Friday, 19 February 2016

Protecting Your Camera Gear from Theft

So you're into photography, awesome! Then you know how expensive all that gear can get right? And what happens if you accidentally leave your camera sitting somewhere? Or worse yet, what if it is stolen?

There's a great solution out there in a site created by Trevor Sehrer called LensTag.

LensTag let's you register all of your equipment so that if it is ever stolen or lost, someone who finds it (or the pawn shop that someone tries to pawn it at) can find out where it came from and return it to you. Or maybe you just want to keep track of it all and brag to your friends with a gear list.

Trevor has created a great website, but for even greater convenience you can use your smartphone to take an image of your equipment serial number for verification.

And it doesn't stop there. If you install the Chrome plug-in (LensTag Rescue), then when you view images the plug in will look for serial numbers embedded in the images and will report back to the owner of the images where they were found and if they were used without permission allows you to contact the website and have them taken down. This is good for copyright, but also when you have private images you don't want used for other purposes.

Want to know the value of your gear collection? Your gear list comes with an estimated dollar value so you can tell what it's worth if you want to buy sell or trade used equipment.

And the best news of all? It's free! Thanks Trevor for such a great resource that keeps all of our equipment safe!

Be sure to check out LensTag, sign up and register your gear to start keeping it safe now!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is about sharing love for each other. And I don't mean sex (though that may be the icing on an otherwise delicious day), I mean true love - the kind that burns in your heart for someone, that would make you do anything for them and that is willing to sacrifice for their happiness and fulfillment.

As a couple, it is important to take time together. Sharing time helps build your relationship by practically showing your partner that you value them, and by helping each of you understand the other better - why you do the things you do. 

And it doesn't have to be expensive. Love is not about how much you can spend on each other, but rather the investment of time, of listening and of truly caring.

The first step is to take care of the distractions, Send the kids somewhere to be babysat, or make sure you have somewhere you can go yourself to get away. Family day is coming soon, so you will have time to spend with them later. Leave your cell phones somewhere so you won't be interrupted by your friends (or your boss). Go somewhere you don't know anyone to avoid running into someone by chance, or stay in and turn the front porch light off so no one knows you are home.

Finding things to do, especially on cold Canadian winter nights, can be a real challenge, so here are 10 ideas to help you get started:
  1. Share in making cookies together. It's simple and easy and baking together is a great way to enjoy each other and get to know one another.
  2. Take each other ice skating, make snow angels and then cuddle up at the coffee shop with a hot chocolate and a big brownie (things always go better with chocolate).
  3. Play video games together - ok, I know it doesn't sound romantic, but it can be a lot of fun and you really do get to know each other. (My wife and I bought a Super Nintendo on our honeymoon and we are married almost 25 years!) Or find a retro arcade and cheer each other on as you play the games.
  4. Enjoy some quiet moments dancing together to your favorite slow song. Don't know how to dance? Take a private dance class together.
  5. Prepare a treasure hunt. Make each stop a romantic one - something that has meaning for your relationship. Whether they be places in your house, or around town, relate why you chose that spot and what makes it special to your relationship.
  6. Set up a romantic picnic in front of the fireplace. Order in Chinese food, or from your favorite restaurant, Share the warmth and stories of memories of your happiest times together.
  7. Write each other a poem about why you love your partner and read it by candle light with a glass of wine.
  8. Rent a romantic movie and cuddle up under a warm blanket together to watch it. Or, if you are both feeling creative, make your own short film using your phone camera and watch each other's flick.
  9. Do a first date do-over. Maybe your first date was a little awkward, but you grew to love each other anyway. Take the opportunity to do the date right this time. Even if it turns out awkward again, it doesn't matter. You have shown how much you want to make it work.
  10. Go for a walk together. Even if you can't think of or do anything else together, taking a walk together, holding hands and talking might be the best thing you ever do for your relationship.
And here's a bonus one:

Get dressed up and schedule a couples photo session. The photographer can capture some special moments between the two of you, and you can enjoy each other's company for the duration of the session. The photos you receive from the session will be a reminder of how much you love each other and will look great at home, at work and just about anywhere.

Whatever you do, make time for each other this Valentine's day. There is a reason we have an entire day devoted to love; when it's done right, it's the greatest feeling in the world!