Photojournalism – Stressing The Importance Of Photojournalists!

Photojournalism is a type of journalism that depends on images to tell a story. It is not classical photography as the pictures taken are mostly or entirely related to a news story or event. They are not usually for entertainment or appreciation but more for conveyance of a news event.

These images have to be relevant to society, informative and should be able to convey what is happening in the world. The images should also possess an objective quality. It is very important that the photograph is relevant to the context of the story being reported.

The relevance of photojournalism in the news media

Photojournalism is an important aspect to the news media. For most people who read newspapers or watch the news, it is the photographs that summarize what has been written. This makes newspaper reading and news reporting much more effective as now one can relate the news to real life scenes and understand fully what it must be like to be in that actual place at that actual time. This applies especially for people who are not too fond of reading the newspaper or watching the news. For such people, it is the pictures that convey the news.

Photojournalists

It is not easy being a photojournalist. Very often photojournalists have to risk their lives to bring news back so that people can be kept informed about what is going on.

Through photographs they take, they are able to give information regarding events that have transpired in the world. We are offered a glimpse of different people, what they do, places and other things through the images. This makes us more aware of the society and its status.

How technology has changed photojournalism

Technology has greatly changed the face of photojournalism. Today, news can travel the entire globe in just a few minutes. With the advent of videophones, internet and terrific printing technology, photojournalism has become extremely popular.

This is the reason that photojournalists have the responsibility of bringing in photographs that are objective. The disadvantage of technological advancement is that now people can manipulate images. Ethics plays an important role here. Codes of ethics have been set up for addressing such issues. The code varies according to the country.

Photojournalism, as a profession, is a serious job and demands attention and respect. After all, it is the photographs accompanying the news that truly help us understand what is going on in the world. The profession of photojournalism requires a lot of patience, understanding and skill, and the photojournalists should be appreciated accordingly.



Photographing Butterflies

As a nature photographer the day often starts with the question: where do I begin? There are so many photographic opportunities and it is not always easy to choose the right object at the right moment. But among all of nature’s amazing diversity, there is one species you just can’t take bad pictures of, namely butterflies. With the right preparation you’ll easily get one final colourful image, due to these bright creatures and the colourful flowers they feed on. While this seems an ideal subject for nature photography, yet many starting photographers find photographing butterflies quite challenging. These little winged creatures can be very active and in that way don’t keep still long enough to take the right shots. But with the following list of tips and the right amount of patience, you’ll see that photographing butterflies is a very rewarding photographic activity.

Where and when

From April till late August, butterflies can be found almost everywhere. The most common species have adapted to live in urban areas, so you can find them easily by simply walking around in your own garden. You could even attract different species by planting flowers and bushes that attract these little insects. Certain butterflies could also be attracted by putting out rotting fruit.

In the past decades butterflies have declined dramatically due to the loss of their habitats and the plants that a species of butterfly may be reliant on. To find rare and endangered butterflies you might have to drive to specific locations, where only a small population is left. Keep in mind that these populations are very vulnerable, so always try to take your photographs with great respect for nature and environment.

Because butterflies depend on the warmth of the sun, I usually go out, photographing them, in the early mornings and evenings, as they are less active then. It might then be harder to find them, so look carefully for butterflies resting on flowers or grasses.

Don’t hesitate to go out on a clouded day as well; the light is soft then, which allows you to photograph in “good” light the whole day.

Once you have found an obliging individual, approach it carefully without disturbing it and take all the shots you can. It also helps to wear dark clothing because it doesn’t scare butterflies off as easily as light coloured clothing does.

Equipment to use

I could actually write a whole article about the equipment necessary for photographing butterflies, but if you’re just a starting photographer of butterflies, I would recommend you the following material in particular. The best choice would probably be a (digital) SLR combined with a macro lens but if you don’t have that at hand, you could also use your telephoto lens. My first butterfly shots were taken with a Nikon Coolpix 995, so even a digital compact camera can get you started.

