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Photography inspirations

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In spring 2011, for the purpose of seeking ideas for beautiful shots of lovers, I have been collecting more than a thousand inspiring ideas, and viewing even much more, from wedding photographers and world-class cinematographers.

How did I start fall in love with photography, especially people photography?
After finishing my final exams in university, I became more diligent in visiting library, watching artistic movies.
Then, I also met my 1st master of photography at 1 of the world-class universities. He is talented, handsome, and kind. He encouraged me that I had the eyes for beautiful angles. I love beautiful women, lovely children, and majestic sceneries. I love LOVE.

Photographing others need a set of skills, being photographed need another set of skills. Of course if we know both, we will do better in each of these.

How to be photographed beautiful?
practice practice practice!
how to smile kindly and charmingly?
Take note of our body language.
Our hands.
Our legs.
Hide those our weak points (e.g. tummy, remember to tuck in).
Highlight our strong and outstanding features.
I also consider learning dancing as it will capture the grace of our motion.
Remember, photographs allow us to scrutinize more carefully than movies, so we want to bring our best.
Peace be with you!

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Written by blueroselady

May 1, 2011 at 1:13 am

Tips: wedding photography

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Shooting tips for the groom and the bride:
1. Be cheerful. Your happiness will show up in the pictures. Even if it rains, remain positive. The experienced photographer will be able to make the best of the situation.
2. Decide your preferred season. Different scenery and temperature will be reflected in your photos. I remember chasing for spring flowers in Cambridge, so exciting 🙂
3. Pick a vendor who is knowlegeable about the routes and destinations of the photo spots and tourist attractions.
4. Get the photography done 1st before going for the gourmet tour (who can resist delicious food?)
5. Communicate with the photographer (itinerary, venues, photography style).
6. Communicate with stylist. Do not hesitate to give feedback during make-up session.
7. Prepare 3-6 mths in advance.

Photo sites in Taiwan:
Danshui (was Taiwan’s largest harbour) – Fisherman’s Wharf, Lover’s Bridge for waterfront and sunset shot. Fort San Domingo, Oxford College (red-brick wall).
Ta-Tun Flower Garden (windmill). Ask your photographer about the Black Forest with its tall cypress trees.
Laomei – algal reef visible at low tide.
Jiufen – 1930s-feeling mining town. Cheongsam.

Sun Moon Lake – forest, floral seas, romantic castle, 6-star Lalu Hotel.
Alishan – cherry blossoms, 3000 year-old Shenmu (sacred tree) of 53 m tall and 23 m wide.
Qing Jing Farm (Little Switzerland) – sheep, guesthouses.

Taipei 101 – over 500 m tall (a friend of mine is an accountant of KPNG at that building, yeah!)
love-motels
night markets
Ximending

For more details: http://www.welcome2taiwan.net

Written by blueroselady

April 30, 2011 at 6:02 am

Posted in beauty, photogprahy

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Tips: photography. Practice makes perfect

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Wake up call for my deteriorating photographic skills.
1. Pre-trip: always revise summary notes + images in Ideas folder.
2. The art of combining (beautiful shots + less artistic but memorable). Think summer 2010 in China.
3. The art of post-processing (crop, rotate / tilt, saturation, bw / sepia, clone).
4. The art of narrative (label with venue and dates, quotes / poems).
5. Open your eyes, heart, and mind.
6. Thank God for letting us to see through another angles and lenses.

PS:
1. see diary
2. keep on shooting

@~@
Ref: Portrait and candid photography. Photo workshop. Erin Manning.
I am donating this book to libary, though I have not finished reading.
It is better to share with more people.

Tell a story.
A wide shot of a room
a medium shot of someone’s face
a close-up of a foot / hand or other detail in the scene.

How to photography children or even the grown-ups?
people want to feel respected, appreciated, and comfortable.
begin shooting by talking with everyone.
turn on some music.
blow bubbles.

Written by blueroselady

March 29, 2011 at 12:48 am

The joy of photography

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This article is especially written for my Darling, a beginner who aspires to take good shots of his sweat heart and future generations.

I learnt them before but we human beings tend to forget. It is always good to re-learn on what we have learnt, as we may be able to gain new perspectives based on what we know at the present moment.

METERING = measuring the brightness of light.

Check the 4 corners before shooting!

If you cannot use a tripod:
(1) lean against something.
(2) put the camera on something.

