Where My Freelensing Journey Began

THE DETACHED LENS

Freelensing was first introduced to me over two years ago on a photography forum I belong to. Someone shared her experience of experimenting with detaching her lens to take pictures, and I marveled at what she came up with. The works were dreamy, flawed, blurry, photographic prose. I immediately grabbed my Nikon to try it out.

But…it didn’t work. I couldn’t see through the viewfinder, and only saw a black screen when I pressed the shutter button. What was going on?

Coming together on the forum, we soon discovered the problem: the aperture on my Nikkor lens was scrunching closed whenever I removed it from the camera. The only solution was to tape it open, or rig it with a piece of folded paper.

Annoyed, I gave it up for a while.

A few months (?) later, everything changed. I discovered the work of Irene Suchocki, and my interest…

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Q: Do you always need to feel inspired to create?

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The Artist Diaries

I’ve been feeling very unmotivated recently when it comes to painting.

To be completely honest, I just feel like I can’t be bothered. I feel lethargic and ‘heavy’ when I think about it, like it’s too much effort for so little in return (meaning either an unfinished painting or worse — a painting I dislike).

Lying in bed last night I remembered several conversations I’ve had over the past couple of years about the nature of motivation and inspiration, and how our feelings aren’t actually the most reliable gauge in terms of whether or not we should do something.

Feeling lethargic and unmotivated doesn’t have to stop me from being creative. In fact, no feeling has the power to prevent me from doing anything without my complicity.

I can complain of feeling horribly uninspired and still put paint on a canvas. I can feel moody and bored and still doodle on a…

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Inside the Agora – Be ready for Life by Marcus Aurelius

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Positive Psychology – The Happy Secret to Better work by Shawn Achor

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Positive psychology is focused on three basic areas of study and practice:

  • Positive emotions, consisting of contentment with the past, current happiness, hope for the future.
  • Positive traits, such as courage, resilience, curiosity, self-knowledge, integrity, compassion, and creativity.
  • Positive institutions, such as community institutions, which can benefit from focusing on the tools developed in positive psychology research.

Positive Psychology: The Evidence on Happiness

Here are some research results that contribute to the field of positive psychology:

  • Activities bring more happiness than possessions. A survey of 150 young adults showed that when asked to rate the happiness value of purchases they hoped would be pleasurable, experience-type purchases, such as trips or meals, outranked objects.
  • Being wealthy does not make you more likely to be happy than other people, as long as everyone’s income is above the poverty level.
  • Grateful people are more likely to be healthy, helpful, and have a greater sense of well-being.
  • Seeing other people do good things makes us want to do good too.
  • An optimistic outlook reduces the risk of physical and emotional health problems.

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.

Photo Credit: http://www.mrichatham.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/positivity-is-key.jpg

Core core core (Ab Workouts)

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Evolution Gym Talk

The strength of any tree is in its trunk. Your strength comes from your core so make sure you build in some core strengthening to your daily routine.

Training with good form and taking strength from your core will work over time but some specifics will make a difference quicker.

Also take time for your back-” – between the two they are the things standing you up straight every day.

Some ideas from other sites below


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ART – not deliberate, not random, something in between – Jackson Pollock (Art Philosophy) – What do you see?

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convergencePerhaps his most famous work was a painting entitled Convergence, which was a collage of colors splattered on a canvas that created masterful shapes and lines that evoke emotions and attack the eye. The painting was created in 1952, and is oil on canvas; 93.5 inches by 155 inches (Karmel, 1999). With Pollock’s brushstrokes he was able to make handy use of colors, lines, textures, lights, and contrasting shapes. This painting is enormous and its size can only really be appreciated in person. In 1964, puzzle producing company, Springbok Editions, released Convergence (Inspired by Pollock’s painting) the jigsaw puzzle. It was a 340-piece puzzle that they promoted as “the world’s most difficult puzzle”. The impact of Pollock’s Convergence was evident in 1965 when hundreds of thousands of Americans purchased the jigsaw puzzle.

Picture-028-1024x768 Photo Credit: Frank Fanatic

Jackson Pollock’s style of painting, as exemplified by Convergence, is an important, innovative development in the history of painting. At the time of the painting, the United States took very seriously the threat of Communism and the cold war with Russia. Convergence was the embodiment of free speech and freedom of expression. Pollock threw mud in the face of convention and rebelled against the constraints of societies oppressions. It was everything that America stood for all rapped up in a messy, but deep package. On that same note, some of Pollock’s works were even sponsored by the Congress for Cultural Freedom (an anti-communist advocacy group founded in 1950), which was backed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (Karmel, 1999). The CIA appreciated Pollock’s style, because it steered clear of social realism and overt political gestures. Pollock’s abstract work was hard to decipher, but his rebellious nature and expressions of freedom were clearly evident.