Furthermore, I would recommend a macro lens of 100mm or more, because they allow greater working distance. Moreover a longer focal length gives a nice out-of-focus background. I currently use a Canon Eos 40D together with a Sigma 150mm macro and this combination gives me very satisfying results when taking shots of butterflies.

Most of the times I use a tripod as well; you will be working with rather small apertures in order to get the butterfly completely into focus, therefore resulting in low shutter speeds. If you go out early in the morning or on a cloudy day, the available light might be poor and then a tripod really is necessary.

On a cloudy day, a flash unit can be used as a fill-flash to add an extra punch to your image or used as an extra source of light. When photographing in full sun, use a fill-flash to soften the harsh shadows.

For really small objects, extension tubes allow an even closer focusing distance. An extender will allow a greater working distance and a remote cord can avoid blurry images due to camera shake, when photographing at very low shutter speeds.

Things to keep in mind

When photographing in close-up, the depth of field is very small. So in order to have your butterfly completely in focus, you need a small aperture. For butterflies that have their wings closed an aperture of F5.6 will do, but for butterflies that have their wings spread open, you might need an aperture of F10 and higher. If your camera has a depth of field preview button, use it to see how much of your subject is in focus.

You should also pay attention to your background. Try to avoid cluttered backgrounds. By simply changing the position of your tripod a little, you might avoid distracting objects in the background. Images that have a soft out of focus background, isolating the subject, have far more impact on the viewer.

I suggest you use manual focus when doing close-up photography. The narrow depth of field requires an extremely precise focus and having your camera focusing on the wrong part of your subject can completely ruin your shot.

Look for a good composition, generally avoid placing your subject in the middle but use the rule of thirds, your image will have far more impact on its viewers. If your camera has a live preview function, you can also use this to check your composition.

Finally take a few shots and check your histogram for correct exposure.

I find that butterflies lean themselves very well for experimenting with light. Step away from the standard image and take that same shot using backlighting, you might be surprised about the results.

Good luck

As you can read there are a few things to keep in mind. It is often very frustrating when you see a nice butterfly sitting on a colourful flower, you approach it very carefully, put your tripod and camera in position and when you are about to take the first shot it flies off. But if you have enough patience I can assure you that some rewarding images can be taken. Think outside the box and try to add a little more drama to your shots, by trying out different techniques. Don’t hesitate to photograph from different angles, in different light and you’ll soon notice that experimenting with all these elements will improve your pictures. I hope these basic tips can get you started, but don’t forget to be creative yourself.



7 Reasons For Retailers to Use In-Store Video

Given that 75% of buying decisions are made once a shopper is in the store, it is understandable how interacting with the customer at the point of sale can dramatically increase sales.

In-store video allows retailers to stimulate brand recall, counteract advertising campaigns by competitors and make the shopper feel good about their brand purchase.

Here are seven reasons why savvy retailers are implementing in-store video displays at the point of sale:

  1. Shoppers actually appreciate in-store video displays. In the Arbitron Retail Media Study (2006), 78% of consumers believed that in-store video displays that feature product or sale information are helpful. In fact, 81% of consumers said that they were interested in seeing in-store video promotions that included sales and specials (81%), product information (72%) and special events (68%).
  2. Unplanned purchases increase by around 30%. Various research studies have uncovered that consumers who stop to watch the digital retail screens have decided to purchase the showcased product on the spot.
  3. Spend increases by an average of 10%. Research by Mintel has found that consumers in retail outlets with in-store video displays spend an average of 10% more money.
  4. Digital signage introduces a ‘wow’ factor that engages, supports branding, helps the customer at the point of sale and most importantly, brings fun into the equation. Of course, don’t expect this to be a long term factor when the rest of the market starts using in-store video displays.
  5. It’s highly flexible. In-store video displays allow products to be advertised in an instant. For example, if it’s raining outside, change the marketing message to a special on umbrellas. Different stores can also run different ads for the same product to evaluate which ad is more successful at lifting sales.
  6. It interacts with the customer. Companies are finding that transferring the 30 second standard television ad onto a retail television network can have lukewarm results. However, ads that are targeted to the retail environment, help the customer make a decision and engage have the power to heighten sales.
  7. It improves brand recall. A study by Nielsen found that the average recall of a brand advertised on Wal-Mart’s in-store television network is a staggeringly high 66% compared to around 15-25% for brands advertised in other media.

