A Touch of Envy

There is a young woman I have never even met who simply exudes coolness. The kind that makes everyone wants to be her, or sleep with her simply because of the sureness of herself. She is more artistic than I am in every category: water painting, calligraphy, sculpting, and photography. I find myself looking up to her in awe and envy yet wanting to be her friend because she’s genuinely nice. I feel thirteen years old all over again. I feel pains of jealousy. I know without a doubt I am not alone or most girls would only have kind thoughts and words to each other and about one other so, psychologically, what are we feeling?

Therapists often regard this deadly sin as a scar of childhood trauma or a symptom of a psychological problem. And it’s true that people who feel inadequate, insecure, or overly dependent tend to be more jealous than others, but it actually evolved from more positive reasons. Throughout our primordial past it discouraged desertion by a mate, bolstering the family unit and enabling the survival of the young. Catching someone flirting with your beloved can spark the kind of lust and romance that reignites a relationship.

Unfortunately jealously can sometimes go awry, they become self-consumed, undermining their self-esteem and into someone else’s arms. Unfortunately, jealousy is the leading cause of spousal homicide worldwide.

I am simply insecure and envy her life, my job position, and yes I wish I was as talented as this wonderful woman’s hands with a paint brush. But psychologically, I understand better what I am feeling when I experience jealousy and will always keep this in mind.

Understanding Jealousy: Ph.D., H. F. (n.d.). Understanding Jealousy. . Retrieved May 12, 2014,

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My NIKKOR 50mm Lens

I received a wonderful birthday gift which I won’t be forgetting for quite some time: a AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D. Offering natural image rendering and exceptional sharpness, the AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D is a versatile, affordable prime lens. It is extremely convenient to carry and its as versatile as compact. It’s f/1.8 maximum aperture creates a background blue also known as bolkeh, and creates great low-light shooting. It is consistently stunning, both inside and out. The AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D is fast enough for shooting in most lighting situations without a flash—from dusk and dawn to dim indoor lighting. Its aperture control ring allows for manual adjustments during Live View shooting.

The average customer rating is a 4.8/5 and I would easily rank it 5/5. It is simply my favorite lens thus far. Best of luck for every photographer out there whether it is a hobby or for your living!

Nikon USA. (2014, January 1). . Retrieved May 12, 2014, from http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Camera-Lenses/AF-S-NIKKOR-50mm-f%252F1.8G.html

Is educated, unemployed and undecided the most crippling position today?

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Is it possible that not having a career and being unsure about my career goals may actually not be the most crippling position? In the last two months alone, I have had endeavors I never saw myself beginning on my own and absolutely loved them. I am clearly on WordPress, risking public humiliation with my sub-par writing style and grammatical errors, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and I am growing followers with every post and pin.

I have finally risked public humiliation even though I am hiding behind my computer, I have comments open to the public and online bullying has made humans more open about their opinions than ever before. Previously, I would not risk speaking out in front of Jordan’s medical school friends due to their obvious higher education level and their clear ability to spot the “village idiot”. This is a positive step. I am now forced to sometimes brainstorm for creative posts, research to validate my information, and I am finally beginning to learn a bit of front end web design.

My escape from depression, besides my Golden Retriever puppy, Truman, has been the purchase of my camera and my desire to truly take pleasing pictures. My Nikon D3200 is such a complicated camera for a novice like myself, and it continues to awe me with its capabilities. I would like to not only grasp them, but master them, and then  purchase other lenses and master them too. My favorite thus far is the Aperture setting, the mistiness over the water, and I am desperate to begin learning about light.

Holding a position at a call-center, Target, or a server would take my time, happiness, and less time to apply to jobs and spend the rest of the time on my new endeavors. I still have time to center myself and remind myself this will not last. I have found things I do not like: coaching, book clubs, counseling, and babysitting.

I would never have realized any of this if I went straight into a job that would have eventually in 5 years worked up to the first position I originally wanted. I am realizing everything now. I obviously know I need to work and the first job that is offered I will take, but there is silver lining and I should not turn my bedroom into a place where depression comes to die.

Are the Rules of Composition Made to Be Broken?

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I clearly have a new hobby, one that I am simply immersing myself into. It is a culture, one with a language in which people speak and I am expected to know. There are many nods of my head and bullshitting on my side and I make a note to look it up later. Instead I am going to admit my flaws for all to see, and if you think this novice is an indeed an idiot, so be it, but my goal is someone can learn where I chose to do the research on my own.

My question is: Are the rules, especially when considering the minimalist approach to photography, occasionally made to be broken?

One theory: Nothing can be broken until you have mastered them.

