Photography Tips and Tutorials for Beginners

Many people are saying that photography is easy but I beg to disagree. It is even harder the writing an essay or making a computer program. It is not just pointing the camera and pressing the button, the difficult part is to get the photo that matches how you visualize it.

To master the art of photography, you must be able to undergo hundreds if not thousands of photos. However, the results are rewarding. It is highly  recommended for everyone to try as a hobby. If you are new to photography here are a few points the you should learn first before embarking on your photography journey.

Photography Must Learn


The Exposure Triangle

Many new photographers believe that good photos are done by the cameras; they do not know that behind a beautiful photo is the magic of light. Photography is all about capturing and manipulating light. A poor-lit subject will not look good no matter high expensive your camera is because in photography light is everything.

There are three factors that affect the quality of the image. The aperture, which is the size of the lens opening, which is in the form of /2, f/5, f/11, this number, is inversely proportional to the aperture opening. In effect the wider the aperture, the more it can accommodate the light. The depth of field is also affected by the aperture.

Next is the shutter speed, to have more light into your camera, your shutter must be slow. Shutter speed also affects the sensitivity to motion. The ISO, on the other hand, pertains to the sensitivity of the sensor to light.

The exposure triangle is a very big subject. The trick is to master all three for you to be able to get the perfect photo that you want.

The Rule of Thirds

What is the difference between a photo taken by an amateur and the  professional? The answer is in the composition, which is the soul of the photograph. It is the arrangement of every element in the photo. Once you have mastery of the art of composition, your every photo will have a great photo out of any subject, circumstance or location.

The most effective rule to apply is the rule of thirds. To do this you have to divide the image mentally into three using vertical line and into two using the  horizontal line. Then your subject places the subject in any of the four intersections.

Changing your Perspective

A boring photo is the ones that shot at eye level. It will not stand out because we are looking at everything at an eye level. To make your photo unique you have to shoot from a different vantage. You can achieve this changing your elevation by getting closer to the ground or standing on something. You can also change your angle or change your distance. Better yet, try a combination of the three.

There are other things that contribute to a perfect photo of post-processing and your camera. All these are important to know if you want to learn about photography.

My Experience With Buying a Family Car

I remember when I was looking for my first family car. I have three kids, so I always had car space problems whenever we would go out on a trip. Buying a new car is a major decision for any family. So looking for the best 8 passenger SUV was very tedious for me. I would search the Internet looking for the best one, trying to balance the practicality and overall usability of each car.

I love my truck but with my growing children, weekend sports, monthly family trips and other factors are putting me and the load-hauling abilities under pressure. There was just not enough room for everything anymore.

I was browsing online when I came across the Chevrolet Suburban, it was love at first sight. In my opinion, it is simply the best 8 passenger SUV. I didn’t take any second thoughts and two weeks later my kids were comfortable hanging in the back seat while my wife and I try to figure out where the best route to our destination was All our equipment and bags were safely stored in the back, everything fit perfectly.

Depending on your personal configuration, the 2017 Chevy Suburban can fit between seven or nine people. The factory configuration has front bucket seats with second and third row bench seats to fit eight people. A front bench seat can give you room for an extra person which I find very convenient. But, no matter which seat your family choose to sit in, they’ll find plenty of room in the Suburban.

That was just the seats, there are other interior features in the car. I used to find it really hard to convince my teenager to come with us on our long trips when we were using my truck. But since my new Chevrolet suburban has a Wi-Fi hot spot, I don’t need to convince him anymore. There are five USB ports a six-speaker audio system when you want to plug in your tunes. If your alone however and you just want to listen to the radio there’s also an HD and satellite radio you can use, What I find very useful are the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

Teaching my teen how to drive on my truck very difficult. The Chevrolet Suburban has a teen driver system, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors which made it very easy to teach him the basics of driving.

I have to say that buying this car was the best decision lye made in a long time in terms of practicality and reliability. The Chevrolet Suburban is by far the best 8 passenger SUV in the market.

