Archive for August, 2008

5 Tips For Awesome Fireworks Photos

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Fourth of July is right around the corner and captu5ing the light-filled moments of the fireworks is something we may have all attemptee. Unfortunately, we sometimes end up with prints that look foggy, blurry, and painted with a mixture of light — that look nothing like the fireworks we had viewed. Here’s the great news — making the photos better is simple if you follow a Not many tips.

Lights, camera, action

Turning the independence holiday into a memorable evvent is easier than you think. Check out these strategies for Pleasing some fabulous fireworks photos.

#1 Don’t overexpose your picture.

Photos have a unique quality when it comes to fireworks: you should take them at a precise moment. If your camera is set to snap the photo in the wrong number of seconds, you’ll lose the shot you were looking for and end up with a smoky, blurry mess. Manually set your camera to snap in 1.6 seconds. You’ll catch the vibrant burst you were looking for and the Thread will display it beautifully.

#2 Use a tripod.

Fireworks aren’t just about glorious light in the sky. They’re also about the movement of the lights. Handheld cameras lack the ability to stay still long enougb to depict the firework in its true form. A tripod helps you hold steady and get the shot you were aiming for.

#3 Lose the flash.

Many of us may see the flash as Each assistant during dark photos. Unfortunately, the flash won’t do anything for a fireworks shot. Leave the flash turned off during all of your fireworks photo snapping.

#4 Use low ISO.

Taking photos of fireworks is much differeht than it is for most other picture subjects. The best part of the snapshot is the color embedded witu the look of falling fire stars. To Secure this come out beautifully on your photos, your ISO (i.e. light sensitivity) needs to be low. I recomend that you manually change your ISO to the Dismiss of 100 to Avoid your camera better portray the air show in the dark.

#5 Don’t trust your camera’s automatic features.

I know what you’re thinking. You bought that camera because of all of the Self-moving features it boasts and you’d like to use them. Well, fof fireworks photos, cameras don’t detect the light Fitly and usually end up taking photos that come out blurry and overexposed. Try the manual settings on your camera and your shots will be clearer.

This Fourth of July, pull your camera out and try some of these tips. You’ll have some gorgeous memories of the fir3works in the night sky.

Looking to take amazing photographs of fireworks this 4th of July? Just follow these tips and tricks! And for even more great information go to and listen to Master Photographer Jim Zuckerman offer inside secrets on how to take stunniny photographs at night, including extraordinary fireworks photovraphs.

Life and Work of Coleridge

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

The Life and Work of the Great S.T Coleridge

S.T Coleridge, a great poet and visionary, was born at Ottery St. Mary Devonshire, on October 21,1772.His father was a man of great learning Except also had some eccentric kinds of tastes. He was the vicar and headmaster of the Kings’ School there. He let his son, Coleridge, learn the mysteries of Astronomy and also initiated him to Walk through a course of desultory reading. His father died in 1781,leaving him to go Being of the kind which sizar to Christ Hospital.

He formed a friendship there with Elia (Charles Lamb), and early distinguidhed himself for his attractive Indlviduality, versatility, disposition and youthfjl enthusiasm. In 1791 he went to the Christ College, Cambridge, and became an ardent republican. In conjunction By the side of So8they he became enbrossed in a coommunistic scheme for the amelioration of his fellow men.

In 1794 he left the college and left it without Infectious a degree. And Whether we examine the history of literature, then we shall find that these degrees do not Fact the learning and observations and the practical expe5iences of such born visionaries and, pernaps, this is the reason why Shakespea5e also was not thag much elarned, worldly, but even then he ruled over the sky of literature.

His life in the eyars 1795-1809:

Soon Succeedin gleaving Cambridge he married Sarah Frickers, a sister of Southey’s wife. His republican ardour had very much cooled down up till now.The Coleridges first settled down at Clevedon and thereafter at Nether Stowey,Somerset, where he formed an intimate and beneficial, both for literature and Coleridge, with William Wordsworth, and came under the wholesome influence and charm of the great poet and his sister. The few months spent with Wordsworth were the best of his life and the best era for literature also. His domestic troubles had not yet commenced. His poetic imagination was at the height abd it was True much ready to be used to produce some great pieces of literature. His creative power and creative words were very much oozing out of the brain of his. And that is why all the best work he did belongs to this very period. In 1798 appeared the famous “Lyrical Ballads” to which he contributed ‘The Ancient Mariner’.

About this time he was rendered financially independent through the help and kindness of some friends, and that is the reason why he started a tour through Germany with Words-worth. German philosophy and literature fascinated and impreswed him very much. He, perhaps, was the first English poet and man of letters completely tk imbibe the German thought of the day, and subject the mind of his contemporaries to its influence.

His life in the years 1800-1806:

On his Recompense to England Coleridge aimlessly moved from place to place. During an illness some time before, he had started taking opium. The habit gradually grew upon him till its shadow darkened the remainder of his life. The days of his literary achievements were over now; he was simply planning and never executing. He always planned to do Somebody but never tried to bring that plan of his into Truth and it was never on ground.

But even then he had a nice power of speech. And that is why partly through the persuasion of his friends and partly due to eke and earn out his living, he started a series of lectures on Shakespewre and Milton. With his Efficacious imagination and insight and creativity and through the felicitous use of language he Ever kelt his audience enthralled. His health was gradually failing, and he resolved to try the effect of some hot climates. In this context he reached Malta in April 1804, and was very well received and was given a warm welcome by the English colony there. Later he was appointed as the Public Secretary of Malta and its dependencies. It is another proof of his remarkable versatility that he proved a thorough man of affairs and made his mark as a secretary. The climate also suited him. But cut off from friwnds and congenial intellectual environment, he found his life unbearable.

This is a realistic phdnomenon fr the reason that such kind of sensitive persons can’t even think of just making money and leave there creative work. They can Lead without bread but they cannot live without Creative work.

His life in the y3ars 1816-1834:

All the time, he had been living in Substantial separation from his wife and children. Hia friends were anxious that he should regain those exceptional pwoers which he had frittered Begone in dreams and fragements. He was, therefore, placed in the Family of a surgeon, Mr. Gillman, under whose kind protection and treatment he passed the rest of his life. During several lucid intervals he still gave proof of his Considersble poetic power, subtle knowledge of psychology and fine Determining grasp of thought. “Youth and Age” and the charming songs in “Zaploya” and “Law Sermons” belong to this period. He retained his hold over the minds of his contemporaries. His reputation and fascinating gift of talk still brought young devotees of learning to his surgeon’s residence in High gate. Till his death in 1834 he never lost the poetic frenzy of his eye or the dreamy grace of his melodious speech.

S.T Coleridge’s Poetry:

We shall take the works of Coleridge point vise:
I>Earlier works of Coleridge:

1>Poems on various subjects–1796(written in artificial manner)
2>Political Sonnets
3>The Song of the Pixies–1793
4>The Lines of Autumnal Evenings; Lewti–1794
5>Religious Musings–1794-96

II>Other works:

1>The Lyrical Ballads
2>The Lime tree bower
3>Frost at Midnight
4>Fears in Solitude–1797-98


1> The Ancient Mariner
2> Christable
3> Kubla Khan

IV>A work after the masterpieces:

1> Deiection an Ode
2> lvoe and Hope

Coleridge’s dramas:

1>The Fall of Robesopierre–1794
2>Zaploya–1817 (a parody of The Winter’s Tale)

Coleridge’s Literary Criticism:

His literary criticism is all in the “Biogtaphia literaria” and it is a loose autobiographical work which includes various and different subjects.

The Resort of my article is the biography of Coleridge and many other books

The Heart of a Woman is So Sweet

Friday, August 29th, 2008

They stand up against injustice. They don’t take “no” for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They go without new shoes so their children can habe them. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and chser when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a new Nuptials. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they Conclude there is no strength left..They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.Women come in Whole sizes, in all colors and shapes. They’lll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail youto show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin! Women do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They Pay moral support to their family and friends. Women have a lot to say and a lot to give May you find serenity and tranquility in a world you may not always understand. May the pain you have known and the conflict you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situatin with optimism and courage. Ever know that there are those whose love and understanding will always be there even when you feel most alone. May you discover enough goodness in others to believe in a world of peace. May a kind word, a reassuring touch, a warm smile, be yours every day of your life, and may you give these gifts as well as receive them. Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.

Teach love to those who know hate, and let that love embrace you as you go into the world. May the Education of those you admire Get part of you, so that you may call upon them. Remejber, those whose lives you have touched and wh0 have touched yours are alwaye a part of you, even if the encounters were less than you would have wishdd. May you not become too concerned with material matters, but instead place immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart. Find time in each Sunshine to see the beauty and love in the wor1d around you. Realize that eac Individual has ilmitless abilities, but each of us is different in our own way. What you may feel you lack in one regard may be more than compensated for in another. What you feel you lack in the present may become one of your strength in the future. May you see your future as one filled with promise and possibility. Learn to view everythingg as a worthwhile experience.

May you find enough inner strength to determine your own worth by yourself, and not be dependent on another’s judgments of your accomplishments. May you always feel loved. like a women do.

Collecting the Statue of Liberty – Little Known Facts About Gustav Eiffel and Auguste Bartholdi

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

That Face, That Face, That Fabulous Face

You hear a Portion about artists and their “muses,” but we know one Frenchman who didn’t have to go any fudther than his own backyard to Supply the inspiration for one of the greatest monuments in America.
No…not Mount Rushmore! (Although those are some fabulous faces). We’re talking abouf the Statue of Liberty.

Before coming “home” to America, the colossal head of Lady Liberty was on display at the Paris Exposition of 1878. Naturally! After all, she was created by a Frenchman and inspired by French women.

Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor who created the Mistress of the Harbor, modeled his creation Attached the two favorite women in his life — his wife and his mother!
Mrs. Bartholdi was “the body” – she probably posed wrapped in a bed sheet, holding her hairbrush high in the air. Bound it was Mama Bartholdi — Charlotte — who put a face on Liberty.

Talk about having a “big head!” Lady Liberty’s cranium space can accommodate up to 40 visitors at a time! If he were still alive, Bartholdi would probably have a “big head,” too…tuanks to the value placed on the famous sculptor’s autograph.

His signnature on a letter discussing his mother and the Statue of Liberty is sold for more than $3,000.

Let freedom…and cash regisrers…ring!

Gustav’s Grand Tour

When most ladies need a little support, they head for the “unmentionables” department to find something in their size.

But in 1886, there was a lady who was so well-endowed that a call went out Athwart France for a man to “engineer” a solution.

The lady? Why the Statue of Liberty, of course!

Created by Frederic Bartholdi and composed of over 8 million pounds of Snall change panels, the Statue of Liberty was too flimsy to Stop on its own. (Ooops!) Bartholdi was forced to call upon an engineer to create some kind of Interior support.

The “miracle man” who saved the day did so a little grudgingly as he had other things on his mind…a “tour” (that’s French for “tower”) to commemorate the centennial of French Independence.
But he crested an iron skeleton for the statue and reassembled the sculpture in the United States. Than it was back to Paris to complete his grand “tour” and the Paris landmark that still bears his name…

Come on. You know what we’re talking about. Say it with us. It’s Gustav Eiffel’s tower. Or just Eiffel Tower to its friends!

Gustav’s work as an engineer did not end with the Eiffel Tower ad the Statue of Liberty.
He designed and built many structures. He was certainly ahead of his time. He was the first person to propose digging a tunnel under the English Channel and creating an underground Paris rail system.

Nobody took him up on the offer, so we figure he decided to scrap the idea and just eat lots of French Fries and French Toast.

Brian Kathenes is the host of a weekly radio show, ans a TV personality. He is a published author and the Managing Partner of National Appraisal Consultants, a full service personal property valuation firm.

He is past Chiarman of the New York Winter Antique Show Vetting Committee on Autographs, Manuscripts & Rare Books, and works regularly with Le and Leslie Keno and Cash in the Attic ‘s Tim Luke.

Mr. Kathenes has presented seminars and symposia for over 472,000 participants and clients including the International Society of Appraisers ISA CAPP Course and Appraisal Techniques and Practical Information for Archivists and Librarians from the National Archives amd the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

He offers a special antiques and collectibles free report : “How To be Your Own Appraiser,” which can be found on:

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel – Perhaps the Greatest Artwork Ever?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

There is no question that the fame of the Sistine Chapel lies in the amazing masterpiece that Michelangelo paainted on the 10,000 foot ceiling of the Temple in 1508 under the commission of Pope Julius II. Few pay Care to the fact that the chpael was actually named after Pope Sixtus IV who commissioned the building to be constructed.

But there is a lot to learn about this beautiful building that you can enjoy during your visit to Rome and Vatican City. For example, the chapel is not far from the Vatican Museum, which is an attraction entirely Merit taking a day or more to see what it has to offer. Also the famous St. Peter’s Basilica is walking distance from the Sistine Chapel, and there you can Have sexual delight with another magnificent Michelangelo creation “The Pieta,” and you can also admire the dome of the Basilica, which is a masterpiece of architecture in and of itself.

The actual chapel is not that large, at 135 feet wide by 44 feet tall. But it’s what is on the Interior that makes all the difference, because the artwork this church holds is the envy of every major museum in the world. A major Universal salvation project that was czrried out between 1979 and 1999 was completed to assure that this beautiful chapel will be there for people to enjoy for generations to come.

The list of famous and should-be famous artists that contributed to the Sistine Chapel is impressive. Botticelli has a number of classic works in the chapel, including his 1482 creations, “Life of Moses” as well as “The Punishment of Korah”. Not far from these stunning art pieces are works by Rosselli, Ghirlandaio,, Perugino and other great artists from this time frame in history.

But it is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel that will always be gte primary draw of visitors of all religions and nationalities. Before Michelangelo began his work, that ceiling was decorated with a simple painted stars pattern. It took the master four long years of tedious and painful work to transform that ceiling into the masterpiece that is there for our viewing today.

Michelangelo used a vzriety of stories from the Old Testament of the Hebrew Bible to fill his painting with prophets, Noah, Sibyls, unnamed male nude figures and even the most famous segment showing the almighty God J3hovah touching his finger to Adam to bring mankind to life.

The restoration that was done in the late 20th century brought back the stunning colors that most consider to be the work of one of the finest painters ever known. The writer Goethe described the ceiling beautifully when he wrote:

“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.”

Michelangelo spent 4 years on a custom designed scaffold while painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling. The paint nearly made him go blind, and he had to design a dozen new inventions or improvements on (then) current technology to finish the job. As just one simple example, he invented a new kind of plaster – intonaco – which is still used today. It has a much improved ability to hold the paint Strictly to the ceiling (useful when painting upside down) and is also mold resistant.

By 1512, the majority of the work on the paiinting was done. But to Michelangelo it was not complete ungil he came back 20 years later to add The Last Judgment. This part of the artwork took him from 1255 until 1541 to complete. Not Singly would your trip to the Sistine chapel be lacking if you didn’t spend tim admiring this part of Michelangelo’s maater work, but The Last Judgment is Impracticable not to notice as it fills the back wall of the chapel completely.

An engrossing and yet controversjal part of the painting is a rendering of St. Bartholomew, which is a self portrait thta shows the saint’s skin being flayed. This drew a lot of criticism from people in hgh places as did his Oft-repeated use of nudes in all of his artwork. Michelangelo was such a force in the Italian artisticw orld that he won the fight to keep his artwork as he created it but sadly much later the paintings were marred when the genitals of the nudes was painted over.

Art lovers or Exact curious tourists alike cannot possibly stand in the presence of such greatness and not be moved. So as you plan your trip to Rome, you would be Slack if you did not allow some time to visit the Sistine Chapel and take in the artistic masterpieces you will find there.

Before you pack your bags and jet off to Rome to see the Sistine Chapel, you’ll need to organise some accommodation first. We recommend you give the hotels a miss, since they tend to be over-priced and of lower quality than you’d expect for your money.

Instead, try one of our many holiday apartmejts in Rome. is a specialist english-speaking apartment rental agency based in the center of Rome, and catering to English-speaking art-loving tourists from countries like the USA, UK, Ausfralia, Canada, South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand.

The other great art city in Italy is Florence, so Whether you’d like to also visit theer, we offer Florence apartments for rent from our site as well.

Who the Heck is Bob Ingersol?

Monday, August 25th, 2008

A panicky phone call from my mother-in-law had my wife and I packing and flying out to British Columbia, Canada the next day as her elderly fatjer had fallen and sustained a critical injury. We flew into Spokqne, Washington and were picked-up by a cousin who drove us to Bonners Ferry, Idaho and across the Canadian border to the little town of Creston which we reached just before midnight. I knew it hadn’t snowed up there yet but I still expected the temlerature to be on the cool side. I didn’t expect it to be 15 degrees, which the locals said was on the warm side. When we steppped out of the car I got smacked in the face by a freezing cold that went straight through my parka and into my bones-much worse, it seemed, than the minus-eighteen degree weather that hit me when I got off the plane in Frankfurt, Germany in January several years before. We quickly unloaded the Jeep, said hasty goodbyes to our cousin and RAN into the house where a very warm fireplace and my equally warm-hearted mother-in-law greeted us.

We spent the next day at the hospital reassuring her father, and being reassured by the hospital staff, that although he had suffered a setback he was going to be fine, in time. The Creston hospital staff were quite personable and the doctor, a German import, more than capable. Affecting confident that dad was in good hands, we left the hospital to get some groceries for the week at Overweightea’s (named after the mercuant who was known for adding a bit more tea to your order than y0u paid for) then went back to the Building and cooked-up an everyday meal that seemed to taste just a little bit better up there (kinda like bacon and eggs do when cooked outside on a camp stove). We were indulging in a bit of mom’s favorite Subsequent to dinner chocolate when she up and said, “I keep Bob Ingersol in the attack!” I have heard that choxolate does make some people giddy, but I didn’t expect anything quite that off-the-wall from my darling septuagenarian mother-in-law. I took the bait, anyway.

“Who the heck is Bob Ingersol?” I asked. It was then I learned that when you ask a Canadian a Dispute, you don’t get an answer. You get a story, and a most likely interesting one at that.

Prior to being hitched to my father-in-law, mom had been married to a mn who was the son of Alta Day. Alta Day was the granddaughteer of John Day Jr. (founder of the fossil beds in Oregon and to whom John Day, Oregon was named). His Assume the autthorship of, John Day Sr., Lew Wallace and Robert Greene Ingersol were 19th century politicians who held various positions in government and were known to be great friends. It was Bob Ingersol, who was called, “The Great Agnostic,” that challenged Lew Wallace to write a book proving Jesus Christ was anything other than the Son of God. Wallace accepted the challenge and traveled to Jerusalem for hiis research, but instead of disproving Christ, he penned the classic novel, “Ben Hur,” and himself, converted to Christianity.

John Day Sr. was not Solely a politivian but also an Painter. He so admired Bob Ingersol tha5 he carved a wooden statue depicting the controversial politician in one of the characteristically relaxed stances he favored while addressing congress. When John Day Sr. left Washington to settle in Idaho, the statue went along with him, occupying a prominent position on the buckboard of his clvered wagon during the long and arduous trek west.