So, easy rules of composition:

  •                The golden mean and its simplified rule of thirds- Once you know what your subject of the photograph is going to be, imagine, or apply the tic-tac-toe approach through your viewfinder. Where the lines actually intersect through the viewfinder, or would intersect, is where the rule of thirds applies. The rule of thirds suggests that the points of intersection are the best places to position your subject. Doing so will greatly improve your odds of a more pleasant picture to look at and a more balanced composition. Try different compositions until you find the one you like best, the same gridlines can help you keep your horizons level and the vertical elements in your photo straight.
  •              Where to place the horizon line- Most pictures look better if the horizon is positioned above or below the middle of the frame, not directly in the center of the image. The exception is when shooting a reflection. In this case having the horizon in the center can work well because it creates equal elements at top and bottom—the scene above and the reflection below.
  •                Lean Into the Frame- When photographing people and animals it’s best to have them looking into the frame. If there’s action in your picture, leave more space on the side of the frame where the action is headed. It looks more natural that way and lets the viewer have a feel for where the subject is going.
  •          Leading Lines- When photographing buildings or other strong linear subjects, compose your image so that the architectural elements lead the viewer’s eye through the photograph. These “leading lines” lead your eyes through the image—sometimes even out of the image. These lines can be the main subjects of the image, or they can be used to lead your viewer to a specific area within the photo that is an important focal point. In addition to straight lines, curves also make interesting compositions. They serve a purpose in bringing the viewer’s eye throughout an image. Curves can be the main subject, or as with leading lines, they can be a means of leading the viewer to different subjects within an image.▪               Depth- Photography is a two dimensional medium, and we have to convey the sense of depth that was present in the actual scene. You can create this by including objects in the foreground, middle ground and background. Another useful composition technique is overlapping, where you deliberately partially obscure one object with another. The human eye naturally recognises these layers and mentally separates them out, creating an image with more depth.

    ▪               Balancing Elements- Placing your main subject off-center, as with the rule of thirds creates a more interesting photograph, but can leave a void without including another object of lesser importance to fill the space

    ▪               The rule of odds- for some reason, items grouped together in odds (three strawberries rather than two) give you a shot that’s more interesting and easier to focus on as those that surround it automatically frame the middle element.

    ▪               The rule of space- This rule states that if the subject is not looking directly to the camera, or looks out of the frame, there should be enough space for the subject to look into. This technique creates intrigue in the minds of the viewers. Moreover, studies show that people viewing this kind of image will naturally look at the area where the subject is looking at.

    But after mastering them can they be broken like a philosopher or academia?

No, Put simply, the more instinctive the composition process is, the better the photographer.

Rule of Space in Photography (http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/rule-of-space-in-photography/)

10 Top Photography Composition Rules (http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules)

5 Easy Composition Guidelines (http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/Article/h7dfrceh/5-easy-composition-guidelines.html) :

The Minimalist Photographer (http://minimalistphotography101.com/are-rules-made-to-be-broken/)

Minimalism

This is my favorite advice on minimalism photography thus far:

Minimalism

It refers to the simplicity or minimalist nature of a photograph. The photograph has a varied meaning basically means what the photographer wants it to mean (is in the interpretation of the photographer). Like most photography, it can be done well, or done leaving the viewer wonder if “it is minimalist or a bad job?”

What makes the difference in minimalism is the subject. Without a subject a photograph is missing some involvement with the viewer. It needs to answer “What is this photograph about?”, after the viewer looks at the sky, horizon, and water. A human being on the beach adds another layer to the photograph,  it is still minimalism and the possibilities are endless.

SIMPLICITY DOES NOT MEAN THE PHOTOGRAPH IS ABOUT NOTHING. NOTHING IS BLUE SKY.

1: A zen like state is the concept on minimalism. if you are calm and relaxed and have time on your hands your likelihood of getting a better photograph increases. This can be said for many photographic works but is especially true in minimalism.

2: Concentrate on a single subject. Is there a minimalist subject in a street full of people? No chance for minimalism here? Think again and start to see differently. A pigeon has just landed on an awning; a bicycle was just leaned against a lamp post; A shopping bag was just set down and stands alone. These are examples of potential minimalist photography. The photographer through creative angles can create a minimalist photograph even in busy places.

3: Break the subject down even finer. The bell on a bicycle, a reflector, or a seat spring are all potential subjects.

4: Know when to use blur and when to focus. A flower in a garden can be a subject of minimalism if you eliminate all of the other flowers, the tangle of vines and whatever else may fall into the picture. Blur can be an effective way to create minimalism. A fast lens will be needed. An aperture of f1.8 at a minimum and f1.2 is even better. Still you may need to use software in your digital darkroom to manipulate the background enough to call it minimalism. Focus is needed vast areas with a single subject like a person walking on a beach.

*5: The rules of composition still apply. The rule of thirds, leading lines, space for subjects in motion etc. still applies. The rule of thirds simply put is the subject should not be centred but should be about a third of the way to either side of the photograph and a third of the way from the top or bottom of a photograph. The rule of thirds therefore discourages putting a horizon in the middle of a photograph and putting your subject dead centre or too high or low in your photograph as well. The rule of thirds may even apply more in minimalism. When the photograph is simplified as much as possible the rule of thirds becomes more evident and it may be important to use the rule of thirds as a result. You be the judge and consider some creative cropping to achieve this in your photograph.

