Social distancing and whining!

Okay people I have lost it with all the whining of how bad you have it because of social distancing!!! It is time that you GROW-UP. Seriously can people not act like they are adults and instead of constant complaining live with it. Really…… take a step back and look at what medical professionals are asking you. It is not that difficult to do. They are asking that for a few weeks you don’t hang out with others. If you do meet someone that you stay 6′ or only two meters away. When you do need to go out that you take as little time as possible to do nessaccary shopping and then go back home. They have not said that you cannot go outside (yes if you have just returned from out of country you have to stay inside), they are not saying stay off TV or computers. They are not saying to live on water and crackers. They are saying stay at home or if you are outside for a walk stay 6′ from others!!

social distancing

In the last 24 hours the number of people complaining about how bad they have it is CRAZY!!!! “Social distancing is so hard”, “Social distancing means I cannot see my grand kids”, “Social distancing means I cannot go to the restaurant”. WE ALL KNOW!!!!!!!

Be grateful that you only have to do it for a few weeks or a month. There are some people that live with this every year!!!! Myself for the last 15 years I have been dealing with a lung disease. The meds I need to take lower my immune system. So every fall to early summer I have to increase the distance I am from people. The rest of the year I have to take major precautions with everything that I do. So starting in November I cannot go to church till May or June. When I go to church the rest of the year I sit in the balcony away from the rest of the people. Year round I cannot go to concerts or movies as being that close to people even out of flu and cold season runs too many risks. Restaurants are a challenge as well. If I show up and someone close by is sneezing or coughing I need to leave. Visiting with my grandson is a HUGE challenge. If he has been sick or even around others I have to stay away and I LOVE being with him!! At work after each customer I need to wipe down my desk and door knobs. If a customer comes in that is sick I need to stay back as far as I can. When I go out shopping I have to be alert for people that are sneezing or coughing wherever I go!! I cannot travel like many people. I get to hear from people how they are heading to Mexico or how they are going here or there. But I cannot travel as traveling is a huge issue with germs. I am not the only one. There are lots of people that have to do the same thing. Some even have to be more cautious and we have been doing it for a long time!!!

Myself I have been doing this for 15 years. Not just a week!!! I have given up a lot to try and stay healthy. Many days it is a challenge. Someone will not wash their hands or wear gloves when preparing food or getting me some cold meat or bakery item so I cannot eat it. Someone will come into my business hacking away only to tell me “I have a cold but seeing I had to get an oil change decided I would stop in and order some prints”. All the while coughing and sneezing on me. So after they leave I have to sterilize everything and increase my vitamins for the next week.

I don’t spend the entire day whining about it I get on with life!! Do I miss some things? You bet I do!! I miss playing with my grandson the most!! I miss being able to forget about being sick when I am shopping! I miss going to the movie theater! I wish I didn’t have to wash my hands and sterilize things all day long. I miss being able to go on vacation wherever and whenever.

You have been asked to do this for a short time, it may be a month or even two but really it is not that long. Just do it!!! Don’t try and push the rules. Don’t try and get away with a little extra this or that. Just do what you are told and live with it. By doing what you are told maybe you will get to live a little longer, maybe your neighbor will get to live a little longer, maybe your grandparents will get to live a little longer. Then when you are told you get to do things that you want you can enjoy them. I know I will enjoy playing with my grandson, going camping, eating out. But when you are back enjoying I will still be required to be on the lookout for germs but I won’t be whining about it.

Winter blues

Even with it being not a bad winter I still have the winter blues. I really have not minded this past winter for cold temperatures, so far only one really bad week of horrible temperatures. The problem has been the changes in the weather. One day it is cool and snowy and a day later the winds are shaking everything and the temperature is rising. If it just stayed cool with snow it would not be so bad.

I have been out shooting a few times in the past couple of months but overall shooting outside has not been that great. Only so many sunsets and bridge pictures with snow that one person can take and still be interested in it. Staying at the studio is only so much fun when most of my customers are staying at home to avoid the winds so I have made up some projects to do over the past couple of months to beat the winter blues!

First project!

First project was to run some tests on the printers to make sure that the colors were as good as they could be. Was happy to see that things were looking great and that the systems that I tested were no better then what I was doing. Always scary thinking that I may not be using the best printing settings, but after tests I am happy with what I am printing.

Beating the winter blues project 1, testing colors on the printers.

Beat the winter blues – Project 2

I grabbed my camera and big lens, put them in a backpack and went out for a hike. This would not seem like a big thing to most people but for someone that has been dealing with lung issues this was a HUGE event. I have not been able to hike for years. I took the wildlife camera just in case and found one cooperative subject.

Project 3

I have been working on this project for YEARS!!! I wanted to get some affordable postcards for not only my printing clients but for selling my own work as well. Problem has been either the price is crazy high or the quality s low. So this winter I tried some tests and I am happy to say that I now have a printing company to do my postcard printing for me!!

Postcard back - high level bridge Lethbridge
4″x6″ Post Card Template

I still have a few more projects but I am hoping that it gets nice so I can shelve the projects. Like I tell everyone “artists are the biggest procrastinators” and I would like to be able to put a few things off to enjoy some really warm and not windy weather!!

Back to business

Over the summer I have heard from a number of people with business questions and concerns about their businesses. So this fall I will be doing some posts on getting back to building your business. Summer is over, kids are back in school so now lets get our businesses in shape.