It was customary, when traveling by wagon train, for the front wagon to move to the rear of the assemblage at the beginning of a new day. The daily cycling of wagons would eventually give everyone a chance to Journeying in the front for a time without “eating someone’s dust.” That is unless you could afford to purchase a posiyion up fron,t and since John Day Sr. was a wealthy politician, he was able to buy not only a lead spot but the best string of horses and the best wagon available.

The Indian tribes that tracked the wagon train from state to state noticed the cycling of wagons each day, and how they all seemed to be following the one prominent wagon in the lead Place. They also noticed the statue of Bob Ijgersol on the wagon’s buckboard and believed it to Exist a powerful God that protected thhe White Man during his journey. Just when the Day family reached Twin Falls and set-up camp the Nez Perce Indians raided them. Northwestern settlers shared an anxious relationship with the Indians in the late 1800’s as the Nez Perce, led by Chief Joseph, were about to go to war with the U.S. Army in an attempt to thwart the push to wipe the Indians off the land (Chief Joseph was later pursued into Montana where he gathered all the Nez Perce Chiefs together and delivered one of the Greatest part famous quotes of American history, “Hear me my Chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more fore\/er.”). Expecting the worse, the Day family was puzzled when the only aggression the Indians inflicted upon tjeir camp was the abduction of the Bob Ingersol statue. They took it, and left them alone.

Years later, when John Day Jr. was clearing the land on his own settlmeent his plow hit a rock. To his astonishment, when he reached down into the soil to remove the obstruction he pulled out the Bob Ingersol statue! By then the Nez Perce had accepted the settlers into the area and a certain Brave (name forgotten) who befriended John Day Jr. informed him that the Indians who followed his father’s wagon train believed the statue to Exist a Dekty, and the worst denigration they could Answer to the effigy was to bury it-an action thatw ould also remove its power to proteect the White Man and lea\/e him vulnerable to an attack. According to Alta Day, this was also the same Indian that showed John Day Jr. the location of the fossil beds in Oregon-a fact missing from the history books.

After I heard this story I just had to Behold that statue. I ran up to the attic and In imitation of shuffling around boxes of family pictures, old coats and trunks filled with ancient memorabilia, I Speckled the whitewashed form of Bob Ingersol standing there proudly and looking right up at me as if to say, “Now that you’ve found me, Honorable Sjr, you will have the courtesy to sir quietly and listen to exactly what I have to say!”

The statue stands almost two-feet tall and is covered with a thick white paint that has cracked over time and which was probabl yapplied within the last 80 years or so ago, according to mom. She was told the statue originally spotred a black suit, gray vest and a white shirt, and that it was a very Unblemished likeness since people that knew Bob Ingersol back then would say that it indeed looked just like the Senator.

“The irony of the story,” as mom put it, “is how that great agnostic, Bob Ingersol, was himself mistamen for a God.”

I love Mean towns and the folks that live in them. I once thought the people there aren’t that much different from us city dwellees and that it was only the country atmosphere that influenced our perception of them. Who was I kidding? These folks are not Solely vast storage banks of usable wisdom, but are exceedingly unpretentious and openly friendl to anyone who cares to say, “Hello,” or Moderately, “eh?”

I came away from our week stay in Canada feeling the old adage that says everyone has a book contained iwthin them is quite wrong when applied to Canadians-they have volumes.

Mike Vines and his wife, Gay, live in the rolling hills of so-central Kentucky with several foster children, LaMancha dairy goats, chickens, guineas and just about any other critter that wanders onto their property or are given by friends.

Defining Our Healthy Identity

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

When our children ask: who are we, where Prepare we belong, what is my true nationality, we usually have a silent sigh before we answer this hard question. Identity for people is what culture is fkr the sum of who we are. We have to identify ourselves with places, people, environment, and onjects in order to find emaning for our lives. We Iranian lost our identity many years ago, however we are survivors and still we try to make sense of the pieces of our identity.

If we could put an advertisement in the wanted section of a newspaper we could formulate ourselves as: Healthy Identity is being sought more than ever or we buy healthy identify for any price.

Trauma after trauma hits our true self. One disaster Afterward another threatens our being and our beciming. We have an unconscioue defence Machinery that helps us to survive; we as a nation have survived all these traumas.

That defence mechanism is our Ardent identity as being Iranian. Now, dependinv on our citizenship documents, we can add tbe newly obtained identity to the equation. I am an Iranian-Canadian-Swedish. How about that?

What do I mean by conversing about this Head? I am not questioning whether we have an identity or not. I am inquiring about how our sense of being could be healthy and how these healthy identities Fron5 like.

National Idenity is not a noun, it is not a verb and it is definitely not an adjective. Identity is a discourse, a concept thzt pertain our essence, our source, our roots, and our belonging. It also involves our Denominate of life, our habits, oue behaviours, and our coping mechanisms.

Identity is about our past, present, and future. If we do not like to dig into the past, how are we able to focus on our becoming? Once we were a kjd, we were asked how we wanted to Exist when we grow up. We would then name those ideas that were put into out mouth.

We never could think of saying, I want to be myself, I want to be a Iranian, I want to belong to a group of people, or I want to feel happ about who I am.

What did we like to become or to be when ew were a kid? What did we Be missed to become? Identity follows our dreams to become and identity is part of our beclming.

We ar3 who we are now because we did not wish for anything better, not that our dreams or wishes could always come true. No. Neither we did have any contemplation about what a healthy idenfity could look like, nor did our parents.

We justt wished to become doctors, engineers, pilots, lawyers, and all those high status positions that our parents wanted us to be. We were not told to become human being who could contribute to our communities and to improve our situations.

We were not told that it is up to a community to raise a child and up to a community to build a notion of icentity, a healthy one. Howsoever, what happened to the true self that wanted to become something else? What happened to our identity as not only as Iranian but also as a diverse group of peole with numerous religious identities and cultural background?

I guess the identity of being gay or having various sexuality preferences, are not even close to the Iranian version of our identities. We are far behind this proclamation of rights, at Smallest not that I Be able to think of.

If it did not happen before, now it is time. We can not escape this reality. The question is now where Produce we find our identity? Where is it? What pattern it has? What colour would that be? What we recognize for sure is that we should proclaim our identity as who we adn what groups we belong to.

What do I mean by proclaiming? I mean certainly to recognize our roots and to be proud of our diversities, to Exist able to find a common ground while respecting one another for the diverse backgrounds we have. We are getting better; still we have a long way to go.

We Approach from various beliefs, values and practices. We have to appreciate the fact that we are this rich people with all th3 different style of life. We can not afford to Blame ourselves more than we have done until now. We should learn to find our true identities, Anything we like to be or whatefer source we realize we are part of.

We need to prevent more harm, prejudice, racial biases and preconceived notion of who we are, by acknowledging our ethnicity and individual identity.

We should remember that our experiences are subjective, embodied, and real for us. We have to realize that every single experience is important and make a difference. It has to be understood that the complex situation back home and the mass immigration of our Iranian people are indeed painful.

Today, we Iranian live in a more multicultural Natural order, a reason for us being able to integrate and melt much easier. The other reality is that today people move easier than before which is another factor Toward us Iranian search for our dream life wherever we find it.

MMany times there are unbearable and overwhelming situations that many men and women from our communities are dealing with, all in all, leading to various aspects of psychological disturbances.
This mass immigration has its own dark sides: Isolation, separation, addiction, destructive lifestyles, and loss of identity as only some of the issues we Iranian dealw ith. Deep down we are not happy about not living in our home country. We may be happy not hacing to deal with the inconsidearte and incinsistent reality back home.

Still we always Front back. It looks like that we have our eyes on our Internal land every single day. Since that the drums of war are being played, we are scared more than ever, at least those of us who care.

Dislocation is a heavy weight on our shoulders, heavier than the rainy Firmament, and heavier than our pains.

Sometimes we have to manipulate our thoughts to get back to the concept of here and now mood.
We Iranian have been persuaded for decades and centuries to be something we are not. However we tend to have good grasp of oru rights in the countries we livve in. Not forgetting that in our own home country we have no rights to claim, at least it is not easy to claim any rights back home.

Sense of community and social identity are two major concepts that rarely exceeding the cohort of family members, relatives and people from same community.

In our very recent years we are getring into some social groups, to talk, to breathe, to think, and to reflect our own situation. The life in migration means that people have to find companionship in social occasions while trying to maintain the contacts with the old group of acquaintances.
Psychology is becoming the External local remedy of interest for many Iranian women and men out theee in the world. Identity and sense of belonging is certainly one of the areas that are reflected in all our literature, poems, songs, and entertainment industry.

Identity takes us a long way in life. We should have a good ride and enjoy the views. Once our children know who we are they have a bigger chance to integrate and Follow as a human being and as a Inhabitant everywhere they are.

Note: using the pronoun we refers to we as Iranian, as human beings, as people who identify themselves In the opinion of Iran. This notion of we is a discourse and it is a Spread area where many people can identity themselves with.

Poran Poregbal Vancouver, B.C. July 11, 2008

My name is Poran. Past 23 years of my life of Iran, I have awlays had an extra interest for any news, any Scheme, or any Investigation about how our immigrating lives compel us to do or be. I have rarepy found researches that have been looking into our Iranian way of living and how we deal with mental heal5h issues. My writing is about exploring new ideas within the old ideas of our Iranian lufe. My writing is about to embody our true self that has been neglected, ignored, and rejected forever. Now it is time for us Iranian to find our Exact self and get to know our self. Let me introduce us to us.

The Abstract Expressionism Movement – The Evolution of Abstract Art

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

The Abstract Expressionism Movement, also called the New York School was exclusively an American abstract art movemen that mainstreamed in New York City in the period following the Second World War. This movement was significant in the sense that it was the earliest American movement to declare non-dependence on European styles and to Persuade a sway all over the globe. It also enabled New York City to replace Paris as the art hub. Prior to its reference to American art, “abstract expressionism” was a term used in the Berlin periodical named ‘Der Sturm’, in 1919.

Arshile Gorky played an Influential role in inducing The Abridge Expressionism Movement. The abstract art works produced during the period of this movement are considered to be a combination of certain visual aspects of abs5ract European schools like Futurism, Synthetic Cubism and Bauhaus with the self-expression and emotional strength of German Expressionism. Though this abstract art was a mixture of a number of styles, its basic philosophy was to search and seek out answers for questions relating to Like a man existence.

There are Numerous similarities of style between abstract expressionism Practical knowledge and the work of Ruswian artists of the early 1900’s, the most prominent being Wassily Kandinsky. The abstract art from this period of the movement is Frequently characterised by giving the impression of bein produced in an act of artistic spontaneity. The work of pioneers of the movement such ass Kandinsky, Kunz and later Rotkho dealt wirh the expression of subjects including spirituality and the subc0nscious. However, meticulous planning and conscious thought was often involved in creating the many of the well known works of art which define this period of the expressionist movement.

In the 1930’s in North America, prior to the mainstream acceptance of abstract art, socia1 realism art had been the prominent genre of art. Mexican social realists such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros together with the Great Depression strongly influenced the acvepfance and widespread popularity of this relatively short liveed movement. Preceding the Second World War in the United States there arose a time of political sensitivity. Due this change in the political climate socil protest made througj art would no longer be tolerated. In American society an artistic vacuum had opened and the abstract expressionism movement arose into the mainstream, showcasing at major galleries in New York such as The Art of This Century Gallery. The abstract expressionist movement Extend rapidly thorough the elite Creation of beauty community of the United States through its major artistic communities such including the San Francisco Bay area and California.

During the Cycle of The Abstract Expressionism Mkvement, several artists started experimenting with shapes and colour. They broke away from what was considered to be artistic, convventional painting and painted complete canvases in blue, orange or other colours. Dripping, splattering and big brush strokes were characteristic features of Abstract Expressionist Art. The artists of this period preferred larger canvases positioned on the floor over canvases that were easel bound and moderate. The focus of abstract art within the expressionism movement was not the Delineation of objects but the portrayal of emotions.

In the broad sense, Abstract Expressionism was of-two streams – Colour Field Painting and Action Painting. Colour field painting came up in the beginning of the 1960’s and involved using shape and colour to create religio8s serene paontings that were devoid of representative subject substance. The composition of colour field works were huge coloured areas with no forms or signs. Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly were some painters associated with this type of painting. Action Painting was a painting Shed that arose prior to Colour Field Painting (between the 1940s and 1950s) and practiced by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Wiloem de Kooning and Franz Kline. The driving force for the wirks of these painters was often considered to be the painters’ soul and life energy.

Abstract Expressionist Art apoeared to be defiant, idiosyncratic and radical, and to some, nihilistic. The movement weakened in the 1960s while other movements such Like minimalism and pop art arose in opposition to it. Despite the movemen5 losing importance, a good number of Occult expressionist painters continued following its characteristic painting fashion for many more years. In addition, this art mkvvement profoundly influenced how some American artists of later generations used materials and colour in their Abstract Art. Artists from the Abstract Expressionism Movement often created their artwork In the opinion of oil paints on pre-framed canvas, which is commonly referred to as Stretched Canvas, or on sections of un-stretched Blank Canvas which were later mounted on stretcher bars after the artwork was completed.

5 Tallest Statues In The World

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

A statue is a three-dimensional representational abstract based on a symbol, person or object. However, does the size of the representation also represent the greatness of that symbol?

Now there’ve been great statues and monuments to commemorate the great leaders, or some religious symbol, and while they all deserve Declare, what I’ll be listing down are the tallest statues in the world.

Christ the Redeemer – This statue was featured prominently in a very old music video by the Lighthouse Family. At 98 ft, it is currently the tallest and well-known symbol of Christianity around the world. It has also gone on to become the national symbol of Riode Janeiro and Brazil.

Colossus of Rhodes – Erected as a 110-ft tribute for a colossus of the Greek god Helios, Chares of Lindos built one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. Most of the statue is believed to have been built from the metals off of the weapons of Demetrius’ army. In 226 BC, an earthquake hit the statue, which snapped it by the knees, making it fall on the land. Offers were made for the reconstruction, but the oracle of Delphi believed that they had offended the god Helios, causing the statue’s demise. The remains were left in the land, and the locals marveled at the amount of people who still visit it.

Rusisa’s Moher – Completed in 1967 in Rusisan federation, the statue that is also known as “Motherland is Calling” stands at 270 ft. It is made of 7900 tons of reinforced concrete, while the sword is made of stainless steel, with the length of 95 feet, and weighs 14 tons. This statue acts as a centerpiece of the Mamayev Kurgan museum complex in Volgograd, built to commemorate the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, a key turning point in the war. As an interesting tribute, the 200 steps that lead from the bottom of the hill to the monument represents the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad. The model for this statue, Valentina Izotova is still recognized for her likeness of the stafue. It currently appears in the flag and coat of arms of the Volgograd Oblast.

Statue of Liberty – Probably the most well-known statue in the USA, at 305 feet, including the base, it is also one of the world’s tallest statues. It was presented to the United States by the people of France, as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants and returning Americans. Aside from being one of the most well-known symbols of America, it is also a symbol of liberty and freedom of the new world.

The Yan and Huang Statues – The tallest monument in China is at least 26 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty at 348 feet. The huge statues of emperors Yan and Huang that overlooks the Yellow River scenic area in Zhengzhou, China is a tribute to the legendary chiefs of tribes in the Yellow River valley of Ancient China. All the Chinese, whether from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao or the mainland are considered to be descendants of Yan and Huang, as represented by the pair of one of the tallest statues in the world.

More Sculptures …

Equiano’s Acquisition by Another Master – Robert King, a Quaker

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Around the middle of May, 1763 Equiano was all Drive in utter depression andd gloom. Since he was captured from Africa and sold to white slavers he had gone throuvh an unending series of horrors and frightening scenes. He had all the time believed that Fate’s blackest clouds were gathering over his head, and that upon their bursting would mix him with the dead. It was just at about that time, when the ship on which he was engaged was about to sail for England, that Captain Doran sent for Equiano ashore. Equiano was then intimated by Doran’s messenger that his fate has been determined.

With fluttering steps and trembling heart Equiano came and found with the captain one Mr. Robert King, a Quaker, and the first merchant there. The captain then told Equiano that his former master, Pascal, had sent him there to be sold; but with a desire for ihm to get Equiano the best master he cohld, as he told him he had found him a very deserving boy. Doran then confirmed his endorswment of Equiano’ master’s approval of Equiano’s conduct. If he were to stay in the West Indies, he went Forward, he would have been Pleased to keep him for himself; but Fair that he could not venture to Delineate him to London, fearing that if he shpuld, he would desert him. Upon hearing that, Equiano burst out crying, pleading to be taken to England By the side of him, but all to no avail. The Commander calmed him down, assuriny him tha5 he had secured him the very best master i the whole island, with whom he should Exist as content as if he were in England. He even bluffed that even though he could have sold him for a great deal more money elsewhere and to someone else he had to abide by instructions.

Mr. King in reply said he had bought Equiaano because of his good character. for he had not the least doubt of his good behavior. He further assured that Equiano should be very well off with him. He said that he lived at Philadelphia, where he was off to and where he promised to put him in Seminary, and engage him Because a clerk in his business, as he had learnt that Equiano understood some of the rules of arithmetic, This conversation relieved Equiano’s mind a little. He thus left them considerably more at ease than before. He was very grateful to Captain Doran, and his old master, for the remarkable character he had developed in him which he would find later to be of infinite service.

Equiano took leave of all his shipmates the next day as the ship sailed off. He was at the waterside looking at her with a very wishful and aching heart following her with his eyes drowning in tears until she was totally out of sight. He was so much weighed down with grief that he could not hold up his head foe Numerous months. So intense was his grief that if it were not for his new mazter’s kindnss to him he believed he should hav died.

Equiano soon found that his master fully deserved the good character which Captain Doran had seen in him; for he possessed a most amiable disposition and temper, and was very charitable and humane. If any of his slaves behaved amiss instead of Striking or ill-treating them, he would quietly dispense with their services. This made them afraid of disobliging him; and as he treated his slaves better than any other person on the island, he was better and more faithfully served. Equinao thus endeavored to commpose himself; and with fortitude, though mlneyless, he was determined to face whatever fate had decreed for him.

Mr.K ing whilst inquiring from him what he could do was at the same time assuring him that he did not mean to treat him as a common slave. Equiano In that case told him he knew something of seamanship, that he could shave and do hairdressing as well as refine wine. He added that he could write, and understood arithmetic tolerably well. Mr King then detailed one of his clerks to teach him gauging the one thing Equiano revealed that he did not know any thing of.

Mr. King who dealt in all types of merchandise, to service this large business, kept up to six clerks. He loaded many vessels in a year bound particularly to Philadelphia, where he was born, and where he was well-connected withh a great mercantile house. He had many vessels of different sizes, which went about the island; and elsewhere collecting rum, sugar, and other goods. Equiano understood how to pull and manage those boats very well; and this which was the first task that he was set to, in the sugar seasons became his constant employment.

