Decorating with your own Outdoor Photography

When I think of decorating with your own outdoor photography, I am thinking of pictures that I or you have personally taken. I feel there is a sense of accomplishment from having your own decorating ideas with your own photographs. You worked hard or sat still for hours to capture that perfect shot. In some cases, if you are like me, you move with the target you are going after like an animal would stalk his prey.

Most people do not think of decorating their house with their own work because then they know it would be judged by their visitors who come regularly. Personally, I feel a sense of pleasure when other people see my work and it also gives me feedback on what I can improve on. Decorating your home with your art is a really easy concept. The hardest part is deciding what you want to use of the many pictures you have stashed away in your computer.

The other thing that comes to mind is pride in knowing that you did that great accomplishment. As I said in one of my earlier posts, it also helps for you to get your name out there to be able to get more jobs and to sell your art if you so choose to do so.

Hanging Pictures

This DIY project for your home is the simplest of them all, I believe. The hardest part is going through and finding the pictures you want to use. A lot of the time that is the hardest part. As a photographer and artist, we want everything to be perfect. That will not always be the case because sometimes our subjects do not sit still long enough for us to get the perfect shot. An example of this I can use is when I spotted a Blue Heron several ears ago just out on a nature hike. I thought, I had to get that picture, it would look so great on my wall. Well after 3 days I still didn’t get the shot I wanted, but I did get one that was good enough for me to print out and frame. To say the least, I am really[proud of that picture. So when you are going through your pictures, remember, they do not have to be perfect, just perfect for you.

  • Take about 10 of your best photographs and set them aside.

  • Eliminate the 10 down to 5. It’s a hard choice I know.

  • Print the 5 you have decided upon either at home on our printer or even take them to a store and have them printed off.

  • You can either use photo paper or not. It just depends on the quality you would like to have. Unless someone comes in and takes the frame apart, they will never know the difference.

  • Go buy you either some nice cheap picture frames on sale or go all out and get some really nice picture frames. Remember the frame will make your picture stand out in your home. You also want to get a color you would like to see day in and day out.
  • End result – Pictures of your own in your house that have cost you little to nothing and nice conversation pieces when company comes over.

Pictures on Glass

Putting pictures on glass is easier than everyone might think it is. You have plenty of viable options from actually using glasses to finding and old window frame and using the glass in it for several pictures. This is also a project that can be used on wood, canvas, and fabric.

Supplies:

Mod Podge or Omni gel 8 oz. medium

Painter’s Tape

Glass Panel (I used glass from a picture frame)

Photo–from book, magazine, or printed on laser jet printer

Wet Wash Cloth

 

      • First, tape your glass down to the surface you are working on. This will help you center your photo transfer and keep the glass in one place while you work on it. Cover the face of the picture completely with the transfer medium. *Note, please keep in mind that this image transfer will be the reverse of the original, so don’t choose something that will look strange backward.
      • Next, place the photo face down onto the glass. With the pads of your fingers, pressed down all parts of the photo and try to rub out any air bubbles or globs of gel. Allow it to dry completely. When it is dry, begin to remove the paper. The image will remain in the dried transfer gel. Use the wash cloth to soak the paper, and then start rubbing until all the paper is removed. This process takes some time! The paper comes off in layers, so let it dry and then come back to it and keep rubbing off the paper.
      • The all you have to do is frame and display. You can also use this for glasses, jars, or anything that involves glass that you would like to put a picture on.

Transferring Images to Wood

Having your images transferred to wood is another way to decorate your home if you are looking to make a splash with more than framed photographs. It is surprisingly easy to do too. The hardest part of this work is getting the paper off completely and up to your specifications.

Supplies needed:

  • Unfinished wood painting panel
  • Photocopied Image on Regular Copy Paper (you must use a photocopy of your image or it will most likely not turn out correctly)
  • Mod Podge
  • Craft Paint ( It is up to you if you want to use the paint or just leave it the wood color it naturally is.)
  • Sand Paper
  • Clear glaze finishing spray
  • Now to begin:
  • Paint the edges of your wood panel. (Optional)
  • Apply a generous amount of the transfer solution to the image. You’ll need a thick layer.
  • Press the image, photo side down, onto the wood panel. Rub firmly to smooth out the image and remove air bubbles. Let it dry completely.
  • Use a damp cloth or sponge to wet one section of the paper at a time. Begin rubbing gently to remove the paper and expose the transferred image below. It is easier to remove the top layer first, let it dry slightly, and then repeat the process as needed to remove any excess pieces of paper that were left behind.
  • Once you are satisfied with the image, sand the edges lightly. Seal the photo to wood transfer with a finishing spray.

The end result is wonderful and makes the image look as if it was meant to be there and not just glued on top of it. There are also many other ways you can take this to the next level like by painting the wood. It just depends on how and what you would like as your home decor.

Getting it out There

These are just some DIY projects that you can use for your photographs to decorate with. There are many more out there and so may ways to do it with. You just have to take the pictures and then take the chance on yourself to make our house a wonderful place to live surrounded by nature even when you are inside. I have found that these projects really help during the winter when I am looking at my birds, trees, or even the waterfalls I so adore. It helps to keep the calmness down inside me, especially when cabin fever hits. Your options are limitless with ideas like these and there are so many more to come.

Try It Yourself

What do you have to lose? The worse that can happen is you mess up the first time and then you have to start over. Practice makes perfect and in any sense you will always have the photos so you can reprint them and try again. When we try something new, we always get nervous. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be yours and it will be something you have done yourself and can say you are proud of. This is also a great way to do birthday gifts and Christmas gifts for the holidays. It will show someone you took the time to put effort into their gift and they will cherish it more than you will ever know.