What do you see?

ART – NOT DELIBERATE, NOT RANDOM, SOMETHING IN BETWEEN

The Miniatures of Joshua Smith 

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Joshua Smith is a miniaturist and former stencil artist based in Norwood, South Australia. With a career spanning 17 years he has showcased his work in London, Paris, Berlin, New York, Japan and all over Australia in over 100 exhibitions. Formerly a self taught stencil artist Josh refocused his career to establishing Espionage Gallery, an Art Gallery based in Adelaide, South Australia showcasing both emerging and well established local, interstate and international artists. For 4 years he showcased over 600 artists from over 20 countries.

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In 2015 after the closure of Espionage Gallery Josh refocused back onto his own career this time as a self taught miniaturist. His miniature works primarily focus on the often overlooked aspects of the urban environment such as grime, rust, decay to discarded cigarettes and graffiti perfectly recreated in 1:20 scale miniatures.

miniature-urban-architecture-joshua-smith-7See more of his work here.

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Relax, Relate and Release into Spring

THE FRENCH YAM

Relax, Relate, Release !

With Spring finally upon us, the time has come for us to cleanseand recharge our batteries.Here are 4 ways to ease into spring:

#1 Meditation

Empty your mind from all of the holiday buzz and winter blueswith a simplemeditation routine. Sit or lie comfortably in a relaxed position and repeat the AUM mantra out loud for 15 – 20 minutes. Repeating this mantra helps to calm the mind while relaxing facial muscles and releasing stress. Consistent practice leads to greater mental clarity, emotional stability and increased energy.

#2 Morning Smoothies

Say good-bye to heavy winter porridges. And say hello to light breakfast smoothies. Start each morning with homemade fruit and veggie smoothies packed with nourishing vitamins and minerals. Add a dose of delicious wheat grass, chlorella, or spirulinapowders for added benefits.

#3 Herbal Tisane

Now is the time to swap the usual morning caffeine kick of…

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Artsy Fartsy – Wall Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue – What are your thoughts?

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Image result for Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue

According  to CNN, “Fearless Girl” was installed Tuesday by State Street Global Advisors as part of the asset-manager’s campaign to increase the number of women on their clients’ corporate boards. 

A group of women who work together also came to the financial district to see the statue on International Women’s Day. “We really like the little girl standing up to the bull,” one said. 

A man who works nearby said, “I have two daughters and I thought it was pretty impressive that they have this up here.”

Image result for Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue

“Fearless Girl” wasn’t the only one overwhelmed by attention. The woman who created her, artist Kristen Visbal, says she’s been inundated with calls and emails from fans. 

Visbal said that team behind the campaign,which includes the advertising agency McCann NY, approached her to design a statue of a young girl. “We were focusing on making a statement about the future of Wall Street,” she said. “We wanted this wonderful contrast,” she said, between the delicate child and the aggressive bull. 

“I think the fact that she’s a child makes the figure much more endearing.” 

Visbal was particularly moved by an image of young girl wearing a cape and posing beside the statue. 

“The whole project is about girl power,” she said. “I love that phrase, because it makes us a lot stronger if we are in unison.” 

Anne McNally, SSGA’s head of public relations for North America, told CNNMoney that the group has a permit that allows the statue to remain in place for one week, but that they are seeking an extension that would keep “Fearless Girl” in place for a month. 

“After that, it’s up to the city,” she said. “We would be very supportive of a permanent installation as a piece of art.”

What are your thoughts on the statue?

Survival of the Fittest – Benefits of Eating Apples

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  1. Get whiter, healthier teeth

An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

  1. Avoid Alzheimer’s

A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

  1. Protect against Parkinson’s

Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

  1. Curb all sorts of cancers

Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumours in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fibre intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

  1. Decrease your risk of diabetes

Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

  1. Reduce cholesterol

The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

  1. Get a healthier heart

An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

  1. Prevent gallstones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

  1. Beat diarrhea and constipation

Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

  1. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.

  1. Avert hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

  1. Control your weight

Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

  1. Detoxify your liver 

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

  1. Boost your immune system

Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

  1. Prevent cataracts

Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.

Credit: Best Health Mag