Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lazy Days

Years back, I thought I cannot live by just staying in the house during my days off. I always see to it that I would go out of the house just for the heck of it, no specific direction where to go or what to do. I usually end up watching movies and eat in a restaurant by myself. Sometimes I did some impromptu shopping or just plain "window shopping" in the mall. Nowadays, I realize that staying in the house can be a fun and relaxing time. You can catch-up with your favorite TV shows, catch-up with your reading and most of all browse on social networks online. The last three (3) days were not an exemption for me. Last Sunday, being Palm Sunday, I went to church with my parents. After that, I stayed home and just watch old movies in my computer. I did not realize I still have some bunch of them that I wasn't able to watch. The following day, a Monday, I went to my Zumba class and since it was still my second day off, I lingered longer in the gym and completed my weight training routine. The third day came and went by with not much activities. I did went to the gym and then to lunch afterwards. I spent the afternoons watching TV, playing with my DJ Mixer, the Internet and completed three courses online assigned to me for my CE (continuous education).

I cant believe that I survived the last three days basically staying in the house and doing nothing. In one of my "pointless" online searches, I stumble across a music video by Bruno Mars called The Lazy Song. I've been listening that song on my iPod Touch but never got the chance to see the music video. I immediately declared it as my theme song whenever I'm on day off. Here is the nice and funny video: that I posted on Facebook last Sunday:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tips in Using a Phone Camera

Everyone uses cellular phones nowadays and the most common feature of these gadgets is their capability to take pictures. Phone cameras or phone cams are probably the most widely used camera in the world. Depending on the technology embedded in your mobile phones, phone cameras always used auto focus lenses. Just like your non-SLR digital cameras, these are point and shoot cameras.

Avid photographers would agree with me that one doesn't need an expensive digital SLR camera in order to take beautiful, dramatic and artistic photographs. One should have the passion and the "eye" in taking good pictures. First thing to do is "know your equipment, in this case your phone camera". You must know how to use the special features that comes with your camera. Please remember that since your phone cam is auto-focus, you must press the shutter button half-way first while pointing your subject to activate the auto focusing feature. You will know that the auto focus is activated when you hear a beep, and that's the time to press the shutter button all the way to take the picture. This is also true with your other non-SLR digital cameras.

I have come across some handy tips from the National Geographic website in taking a good photo using your phone camera and I re-posted them here in its entirety:

Photo Tip 1: Avoid direct sunlight. Your subjects will be cooler, happier, and more attractively lit if they don't have a sunbeam hitting them in the face. If it's an overcast day, you're in luck. This is one of the best outdoor lighting situations for photographing people. If it's a sunny day, have your subjects stand in the brightest patch of shade you can find.

Photo Tip 2: Choose the highest quality setting available so you lose less detail and don't get a muddy photo. If you have to choose between resolution and a quality setting to save space—and it's unlikely you'll make prints—reduce the resolution.

Photo Tip 3: Wait for the "magic hour." During the times of sunrise and sunset, the sky is colorful enough for even a camera phone to capture land and sky with fairly good exposure.

Photo Tip 4: Stabilize your camera phone. In low light, camera phones slow the shutter speed to let in more light and have a longer opportunity to capture movement. Hold the camera phone with both hands and brace your upper arms against your body when you shoot.

Photo Tip 5: Use the rule of thirds. When composing a picture, imagine two horizontal lines and two vertical lines crossing like a tic-tac-toe grid on top of it. Place strong lines and divisions like the horizon on the gridlines and let elements of interest fall on the intersections.

Photo Tip 6: When the background of your picture is cluttered and the lighting is questionable, fill the frame of your camera phone by moving in closer to your subject.

Photo Tip 7: By mastering the technique of panning, you can create some very cool images. To do this, hold the camera phone with both hands—for steadiness—and frame the approaching subject on the LCD. Move the camera at the same speed as the subject, thus freezing the subject while the background is blurred through motion.

Photo Tip 8: Shoot a panorama. If your camera phone doesn't include a dedicated panorama mode, you can use third-party stitching software on your computer to create panoramas from several frames. A cell phone tripod will help you line up the shots.

Photo Tip 9: Anticipate shutter lag. Get used to your camera phone's timing so when something interesting happens, you'll have a good feel for the point when you need to press the shutter release to capture the most interesting moment.

Photo Tip 10: Get the right color tone. Shooting in black-and-white in any light can help develop your photographer's eye by letting you concentrate on the relationship between light and shadow without the distraction of color.

Photo Tip 11: Put horizons in the right place. Sometimes, putting the horizon down low to emphasize a dramatic sky is preferable.

Photo Tip 12: When photographing adults, experiment with both the angle of your composition and the angle of light to see what's most flattering.

Photo Tip 13: Try using a black background to make a subject stand out. Black velvet material works great because it absorbs any light hitting it. As a result, no shadows or reflections appear in the picture.

One last thing, taking good photos consistently takes a lot of practice. Keep on practicing; anyway you can always delete the pictures you took that you don't like. With your digital camera, you can take as many pictures as you want.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wicked Spoon Buffet - Wacky & Crazy Food Trip

When I stayed at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for my birthday celebration last February, one thing I did not try in that hotel was their buffet. Aptly called Wicked Spoon Buffet, indeed the food that they were serving were all wickedly gorgeous.

I've been planning to try their buffet and see if it was at par with other "good" buffet around town. Last Saturday was my chance to go there with my friends. Since I work on Saturday evenings, we decided to try their lunch offering. We were not disappointed. Majority of the food are not found in other local buffet in Las Vegas. We can consider this as gourmet food choices. Aside from the whole array of assorted salad and main courses, what was also impressive was their elaborate dessert choices.

I could not cover everything in pictures so you have to try and see or should I say taste for yourself. The Wicked Spoon Buffet is at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas along the Vegas Strip within City Center.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Honeymoon with Cars

I was just browsing around the Internet and an idea came to mind. I typed on the Google search field: top 10 most expensive production cars in the world. Indeed there was a list and the number 1 on the list is the Bugatti Veyron. The list is full of super cars mostly sporty versions. The list is very impressive costwise and their looks but these are just dream cars, that's all. I might as well make my own list of favorite cars that possibly I could own at least one of them in the near future.

If I would own a huge garage and have five (5) cars in it, I would like to have the following:

  1. Camaro ZL1

  2. Lexus LFA

  3. Corvette Z06

  4. Infiniti Cabrio

  5. Nissan 370Z

The list is not arranged according to how much the car costs but based on how much I want to own it. It probably was the overall appeal of the car and it's X-factor. What's the X-factor? I just don't know. You probably have attended a car show in the past and looking at all the cars on display, I'm pretty sure that you had fallen in love to at least one car in that show. Just like me, I love the Camaro ever since I laid my eyes on it in the Transformers movie. I saw the "bumblebee" in a car show and took the driver's seat, I felt it.

I have to stop dreaming and start working on getting my first Camaro. Wish me luck.