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How to Take Better Portrait Photographs

We all want to look good on a photo, especially if it is a portrait. But have you noticed how you look better in some angles and with certain lighting, while in others you look like you are sick or you have a bigger face? The good news is that those pretty portraits are not accidents but there are tried and tested ways to take better photos.

Pick a short telephoto lens. Selecting the right equipment for a portrait will help you a lot. The best lens for a portrait shot is a telephoto lens because it compresses the perspective. You can pick lenses between 85 to 150 mm lens.

Set the ISO setting low. Adjust the ISO setting to not more than 400 as this will help reduce the noise in the background. But this works only if your subject is not moving. If the lighting is poor, however, you can use a higher ISO setting or open the aperture. If you are still unsure, try taking different shots with different settings for ISO, shutter speed, and aperture until you find the best combination that works.

There is no single rule for aperture. In some guides, you might see recommended aperture settings for portraits, but remember that the subject and background are unique. The general rule would be to use a wide aperture if you need to shoot a portrait of just one subject. If the aperture is too wide, the photo will end up highlighting parts of the subject’s face. If you need a portrait for more than one person, the starting point can be at f/8 then adjust accordingly.

Shutter speed is unique for every subject. Adjusting the shutter speed is based on what you want to capture from your subject. If they are still, you can use 1/15th or lower. But if the subject is moving a lot or you are trying to get a portrait of more than one person, use 1/125th or higher. Do not forget to check the ISO setting if you still get blurry images.

Always shoot on manual mode. If you have a tripod, use it so you can shoot in manual mode. This will give you better control on the settings of the camera especially if you need to take several shots of the subject. An alternative would be to shoot in aperture priority mode. This also works great in portraits especially if you are shooting with a background that have a lot of movement or objects.

Match white balance settings to the natural lighting. You will want the portrait to show the subject’s natural skin tone as much as possible. The best way to do this is to utilize the natural light in the setting. Complement it with the proper white balance setting that is closest to the natural lighting. Do not use the auto white balance, but select from the presets.

Different Ways You Can Boost Your Mental Focus

Some people have the ability to focus every time they need to. But there are also many others who simply have difficulty keeping their attention as well. If you’re one of those persons, don’t worry too much! There are a lot of ways you can improve your mental focus again.

Keep training yourself to improve your focus

Firstly, you have to recognize that building mental focus cannot be done in one day. You have to train and disciple yourself to improve your ability to focus. You may find that one day you can stay concentrated on your tasks but on the next day you easily get distracted. This is why it is important to dedicate time to improve your focusing skills.

Assess and eliminate distractions

It’s already obvious that having a lot of distractions can affect our focus. But sometimes there are things that are distracting but we don’t even notice them. That’s why it is important to assess yourself first. Take your time to think about everything that might be a distraction to you.

These can be common distractions like social media or a noisy co-worker, or maybe a more subtle and unnoticeable distraction, like a boyfriend who keeps texting. If you do identify the things that distract, try to come up with ways in which you can avoid them.

Practice being mindful

Mindfulness is a practice that has become more and more popular over the years, and for good reason. Practicing mindfulness has many benefits and one of those is that it helps you stay on a task for longer periods.

You become less distracted and your thoughts will almost always stay organized once you start being mindful. There are a lot of ways you can do this as well. You can walk around a park somewhere in Singapore or maybe just meditate at your home!

Focus on one task at a time

If you want to improve your mental focus, it would be in your best interest to focus on one task at a time. Multitasking or juggling between two or more tasks will only harm your focus and significantly cut your overall productivity. Usually, the overload of information will only exhaust your brain, so you’ll end up getting tired without even getting things done yet. That’s why it is important to give your full attention to one task first.

Take short breaks

Lastly, it is important to know that you also need to take breaks. If you can’t focus on the task no matter what you do, it’s just your brain telling you it’s exhausted. That means you’ll really have to take a break. It can be as simple as walking around for 5 minutes or maybe even taking a short nap! Just remember to take short breaks from time to time to let your brain rest and replenish even just for a while.

6 Ways You Can Become a Better Networker

Having good networking skills has become more and more important over the years. Whether you’re planning to start a business in Singapore or you work at a well-established company, you’ll need to network and get to know a lot of people to improve your career opportunities.

Practice with those you already know

If you don’t have a general idea of where to start, practice speaking to people you already know. This is a great way to get used to networking since you already have an established connection with the other person and you can easily strike up a conversation. It can be a friend whom you haven’t been talking to for a while or maybe a co-worker that you still don’t know very well.

Study and research

More than anything, it’s also very important to do your research. By knowing more about the people you’re trying to connect with, you can at least be confident that you know a thing or two about them. Most of the time, this can actually impress the other person and it can communicate that you’re really interested in getting in touch with them. 

Remember to keep in touch

Probably the most important thing to do in networking is to establish a long and genuine connection. Take time to get to know the person and allow them to get to know you better too. Keep in touch whenever possible! The more you do it, the more likely your interactions will be better in the future. Of course, you shouldn’t do this too much that you’ll already look like a creep.

Value your business card

Firstly, make your business card memorable. Though it’s a small and simple object, it will help you in almost any networking situation. On that note, don’t go handing out your business card to everybody in the room. There’s always that one person who does that. And many people see the act as impolite. What you should do, really, is to hand your card if the other asks for it or after your conversation.

Utilize whatever resources you can

Today, it’s become very easy to network because of the internet and social media. It only makes sense that you take advantage of it as much as you can. But remember that social media is something that should only supplement your face-to-face meetings and not completely replace them. It’s still better and easier to network with others if you interact with them personally.

Remember the value of exchange

Lastly, you should take note of the importance of having a healthy exchange. One of the easiest ways to start a connection is to share your stories and listen to theirs. You’ll have something to learn from them and they will have something to learn from you. This is almost always the reason why you can effectively make a connection with someone.