Canon Rebel T5/EOS 1200 D Review: 2019

Canon Rebel EOS T5/EOS 1200D

This is just going to be a quick review of the Canon Rebel T5/ EOS 1200 D from https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/content/edit/470089#my point of view. I have no affiliation with the Canon company itself. This is just my personal, unbiased opinion.

The EOS Rebel T5/EOS 1200 D is a digital single lens reflex camera featuring a fine detail CMOS sensor with approximately 18.0 effective megapixels, DGIC 4. High precision and high speed 9 point AF, approximately 3.0 fps continuous shooting. Live view shooting, and Full HD movie shooting.

Your camera should come with an eye cup and body cap, a LP-E10 battery pack, and a battery charger for your battery, and an interface cord. It also comes with an instruction manual, CD Roms and a lens kit if you purchased one. The booklet is the basic instruction manual. More detailed camera instructions come on the CD Rom in PDF form and you get a EOS digital solution’s disk that contains image editing software and instructions in PDF format.

It has creative zone modes that give you more control for shooting various subjects and it has basic zone modes where you just push the button and the camera sets everything to suit the subject or scene. IT takes an SD card so you can capture more images. It is completely customizable for all your images and can be printed from the comfort of your home. You can get plenty of extra accessories to go with it to improve your skills and advance yourself.

Specifications:

Type: Digital single lens reflex AF/AE camera with built in flash.

Recording Media: SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card.

Image sensor size: Approximately 22.3 x 14.9 mm

Compatible lenses> Canon EF Lenses including EF-S lenses *Excluding EF-M lenses. 35mm equivalent focal length is approximately 1.6 times the lens focal length.

Lens Mount: Canon EF mount

Image Sensor:

Type: CMOS sensor

Effective pixels: 18.0 megapixels

Aspect ratio: 3.2

Dust delete feature:Clean manually

Recording system:

Image type: JPEG, RAW (14 bit Canon original)

Drive System with single shooting, continuous shooting, self timer with 10 second or 2 second delay and 10 second delay with continuous shooting. Continuous shooting is 3.0 shots/ second.

Direct printing with JPEG and RAW images.

IT has 11 custom functions and is interface able with computers.

Dimensions and Weight:

Dimensions: 129.6 x 99.7 x 77.9 mm

Weight: 480 g/ 16.93 oz.

This was the second camera I owned. The first was a Kodak and while I loved it very much, I could not get the up close image quality that I was striving for. I would definitely recommend this for a beginner photographer to help them learn the aspects, angles, and learn what they can do with what they have, They will be so much better at what they do when their images come out clearer and it will boost their self-confidence. All in all, I have to give this camera a 4 out of 5 stars in my review. This was the camera that helped me get an edge on what I wanted to do as an outdoor photographer.



Using Natural Light for Outdoor Photography

Today I thought we could go over how to use the natural light you have when outside taking wildlife or nature photography. It does seem like a simple task, but mother nature has her way of making things move around the way. One minute it might be sunny and the next it could be cloudy with a chance of storms mixed in there. You just never know which is why you have to make the most of what you are given.

Early Morning Risers

There are a lot of people who would rather get up early and catch the sunrise in hopes to catch the pretty colors the suns rays put off as it rises early in the mornings. They will have the beautiful colors of the light if that is what they are looking for on that particular day. Then as the sun rises farther into the sky they will probably feel they lost the light they wanted at that time. Although they do not realize that there is still most of the day left and that is a good thing. The more of the day you have to spend, the better off you are and the more chances you have of finding that perfect spot with the perfect lighting.

Midday Rushers

Then we have the people who get up late, oh and I’m not complaining, because we all like to and deserve to sleep in every once in a while. They are the people who have missed the morning light and have the midday sunlight to contend with. The shade helps to make it bearable but can also cause lighting issues. It can cause things to be too dark one way or too light another. Well, if you are taking someone’s picture, you don’t want them to have to squint the whole time either. The sun being up at midday will always do that, not to mention it can be very hot, especially in my part of the world.

Carefree Afternoon Sliders

So now we are on to the people who have had things to do all day or just wanted to sit at home and relax. There’s not a thing wrong with that and usually when I do it, I am as slow as they come. They talk about getting the last rays of sun for the day, but just cannot motivate enough to actually be in a rush to get whee they want to be. They have the mind set that this is as fast as they are going and well if they don’t make it, there is always another day. I can totally agree with that too because I have them days very often. There has to be a reason for me to rush in order to do so. It will all be there tomorrow I say, and it may not be the same one as yesterday, but sometimes its even better than the day before. If you are not on a schedule, there is no need to rush anywhere. Everyone needs to slow down anyway, but it also gives ample opportunity for the sun to start to set and let all the beautiful colors come back out and bring the sky to life. You will get the picture you want and possibly some you never thought you would get. It’s all ok and it will all work out in the end. You will eventually get what you need but if you are not on a schedule, there’s really no need to rush.

Which Are You

That would be the biggest question of them all. Are you an early morning riser, a midday rusher, or an afternoon slider? Well which ever one you are, it doesn’t really matter because you will have you days that are opposite of what you are now and you will see the beauty of what the others see. It’s just like in life, we always shake things up a little to make it more interesting and photography is the same way. You do not want just the same pics of one view countless times because no two sunrises or sunsets are the same. The lighting is always different. The colors are always different. You have to use and make the best of what mother nature is giving you and use it to the best of your ability. You have to manipulate your subject to get the lighting just right even if that means sitting in one spot forever. But do not worry because it will come and it usually arrives when you least expect it. If not the day you go out then maybe the next time because the natural lighting we are given has to be played with and sometimes you get that perfect shot and sometimes you don’t. It’s how the world works. The natural lighting only makes your scenery better than any man manipulated scene. But to all of you patiently waiting I say, “No Worries!” because it will come.

