Lightroom Practice

Updated LR ROM Pic (2 of 1)

Lightroom practice. Properly ran it through LR this time using my own B&W preset which I created for use with portraits. Did some minor spot clarity adjustments on the windows and ROM sign to make them clearer. Proper cropping this time. I think it looks a little straighter.

I did a bunch of LR tutorials and guess what? I have a bad memory. Or at the very least I need to keep this information on hand so I can refer to it when I need it, which is not unexpected at this stage of the game.

Nikon D3400 – F-stop: f/5.6 – Exposure time: 1/30 sec – ISO: 6400 – Focal length: 29mm – Max aperture: 4.1

 

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Horoscope

zodiac cube in grayscale

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Reflection isn’t really a passive process; it’s an act that requires bravery and humility. This week, it’s time for you to be honest with yourself, Libra. You’ve been running your life in certain ways that are no longer working, and it’s important that you don’t wait until your hand is forced before you make changes. Show up and strive to be decisive — what you chose now isn’t written in stone, but it is important for your future. Do what needs to be done, my love.”

I am honestly not a big fan of Horoscopes and always view them with a certain degree of scepticism. I mean, the person that wrote this doesn’t know me at all, or my situation, so how could they possibly be in a position to dispense advice?

But, somewhere inside of me I want it to be real. Perhaps I’m looking for some direction, some advice on what to do next (realising that this is the antithesis of the advice provided above). I very cynically read these things after the fact just to see if they’re accurate, and dammit, there is always a kernel of truth to them, or the advice provided is very timely and dovetails quite nicely with current personal events.

And that’s where I currently find myself. I’m going through another period of change, and then this very timely piece of advice presents itself. I’ve been telling myself the exact same thing for some time now: if I don’t make my own choices, then life will make those choices for me. In other words, I need to get in front of it and be more proactive instead of reactive.

Given my current state of play, I knew this was coming down the pipe. I knew that the situation was not sustainable and that I’d have to move onto The Next Thing sooner or later. I was really hoping that it would be later, but all things being equal, now’s the best time to make a change because I think I’ve gleaned all of the value possible from this latest period (stage? phase?).

So, I’m a little late. I stayed at the party just a little bit too long, but I still have options. Now I just need to make a choice and move forward……….

 

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Photography Practice

IMG_20180719_151055_278

Photography practice. I wasn’t sure I’d have anything worth posting this early in the process of learning photography. I’ve been advised that the first 10,000 photos I take will be crap, however this one came out okay. I think

The horizon line is a little off, but I was able to hide that by taking the leaning lamp post out of the frame. One mistake I made was retouching this within Instagram itself, which I was advised not to do. It looks good when viewing it on IG through a mobile device, but looks grainy through a laptop and especially when compared to the original (which is below for comparison’s sake). I definitely won’t do that again.

_DSC0173I definitely like the Black and White photos, so will explore that some more. One of the things that I’ve realised I’m missing is having someone to critique my work. I can’t do this in isolation and need the feedback. So, that’s a problem I’ll have to solve in the short term and as I move forward.

The equipment I used plus settings are listed below:

Nikon D3400

F-stop: f/5.6

Exposure time: 1/30 sec

ISO: 6400

Focal length: 29mm

Max aperture: 4.1

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Yasu – Toronto – December 10, 2016

One menu option, a prix fixe Japanese omakase (chef’s choice) of 20 sushi pieces in small digs.
Address: 81 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G4

Google reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars

 

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Captain America: Civil War (2016) – Movie Review

captain america civil war

Combining political intrigue with superhero action is a daring, risky move…but “Captain America: Civil War” couldn’t be in better hands. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo prove once again to be the best directors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, turning Stephen McFeely and Christopher Marcus’s brilliant screenplay into a work of art. No other Marvel movie has yet delivered such a fluid combination of intelligence, symbolism, and heartbreaking opposition as the Russo brothers’ latest entry into the already amazing Captain America series.

Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) reminds audiences why his hero has always been the most likable as he embodies the valiantly flawless titular hero in a way only he can. Robert Downey Jr. introduces a new side of his egocentric Tony Stark/Iron Man, which will either make you love him all the more or repel you, depending on who’s side you take. And that’s one of the many beauties of “Civil War”: the viewer has to determine which hero’s side he’s on, as both have their own opinion of the “Sokovia Accords”, a document that will put the United Nations in charge of all super-powered individuals.