Why I play squash?

play squash

Squash is a sports game played by either two or four players in a four-walled court with a small elastic ball which is stroked using a racket, and the players keep on alternating when the game is in progress. This game is very interesting. It was first played in England in a school known as Harrow ( ). By the 1950s the game became known all over the world. The game also has flamboyant appeal and some rotations.


The game has its rules which include; the game can only be played by an at least two players and a maximum of player in some extraordinary cases, and it only earns the player eleven points. The player should take shots in hitting the ball alongside the forward-facing wall. The player who fails to hit or hits the outline wall and drops the instead is well thought-out to have failed, and the opponent scores an extra point for his failure. Additionally, a player wins if at all is ahead of the other player by only two points and a draw is not considered as winning since it is hard to determine the champion in such a case. When the ball hits the front line, it is the allowed to rebound on the playing ground before a player re-strikes it. The players are allowed to move about, but again the abstraction of the opponent’s movement is strictly not allowed. When a player hits the ball on the front line perfectly, he then returns to the center of the court.  ( )


Usually, in every game the safety guideline which gives a parameter to the players. The players should be good health and when they are playing they should not at risk of injuring themselves or their opponent player. They should make a habit of going to the medical facilities for checkups such as heart checkup so as to make sure they are capable of participating the squash game and so as to avoid cases of a heart attack when they are on the court playing the game. They should use protective squash goggles ( ) when playing to avoid eye injuries in case the ball accidentally bounces into their eyes. The player should always take enough and nutritious food to keep energetic, and by this, the player avoids a case of collapsing when playing the game since squash is a very high-intensity game. Also, the squash player should be physically fit so avoiding muscle cramps and bone fractures in case of an accident. Like in football the player should always warm up before starting to participate in the game. And lastly, if you have never played in this game make sure that you do not over exert.


Squash game is an interesting sport, apart from just winning, by merely participating in the game the player stays fit, meets many people from different races and they also have an added advantage of traveling throughout the world. Therefore it should be embraced.

Cameras – digital vs. Analogue

Cameras 3-1

For more than 150 years, photography was a chemical operation. Images were taken on photo film. Digital cameras have altered all this. There’ no requirement for film, chemical substances or dark rooms.

From the outside, you can’t see how a digital camera is different from an analogue one, given that the majority of digital cameras are made to replicate the appearance of classic analogue cameras. Yet inside, you will find many distinctions.


Shutter prevents light from getting into the camera apart from when wanted. Should a camera let in light source for too much time, the picture is over-exposed (creating photos which are overly bright). When it’s open for not long enough, the image will be underexposed (too dim).

A number of digital cameras never implement shutters; however merging digital concept with mechanical shutter is likely to deliver higher-quality photos.


The aperture in analogue cameras operates by extending and narrowing based on the general level of light. The narrow aperture will let in a reduced amount of light to ensure the film isn’t over-exposed.
Digital cameras include mechanical openings to adapt the iris dimension.

Film Speed

Film’s speed is a method of outlining its sensitivity to light. The faster the film, the quicker it responds when it makes contact with light.

Rather than film, digicams possess a picture sensor created with one general sensitivity to light, equal to ASA 100-speed film in the majority of classic cameras. The camera’s integrated computer could improve photos by eliminating the blur and thereby successfully elevating (or reducing) the light captured in the photo sensor.

Recording LightCameras

Black-and-white film is covered with an emulsion coating, which if exposed alters the halide crystals. The developing and printing operations convert this to a picture. Color film contains 3 emulsion coatings, each one responding to a main color of green, red-colored, or blue. Coupler dyes combine to mimic the color of the light that initially hit the film.

The picture sensor in digital camera is composed of 1000′s of photosites that convert light energy to digital information. By merging information about shade and intensity, camera gives a particular color to every pixel.

