Saturday, April 30, 2011

Photograph to Greeting Card

I have always thought I could design greeting cards.  I have a different idea of what a greeting card might be.  So about 1-1/2 years ago I saw and ad on FB and now I have quite a few designs for sale.
Greeting Card Universe is the site with my store being dativer greeting cards.  I started using photographic images I already had on file.  I expanded my line by doing some graphic image designs and some with just text that I manipulated in Photoshop.

As you read back in my early posts, I am always thinking and I think in images.  Twice a day I pass this old farmhouse with a barn.  I needed to photograph this house.  Near the road in front of the house there was a large bank of daffodils that was quickly nearing the end of their blooming days.  Some of the flowers were already missing petals or dry.  I knew I didn't have much time. I took notice of the address and did some research via google to find the owner's name and telephone number.  Last week before the rain and winds blew all the petals from the daffodils, I telephoned, introduced myself and asked for permission to photograph the house.  The owner agreed only wanting a print or greeting card in trade for permission.  I advised when I could expected and that I would be wearing a HiViz vest because the house is on the bend in a busy road with no sidewalks and I would be walking along the narrow to nonexistent shoulder.

I parked about 100 yds up the road on the last bit of shoulder available and began my walk along the edge of the road in the same direction of traffic flow.  I began photographing the house and grounds from different points of view, up, down and across the road.  I wish I had been there earlier in the day when the sunlight would have shown more on the house.  You know what they say about hindsight.  So I grabbed what I could and walked back to my car.  I need to return early next April.

Here is one of the images as seen in the viewfinder

This is the first possible greeting card design

I now need to compose or find a poem/verse for the inside of the card.  (I will find a verse that is no longer copyright protected.)  It is a fact that cards with inside verses sell better.  It is like songwriting where you need words that fit the music.  I need words that fit the image and the occasion.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Compact Digital Camera Purchase

My daughter will be married Memorial Day Weekend 2011.  She moved to London in December of 2008 and took with her a new Fuji digital camera she received from me for Christmas that year.  She was visiting us just last weekend for her bridal shower when she wanted some pictures captured at the shower.  I asked where was her camera, to which she told me it was broken.  Now it seems to me that these compact consumer digital cameras have a life expectancy, or is it planned obsolesce, of only a year or two at the maximum.  Plus it really doesn't pay to have anything repaired because it will probably cost the same to replace with a more technically advanced camera.

Over the years, I have purchased compact digital cameras for both my daughters from several retailers.  I purchased from office supply, audio/electronic, discount and camera stores.  None of the cameras lasted any longer than the other.  However, I have found that one store in particular has a better extended service plan than the others.  This plan is a 3 Year Replacement Plan for a Camera/Camcorder $50 - $99.99.  It costs 20% of the camera price.  

What is covered: This Plan covers reimbursement for your product in the event the product fails due to defects in workmanship and/or materials, normal wear and tear, failure due to dust, heat, humidity and failures manifesting from power surges. We will reimburse you for replacement of the product with a check, voucher or shopping card, at our discretion, for the original purchase price of your product, including taxes, as indicated on your receipt, when required due to a breakdown as defined above, including those failures experienced due to dust, heat, humidity, normal wear and tear, and power surges, which are not covered under any insurance policy, or any other warranty or replacement plan.  
Term of Coverage: Three Year Replacement Plan.  The term of the Replacement Plan 
coverage begins immediately following the expiration of the manufacturer’s labor warranty and remains in effect unless cancelled or fulfilled pursuant to the provisions below for a period of one or three years depending on the Plan you purchased. Our obligations under this Plan will be considered fulfilled if we provide you with a replacement product, a check, voucher, or shopping card for the original product purchase price of your product, including taxes as indicated on your sales receipt.

I think this is a no brainer!  I have purchased and use the plan once and it is well worth the price.  I am not earning any income from this, at all.  Don't get me wrong if they wanted to pay me I would happily take the money.  As a stubborn principle, I don't even like to shop at this store because of their labor relations with their employees.  In any event I will tell you the name of the store because this is such a great deal.