The Arbitron Study also found that if given a choice 42% of shoppers would prefer to shop at a store that has video displays.

In-store video has the power to engage with customers, alert them about new products, special offers and provide a relevant and helpful shopping experience. Any retailer who wants to cut through the clutter and create a more meaningful dialogue with their consumers needs to seriously consider in-store television advertising as part of their media spend.



Safety Guidelines for Dogs in Campsites

Let your dog stay hydrated.

Always provide water and shade to your dog to prevent overheating during a trip. Observe your canine pet for any signs, like too much panting, and take water breaks regularly while hiking or doing other activities. Never let your dog drink from a puddle, pond or any still water. This can hold bacteria, viruses and bacteria that cause sickness or grave illness. Treat your pet as you would do yourself by giving the clean water you have packed, or purifying the water you have collected.

Always stay in charge of your dog.

Majority of campsites require pet owners to have some kind of control over their dogs, whether they are in a portable pen, crate or tied on a lead. It is best to tie your dog’s leash to a harness instead of a collar, especially when your dog is fond of bolting and running after things such as wildlife. This is because dogs can get seriously harmed when their collar does not break once they reach the rope’s end at their maximum speed. Whenever your dog runs wild, a harness ensures that the risk of an injury is minimized.

When you keep your dog restrained, you prevent it from mingling with dangerous wildlife, including skunks, venomous snakes and porcupines. If you are not happy about restraining your dog, think about the consequences in case your dog runs after an unwanted critter while you are not watching.

Control the level of noise

The constant barking of a dog, just like loud music, bothers other campers, as well as the wildlife. If ever your dog continues to bark at everything it sees, try to divert his attention by playing tricks and giving treats (this is the reason for packing some). If your dog gets distressed by people or wildlife close by, bring him to a tent together with some treats to block the view of anyone or anything that triggers it until he stays calm.

Make him feel warm during nighttime.

Providing your dog with a fur coat doesn’t prevent the cold when the temperatures drop at night. Keep his pad/pillow from getting wet from the ground by placing it on a canvas, and provide a sweater or more blankets as needed. Cuddling is indeed another option!

Whenever possible, let your dog stay inside the tent.

If possible, let your dog stay with you inside the tent. There are lots of critters at night, and certainly you wouldn’t want your dog to mingle with such creatures like raccoons, skunks, and depending on your location, bears. Since your dog has a strong sense of smell and hearing, he will still be aware of what is happening outside the tent. However, you should maintain a barrier between him and unwanted animals that explore your campsite at night. This way, there is a right balance between letting him serve as an alarm system and protecting him from harm.



Analysis of The Night Cafe – Vincent van Gogh

Vincent’s Two Cafes

“I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.” Vincent van Gogh

Van Gogh’s two ultra-famous café scenes comprise a study in opposites. Though both paintings employ Vincent’s famous bold and furious brushstrokes and striking colors, the two pictures feel entirely different. One, “Café Terrace at Night,” is lovely and full of a frothy light, a night scene with stars outside the café on the Place de Forum. The other, “Night Café,” is, in the artist’s own words, “…one of the ugliest I have ever done,” a collection of clashing colors in the dreariest atmosphere.

Both paintings were made in Arles after van Gogh had lived and studied in Paris, and met various French impressionists. His own style became much lighter, less moralistic and more rife with color.

“Night Café” depicts the interior of a pool in Arles’ Place Lamartine. A more striking van Gogh canvas would be difficult to find, but no one could call this particular picture beautiful. It was the artist’s intention to show the lowest edge of humanity, without adornment, with as much impact and sincerity as possible.