Portrait Photographs

Portrait Photographs

Photographing portraits is a challenging art form and not everyone’s cup of tea. However, the portrait photographs taken by James Marvin make the task look easy. Not only has James covered people of different regions, age groups and genders, he has also captured diverse emotions and moods. This has been done through the use of lighting, contrast, color as well as facial expressions.
Let’s go a little deeper into the range of portrait photographs taken by James Marvin. He has covered men, women and children. The fact that he has traveled extensively to add to his collection is visible by the attire of the people who are the subjects of his photographs. James seems to possess the talent of making his subjects feel completely at ease while capturing their moods. Be it of an elderly man sitting beside a wall in a pensive mood or a child feeling excited about holding a lollipop, James has ensured that his subjects do not feel camera conscious.
The lighting usually plays a key role. For instance, in photographs that have a somber feel, James Marvin has created the atmosphere by lowering the intensity of the indirect lighting used. He has used under-exposure to his advantage to offer a harsher feel to photographs. James has enhanced this by making texture an important part of not only his subject, but also the background. In some photographs, he has used natural lighting (of a really bright sun) to convey joy and hopefulness. The colors of the clothing as well as the background are mostly in perfect harmony with the sentiments conveyed by the facial expressions of his subjects.

Top 4 Talk Show Host Comedians

Many phenomenal comedians are typically guest stars on talk shows. But, there is a good amount of talk show hosts that are fantastic comedians. So, to give you an idea of some of the current funniest talk show hosts, we have created a list of the top four talk show host comedians.
1.) Conan O’Brien
The first talk show host comedian on our list is Conan O’Brien. O’Brien is currently the host of his own late night talk show, Conan. Prior to creating Conan, O’Brien was the host of the Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Conan airs every Monday through Thursday on TBS. On the show, O’Brien uses current news, as well as political figures and celebrities, as the basis of his jokes. He also has a sidekick, Andy Richter. Then, the rest of the show features a celebrity guest and a musical or comedy performance.

2.) Jimmy Fallon
The next talk show host comedian is Jimmy Fallon. It’s no secret that Fallon has comedic talent. He made his comedic debut on Saturday Night Live, then spent a few years starring in various movies. Fallon first hosted Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, but left in 2014 to host The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (he succeeded Jay Leno). Fallon’s talk show has the same basis as Conan O’Brien’s, but Fallon is known for the various games he plays with his celebrity guests. One of the most popular games is the Wheel of Musical Impressions, where Fallon and his celebrity guest must impersonate a popular singer, singing a song. Fallon is also known for some of his various segments, such as Celebrities Read Mean Tweets. During Celebrities Read Mean Tweets, the most current popular celebrities read a mean, yet funny, tweet aloud.

3.) James Corden
Finally, the last talk show host comedian, on our list, is James Corden. Corden is the host of The Late Late Show with James Corden. Corden’s talk show has the same basis as the other talk shows on this list. Out of the various segments that occurs on Cordens talk show, the most popular is Carpool Karaoke. During Carpool Karaoke, Corden picks up a current popular singer, or band, and drives around, singing along to their most popular songs. Some of the most notable people who have been on Carpool Karaoke are; Adele, Justin Bieber, One Direction, and Sia.

4.) Jimmy Kimmel
The third talk show host comedian is Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel currently hosts his original talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel’s talk show has a similar basis to Conan O’Brien’s and Jimmy Fallon’s talk shows. Kimmel is known for doing various segments, such as taking the streets and asking people ridiculous questions. Also, Kimmel is known for his prank war with Ellen DeGeneres. Finally, one of the things that Kimmel regularly does, on his talk show, is make fun of Matt Damon. He is known to say, “My apologies to Matt Damon. We just ran out of time,” at the end of every episode.

We will triumph over this attack on our complacency!


obama crying

In the wake of any mass shooting, such as the hideous slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, there is always a struggle to look past the easy and obvious explanations and turn instead toward a whole bunch of bullshit. This is only becoming more difficult as America charges into the 21st century, and the concatenation of our brainless follies gets ever-more compressed, the latest catastrophe being crammed up our ass well before the last one has had the opportunity to pass from our minds.