Peace be with you all and may you have happy trails wherever your camera may take you.

 

 

Getting Back to Basics

Connecting back with Mother Nature is a very important task to always keep in mind when doing outdoor photography. When you do anything that involves the outdoors, it’s always important to get back to the basics of life. I do not just mean by what you do but also how you feel. It’s always good to make sure you are feeling your best and if you have some hiccups along the way, take a walk, hike, bike, kayak, or canoe. These are just some things I do. It will be up to you to figure out and decide for yourself what helps get you back to the basics. This will help set your mind at ease with whatever deadlines you have set for yourself. It’s as simple as slowing down your life for one day and reconnecting with nature to help clear your mind and put yourself at ease.

Helping yourself

 

As the saying goes, “You must first help yourself.” It is also true with nature. It is up to you to get back the carefree feeling you had as a child. Not to be childlike, but to enjoy your life to it’s fullest. Getting yourself back to nature at least once a month, helps to keep you grounded and your sights set on whatever deadline or goals you may have with your photography. Keeping on good terms with nature in itself helps when we are out in the field. It helps to clear our focus so we can see better and concentrate on the tasks at hand. I personally take time once or twice a week to just enjoy the sounds of nature and take my shoes off to touch the earth with my bare feet. It is so refreshing to fell the energy the earth gives back to us just by connecting.

Slow Down

I know it is easier said than done, but everyone must slow their lives down just a little. It is time to stop and smell the roses. By slowing down, even for a day, you will begin to see things in a new light. There will be things that you will notice that you never did before. Even a short walk on a hiking trail will help you to slow down as long as you are enjoying yourself and not in a hurry to be somewhere. If you have a busy schedule, it is time to carve out some time for yourself and your family. Your body and mind will thank you for it before the day is finished.

Listen

As you are doing the outdoor activity you enjoy reconnecting with nature, listen to everything around you. This is something I do daily, even if it is for a short while. It is something you can do with your morning coffee. There’s really nothing you can do except listen to what mother nature has to offer. If you live in a big city and all you hear are the noises of the daily hustle of life, take some time for yourself and go to the nearest park or somewhere where you can have some quiet solitude. Listen to what’s there. Keep your eyes closed as you sit on the park bench and just hear the sounds around you. You may be surprised at the sounds you hear that are nothing but nature and all its little creatures of the wild. You will be surprised at how good this feels and refreshed for just doing so. It’s a wonderful feeling to hear things that you normally wouldn’t pay attention to in our daily lives.

Making Time

First and foremost, everyone needs time. That’s why we take vacations away from the grind of our daily lives with our families. So we can reconnect, resupply energy, and have valuable time with the one’s we love. It feels good knowing that you do not have to be at work today, even if it’s just for a week or two. Making time daily, weekly, or monthly helps with the energy supply. When you make more time for you and your family, life is less stressful. The less stress we have in our lives, the better we manage on a daily basis. If you have a problem, work, health, or otherwise, it is good to make time for yourself to reconnect. If it’s just 30 minutes a day, it helps. You will feel more refreshed on a daily basis regardless of what may be going on. Time is a valuable commodity that we sometimes take for granted. There really is no measure on time as it can be finished in a matter of minutes. This is why it’s time for you to take care of yourself and make the time needed to enjoy life. You, your mind, body, and family will thank you for it. It’s something we need more of and we only have a certain amount.

Feel

 

While you are out in the park or yard, wherever you feel comfortable, take your shoes off. Ground yourself by getting a little closer to the earth and mother nature itself. It is surprising how much better you feel at just the simple contact. You do not have to do it for a long period, but 5 minutes helps a great deal. Making that connection with the earth, helps to release any negative energy you may have inside you. The more you do it, the less stressed you are about daily life. It is a gift from Mother Nature that we no longer take advantage of. The less stress and negative energy you have in you, the better your life will be. The less stress you have the happier you find yourself in daily living.

Getting back to basics is simple. We start with aligning ourselves with Mother Nature in order to have a stress free life. Sure, there will be times when it all becomes chaotic, but just go outside and enjoy the sounds, feel, and slowing of time. The better you feel about yourself and your life the more able you are to accomplish your daily goals in living your life to the fullest. Your family will thank you as well as your body. We were meant to enjoy nature. These are the simplest of ideas to ground yourself when the chaos arrives. They are the easiest to do when on a busy schedule. Make the time for you and your family in order to have a happy life. Keep Mother Nature there to help keep you grounded. It’s as easy as breathing the fresh air you have on a daily basis. Think of it as a must do for you.

 

Much success on your journeys to help you live your life to the fullest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wealthy Affiliate Review: 2019

This is my review on Wealthy Affiliate and everything it has to offer. The opinion stated here in is my own and should be regarded as such. I have researched this to the best of my knowledge, but had to give the internet and public my own opinion in this review. We all want to have that opportunity to make extra money online, in hopes that it will eventually turn into a full time, passive income for us, helping to keep us financially stable as we live our lives to the fullest. Anything and everything is possible through hard work and dedication.

Wealthy Affiliate: Overview

Have you been looking for a place to start your own internet business but just do not know where to start? There are plenty of places out there for internet entrepreneurs and affiliate marketers alike but to me Wealhy Affiliate stands above all of them. Some things we will be discussing today are what Wealthy Affiliate offers you and the start up costs for everyone. Then finally, how you can start your own online business or affiliate program with Wealthy Affiliate, if you think this opportunity is right for you. If you are currently an affiliate marketer, then you will learn how to get the traffic you need to your website to make the money you need. I’m going to be as brief as I can for this review, while also giving you as much information as possible for you to make a decision that’s right for you.