There is no doubt he succeeded. Upon first glance, the viewer almost tends to glance away, as if burned. Fully two-thirds of the painting is the floor of the café, executed in sulphuric yellow with exaggerated lines of perspective that yank the eye into the painting. Next, a green billiard table, outlined in heavy black, stops us cold. Beside the table stands a figure in a light-colored coat, staring out at us without expression.

“I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green,” van Gogh wrote. Yellow walls give on to blood-red walls that lead to an obtrusive green ceiling, and lining the walls are the locals at the bar tables, hunched over in late-night stupor. Lamps hang from the ceiling, surrounded by Vincent’s wheels of curving yellow strokes.

A stark black and white clock depends in the background, impossible to miss. It is almost a quarter past midnight in this desolate scene. “Night Café” is one of Vincent’s most powerful communications through art of the human condition and human emotions.

The other van Gogh café painting, “Café Terrace at Night,” shows the exterior of a café which still stands in Arles, though it was renamed The van Gogh Café and remodeled to closely resemble the painting which immortalized it. He painted this work in a flurry, using many of the same techniques he employed in his drawings. This is one of his most beautiful paintings, full of the light and peace he sought, but never found.

Perspective and warm complementary colors draw the viewer into the painting and beyond. The graphic texture of the street’s cobblestones invite the eye toward the little café itself, with its tiny white tables on the street, repeating the spheres of Vincent’s stars hung in the Prussian blue sky. The awning and walls of the café, warm yellow, cut into the sky to enhance both colors and form the main composition.

Van Gogh loved the night. He writes, “I have a terrible need of–dare I say–religion…then I go outside at night and paint the stars.” He painted this night scene on the spot, at night, using no blacks. His father was a preacher and Vincent went into the ministry for a while. It was later that this artist, now a star himself posthumously, decided his ministry would be to find a way to give hope and consolation to humanity through his art.



How to Make Paper Look Crimped

Texture is a very important element for any scrapbook page, greeting card or 3-D craft project. You can easily add texture with paper that is crimped… that is, it has pleats like a hand-held paper fan. Here are 3 different ways to create Crimped Paper… use them on your next craft project!

Using a Paper Crimping Tool

To describe how these tools work… think of a Pasta Machine. Dough is placed into the throat of the machine; you use a crank to feed the dough past two rollers; the dough comes out of the machine just the way you want it. This is the exact process for crimping paper with a special tool. The difference is that the tool’s two rollers have ridges that create pleats in the paper. Crimpers can be purchased with rollers that have parallel lines, or wavy lines, each one giving you a unique look. You can find either style in many craft supply stores, or order a parallel-line crimper from your Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.

Crimping Paper with a Paper Cutter

If you have a Paper Cutter with a Scoring Blade, you can add a ‘crimp’ to any paper. Cut your piece to the length and width you need, keeping in mind that after you “crimp” the paper will be slightly smaller because of the folds. You will make two set of score marks – one set on each side of the paper. This will give you “hills” and “valleys” which you will then pleat like a hand-held paper fan.

Here’s how to create ‘crimps” that are 1/4″ inch deep: Start by making a score mark 1/2″ from the right edge of your paper, and then score every 1/2″ for the entire length of your paper (these are the “hills”). Flip your paper over and place the first score mark on the grove of your paper cutter. Now move your paper 1/4″ to the right and make a score. Now score every 1/2″ for the entire length of your piece (these are the “valleys”). Now pleat your paper as if you were making a fan. Make sure each fold is well creased, preferably with a Bone Folder or similar tool.

Crimping Paper by Hand

Now that you understand the concept of crimped paper – make pleats and then fold like a fan – you can create unique crimps by hand. Make the hills and valleys by creating your first fold, then flip it over and fold again, repeating this process for the entire length of your piece. This is a very time-consuming approach but it gives you the flexibility to create pleats of different widths on one piece of paper. This will create a very dramatic look and add lots of texture.

In Summary

These three styles of making crimped paper – with a special tool, with your paper cutter, or by hand – will create a piece of paper that will definitely add an unexpected and dramatic look to your next project. I hope you make some Crimped Paper very soon!