When shooting white subjects, which normally comes out too dark, increase the exposure compensation.
When shooting dark subjects, which normally comes out washed out, decrease the exposure compensation.
HISTOGRAM indicates if it is an OPTIMUM exposure.

People photographed with direct flash, for many times turns up oily, with uneven redness on face, shadow, etc. Therefore, I tried to avoid photographing people when it is too dark or the sun is behind them. Instead, the sun should be our natural flash.

Hope these are useful to you too!

Reference was retrieved from  Canon: Discover the real joy of photography.
http://www.canon-asia.com

Written by blueroselady

March 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Posted in photogprahy

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Photography tips on PORTRAIT (Part 1)

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PEOPLE / PORTRAIT
The most striking portraits in Flickr are those that break all the rules!
1. Alter our perspectives (take not only from eye level, but also from below looking up, climb up to shoot down).
2. Varies eye contacts. Subject (1) look at the camera, (2) look off camera, (3) look within frame e.g. A child looking at a ball, a woman looking at her new baby, a man looking hungrily at a big bowl of noodle.
3. Break the composition rules.
4. Give our subjects room to look into.
5. Experiment with lighting. Side-lighting can create mood, backlighting and silhouetting your subject to hide their features can be powerful. Using techniques like slow synch flash can create an impressive wow factor.
6. Shoot candidly. Some people don’t look good in a posed environment and so switching to a candid type approach can work. Photograph your subject at work, with family or doing something that they love.
7. Use prop(s). We have been doing this to create the atmosphere.
8. Focus on 1 body part. Photographing a person’s hands, eyes, mouth or even just their lower body… can leave a lot to the imagination of the viewer of an image.
9. Obscure part of our subject. We can do this with clothing, objects, their hands or just by framing part of them out of the image.
10. Take a series of shots.
11. Shoot with a wide angle (I love this kind of shots, but I don’t have the lens!)
12. You can use landscape to take portrait, i.e. camera in horizontal position.
13. Hold our cameras on an angle.
14. Take unfocused shots. But (1) Focus upon one element of the image and leave your main subject blurred. Use large aperture e.g. f1.4 f2.8 etc.
15. Introduce movement.

INTERNATIONAL STREET PHOTOGRAPHY
1. BECOME FAMILIAR / FRIENDS. Every location is different, so keep safety in mind. Generally, if you return to the same location multiple times, or if you slowly browse the area it is easier to familiarize the locals with you and your camera. Without some level of familiarizing, it is more challenging to get permission for taking portraits – or even pictures of the neighborhood. Be friendly, become familiar, and people are more likely to welcome you.
Nod to people. Smile. Seek permission.
2. Make Eye Contact and Ask Permission
3. The STORY. Who is the individual? Where are they from? What do they do? What is their background like?

LEARNING FROM HISTORY
Leonardo’s use of a pyramidal composition which shows MONALISA with a wider base at her arms and her hands forming the front corner and everything is in place to draw the eye up her body to her eyes and her infamous smile.

Leonardo has positioned Mona Lisa’s eyes at the eye level of the one viewing the image. This brings a sense of intimacy to the image as we the viewer gaze directly into her eyes (there’s not a sense that we’re looking down on her or that she’s doing that to us).

Leonardo uses light to draw the eye of the viewer to the parts of the image that he wishes to be highlighted (the face and hands) and balances the image nicely by placing hands and face in positions that counter one another.

Leonardo also uses shadow (or a lack of light) to add depth and dimension to different aspects of the image – particularly the area around Mona Lisa’s neck and in the ripples on the dress on her arm.

CATCHLIGHT: the highlight of a light source reflected off the surface of the eye.
Many portrait photographers use a reflector placed in the lap of the subject, or in a similar position. This usually produces a larger catchlight in the lower half of the eye. A studio portrait will show the final product with a single catchlight in each eye, typically in the 10 or 2 o’clock position, created by the main (”key”) light.

Consider that early artists didn’t have the luxury of multiple lights in a studio, using instead the Sun or light from a large open window. The result was a SINGLE catchlight and because the Sun illuminated the subject from a high angle, the catchlight reflected from a higher spot on the eye.

Use every opportunity to study the position and shape of catchlights in other photographers’ work, and in the eyes of your friends and coworkers. Study the paintings of old master portrait artists to learn how they used light. Your portrait work will benefit from this effort.

Think of ANIME EYES.