As both heroes recruit others of their kind to fight for (or against) the “Sokovia Accords”, a scheming puppeteer manipulates them, practically unseen, both Captain America and Iron Man mistakenly believing the other to be the true enemy. And Daniel Bruhl as Helmut Zemo, the man most determined to accomplish his agenda, delivers the most moving, emotional performance in the whole movie. Helmut Zemo is at once terrifying and enigmatic, in a way no other Marvel villain has been before, and he accomplishes this without any superpowers, bringing to mind Heath Ledger’s Joker. As he stares blankly into space listening to a voice recording on his phone, his motionless face says more than any other actor in the whole film. And that’s saying a lot, because most of what fuels “Civil War” is dynamic, passionate acting from almost all of the actors.

During its worst moments, the film is thought-provoking, conflicting, and emotionally immersive, and when an action scene obligatorily comes along, it doesn’t forget the inherent tragedy of the circumstances. The many lighthearted, chuckle-inducing moments (many courtesy of Ant-Man) don’t distract from the plot, but remind us that the dueling heroes are still friends, despite their differences. The third installment of the Captain America series–and hopefully not the last–is sure to excite superhero fans, and also entice those harder to please.

Synopsis: “Civil War” is an instant classic that transcends typical superhero movie expectations with powerful acting, an artistic vision, and a story that will spark discussions and arguments many years from now.

 

10 out of 10 stars

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Why Are Writers Crazy?

grayscale photo of man walking in hole

Photo by Kasuma on Pexels.com

The isolation of working on my own is is something I’ve been wrestling with for some time, the last four years to be specific. I came across this post from Scott Snyder on Twitter which sums it up perfectly, so I thought I’d post it here:

“The other day when I was doing a Q & A, someone asked a version of the classic question, “why writers are so crazy? Is it a prerequisite?” I ran out of time before I could answer, but been meaning to post some thoughts as this is something i struggle with myself.

The thing with writing is that you spend all day alone, and to make something meaningful to you, you often have to spend that time staring at and exploring things that matter to you – things you hope for, things you’re deeply afraid of. About the world. About yourself.

If you do it professionally, no other job, you usually don’t see anyone all day. No social regulators. It’s an amazing thing, and there’s no better job, but it can also become an echo chamber, and lead to self destructive patterns b/c of the the material and the social isolation.

I don’t say this to excuse any bad behavior. On the contrary, I’m speaking more to aspiring writers more than anything, because I wish more writers had talked to me about this when I started. Over the years, I have admittedly gone down some dark rabbit holes with it

gotten lost in my head, been destructive to myself and people I care about, and I’ve tried to be pretty open about battles with depression and anxiety here. For me the bottom line is this: be aware of the pitfalls of writing. Because there’s NO romance in being the crazy writer.

None. Getting yourself into a black place, being cruel to yourself or those around you doesn’t help your writing. Write what scares you, what inspires you, be unflinching, but also make sure to get out of your own head, take care of those around you, and yourself.

sorry for the length of this thread, it’s just something I wish I’d understood better at when I was younger (and still struggle with sometimes) and see romanticized or excused sometimes in a way that I worry stops people from getting healthy”

I can especially relate to his thoughts on getting lost in my own head and creating an impenetrable echo chamber. There are periods of time when I don’t interact with anyone in a meaningful way, sometimes for days at a time, and that’s when the dark thoughts creep in. I lose that third party perspective. The shadows in the corner of the room start to take on oppressive qualities, and the plans that they have for me are……(struggling to come up with the right word here)….destructive.

I’m finding that the only way (or at least the only way for me) is to get out of the house and put myself in social situations, no matter how uncomfortable or how much social anxiety I feel. If I don’t, then I lose that social perspective and end up feeling weird all the time, which I think is not really conducive to good writing. It’s makes my thoughts way too dark and it comes out in my writing.

It’s not necessarily all gloom and doom, however it is something I need to manage carefully going forward….

 

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Miku – Toronto – March 4, 2017

Flame-seared sushi is the specialty at this Japanese fine-dining destination with soaring ceilings.
Address: 10 Bay St # 105, Toronto, ON M5J 2R8

Website: mikutoronto.com

Google reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

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