Sunday, March 30, 2014

You Don't Know What You're Missing...or do you?

Why do people insist on using the expression, "you don't know what you're missing"? I do not like it. In fact, I tried researching the expression and even "Google" didn't have much to contribute. I found no origins and no real use for this saying. There were no jokes, no posters and only this one cartoon which I might add, I don't understand. There is a George Strait song announcing "You don't know what you're missing until it's gone". The song meaning to me is something different from the expression which is the source of my current ire.

Here's my complaint. Recently, when I went to the gym to use the equipment, I was told to join the tail end of an exercise class which I had been, for various good reasons, trying to avoid. After responding with "No thanks, I'll just wait," I received the "you don't know what you're missing" response. It annoyed me. How on earth did this instructor know this about me? First of all, I could see exactly what I was missing and, had I thought I was in fact missing anything, I would have joined in. Secondly, I have been to more exercise classes than she could possibly imagine including cardio, zumba, body pump, aqua fit and spinning. If you've done it before and opt not to participate on this particular occasion, don't you already know what you're missing?

To me, "you don't know what you're missing" sounds like something a parent would say to try to trick or entice a child into doing something they don't want  to do.

Mom :   "Amy, try some of this delicious ***squid ink pasta."
Amy:     "Yuck, yuck, pooey."
Mom:    (using a cheerful melodic tone) "You don't know what you're misssssinnnnggg."

Methinks that Amy might know exactly what she's missing.

Besides, had mom been more wise, she would have merely called it "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" spaghetti. Kids understand weird coloured items associated with Dr. Seuss.

I also can't help but think about Tom Sawyer. If he had asked his friend Ben to whitewash the fence by saying "you don't know what you're missing", would he have suffered the ridicule he feared? Instead, by making the chore seem fun and special, he was able to get help completing the task.

It's fine to have a desire to introduce something to someone who has doubts about trying  it. If that is the case, then there are certainly different ways of approaching the task. Saying "you don't know what you're missing" simply embarrasses and puts an individual on the defensive. It's insulting.

One could simply ask, "Have you tried it before?"

Or...they could empathize. "I didn't really think I'd like it at first".

Talking about benefits or advantages or enjoyment of a certain food, task, chore, or activity might give someone more information and a different perspective.

So I'm wondering how many people have this expression in their vocabulary. I haven't heard it often and I certainly hope it doesn't creep back into common usage.


***I was trying to come up with something absurd and thought I invented this particular food item....wrong! Note that squid ink comes from the butt of a squid and that you can learn how to harvest this delicacy on youtube! You can learn anything on youtube.

I also found this at a local store recently.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Photo Self Timer Tips - Ready or Not

The 2013 word of the year was selfie. For the most part, this refers to photos taken of yourself while holding a cell phone or digital camera at arm's length. Easy. There are rules, hints and tips for taking good selfies. I could not find similar tips for using a camera timer so I decided to share my helpful advice and expertise for taking good timed photos. I recently traveled alone and my options were to trust random strangers to take pictures, or take my own photos in all types of weather, light, and landscape conditions. I am quite proud of my work. Here are my tips for taking perfect timer pictures just as I recently have.

Hint #1- Gulliver's Travels view

When you place your camera on a pier, you're never quite certain how far back you need to stand to be included in the landscape photo. Besides that, the camera sometimes vibrates, or succumbs to gusts of wind and those are big, hazardous, cracks in the dock. Place camera on one of the wider slats, set your timer for ten seconds, run a few feet away without vibrating aforementioned slats, turn around and bend over to get yourself into the optimal picture position.

Hint #2 - The Framed Shot

I've heard it said that you should frame a shot. If you are unclear as to what that means, a good way to perform this task easily is to point the camera, timer on, in the direction of your intended scene. Then, stand in front and use whichever body parts best emphasize your desired picture. What better way to save time, effort and expense later, than to perform this framing task in advance? If you are unsuccessful, after several attempts, you can always get a cheap frame from the dollar store once you're back home.

Hint #3 - The Sky's The Limit    

The hood of a car is the perfect place to put your camera if you want a photo of yourself high in the clouds. This will not necessarily be your most flattering angle, particularly if the camera is leaning against the windshield. Also, should the camera shift in mid shot because of gale force wind or natural disasters, you might wind up with buildings protruding through some body parts. This of course will ruin your intended illusion.

Hint #4 -  It's All In Your Perspective                                                                                                           
If you want to include several landmarks, or beer bottles in your picture, it's important to find a stable place to put your camera. In this case, I located large tables in both instances. The one on the left held not only the camera, but my backpack. On the right, again, an assortment of things. I feel that adding this additional "stuff" (backpack straps, table top, bottle, umbrella pole) to the pictures gives them some added realism, contrast, and perspective thus making them look less like vacation bragging type photos.

Hint #5 - Bigfoot Was Here                                                                                                                         

Know that your face doesn't have to be in every picture. Sometimes, if you want a shot of an interesting statue or landmark, just set your timer on two seconds, then take a step away from the camera. This will still provide proof that you were "there" while at the same time, guaranteeing the safety of your device should you be visiting a less desirable area of town.  The second photo is from the statue's perspective. Don't forget that this can add some depth to your portfolio...same legs this time seen from the point of view of the sculpture. 

Hint # 6 - Water Hazards                                                                                                                            

Be sure to check the landscape very carefully before attempting a timed photo near water. Look where you are going, do not back away from your camera in fear that the timer will go off before you're ready.  If it does, it will be a lovely shot of you looking off over the water rather than a shot of you potentially in the water. In photo two, the terrain was even more rugged with coral, lava, shells and beer bottles. In that case, I walked toward my intended spot and scoped out the distance first. When it came time for the picture, I went back to the same spot, whipped my body around against the trade winds, and after the giant wave receded, I heard the familiar click                                                                                                                        
Hint #7 - Stay Positive Through Failure                                                                                                         
Sometimes, our timed photos are unsuccessful and boring. What's worse than a picture of  greenery, a rock wall, a person and a few pillars? If this happens to you, stay positive, follow my previous hints and try, try again.