Next is on NATURAL LOOKING PORTRAIT
1. Handle subject HANDS. Give them things to hold.
2. Let subject SIT. Carry a stool. When people sit, they will 9 times out of 10 loose the nervous rigidity they have when they’re standing.
3. Use DISTRACTION. Distract your subject. Get them talking about something you know they’re interested in, ask them questions about their family, pets or favorite super heroes if you get desperate. Do whatever you can to pull their attention away from themselves.
4. RESPECT RESPECT RESPECT.

FASHION
1. Ask our subjects to bring few outfits.
2. The comfort our our subjects are important.
3. Clothes can put people in context.
4. Darker top slim your subject. No crazy patterns, lines, dots or bright colors – just understated basics that allowed the person to shine. Beware of complexion. A very fair complexion with a very dark top can be too much of a contrast and when shooting someone with dark skin tones dark clothing can mean not enough contrast. COLLARED SHIRT can frame men’s face.

WEDDING PHOTO
1. At a wedding it’s so fast paced that we often don’t have time to perfectly compose each shot for the rule of thirds. So what can we do? Just don’t compose in the center! COMPOSITION is the core of any photo.
2. Get the first kiss.
3. FOLLOW THE LINES. If you see a bunch of lines going in the same direction, follow them. There’s usually something good to shoot at the end of those lines. If you’re posing the couple, put the couple right at the end of those lines. The center aisle is always a converging line leading to the couple. Use those lines.
4. FRAMING. Hide in the bushes and shoot. Peek around a corner and take your shot. Peer over someone’s shoulder and take the shot. By doing this you frame your photo and give it depth and mystery. It’s sometimes difficult to find depth in a hectic wedding, so create it. Jump behind something and shoot away!
5. TWO PEOPLE ONE PORTRAIT. Weddings are all about the relationships and it’s great when we can show the relationship in the portrait even when we’re taking a portrait of just one person.

Acknowledgment: Darren Rowse, Christina N Dickson, Natalie Norton, John 3:16

Written by blueroselady

March 13, 2010 at 3:21 am

Tips from various magazines

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@~@
To reduce commute time:
www.workshifting.com

Personally, commute time can be used for doing other useful stuff.
Relax (when the public transports are not too crowded).
Listen to voice notes of inspirations and ideas.
Read: study materials, news, facebook.
Plan.

@~@
According to Sally Poon (a dietician from Hong Kong Nutrition Association),
food of eating out are high in SALT, FAT & SUGAR,
which increases the risk of obesity, heart disease & hypertension.
Yes, we know all these but many times we choose to satisfy our

Minimize fried food.
Avoid preserved meat, e.g. salami.

For pasta e.g. spaghetti: red sauce (tomato-based) is healthier than white sauce.

@~@
"The more time a person spends on the job, the more conflict there is likely to be between work and family."
Do you agree with this statement?

@~@ Things that I must do:
# live my life to the fullest.
# appreciate what I have.

@~@
Short-listed things that I find interesting to do:
# Learn copywriting. Learn writing to sell a strategic idea.
# read The happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (since January 2012)
# make DIY flash cards. First picture that I found: polar bear of Churchill, Canada. Remember that the cuddly-looking polar bear (thanks to its shaggy fur) can be dangerous. My friend J was given a polar bear soft toy as the first birthday gift from his man, and his man can be cuddly yet dangerous like polar bear!
# attend a Nobel Prize banquet @ Stockholm (since March 2012).
# eat Vosges Haut-Chocolat (chocolate with unlikely flavors like curry, taleggio, and wasabi), partly because Katrina Markoff is an inspiring entrepreneur!
# FIND TIME TO DO NOTHING. BREATHE. An advice by Tim Park, the author of Teach us to Sit Still: A Sceptic’s Search for Health and Healing.
# Remove dust! Dust can cause your TV, computer, laptop to overheat and reduce its life span. When you do house chores of vacuum cleaning, empty the dust bag when it is half-full. With a fuller dust bag, the machine has to work harder and risks overheating.
# To extend the lifespan of your mobile phone, use its appropriate charger, simply because the voltage is different. Do not charge your phone overnight.
# commit to 30-day challenge of writing a book. Thank you Matt Cutts.
# refuse to let work compromise what my body needs: nutritious, regular meals, 7-8 hours of sleep, 3×10-minute exercise.
# hit the road less traveled with a backpack like Paige Chua. She went for her first solo trip to Beijing & Inner Mongolia in 2007. Interesting reflection: city dwellers seek a simple life when travel, but rural dwellers (e.g. of Inner Mongolia) aspire to move to cities (e.g. Beijing).