Getting the Most Out of Your Education and Training

 

What Wealthy Affiliate has to Offer

  1. Education – The best available
  2. Websites – The most powerful website platform
  3. Hosting – WordPress hosting
  4. Community – The most helpful and interactive community in the world
  5. Keywords – Powerful, proven system
  6. Networking – Connect with millions of affiliate marketers
  7. Traffic – learn how to get the traffic you need for free
  8. Start up costs – Surprisingly low
  9. Getting the Most Out of Your Education and Training by Starting Here

 Education

The Wealthy Affiliate training and education programs are the best. You will be able to master affiliate marketing with the best industry leading education available. Whether you are new to affiliate marketing or running your online business or are already started, Wealthy Affiliate makes your training simple and easy to use. When you join Wealthy Affiliate, you will be walked through step by step training that will help you create a successful online business. Wealthy Affiliate will help you choose the direction for your business or if you have your own ideas for an online business, they will help you make that a reality. You cannot go wrong with step by step training provided here.

Getting the Most Out of Your Education and Training

 

 Websites

 

Your website will be the store front of your business. You can build one in under 30 seconds. Building your own website is simple. It does not matter if you have years of experience to no experience at all, building your own website with Wealthy affiliate is simple and easy. There are no design skills needed and you will be able to grow your online business, with unlimited income potential, and multiple streams of income. Wealthy Affiliate uses the Site Rubix platform that has some very useful and integrated tools for website analysis, management, ranking, and security. It is very easy to use and to be honest about it, building a website through Wealthy Affiliate is fun. You never know what you may learn from one day to the next.

 Hosting

 

Wealthy Affiliate offers WordPress hosting. WordPress hosting is very powerful and secure. You can rest easy knowing Wealthy Affiliate and word press has your site secure so you do not have to worry about running your online business on it. The only sleepless nights you may have, will be getting your business up to your standards of excellence. Although I must say, you need to take care of you first, your business will be there tomorrow, running as smooth as the night before.

 The Community

 

The community at Wealthy Affiliate is very interactive and sociable. You will always get help when you need it and can make several new friends and affiliate marketers alike. There are people at Wealthy Affiliate from all over the world and it’s a community that truly cares about helping you succeed with your new online business. There are many people who have different levels of expertise to help you along your path to a successful online business and they are there to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 Keywords

 

You will be able to find many keywords and niches that will help you with your business and help you get ranked with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. By using the JAAXY research system, it has been proven to help you find keywords relevant to your articles to help with getting your business going.

 Networking

 

With the Wealthy Affiliate program, you will be able to connect with millions of elite affiliate marketers from around the world. Some of them will also be a part of the community that wants to see your business succeed just as you do. Connecting with people and affiliate marketers alike has never been easier.

Get the Most Out of Your Education and Training

 

 Traffic

 

You will have access to billions of customers. In the first few lessons at Wealthy Affiliate, you will learn the most current traffic techniques and how to get lots of traffic to your website. Wealthy Affiliate members are a huge part of all online traffic. The business is people and without them you have no one to sell to or promote your business to. Every successful business starts with people and then driving the traffic made from them to your website to create a successful business for you.

 Start up costs

 

In this last segment of this review I know you are thinking, :Oh no, now here comes the catch!” Well to be honest the start up cost for Wealthy Affiliate is free. You can start for free and you will have 10 lessons for the online entrepreneur certification, 10 lessons of affiliate boot camp training, 2 classrooms, and 2 websites for free. If you decide to go premium, it’s only $49/ monthly or $359/ a year. It is the same price now as it was in 2005. There is so much more you get with a premium membership. The decision is up to you. Like I said, give it a shot, Signup is free and there is no credit card required. It is by far the easiest way to start your own online business.

As you can see, my review of Wealthy Affiliate is to the point and allows you to do all kinds of things which include helping you get traffic to your website for free. There no cost to sign up. It is absolutely free. So I hope to see you soon with the beginnings of your very own online business with the success you deserve. With all the education and training Wealthy Affiliate has to offer, you deserve to give yourself the chance to see for yourself what it is all about and why I am so excited to tell you all about it. We all want the chance to make a passive income and to be free of our daily 9 to 5 grind. Just remember that any business can be successful but you get out of it what you put into it. You will not become rich overnight and I do not make any claims as such. You have to work at it to be successful because in reality, there is no such thing as Getting Rich Quick in Today’s World.

“May we all get the success we deserve with the platform Wealthy Affiliate has designed for entrepreneurs like us.”

 

So to start your free membership, please click here:

 

Getting the Most Out of Your Education and Training

 

 

 

 

Tips for Keeping Cool in the Summer Heat

   It is now officially summer and everyone is looking for ways to stay cool while the sun bears down on us. It’s going to be hot, humid, and dry weather among other things that cause our bodies to overheat quickly and dehydrate. There are plenty of ways to avoid this as we go into the summer without spending a lot of money and to help keep us cool outside as we are working and playing. Everyone needs a good dose of vitamin D that the sun and being outside can provide. Trying to stay cool while doing it can be a challenge for some people. We all know that it’s going to be a hotter and drier summer now that spring has passed. So I’ve put together some tips on keeping cool in the summer heat for everyone and I hope it is beneficial to everyone.