Picture from the Kodak Website
If you click on the link above you will see the camera I expect to purchase for my daughter.  Add the camera to your cart then add the replacement plan to see the details.  

Kodak sent me an email just the other day with a Mother's Day deal to purchase the same camera.  Kodak's price was higher than Walmart's price.  Plus Kodak was to add shipping.  If I pick the camera up at a Walmart store there is no shipping and I can inspect the package at the store for damage and leave it there if it needs to be returned saving me return postage.
I guess I need a case, memory card.....,too.  I never get off cheap.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Homo sapiens' Wanderlust

We have always known that Christopher Columbus didn't really discover the New World. There were already Homo sapiens living here.  If you read my last post and visited the links you know that the Asians were preceded a 1,000 years by a seafaring group of Homo sapiens from Europe.  So Chris wasn't the first European (Italians will never admit that) and the Vikings weren't the first, either.  At this time, little is known about these early immigrants.  I am fairly certain they were not assisted by aliens.  Why, is my question?  Is wanderlust genetically imprinted in our minds.  If so, load up the rockets for the New New World.

The Genographic Project
DNA Tracing of Migration
Migration by Boats

Monday, April 25, 2011

Early Human Migration

I heard an interview on NPR Science Friday March 25, 2011 about the Hunt for traces of America's first inhabitants.  There is a new theory that American's first inhabitants traveled here by boat, long before the Asians crossed the Bering Straits on the land bridge.  Now I have always been unable to understand the migration by Homo sapiens out of Africa to inhabit the entire world. I mean, why leave and travel miles and miles and then live in frozen climates?  This theory, has me even more perplexed that these early humans would build a boat to travel onto the unknown oceans?  Why leave the land you inhabit.  Was the population that large?  Did they feel like rats in a cage?  There could not have been that many people in the world!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

6,330,000 Bloggers Are Interested in Photography

I clicked on the keyword photography on someone else's blog just a minute ago.  You may not be aware of this but there are 6,330,000 bloggers, on, that have an interest in photography.  I guess that doesn't surprise me, at all.  Everyone seems to have a mobile phone with them every waking hour that is capable of capturing a photographic image.  With that photo capture technological wonder they also have the ability to show off small images of their children, grandchildren, spouses, homes, automobiles, backyards, flowers, butterflies, nesting birds, laminate flooring they are interested in purchasing and the broken pipes under their kitchen sinks.  They don't seem to be interested in creating better images, just capturing one of interest to them.  Their snapshot might be funny, at least to those that were there at the time.  It might be cute or show some other cliche.  I don't think they are more than snapshots though.  So are they interested in photography or just images that mean something to them and close relatives?  If I follow this track of thought, could I say I am interested in physiology because I want to show people my scars and talk about my aches and pains.  Nobody wants to hear that, do they?

Related websites:

How to Use A Cell Phone Camera
How to Take Better Cell Phone Photographs
10 Tips to Take Better Digital Pictures with Your Phone's Camera

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earn and Save Money on Moolala

