after lunch, I like to do some landscape photography while I can drive about without facing mind destroying congestion. Of course, on Friday’s when the congestion is the worst we get the sunshine and on Sundays it’s always raining.

I was out last night taking photos at Churchill’s club where my brother was celebrating his 60th birthday. I have looked through the photos this morning and they are quite good. I deleted far fewer than usual and so I must be getting better at this event photography.
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Economics and the stock market #investments

Most people understand the basics of economics. Recently there has been a worldwide glut of oil and so there was competition among producers that led to the oil price falling to below $50 a barrel which meant many producers were selling at a loss. Supply and demand largely dictate prices but in the case of oil, we also had to look at how much oil was stored. It will take a while before those stocks are deleted. When oil stocks are low then the oil price could soar to new heights again.

FTSE 100 affected by world economics

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Food and entertainment #thrifty

Eating out and buying takeaways can work out expensive with 20% VAT on top of the bill and the same applies to entertainment. I follow a gluten-free diet and so rarely eat anything out and even buying chips is complicated because they have to be cooked separately. When I do spend money, I always look for value. I went to a community night this week and had an evening of entertainment for the price of a 50p cup of tea! Look for value when you want food and entertainment.

food and entertainment?

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Using the flash or increasing the ISO #photography

When the light is poor you can usually choose between increasing the ISO which effectively makes your sensor more sensitive to light or you can use a flash. I used a pop-up flash yesterday and that was the wrong choice because my subjects were wearing high visibility vests! The light wasn’t too bad and so a higher ISO would have been a better choice but I realised my mistake and increased the ISO for the rest of my shots. Using the flash is usually a good option if you’re photographing people and doing close up shots.

Using the flash

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Art and culture #ramble

I think the town I live in lacks some cultural opportunities. The art gallery rarely seems to have anything interesting on and only opens three days each week. It closes altogether in the winter. I think we could make a bit more of an effort to get funding from the Arts Council for a summer exhibition. The Royal Academy of Arts has a summer exhibition and so why shouldn’t we? Yes, today I’m sharing my thoughts with you as I usually do on a Sunday morning. I have art and culture on my mind this morning.

art and culture

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Watching the stock market #investments

As a small investor, I obviously watch the stock market mostly to look for bargains but also to look for trends. I also watch some of the forums to see what other investors are saying. There is a lot of ramping because sentiment does influence buying and selling but not to an extent that we can influence it. I do suspect that traders in the City of London are more positive and tend to buy on days when the sun is shining! I don’t base my dealing on the weather forecast, though.

stock market tips

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Socialising and days out on a budget #thrifty

We all like to go out and socialise and meet our friends and new people too, but it can be expensive. We can cut the cost by trying to get value for money and resist the temptation to buy food when we smell the onions or see other people enjoying hot dogs at a popular event. Taking out the sandwiches that you prepared earlier doesn’t have much appeal in comparison to the delicious food offered by the vendors. We do have to live within a budget, though, so we can still do some socialising and limit the amount of food and drink we buy while we’re out.

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Choosing your equipment #photography

As well as being a blogger I’m also a community photographer and have to take quite a professional approach to that. However, my equipment isn’t so professional. Most of my content including the photographs is published online so I don’t need an expensive full-frame camera. I did upgrade to a DSLR from a bridge camera when I began to do lots of events but I chose the semi-professional DX camera which is much cheaper than a full-frame DSLR. Choosing your equipment for digital publishing is a lot cheaper than if you were taking photographs for high-end magazines.

choosing your equipment

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In search of serendipity #ramble

Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. In a letter he wrote to a friend, Walpole explained an unexpected discovery he had made by reference to a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip.

You get serendipity in science as well, when researchers discover something just by chance, that they weren’t even looking for.

serendipity

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A diverse approach to finance #finance

Just the way we think about finance can help us save money and make money. Finance can be about risk and a diverse approach to finance can limit that risk. Using a diverse approach when we are investing is fairly common but we can also use a diverse approach when we are buying too.

A  diverse approach

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Using a long lens #photography

Sometimes we need to use a long lens to get a close-up shot of our subject. This can be for wildlife photography or in my case it was to get a shot of a helicopter taking off near my house. The lens I used was a 55 – 300mm lens which is the equivalent of a 10 times zoom on a bridge camera.

helicopter using a long lens

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