Quotes that I like:
# "No one shoots you if you’ve got a smile on your face." ~ Alan Wicker, travel journalist.
# "When I visit somewhere new, I always absorb it first as a human being, then photography it as my hobby and then consider if it’s interesting enough to share with other people through Twitter, Facebook or my blog." ~ Ben Southall, Winner of Best Job in the World (2009), caretaker of Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.
# "Don’t forget that frequent business travellers are often the most frequent leisure travellers." www.businesstraveller.asia
Blueroselady: The next time someone (e.g. CV) tells you and me that he is busy travelling on business trips, he is likely to include sightseeing and leisure activities too!

Written by blueroselady

January 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Learning preferences and strengths: sharing my method in 4 words

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Since we were born, we have started learning.
Learning and living are integral processes.

Different people have unique preferences and strengths in learning. The secret is to identify our own preferences and strengths,
and optimize them to develop our talents and creativity,
so that we can be of great service to others (while earning a livelihood simultaneously).

Here are quick reminders for myself to effectively, efficiently & effortlessly learn:

1. Intelligence = nature (genes) + nurture (environment). But, better methods / strategies for learning can boost up intelligence. In an analogy, before dyes and color contact lenses, hair color and eye color were entirely genetic too respectively.
2. Learn from how nature works, when one path gets shut down, we can take a different route.
3a. Must build construct / architecture / framework / blueprint. When we have a construct, we can solve difficult problems even when there is a lot of missing information.
3b. Must summarize / make notes.
4a. Must link concepts / ideas with visuals / feelings (synaesthesia).
4b. Try to link together ideas that do not normally connect (use metaphor / analogy). With patience & perseverance, we can connect any subjects.
5. Must use both: repetition / rote memorization + holistic relating / inter-linking.
6. Must create: write, draw, take photos, make videos.

In 4 words:

Summarize
Memorize
Link
Create

Final remark: I appreciate that my ability to understand things effortlessly is improving everyday.

See also:
http://zenhabits.net/how-to-learn-more-and-study-less/

Holistic Learning by Scott Young

Written by blueroselady

October 24, 2013 at 3:51 am

Posted in study

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Happiness exercise: write a short introduction about yourself

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In a series of happiness exercises, I brainstorm novel and creative ideas of doings that can boost up our happiness. Today exercise is simple: write a short introduction about yourself. You can memorize it to remind yourself when you experience negative emotions, to make new friends and build new relationships, or simply to make an elevator pitch.

Here is a brief introduction about myself.

I am an ordinary woman with a BIG dream to give extraordinary service to others.

My love include life, family, stories and writing. I dream of writing a book that is enlisted in The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers.

Everyday, I give my best to live and learn so that I can share useful tips about education and entrepreneurship / business,
that are thoughtful, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind.

I am also interested in people, travel, food (especially Asian food and Italian desserts), visual arts, movies and creative ideas.

Counting my blessings, I am grateful for being a mother, lifelong student, storyteller, researcher and marketer; and having good health and more wealth than the yesterday-me.

Thank you very much for being interested in me!

Please keep in touch and feel free to comment.

Written by blueroselady

October 11, 2013 at 6:23 am

Posted in writing

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Happiness exercise: Describe yourself in positive ways

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Happiness means differently to different people.
To some people,
happiness means a combination of the followings:# Finding love & happily married
# Having children, grandchildren, great grandchildren
# Good health
# Be financially well-off
# Enjoying a successful career
# Ability to maintain work-life harmony
# Happy relationships with extended family (ie. parents, grandparents, siblings, nephews, etc)
# Fulfilling friendships
# Making a difference to the world. You laugh … yes, many people, including me, set their dreams so high (and hence raising the standards of attaining their happiness).

To sum up, happiness is fundamentally related to health, wealth, and children.

Since happiness is related to so wide and diverse areas of our lives, how can we work on each area of importance to us? How to prioritize?
I believe in exercises / practice. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to give birth to a real talent.
Sincerely, I want you to master the art and science of happiness,
so that you can choose to be happy
even in the face of difficult circumstances and being overwhelmed by negative emotions.

In my designed series of happiness exercises, I would share numerous effective and tested exercise to enjoy happiness in your life.