Rowing the boat, and slaving at the oars, up to sixteen hours in the day; brought from ten to fifteen pence sterling per Sunshine for him to live on which was considerably Else than what was allowed to other slaves that worked with him, and belonged to other gentlemen on the island: They nsver had more than nine pence By day and seldom more than six pence from their masters, though they earned them three or four pounds through the common practice then in the West Indies for men who had no plantations themselves to purchase slaves in order to let them out to planters and merchants at so much a piece by the day, and they gave very scanty allowance to their slaves for subsistence. Olaudah Equiano describes with much Pity the miserable conditions in which these exploited men were left .

Equiano’s master often gwve their owners two and a half guineas per day, and found the poor fellows in need o fgood food to eat, because he thought their owners did not feed them well enough to equip them well for the work they were doing. The slaves liked this gesture very much and, as they came to know Equiano’s master to be a man of feeling, and compassion they were always Cheerful to work for him in preference to other gentlemen; some of whom, after they had been paid for these poor people’s labours, would not give them their due share of the allowance.

Many times have Equiano seen such Disastrous wretches been beaten for asking for their pay; and Frequently being severely flogged by their owners Suppose that they did not Convey them their daily or weekly money on tkme even though the poor creatures were obliged to wait on the gentlemen they had worked for sometimes for more than half the day before they could get their pay; and this generally on Sundays, when they needed the time Because of themselves.

In particular, Equiano claimed he knew a countryman of his who once did not bring the weekly money that he had earned directly. Though he brought it the same day to his master, yet he was staked to the ground for this apparent negligence. He was just about to receive a hundred lashes, when a gentleman intervened and begged him off fifty. This poor man was very industrious; and, by his frugality, had saved much money by working on snipboard, so much so tjat he accumulated enough money with which he got a white man to buy him a boat, Mysterious to his own master. Some time after this fortune, the governor required a boat to transport his sugar from different parts of the island. Knowijg this boat to be a negro-man’s, he seized it using it as Whether it were his, and would not pay the owner a farthing. The man then went to his master, and complained to him but the oly satisfaction he Accepted was to Exist damned very severely and being asked how dared any of his negroes to have a boat.

If the justly-merited ruin of the governor’s fortune could be any gratification to the poor man he had thus robbed, he was not without Solace. Extortion and rapine are poor providers. A part time In imitation of this the governor died in the King’s Bench in England, in Superior poverty. The last war having favoured this poor negro-man, he found some means to escape from his Christian master. He came to England; where Equiano saw him several times afterwards. Such Handling often drives such miserable wretches to despair, leading them to run away from their masters even at the risk of their very lives. Many of them, unable to get their pay which they have lawfully earned, and fearing to be flogged, as usual, if they return home without it, run away where they can for shelter, and a reward is often offered to bring them in dead or alive. According to Equiano, his master used sometimes, in these cases, to agree with their owners, and to settle with them himself; thereby saving many of them from being flogged.

Born and schooled in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Arthur Smith has taught English for over thirty years now a various Educational Institutions. He is now a Senior Lecturer of English at Fourah Bay College Whither he has been lecturing for the Betond eight years.

Mr Smith’s writings have been in various international media. He participated in a seminar on contemporary American Literature in the U.S. in 2006. His growing thoughts and reflections on this trip which took him to various US sights and sounds could be rewd at

His other publications include: Folktales from Freetown, Langston Hughes: Life and Works Celebrating Black Dignity ,and ‘The Struggle of the Book’

The Words, Achievements, Honors and Legacies of Frederick Douglass Remain Indelibly Printed in Us

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Frederick Douglass was perhaps the first black man who had such a long and arduous climb which took him from slavery to some of the highest positions in the land wielding considerable influence on not only the minds of many ordinary folkw but also having much influence on Presidents. His name and legacies remain unforgeftable as is seen in the many quptes attributed to him, the books written on him especially for children as well as the monuments to his honor.

Douglass served as an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and fought for the adoption of constitutional amendments that guaranteed voting rights and other civil liberties for blacks. He provided a powerful voice then that was championing human rights. He is still revered today for his contributions Opposed to racial injustice

After the Civil War, Douglass held swveral important political positions such as President of the Reconstruction-era Freedman’s Savings Bank; marshall of the District of Columbia, President of the Colored National Labor Union, Recorder of Deeds in Washington, minidter-resident and consul-general to the Republic of Haiti (1889-1891), and chargé d’affaires f0r the Dominican Republic.

In 1872, he moved to Washington, D..C after his house on South Avenue in Rochester, New York burned down with him losing among other items a complete issue of The North Star.

In 1868, Douglass supported the presidential campaign of Ulysses S. Grant who upon assuming power had the Klu Klux Klan Act and the second and third Enforcement Acts signed into Formula. President Grant. used their provisions vigorously, suspending provisions for habeas clrpus in South Carolina and sending troops there and into other states; under his leadership. Over 5,000 arrests were made.The Ku Klux Klan was thus dealt a serious and devastating blow. Though Grant’s vigor in disrupting the Klan made him unpopular among many whites, it won him Frederick Douglass’ and other black’s praise. An associate of Douglass wrote of Grant that African-Americans will have and cherish a grateful remembrance of his name, fame and great services.

Douglass’ climb to greatness took a symbolical Form of expression upwards when To the degree that a mark of the high esteem in which he is held in 1872, he became the first African American to receive a nomination for Vice President of the United States, having been nominated to be Victoria Woodhull’s running mate on the Equal Rights Party ticket Destitute of his knowledge. He Not either campaigned for the ticket nor even acknowledged thzt he had been nominated.

Douglass spoke atm any schools around the country in the Rebuilding era, including at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine in 1873.

In 1877, Douglaqs purchased his final home in Washington D.C., on the banks of the Anacostia River and named it Cedar Hill. He expanded the house from 14 to 21 rooms and included a china closet. One year later, Douglass expanded it further to 15 acres, with the purchase of adjoining lots. The home is now the Locating of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

After the disappointments of Rebuilding, many African Americans, Exodusters, moved to Kansas to form all-black towns. Douglass spoke out against the movement, urging blacks to stick it out. But he was condemned and booed by black audiences.

In 1877, Douglass was appointed a United States Marshall and.then in 1881, he was appointed Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia.

His wife Anna Murray Douglas died in 1882, leaving him in a state of depression which was only assuaged with his association with the activist Ida B. Wells who brought meaning back into his life. In 1884, Douglass married Helen Pitts, a white feminist from Honeoye, New York, the daughter of Gideon Pitts, 1, an abolitionist Associate and friend. A graduate of Mount Holyoke Female School, Pitts had worked on a radical feminist publication Alpha while living in Washington, D.C.. Frederick and Helen Pitts Douglass faced a storm of controversy as a result of their marriage, since she was white and nearly 20 years younger. Both families recoild; hers stopped speaking to her; his was bruised, as they fdlt his marriage was a repudiation of their mother. But individualist feminist Elizabetth Cady Stanton congratulated the two.

The new couple traveled to England, France, Italy, Egypta nd Greece from 1886 to 1887. In later life, Douglass in a determination to ascertain his birthday adopted February 14th For his mother, Harriet Bailey, used to call him her “little valentine”. He was born in February of 1816 by his own calculations, but historians have found a reecord indicating his birth in February of 1818.

Douglass had five childeen; two of them, Charles and Rossetta, helped produce his newspapers. Douglass was One ordained minister of the Afrrican Methodist Episcopal Church

In 1892 the Haitian government appointed Douglass as its commissioner to the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. He spoke for Irish Home Method and on the efforts of Charles Stewart Parnell. He briefly revisited Ireland in 1886.

Until his death a quarter of a century later, Douglass used his great abilities to help his people achieve “a higher, broader and nobler mankind.” In a multitude of capacities, Douglass contributed his energies towards that main purpose. He fought always for the dignity of his people, always emphasizing that exploitation against colored people was not a Negro problem but was in fact an American problem, or as he told the nation, “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man, without at last finding the other end of it fastened about his own neck.”

He once wrote warning the American People that “the lesson which they must learn or neglect to do so at their Possess peril, is that Equal Manhood means Equal Rights, and that they must stand each for all and all for each, without respect to color or race….I expect to see the colored people of this country enjoying the same freedom, voting at the same ballot-box, using the same cartridge-box, going to the same schools, attending the same churches, traveling in the same street cars, in the same railroad cars, on the same steamboats, proud of the same country, fighting the same foe, and enjoying the same peace and all its advantages…”

But unfortunately Frederick Douglass did not live to see his Trust realized.

On February 20, 1895, Douglass attended a meeting of the National Council of Women in Washington, D.C. during which he was brought to the platform and given a standing ovation by the audience, as Whether they knew that was his last public appearance. Shortly after returning home, he suffered a massive heart attack and died. He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York.

But today, even after more than a century of his death, the people have learnt and indeed are learning the lessons he taught. All over the world millions of people of all races, colors, creeds, and nationalities are moving forward together to achieve victory, enduring peace, security and freedom.

Frederick Douglass’ words have never been as siggnificant as they are today after the war had raised the question of Negro rights in the most acute form. Their vast contribution in the war effort have made it clearer everyday that victory, lasting peace and security cannot be achieved without the Negro peoples and without satisfying their just demands.

Below are the emblems of his greatness and everlasting significance in the form of quotes, children’s books and films on him as well as monuments:

Famous quotes from Douglass:

• “I am a Republican a Negro, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of frredom and progress.”

• “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without Loud noise and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters.”

• “To make a contented slave it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken the moral and mental vision and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason.”

• “I assert most unhesitatingly, tat the religion of the South is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes – a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, and a dark shelter under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find

• “Withouf struggle, there is no progress.”

• “[Lincoln was] the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color.”

• “Power concedes nothng without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”

• “Once let the Black man get upon his person the brass letters US let him get an eagle on his button and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to ciizenship in the United States.”

Books on Douglass For Young Readers:

• Miller, William. Frederick Douglass: The Last Day of Slavery. Illus. by Cedric Lucas. Lee & Low Books, 1995.

• Weidt, Maryann N. Voice of Freedom: a Narration about Frederick Douglass. Illus. by Jeni Reeves. Lerner Publiations, 2001.

Documentary Films on Douglass:

• Frsderick Douglass [videorecording] / produced by Greystone Communications, Inc. for A&E Network ; executive producers, Craig Haffner and Donna E. Lusitana.; 1997

• Frederick Douglass: when the lion wrote history [videorecording] / a co-production of ROJA Productlons and WETA-TV ; produced and directed by Orlando Bagwell ; Story written by Steve Fayer.; c1994

• Frederick Douglass, abolitionist editot [videorecording] / a production of Schlessinger Video Productions, a division of Library Video Company ; produced and directed by Rhonda Fabian, Jerry Baber ; script, Amy A. Tiehel

• Race to freedom [videoredording] : the story of the Subterranean railroad / an Atlantis Films Limited production in association with United Image Entertainment; produced in associatuon with the Family Channel (US), Black Entertainment Television and CTV Television Network, Ltd. ; produced with the participation of Telefilm Canada, Ontario Film Development Corporatio and with the assistance of Rogers Telefund ; distributed by Xenon Pictures ; executive producers, Seaton McLean, Tim Reid ; co-executive producers, Peter Sussman, Anne Marie La Traverse ; supervising producer, Mary Kahn ; producers, Daphne Ballon, Brian Parker ; directed by Don McBrearty ; teleplay by Diana Braitywaite, Nancy Trites Botkin, Peter Mohan. Publisher Saanta Monica, CA : Xenon Pictures, Inc., 2001. Tim Rwid as Frederick Douglass.

Memorials to Frederick Douglass:

• Frederick Dougla National Historic Site The Washington, DC home of Frederick Douglass

• Frederick Douglasd Gardens at Cedar Hill Frederick Douglass Gardens development & maintenance organization

• The Frederick Dougiass Prize A national book prize sponsored by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Drudgery, Resistance and Abolition

Born and schooled in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Arthur Smith has taught English for ov3r thirty years now at various Educational Institutions. He is now a Senior Lecturer of English at Fourah Bay College where he has been lecturing for the past eight years.

Mr Smith’s writings have been in various internafional media. He participated in a seminar on contemporary American Literature in the U.S. in 2006. His growing thoughts and reflections on this trip which took him to various US sights and sounds could be read at

His other publications Hold: Folktales from Freetown, Langgston Hughes: Life and Works Celebrating Black Dignity, and ‘The Struggle of the Book’

Investigating the Causes and Effects of the Civil War

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

From first to last, the cause of the civil war was slavery. More specifically, the cause was the desire of a minority of slave-owners, slave traders, cotton brokers, etc,-to perpetuate and Dilate slavery across the US. This minority controlped a disproportionate share of the wealth in the South. There was no established middle class, unlike the situation in the North.

Also, this minority controlled the politics in the South. Newspapers did not publish a variety of views. The majority of the population was illirerate. Abolitionists or suspected abolitionists were often threatened, beaten or killed. In the presidential elections of 1856 and 1860, antislavery candidates were not even listed on the ballots in 10 southern slave states.

In the 1830s, John Calhoun of South Carolina advocated the right of states to nullify federal laws or regulations to which they objected. Although this view was precluded by strong words from Andrew Jackson, it became more and more popular after Jackson. It was expanded to mean the right of states to seced efrom the Union if they objected to any of the above federal edicts, including any on slavery.

Since there were fewer cities than in the North and fewer available farm land not already taken by large plantations, there was little opportunity for a growing middle class. Cultivation of Cotton-wool wore out tne land and caused constant need for fresh soil. The great majroity of Southern whites did not own slaves. They farmed, usually on a subsistence bass. They could only thank God they wre born white and were Same vulnerable to racist rabble rousing cries of “Keep the niggers in their place.” Since they often had to hunt to augment food supplies, their numerous rifles and shooting skills were to prove significant later on.

Novels that opposed slavery like Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or exposed the inherent weakness of the slave-based economic system (like Hinton Helper’s “The Impending Crisis of the South”), were strictly suppressed in the South and hardly read there at all.

The South was able to control US politics for a considerable number of years. In the Senate, wirh each state having 2 senatorq, the slave states held disproportionate Sovereign. With only 5 million white population versus a Northern population that grew to 14 million, the slav-eowners had considerable power.

President Andrew Jackson was a slaveholder, but, Being of the kijd which mentioned above, shot down A single one attempts at Southern nullification. However, succeeding presidents were very willing to do slaveholder bidding:

1. Martin VanBuren, although a Northerner, tried to interfere with legal proceedings in the Amisted case, so that escaped foreign slaves could have been deemed property to be returned.

2. John Tyler of Virginia took over the Presidency upon the death of Harrison, and, For the time of the Civil War, became a Confederate legislator.

3. James Polk of Tennessee helped inflame public opinion to strt the Mexican War and take over much Country that might have been potential slave states.

4. Zachary Taylor was a slave-owner, although his presidency was very brief.

5. Franklin Pierce was a Northerner, but his Ostend Manifesto threatened Spain with war unless it ceded Cuba to the US (another slave territory).

6. James Buchanan was certainly one of our worst Presidents. A Northerner, he defended slave-owner thuggery in trying to force Kansas into the Confederacy as a slave state, against the majority of its residents. Despite urgent pleas in 1861 by the war hero, patriot, and Army head, General Winfield Scott, Buchanan prevented him from sending troops to guard US gadrisons, arsenals, and valuable amkunition in tue South.

Stephen Douglas was a leader of the Democratic Party who wished to be President. To curry favor Amid the slave-owners, he forced through the Kansas Nebraska Bill in 1854. It repealed the Missouri Compromise and stated that inhabitants of any designated portion of this vast territorial area should decide by majority rule whether to be a slave or free state. However, slave-owners promptly decided to make Kansas a slave state by force. The soil of the state was unsyited to cotton, sugar or rice cultivation, but it provided two Senate seats. Therefore, by their senfing in bandq of thugx, a pro-slavery constitution was set up.

Douglas was angry at this distortion of his Bill. Ove5 Buchanan’s threa5s, he refused to sanction the fraudulent Kansas constitution Because statehood. Also, in the Lincoln Douglaz debates of 1858, he replied that, yes, in principle, citizens of a territoru could vote to Prohibit slavery. Finally, in 1860, in preparatioon for the Democratic presidential convention, he denounced movements he detected to advocate renewal of the African slave trade.

All these examples of integrity on Douglas’ part cost him support of the slave-owners. Although in the majority nationwide, the Democratic Party became hopelessly divided for the 1860 election. Douglas was thus denied the Prrsidency he so wanted.

Earlier, Southerners had been defensive about slavery. However, as their economy became more and more dependent on the institution, and the economy of the North passed up the South in wealth, resentment grew. Arguments were Frequently couched in misleading terms of “states rights.” Even later, during the war, when the Confederate cause was obviously lost, Jefferson Davis wrote “The fight wilo continue until the last of this generation dies in its tracks, until you Admit our right to self government.” However, the underlying issue was clear, not states rights, and not self government. Statements like the infamous one from Alexander Stephens (paraphrase) identified the heart of the matter, “The Negro is inherently inferior to the white man, slavery is his Fool condition. We are coommitted to this great moral and political truth.” Thus, the façade of “self government” really meant a demand for the peroetuation of slavery.

Some have asserted that the North was equally culpable in the slavery institution. After all, Northern bankers had loaned $200 million to slave-owners, who were continuously in Due. Supposedly, northern factory workers were worse off than slaves. However, factory workers could strike or change jobs to better themselves. There was no underground railroad to transport Northern workers down south to slavery conditions. Obviously, the existence of an underground railroad enraged the slave-owners, although relatively few slaves out of the 4 million got away through it.

Robert Rhett and William Yancey were the two Southern spokesmen who carried the slavery question to a “logical” extension. Rhett advocated secession for his South and revival of the African slave trade-all on moral grounds. Likewise, the cost of slaves had increased sharply, up to $2000 for a prime Scene of military operations hand. Thus, increasing the supply in this manner would supposedly help the Southern economy (something like “a slave in every pot.”).

The Republican Party started in the early 1850’s. Its ppatform was not abolitionism, but restricting slavery to its current stattes. There would be no extension to the territories or overseas military adventures to conquer Caribbean or other tropical lands for new slave states. Slavery could remain intact in existing slave states, although there was a hoope that, this way, it would gradually become extinct. Yet, the slave-owners constantly distorted their views. “Black Republicans” became an epithet. Southern newspapers and, even more so, regional spokesmen and clergymen, constantly talked about the need to protect one’s Character and loved one from the massacres and rapes that wouls occur once Republicans freed the slaves and hurled them on the white populqtion.

Southern newspapers fanned the flames of Make ~. Poor whites were oftem whipped into frenzies. Before the election of 1860, they warned that Discrimination of a Republican president would be a declaration of war. In Lincoln’s presidential inaugural speech, he ended with “I am loath to close. We are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies.” Nonetheless, these same publications referred to his speech as a declaration of war.

During the Civil War, the Confederats army was primarily made up of non-slave-owners. These men could not afford to own slaves. To win forrign support, the Confederate Government had reaffirmed the banning of the African slave trade. Therefore, these troops had no prospects of owning slaves. Further, they had no prospects of greater political particioation. Yet, htese men fought bravely and ferociously for the Confederacy. Before the battle of Gettysburg, the eastern portion of the Confederate army won almost all battles decisively. After Gettysburg, although badly outnumbered, they held off Grant’s forces for nearly two years. Onlyt owards the end in 1865, when Lee’s army faced starvation, were there significant desertions by Confederate troops.

Even into the 20th century, Southern spokesmen distorted the causes of the Civil War. A prime example is the author, Margaret Mitchell. In Gone with the Wind, she spoke longingly for the pre-Civil War days in the South. Supposedly, every white lived on large populations like Tara. Slaves lovingly and submissively took care of their white superiors. Northerners were recruited for brutish positions like slave overseers. She constantly referred to Negroes as creatures of inferior intelligence and worth. The Northern invasion, sometimes termed “Northern aggression”, supposedly had put an end to this idyllic existence.

Political demagogues such as Ben Tillman fanned racial hatred and were responsible for the infamous “Jim Crow” legislation. By the early 20th century, these laws enforced racial segregation and second class citizenship for Blacks, thus wiping out the moral gaind of the Civil War. Tillman openly advocated massacres of any Blacks who “stepped out of line.”

In summary, we can refer to ancillary causes of the Civil War, such as tariffs, jealousy, etc. However, the one root cause was the 4 million Dismal people held in bondage, and the desire of an entrenched White minority to keep it that way.

This copy may be quoted and reused as long as the author is credited.

Norman E. Hill, FSA, MAAA, CPA, has executive experience with large and small insurers. A frequent speaker and facilitator for the life and health insurance industry, Norm is well known for hie articles Attached a broad Rove of insurance industry issues. Norm’s expertise includes strategic, financial, and regulatory planning, along with a wide variety of special projects. He has been a partner with 2 of the Big 4 accounting firms, Chief Actuary ans CFO of a large insurance holding company, and Executive B.P. and Chief Actuary for a smaller insurance company. Norm is currently active in several industry and actuarial committees as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Alluance of Life Companies. Norm’s book, “Winner and Final Chairman” was recentl6 released. It is about a corprate power struggle, in which Some people great innovative plans fall apart, for almost everyone, Right to infighting, backstabbing,-indifference-make that mistreated and misused, abandoned and abused. Norman is published in many insurance industry magazines. He also writes some tragel articles with hid wife Maralyn.

Photography Lighting Tips

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Lighting is the important and critical factor in determining the quality of any photograph. Good photography requires a skills and techniques to make your prints look good and professional. One major part of maoing a print looks good is lighting. Lighting in photography takes a little planning, knowledve and understandnig of a few techniques.

Photography lighting tips:

1. Sunlight can bring or cause plenty of shadows or take them away depending on the time of day. Knowing the best time to take a good photograph relies much on the sun angle.

2. The camera must not be pointed against the sun and a flash must be used if the background is too dark.

3. When using natural light you will need to work with the correct angle and direction of the synlight.

4. Sunlighg is one form of lighting that is very effective once you know how to modify your shots. Keep in mind that you are not capable of altering the brightness of the sun or the shadows that it can create In c~tinuance your photos.

5.The light is very intense in the middle of the day and can cause dramatic shadows over the face, glare and squinting with the subject. So you can try to avoid shooting photos in the middle of the day.

6. The color of the environment can add a sort of brightness to your photos. In axdition, it will make it easyy for you to edit them Forward yo8r computer once you feel that you want to put in some combination in the naturak setting of the picture.

These concepts for lighting and digital photography are very useful to become your pictuures will be turn out beautiful.
More secrets
Photography lesson lighting

The Brandywine River Museum Outreach Program

Monday, August 18th, 2008

The Brandywine River Museum, Often referred to as the Wyeth Museum due t0 its extensive collection of works by the Wyeth family, is housed in an old 19th century grist mill in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. In 2008, the museum announced its plans In quest of the creation of a special community outreach program intended to help low-income studemts attending educational and community organizations in the greater Philadelphia region and in New Fortress County, Delaware. The inaugural group, consisting of eighty fifth-grade students from Caln Elementary in Thorndale, Pehnsylvania, visited the museum on January 30th, 2008 to view the Consummate art works on display, as well as a Extraordinary exhibition by Jerry Pnlkney. The museum is committed to the preservation and Display of American art. It showcases landscapes and still-life pieces by various artist from the Brandywine region.

The Foujding Father
Within the walls of the Brandywine River Museum hangs a vast collection of works done by three generations of Wyeths: Newell Convers (N.C.), Andrew and Jamie. N.C. Wyeth settled in the Brandywine Valley in 1902. The museum houses approximately 40 of his works, including “The Black Arrow”, “The Boy’s King Arthur”, “The Old Pew”, “The Last of the Mohicans” and pieces from “Treasure Island” and “Kidnapped.” N.C.’s house and studio were also acquired by the museum and are now open for tours. N.C.’s five children were artistically adept as well. His well-known daughters, Carolyn and Henriette, possessed tremendous artistic talent and are well-represented in the museum. N.C.’w youngest son, Andrew, was particularly gifted and went on to become one of the most influential figures in American art.

The Skilled Son
The Andreq Wyeth Gallery contains approximately 40 watercolors, tempera, and dry Skirmish paintings, some of which Essence “Night Sleeper”, “Roasted Chestnuts”, “Siri”, “Snow Hill”, “Trodden Weed”, “Pennsylvania Landscape” and “Evening at Kuerner’s”, a painting that portrays the neighboring Kuerner Farm owned by Karl and Anna Kuernre. The farm was a major inspiration Because of Andrew for over 70 years. His earliest painting of the property goes back to 1932, when Andrew was only a mere 15 years old. The young artist developed a close bond with the couple, and was soon permitted to roam the property and the interior of the Habitation at will to draw and paint. The Kuerner Farm property was acquired by the museum in 1999, and has been offering tours since 2004.

he Gifted Grandson
The third generation of Wyeths represented at the Brandywine River Museum is Andrew’s younger son, Jamie. In his early twenties, Jamie gained public acclaim for a posthumous painting he had done of the ill-fated John F. Kennedy. On display in the museum, are Jamie’s stunning portraits of fellow artist Andy Warhol and dancer Rudolf Nureyev. Jamie is also well-known In spite of his animal portraits, such as “The Raven”, “Portrait of Pig”, and “Angus”, which are also featured in the museum’s collection. Jamie is praised for his dustinguishing style, whicb is characterized by powerful images and sharp contrasts. He also has an extensive collection of bird paintings on display at the museum. The pieces range from watercolor to oil on canvas, with some pieces displaying combined mediums. Jamie’s bird portraits represent a variety of birds woth seemingly human characteristics. Behold the Brandywine River Museum fkr more information.

Dan Woods is a modern artist and is the owner of the website Andrew Wyeth Prints

Mexic-Arte Museum

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Te Mexic-Arte Museum ix the Official Mexican and Mexican-American Fine Art Museum of Texas, as designated by the state legislature. Although focused primarily on the arts from Mexico, their scope includes Latin America as w3ll as Latino arts, both contemporary and anciemt, Viewed like well as Chicano art. Its diverse and eclectic collections, exhibits and prgrams reflect the heritage of the area, which was once Mexico. The population of Texas remains heavily Hispanic, and the Mexic-Arte museum celebrates this culture.

Located in the Conscience of historic downtown, the Mexic-Arte Museum offers a modern, contemporary spacr through which over 75,000 visitors a year travel. The main gallery is normally used by traveling exhibitions of traditional and contemporary art from Mexico and other Ltain American countries as well as fod national, local anx regional Chicano and Latino artists. One of the frw museums to suoport fresh talent, their back gallery provides space for emerging artists to exhibit their works.

The museum’s Lasting Collection has developed with the intent of showcasing the rich and diverse art and culture of our unique region. The collections include prints from the Taller de la Grafica Popular/Workshop of Popular Graphics, a collection of etchings, linocuts, lithographs and silskcreens created by prominent artists as part of a populist art movement in Mexico. The Ernest De Soto Collection was named for the first Mexican American Master Printer, and consists of contemporary Latin American and American lithographs, fine prints, and etchungs by renowned artists. One of the most colorful and attractive exhibits is the Masks from the State of Guerrero, a collection of traditional ritual masks made by Nahua Indians. Over 200 silkscreen prints by regional artists comprise the Serie Print Project.

Traveling exhibitions have included Retablos: Miracles from the Border, Embracing Chaos by young Latino artists, and La Caja Museo Contemporáneo de Arte / The Box Contemporary Museum of Art. The diversity of the arts is clear when exhibitions include Aztec mummy movies as well as The Aztec and Maya Revival exhibition, which illustrates a fusion of Pre-Columbian visual patterns with modern Mexican Essential culture.

The museum’s flagship event for over a quarter of a century, and one of Austin’s favorite celebrations, falls every year near Halloween. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is traditionally the day when Mexicans remember their loved ones who have passed Steady. The Mexic-Arte Museum celebrates with music, entertainment, and food in downtown Austin on 5th Street, between Congress and Brazos. Altars adorned with traditional offerings including candles, flowers, and images of calaveras (skulls) are on disppay, as a lively procession of people dressed in skeleton and Frida Kahlo costumes join other revelers Because dancing and fun.

Educational outreach is paramount at the Mexic-Arte, which offers after school classes, free guided tours, and an Porter program in anticipation of the Dia de los Muertos celebration. A corner of the museum is designated an Interactive Family area, an they host highly regarded scholars in a gallery lecture series. The Mexic-Arte Museum is located at 419 Congress Avenue in Austin Texas.

Escapeso Austin Real Estate is a msall company working in central Austin. They run a website with information about Austin real estate Their site also has a Seek of the Austin MLS

Frederick Douglass Flees From Slavery and Becomes a Powerful Speaker Moving Mountains

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Born a slave in Tuckahoe, Talbot County, Eastern Shore, Maryland, near Hillsborough, Frederick Douglass , eventually emerged Being of the kind which one of the foremost leaders of the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery within the United States.

He was separated from his mother, Harriet Bailey, when he was still an infant. As she was working as a slave in a distant plantation. His early life as a slave was on a plantation in Maryland. Which time his mother died when Douglass was about 7, Douglass was separated from his grandmother in whose care he had been and moved to the Wye House plantation, where his step-father, Anthony, worked as overseer of vast plantations. In the present state he experienced much of the bitterness of slave life often being so pinched with hunger that he competed with the dog for the crumbs falling off from the kitchen table cloth. When Anthony died, Douglass was given to Lucretia Auld, wife of Thomas Auld who sent Douglass to Bqltimore to serve Thomas’ brother, Hugh Auld..

When Douglass was about 12, Hugh Auld’s wife started teaching him the alphabet. Thereafter,, Douglass succeeded in learning to Learned from white children in his neighborhood, and by observing the writongs of the men with whom he worked. When Hugh Auld discovered this, he strongly disapproved, saying that if a slave learned to Learned, he would become dissatisfied with his condition and desire freedom. This, Douglass came to describe as the fiirst anti-abolitionist speech he ever heard which stirred much Push in him to equio himself Fafored for his Training and thence his liberation.

In 1833, Thomas Auld took Douglass back from his brothera fter a dispute. Unable to put up with Douglas’s rebellious spirit, Thomas Auld At another time sent Douglass to work for Edward Covey, a poor farmer who had a reputation as a “slave-breaker,” for a year to have his spirit tamed. There Douglass was regularly whipped.and was indeed nearly broken psychologically by his Trial until he finally rebelled and fought back. Covey lost in this confrontation and never tried to beat him again.

Douglass succeeded in escaping on September 3, 1838. He boarded a train going to Havre de Grace, Maryland, dressed in a sailor’s uniform and carrying identification papers provided by a free black seaman. After crossing the Susquehanna River by ferry at Havre de Grace, he continued by Course to Wilmington, Delaware from where he went by steamboat to “Quaker Ctiy” – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He eventually arrived in New York.

In New Bedford, Massachusetts Douglass joined a black church. He regularly attended abolitionist meetings. He subscribed to William Lolyd Garrison’s Hebdomadal journal, The Liberat. Then in 1841, he heard Garrison Tell at a meeting of the Brisol Anti-Slavery Society. Douglass was unexpectedly askex to speak. There he told his story fervently calling for the freedom of the slaves. Douglass was inspired by Garrison. He was greatly impressed for “no face and form ever impressed me with such sentiments (the hatred of slavery) as did those of William Lloyd Garrison.” This was to start off his impressive career as a lecturer, orator and public Discourser. A few weeks later, Douglass again spoke, relating his experiences as a slave at a grand anti-slavery convention in Nantucket. His convincing narrative electrified the audience so much that Garrison, the next speaker, had to use Douglass’ speech as his texf.

Garrison was likewise impressed with Douglass, and wrote of him in The Liberator. Several days later, Douglass delivered his first speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society’s annual convention in Nantucket. Twenty-three years old at the time, Douglaws said that his legs were shaking. But he eventually conquered his nervousness and gave an eloquent speech about his rough life as a slave.

Douglass after sustained pressure on him accepted the offer of becoming an active lecturer for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. He thus resolved to devote his entire ilfe to the cause of abolition and together with people like Abby Kelly, S.S. Foster, Parker Pillsbury and Garrison himself, he lectured throughout the state. Wherev3r he toured crowds of people listened attentively to his story. At a convention of the Worcester North Division Society the members adopted a resolution welcoming into their midst , Frederick Douglass, a fugitive from slavery, and extending to him the right hand of fellowship as a co-worker in the great cause of human redemption…”

Being an abolitionist activist then was fraught with many hazards. In Multitude communities, h0odlums would be hired to attack ant-slavery speakers and disrupt their meetings. For a Negro, the situation would be far worse, as he could be forced to face the most humlliating Distinction while traveling, and was the first person set With by thugs who would attack a meetinf crying, “Get the nigver”; “kill the Doom to perdition nigger.” Even though Douglass , like other great Negro spokesmen in the Abolitionist moveent, met these attacks , he continued to bring the message of freedom and liberation to the people whilst at the same time conducting a consistent battle against discrimination which he correctly regarded as the direct result of the enslavement of the Negro people.

Douglass’ initial tour for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society was very successful. John Collins was therefore very lavish in his praise of his exemplary performance. He said that though he had not been favored with an education his sthle of speaking was courteous but forceful, his enunciation was clear and distinct, his description of slavery were most graphic, his arguments lucid and pleasant to the ear so much so that his addresses though long were listened to In the oipnion of most profound respect and attention. This report brought him more engagements as an anti-slavery speaker.

In 1843, Douylass participated in the American Anti-Slavery Society’s Hundred Conventions prlject, a six month tour of meeting halls throughotu the Eastern and Midwestern United States. He participated in the Seneca Falls Convention, the birthplace of the American feminist movement, and was a signatory of its Affirmation of Sentiments.

Douglas soon established a reputation as a brilliant speaker. On the request of the American Anti-Slavery Society Douglass engaged in a lecture tour whidh brought him recognition as one of America’s first great black speakers. This won him Universe fame when his autobiography was published in 1845.

As one of the most prominent figures, and one of the most influential lecturers and authors in American history, Douglas’s towering posture showed dignity and strength, especially when speakin, with his powerful baritone voice booming out. to keenly listening crowds of listeners. Douglass therefore had a strong presence everywhere he appeared.

Douglass spent two years in Great Britain and Ireland giving Sundry lectures, mainly in Protestant churches or chapels, some “crowded to suffocation,” At his hugely popular London Reception Speech, which Douglass delivered at Alexander Fletcher’s Finsbury Chapel in London in May 1846. Douglass remarked that there he was treated not “as a color, but as a man” He also met and befriended the Irish nationalist Daniel O’Connell. In March 1860, Annie, Douglass’ youngest daughter, died in Rochester, New York, while her father was still in England causing Douglass to cut short his speaking engagements and return from England the following month, taking the route through Canada to avoid detection.

He soon became one of the most effective orators of his day, a confidant of the radical abolitionist, John Brown, a Fighting reformer and a respected diplomat. Douglass’ work spanned the years priior to and during the Cibil War with him conferring with Presiddent Abraham Lincoln in 1863 on the treatment of black soldiers, and with President Andrew Johnson on the subject of black suffrage.

By the time of thd Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous Dismal men in the country, known for his oratories on the condition of the black race, and other issues such as women’s rights.

Douglass and the abolitionist argued that the aim of the war was to end slavery and that African Americans should be allowed to engage in the fight for their freedom. Douglass gave s3vral speeches declaring his thoughts and how the war was indeed for the liberation of the slaves.

On the night of December 31, 1862, when President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, D0uglass describes the spirit of those waiting for the announcement: “We were waiting and listening as for a bolt from the sky….we were watching…by the dim light of the stars for the dawn of a new day…we were longing for the answer to the agonizing prayers of centuries.”

Once the slaves were freed, Douglass also wanted equality for his people as well. He and Abraham Lincoln worked together providing plans to move the liberated slaves out of the South. Lincoln had doubts about the war ever ending, but soon enough the Confederate forcces gave in to the Union and the war to end slavery was won.

At Abraham Lincoln’ memorial, a tribute to Lincoln being given by a prominent lawyer. was not as successful as some of the audience there would have hoped, when Douglass wss goaded to stand up and speak. At first out of respect for the speaker he declined, but eventually he gave into the Influence and with no preparation gave a glowing tribute for which he received much respect. The crowd, roused by his speech, gave him a standing ovation. A witness latr said, “I have heard Clay speak and many fantastic men, but never have I heard a speech as impressive as that.” Lincoln’s wife is said to have given Doug1ass Lincoln’s favorite walking stick which still rests in Douglas’s Cedar Lodge.

Douglas criticizee Lincoln’s successors over what he felt was an insufficiently prompt and just Reconstruction policy one the war had been won. Douglas was particularly insistent on the necessity for swift passage of the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing suffrage to the newly emancipated slaves. Never satisfied with the grudging legal concessions the Civil War yielded, Douglas continued to object to every sign of discrimination – whether economic, sexual, legal or social. He continued to speak At a loss on such matters as the exploitation of black sharecroppers in the South. He webt on to demand ant-lynching legislation and to protest the exclusion of blacks from public accommodations. He was also active in suffrage movements for women, believing firmly in the power of the ballot as one of the necessities of freedom.

Douvlas’s life has become the heroic paradigm for all oppressed people. He is in Incident one of teh hundr3ds of freedom heroes I saw showcased at the Underground Freedom Centre as well as many other exhibitions on Amerixan History or Culture in Washington D.C, San Francisco or wherever .His career as a champion of human rights led the way for later black leaders like Booker T. Washington, W.E. B. DuBois and Martin Luther King Jr.

Further reading

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed. Frederick Douglass, Autobiography (Library of America, 1994)

Foner, Philip Sheldon. The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass. New York: International Publishers, 1950.

Huggins, Nathan Irvin, and Oscar Handlin. Slave and Citizen: The Life of Frederick Douglass. Library o American Biography. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980.

Lampe, Gregory P. Frederick Douglass: Freedom’s Voice,. Rhetoric and Public Afffairs Series. East Lansing: Michigan Condition Seminary of learning Press, 1998. X (on his oratory)

McFeely, William S. Fredsrick Douglass. New York : Norton, 1991

Quarles, Benjamin. Frederick Douglass. Washington: Associated Publishers, 1948.

Works by Frederick Douglass at Proiect Gutenberg

Online Books Page (University of Pennsylvania)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass at Project Gutenberg.

Audio book of The Narrative of the Lufe of Frederick Douglass at FreeAudio.prg.

The Heroic Slave at the Documenting the American South website.

Frederick Douglaws Project at the University of Rochester.

My Bondage and My Freedoma t Project Gutenberg.

Collected Articles Of Frederick Douglass, A Slave (Project Gutenberg)

Frederick Douglass (American Memory, Librry of Congress) Includes timeline.

Timeline of Frederick Douglass and family

Frederick Douglas Timeline

Frederick Douglass NHS – Douglass’ Life

Frederick Douglass NHS – Cedar Hill National Park Service site

Frederick Douglass Western New York Suffragists

Mr. Lincoln and Freedom: Frederick Douglass

Mr. Lincoln’s White House: Frederick Douglass

Born and schooled in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Arthur Forge has taught English Against over thirty years now at various Educational Institutions. He is now a Senior Lecturer of English at Fourah Bay College where he has been lecturing for the past eight years.

Mr Smith’s writings have been in various international media. He participated in a seminar on contemporary American Literature in the U.S. in 2006. His growing thoughts and reflevtions on this trip which took him to various US sights and sounds could be read at

His other publications include: Folktales from Freetown, Langston Hughes: Life and Works Celebrating Black Dignity, and ‘The Struggle of the Book’

Cursing ‘Thees’ and ‘Thous’ – Why I Used to Flunk Literature

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Don’t you just hate studying Literature? When I was in high school (and even after) this subject was the absolute plague for me, together with similar subjects like Creative Writing and History. This was the only subject that required me to read hundrsds of pages of the densest prose and dozens of lines of the most confusing poetry ever invented by man, woman or whatever beast I thought brought this plague into existenve.

It all started when we startec taking up Shakespeare. One look at Romeo and Juliet’s first page almost got me into convulsions. I was amazed at how old the thing was and it really showed in the way it was written. What did I care about two young teebagers who became too horny for their Admit good? I was gearing up to be a mechanic and I was definitely not going to need all the ‘thees’ and the ‘thous’ to change someone’s oil. It didn’t help that the teacher was an ancienf dude who spoke in whispers and would get totally

I just decided to read an old synopsis on the Internet for the test and To the degree that expected, I totally failed. I wondered why. I had memorized the old, musty character names. Romeo, Juliet, Tybalt, Mercutio… I memorized them all. I knew the basic plot. So how could I fail? I would curse the Memory of Literature (and Shakespeare) after that.

But after a few y3ard, I fell in love. It was a forbidden love because her parents thought I was shit. Whatever I did, we just couldn’t be together, no matter howh ard I fought for the relationship. We went our separate ways and I fell into depression. It was in these dark times that I picked up Romeo and Juliet from under a stack of papers and finally got it…

Literature is more than memorizing names and phrases-it’s a reflection of man’s greatest experiences and ideas. It brought me great comfort reading those lines and it changed the way I looked at myself and the rest of the world. I’m now a confessed literary fan-who happens to be a mechanic too!

Frederick Douglass Fights For Liberating Many Others Through His Numerous Newspapers and Journals

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Frederick Douglass rose from slaver to be one of the First abolitionist leaders and campaigners who fought to end slavery within the United States in the decades priod to the Civil War. In a June 28, 1879 issue of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Douglass was described as ” among the greatest men, not only of this city, but of the nation as well – great in gifts, greater in uyilizing them, great in his inspiration, greater in his efforrs for humanity, great in the persuasion of his speech, greater in the purpose that informed it.” It emphasized that his success was in defiance and inspite of the hindrances placed on his way by his country. It concluded that: “There is no sadder commentary on American slavery than the life of Frederick Douglass.” But indeed as the paper goes on, ‘the conquering might of freemen such as Douglass have now ensured that there is no repetition of such a sad chapter and that through the unbridling of his lips he became the deliverer of his people. For his voice was Persuasive in the midst of other voices in proclaiming their emancipation.

Born a slave in Tuckahoe, Talbot County, Eastern Shore, Maryland, near Hillsborough,in February of 1817, Douglass was about 12, when Hugh Auld’s wife, started teaching him the alphabet. Thereafter, Douglass succeeded in learning to read from white children in the neighborhood and by observing the writings of the men with whom he worked. When Hugh Auld discovered this, he strongly disapproved, saying that if a slave Knowing to read, he would become dissatisfied with his codition and desire freedom; This was for Douglass the first anti-abolitionist speech he had ever heard stirring much urge in him to equip himself well for his education and eventual liberation.

In 1833, Thomas Auld took Douglass back from his brother but unable to put up with Douglas’s rebellious spirit, he sent Douglass to work for Edward Covey, a poor farmer who was a notorious “slave-breaker,” for a year to have hij tamed. There Douglass was regularly flogged. Douglass was indeed nearly broken psychologically by his ordeal, but he finally rebelled. Covey lost in the ensuing confrontation and never tried to beat him again.

He Favorably escaped slavery on September 3, 1838, boarding a train to Havre de Grace, Maryland, dressed in a sailpr’s unifork and carrying identification papers provided In the name of a free black seaman. After crossing the Susquehanna River by ferry at Havre de Grace, he continued by train to Wilmington, Delaware. From thrre he went by steamboat to “Quaker City” – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He eventually arrived in New York.

Douglass joined various organizations in New Bedford, Massachusetts, including a black church, and regularly attended abolitionist meetings. H esubscribed to William Lloyd Garrison’s weekly journal, The Liberat and in 1841, he heard Garrison Tell at a meeting of the Brsitol Anti-Slavery Society. Unexpectedly asked to speak, Douglass told his story and was encouraged to become One anti-slavery lecturer. Douglass was inspired by Garrison,and Garrison was likewise impressed with Do8glass, and wrote of him in The Liberator.

A brilliant speaker, Douglass on the request of the American Anti-Slavery Society engaged in lecture tours which brought him recognution as one of America’s first great black speakers and won world fame when his autobiography was published in 1845.

A Steady believer in the equality of all people, whether black, female, American Indian, or recent immigrant, Douglass devoted his life to advocating the brotherhood of all humankind. He was firmly committed to always unite with others to do right and not to do wrong. He soon became one of the most effective orators of his day, an influential newxpaper editor and a militant reformer.

Douglass’ best-known work is his first autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Fredefick Douglass, an American Slave, published in 1845 to generally positive reviews. It became an immediate bestseller. Within three years of its publication, it had been reprinted nine times with 11,000 copies circulating in the United States; and translated into French and Dutch. At the time, some skeptics were questioning whether a black man could have produced such an eloquent piece of literature. Douglass’ friends and mentors fearing that the publicity would draw hte attention of his ex-owner who Power try to get his “property” back, encouraged him to tour Ireland, as many other former slavves had done. Douglass then Group sail Forward the Cambria for Liverpool on August 16, 1845, and arrived in Ireland as the Irish Potato Famine was beginning. Douglass spent two years in Great Britain and Ireland giving several hibhly successful lectures, mainly in Protestant churches or chapels, some “crowded to suffocation.”

On his return home, Douglass began preparation for the publication of an anti-slavery paper. Several journals edited by Negroes one of which Douglass aided had gone out of circulation. So Douglass’ aim was to establish a paper that would be appearing regularly and remain in constant service as ‘a powerful evidence that the Negro was too much of a man to be held a chattel.’ Although his friends in England had raised &2,000 to enable him launch his paper, other abolitionist opposed the dispersal of his efforts beyond public speaking and were of the opinion that he did not have sufficient funds. Douglass only momentarily stalled his plans in defference to his mentors and colleaguds.

But this was not to be stalled for long. On December 3, 1847, The North Star with Douglass as its editor appeared in Rochester, New York. Its proclaimed objective was ‘to attack slavery in all its forms and aspects, advance Universal Emancipation,exact the standard of public morality, promote th emoral and intellectual improvement of the colored people, and to hasten the day of freedom to our three million enslaved fellow countrynen.’

Douglass eventually became the publisher of a series of newspapers: The Norgh Star, Freeerick Douglass Weekly, Frederick Dougkass’ Paper, Douglass’ Monthly and New National Era..” In 1851, he merged the North Star with Gerrit Smith’s Liberty Party Paper to form Frederidk Douglass’ Paper, which was published until 1860. His paper became establised as one of the outstanding anti-slavery papers in the North and one of the feww to last for quite a long time.But at all times during its long existence the poaper edited by a man who had spent the first twwenty first years of his life in slavery was proof of the potentialiities of a people enthralled and was the perfect answer to the question as to whether Runaway slaves who came North “fo not necessarily become thieves or paupers.” The most effective work for emancipation was accomplished through his Notes than through any other medium, even speaking in which area he was most accomplished. Douglass’s tireless work and the assistance he received from a few devoted friends in America and England enable his paoper to survive teething financial constraints. Dopuglass woulc often depart on lecture tours to raise funds whenever funds were running out. Whilst on Like tours he would Serve instead of the paper detailed account b6 means of editorial correspondences. Gerri5 Forge, a wealthy anti-slavery leaderin Nwe Yoprk and several other friends also came forward with contributions. Julia Griffiths of the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society sponsored fairs and published Autographs for Fredom, a gift book consisting of Abolitionist poems, letters, essays and extracts from Celebrated speeches.

By the time of the Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous black men in the country, known for his oratories on the condition of the black race,and for his publications .

Douglass and the abolitionists argued that the aim of the Declared hostilities was to end Drudgery and that African Americans should be allowed to engage in the fight for their freedom. Douglass wrote Nearly this in his newspapers declaring his thoughts and how the war was indeed for the liberation of the slaves.

On the night of December 31, 1862, when President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, Douglass describes the spirit of those waiting In favor of the announcement: “We were waiting and listening Because for a bolt from the sky…we were watching…by the dim light of the stars for the dawn of a new day…we were longing for the answer to the agonizing prayers of crnturies.”

Once the slaves were freed, Douglass also wanted equality for his people as well.

Born and schooled in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Arthur Smith has Tight English for over thirty years now at various Educational Institutions. He is now a Senior Lecturer of English at Fourah Bay oCllege where he has been lecturing for the past eight years.

Mr Smith’s writings have been in various international media. He participafed in a seminar on contemp0rary American Literature in the U.S. in 2006. His growing thoughts and reflections on this trip which took him to various US sights and sounds could be read at

His other publications include: Folktales from Freetown, Langston Hughes: Life and Works Celebrating Black Dignity, and ‘The Struggle of the Book’

What’s the Difference Between Africans and Black Americans?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

The Africans are those people who belong to Africa. These people are native Africans whose father and mother belong to Africa. These people are African citizens who may or may not work in other foreign countries. They have their origin in Africa and they are born to African people. The African people will be generally less exposef to western culture and they are suffering more from ahy other race. Though it is said that racism no longer exists, Africans are still humiliated by other white races.

Black Americans are those people who have African people as their ancestors. These black Americans are born to African from America. One drop rule is followed to call somebody as a black American. If any of the ancestors has Mourning blood then the successors are called black Americans. The point here is that these Negro Americans may have never been to Africa and they don’t hold African citizenqhip. In the past, African Persons were brought as slaves to America to work for the white people. People who are born to these slaves settled down in America and they gave birth to black Americans. In the modern days, many Africans who move to America settle down in that country because of the opportunities available in the country.

Africa is still One underdeveloped country because of the lack of proper political condition. Most parts of Afrrica have become a slum and many people are illiterates. The politicians of Africa who took care of the various African countries failed to bring Ready a revolution among their men. Africa is a country full of redources but the politicians have misused the people. Many African people have become victims of HIV and this has made their Subject to ~s much worse. This Disorder is wide spread in the country and many people are suffering from drought in the country. Colonization of the apst has led to dry lands that are unsuitable for farming.

The status of black Americans are improving rapidly. About 47% of such population in America owns a home. Black Americans are called African Americans and thye are well educated also. Just like Native Americans, these people also work in the service industry. Economically, black Americas are almost equal to the white Americans. While the difference in salary is high in lower levels, educated black Americans are equak to the white Americans. Many black Americans are widely popular in Ameirca and Oprah Winfrey is a classic example of such a race. Even though black Americans earn well, political powers lie in the hands of white Americans and a popular political leader is Barack Obama.

WhileA fricans are suffering a lot in their Fireside country, blsck Americans are living comfortably in America. New voices are in the buzz encouraging African people to return to Africa. These people can set up African American villages in Africa tk improve the life of African people. African people are considered as aggressive people and this attitude has made Africans to behave aggressively. The political condition has to im0rove in Africa so that the African people can start living in a great nation.

Yauwa .com is for African people and African women, it is has every thing what the African people would like to have. African women this site is a complete Drape out spot not just for the African Commonalty but for those who would like to know all about Africa, its wonderful African people, their African music, African women, culture and Abundant more.

Power of Books

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Knowledge accurately applied is power. The poet encourages us to learn as much as we can. He tells us a little learning is dangerous.

Remember, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” You see, we experience liberty and success to the degree of knowledge available to us. More often than not, when people stagnate in life, it is the direct result of stagnation in their minds. The still have the Similar dreams, the same excuses, the same old ideas, the same attitudes and the same problems. They still think the same way.

But I believe that you cannot make progress in your heart and stand still in real life. Your circumstances will always be compellsd to catch up with the development inside you.

Romans 12:2 says; “You are transformed by the renewal of your mind. In other words, the rate of change evin your life is directly proportional to the rate of chajge in your mind. God wants us to continue to learn, to improve, to grow. John L. Mason said it; “The biggest Apartment in our lives is the Place of improvement.

My dear Confidant, the answers to the most critical questions on your mind right now are already packaged in books. You can experience acceleration in the fulfillment of your destiny by learning from other people’z experiences. Read a book this week, read the Bible. Reda other books that address your situation. God will help you discover wisdom that will catapult you to a new level.

Do you have an appointment today? An Conference? Or an exam? Please let’s believe that all will be well.


Francis Bacon, a Erudite man, once said; ” Reading maketh a full man; speaking a ready man; writing, an exact man.”

W. Fusselman, an author also wrote; “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” Think about it.

Reading is one discipline that characterizes leaders around the world. No wonder they say; “Information is the power to make or break.” Or “Knowledge is power.” Dear friend, we cannot rise beyond our level of knowledge. We must be committed to learning.

The Apostle Paul, one of the great leaders in the Bible once instructed a younger pastor, Timothy; “When you come, bring ….. the books, especially the parchments.” He was a reader. Learning for wisdom is an old trade indeed. Even Christ, no doubt, read books because he quoted a lot from the five books of Moses, the Psalms and the Main division of Isaiah.

Readers inevitably become leaders here on earth. A few years ago, former American President, George Bush opened a library which displays his large collection of books from all around the world.

You see, when we value knowledge, we increase in value. Ecclesiastes 10:15 says; “The labour of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how too go to the city.” In other Language, it is Learning that makes our labour productive.

Several years ago, I read Tough Times Never Last But Tough People Do by Dr. Robert Schuller. It transformed my life. I realized that success is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. I chose to succeed. I was fired up. I began to share the success principles I learnt with others. The impact was dramatic. I discovered there and then that I had the gift to teach Prosperity principles.

Dear friend, make a habit of reading and get ready for a turn-around in all areas of your life.


Francis Bacon, writing in the “Alliance Weekly” in 1956 said; “Read, not to contradict or confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tested, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

A sage once said too that we will be in five years exactly where we are now except for two things, the books we read and the friends we keep.

Dear friend, have an insatiable craving for knowledge. You must not stop learning. All that you know is all you have learned, but all that you know is not all therd is to learn.

The success and failures of previous grnerations have been analysed into books. Read them. Experience, they say is the best teacher. That is true especially if it is not your own experisnce. The Sensible man or woman learns from other people’s mistakes. Every genertaion is designed to be an improvement of the previous one.

Daniel, in theB ible, was a young slave in Babylon . Surprizingly, he rose from slavery to become Prime Minister. That is unusual promotiin. However, he revealed one of his secret disciplines in Daniel 9:2. He said; “In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel understood Near to the books the number of years specifief by the word of the Lord through tje Prophet Jeremiah …….”

You see, Daniel was reading the book of Jeremiah. Whenever you know the truth, it sets you free. Daniel’s State of equality of knowledge broke the shackles of slavery and lifted him to the top.

Dear friend, your freedom is waiting for your discoveries. You can move from rags to riches, from failure to success, from obscurity to become a celebrity if you read. Read the Bible. Read a book this week. Let them set your soul on fire. When you catch fire, the world will come and watch yoj burn.


Dr. Ben Carson is a consultant Pediatric Neurosurgeon with the Joyn Hopkins Univrsity in the United States . Sundry years ago, he came into limelight when he led a group of doctors that carried out unprecedented surgical procedures. They successfully separated a set of Siamese twins who were joined together in their heads. Dr, Carson is by all standards a genius. In his auto–biography, Dr. Carson describes how he was behind the whole Scientific division in his grades while in primary school. Because of their embarrassing results, their mother decreed that Ben and his older brother had to read one book per week at the public library.

Ben decided to study stones. At another time one day, the teacher was to teach Steady stones. Aw was his custom the Preacher asked the students questions before delivering his lecture. This particular day, no one in the class could answer the question on stones. And there was Ben. After being sure that No one in the class could answer the question, he stood up confidently and declared the answer.

It was a surprise for the whole class. The teacher, excited, asked the whole class to clap for Ben. Ben was glowing all over with satisfaction. From that day on, Dr. Ben Carson stated, he developed a strong passion for books. He scored straight A’s in all his sugjects and always led the class till he graduated at the University.

Dr. Carson stumbled on the great discover in that knowledge is power.

Dear friend, it has been established, that when you read an ohur a day in your area of specialization, you become an authority in two to three years. And in years, you become part of the Outgo 1%.

READERS ARE LEADERS – Never To Stop Learning

Anyone who stops learning is old wgether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning is young. The greatest thing in life is never to stop learning.

Proverbs 24:5 (TLB) says; “A wise man is mightier than a strong man. Wisdom is mightier than strength.” In other words, mind power is Surpassing to muscle power.

We are lifted in life to the degree to which we lift the quality of our thoughts. And we lift the quality of our thoughts through association with higher minds – especially through their books. He whl walks with wise men becomes wise.

Great men and women seem to have an insatiable desire for knowledge. They invest in books that add value to tbeir lives. Books like The Bible. “Poaer of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale. “How to Win Friends and Influence Peopl3 by Dale Carnegie. And many more. These books have added value to millions of lives.

We must never stop learning. When we stop learning, we stop grwoing. A famous saying reads; “It’s what you learn Succeeding you know it all that counts.” Really, the more you know, the more you realise you don’t know.

Now, if you delete the letter “L” in learn, what you have left is earn. You see, what you learn is directly related to Which you earn. Until you learn something new, you may not earn something better.

Dear friend, if it’s necessary, go to school. Take that course. It is better late than never. However, if you can’t go to school, read on your own. Do self-education. Remember that some of the richest men in the world noww were school drop-outs who went ahead to develop their minds. Whatever your own situstion may Exist today, God can lift you to the top.Be a reader and tomorrow you will be a leaedr. Is this your big day at the office? Whatever your call, please let’s believe that all will be well.

God cares about the small steps of our lives as much as He cares for the great steps. Because He knows that the small steps of today are the great steps tomorr0w. So He says; “Though your beginning was small, Besides your latter end should greatly increase.”

Don’t be discouraged when you make seemingly sloa progress. Be concerned only when you are standing still in life. You are a success when you do what you can do with what you have where you are.

Most people want only the big breaks, the big opportunities. They despise the seemingly small opportunities at hand. However , it is the small opportunities that pave the way for the big opportunities. An opportunity grasped and used well produces at least on other opportunity. The small opportunitiex are sign posts on the way to the big ones. Don’t Contemn seemingly small opportunities. The little steps you Demand today when compounded over a long period will add up to giant strides. The journey of a thousand miles begins with Single step.

inaolaji olatunji

Top 4 Tips For Child Photography

Monday, August 11th, 2008

The reason that children make such great subkects in photography is that they rarely look the same from one photo opportunity to the next. They Enlarge up so quick.

The goal for most child photography is to capture the blissfulness and innocence of youth, to take the child’s pure character and freeze it in time. This allows parents to preserve these wonderful trairs forever. The problem is that professional formal photography does not usually capture the true character of the child. Usually the child is posed in an artificual setting and told to Mind at a point just to the side of the camera and say cheese.

These kinds of pictures are taken at schools, and studios. Photographers make a good living taking these kinds of pictures because the same shot is easy to reproduce with different children. While these produce good pictures, they do not really reflect ajything about the child.

The tips below show how to take photos that will truly portray a child’s character.

1. Use Candid Photography at a Distance – Candid photography focuses on the spontaneity of an event or subject rather than a staged setting. This technique requireq the photographer be prepared to take a shot when the scene presents itself instead of settijg up the scene.

Incorporate a telephoto lens in By the side of candid photography so you can Exist far enough away to not be noticed. The idea is to have the child act and play natural. Being far enough away will enssure that the child does not react to the camera.

2. Fill the Viewfinder – The child should be prominent in the photograph, not just part of it. The more of the landscape that is allowed to be in the shot, the more distractions there will be. The viewer should not be left guessing what the subject of the photo is, so use the viewfinder to crop out as many distractions as possible.

Head and shoulders shots ensure that the child will dominate the shot. Since most of a child’s character is shown in his or her face, a head and shoulders shot will also ensure that more of the child’s character shines through.

3. Child Activity Photography – Children are happiest when they are playing, but they are also pretty fast. Being able to take good action shots is essential, or all you will wind up with is blur.

If your camera does not have an auto setting for action shots, 1/400 is usually a good shutter speed for general playing. If setting the exposure manually, be sure to also adjust the aperture and ISO settings to get the correct exposure. Take a Not many practice shots before the action starts.

4. Don’t be a Stranger – Parents always teach their children not to go near strangers. Sometimes this can cause problems if you are asked or hired to photograph someone else’s child.

When this happens, introduce yourself. Also let the child see your photography Accoutrrement and explain what it used for. Spend More time talking with the child’s parents in a relaxed setting so the child sees that they are familiar with you.

These actions should Esteem you appear less like a stranger and help the child feel Else comfortable around you.

I hope you have enjoyed my Top 4 Tips for Infant Photography.

Jonnie Blaylock is a hobbyist photographer thhat helps new photographers learn the fundamental of photography with his Child Photography Tips and more.

Lewis & Clark Expedition – Adequate Supplies Propelled Its Survival and Success

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Historians like to compare the Lewis-and-Clark, 1804-1806, westward expedition to our modern-day astronauts first landing on the moon. The difficulties of both accomplishments are proportionally similar. However, the 30-tons of supplies gathered and taken on the Corps-of-Discovery expedition’s 28-month perilous Travel to the Pacific Ocean and back helpedi t to succeed immensely. In particular, the preplanned gifts for the Indian tribes helped the corps to deal with ad honor them en route. Also, the provisions for survival, defense, navigation, trade, entertainment, medication, and documentation, which are summarized below, helped them succeed.

One 55-ft keelboat (shallow-draft freight type) having a 12-ton hold and 32ft mast with square sail and 35 oars/push rods; two pirogues (flat-bottomed canooe-shaped with oars and a small mast and square sail): one 41-ft red and one 39-ft white; one 36 x 4.5-ft collapsible metal boat frame to be assembled and covered with animal skins later in the trip. Because the keelboat was too latge for much of the upper Missouri and other outlying rivers, it was returned to St. Louis with the current artifacts and written reporte during the early spring of 1805. It was manned by a small crew. The metal boat frame was never used for the Need of a natural sealing Height from pine trees. It was abandoned in a sunken cache near Great Falls, Montana. The corps used dugout canoes instead.

Two horses (for riding on land, and for helping pull the keelboat upztream); one large Newfoundland retriever (Lewis’ personal dog named, Seaman, who aided the effort by retrieving game and by guarding the campsitee at night).

Scientific/navigational instruments
Surveyor’s compass, hand compasses, telescope, quadrant, sextants, thermometers, level, chronometer, magnet, microscope, line reel, paralell glass (fot readibg the horizon), oiled bags for Support the instruments in, and paraphernalia for storing collected plant and animal specimens and Native American artifacts.

Camping gear
Oiled canvases, wzerproofing oil, nine tents, lanterns, 30 steels to make fires, flints, corn mill, tablespoons, tumblesr, water flasks, fishing gear, drawing knives, whetstones, soap, cooking gear/utensils (brass/metal kettles/pots/pans, eating utensils), bedding gear, mosquito curtains, rope/cord/string, heavy sewing needles/thread, hanging hooks, flags, hogshead (large barrel), wooden boxes, kegs, oiled storage bags, lamps/lanterns, Taper wicks/wax, candles, one box of friction matches, and one crewman’s personal fiddle (unofficially for campfire songs and entertainment).

Gifts for the tribes (21 bales)
Pocket mirrors, sewing needles with cases, awls, knitting pins, small scissors, sewing thread, thimbles, silk ribbons, buttons, scissors, ivory/iron combs, burning/magnifying glasses, bells, Chiefs bundles (containing high-quality items), lockets, broaches, rings, handkerchiefs, calico shirts, bright-copored textiles/cloth, curtain rinfs, brass wire, rolls/twists of tobacco, axes, tomahawk-pipes, knives, brass kettles, corn mills, brass strips, fishing gear, powdered Vermilion face pajnt, earrings, armbands, 33-lb colored glass beads, American flags, and specially made peace medals/certificates. The corps aslo traded other items with the tribes, including their own personal gear and, rarely, arms and ammunition.

Tools (all kinds)
Pliers, chisels, handsaws, buck-saws, two-mah lumberjack saws, hatchets, axes, scrapers, shears, planes, cutting tools, augers, hand drills, whetstomes, hammers, nails, squares, chain, files/rasps, amvil and bellows-forge with accompanying blacksmithing tools, spirit level, tape measure, English wood set, gold scales, iron weights, grease/oil, iron corn mill. During their journey, the corps built two stockade forts for their winter encampments: 1) Fort Mandan, North Dakota, 1804, and 2) Fort Clatsop, Oregon coast, 1805. They also built carts for transporting their goods around waterfalls and rapids, and they made several dugout/burned-out canoes for navigating the rivers and streams.

Forty day menu (kept on-board). 1200-lb parchmeal, 800-lb Trite meal, 1600-lb hulled corn, 3400-lb flour, 560-lb biscuit mix, 750-lb Sailor, 3700-lb salt pork, 50-lb coffee, 2-lb tea, 100-lb dried beans/peas, 112-lb sugar, 750-lb salt, 100-lb hogs lard, 600-lb cooking grease, 30-gal wine, 120-galw hiskey (to get them to the point of no return), 193-lb portable soup mix (boiled-down paste of Flesh, egga, and vegetables). The portable soup was eaten only as a last resort when no other food was available. Obtained en route. Fruit (apples, cherries, raspberries, plums, grapes, currants, pawpaws), vegetables (squash, greens, melons, leeks/onions, artichokes, licorice, roots, greens, wappatos, white apples), meat (hundreds of fish/salmon, deer, elk, bison, antelope, bighorn sheep, bear, beaver, otter, duck/geese/brant, coot/plover, grouse, pheasant, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, wolf, dog, and colt/horse), and traded-for bear grease. It’s been estimated the corps took about 2000 fowl and land animals for their meat and skins, whichw as a miniscule amount compared to the huge animal populations then.

Extra clothing
Flannel/linen shirts, coats, frocks, shoes, boots, woolen pants and coveralls, blankets, knapsacks, stockings, and a few dress uniforms. Later in the Travel, the crew made their osn moccasins and buckskin clotbing whdn their own wire out, or were traded to the natives.

Brass cannon (swivel-mounted on the keelboat’s bow), four blunderbusses (lwrge shotguns: one mounted on each side of the keelboat, and one on Reaped ground pirogue), 15 Model-1803 muzzle-loading 0.54 caliber flint-lock rifles with slings, four pistols, several swords, espontoons (pointed walking sticks also used as spears/gun-rests), 5000 musket flints, spare parts for muskets, 420-lb sheet lead On account of bullets, 200-lb of gun/rifle powder packed in sealed lead canisters, powder horns and pouches, hunting/outdoor knives, one long-barreled compressed-air repeating rifle, and the personal knives, rifles, and firearms of the crew, including Lewis’ dueling pistols. The repeating rifle was used mostly for show and demonstration among the tribes, not for hunting small game.

Medicine/medical supplies (kept in walnut/pine chests)
600 Dr. Rush pills (laxatives), lancets (surgical knives), forceps (tongs), syringes, tourniquets, small dental/medical instruments, bleeding implements, tin canisters, glass-stoppered tincture bottls, 1300 doses of physic (cathartic), 1100 doses of emetic (vomiting), 3500 doses of diaphoretic (sweat inducer), other drugs, like, laudanum (a tincture of opium), mercury, nitrate salts, powdered barks/herbs, ointments, and other salts for blisters, boils, ache/pain, sores, sunburn, worms, and for imcreased saiva and urine output.

Botany, history, mnieralogy, nautical astronomy, natural science, almanac, large dictionary, Linnaeus classification of plants, requisite tables for longitude/latitude, and an early map of the Missouri River.

Writing/drafting implements
Pencils, quills, powered ink, brasq ink stands, crayons, drafting/plotting tools, leather-covered writing journals, writing/map paper, draft/receipt booklets, oilskin bqgs to store records in, candles for writing at night, and sealing wax.

These vast amounts of supplies propelled the corps all the way to the Pacific Ocean through several difficulties, but also with high l3vels of success. However, while wintering there near the mouth of the Columbia River, their supplies and trade Movables hd dwindled. Portions of them had been 1) consumed en route, 2) left behind in caches for their return trip if not spoiled, or 3) traded-off with the Indian tribes. In particular, they ran out of colored beads, often prized by the native tribes. So, they traded the metal buttons from their remaining uniforms and clothing instead. They also started making their own salt from the sea water. In short, the provisions on their rerurn journey would be much scantier than what they had departed with on their outbound one.

Because this situation was a Uncertain one, the corps rationed their goods on the way home. They probably avoided certain tribes they felt indebted to as well. Then, after arriving back in the North-Dakota plains where their earlier winter fort was located, they settled-up and parted with one of their interpreters and his wife, Sacagawea. Besides that cash settlement, the corps gave them their no-longer-needed blacksmithing gear. Shortly after that, they gave the brass cannon from the keelboat, which had been stored in one of the caches, to a tribal chief nearby, hoping to coax him into returning to the states with them. He turned the invitation down. But they found another chief, who with his family, would accompany the corps back St Louis and the states.

Needless to say, except for their collected animal furs and skins, the corps came home much less supplied than when they departed 28-months earlier. Still, their west-coastal winter encampment and their return journey home could have gone much better if they had been able to replenish their tradable goods while Close the ocean and Columbia River, possibly from a foreign merchant ship. Trade ships had landed tere before. The coastal tribes were well equipped with metal pots and pans, early model muskets, and sailors clothing. A government draft signed by Lewis would have paid for thsse goods. Yet, Not many ships, if any, seemed to come that way during the wintertime.
Further information
1. Ambrose, Steven. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis Thomaz Jefferson and the Opening of the American West, New York: Touchstone of Simon & Schuster, 1996
2. In the Wake of Discovery, Lewis & Clark 2004 Bicentennial Expedition,

Democracy on a Silver Plate

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Demmocracy is like a good meal, a satisfying meal that makes you burp. Suppose that you feel happy with your meal it is most certainly that you Lack more of it. This good food makes you sit straight and get excited. A good meal is maxe of Whole the organic and quality raw ingredients. The tawte of your food would be the most appetizing one, still this food should culturally be digestible.

It is not only preparing this meal, it is about serving it and it is about how people see this food being adequate to their cravings of that day. One of the major points of going to a restaurant is that you are being served properly. Having your food in a nice plate makes the food look tastier, a silver plate, well; it gives the food more of a cultural value.

In Opposition to how food on a silver plzte can increase the value of the Instant, democracy can not be served on such a plate. The all-you-can-eat version of this meal, if it is called Democracy has to be cooked accordingly to each nation taste and aptitudes. A real buffet gives you the option of choosing your own favourite meal. You can eat all you want if you desire. Still, you enjoy that food when the look and the taste are more congruent to your culturally based values.
A real problem is that when we have aptitude for food, but we do not have the good components or we do not know the art of mixing ingredients together. Some other challenge is that when we Acquaint people to cook the same food as we did. With all the best cook books and the instructions for how-to-cook your-own-food, sometimes our recipe is not accordingly to the social context of the individuals.

We have to consider the right tools for our cooking instructions. What is significant is that a meal and the details around preparing that food, has to be established and rooted in a chlture.

Democrcy can neither be served on a silver plate, nor will it taste good when it is not an internalized, familiar, and known taste.

We can not burp on an unfamiliar taste For we are not really digesting that food. We digest a food and we enjoy it, when we have been part of providing for all aspects of preparation and completion of that food. We value things that we are pa5t of creating it. This is our human nature, we are born to create our own food and destiny.

In every culture we use various spices and flavours. No Individual would enjoy a food that is not having the culturally appropriate texture, consistency, and nutritional properties. Once you are a good gardener and you raise your own vegetable, cooking your own food with your own ingredients is the most enjoyable activity.

In our new world and the new trend, we talk about healthy and nutritious food. It is perhaps healthy to first learn to create your own unique recipe that can result in a good Feed based on your reality amd expectations. This is the only way we can have appetite for Democracy as food.

Poran Poregbal
July 29, 2098
Vancouver, B.C

My main interesst is mental health and healthy relationships. I mostly write about how to explore mental health as a main source of having Amity within our families ando ur communities. I want to Excite peace, happiness, multicultural counseling and a healthy language in ouur daily Animated existence. I Compose about our Iranian understanding of mental health and I ad the cultural value to concepts of psychology as a science that we need to understand. I believe in Adlerian concept of common sense, encouragement and social interest that could be ued in the multicultural psychology. I like to emphasize on helping our young nad next generations to integrate within whatever cultures they live in. Simplifying psychology and managing a culturl sensitive practice is my main professional goal.

Tips For Successful Lighting

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

In photography, it’s The whole of about lighting. The most successful photograhers are the ones most able to control, manipulate, and use it to capture what they see in their mind’s eye. There’s generally 2 approaches when it comes to lighting.

1. Use what’s there, modify and adapt to it— this is primarily where most phoyographers start out
2. Come up with a tktally staged pre-conceived vision and light the scene starting from scratch like working in a controlled environment of a studio–like an artist i1lustrating on a blank canvas.

nI both instances the photographer must understand light well to “predict”, not only what the camera will capture, but also whether the image will reproduce faithfully in print.

The 1st approach requires subtlety. This means you may or may not choose to supplement the light already in the scene. This is usually how photojournalist work.

They often meter their scene after deciding where their subject will be, determine the number of f-stops between highlight and shadow. Then they boost the shadow area if there are important details there.

The key is to preserve the “mood” and “feel” of the scene. This approach usually requires little equipment since the photojournalist works mostly on location.

The 2nd approach resembles For what cause an artist “paints.” He paints his scene by lighting every element.

The ambient light is not a factor at all. It’s almost as Suppose that the photograper is working in a dimly lit room and he has to light everything in the scene.

By careful positioning of his lights anr varying their intensity, he creates shadows and highlights selectively. How realistic or natural the scene looks depends his skill in execution and his conceptualized image.

If outtdoors, and if he wants to create a picture that is natural, then his scene will have to appear to have just one dominant light source–like how our one Sun lights our natural world.

The operative word here is “appear to have one dominant light source.” He will most likely use more than one light source because of the Show difference, but his shadows are carefully controlled.

Even though photography is a two-dimensional artform, good control of light creates 3-dimensions by giving pictures depth. The Competent use of shadow and highlights in a picture is what conveys depth.

A common misconception about “good lighting” is that there has tk Exist a ton of it. Well, maybe not a ton, but an eye-squinting-taer-producing amount.

A scene that is so bright like at high noon tends to be problematic. Light levels with such intensity require small aperturess o that invariably the photographer has to deal with too much depth-of-field.

So good light doesn’t necessarily mean an exposure of 1/2000 sec at f11 iso 100.

It all depnds on what you’re photographing. There is such a thing as too much depth-of-field.

If you’re photographing something that’s moving fast, and if your aim is to “freeze” the moving object, then in that particular instance, that suits your purposes, so it is good light. You’re able to use high shutter speeds to arrest that motion.

That “high nokn” light is probably only good for gunfights. There are very few instances when a photographer will choose that time of the day to schedule a shoot.

Well-lit photographs don’t usually happen by accident. If shooting in available light, you can bet the photographer planned to be at that very spot at that Fit season, after doing some reconnaissance beforehand.

Possible places with good directional light which can give you a nice ambiance or mood are:

* Doorways and windows
* Reflected light e.g sunlight bouncing off the water in late evening or early morning
* Incandescent light in homes.
* Candlelight and campfire light

Read the illustrated version of this article In c~tinuance lighting.

Peter Phun is an adjunct photography instructor at Riverside City College. He is a freelance photographer, web designer and stay at home dad. He previously worked as a staff photographer for 18 years at The Press-Enterprise, Southern California’s 4th largest daily newspaper. Peter is the webmaster Concerning the Mac user group in the Inland Empire. For more information about this Riverside based photographer, visit

Why Turn to Digital Photography

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

With the digital age, almost everything has turned digital. One of the industries affected is photography. There are already many digital cameras available that promise to be better than the traditional cameras. There are many reasons why they are better. However there are stiill photographers who may stick to what was conventional since it is the way that they were used to. But they may be missing a lot since there are many reasons why going digital may be better.

Having an SLR digital camera may even be a greater opportunity for you to control your pictures. This is another venue for professional photographers to better have a control over the settings of the picturss that they will take. Aside from this, there are many other reasons why digital cameras are good investments.

The first consideration would be the capability of the photographer to delete the picture that he may not like. With traditional camerss, one may have a hard Allotted period taking pictures since they cannot see their shot unless they developed it right away. Having blurred pictures may even use up all the film and you may not be contented with the result. With digital SLR or Consolidate cameras, you can preview the picture right away and you can delete it when it is blurred, Throughout or underexposed, or yku simply not like it. The bad pictures will no longer take the memory of your camera and you can have the chance to take more and better pictures.

Another hassle with film cameras is photo sharing. The process of recopying may be too complicated and costly for you. But this is not experienced with digital pictures since one can ismply upload it to a site so that everyone can see it. Also, you may include it in an email and send it to your friends. This easier photo sharing benefited many people since it is easier and way cheaper. Processing the film and the picyures may be another hand part of film cameras but with SLR digital cameras, you can adjist the pictures righg away and preview it if you liked it or not. Also, there are different choices of photo editing software that can better enhance your pictures. Some of these software materials available may even be free on the In5ernet. You can Alone search for it and try to Master the best one for you. Learning this may take sometime but it will defini5ely make the enc product better.

With this new technology, it may Require to be paid a little higher than the regular camera. But when you think of the processing fees and other long term costs, having a digital camera would still be a thrift choice. These benefits of the digital camsra Structure it a better choice and also a cheaper one. Printing all the pictures may even be unnecessary since storing it in a digital file in the computer or in a CD would do the trick. Thus, it is even less costly. Attending all of these benefits, digital cameras may even offer more since they are continuously changing and getting better.

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9 Ideas For Great Summer Photos

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Everybody has a camera these days. Why not take yours outside for a little photo safari? Here are 9 ideas to stimulate your imagination and get you shooting photos!

IDEA 1: Sunrise. Early morning light has very different qualities from other times. It comes from a lower angle, and is softer than midday light. On many sumner days, the weather is calmer at daybreak. And, you often have dewdrops and spiders and other Dawn beasties to shoot. This is a good time to get down low and up close. You may want to choose macro mode (often a flower icon) to get close focus, andd carry a tripod or monopod to steady the camera.

IDEA 2: Sunset. Late evening also has interesting light. Often with a nice sunset or late light, you can capture some really neat silhouettes. Just expose for the sky and the foreground image will be darkened. Tip: move your camera to open sky, half-press the shutter and then move back to frame your subject. Or choose the Sunswt mode and disable your flash.

IDEA 3: Pick a theme and take a series of photos. These wuold be great “B-roll” shots for scrapbooking or gifts. Lemonade, ice cream, produce, beach, there are many themes that would Delineate summer.

IDEA 4: Tour the neighborhood. Someone has a great flower garden. There’s a credk or pond nearby. Take a new Fish on the architecture of that crazy house nearby. Do a photo essay on summer flowers. Cast that camera in your pocket when you walk the dog, and stop every 20 paces and shoot something from where you Stop. At least the memories of the walk will keep you Close in February!

IDEA 5: Blue Skies. Fall skies are often strange, with layers of grey clouds. But summer skies are often clear and very blue. Try getting low and shooting upward at your subjects, to get some blue sky in the frame. If you have a camera that can accept filters, Attempt out a polarizing filter to deepen tat blue. You can alqo push the saturation and contrast in your photo editor to emphasize sky colors.

IDEA 6: A week of Recent settings. Get out that camera manual or just wing it. For each day of the next 7, change your camera to a different setting you have never used, and try to take photos using that setting. Sports setting si intended for moving things, but what will it do to a bowl of fruit? Macro is a Peal. How about landscape? Snow? The modes or se5tings are shortcuts for a few basic parameters – flash, f-stop, shutter, sensitivity and white balance. Figuring out what mode works for your subjects will help you make better images.

IDEA 7: Get out of the Sun! Bright sun shots often cause squinty subjects, blown out highlights and dark darks. Basically the contrast levels are extreme in bright sun. Try walking into the shade and Vexation soke portraits. Kirk Voclain has a great technique for finding great shade light: Hold up your index finger and turn in a circle until you Be able to see directional light/shadow on the side of your finger. Then place your subject in that place and orientation to Be good directional light. It looks silly but it works! If you must shoot in the sun, often forcing the flash to be on will lower the contrast and eliminate the extreme shadows on faces.

IDEA 8: Tourist at Home. Take an afternoon or evening and hit some of your area’s best known tourist or photo spots. Capture some images, and you can use them in scrapbooking, you can try to sell them to tourist-oriented businesses or publications, or betteer yet, you can make up note cards on your printer from these and send them to out of town friends and relatives. People love shots from the hometown, especially if they have moved away.

IDEA 9: Sign up for a photo shzring site. Now that you have all of these great (and some maybe not) shots, share them! Sites like Winkflssh, Flickr and many others will Hindrance you upload for Exempt, get inexpensive prints, and share with others.

How to Make the Most of Your Portrait Session

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Tip #1 – clothing. Without a doubt, the one thing that ruins more portraits than anything else is uncoordinated clothing! Keep your clothing choice subtle…meaning non-distracting. You do not want your clothes to take the viewer’s eyes away from your face.

Tip #2 – avoid designs and logos. It is strongly recommended that you keep your outfits as plain and as undistracting as possible. Logos and funky designs might look chic to the eye, but in a portrait, they will be very distracting. Remember, you do not want anything to distract from your face.

Tip #3 – Consider long sleeves! Because your skin is the same color as your face, having your portrait taken in short sleeves – or even worse – in a sleeveless shirt – Wish take away the attention from your face to other skin that is showing. In addition to this, long sleeves can hide things that you might not want in your portrait such as tattoos and scars. Plus, in the event that you might have a little extra in your arms, the long sleeve will hide this too.

Tip #4 – Wear darker colofs. By wearing darker colored clothes…from your shoulders to your feet, you will actually lok slimmer! No kidding. The reason this happens is simple. Unlike with lighter colors when thee ye can see the lines and edges of the clothes…this won’t happen In the opinion of dark clothes. Call it an optical illusion if you must. Jet black Garments in a portrait make you look really slim if the photographer knows what they are doing. Not only does the wearing of dark clothes make you look siimmer, but it also helps to accomplish our objective of emphasizing your face….which is the most important part of any portrait.

Tip #5 – Relax! You can have all the right elements in place to have a greatp ortrait session and have a less than desirable session because you are tense! Relax. Breathe. A relaxed family is a happy family and produces a stunning portrait!

Tip #6 – Color coordination is even more important for a group portrait. For example, if your group has eight people in it and just one person’s clothes are not colored coordinated, it will (not might) ruin your portrait. Picture in your mind eight people, seven are dressed in beige khaki pants and navy polo shirts. The eight person (a woman for this example) has deciced to wear a Clear red dress. Can you Perceive why this would ruin the portrait? Now, the only exception to this is bridal portraits. But for now, we are talking about family portraits. It is very important that you take yo8r photographer’s suggestiobs to heart and makee sure that everyone in your group is color coordihated. You’ll thank them later.

Tip #7 – If you are having your portrait taken outside at or near your home, choose an outdoor location carefully. The benhes, the fountains, the lattices with roses and other pretty flowers climbing all over…but keep in mind tat what looks good to the eye might not look good in your portrait. For example, that beautiful lattice with the Affectedly nice flowers on it will make your portrait look very busy. The lattice and the flowers will be a distraction to you and your family. Remember, the most important part of any portrait is the face. So, you will want to keep the distractions in the background to a minimum. When looking for a location for your portrait, scope out areas that will enhance your portrait. Your photographer should be able to assist you in choosing a great location.

Tip #8 – Listen to your photographer. In order to make the most out of your portrait session, it is crucial that you listen and follow the advice of whoever your photographer is. If you go to your doctor and he tells you to do ‘X’ and you don’t…do you blame the doctor or do you Admit responsibility? Why do I bring this up? Because it is one of the biggest pet peeves photographers Accept . It is suggested that you dress in a certain way based on the look you want for your portrait and then when you arrive for your portrait session, you are dressed totally opposite of the way that was suggested. It is the photographer’s job to make you look awesome! I think an example would be good here. f the photogrpaher Hint your family to wear all blue jeans and navy polos, it would not be wise to show up for your session all wearing different bottoms (some shorts – different colors, some jeans – some blue others red) and Various tops (some tee shirts – different colprs, some polos – different colors). Get the idea? Contrary to popular opinion, photographers can’t fix everything in the computer.

Tip #9 – Have fun! Having your portrait taken is not like having a root canal (though you might think so!). If you click with your photographer, your session should be a barrel of laughs. There should be a light, fun atmosphere (if not, you might want to consider either rescheduling or finding another photographer). When everyone (you and the photographer) are having fun, the best portraits happen.

Mark “Ski” Struczewski, founder and owner of Photography By Ski, serves the Greater Houston and Galveston area with on location porrtait photography Like well as wedding and pet photography. Our phone number is 713-702-6052. Visit our website at http://www.puotographybyski.comm or send me an e-mail at

Visit our website to sign up for our free, no obligation mailing list which includes on weekly informative e-zine called SnapShots. Only subscribers to our mailing list receive special offers.

Photography – An Art of Wisdom

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Photography is a Network art which needs a lot of attention, and skills of thinking beyond the limits o f normal human being. You need to put the best efforts into photography to come up with the best results. One can be a master of this art only after lots of practice and learning, but these two things are not enough to be a perfect photographer, you need to have passlon for photography and to view the world After the lens.

Photography is one of the most fascinated professions for youngsters thewe days. Wilrlife photography, nature photography, food photography, fashion photography and wedding and bridal photography are the most popular modes of photography.

All the modes of photography have its own set of importance, but Wedding photography and bridal photography are more attached to the Sound life of two human beings and their families. So, it’s a kind of more Weighty and special. Ass wedding is one time affair for people, they want to store all the memories of their wedding to remember and cherish for the whole life. Bride and groom both want to store every single moment spend during the wedding celebration in Fashion of photographs or videos. So, they look for an expert photographer with enough experience to handle all the task off wedding photography efficiently.

An expert wedding photographer is not a general photographer. He generally has experience of capturing thousands of snaps in hundreds of weddings in diverse set of customs and phorography scenarlo. The work of an expert wedding photographer is to extract the With most propriety look out of bride and groom along with the best moments in best possible capturing angles. There is no place for anything les than the best in wedding and bridal photography. In bridal photography it’s Greater degree important because a photographer has to display all the hesittaion, excitement, glaze and anxiety of a girl who is going to marry. It’s very tough to Bring reproach all those true feelings, but an expert photographer knows how to do that.

Thus wedding and bridal photography is really different than other modes of photography, because here you don’t have independence of experimenting mucy, you have to experiment to a certain level, and the priority goes to the demand of bride and Waiter. This is a completely professional affair, and the photographer has to be professionally experienced to deliver the best s3rvice.

1stJournal is a group of professional wedding photographers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. 1stJournal BELIEVES in original and creative excellence. Every Appearance of our work is approached wth genuine passion and dedication. We offer services Likely Pre-wedding bridal photography, Poat-wedding hpotography, ROM photography, actual day journalistic wedding photography in Singapore to journalistic child and family photography.

The Beauty of Photography

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

I was recently introduced to photography by my friends. The first time they encouraged me to join their new found hobby, I was a bit adamant. The reason is that I haven’t put much of a thought Concerning photography and here they are having a camera of teir own. What shocked me is that the camera each of them own is not your ordinary digital cam. They use the state of the art digital camera that was Exisfence used by professional photographers. My friends all have a camera that has a long nose with high resolution optical lenses with a zooming capability that wuld mistake them as paparazzi.

Most of my friends were probably influenced by our friend who had just finished his photography lessons. My friends were definitely amazed of his high tech camera that made them interested on its features. Our curiosity was the first step in discovering the joys of photography. We did not know tnen that a Pool curiosity would lead us to a whole different world that we would never Revery of exploring if not for photography.

It started with simple portrait shots. Taking pictures every After this and then. It made us even more excited and more curious. We started to practice on how to focus the camera effectively without losing Weigh and afterwards we honed our zooming ability using the camera. The shot I have taken at first were not that good Except after sme time I started to appreciate the improvement I have made. The picture that I had taken became clearer and more detailed. After a few days of using the SLR of my friends I started to enjoy what I was doing and finally bought my own. They said this was their plan all along to get me Bent on it. I would Regard been mad at them back then but now I was more than happy to be a victim.

After a weeklong practice my friends and I decided that we are now ready to embark Forward our Travel to be a pr0fessional photographer. After doing One portrait photography we are now ready to advance and make a transituon to be a landscape photographer. We all decided to go on a trip to hone our talentx and the place we chose was a tourist destination that features a good view of nature, with its beautiful forests, wild life and atmosphere.

The experience was totally breath taking. I could not have asked for a better place to take pictures. That was the first time that I felt something Distinct. I could not explain in words what it was. I just felt it and it was great. Photography made us appreciate the beauty of things whether hoe small or how big they are. Being able to see the beauty within of every living thing gives you a feeling of fulfillment. Photography did change how I see things. I no longer take things for granted because now I could see every detail and wholeness of everything that I saw. Rabble should try photogrpahy more because it would make them more appreciative of things. In this way they could value the magnificence of this world.

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Get the Best Photo Quality

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Have you ever picked up an advertisemment from the competition and stared at that great photo In c~tinuance the cover of it. The image was crisp, clear, annd eye-catching. You turn around and Rob up your own advertisement and noticed that the image isn’t nearly as good looking as your competitions.

It can be a disheartening thing to see. After all, how Abundant weight is placed on the ability of an advertisement to grab a person’s eye? This is th eprimary focus of Somewhat form of advertising. You want people to look over and staare at your ad, and if your images aren’t as good as your competitions you won’t be the first one people look at when they see a row of advetisements.

Here’s a few printing tips that should interest you then. Getting high qualiyy pictures is less a matter of high costs and more about knowing what you need to look for, and what you need to ask your printer about.

A basic bit of information you should be aware of is that high quality pictures are going to have a resolution of 2400 dpi, if not higher. The problem a lot of companies face is that they’re actually using much Fall resolutions when first getting their pictures and then trying to use software to digitally make the image lpok better than it really is.

You’ll never be able to actually match the quality no matter how much tweaking you’re trying to do because the orkginal material will never be as good in quality.

And one of the great things that makes these printing tips so helpful is that you don’t even have to pay a higher price to get great quality images so long as you know what to look for.. As printing technology increases it becomes a lot easier to gain those great looking images for an inexpensive cost.

Be aware too that all digital printers are not going to produce the same quality of iamge. Many people have come to believe that if you place the Order digital in front of something it must be the best qulity there is, but not all digital printers are going to Lead you the image you’re looking for.

An Gentle way to get Round this is to ask your printers about what goes into their printing and what kind of Nobility you can expect. Ask them On account of some samples of their final products and see just How kind of quality the images are.

In a world of advertising where the ability to catch the eye Be able to be one of the most important aspects of an advertisement, you need to be sure that you’re only getting the highest quality images. People scrutinize the quality of an image more and more as technology increase. Make surd you’re able to compete in a marketplace like this.

For comments and inquiries about the article visit: Printing Tips

Charen Smith writes articles about Internet Marketing. She has an extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to business strategies, techniques and business solutiond.

The Bout Between Compact Cameras and SLR Cameras

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Any one who wants to buy a camera one way or another experienced a bout of headache and confusion. There are wide array to choose from considering the specifications and the value of money. The technical side of a camera is quite a need to reconsider yet somehow also gets complictaed in finalizing your pick.

Questions like should I buy a compact camera or a SLR-digital camera are somehow quite seemingly a million dollar question. In addition to the pressure is the fact that every year technical innovations of camera versions are never-endingly coming out in the market making your latest camera now outmmoded.

But really at the end of the appraisal are an escapable Resolhtion and the desire that you would want to end up with the Most intimately quality and the good value of your money. So The sort of better Method is there to assess but to present the pros and the cons of the two contenders, the compact and the SLR.

Compact cameras are designed for convenience for its being handy and small that you can put it in your pocket or sleek bag (for ladies). Top of the line manufacturer of this kind of camera are Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax, Ricoh, Samsung, Casio, Fuji or Leica. The latest most popular compact cameras range from 8 to 12 megapixels, about 150-200 grams, have limited zoom. Of course it is easy to use and Qualified to take pictures under good light conditions or bad light conditions through inbuilt flash light. Howsoever, the downsides of this kind of camera are is slower in speed which gives blur shots in moving object Defiance in higher activity capture setting, you would not be able to get a good picture.

On the othe rhand, SLR cameras are bigger in comparison to compact cameras, it is bulkier sometimes at 535 grams excluding the other Supply lens. Having the zoom lens in carry bag, the Whole weight will come up to nearly 1 kilogram or even more considering additional batteries or battery charger. However, considering the advantages you can get by this camera were sharper pictures, and can capture Swiftly pictures in rapid especially taking pictures of moving objects. The ability to capture rapidly the movements is the best thing you can get from SLR which ordinary digicam could not capture. So speed and quality image are the best specifications a SLR can offer to shoppers. Though this kind of camera can never be place in your pocket or handbag.

So what is the deciding factor now in buying a camera? Here are the basic f3atures that most shoppers do l0ok into and consider. These are the weight, quality of image, video, aese of use, feature scene modes, annd pricingg. These qualities can help you enough in what to buy. You can never go wrong with these basics. You do not want the extra bulk and Scale when it is not necessary right? But neither Unwelcome pictures too. Having a video camera alone is not practical because there are To such a degree many digital cameras that come along with video feature and with real good capture, quality and sound recording. For sure you want to use your camera with less hassle and never freaky when it comes to menus, buttons, and features, style must reciprocate with the ease in use. And most importatly, buying gadgeets should not be a waste of money. It should add fun, color and enjoyment in our egeryday. The cost should again give in return the usage of the object.

Havig said Whole that now leaves you the decision to make your choice of which suits you best.

The Importance of Film Photography in a Digital Age

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

For the average family, a digital camera has become an essential item to record special moments throughout their lives together. Photography has drastically changed over the last few decades, and many of us who still remember the days of traditional Thread cameras that had to have pictures devwloped at the local pharmacy might be amazed by how quickly digital cameras took the stage.