22 Online Business Ideas for Moms

If you’ve thought of creating an online business in the past but never knew what to base your business on, I made a list for you to help kickstart your brain to generate some ideas.

You can create an online business on nearly anything, some of you may think that you have nothing to offer, but you’d be surprised at how much you do. By reading the suggested business ideas below, try to dig deep into your own interests, hobbies and education and see if you can develop a business idea from it. If you read an idea on the list that you can genuinely see yourself doing because you’re really good at it or have experience in it, go ahead and snipe it, don’t worry I won’t take credit for it!

Artisan- If you’re good at making things or you’re an artist you can:

1. Sell knitted mitts and hats

2. Sell decorative paintings on canvas

3. Sell handmade greeting cards

4. Sell baby quilts

5. Sell personalized dog collars

6. Sell hand sewed pillowcases

7. Handmade furniture and accent pieces

8. Make and sell handmade jewelry

Prints and Graphics- You can have companies print artwork on items and sell them:

9. Sell mugs with sayings on them

10. Sell posters and canvases with printed graphic art on them

11. Sell t-shirt/sweaters/tanks with artwork, graphics or sayings on them

12. Sell custom graphic phone cases

Sell a service or write:

13. Make a blog on how you stay organized and on top of work and family

14. Write an eBook on how to keep a healthy relationship

15. Create a course on financial strategy management

16. Write a recipe eBook on Budget Friendly Meal plans for the family every week

17. Make a video blog on fitness routines for moms to do with their baby

18. Create a course on the foundations of sewing

19. Blog on crafts and activities for toddlers

20. Write an eBook on how to grow a successful garden and eat organically for the whole yearly

21. Tutor stay at home kids remotely

22. Create a journey blog (e.g., religion, parenthood, weight loss… )

There you have it, 22 completely random business ideas that you can start from home. There’re so many other things you can create and sell, all you need to do is look at your life and past experiences and see what you can offer the world, small or big.



A Cowboy’s Bedroll Was Much More Than a Sleeping Bag

The cowboy’s bedroll, unlike bedrolls or sleeping bags used by modern-day campers, was much, much more than a sleeping bag. The bedroll served as his “mini-home” on the range.

In its most elaborate form, a bedroll contained a whole host of personal possessions wrapped in canvas (when canvas could be found) or sometimes just in make-shift heavy grain sack cloth. Tied up or strapped within such a bedroll might be a “sugan” (also spelled “sougan” or “suggan” and several other very creative ways) or two and the cowboy’s “war bag” or “possibles sack.” In fact, a well-planned and well-stocked bedroll carefully wrapped and tied might be slung across a horse’s back behind the saddle, or if it was too large and burdensome and the cowboy was a working cowboy, his bedroll might be slung off the side of a chuck wagon or tucked down in the bed of the chuck wagon along with all the crew’s cooking utensils.

Smaller bedrolls for “portability” may have been mounted on the cowboy’s horse, but not the true, masterpieces of portable homes like a serious, full-grown bedroll. Which means we should ask — what were these mysterious “sugans” or “war bags,” and how did they work for the average cowboy?

Sugans — These were heavy blankets, or more often quilts, that contained some substance and if possible some padding that made them warm for cover. The same term is sometimes used for a small tarp or canvas that could be drapped over a tree branch or propped up with sticks to form a rudimentary one-man tent. So a sugan might be a tent, or you might think of it as a sleeping bag. The important thing in winters on the range in Texas or across the Great Plains was that sugans should provide both shelter and warmth as much as possible.

War Bags or Possible Sacks — If you think about those terms, you may figure this one out. These were canvas bags or often just old grain or flower sacks in which the cowboy kept prized possessions. They could be grabbed up and taken along in a hurry. Quoting from Winfred Blevins’ “Dictionary of the American West”:

“In the days of the open range, a snoop probably would have found some town clothing, the makings (for cigarettes), cartridges and maybe some letters from home in it [the war bag].”

A modern-day bedroll is much less colorful and exciting. In cowboy terms, “bedroll” was equivalent to an entire one-person camping setup. In modern terms a “bedroll” really just refers to a good sleeping bag.