A few months ago I came across Moolala.   From the start I saw the enormous potential in this new site.
Like GrouponKGB, and Living SocialMoolala offers daily deals on items and services such as vacations, jewelry, home decor, spa days, etc.  Unlike other sites Moolala does not pay for advertising, instead they profit share with their members.  This means for deal you buy you get back 2% in cash.  To get the word out about their company they give you 2% cash back for deal people you refer to buy as well.  To sweeten the deal they pay 2% 5 levels deep.  So you 1, your friend 2, your friend’s friend 3, your friend’s friend’s friend 4, your friend’s friend’s friend’s friend 5.
If you sign up for Moolala and send out your link to 10 friends who also sign up and in turn send out their link to 10 friends, who send out their link to 10 friends, and send out their link to 10 friends.  At the end of this if everyone signed up you would have 100,000 friends under you possibly buying deals and passively earning you cash just for you sending out a few emails.
Is this a pyramid scheme?
No, because it’s free to sign up and you never have to buy anything.  You can earn money from others buying deals without ever buying one yourself.  Or you could use the money you earn to buy a deal when one which you find interesting comes along.
If you are not in the US deals have not started in your area yet.  However, I suggest getting a network of people under you now, perhaps if you know people in the US share the info with them so they can start to save and earn.  Having a network before Moolala launches in your country does two things, one it makes it easier for the company to get deals in your country as a large base of people to potentially buy a product and two you will have people in your pay matrix before they hear about Moolala in everyday conversation and are already signed up.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Key is Observation. Art, the Media.

Observation is the key to creativity.  It is obvious that a photographer must observe to find an image to present and then decide how to present that image.  Any kind of artist must observe.  If painting, drawing, dancing, writing, every creative must observe their surroundings in order to find the substance from which to create.

Man at the beginning of time needed to observe his surroundings.  The terrain, weather, animals all needed to be observed just to survive.  One day man had enough time to think about what was observed.  Man began to wonder why he existed, if there was more to than just the observed.  Man began to create art on the walls of caves.  Art became the form to explain the unexplainable.

The key is observation.  Art is the media.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Greeting Cards

Over the past year or so, I created some greeting cards that are available online.  You can view them here Greeting Card Universe

I have slowed my creation rate down but still capture photographic images that I will use in the future for greeting cards.  If you have a special request at to image and card category,  just send me a post and I will get back to you.

Links on Greeting Card Creation and Selling

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Language, English Spoken in USA

I am beginning to miss the divergent sounds of the English language here in the USA.  People in Boston, Houston and Chicago are beginning to sound alike.  They are losing their regional dialects.  I believe it has been the omnipresent TV that is responsible for changing the American English sound, blending it into a homogenized goop.

It seems as far back as I can remember, I have been fascinated with language.  I was raised in South Philadelphia (Sou'filly).  All around me I heard immigrant accents and local dialects.  On television I heard people from different parts of the US and the world and I wondered how could the English language sound so different in England, South Africa, India, Australia and here in Boston, Chicago and the Appalachian Mountains a short distance from my own front door?

With all that difference in spoken English, the professionals on TV, the reporters, had a more pure sound to their American English, TV English.  I think the entire US is moving towards speaking TV English.  The only hold outs maybe those without TV or those who speak in jargon.  Jargon is another story altogether.

Here on my recommended reading list you will see a recording by the late comedian George Carlin and a book by Geoffrey Nunberg.  If you haven't heard the recording or know about them, do yourself a favor and check them out.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I remember liking to draw as a child.  In the first grade the whole class drew flowers using crayons.  I drew tulips with one of the tulips bent over the edge of the vase.  All the drawings were taped to the windows of the class facing the street.  One day a woman found her way to our class and told our teacher she liked my drawing of the vase of tulips especially because of the bent tulip.  My ego went through the roof.  It doesn't take much to encourage a child.

FREE 100,000 Airline Miles

My relative living in London just informed me of an offer from British Airways and Citi Bank.  Now, I really don't like to have more than one CC.   Having one CC is necessary for many transactions in this world.  So I researched this CC thoroughly because my relative would really like my wife and I to visit London this autumn.

Here is a brief summary of the offer.  If you apply for a British Airways credit card and are accepted, you earn as many as 100,000 free miles:50,000 miles with your first purchase and an additional 50, 000 miles after you spend $2,500 within the first three months.  Check out the promo here 100,000 free miles.

I was accepted at the time of application and I await my card in the mail.  I will be making that $2,500 purchase very soon and expect to book two round trip tickets to London for late October.  Now all we need to do is apply for our passports.

London Snob on a Budget

I was directed to a very valuable blog.  London Snob on a Budget  It seems a relative of mine writes the blog.  This blog will be especially relevant if you travel.