Staying Hydrated

   Everyone knows it is a must, to stay hydrated during the summer months. We should all be backing off of the cold drinks and keep water in supply wherever we go. It’s a good idea to drink at least 6 to 8, eight ounce glasses of water a day. While it is hotter during the summer than any part of the year, ice tends to melt quickly and water seems to get hot faster. To help prevent this from happening too fast and to help keep your drinks cool, here are a few suggestions:

     1. Invest in a Hydroflask. This will help keep your drinks cool during the hottest part of the year. It is also an item that can be used year around to keep all your drinks hot or cold. Since it can be used all year around, it is the perfect investment. 

     2. Make you and your family some water infusions with fresh fruits and vegetables. It helps get the water in your body while also curbing the sweet tooth you may want from cold drinks. Some perfect examples of this are: Summer lemonade – with strawberry, lemon, and mint.

Citrus – with orange and lime.

Hawaiian – with strawberry and pineapple.

Fresh Water – with cucumber, lemon, and mint.

  You can mix these up any way you like with the fruits of your choice. When you have them put together in a mason jar or a pitcher, leave them in the refrigerator overnight so the fruits and vegetables infuse with the water before drinking.

 

Wraps and Towels

   A good investment would be cooling towels or wraps. They help bring your body temperature down when outside often. These help when your body overheats, to maintain your body temperature and cool your body down when working and playing outside. Items I found helpful while trying to beat the summer heat:

     1. There always a place where you can buy bandannas to wet and wrap around your neck. It helps a great deal if you are out in the sun all day as long as you can wet it frequently.

     2. There are also cooling wraps like Frogg Toggs. They help to keep your body cool by 20 to 30 degrees when you are outside in the sun. 

     3. Putting your feet or body in a cool body of water like a creek or lake when you are out playing helps a lot as well. The coolness of the water helps to keep your body cool and helps it to cool down when it gets too hot.

Eat Less

   Most people eat less during the summer months just because it is too hot to eat at all. That’s when you need to eat more fruits and vegetables that are packed with water. You can spread your meals and snacks out throughout the day. Fruits and vegetables help with your daily fluid intake. Things you can load up on while trying to still maintain a healthy diet are:

     1. Tomatoes

     2. Cucumbers

     3. Oranges

     4. Watermelon

 

Dress Smart

   You want to avoid any clothes that trap in heat and moisture. During the summer months it is a good idea to buy clothes that are moisture wicking or climate controlled. With these at your disposal, you will be able to spend more time comfortably outdoors. The lighter colors are also good to wear as they do not trap in heat like the darker colors.

     1. Under Armour Shirts are good for moisture wicking. 

     2. Look for anything that says climate controlled for other shirts, clothing, and accessories.

Take Care of Your Feet

   It is always important to care for your feet when outdoors. You want to keep them dry while also keeping them cool. There are some ways to keep your feet cool during the summer as well as keeping them dry:

     1. Socks are important when outside in shoes. You do not want to get blisters while on your journey doing what you love to do when you are outdoors. You also want to keep your feet cool while hiking, camping, or taking pictures. 

     2. Peppermint spray or creams. This also helps to keep your feet cool and also moisturizes your feet in between wearing your shoes. 

Protect Your Skin and Eyes

   You want to make sure you protect you skin and eyes while out in the sun. Replenishing your skin is a great idea and you will want to apply this after a shower and before bedtime. While doing so in between any time during the day as you see needed. While you are out in the sun, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen to help protect your skin from getting too much sun. We often do not realize the damage done while spending our days outside. Your eyes are a very important part of you too. While the only protection we can get for them is sunglasses, it’s also important to protect them as well. A few items on your list for spending the day outside are:

     1. Sunscreen. Apply liberally or as you see fit throughout the day. A good sports sunscreen is always helpful as when you sweat or get wet it does not come off so easily. 

 

     2. Moisturizer to replenish your skin. This is important as it keeps your skin from drying out and helps to replenish any damage done by the sun. Look for products with aloe, Shea butter, or coconut butter, that help to ease sunburn. 

     3. Sunglasses. These are important for protecting your eyes. Find something that helps to block out the harmful UV rays that you get from being outside.

   As you can see there are several ways to keep cooler during the summer months as well as protecting your body against the damage that can be caused by the sun. Several of the tips should help you and your family to stay cool during the hottest part of the year whether you are hiking, camping, photographing, or working outside. Just make sure you stay hydrated and you have eaten before you go. Take care of your body while you can. It will pay off in the long run.

 

 

Easy Camping Recipies for Everyone

When you are out camping, you may like to take some nice food with you too. You do not want to just have to have the basics which would be hot dogs, sandwich meat, chips and drinks. There are going to be times when you wished you had that home cooked meal you would have been missing for a few days now. These easy camping recipes can be for everyone to fix. They also work well if you have been hiking, taking pictures, swimming, canoeing, or kayaking all day. They do not take long to fix or cook, You will be able to rest easy while they are cooking after you’re strenuous activity of the day. 

Being Prepared

This is all part of the being prepared phase that not many people get to or realize that the more prepared you are for your trip, the more you have but the least you may have to pack. We always remember to pack out what we pack in to help keep mother nature clean.  We get to go out and have a great time playing in the Forrest she has given us and when we leave someone else comes along and can enjoy her also, finding it as clean as we left her. Sometimes you could say cleaner, if the campers before you weren’t as courteous. Either way, we still have to have food to keep our energy up, and a nice touch of home could do the trick for you there. Not to mention, they are small meals you could do as a family, and sit around for your evening meal discussing how your day went and what’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

I will tell you how I prepare and fix mine, then you do yours with the way you would like to spice it up. I will tell you, it is easier to bring a pair of tongs and/or oven mitts for these.

