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PHOTO PORTRAITS THAT WON’T LOSE FRIENDS
Shooting good portraits isn’t simple as this is where people become the worse critics.  Follow these pro tips for great results.  Let’s assume this is a spontaneous portrait that wasn’t planned with a specific background setting and has to be done quickly.  First, use a zoom lens; 85-100 mm gives the best versatility.  This eliminates facial distortion from wide-angle lenses as well as compression from too-long lenses.  Next, the best aperture to use is f/11 because you’ll get both sharpness and depth on the face.  Where’s the best place to actually focus?  The eyes!  Nothing looks more out of place than unclear eyes.   And where you position the eyes is also of primary importance.  The rule is to position the subject’s eyes 1/3 of the way down from top of the frame for the most visual interest.  Remember, we’re talking portraits here, not the background around the face.  Finally, try zooming in close so your subject’s face fills the entire frame, even to the point where the top of the head or ears actually extend outside the frame.  You’ll capture not just the person, but those little nuances that make someone memorable.

GET YOUR GREEN BIN FOR BETTER RECYCLING

The following is from neighbor Lauren Lange:  “I've got the new GREEN BIN from the city -- you can recycle your junk mail, copy paper, school papers, newspapers, wrapping paper, etc -- all curbside!!!  This is the link to the recycling section of the City's website:  fortlauderdale.gov/recycle/bins.htm

ROTTEN NEWS:  CDS AREN’T FOREVER
Just when we thought everything was okay.... The digital revolution promised perfect copies of photos and videos and long term storage without fading. However, look up "CD Rot" in wikipedia and you'll find another thing to keep you up at night. Over time, many low-quality CDs decay on the edges and "rot". The disks become unreadable and some layers actually separate. How to avoid this problem? Burn your most important photos and documents on "archival CDs" and DVDs, such as those manufactured by Delkin and Verbatim. Other sources of headaches: watch out for acids in permanent markers. The ink should be non-acid or it will interact with the top layer of the compact disk or DVD. Itoyo makes a marker with the right kind of "archival" ink. Source: PCPhoto.

WRISTBANDS THAT WORK FOR NAUSEA

People who get carsick or who have queasy stomachs can now get some relief from special acupressure wristbands. The bands put pressure on an acupuncture spot about three inches above the wrist. Studies show that nausea induced by motion sickness is reduced in many users when the bands are worn. Manufacturers include Sea-Band and Travel-Eze; about $10 a pair (Consumer Reports, January 2006).

WALKING, NOT RUNNING, ZAPS BELLY FAT

If you’ve been feeling guilty for taking an enjoyable long walk instead of running the same distance, this will make you feel better.  The January 2008 issue of Health magazine claims that a Duke University Medical Center study has found that, distance being equal, walking may burn more belly fat than running.  It takes longer to walk than run three miles.  Longer stints of exercise, even moderate exercise, seem to burn more belly fat.  Both walking and running the same distance supposedly burn equal calories, but the it’s the duration of time that make the belly fat difference.

SAGE ADVICE FOR NEEDY MINDS

Ever wonder how the herb "sage" got its name? Studies indicate that the plant's leaves can prevent decline in brain functioning and can help retain memory. Pills containing sage oil were found to boost the mood and thinking skills of healthy adults and people with Alzheimer's disease. Source: Consumer Reports.

Send your comments and news for the next column to JK and Steve McCrea at sendrandomtips@gmail.com.







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