Ten Ways to Improve Your Photography


In Flow with Otto

TEN MORE - Ten More Ways to Improve Your Craft Without Buying Ge

If you are little adamant about your photography, if you want to become a better photographer, and if you want to learn more about how to make your photographs more engaging, there is a vast resource of information you may draw upon. I am thinking about a place called Craft&Vision. It’s something the Canadian photographer David duChemin started as a «publishing house» for his eBooks about photography. Over the years it’s grown, new photographers and authors have been added to the curriculum, and today the list of eBooks is extensive and comprehensive. The best thing; the books are inexpensive and full of inspiration.

Some of them are even free. A couple of weeks ago the eBook Ten More was released for free. It’s actually an older book, a follow-up of duChemin’s very first eBook, Ten, published some years ago, but only now has it been made available for…

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Learning curve


What has this ordeal with my sister taught me?

Well it’s brought up a lot of old wounds. I realize I can never truly walk away from the past. It’s always with me. I have come to terms with my father’s alcohol and abuse. I built a wall around me to protect myself from it. I never wanted to end up with someone like dad, yet that’s my greatest fear.

To be drawn inexplicably to his personality. The charismatic charmer on the outside that masks a raging demon within. It’s what I know. It’s what I stay away from.

Maybe that’s why Dee’s illness feels like such a sucker punch. I wasn’t expecting it.

Now I sit here and I understand me. I can’t ever be with an alcoholic. No matter what I may feel for him. To choose to live that life would destroy me.

I’m not condemning the multitudes who are seeking help and staying sober. I’m proud for them, really.

But whether you see it as a flaw in my character or a strength in my resolve, I understand my limits.

I can’t choose my family. They are my blood and I endure, but I won’t court a love with an addict. To let them into my private world and watch as it crumbles…there would be nothing left of me.

How I wish I were free…to find my own balance without the weights that bind me here. It would be nice to live in Germany for two years. To walk on the shores of Bremen, really explore my heritage. But circumstance won’t allow for it. My timing is off. I need to balance me before I take another into my soul. When I’m ready, he will appear and he will be a good man, a sober man, with a wicked sense of humor. And I will be glad at the person I am by knowing him.

False Advertising: how to piss off a book lover

I am coming up on my 4 year anniversary of the end of my breast cancer treatment and while my body is not the same as it was prior to treatment, I am not devastatingly deformed and disabled.

I do suffer from fatigue, night sweats and insomnia which can truly be annoying. My hair is back but not at the level of thickness it once was. My eyelashes and brows have not come back well, and I keep gaining weight.

I am sure the weight us complicated by my medications all which state they cause weight gain. So I’ve decided to change my diet to help naturally ease the hot flashes and improve my energy.

Where to start? A cookbook for post breast cancer, right? With over 30 years under their belts, they are bound to have one!

So I head to my iTunes (what good is a cookbook if it’s not accessible) and I pull up a selection. A pick some samples to review and immediately get disappointed. None of these so called cookbooks give recipes in their samples.

Now I don’t know about you but I select cookbook for the number of recipes I would actually eat and enjoy making. So, when I get to my third sample with no table of contents and no recipes, I’m annoyed. It seems that these books are set up with a lecture about breast cancer, your risks of getting it and how it’s diagnosed and treated as their very long intro. Ah excuse me, I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. So how about a freakin recipe in your supposed “post treatment cookbooks”.

Finally I get to the last selection and it is by far the worst. If there is a recipe at all it’s buried somewhere within the hidden pages. But, what makes this the worst is that it’s sample is nothing more than a condemnation of the current medical treatment for breast cancer. If I were just starting this journey it would scare the shit out of me and I would wonder why live at all. I’m just going to die from a horrible complication from treatment!

None of these samples led me to purchase a book. In fact just the opposite. I decided that it is more advantageous for me to go to an actual bookstore with real books that I can look at.

Folks keep telling me print books are dead, well in the case of recipes…the hard copy cookbook is alive and well for me!


The things you do for the kids in your life!

This weekend was the largest annual Japanese Animation Convention in Boston known as Anime Boston.

Not being the generation of Anime I have never found the need to don costumes and run around a convention center. That said, I love costuming and Halloween …and many cartoon for that matter. My sister and I would have been at a Bugs Bunny convention if we knew if one.

Yet, my knowledge of Japanese cartoons is limited to a handful of oldies: Speed Racer, Power Rangers, etc.

That is until my nieces got into them. The ring leader in this case is Vickie, who has found a home in the cartoons and just starting her foray into the community.


Mary has entered the “cute costume” phase while her boyfriend likes doing couples costumes — ergo they ended up as murderous Mickey and Minnie, while Vickie went as a Homestuck Troll named Rufio.

Now where do they go for costuming? Me of course. And, do I embarrass them by going as the old person of the group? Nope.

Vickie selected my character and promised she wasn’t one if those super skinny Japanese nymphs that grace the cartoons. I am more a Winnie the Pooh than a poison ivy shape so I didn’t want to be the “fat” version of a character. Just something fun.

She is supposed to be a sage advice giver who can wield a sword. Vickie’s face lit up at the idea of my joining her in costume. It’s for that look alone I ended up like this: