Using a point and shoot camera – my tips and advice

posted by: Richard P.

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Many people believe that with the new DSLR technology, using a point and shoot camera is simply a waste of time and energy. But I’ve discovered you can take extraordinary photographs with the compact camera, as long as you follow some special instruction, that I’m going to lay down before you right here.

 

fr4First of all, having the flash on at all times results in overexposed photos, mainly because while the flash is on, the shutter speed decreases, letting more light in than you’re counting on. If it’s daytime and you’re having a surprise slow shutter speed on a previously balanced aperture, you will get way too much light in, ruining the picture. However, the flash can come in handy when you want to counterbalance a strong, rough natural light.

 

fr5Secondly, for night time photography, try a tripod. As true as it is that a tripod will help you in any situation, nighttime photos require the camera be as steady as possible for long exposures. Which brings me to the specific shake that pushing the shooting button causes. If you can, use the remote timer feature, that will allow you to have a few seconds at hand for placing the camera in the right position before it shoots the picture by itself.

 

While working with a compact camera, you have the choice between working with the auto mode, and operating the settings manually. I say you should take control, and work your way through the different lighting modes and different apertures, and after a period of experimentation ( you can see the results of the experiment on my blog where I write just about point and shoot cameras), you will have gained a sense of your device, what it can do and how you can get the best out of it.

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Lastly, while this goes for every type of camera, it is very important when using a point and shoot device: don’t be afraid of using the light sources around you. From the natural light of the sun, to lamps or surfaces that can simply reflect the light, all these can be used to create the best context for your picture without having you decrease your shutter speed, thus falling into the despair of the blurred photos.

 

Photography is in the eyes of the photographer, but it has always been my belief that knowing and respecting your tools can bring the image closer to your standards.

posted in: Cameras & Photos

Things you need for your baby’s room

posted by: Richard P.

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Becoming a parent has its fair share of emotions and anticipation. But emotional preparation is not the only thing you have to cover. Making sure your baby will have all the conditions to begin his journey starts by providing the physical means of interaction. Preparing the baby’s room is probably the most extensive remodeling/decorating job that’s done with a permanent smile on the face. If you’re new to this, a internet research will leave you baffled and possibly scared, as nursery furniture tends to sell for high prices.  

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My advice is to think about the baby’s actual needs and make a checklist which you can fulfill gradually. The first item that is in no way optional is a crib for the baby to sleep in. Luckily, just as with most infant-destined products, there is a federal safety standard for these products to meet in order to be placed on the market. So your job will resume to picking the model, the color and the size based on your budget. Also, don’t hesitate to read other buyers reviews as they will give you an idea about different products quality.

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After you’ve got the crib, the next step is to find the right mattress. Doctors recommend that infants sleep on firm surfaces, to avoid any deformation of the spine. Usually, you will find foam, innerspring or organic mattresses, each one with its advantages. While the lightest and the cheapest, foam mattresses are thought to emit gasses that can threaten the health and life of your baby, so take a little time and read the specifications for any product you have your eyes on.

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For your own peace of mind, and the baby’s best interest, a baby monitor will allow you to keep an eye on him/her even when you’re not in the room. This will help you get through your daily chores and at the same time, make sure you are ready to intervene as soon as something’s up.

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Finally, an item that has saved many parents from sleepless nights, the classic nightlight that will disperse that soft light that some babies fall asleep to. Look for a color that isn’t too bright and make sure it’s plugged into a secure outlet. There would be a lot more to talk about, from the diaper disposal system, to the changing table, but the truth is there has to be a line to separate the necessities from the perks, and the second category is just going to have to be under your absolute control.

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Who makes the best flat irons?

posted by: Richard P.

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The beauty products market is immense and finding new ways to impress and conquer the hearts of the clients. Hair care tools manufacturers constantly improve their machines and that makes it more and more difficult to find and stick to one good option. So which brand produces the best flat irons? After extensive research, I had  to choose between GHD and Sedu. My pick was the first, and here’s why.

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First of all, GHD is a well-renowned, prolific hair care products manufacturer that has spent more than a decade developing new technologies and combining new materials and features into its products.  When so many celebrities use a certain brand, there is little doubt about the fact that you’re dealing with the top brass. In 2013, GHD gave women everywhere the six-sensored hair straightener Eclipse, that would be crowned leader of the flat iron market.

 

Not only that the GHD products demonstrate a high regard for the different types of hair and their specific needs, but they are also designed to work fast and efficiently. The ceramics and titanium plates that they use for most of their models, combined with the groundbreaking tri-zone technology that uses special sensors to control the temperature make it possible for every hair type to look and feel healthy and beautiful.

 

fr12The GHD flat irons also have great safety features, from automatic sleeping mode that turn on after 30 minutes of idleness, and plate guards that allow you to pack the straightener without having to let it cool down. Aside from these reassuring characteristics, GHD shows special consideration for manufacturing products that are easy to use and render the best results with the least of efforts. The plates heat up fast and remain a manageable temperature, in order to avoid the painful accidental burns that are almost impossible to dodge on busy days. What’s more, they have created a versatile design to help you diversify your hairstyle: thanks to the rounded edges and the plate’s width, you can easily use your straightener to create natural-looking waves and curls.

 

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GHD is an experienced manufacturer dedicated to constantly improve their products and help you get the best out of your hair with the minimum of effort. While there are others that produce good hair styling tools, GHD covers a wide range of such items, and their quality speaks for the company’s reliability.

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Are convertible car seats worth the increased price?

posted by: Richard P.

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By definition, a convertible car seat is a product with a limited usage period. You might wonder, thus, how come there are such big price differences between products in this category and if paying more on one will actually translate into a real advantage. To answer this question, let’s take a look at what purposes a convertible car seat is supposed to serve, and see if there can exists higher or lower levels of meeting those requirements.

 

fr9First of all, a convertible car seat is a small basket used to keep a child safe during a car ride. As all these products have to respect the safety standards imposed by the legislator in order to make it on the shelves. Therefore, all the seats sold by authorized retailers ensure the minimum safety features. However, there are a few extra advantages in a 5-point harness, for example, or in extra padding on the side on such a seat that will increase the level of safety. Is that worth more money? Any parent should be able to know the answer.

 

fr8Secondly, a convertible car seat is supposed to make the transition from the infant car seat to the booster level, so they are the all-in-one product that will replace two or more car seats for each growth stage of a baby. Which lead us to the conclusion that such a car seat should be versatile enough to not be too loose for an infant, but also not to squash your kid once he’s grown. Do all convertible car seats respect these features? Probably not. The truth is a too wide or too small seat end up to be a loss of money even though it cost you fairly little at first.

 

All cars are equipped with a special system that allows you to install a car seat for your child, but not all car seats can be installed and uninstalled with the same ease. The number of tethers, latches, buttons and buckles is essential, for it dictates the time you spend fighting them. Excessive adornments that are only meant to falsely inflate the impression of safety are the last thing you should pay for.
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What we meant to state in this article is that differences, as long as they are relevant and change the mere quality of a product, should at least be acknowledged. You can chose a cheaper convertible car seat and have a great experience of it throughout all the years you’ll be using it, there’s no doubt about that. But should the worst happen, wouldn’t you consider the possibility that a higher quality might have behaved better?

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How to buy a good mattress for your child

posted by: Richard P.

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Finding the right mattress for your child’s bedroom can be difficult if you’re not well informed. Luckily, if you are reading this post, it means you’re one click away from any information you may need, and if you continue reading, you may not even need to click further.

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Before you go on purchasing a new mattress for your kid, there are a couple of things to consider: is your child suffering from any special condition that would require a special type of mattress? In that case, follow the physician’s instructions, no matter how well other mattresses manufacturers advertise. Secondly, if your young one is inclined to develop allergies, the only safe choice for you will be at least a mattress with hypoallergenic and antibacterial cover, if not one that’s entirely made out of such materials. The last important consideration you need to put into play before deciding on a mattress is the price you are willing to pay, as prices tend to range a lot.

 

fr4When reading the specifications for a mattress, there are two features that you need to focus on: the composition and the comfort level. While nowadays mattresses can be made out of materials ranging from cotton to memory foam, the decision process will be a lot harder if you’re not up to speed with the recommendations of health authorities. For instance, the foam usually present in mattresses fillings can be quite dangerous if used for long periods of time because it releases noxious gasses. This is valid for most plastic compositions, and you should avoid these types of mattresses as much as possible.

 

fr6The comfort levels on mattresses go from firm to plush and speak about the softness level in a matters, precisely how well it resists to the weight of your body. While young children have already passed through the dangerous phase of SIDS risk, and they are less subject to the risk of developing problems with their spine, a certain degree of firmness is always better than a completely plush body support.

 
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Out of the current types of mattresses, I think the best one for children and adults alike  is the natural latex foam, as it is hypoallergenic, antibacterial, is doesn’t release gasses, it’s very resistant, and provides a good comfort level. At the same time, this is also probably the most expensive type of mattress, so you’ll have to think twice before making your choice.

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Water filtration vacuum cleaners – are they really worth it?

posted by: Richard P.

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The main difference between a water filtration vacuum cleaner and a bagged or a filter vacuum cleaner is that the first one passes the sucked flow of air and dirt through a canister of water which retains the dirt and eliminates only the air. While this technology seems to have its advantage, most buyers are reserved because of their high price. So are the vacuum cleaners that use water filtration worth the investment? We will begin by analyzing some of the advantages of water filtration.

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First of all, as using water as a filter means you will have no more need of bags and normal filters, you will never spend money on them ever again, and this results in the first advantage: no additional costs, except for the water that goes in the tank. Another problem for the classic bagged vacuum cleaner owners was the constant clogging of the filters that needed to be cleaned constantly. With this type of machine, though, all you have to do is empty and refill the tank, and you’re good to go. Most water filtration vacuums also have a good suction power, and while on other machines, the pet hair tends to escape or even resist suction, the water filtration vacuum will pick it up and keep it down.

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On the other hand, while the empty-and-refill system seems to be highly convenient and money-saving, at the end of a cycle you will still have a canister filled with dirty water and wet lint. Messy is the perfect way to describe the refilling process, and we’re just not sure we can see an advantage here. Secondly, carrying around a vacuum with a filled, heavy bag can be quite a drag while cleaning, but add a few gallons of water, and you’ll feel like you’ve been tricked. Finally, water and electric power is never a fail safe combination. Accidents happen, and in a machine like this, water leaks can even be life-threatening.

 

Some people might find that the advantages on a water filtration vacuum beat the disadvantages, but in our opinion, all those features seem more like advertising stunts designed to make you spend triple, rather than veritable advantages. However, we are sure that you can find cheaper models among the several hundred dollars ones, and maybe then the sacrifice won’t be so big.

Here’s a closer look at how one of these vacuums work:

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How to get the most out of your camcorder

posted by: Richard P.

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Surely, if you’re using a camcorder instead of just your phone, it means you are after a little more than a quick video of something funny you just saw. Knowing your device and ahead preparation are key to obtaining the perfect video. But sometimes we learn that even the things we knew best can be improved, so here are a few tips that will help you get the best performance out of your camcorder.

 

The manufacturer knows

fr2Nobody knows what are the best ways to enhance a device’s performance that those who developed it. In most cases, they have already share part of their wisdom with you. Check the user’s manual of your camcorder to learn all the tricks you couldn’t discover by yourself. Furthermore, most serious producers have tutorials and learning videos on their websites, and if you’re dealing with an older model, be sure the internet is full of forum discussions and reviews that will teach you a thing or two on how to best use your camera.

 

 

 

Keep it short

 

Woman using HD camcorder at home.

New models have a large recording capacity, so you can film for hours  and still have space left. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to edit your raw recording in order to get the essential. If you have the opportunity to plan ahead, make sure you’ve already prepared the scene and props and you won’t be wasting any time with the camera on. If the filming is more of a spontaneous idea, try and figure out which moments are actually revealing, so that you won’t have to later review full hours of boring videos.

 

 

 

Find the white balance and the right exposure

fr3You know what can really ruin a film? Bad image. If you’re white balance is off the tracks, most of the times everything in the image will appear either blue or red. A white balance setting will allow the device to reconstruct the color scale after focusing on something that’s white. You can either use the auto mode settings or, on some models, you can manually set the white balance, which we encourage you to do. Under and overexposure can also destroy precious moments caught on camera. While underexposure can be easily repaired by increasing the aperture, in order to avoid overexposure you will need to pay a little more attention, especially to the bright objects.

 

 

 

Finally, if your camcorder doesn’t have an integrated image stabilizer, find something stable to put your camera on when filming, in order to avoid that annoying shaking.

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Whistler radar detectors are the best in my opinion

posted by: Richard P.

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Police officers in the area keep on the lookout for speeders. ----- A Police Highway Unit Officer pulls over an alleged speeder Tuesday, July 24, 2007 on Veterans Road West in Charleston. Michelle Arout, 17, was killed when the car she was riding in and a Ford Mustang crashed at a high rate of speed Monday nightMy driving record was getting worse with a number of speeding tickets. My earlier radar detector had been a terrible waste since traffic cops get their gadgets upgraded with radio systems. To counter these latest speed limiting gadgets, I needed an enhanced radar detector that could save me from the speeding tickets. After doing extensive research, I zeroed on the latest model of Whistler radar detector. In my opinion, this is the best radar detector I have ever used since I whizz on the highway but manage to control the speed just in time. I feel so amazing.

 

Let me share with you some of the vital features of my favorite Whistler radar detectors.

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  • Whistler radars are not only capable but quickest among all the available models in this class of detecting latest instant-on radars. The alerting ramps and trailing alerts of whistler are worth mentioning.
  • With hi-tech and redesigned antennas, the whistler radars are the best in announcing the presence of police radar. The radars have grown in popularity across the countries and continents due to its sophisticated technology. The unique feature of whistler is its ability to display pulse rates of police lasers.
  • To avoid the collision with K-band radars, Whistler radars are equipped with FDSR (field disturbance sensor rejection) that informs you in advance about the possible collision with K-band systems.
  • The latest Whistler radars like CR93 have equipped GPS photo enforcement database, which can be updated at home with bundled USB to Mini-D cable. In addition to the speed cameras, a Whistler radar updates you about the red-light cameras.
  • The range and the sensitivity of Whistler radar detectors are 20 to 30 percent better than other flagship brands. These cost-effective radars provide sensitivity to k and ka bands effectively.
  • The Whistler display is equipped with a crisp OLED display which can be read even in brightest of the sunlight.
  • The warning systems of whistler radars are awesome. The radars are armed with backup alarm LED flash systems in case you miss the verbal alerts or squealing of the unit.
  • The Whistler radars are elegantly designed and light in weight. The radars come with comfortable mounting.

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The whistler radar is a clear winner in the category of radars under $200. The radar outclasses the expensive radars considering the premium features like detection of a wide range of laser as well as radar frequencies, the robustness of the unit, user-friendly interface and inbuilt facility of red light intersection cameras and accurate GPS databases.

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The best GPS manufacturers and their innovations

posted by: Richard P.

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Global Positioning system lovingly called a GPS is the need of the hour today considering the rising traffic and globalization. Whether you are travelling in your local area and need to get the updates on traffic or travelling through an unknown locale and want to know the shortest route to your destination, GPS is there for all your queries.