The old “cowboy ways” of using bedroll appeals to me the most. It makes a bedroll into a portable campsite, a portable home away from home.



Effects of Video Games on Heart Rate

Video games have been in the market for the last 35 years. They are a unique form of leisure because they encourage players to be part of the game’s characters. This, however, has both positive and negative effects on the player. Several studies have been published that explore the effects of video games on heart rate.

In this article, I have tried to summarize the research conducted into the effects of video games on individual’s heart rate.

In a study conducted by the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University, it has been found that playing violent video games affects heart rate variability not only during game play but also when you are sleeping at night. A group of boys, aged between 13 and 15, were told to play two different games in the evening, one focused on aggression while the other had no violent features.

Fifteen boys were exposed to violent video gaming, playing for no less than three hours a day. The remaining fifteen were asked to play nonviolent cartoon games – no more than one hour per day. The boys played the games at their homes, on two evenings.

Heart rates were observed during the game play and also while sleeping. The study seems to show that effects of gaming don’t just stop when you switch off your system, but they have a continuous psychological impact without the player even being aware of it.

While the boys were sleeping later that night, boys that were exposed to highly violent games had faster heart rates compared to the night after playing nonviolent games. Boys who were exposed to violent games also reported poor quality of sleep on the night after playing an aggressive game. They also reported increased feelings of sadness. The violent game seems to have elicited more nervousness and stress at bedtime.

This suggests that frequent exposure to violent computer games not only increases stress and aggressive behaviour, but also increases anti-social behaviours. Other studies have also indicated that violent video games can cause an adrenaline response. In other words, they can affect your blood pressure, breathing rate and pain tolerance.

Violent video games usually tend to be more thrilling and obsessing than their more peaceful counterparts. As a result, they are bound to see heart rates rise. It could also be the increased excitement level which is causing increased anxiety. However, not all individuals may be affected by exposure to violent computer games, but most individuals are affected.



Western Painting – Body Painting – A Contemporary Yet Ancient Style of Being a Canvas

Body Painting – The Intricacies

The origin of body painting is unknown, but its use has been widespread – sometimes as an art form, sometimes as a part of tradition, and the other times, as a necessity. The evidence of body painting is found in ancient practices across various cultures and remains a popular fashion statement in the present times. There is no set style or technique for body painting. It can be a localized design or a fuller one, covering the entire body in some cases. The color pigments used can be natural or synthetic. Similarly, it can be a work of an expert or an amateurish hand of a novice. However, unlike permanent tattoos, body paints are temporary or semi-permanent in nature.

The Geographical Spread

Painting the body was prevalent in ancient Egyptian civilization, where Pharaohs and high-class individuals painted their faces in red ochre & white pigments, and eyes in kohl. The Himba group of Namibia also generously uses red ochre. These people paint their entire bodies in the uniform pigment, as a traditional practice. In India, body painting is an elaborate work of expertise, which requires training and a lot of experience. One of the best examples of this art is the make-up of Kathakali dancers that involves the use of white, red, black, and yellow colors against a base of bottle green color, on face.

The use of ‘henna,’ a natural plant extract, is very popular among the Indian women across the country and is again, done by trained experts. Henna is used for decorating the hands and feet in beautiful, complex designs. Native Americans use streaks, concentric circles, and other patterns of colors, which include red, white, yellow, blue, and black. The indigenous Yolngu people of Australia use detailed and painstaking technique to embellish their bodies. It is an inspiration for many other art forms and a job that only the experts can do.

Painted faces have been a trademark of comedians and mimics, throughout the history of performing arts. Body painting has found as much use in military operations, as in local communities. Facial colors, particularly in nature tones are heavily employed as camouflage by almost all armies in the world. Now days, this art has become a fad, especially among the youth and is treated more as an avant-garde fashion accessory, rather than as a religious belief. Across the US and Europe, body painting is used in theatre, cinema, fashion, carnivals, and body painting festivals. Despite facing criticism and rejection from various corners, this art continued to grow and is still evolving!