 

Recipe # 1:

30 min. prep time/ 20-30 min. cook time

 

Steak Foil Packets

What you need:

  • Cubed Steak cut for kabobs or a little smaller. 
  • Vegetables. I usually have carrots, potatoes, green beans, and onions. You can mix them anyway you like with or without these ingredients. Use your imagination. 
  • Aluminum foil wraps, packets, or just a roll of aluminum foil. 
  • Seasonings. 
  • Olive Oil, canola oil, and real butter. 
  • Small Ziploc bags 

Before you leave the house, you are going to want to have these prepared, so everyone that’s going can partake in making their own meal for the night that has been chosen for this.

Preparation

 

  • I usually get the steak that has been already cut for the kabobs. You can use them as they are or you can cut them into smaller pieces. I prefer mine to be cubed a little smaller. After you have those cleaned and cut, leave some fat on there so they don’t burn, and the rest of the food can cook in its juices.
  • I clean and slice my baby carrots. I buy the baby carrots, because they are more tender and will cook faster. Cut them longways, so you will get 4 pieces of carrot from one. Set them to the side after rinsing them off properly. 
  • I take my fresh green beans and I wash them thoroughly. I break off the ends and string them, so you do not have to worry about the strings. Cut them in half, but I like more and you may like less green beans than mine. 
  • I wash some baby red potatoes, because they cook faster, then you can either thinly slice these or dice them. I prefer to have mine diced, because you can mix them into the rest of your meal easier. 
  • Onion – Optional- I know that not everyone likes onion, so it is an optional ingredient. I use some of it for flavoring with the meat. Just dice it up into small pieces to have it ready when I make my campfire meal.
        Now you have all of your ingredients prepared in preparation of getting your campfire meal ready. Now you should take all of your vegetables, and put them in separate Ziploc bags, add just a little olive or canola oil. I’d say just enough making sure your vegetables aren’t completely soaked, but maybe a little damp as you stir the oil. You can always judge this by adding a little at a time. Then add what spices you use or you want to have in there with them. (Salt, pepper, any other seasonings you may use.) Zip it up and your finished. Be sure to not over do the seasonings when adding them, as they will all be mixed and cooked together.

Not everyone will want the same ingredients

They may not want any at all, that’s also why it’s important to make something everyone will eat. Now with the meat, you may like a little flavor so you can add soy sauce, just enough to make a round trip around the meat in a steady stream once. I prefer to add worsterschire sauce to mine. I will put about 4 or 5 shake fulls in there and mix it all up in my baggie. You can add a small amount of meat tenderizer, season salt, salt, and pepper. Add all that together and mix it real well in the bag. Everything thing goes into the refrigerator until it’s time to pack the cooler  to go camping. Now you have a ready-made, one man meal, that can be made quickly and be cooked over, in or beside,(close, just not in the coals close.) You have to get it close enough to cook it (that depends on how hot your fire is) so it will get done, and not take forever to turn out right.

Time to Cook your Meal

 

Now that you have your meal ready to go and have decided today is the day you want to cook it, you will need the above ingredients plus your aluminum foil squares to make it in. I have tested this theory many times and believe me, you want your seasoned meat on the bottom.

 

  • Add your potatoes because they take longer to cook, but baby red potatoes cook faster. 
  • Then add my carrots. 
  • You the top it off with your green beans and a sprinkle of onion. 

And let’s not forget that I had real butter on the list. Now last, but not least, you add 2 squares of butter. This will not only help it cook, but will also give it amazing flavor throughout the whole entree. You wrap it up tight, leaving no loose ends, You want to make sure all the flavor and juices stay inside the foil in order to get the full flavor from the meal. Sometimes, I will double wrap mine, just to make sure. Then you place it on the rack above the fire, or you can sit it directly in the coals, because it cooks faster that way, depending on how hot your fire is I usually place mine right beside the coals and then when I see some steam coming from it, I flip it over(oven mitts and tongs) It just depends on how well done you like it. Just remember, you are cooking over an open fire, so your safety should be #1. Secondly, it takes less time to cook than it would in a conventional oven or on a stove. When it’s done, and the meat is how you like it, then open it up and you can eat right from the foil. That’s less spaced you used getting it there and less you will have to throw away when you are done.

There are many ways to make this with different meats and seafood. Just remember to keep everything separate so there is not any cross contamination beforehand and wash your hands (or sanitize) them thoroughly when you are finished. You can also take these meals and use them for several days for many things.

Add what you like, even garlic if you wish, then put them together when you’re ready and just cook while you are sitting around the campfire talking about your day and what’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

Have fun with it and on your trip. Maybe we will see each other soon. I’ll be the one with the camera in my hand. Hope you have a fun filled and safe trip.

 

 

Outdoor Photography – The Missed Moments

There will always be the moments you wished you had gotten or know you have missed in outdoor photography. There will be days or weekends where you will have getaways with family or friends, and will be doing things where you take the protection of your equipment very seriously, as your surroundings will call for it. As outdoor photographers, we always take the protection of our equipment very seriously. Then you will have that missed moment I’m talking about.

 

As our eyes see

As a photographer, we take our jobs very seriously to be able to bring our perspective of art into the world. We look through the lens of a camera and we see things from a different perspective. The deer crossing the field to most people may just be that, but to a photographer it is so much more.

We always look at the finer details of things that make our desire and passion so much more than what one person can see. We see beauty looking into the eyes of an animal, watching how it eats, walks and it’s surroundings. The finer things are what makes our photography an art form.

We are always on the lookout for what we can or can’t see while we are out in the world. Always looking for that one right place or that one special moment, to capture that photograph the whole world will want to see. There have been plenty of those in the world throughout and I’m sure everyone has seen them all.