There is also info on getting married transcontinentally.  Transcontinentally you may ask?  The writer is an American bride marrying a Brit in her hometown with her future in-laws traveling to the US for the ceremony.  Think of all the planning from across the pond.

There are some interesting experiences in the blog.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


A couple of nights ago I found a website dedicated to finding funding for artists projects.  I immediately applied for my Equity project.  I was accepted early this morning.  Check out the site Kickstarter.

I will begin to get my required material together so that I may get on the site to begin my fundraising.  I am so excited.

Always Amazed

I am always amazed when I meet someone who seemingly doesn't have a clue.  And yet they seem to be doing well financially, even better than myself.  I think I have average or above intelligence.  I think I am doing just less than OK.  How do these clueless people get on in the world?

I am also amazed by people that see only black and white, never any shades of grey.  That must be so blissful not having to acknowledge the possibility of anything other than the extremes.  They seem to have a book with all the rules.  If they live by those rules, they don't even need to think.  I wish I could live by a set of universal rules.

No, I don't!  Rules are meant to be broken.  Challenge authority.  Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.  I think, ...

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I really have this burning desire to spend lots of time creating photographic images.  I wish I had more hours in the day and money would help, too.  There are always expenses when it comes to producing a good concept.  I stopped playing the lottery, so that limits my chances of a windfall anytime soon.

Back to work.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Layers

I was born in a hospital in the Olney section of Philadelphia and raised in South Philadelphia.  I purchased my first house in East Mt. Airy, where I grew up.  My next door neighbor helped with the growing up part.  I now live in the NW Philadelphia suburbs with my family.  The suburbs is no where near the friendly neighborhood of E. Mt. Airy and we miss that.  It is more of a bedroom community where it is necessary to own an automobile, or two, or three or, for awhile, four.  I traveled 35 miles one way each day to work for near ten years.  Back five yrs ago with gasoline at $4.00 per gallon and $3.00 per day in tolls and all the mileage on my automobile, I quit that job.  Now I travel just 4.5 miles to work one way five days per wk.  I took a large pay cut in the process.  

We are getting our house ready for sale.  Probably put it on the market mid-winter 2012.  We have been looking at communities from Wayne County, PA to just around the corner.  We want less grass to mow, a smaller house with less expenses and maintenance.  Someplace where the township is all built up and the school taxes probably won't increase exponentially.  We are old you know.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Topfree Equal Rights Association

I mentioned the "Equality Project" in my last post.  There is a group, at least one, that states, "that women's breasts are just fine, and in no way indecent, obscene, dangerous, or some other version of bad, any more than men's are."  Their website is Topfree Equal Rights Assoc.  My project will support their effort.  I am also thinking of directing a worldwide effort with many photographers contributing their images to a book.  If anyone would like to help, leave a comment.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Equality Project

I didn't explain my "Equality Project", did I?  This project will place female models into scenes where they portray workers.  If men were in these work situations they might not wear shirts.  The women would also not wear shirts as the men might not wear shirts.

I noticed that there have been protests/marches for the legal equality of women to be shirtless.  I think it is legal in the state of Maine.  This project may turn into a calendar or book.  I will need money to fund the production.  Why can't I think of something simple?

If You Don't Use It...

I started to draw a scene for my "Equality" series of photographs.  I sat down with a paper and pencil and tried to draw.  Just let me say that I haven't got it anymore.  My drawing was never fine but rough is being polite.  I can see myself back in 7th grade art class with Mr. Leiberman.

Practice makes perfect.  I was never good at practicing anything.  It is going to be expensive if I don't draw up some scenes.  Maybe I need some good art pencils and drawing paper and about 40 hrs of drawing to feel at ease again.

I would rather just gather the models and the props, arrange them and start pushing the shutter button.  Collaboration adds to the project.  Good models are a plus.  Of course, money will help, lots.