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The GPS is available as Smartphone App, integrated factory fitted GPS system in cars or standalone portable GPS system gadget. Before picking up the best GPS system to match your requirement, you should know about the brand and manufacturer of the GPS system. Below are some of the top GPS device manufacturers.

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“Built to last” with this tagline, Garmin showcases its current GPS quality and future dependability. A leader in manufacturing navigation systems Garmin is having 50 branches all over the world and this global presence is a testament to its success in the field of GPS manufacturing. Garmin has been manufacturing navigation systems for not only the automotive market but is supplying its navigation systems to aviation and marine sectors as well.

The wide demand of Garmin products speaks itself about their superior quality, innovative designs, and user-friendly functionality. The latest invention done by Garmin is the use of WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation system) which improves the precision at less than three meters.

 

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Established in 1991, Tom-Tom pioneered the PND (Portable Navigation Device) and revolutionized navigation for millions of travelers with its affordability and accuracy. Tom-Tom’s fleet management solution known as WEBFLEET is used by around 6 million drivers across the world. Tom-Tom has its offices spread across 58 countries globally. Apart from manufacturing state-of-the-art navigation devices like Tom-Tom Go Live Bluetooth GPS navigator, Tom-Tom recently launched its GPS sports watch that has helps swimmers, athletes, and cyclists providing them the vital information to show their performance. Another feather in the crown is the telematics solutions, it provides on a global scale.

 

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Magellan is also Known As MiTAC Digital Corporation was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. Magellan is an industry leader in manufacturing portable GPS solutions. Some of its key inventions in navigation field are.

  • Built on Android OS, Roadmate RV 9490T-LMB is an award winning GPS tool for RVing.
  • Maestro™ series portable car navigation products
  • Magellan Triton® and eXplorist® outdoor handheld navigation devices
  • Roadmate App developed for iPhone.

These are the top GPS navigation tools manufacturers and I expect that this information will help you to take a right decision in picking a GPS device for your needs.

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How to use a hair dryer without damaging your hair

posted by: Richard P.

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A blow dryer is designed to make your hair look great and manageable. Although the main function of the hair dryer is to style your hair to look attractive. If used very frequently and carelessly it can damage your hair with some devastating and permanent effects. So, you not only have to look for certain features while picking up the best hair dryer but also need to use it at optimum settings.

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By following these tips, you can prevent your hair from getting damaged.

 

Buy a dryer with multiple heat settings

fr2You can find a plethora of hair dryers in the market catering to grooming and styling products. The lower-end models will have only a single setting for temperature and flow. You have to be very careful and manually control the hair drying while styling your precious hair. These economical models can overheat and over dry the hair ending up in a frizzy head.

Pick a hair dryer with a range of temperature settings like low, medium and high to choose from. Another accessory to look for is the nozzle and diffuser that will help to spread the dryer air evenly on the hair.

 

Hair-dependent heat setting

People make the mistake of using the same amount of heat for any kind of hair, be it a thin hair or thick hair. To prevent any damage to the hair, always select the hot temperature for rough and thick hair. For thinner and fragile hair you can select low heat setting.

 

Use of hair protection products

fr3Before exposing your hair to the heat of hair dryer, it is recommended to get your hair pre-treated with a good, silicone based cream or spray. The cream will give a protection layer over the hair and will prevent excessive heating effects.

 

 

Hair Blow drying Tips

You must not start hair drying in any random manner. Follow these Blow drying tips, to eliminate any chance of hair damage.

  • If you have a long hair, blow dry your hair by partitioning in manageable sections.
  • Always start the hair dryer at low temperature and when the hair dries up 50 percent, you can set the desired temperature according to the texture of your hair.
  • Use the diffuser so that hot air reaches the roots of hair evenly through the fingers of the diffuser.
  • And finally set the hair dryer to cool position to blow cool air on the hair and skin which has been exposed to heat for some time.

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