If you are out in the world, looking around you is the best thing you can do. The more you see, the more you recognize the finer things in life. You have that drive, desire, and passion for the photography, but everyone has family they want to spend time with. We all have another life, even if this is our full time job. Family is important and so is your job. There has to be a balance between the 2.

To create this balance, you give up one or the other for a few days. There are photographers who stay in the field for weeks at a time, trying to get that perfect shot of the subject they are dedicated on at the moment. When their assignment is over, or they are finished with the task at hand, they come home to their families, for quality time at home, which is a must. As I have said before, family is important.

 

The Missed Moment

 

When you are spending time with your family, as a photographer, you are still always aware of your surroundings. That is just the beauty of being a photographer. You do not always have your equipment with you or your notepad to write anything down.

You and your family go for a hike through the woods, in an area you haven’t been to in a while. As you’re hiking down to the falls, the sun sets the perfect lighting for the perfect shot right at the very top. The only thing you can do is stare at it’s beauty because you have nothing with you to take the perfect shot. As a photographer, this is a very heart wrenching ordeal, because we are artists. It would be like a painter feeling the moment to paint, but have no brushes or paint to do so with.

The one thing I have learned, if this were to ever happen to you, is to commit it to memory. Save it like you would all your pictures on a hard drive of a computer. You will go home and write it down in your notebook. You will then make your next assignment, to try to capture that perfect moment you missed. Even if you try, it will not be the same, because next time your view will be different than it was the last time.

This has happened to me. I committed that moment to memory, but I also know when I go back, I will see it from a different perspective. I know the lighting will be different, because the moment you have seen has passed by. It’s the missed moment that you will never get back, no matter how hard you try. I know you will go back to try to capture it. You might even spend days doing so, but it will always be different.

Blessings in Disguise

 

The missed moments are blessings in disguise because you know you will go back and try for that shot. You may never get that shot back, but you will always remember it. Now you will be blessed with other shots that you would not have seen, if it hadn’t been for that missed moment. That one missed moment will give you many blessings for other shots to take, because it will be your goal to capture that perfect one, as always.

Never let the missed moments get you down, because there will be plenty more, where that came from. You spend the time you need with your family and then when it’s time, you go back out there for the perfect shot, because another one will come along. Granted, it may not be the same one, but it will be a perfect one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canoeing Day Trip

Fun in the sun

Well, you have finally made it to camp, done some swimming, hiking, and now today is the day you want to go canoeing. No problem, but you are going to want to know what to take for your trip for the day or your half day canoe trip. 

I myself, keep it simple. You do not want to carry too much, but you do want to make sure you have enough. There are always times when unforeseen problems arise, and you always want to be prepared for those. The fun will end if any problems arise and you always want to have a fun filled day for everyone that goes. That’s why my list is simple, because I do enjoy the fun in the sun. I love the outdoors and get out there every chance I get.

What to bring

Remember to always bring sunscreen. The fun in the sun will be a miserable concept after you return home. You want to make sure the exposed parts of your body have some sunscreen so you can keep protected while out. Since you are going to be on the water, I would suggest a sunscreen that is waterproof, and apply it every few hours to make sure it stays on. 

Bring some insect repellent. The bugs or mosquitoes may be bad on that day, especially if you are in a humid climate. You want to make sure you come back without bites everywhere. That will not help you any either.

Take a small cooler with snacks, drinks, and a meal or 2, depending on how long you are going to be gone. You will get thirsty and hungry, so you want to make sure you have something with you. Have plenty of water, even though you’re going to be on the water, with you so you don’t have to worry about dehydration.

You need to dress appropriately for the task at hand. You can wear shorts and a shirt with a bathing suit underneath. I would stop somewhere and decide to go swimming for a little while because it will be warm.

Wear appropriate shoes. A lot of people wear flip-flops, which is fine, unless you run into trouble and need shoes. They have water shoes you can wear and I wear an old pair of tennis shoes I don’t mind getting wet. I wear socks with them so they do not rub blisters on my feet if they do get wet.

Always be safe and make sure everyone, especially children or those that cannot swim, have life jackets. If you own your canoe, you will need this before getting on the water. If you rent a canoe from the area you are camping, they usually provide them for you at no extra charge. Always make sure you keep them on, because you never know when you may need it.

You will want to take a dry bag to put the items that you do not want to get wet in. Especially something for your camera, if you are brave enough to take it. If you are going across a lake, it shouldn’t be a problem, but if there are going to be rapids, then you may be better off leaving it at camp because you do not want to have to replace all that equipment.

Make sure you bring a hat with you to help with the sun. It will be hot and the sun wears you out. You do not want to wind up with head exhaustion. Of course, sunglasses are also a must have, They will protect your eyes from the UV rays of the sun while out on the water. It will help you see better and with the hat, keep you protected.Last but not least, you will want to bring a basic first aid kit. You never know what may happen out there. If you stop and get out for a swim and someone falls, cuts themselves for whatever reason, you are going to want that around so it can be cleaned and bandaged up immediately. You do not want an infection to set in from something you fell on or from something that may be in the water. First aid kits are handy to have just about everywhere now and if you are camping and canoeing, you should have one with you.


What not to do

Now we have covered all the basics for a half day or a day canoe trip, we should talk about what not to do while out on the water canoeing.

