Thursday, March 10, 2016

How to Take Holiday Pics Like a Pro

Image from Pixabay

Do you ever feel a little disappointed with your holiday photos? You have some wonderful memories of your time away but your photos don’t capture the essence of those moments. They feel a little flat and don’t quite live up to the spirit of your holiday. There’s an art to photography and the more you learn and practise the better photographer you will become. Until then, follow these simple steps to capture those moments with the skill they deserve.

Invest in a Good Camera

It all starts with the camera. Smartphones will only take you so far; I’m afraid. To shoot quality photos you need a quality camera like the Nikon D750.

There are a number of areas where smartphone camera falls down. The flash is one of them. If you have ever used your phone’s flash in low light you’ll know what I’m talking about. The zoom function and the ability to take motion shots are also areas where phones are just not comparable. To make the most of your holiday photographs invest in a good camera and follow these tips to look after it.

Get to Know Your Camera

Become familiar with your camera before you leave and get to know the features and functions. If it’s feasible, take a course and learn from the professionals. If not, there’s a wealth of knowledge to be found online. Look for tips on taking professional-looking photos. Get as much practise as possible. You will learn most through experience.


Get the lighting right and you’re part way there. Where possible, try to shoot outside. Natural light provides the best conditions for photography. For inside shots try to position the subject close to a light source. Daylight is best and so try opening the curtains. Otherwise, switch on lamps and position them close to the subject.


When framing your photo experiment with angles and positions to see what works best. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to photography. However, there are guidelines we can follow to improve our technique.

One of the most well-known ‘rules’ is the rule of thirds. Image your photograph is split into nine equal rectangles. i.e. three rows of three. To add balance to your picture position your subject along these lines or at the points they intersect.


Try to vary your shots. With a digital camera there is a temptation to take lots of pics of the same subject. This is fine and it will help you to find the best shot. However, try to vary the type of photos you take. Shoot a mixture of people and landscape shots. Vary the light and the time of day. Change your angles and positions. Don’t get too comfortable when you find a technique that works. Keep on experimenting.

Above all, have fun with your photos. Don’t overthink it and don’t take it too seriously. If you’re passionate about your photography and have fun, this will show in your work.

Monday, March 7, 2016

5 Ways You Can Look After Your Smile

Most of us know that a smile is one of the best gifts you can give. It’s a sign that you’re happy, friendly, or pleased to see someone. It makes others feel welcome, at ease, and assured you are content with their company. But not all of us take good care of our smiles. And far more goes into a good smile than you might think. Here are five ways you can look after your smile, whatever your age:

Good Oral Hygiene
Taking care of our teeth twice a day is essential to ensure we have clean, bright, white teeth. Brushing isn’t enough, though. As we age, our teeth become more prone to damage, staining, and weakness. Flossing helps to keep the gum line healthy, but regular visits to the dentist are essential to ensure there are no other problems. Avoiding fizzy drinks and sugary foods can help reduce the risk of cavities.


Aesthetic Enhancements

Some teeth can become worn or damaged. You may even need to have teeth removed if cavities are extensive. You might be wondering what is the difference between crowns and bridges. Broken teeth can be restored with a crown. You can also use a dental bridge to hold artificial teeth. Of course, they are the preference to having a gappy smile or jagged teeth. They can be used to restore a beautiful smile. Crowns are bridges tend to be the cheaper alternative to dental implants. 

Soft Skin

As we age, the skin can dry out. When we smile, the dryness is more obvious. It can give the appearance of deeper wrinkles, and a dull complexion. A good skin care routine helps reduce these effects. Keep your skin soft by using an alcohol-free cleanser and toner each day. A good moisturizer should lock in the natural moisture of your skin while offering the top layers a little extra softening. Drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet to provide your skin cells with the nutrients they need.

Effective Makeup
You can use makeup to enhance your natural, beautiful smile. Start with opening up the eyes. Eyeliner, shadow and mascara can help highlight the beauty of your eyes. A good foundation that helps your skin to glow and shimmer can also enhance your smile. Use a little blush across the cheekbones to give you a natural looking glow. Keep lips soft and plump with moisturizing lip balm. Finally, add a pinkish gloss to highlight your lips as you smile.

Your posture will give you away if your smile is fake. Keep your head held high and maintain eye contact when you smile. Your shoulders should be relaxed. Keep the down and back to ensure your spine is as straight as it can be. Don’t cross your legs or your arms, but instead keep your body language open and friendly. This will show people you have confidence, and your smile will be more effective.

There are lots of reasons for smiling. Sometimes we smile because it’s part of our job. But mostly, we love smiling when we’re with the ones we love. Keep your smile beautiful.