Savvy Sweeper

Savvy Sweeper’s Tidbits
/////////////////////////////////////////// Rocco Basile Interviews #photography #photographer #sponsored
Posted: 08 Aug 2017 06:17 AM PDT
Rocco Basile Interviews Today I welcome photojournalist Rocco Basile of Rocco Basile Photography to talk about getting the shot, equipment, and artistic motivation. Q. How do you create the perfect photo setting? A. In the studio, it’s about having a plain background to bring the focus to the subject. The subject becomes the setting. Capturing their essence through their common facial expressions and body language becomes my goal. In nature, finding the angle or view others miss provides the unique setting. For instance, Ansel Adams captured nature views many had visited, but chose unique views that captured their expanse and depth. Q. Which photographer influenced you and why? A. Adams influences my travel photography. I carry over what I observe in his images to all of my black and white photography. He mastered light, shading, depth, and sense of place. Q. What do you want your photographs to express? A. I hope that the portraits especially express the genuine personality of the subject. I want the person’s mom or best friend to look at my photo and say, “That is so him/her.” Q. What would you tell a beginner is the best camera equipment to start with? A. Whatever you have handy. To start photographing subjects and places, that matters. Use a cell phone camera, a disposable, digital or film. Just begin capturing. When you have the money, buy a camera that lets you grow. I shoot with Canons. The Rebel makes a good starter camera for a serious hobbyist. Q. What is the best photo editing program? A. Almost everyone uses Photoshop for a great reason – it is the best. They provide numerous versions. A hobbyist can begin with the free mobile app and move up to the professional grade software as they grow as a photographer. Q. Where do you find your motivation? A. You don’t find motivation. It lives inside you. Any type of artist – they have a need to create. My mom saw it in me when I was very young. She encouraged creativity and got me started. She made time for museum trips with me. I started out creative and she helped me find the outlet for it. Q. I am a blogger and take a lot of still shots. How can I get the best still shot? A. The basics are pretty simple. Choose a light colored, plain background like a white or off-white wall. Shoot with natural light coming through a window or skylight. Improve that with bright, white light. Use the manual settings on the camera or camera phone. Start out on the lowest ISO setting. It reduces digital noise. Set the white balance to “Flash.” If using a camera, use “Manual” mode. That leaves you in control of aperture and shutter speed. Shoot in RAW mode to increase your editing options. Take a test photo and check the histogram. Adjust so your subject doesn’t appear to dark or too blown out. Try to find an unusual angle that doesn’t overly shadow your subject, but provides a unique view. Q. What is your favorite lens and why? A. I’m a huge fan of the Canon EF 85mm f1.8. It provides sharp, quick focus. I use it for portraits. It costs less than one-third of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM and really does a better job. Q. What is your greatest accomplishment as a photographer? A. That people return to view my work. If I am in a show or my work is hung in a museum, and I see someone who has already viewed the work return to it for another look, I know I have created something that raised curiosity or particularly engaged them or challenged them. That is when I know I have done my job as an artist and communicator. They looked twice. Q. Thank you for your insights today, Mr. Basile. I have enjoyed talking with you. A. You are welcome. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my passion.
/////////////////////////////////////////// Simple Ways to Get More Steps In Your Day #motivation #health #fitness
Posted: 08 Aug 2017 06:11 AM PDT

I love to walk and try to get at least 10k steps a day. Over the past year I have logged over 1 million steps. I am always looking for ways to get in more steps throughout the day. Here are some ideas for those of you who are looking to get in some extra steps during the day.
Walk your kids to school
This will give you and your kids a bit of fresh air and energy to start the day!
Walk during your lunch break
After you have your lunch, instead of sitting and chatting, get up and take a walk. You can even encourage your coworkers to walk along with you. Keep a spare pair of sneakers at the office so that you can throw them on before your walk.
Park in the furthest spot in the lot
By parking in a far spot, you are forcing yourself to take extra steps to get to your destination.
Walk around the Mall
When I visit a strip mall or indoor mall, I make it a point to do a couple of laps around the perimeter of the mall before I shop.
Get a walking partner
Having someone to walk with will help you to stay motivated and may even force you to walk on days you really don’t want to.
Walk during commercials
A lot of times, especially on rainy days, I will stand up and walk around my home or in place, during commercials. It allows me to get in 3-5 minutes of continuous steps at home. Trust me, they add up.
Take day trips
Take day trips to the park, zoo, museum, or any place that requires you to walk.
Window shop Take a walk around a picturesque downtown area and window shop.
Get off at an earlier bus or train stop
If you take public transportation, consider stopping at the stop before your intended destination and walk the rest of the way.
Use the stairs
Skip the elevators and escalators and opt to take the stairs instead.
Get a fitness step tracker You will be surprised at how much more you want to walk when you have a step tracker. They encourage you to keep on moving. I try to improve my count all of the time.
Join a walking group See if there are any local walking groups in your area, or join an online group like I am a member of and I join virtual races all of the time. They keep me motivated and moving.
Walk the dog
If you don’t have a dog, walk with your friend or neighbor when they walk their dog.
Do housework Doing housework, like mowing the lawn, raking or tidying up after the kids can help you get in extra steps.
Go sight seeing
Research your surrounding area for places to go sight seeing, like the beach or a lake area. They usually will have a local sight seeing area that requires a lot of walking.
Change up your routine
If you always walk the same route, you are going to get bored. Venture out and look for walking paths, running tracks, trails or courses around your area that are walker friendly. Try out different surfaces too, like gravel, pavement, grass etc. This will help you to use different muscles. You can also look for hills in your area, to give yourself a challenge and work those glutes!
Whatever you choose to do to get more steps in your day is a step in the right direction. Always look for ways to improve your health and make you feel better. Remember to always check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine. Keep Moving!

Photos source: Pixabay

/////////////////////////////////////////// Making Conscious Decisions #inspiration #goals
Posted: 07 Aug 2017 02:39 PM PDT

I have been really focusing on making conscious decisions lately. As many of my readers know, I have been on the Weight Watchers program. After a short hiatus, I returned a couple of weeks ago. I find myself being very conscious about the food decisions that I am making. I also find it carrying over into other aspects of my life as well. I feel that I am not rushing decisions like I have in the past. I am really weighing in on the consequences of the decisions that I am making. After all, if I want to break bad habits, I have to create good ones. So, how does a person make conscious decisions?

According to, a person makes 35,000 decisions a day! That is a lot of decisions! So, how do we assure ourselves that the decisions we make are our best interest?
The first thing we should do is create a group of questions that relate to our decision. How will this decision effect me now or in the long run?If I make this decision, will I regret it?Is this decision beneficial or detrimental to me?Would I tell someone else in my predicament to make this decision?(insert your questions to yourself here) This is called a decision matrix. The questions we create should focus on our weaknesses in hopes of turning them into strengths. Every decision should be analyzing the benefits or negatives that derive and at what cost. Each time you face a challenge or dilemma, turn to your group of questions, or decision matrix, and let the answers you supply weigh in on the decision you make. The key to being successful is making sure that you use your matrix and make the questions focus on all angles of your decision. Having this matrix will make you a stronger and smarter decision maker because it will force you to think about what you are doing before you do it. This is all part of my being successful plan. Little changes like this in the short term will lead to big changes in the long run. Stay focused on your goal. Create changes. Be Successful.
Photo source: Pixabay

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