Thus Adam Lanza, a young white guy in military gear and an assault rifle, killed 28 people (including himself) not six months after James Eagan Holmes, an assault rifle-toting young Caucasian gentleman decked in military gear, killed twelve people in Aurora, CO. And just over four months after Wade Michael Page–yet another scion of the peoples of Europe–murdered six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI. (Now the last one was an openly racist massacre, and thus didn’t provoke a very deep discussion, since everyone already knows that America is racist, so why bore people with some shit they already know? Although the Chicago “lifestyle” magazine RedEye did produce a helpfully racist primer on good versus evil turbans.)

Americans can always be counted on to forget, or never know about in the first place, things that happened a couple years ago (“Obama will take on those Wall Street fat cats!”) or, even better, stuff that happened not-in-America (“Arabs! What the fuck did we ever do to them?”). Furthermore, any crimes that non-whites commit can be safely resolved by additional racist harassment–which is why people of color are always secretly relieved when some crazy shit wasn’t done by one of us. (Please don’t tell the bad whites I said that.) But now: Sandy touches down too soon after Irene; Jordan Davis falls while we’re still mourning Trayvon Martin; Michigan’s unions get stomped while we’re still wondering what the fuck happened in Wisconsin; and so on. How will we cope–where by “coping” I mean, of course, going on in exactly the same way as before?

Video games! Could games like Spec Ops: The Line challenge our society to confront the way it thinks–or fails to think–about violence and militarism? Could penetrating gamer-critics like Anita Sarkeesian use a critique of sexism in video games to shine a light on sexism and violence against women–all of Lanza’s adult victims were women–in the broader culture? Yeah, probably. But wouldn’t it be more pragmatic to simply use video games as a scapegoat? Certainly it would. Indeed, it has already begun.

Video games, like rock music in an earlier age, is perfectly suited as a political punching bag for ritual post-disaster “discussion”: basically every young person likes them, but the old fucks that comprise the political class don’t, so it’s a great way for the people who decide basically everything to blame things on the people who decide basically nothing. Even better, the industry that controls the medium is so rich and powerful thatnothing worth changing will actually change. Is a national debate about violent video games going to tear into the genuinely fucked-up Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, featuring “Secretary of Defense” David Petraeus? Or are our noble representatives more likely to target Fallout 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV–games that, for all their problems, actually try to say something of value?

What’s more, the denouncers of “violent video games” always have a comically reversed concept of cause and effect. While it’s true that brutality in art supports brutality in the general society, art is but a small, strictly superstructural subset of society. Or to put it less grad-schoolishly: no shit video games are violent, because the world is slathered in violence already, for reasons that have very little to do with games (and very a lot to do with the political class). You might as well ask why pictures of fish are so watery. Some games deal with violence intelligently; some decadently; and some without much reflection at all. That all merits scrutiny–by civil society, not officials, and especially not those that one suspects to possess an aesthetic literacy bounded strictly by Norman Rockwell and the less challenging passages of the Bible.

police clear occupy chapel hill

Musta been playing GTA

Leaving aside whatever was going through Adam Lanza’s head on that awful Friday–I don’t know and neither do you–is a kid more likely to emulate Max Payne–a man whose wicked killing skillz make him completely miserable–or the awesome dudes of Seal Team Six, who heroically shot some old guy in the face (at the cost of only a few bystanders, a crashed helicopter, fake vaccines for Pakistani kids, and billions of dollars)? Is someone more likely to conclude that maximum firepower is a good way to solve problems from a cartoonish farce like Saint’s Row–or from the fucking police, who can’t seem to do anything these days without a tank, a drone, or at least an assault rifle?

Whatever. Despair is not particularly leftist, but dishonesty is even less so. The slavish “stability” of everyday life is notoriously uncongenial to critical thought; yet it seems that even in crisis, all we can think of is how to “move forward” in the same direction that got us fucked in the first place. We are wanderers into the void, who have rejected as “impractical” any idea except the obviously cracked one that there’s salvation on the other end of the void. So we wander on and wonder, with each fresh proof of our terrible mistake: “Will we triumph over this, the latest attack on our complacency?”