Today exercise is to describe yourself in positive ways. Write to yourself. List your favorite attributes, your achievements, your roles, your love, and anything elseo about you.

Herein, I do the exercise on myself (in the autumn of 2013)

I am …
# a mother
# a daughter
# a wife
# a student of Coursera, edX
# a researcher
# a storyteller
# an author
# an ex-artist

I love …
# people who love me & whom I love.
You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.” Before Sunset (2004)
# food (especially healthy affordable food and desserts)
# simplicity
# diversity
# reading (and writing) and hence books
# gardens & parks in spring & summer, in early mornings & late afternoons
# philosophy of life
# giving smiles, talks in front of groups
# learning diverse things. I believe in the “See one, Do one, Teach one” model.
# dreams
# personal development, making a syllabus for life / bucket list / life planning
# entrepreneurship + unconventional work
# (and honestly sometimes fear) change / dynamics.
The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” Isaac Asimov

I used to love …
# travel
# photography
# fireworks
# movies
But now they are not on top of my priorities.

People who have inspired me (non-exhaustively) include:
# Anthony Robbins
# Cayden Chang
# Chris Guillebeau
# Danah Zohar
# Dale Carnegie
# Dong Mingzhu 董明珠
# Goldie Hawn
# Jean Maalouf
# Jessie Louise Yancey-Siegel, affectionately known as Weezie
# Josh Kaufmann
# Joseph Murphy
# Leo Babauta
# Leong Kaiwen
# Louise Hay
# Luciano Passuello
# Michael Ellsberg
# Napoleon Hill
# Robert Cialdini
# Tahir
# Thich Nhat Hanh
# Tim Ferriss
These people are my brothers / sisters, my mentors, my dearest friends.

Things that I want to have / have more / give more to others:
@~@ Happiness
@~@ Health
@~@ Optimism & Hope
@~@ Gratitude
@~@ Kindness e.g. smile
@~@ Empathy e.g. a listening ear
@~@ Wealth
@~@ Wisdom
@~@ Courage e.g. to make new friends

Things that I want to remove / reduce :
@~@ Fear
@~@ Sadness
@~@ Anger
@~@ Envy / Jealousy
@~@ Clutters
@~@ Disappointment

Written by blueroselady

October 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

From relationships to connection capital: give relevant & valuable advice

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According to Brother Michael, connection capital is anything that can help you expand your network of connections. Seth Godin refers to connection capital as your ‘tribe’.

How to get the snowball rolling when you don’t even have a pebble of snow?
How to use our network to grow our network when we don’t have a network yet?

Eben Pagan believes that most people spend most of their time worrying about these three areas of life: money, relationship, and health.
Brother Michael concludes that very few people have all there of these areas as they like.

Even the more successful (as deemed by society) than us do struggle with at least one area about which we know more than they do.
Nobody can know everything.
The more successful people are also humans, and humans have problems.

If we can give relevant & valuable advice,
we can be a ‘trusted adviser’ to people whom we want to connect with.
Being a trusted adviser to the successful people is one of the most powerful ways to become successful yourself.

When you give, do not focus your attention on the hope to get something in return.
Give with absolutely zero expectation of getting anything in return.
Do not expect gratitude.
Simply be grateful for the opportunity to help someone.

We do not give advice immediately,
it is no difference from uninvited lecturing / preaching.

Instead, find creative ways to serve people.

We can start by asking these questions:
1. What’ most exciting / interesting for you right now in your life / business?
2. What’s challenging for you in your life / business right now?

In a social event (e.g. cocktail party, dinner party), ask about their life.
In a business event (e.g. conference, networking event. talk, symposium), ask about their business.

Tips: Be extremely tactful in bringing up some topics (e.g. weight) up.

Below are areas where we can often give valuable advice to (and therefore greatly serve) people who are more powerful and successful (according to societal standard) than we are:
# food, weight, & nutrition
# health & exercises
# purpose & meaning
# hobbies & causes e.g. photography, education, meditation, philosophy, massage, travel (Yes, I have been to numerous places worldwide!)
# relationships. Brother Michael have met many notable businessman and businesswomen who are so control freaks that they are worried of the vulnerability involved in opening their heart. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love for a reason, grinned.
# marketing & sales
# domain expertise

Read more:
# The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg.
With the inflated cost of formal education, I must develop real-world skills highlighted in this informal book for myself and my own children.

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2013 at 9:28 am