Business

One of the first things I would like to address is time management. Specifically social media time wasters. It seems that everyone is pressed for time. In actual fact we all have the same amount of time we just need to use it better. Get off your smart phone, stay away from social media and limit your other time wasters on-line. You will get a lot more done at work and your personal life will be better for it.

Posting

As a Pastor said at a church training meeting this summer “Nobody is waiting for your next social media post. Nobody cares if you post today or tomorrow. Your church, or your personal life, is not going to change for the better or worse by not posting for a few days”. In business it is the same. Check your social media accounts once a day. Do your posts, answer inquiries, make comments. THEN get on with your life.

I have had weeks that I have posted 7 amazing posts each week. My sales for those weeks are no better, and sometimes worse, than weeks that I do not post. Many weeks when I have zero posts on social media I have done the best sales. One week this past summer when other people were up late shooting sunsets, stars, etc and posting on-line I was in bed by 9pm. Up at 6:30am. At work by 8am. My sales for that week were close to four times as much as a standard week. Not one post on social media.

Comments

Also limit the time you comment on others posts. You may think you know how to solve a problem for someone, but most people on-line are not looking for help. They are looking for sympathy or someone to do it for them. I spent hours helping someone with a issue this past summer. Myself and a couple other people used our knowledge to help them get out of a bad situation. In the end they did nothing we recommended and are now paying the price as their business struggles.

Set aside a set amount of time each day and when that time is used, STAY AWAY from any more social media. Edit images, market your business, clean up, do paperwork. You will find you will get a lot more done!

Fog on our walk

Walking the dog this morning and the fog was amazing! Did not have a camera with me but a snap from my cell does okay. Like I tell my photography students it is as much being there as anything.

They say you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Well in photography you seldom have a second chance to get a image. Today I got a second chance. When I got home from walking the dog the fog was all gone. About an hour later my son says “wow is it foggy”, I looked out and sure enough the fog was back. Had to go out with a good camera and retake the playground image.

Fog at the playground

I like both images for different reasons. The good thing is that I at least had something to shoot the first one!

Learn about my photography courses here

Photography courses can cut through all the confusion and help you get on the right path. Photography can be an enjoyable hobby or even a business if you have the correct knowledge. I will teach you all the functions and features of your camera.

I also offer location courses and workshops for individuals or groups. All the courses may be customized to meet your learning requirements. Whether it is a point and shoot camera that you need help understanding, a new DSLR camera or a new piece of gear you want to get the most out of.

One of the first questions that I get from new students is what course should I take to start, and my response is always the same.  If you have never taken a photography course and you are interested in building your photography skills you should start with the Digital Introductory Course.  Only by starting with the basics will you be sure that you have a good base to build on in the future. Once you have a good understanding of the basics of photography you may take other courses that you are interested in.

What print size won’t crop your image

Why does that print size crop my image?

So what print size will I be able to print without loosing any of the image? The question is almost daily. “Why is it when I get a 5×7, 8×10, 11×14 or 16×20 print made of my digital file I have some of the image cut off”?

The answer

A digital camera sensor is NOT the same proportions as the print sizes mentioned above.

Why are those print sizes so popular? According to history the sizes that we have come to know as normal where used by photographers that shot 645 medium format. These sizes fit this format perfectly.  35mm Film and most sensors in digital cameras are proportioned to 4×6, 8×12, 11×16, 12×18, 16×24. Only these sizes will give you the full image file without cropping any of your image.

Cropping can be a good thing if you plan for it. It can allow you to get closer to the subject and eliminate “extra” parts of the picture.  For some pictures it is a killer.  Imagine a picture of a large family and the people are from one edge of the image to the other.  Then the client asks for a 16×20.  Well you now have to choose who in the family that you are going to cut out. Or you will have to do a lot of editing to add sky or foreground to the image.

Full print size
The full digital image
Cropped print size
When you ask for a cropped print size

So what should you do?

When shooting images imagine that you have crop lines in your viewfinder. Or do like many did in years past and draw the crop lines in – if you so dare or are crazy enough to try.  Then leave space around your images for the cropping to the common sizes. 

If you want to do something artistic like shooting a image to print to 24″x8″ make sure that you let your client know first. That way they won’t try and order a 8×10 from that image. Or maybe do one that is more artistic in posing then do some that will fit the common format sizes.

If you do mess up and crop too tight for the print size, add some space using Photoshop. Unsure of how to add space ask when ordering and I will help you with it.

Slow Down!!

What you see when you slow down!! I was out for a walk the other night at Belly River Campground in Waterton Lakes National Park. I have to walk slowly with my lung condition and this night was no different with the heat and humidity. As I stopped to catch my breath I could hear something in the tree beside me. It was a gentle noise like a light breeze but I could hear something in the tree. I stood still for a minute then this little guy appeared in front of my face, He had been checking me out as I stood there and had decided that I was no danger. Probably because of my wheezing he figured he could outrun me 🙂 🙂 . So he continued with his feeding. I was able to shoot a pile of images, the only thing that caused me to stop shooting was the horde of mosquitoes that showed up and the fact I left the bug spray in the van.

What you see when you slow down

So the next time you are out shooting, don’t be in a rush. Slow down and see all the things that you would miss if you were rushing past.

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