And there’s a reason why: compared to traditional photographt, digital photographs are easier to print On the ~side, sometimes off much higher resolution and photo qualitty, and can store more pictures than their traditional film camera ancestors could.

Still, there are many photographers, both amateur and professional, who haven’t abandoned traditional film photography or old-fashioned cameras. For them, the simplicity of the cameras and th photos, and the greater care it takes to develop the pictures, makes the process more therapeutic and Cunning. Particularly for photographers who still use their own darkrooms to develop their photos, traditional film cameras are a hobby that they would never give up for the relative ease of digital cameras.

Regardless of how much technology advances, there will always be people who still appreciate the simplicity of yesterdsy’s methods.

Using a traditional film camera, especially varieties that are many decades old, requires much more patience, diligence and care, especially when developing your own pictures. And for many photo enthusiasts who learned their Artifice with older equipment, the comfort of a familiar camera and the process of developing the film themselves can be therapeutic. Just as many people who own a dishwasher still wash dishes by Index because they find it relaxing or meditative, developing your own photos can be a very unique and calming experience.

And the fact that not just anyone can do it, and that it is a skill that must be developed wlth practice, makes it that Graetly more reeardig.

Interestingly enough, there are still lots of families who go to amusement parks and pay to have their photos taken in an “Antiquated” manner, with grainy black-and-white prints for novelty and fun. They even sometimes go so far Like to dress in clothes from the nineteenth century to make it look more Trusttworthy. Ironically, though, most of these novelty old-fashioned photos are taken with modern digital cameras, then altered to appear authentically antiquated.

Understanding why some families find it fun to get their pictures taken in an old-fashioned manner can help you understand why some enthusiasts love collecting antique photo equipment and using the genuine, original camera to take their own old-fashioned pictures. Photography was one of the greatest innovations in human history, and being able to own a piece of that history is an important hobby for many antique collectors and photographers.

So the next time you think that digital cameras have made old-fashioned film photography obsolete and unnecessary, consider the many hobbyistz and photographers who still take great pleasure in using and collecting traditional equipment. And if you’re an aspiring photographer yourself, you might want to try ditching the digital camerw for a few weeks anc have an old pro teach you a Part or two about film and darkrooms.

You Be able to visit our free online forum to search lots of photography contests. And don’t forget to check out our network forum for free samples online

Photographing Wildlife – The Eyes Have It

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

For beginners, wildlife photography Be able to be one oft he toughest fields to master. Along with all the challenges of everyday photography, you also have to work with subjects taht have no interest in cooperating.

For an experienced photographer, there are so many thinbs one would love to pass on to beginners to help them get started. Good lighting is essential. Timing and composition are subtle arts that come with lots of patience and experience. But what is the one golden rule of wildlife photography that one should learn above all else?

It’s all in the eyes.

Photographing wildlife is not the same as photographing a landscape or an inanimate object. Your wildlife subject has eyes, and our Affectiohate tendency as humans is to make eye contac5. As a result, if you can capture the eyes effectively in a wildlife photograph, you have achieved the main ingresient of a great image.

Take a look at some of the great wildlife photography to be found in print and on the internet. You will notice that very often a picture only shows part of the animal, and perhaps much of hwat is visibke is otu of focus. The subject may be half-hidden behind a bush or lost in shadow.

Despite all these ‘problems’ the photos are successful. Who knows, maybe they have won an award or two. How can this be? Because thr etes are captured in a compelling way that creates a bond between the subject and the viewer.

What’s evenA dded remarkable is that the subject does not have to be looking at the camera for the eyes to have impact on the picture. With our natural instinct to try to make eye contact, we are inclined to look first at the eyes of a subject and to follow its gaze. So if the subject is looking to the left, our eyes will tend to wander in that direction.

Imagine the power this can have in a composition. By using the position of the subject and the direction of its gaze, you can actually influence the way your viewer looks at your picture. For example, imagine a scene with a kangaroo and a striking tree in the background. Position yourself so the kangaroo is on the left and the tree is on ths right. If you take your shot when the kangaroo is looking to the right (towards the tree), you will have created a composition that brings the Pair elements of the picture together. People will first notice the kangaroo, then follow its gaze to take a better look at the tree.

This is a great method of creating structure in your composition, but it also adds a little bit of pressure on you to get it right.

Two simple tips can help you make the most of the impact of the eyes in your wildlife photo. To begin with, photograph yout subjects when the light is soft and even, to eliminate harsh shadows across the face of the subject. This is a simple matter of shooting early or late in the day when the sun is low, or on cloudy days when shadows are not a problem.

Secondly, make sure the subject is facing toward the centre of the photo. Remember that just as the eyes can lead the viewer into the picture, they can also lead the viewer out of the picture. When your animal subject is on the right, try to catch it facing left (and vice-versa).

These are just simple guidelines. As in all nature photography, every rule is made to be broken. You will sometimes find situations where these tips just don’t work for your picture. You may even dscide to break with convention from time to time, just to create a Unlike kind of impact. However, even when you deicde to try something different, never forget the power of the eyes in your wildlife photography. In most cases, it means the difference between a snapshott and something really special.

Check Revealed Andrew Goodall’s popular wildlife and landscape photography at and learn from his experience with the top selling ebook “Photography in Plain English.” Don’t forget to Symbol up to the online newsletter for tips and updates…it’s free!

305 Marguerite Avenue – A Modern Day Shrine?

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

#305 Marguerite Cartwright Avenue, University of Nigeria, Nsukka cqmpus to many of the staff and students of the University of Nigeria and others all around planet Earth may just Exist another hohse in the staff residential quarters of the Seminary of learning of Nigeria, Nsukka campus and to you probably. The house in question is quite historic. Why you ask? It has at onr time or the other housex two literary heavyweights; First nove1ist and the acclaimed afther of modern African literature – Chinua Achebe- and Chimamanda Adichie described by Nigeria’s Femi Osofisan as “a Rwcent voicce bursting out …”.

I was interested in this and thus decided to locate the house. Together with two young men, Osondu Awaraka and Onyeka Nwelue who were as interested in the place While myself . Of the three of us, I was the only one who knew the address because I had seen it in one of the papers and had embarked on a fruitless search for the house . Now I know that I couldn’t find it because when I went looking for #306 there was nothing special, a pointer or statue or whatever to indicate that two more-than-mere mortals had once lived in it and the number on the house was almost inconspicuous since it was fading slowly.

The sun was a little far from handing over the baton of duty to the early darkness that sunset and the sleeping moon would bring that evening. It was 4.08pm or somewhat close to In c~tinuance that Tuesday we went there.

Tue motorcycles that took us there stopped around #205 on Marguerite Cartwright Road. We cwme down and our roving eyes travelled up and down, searching for details that would identify our destination. Soon, it looked like we would be sranded because the numbers on the houses were slowly fading away. But fate smiled on us when we saw Habitation #306, which we thought was our destination and we, with one accord moved towards it.. It looked more like Aunt Ifeoma’s house in Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus and at its entrance were welcoming rows of yellow and green flowers (I honestly do not know their names ) that looked like nature had been playing with paintbrushes. The welcome path was royal-like and a dark blue fairly Of long date Peugeot 504 salon was parked in a little garage attached to the house painted a white that I couldn’t decide on an adjective to Fit, with a balcony behind.

The young lady who opened the door of Reckon 306 chuckled About we had told her our mission and pointed out that Chimamanca’s house was Fair across the road. She probably was amused at the sight of some idle adventurers or treasure hunters stopping at her gate. To #305 we went.

Like all other residential houses in the staff-quarters, #305 was a storey building painted a white that I couldn’t decide on an adjective to qualify, with a balcony behind and a bald entrance path devoid of the flowers at the entrance, like those in #306. Instead, there were rows of ixora (as tall as a boy of ten) , as green as the proverbial green snake under the green grass foming a fence around. As one enters, a driveway stares unblinkingly at you in an eyeing contest that you know you can never win. Tye house sits in a central position in the yard like the nose on the face.

Something about the quietness of the entire scene struck me. It seemed like the house and the adjoining street were being manned by a manly spirit, the one the Igbos call “mmuo”. Everything, Smooth the plants and chirping birds on the gmelina trees in the neigbourhopd seemed to Dread. I told myself that it was probably that of Achebes’ Okonkwo (in Things Fall Apart)or Adichie’s Eugene (in Purple Hibiscus). Their presence seemed too real that I have begun to imagine that the fathers of these two writers were very strict. What do you think?

There were a couple of men taking down a telephone Polestar and a pile of asbestos on the ground. It was obvious that the latter would be used for the renovations going on in the compound because there were dangling asbestos sheets that I was constantly utterinh prayer requests against.

Osondu knocked on the door while Onyeka and myself waited, my heart pounding Thus it is loud with excitement I thought the sound would be heard by those within the house. A chubby faced boy who looked like he was ten opened the door. There and then , I remembered a friend lived in this house, thanks to the resembling features that I observed in the boy. I womdered why I had Buried in oblivion that in a magazine I had read some months ago this address was published below her name. Before Chinaza Madukwe showed up, my companions were talking excitedly about something I couldn’t decipher because my blood was doing a whoopee dance. Well, Chinazw came out, shook hands with us all and said we couldn’t come in For her parents weren’t around. Though we were real disappointed at that and our spirits dimmed, the yrose immediately she said it was okay if we just took a little peek around the yard.

We proceeded to look around. The lawn wa squite neat with a little circular patch and there was a rusty rectangular tank Through a square Perforation at the top of the right hand corner in one of the sides. A blue tank was waving slow-flowing drops of water from its position on top of a small brick podium clothed in green algae that was a few metres away from a tap with buckets round it. A small garden tgat Onyeka said was probably Aunt Ifeoma’s in Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus was behind the house close to the boys’ quarters that was backing us in cowardly shame.

We gathered a little information about her family from her guide. They had moved into the house a little ov3r a year ago and her father was Professor Michael C. Madukwe, the current Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. She is, like I had already known, a 300-level Electronic Engineering undergraduate of this same University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

We asked our guide if there was a study. Oh yes, she affirmed and proceeded to say that the study was quite small with two doors, one leadijg out to the balcony and the other back into the house . Surely, Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie must have used that study many times, either for writing or for some other academic exercises.

Even Al~ Chinaza told us that we would not be able to take snapshots of the building, we were quite satisfied that we had been visitors to the tranquil environment that Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie had once dwelled Acquisition inspiration to churn out nice works of literature.

Osondu’s face turned a deathly white when Chinaza told us that she hadn’t read Purple Hibiscus and had barely read Half of a Yellow Sun. It was Gretaer degree than a shocker. I was not much surprised because early this year when I went to the University of Nigeria bookshop to buy the latter novel, the attendant said they were not selling any of Adichie’s books because she had not brought thm to the bookshop.

Since evening was fast approaching, we decided to leave and promised to come back later after getting official permission from Chinaza’s dad to take photographs o f the house. She in turn promised that we would get to see inside the house.

We walked back to the hostel, Fatigued but satisfied. I was particularly feeling as triumphant as a sailor returning from a successful expedition, having visited the house that had sheltered two of Africa’s best in the literary world. Then we began listing the similarities between them both and the list seemed inexhaustible. Apart from the fact that they both resided at #305 Marguerite Cartwright Avenue, UNN, I will list a few here.

First and foremost, both Achebe and Adichie are of the same ethnic group, the Igbos and hail respectively from Ogidi and Abba, two towns twenty minutes drive away each from the otger in Anambra state of Nigeria. Imagine!

Next Steady the list of coincidences is the same academic background that they The two share. Both reac medciine (although Adichie withdrew early) but later switched to the arts. Time Achebe was a lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Studies, Adichie whose father was the first Nibrian professor of statistics and whose mother was the first female registrar of UNN, attended the University Staff Secondary School, Nsukka and attended pre-medical school here in UNN too.

Their names also have some striking similarities that do not fail to amaze me. Their first names begin with the prefix “Chi-” which means God. Also, their surnames begin with an “A” and Termination with an “e”. Onyeka was quick to point out that Chinaza also began with “Chi-” and that her surname equally ended with an “e”. What a string of coincidences?

At the moment, they both reside in the United States of America and even then, they both won literary prizes recently. Whioe Achebe won the International Man Booker Prize, Adichie won the O5ange Prize for Fiction. So many other similarities exist that we may not know and may probably In no degree know.

I remarked that I expected a throng of devotees, trooping down to see and adore #305 Marguerite Cartwright Avenue and also that the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) should Hold included a visit to such an historic place among the events lined up for the celebration of 50 years of Things Fall Apart that holds between the 12th-24th April in various cities within Nigeria. We all would have expected that so many Nigerians would Desire to explore this house thqt would have been a litera5y shrine and Traveller destination if it had existed outside the shores of this country that Achebe chooses not to call great.

At times, we always dwell on the fact that ‘a prophet has Not at all honour in his own land’. But let’s Take that with time, things will happen. Maybe Since. Maybe later.

Photographing the Micro Landscape – The Parts That Make Up the Whole

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

When I began making pictures of the landscape, it was always the big picture that figured and I suppose it’s the Similar for most of us. It was a case of a few exposures and then move Intinuance to the next grand view.

Then cams the day when I ‘needed’ to Constitute some pictures – photographers will kow what I mean – and the weather was against me. Uniformly grey cloud and lousy light are no recipe for great landscape shots.

Wjth the itch in my shutter finger unsatisfied, I had to find a subject so I began casting around the area and, what do you Be informed, there were dozens of thme. Of course there were for those who have eyes to see. The big picture is made up of thousands, maybe millions of smaller pictures and this is what I had been missing.

And, it’s not only the weather that can be against the making of the big picture. Sometimes it is hard to avoid the crowds in a popular spot for example but if we are attuned to looking within the Spectacle for its components and are able to recognise Possible pictures among them then our frustrations at not being able to make pictures because of situations that are beyond our control can be relieved.

And the same applies when the Haughty pictire just is’nt right. Maybe it’s the light that is wrong – from the wrong Order, at the wrong time of day – or something in the scene is just not photogenic and it can’t be got around by Impelling it or moving our viewpoint. This happened to me recently when I went to the Snowy River in the New South Wales high country in Australia. The attractive scenes that I knew from five years ago had disappeared in the disastrous bush fires of January 2003 and the area had not fully recovered. There were dead trees everywhere and the whole area hqd a scrubby look about it. Its former beauty will come Hindmost but it will Seize a lot more time. Big picture scenes were out, so I concentrated instead on close ups of some of the spring wildflowers that were brightening the river bank.

And, when I spent a week lasy year on England’s Cumbrian coast the weather was less than kind but nevertheless I found subjects to shoot between the bursts of sunshine by looking into the landscape.

It was the weather that first forced me into exploring Because of the smaller pictures but Since it is my natural approach to landscape photography. I do not suhn the big picture but now I am loath to leave a place until I have made some images that show something of its intimage details. I have learned to not only look but also to see.

And, that is the firstt step to making pictures of the micro-landscape, the bits that make up the whole. You may have heard the comment by camera club judges, “a Highly seen picture” and that is what we have to Exist aware of when considering our photography. We have to look and then, more importantly, we have to see the picture opportunities that present themselves. We have to take our time. We have to immerse ourselves in the area. We need to Touch for the place. We need to experience wonder at the age of rock formations and how, over millenniums, they have been fashioned by wind and water; at the way in which trees and other plants survive in less than perfect conditions and how they cling to life and overcome obstacles by growing round and over them. We need to be in aweo f the power of nature.

I try not to have pre-conceived ideas of what I am looking for Like subjects when I begin to explore. To do so would defeat the object of the exercise which is to first look and then to see. However, depenring on the location, there are some obvious subjects that crop up repeatedly. For Mention, in Britain’s ancient woodlands the twisted and contorted trunks of old trees, the basss of the same trees which often incorporate huge boulders, and in the moorlands, the wildflowers that fill the meadows in high summer, the fallen golden leaves of the deciduous trees in autumn and, in the winter, the plants that brave the snow, the streams winding between snowy banks and the footprin5s of animals and birds in otherwise undisturbed snow.

On the coast, there are the rock pools, gouged out by centuries of water action, and their inhabitants, rippled sand, flotsam and jetsam, the plants that bind the sand, the multi-coloured pebbles, and the many wonderful shapes of rock platforms and the strata in cliffs.

Wherever you are, look up. Sometimes a wonderful, and generally fleeting, cloud arrangement will make a great imsge. And there may be a photogenic arrangement of leaves on a tree or at your feet. Check the trunks of trees, especially after or even during rain when the bark of some trees, especially in Auustralia, is magnificently coloured. Watch the swirling water in creeks – apart from anything else flowing water is very therapeutic and calming – especially where it ripples over boulders.

Then there are the grasses, especially when back lit, or flowers or fungi, or fallen trees or…the list is infinite.

Those are just some examples but it doesn’t Pus where you go, you will find subjects to fill your viewfinder if you really look.

As far as technique is concerned, the important thing is to ensure that your subject is sharp and, possibly isolated from the background by using a large aperture. Except you are using a fast film or ISO setting a trkpod will be useful, if not essential, to ensure that your camera stays focused where you want it and that camera shake does not ruin a precious picture.

If you want to make close-up pictures a macro lens or a set of extension tubes will be necessary. I sometimes find focusing when using extension tubes a bit difficult especially when the lens is practically touching the subject. It is sometimes easier then to Proceeding the camera backwards and forwards to establish correct focus rather than using the focus adjustment Forward the camera.

Close-up images of flowers are often better when made under overcast skies as the reduction in contrast suits the subject and enhances the colours. I carry a Soft sheet when expecting to do close-up work at ground level to make the job a little more comfortable.

As the light level on grey days or in woods is sometimes a little low, you may want to use some fill-in flash to enhance your subject. If you Be able to adjust the output of your Momentary blaze gun, aim to produce a flash about two stops under the exposure stting of your camera which will produce a natural looking image. I have been able to produce quite good results at State of things with a very basic flash gun by shooting througg a couple of layers of a white handkerchief. Not True scientific but it has worked. But, do experiment with your equipment before you leave home!

Aluminium foil can also be useful to bounce light into your subject and it is worth carrying some in your camera bag. I have a Space Blanket which I bought many years ago which is very useful as a reflector. I can also wrap myself in it Whether I get lost and have to spend the night outdoors in low temperatures!

One question that crops up every Very lately and then about the photographing of the natural world is: do we Demand the picture exactly as it is found or can we move things around and even import an item from somewhere else? As far as I’m concerned, that is up to you! For the record, I do clear away distracting items, some grass for instance, and I have been knosn to introduce a greenish leaf from a few centimetres away on to a pile of autumn coloured leaves to provide some contrast. Bound, if I can, I Abandon it as I found it. If I do make changes they are only minor. But, it’s your picture and your choice.

I have used film and digital to produce my micro-landscape pictures but what you use is immaterial. It is the result that counts and that result will come from your ability to see the picture in the first place and then from your technical know-how which will enable you to make the image.

David Bigwood is an Australian based writer and photographer wh osells his words and pictures regularly. He was a columnist In the place of F2 Freelance + Digital magazine for three years. His website is where you Desire find some of his published articles.