Designing custom fabricated metal components in the landscape is a sure way to make a project stand out. Using metal elements adds a level of permanence to a landscape without the weight of concrete or other hardscape materials. Corten steel (as shown in the image above) tends to reflect a more aged and rustic feel while stainless steel (shown below) is associated with a more refined look. The planter edge above was made from 1/2″ x 12″ corten sections that were pre-formed off site and welded on site.
stainless steel railings

These stainless steel railings were custom fabricated for our Birdrock project and consist of 2″ x 1/2″ rectangular posts with 1/2″ plates  that were mounted to the tile stairs. The handrails are from 1 1/4″ diameter stock. The cable is 1/8″ stainless wire. The cables are spaced so that at the time of inspection a 4″ diameter ball cannot be passed through them at any point. Due to the fact that the cables can be “stretched” they are spaced at about 3.5″ on center. It should be noted that mounting the posts to a tile finish is extremely difficult without cracking the tile. We recommend mounting the posts first and then placing tile around them. Also note that other metal elements such as the stair mounted light fixtures are stainless steel to match the railings.

Buddha head

The focal point of the Birdrock front terrace is a Buddha head that rests in a raised steel planter. We specified 1/4″ cold rolled steel plates with a planter height of 12″. Cold rolled steel is less expensive to use than corten and it has not been “weathered” or oxidized yet. When new it looks black but in time or with an acidic / saline solution treatment it will develop a similar rusty petina as corten. Being next to the salt water the steel on this project took no time to color up. Notice that this area features a mix of both cold rolled steel and stainless steel. They make an interesting contrast in color, warmth and texture. When using cold rolled or corten you never want it to have direct contact with other hardscape surfaces like concrete or tile as it will leave stains as it weathers. In this case the steel is surrounded by a 4″ band of decorative rock which prevents contact with the surrounding concrete. Stainless steel does not need to be separated from other hardscape in the same way.


 monumental trellis
This monumental trellis was designed as the main garden entry feature at the Alpine project. We designed custom cold rolled steel lattice work to be mounted between (4) 8″x8″ posts at each of the 4 corners of the trellis. This trellis is larger than life but was necessary on the expansive site. We used Southern California wild grape vines to climb up into these trellis panels. After a couple seasons they have added a lot of character to the trellis.


At the Birdcold rolled steelrock project this cold rolled steel planter softens the retaining wall behind it. Due to the retaining wall footings there was inadequate soil depth for plants – so the raised planter was a perfect solution. Notice that we used the decorative rock to separate the steel from concrete again.


 cold rolled steel planter
At the upper terrace of the Birdrock project we designed a cold rolled steel planter to serve as a water feature and focal element. It also serves as a preliminary filter for stormwater that runs off the roof and down the decorative rain chains. The clients wanted to have a more traditional water feature but since we were going for LEED platinum certification we did not want to waste that kind of water or electricity. Now when it rains they have a natural water feature.


The “Agave Garden” at the Alpine project is simply a rectangular area featuring white gravel and geometrically placed Agave with a corten steel defined edge. The steel is 1/4″ x 6″ and was finish welded on site. An off center basalt column serves as the focal point. This stone sculpture with its own geometry stands among Agave planted in strict alignment, defying the wildness found all around it.

If you are considering the use of custom fabricated metal elements in your landscape you won’t be disappointed. Just remember to separate oxidizing metals from hardscape and choose the type of metal that fits your aesthetic and budget. Let us know if you have any questions!

Lastly.. In a future blog post we will dive into the fabrication of our most monumental project yet – the Pride flag in Hillcrest. We will be working with MakeFAB once again on a stainless steel monument for the base of the flag pole. The monument will chronicle the local history of the LGBT movement and recognize the founding donors of the project. This will be unveiled at the Stonewall Rally on July 12, 2013.