  1. Never bring alcohol. Canoeing and alcohol can be a bad combination. You want your day to be fun and not have to deal with the stress and worries of one or two people getting out of hand while out on the water.
  2. You shouldn’t bring your pets, unless they are acclimated to the routine that you have and have done it with them often.
  3. Make sure you not take infants. If something were to happen while out, you would have them to worry about too, along with whatever else is going on. You do not want them in the sun that long anyway.
  4. Make sure you never go alone. Make sure you always make sure you go with someone or with a group.
  5. Anything that you do not want to get wet or lost in the water, you should not take. Ex: cell phone, computers, or any electronics, unless they are waterproof. You never know when your canoe might tip over.

What to do

 

Now we have covered what to bring and what not to do. To cover what to do is a really simple task. Use some good common sense and have a wonderful, fun filled day. It’s all so easy and will be a really beautiful experience if you just cover the basic rules.

When you rent a canoe, the rental place will cover all of this and probably more for you. They will also provide you with a map. They will take you to your start point and pick you up at your destination.

Keep in mind, you are there to have fun, maybe be able to add in a little photography on the way. There’s nothing like having your camera handy when you see something unexpected. To be able to capture that perfect spot along the way.

You also have to remember, that unless your camera is waterproof or can be made to be, it’s not wise to bring it. The trip down the river can open your eyes to some new trails to hike through for the shots you missed. 

Never go alone and always let someone know where you are going so they know when to expect you back. Unfortunately, the unexpected happens and you want someone to know, just in case.

 

Covered Basics

I have covered the basics, so now the rest is up to you. Have fun and do some exploring. Make sure the people you go with are interested in what you have planned. Always have a plan before you start and end the day sitting around the camp fire talking about everything you did today and what you are going to do tomorrow. Don’t forget the s’mores. It’s always a delicious treat to end the day.

Don’t forget the photography of nature while you are there. It’s always a good release and way to forget about the world we live in for a while and re-connect with nature. It’ll be refreshing when you come home after a fun filled week. Enjoy!

Hydro Flask Review

 

Hydro Flask 24 oz Water Bottle | Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated | Standard Mouth with Leak Proof Flex Cap | Cobalt Blue

My review of the Hydro Flask, stainless steel, and vacuum insulated water bottles.

Personally, I think they are one of the greatest water bottles in the world to have. I discovered mine during a celebration that was going on in downtown Denver, CO. It was 100 degrees out and water was expensive, but you could it cool. The water got hot way too fast. On miserably hot day, most people want something cool to drink. I came across the Hydro Flask booth about that time and she explained to me all the specifications and I was still skeptical. So she took a water bottle, added ice and water, then sat it in the sun. She asked if I would come back a few hours later and she would show me. So I did and I was amazed. Most of the ice had melted, but the water was still cool as if swimming in a nice cool body of water. I knew then I would buy a few because our hike to the Grand Canyon was coming up. Always liking to try new things, I had to check it out and see it for myself.

When we went to the Grand Canyon we filled them, stopped at water stations that had cool water and refilled them, let them stay in the sunshine for hours after 24 to 48 hours, the water was still cool. It wasn’t hot, warm, or anything other that you wouldn’t want to drink on miserably hot summer day at 120 degrees outside. I love the Hydro Flask and own several myself.

Hydro Flask

They come in several shapes and sizes with different shapes and sizes of lids. You can buy replacement parts, lids, etc. for them and the best part is it is backed by a Lifetime Warranty. I have never seen a sport or water bottle do that.

      • Your design in mind: It has a standard mouth, which is ideal for sipping, while still accommodating ice cubes. Also, it has safety at the top-of-mind, as the bottles are made out of non-toxic BPA-free plastics & 18/8 food-grade stainless steel.
      • It’s non-slip grip: Unlike other leading water bottles, Hydro Flask has a powder coat, which does not rub off, which gives you a solid grip. The Powder Coat works with the premium TempShield insulation, which prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the bottle, perfect for needing to keep your grip on it, to give you exactly what you want in an everyday refreshment delivery system.
      • I It is just the right size: It meets your everyday hydration needs in one container, all while keeping it piping hot or ice-cold and fitting comfortably and conveniently in your hand or your vehicles’ cup holders and bicycle bottle racks.
      • It has insulation innovation: The double-walled, vacuum insulated Temp-Shield Insulation, the same technology used in all Hydro Flask products, will ensure that your beverage of choice maintains its temperature for many hours to come. Hot drinks up to 12 hours, and cold drinks up to 24 hours.

They are insulated, flexible, and durable: Designed with stainless steel pivots and a flexible strap, this cap moves when you do. Plus, it’s made with Honeycomb Insulation to keep drinks cold up to 24 hours or hot up to 12 — no matter what the weather’s doing outside.

There are many pros and cons to the hydro flask insulated bottle, as you can see.

PROS: Insulated, keeps temperature (hot for 6 to 12 hours), cold for 24 hours. Easily carried. You can strap it to your hiking pack, bicycle, or sit it in your car. Powdered coat for easy non-slip grip. Double walled vacuum insulation. Different mouths with different lids, so you can get your choice. Spill proof lid or cap. LIFETIME WARRANTY!

CONS: They scuff easily. If dropped too much, they can be dented or the lid broken.

So as you can see, my lists of PROS has done a lot for me, plus I’m an everyday Hydro Flask user. I like to keep my things cold while I’m out hiking, camping, or taking pictures. You have to stay hydrated while you are out and there not anything refreshing about warm water. I would not take another water bottle over this one because I haven’t found anything better.

They are also very well priced, depending on the size, and mouth from $34.95 and up or down. It will be the best investment you make for miserably hot summers day. They also make them to where you can put soup in them and keep it warm. Nice for a chilly day outdoors in the snow.

Try one today because you will not regret it at all. Do not just take my word for it. Go get you one and tell me what you think.