Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II – Nifty Fifty

July 15, 2008

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 IIAs I mentioned earlier in my Lowepro Slingshot 200 review, I’m really getting into the photography scene. My wife and I are expecting our first child, so I want to be able to take really nice photos of all the special moments we have ahead. Well, I recently picked up a new lens: the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, otherwise known as the “nifty fifty”.

Since I’m still quite the amateur photographer, I didn’t want to drop a lot of money on a new lens, but, of course, I wanted the results that a nicer lens can provide. My good friend Bo, who has written most of the wonderful photography and Photoshop posts for this site, recommended this Canon 50mm lens. I’ve had some time to learn some of its strong points and quirks; the following is a few of my thoughts.
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Create Custom Ringtones for Verizon Phones

July 14, 2008

Almost all of my family and friends have cellphone plans with Verizon Wireless. Thanks to their In calling plan, I can talk to all of these folks for free. Which is great. What is not great is the lack of customization possible with their phones.

I recently got a new phone, the Motorola RIZR Z6tv. A co-worker of mine has the same phone model through T-Mobile and was able to easily connect his phone to his PC and move over MP3 files to be used as ringtones. However, when I tried to do this with my Verizon phone, I found it was impossible to set the MP3 files as ringtones. I eventually found a process which allowed me to add custom ringtones to my phone; the best part about this process is that you can use all free software to create your custom ringtones and add them to your phone.

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Money Blogs – Make Money With Content: Part One

July 11, 2008

Welcome to Part One of my Money Blog series. Chances are that since you’re reading this, you’ve probably read at least three or four other articles on this subject. Even though there are numerous sites and articles on the web about making money with blogs and content, I felt the need to add my own two cents. Some of this might sound familiar, but if it does, it’s because I’ve found that it’s true. Hopefully, I’ll cover a few things or perhaps look at something from an angle that is new to you.

Before we dive in, I just want to say a few things about this article. This isn’t something that I sat down to write as just another post. These are things I’ve learned from friends in the industry as well as a lot of reading and discovery on my part. I’ve been experimenting and practicing for a few years now, and I do believe I finally have a good understanding of how everything ties together.
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5 Mac Programs Worth Buying

July 10, 2008

Mac Apps Worth BuyingI’ve been a Mac user since May of 2006. That’s when I bought my very first Mac, the MacBook Pro laptop. Since then, I have come across a handful of programs that I simply love and, to this point, not found a better alternative elsewhere.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of 5 shareware Mac applications that are well worth the asking price. These are in no particular order, so I don’t intend to imply that one app is better than the other. Each of these apps do their designated tasks, do them well, and do them in style. And since they are all shareware apps, you’re free to download the demo to see what you think about them.

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Exposure Techniques for Backlit Subjects

July 9, 2008

Exposure Techniques: Window ScarecrowIf you’ve ever taken a picture of someone standing in the shade with the bright sunlight highlighting the scene behind them, you’ve probably been disappointed with the resulting photo. The background will be correctly exposed, but your subject will be too dark.

This happens because, when your camera is taking its automatic meter reading, it’s programmed to make the midtones of the photo 18% gray to avoid clipping the highlights in the scene.

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Battery Backup Power

July 7, 2008

Battery backup units, known as UPS (uninterruptible power supplies) can save you both time and money. Retyping a report or replacing expensive computer hardware (due to power outages) can be a thing of the past with one of these units. And the best part? Battery backup units are comparably quite inexpensive, usually costing less than $100. Read more

Fireworks Photography Done Differently

July 4, 2008

Last year around this time, I was stoked about the 4th of July. I’d gotten a new lens for my camera and was ready to shoot some awesome fireworks. I had my tripod and cable release, I had my focus set on infinity and was prepared for long shutter speeds.

The next day I realized that I’d taken over 200 photos of fireworks and only a handful of shots that included my family and friends. A friend of mine had taken his camera along and had only snapped a few photos. One shot he’d taken was of his son holding up a miniature American flag with the fireworks going off in the background.

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Midweek Geek Links for 7-03-2008

July 3, 2008

Geek Links
It’s time for this week’s Geek Links!

  • The rumors are true! Blizzard Entertainment is hard at work on another installment in the Diablo universe. You can check out Diablo III at the Blizzard website, where you’ll find a lengthy gameplay video, screen shots, and general information about the up-coming game. I was a huge fan of Diablo I and II… can’t wait to see what they do with the third.
  • The Firefox Download Day was a success! More than 8 million people downloaded Firefox on June 18, resulting in an official Guinness World Record.
  • A post over at The Simple Dollar reveals a clever way to find great deals on Amazon merchandise. If you’re a savvy with RSS feeds, this little trick is right up your alley.
  • And finally… it seems Blogger, Google’s massive blogging machine, has recently received some much needed updates. Check out the overview of new Blogger features on the GoogleSystem blog.

5 Tips to be a Green Geek

July 2, 2008

You don’t have to look hard to find different ways to be to Green. Magazines, commercials, even entire television channels have been dedicated to the subject. Personally, I think everyone should try to take a few a few steps to being green, and geeks are certainly no exception.

Since geeks have a natural inclination towards gadgets, going Green as a geek is actually quite easy. Here are 5 easy ways to take the geek approach to being Green:
Note: You don’t have to be a geek to use these tips!
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