4 Tips on How to Read More Books

We read books to learn, to be inspired, to entertain ourselves, and for many other reasons. Books not only contain knowledge but they also give us the opportunity to spend time in a whole different world while.

That’s why it’s not exactly a surprise that there are some people who can read over a hundred books a year. If you decided to take the challenge and at least read more books within the year, here are some tips should take note of.

Make reading part of your daily schedule

Let’s get this straight; you will always be able to make time to read. For example, if you spend most of your evening mindlessly scrolling on your phone, you can actually use that time to read a book. Or, if you wake up early, you can read a few pages while drinking your kopi and eating some kaya toast.

When you’re just starting out though, don’t immediately clear out an hour from your daily schedule just to read. Do it for 20 minutes first, then 30, then so on. This is so that you don’t suddenly destroy your schedule each day.

Learn how and when to speed read

There are actually a lot of ways to speed read. There are also lots of tutorials on the internet! Now, one speed reading strategy may work for one person and not work for another. There are also some books that are hard enough to understand if you’re reading at a normal pace, how much more if you speed read. Learning how to speed read can be a good investment, but you have to also use it strategically.

Read in those spare moments

Aside from your schedule reading time, you should also read during your spare moments. For example, standing in line at a hawker stall, sitting in the MRT for your daily commute, waiting for a sibling to finish classes.

These are all great times to read a book because your mind is not preoccupied with other tasks. It’s also a great way to kill boredom! Even though you only get a few minutes of these spare moments, they will actually add up and you’ll actually read more than you expect.

Reading with your phone

Reading with a smartphone has its pros and cons. With a smartphone, you essentially have a whole library in your hands! Plus, it’s very easy to read from your phone during commutes or times when you can’t hold bigger items like books.

The disadvantage, though, is that you can get distracted pretty easily. We play games and go around different social media platforms on our phones. If you’re still not used to reading, you may just end up on Twitter or Facebook rather than read what you planned to read.

Why Is It Important To Have A Good Posture?

 

Not all Singaporeans think about good posture. Some are busy with their lives that they do not feel the need to evaluate whether they have the right posture or the wrong one. You always heard about the elders talking about good posture but you still did not heed  their warning or even give it some thoughts.

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It is time that you know the importance of a good posture so you will understand. This time, you have to take your posture seriously. When you say posture, it refers to the position which you hold your body erect against the gravity whilst lying down, standing and sitting.

A good posture is your way of training your body to walk, stand and lie where the least tension is placed on the supporting muscles as well as ligaments especially during movement and weight-lifting activities. Remember that a wrong posture can have an implication in your overall health and wellness. You underestimate it and fail to realize how it can impact your life. Proper posture can actually give you the following benefits:

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  • It can keep the joints and bones in the right alignment: It is important for the bones and joints to be aligned correctly because it signifies that muscles are used properly.

 

  • It can prevent further wearing of joints: When joints are worn out, you wouldn’t want to know the result – arthritis. Arthritis is a disorder of the joint that includes inflammation of one or more joints.

 

  • It can decrease stress of the ligaments: Your ligaments that specifically hold the joints of your spine together tends to be stressed when you do not have the right posture. If you have the right posture, it can help decrease the stress or tension.

 

  • It can prevent abnormal positions of the spine: If you have the right position, you are helping your spine from becoming static in an abnormal position.

 

  • It can avert muscle fatigue: When you have the right posture, you are allowing the muscles to be used in an efficient way. As a result, the body will use lesser energy in the conduct of everyday life.

 

  • It can contribute to good appearance: When you stand for example, a good posture means good appearance. You have to remember that a normal spinal alignment has three curves – cervical, thoracic and lumbar.

 

Even in school, you are taught and reminded that a good posture can make a difference at the end of the day. You have to take it seriously this time. Share if you want everyone to have good posture.

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The Right Posture: Sit, Drive, and Lift

 

By now you should know that you need to right posture for a healthy back. It is time that you share your knowledge to your kids. You have to remind them many times that wrong posture can be serious from sitting to lying down and standing. It is time that you should take it seriously and let your kids see its importance.

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There are many benefits of right posture. A good posture can keep the joints and bones in precise alignment. Alignment is important to ensure that the muscles are used properly. The right posture can also decrease early degradation or wearing of joints. More importantly, a good posture can prevent weariness because your muscles are efficiently used.

The have all the benefits, you have to explain to your kids the right posture requirements. So, what are the right posture requirements? Here are some requirements depending on the activity your kids are in:

Sitting

You have to teach your kids how the right posture looks like. It is easy, they just remember the 3 normal back curves – cervical, thoracic and lumbar. If the three curves are evident, it is an assurance that they are doing it right.

sitting

The sitting posture requirement is you let your back straight together with your shoulders. Buttocks should touch the back of the chair. As much as possible sit at the end of the chair and emphasize the curve of the back for as far as you can then hold for few seconds before releasing it in about 10 degrees. As for the knees, it should be slightly higher than the hips and the feet flat. Remember not to keep the position not more than thirty minutes.

Driving

Driving in Singapore is not as easy as it seems especially if posture is considered. As much as possible use back support or what others call lumbar roll when driving. Knees should be slightly elevated. The seat should be moved closer to the steering wheel. This is to support your back’s curve. However make sure to give room to allow bending of the knees and reaching the pedals.

Lifting

When you lift something, you have to make sure that you do it right. If the object is heavier than thirty pounds, make sure you have a firm and stable footing. If it is lower that you waist, you have to keep the back straight and then never forget to bend the hips and knees. Do not bend straight forward as it can result to injury. Last thing, stand with wide bearing and as much as possible closer to the thing.

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