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  • 5 Tips for Minimalist Photography (janmaklak.hubpages.com/hub/Great-Minimalist-Photography#)

Marketing Strategies That Moved Me to Tears

Nikon D3200

I recently bought a Nikon D3200 from a professional camera shop instead of Best Buy. My camera in total was enough to drive me to tears three times. Best Buy price matches from the Internet. I was completely uneducated when I embarked on this purchasing journey and it is rather unfortunate the entire decision was based off of the marketing strategies placed on the “consumer” instead of my education of Nikon, Canon, and the middlemen involved.

I love taking pictures, one glance on my Instagram account, Facebook, Pinterest, or tumblr will tell you this, so it was time I took matters into my own hands and purchased a quality camera and lens to begin a lifelong hobby. I enjoy minimalist photography but also whatever piques my interest. I avoid our local camera shop initially because of their inability to match prices, their knowledge and my disadvantage, a known marketing strategy for anyone trying to up-sell, and head instead to Best Buy, where they acknowledge manufacturer rebates, offer their own sales, and price match any location both online and mortar you can find at a better price. I wanted an EOS or a DSLR, and knew my price point, and Best Buy had an amazing deal and price matched an even better one on the Canon of my dreams. The manager and the woman approved it, but upon returning the next day, the next manager refused even after yesterdays manager was called at home. This was the first round of tears, because it had been such a long road to even get to this point, and without the sale the camera simply couldn’t be purchased. Today, as I reflect, I wonder: Why do girls cry so much more easily than boys?

“Until puberty, boys and girls cry in equal amounts. However when the estrogen levels rise in girls and bring them to tears more often, the testosterone increasing in boys are causing less tears than their female counterparts. Once we reach adulthood, women cry approximately four times as much as men- about 64 times a year, as opposed to 17 times for men. We could blame a protein named prolactin, which also control breast milk production, is present when someone cries emotional tears. The protein gets the endocrin system flowing, making more people more prone to crying and women have 60% more prolactin in their bodies at any given time do to men. Another reason for men’s stoic nature could be that men sweat more than women. When men sweat, then may need to release some toxins that are found in emotional tears, lessening their need to cry. Women have them too, but when men cry since they sweat they need to cry fewer tears. Men may have saved their tears for disasters, but when hormones and middle age hits, the statistics change again.”

Okay, so Discovery helped me now, but in the moment I was devastated and needed another way. Fortunately, my parents had been plotting to buy me a “present” anyways and told me to return to Best Buy and get the one I really wanted. I returned a third time, to be told they could not do anything in price matching, and I was forced to wait around fifteen minutes for the second time and I was about to spend more money than I was comfortable with standing waiting, and falling prey to their antics. I get in my car, this time I am so frustrated that I am in tears, and go to Jack’s, much like heading out of the “Pride Lands”.

It’s intimidating just to walk in the store; there are lenses behind the counters, camera’s that are easily valued at what my car is now worth, and what I now know to be fifteen professional photographers working there always ready to assist customers who only buy from them. I happen to walk right up to the owner. I ask questions about the Canon EOS and the Nikon DSLR’s and he realizes I am not going to buy the full price, know little, would like to learn more, and calls me out. He informs me this is unethical, and I am asking him for information in his store only to take business elsewhere, I tell him he is unkind and this is no way to establish business and this is how our relationship begins. I want to walk out of the store but I am defiant and stand there like a child and quietly argue. I feel bad, and he points our marketing strategies that make me angry yet I know is right, then he calls out the most obvious, Best Buy treated me worse than he has yet, and he is being truthful. Tears.

I learn they will never price match, but they will always service my camera for free and I know where I take it, that he will personally teach me how to use it, and for any question after that day he will also teach me, and slowly the fifteen photographers will also turn me into one as well. The most frustrating aspect is the marketing, good and bad that affects the consumer makes the decisions even if they aren’t bluntly called to your attention. I hesitated, argued his sound strategies, and after three hours I walk out of the store with my new Nikon D3200, and four pages on exactly how to use the camera, in MY language. I have returned to ask questions on the WIFI and he is amazing, and it was worth my tears, and the refusal of price matching.

I guarantee he does not cry as much as a woman. He was stoic, cold, and had zero qualms hitting me while I was down and he knew I would walk out with a camera when I hesitated. Reflecting on how smart we both were to use this strategy and make this purchase even when in the moment I knew exactly what he was doing makes me want to cry again. Possibly knowing our weaknesses, that my friends, was the best marketing strategy of all.

Do women cry more than men? : (http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/woman-cry-more-than-men)