Different Types of Natural Light in Photography

Much like painting, light plays a huge part in a great photo – and it’s not just because it’s the sole reason why photography is even possible. Light can balance, provide contrast, and even add or change the atmosphere of the subject you’re using for your photo.

But what exactly is natural light?

Natural light is simply ambient light, which is the light that’s present in your environment. By using natural light, you don’t need to invest in all kinds of equipment and reflectors, and with the right conditions throughout the day, you can maximize it to its full potential in pretty much any photography genre. 

Characteristics of Natural Light

Ambient light has a few things to it that you need to keep in mind other than just being light:

  • Color TemperatureThis refers to the different shades of color you get form different light sources, or in our case, since we’re using the sun as natural light, the same source at different times of the day (i.e. sunrise, midday, sunset, twilight, etc.).
  • Color Intensity – How harsh or bright is the light, and how much of it is in your picture? Color intensity is used to describe as the “quantity” of light, and you can estimate this based on the balance between your darker and lighter areas.
  • Direction – This refers to where your light is coming from. With natural light, you can get different

There are also different types of ambient light you need to keep in mind, such as the following:

  • Hard – Harsh light comes directly from the sun on a clear day, either at noon or a few hours before sunset.
  • Soft – Soft light comes from the sun on an overcast day or at sunset.
  • Reflected – This is what happens when the light source is bounced off an object, which results in a softer glow.
  • Window – A major source of lighting if you plan on shooting indoors
  • Dappled – Sunlight filtered from things like tree leaves and projected onto nearby surfaces results in dappled light.
  • Twilight – A soft, low-contrast light that you can find at sunset, and the shift from day to night can result in wonderful backdrops for your images.

Tips for Using Ambient Light

Now that you know the different types and characteristics of ambient light, here are a few things you need to keep in mind before taking pictures:

  • Keep in mind that bad light does not exist. It’s really all about whether the ambient light works for your picture or not. 
  • Use shade to balance harshness. Just by finding the right spot under a tree or a tent, you can take advantage of the contrast between light and shadow to illuminate your subject. 
  • Look for your best light. You need to be very specific about the mood and theme you want in your pictures since sunlight changes a lot throughout the day.

Five Great Things You Can Do with Used Tea Bags

While it feels good to find great ways to reuse things you normally throw away, such as coffee grounds or scratch paper, you might think that it’s difficult to find a use for the tea bags you’re about to throw away once you’re done preparing your favorite beverage.

The good news is you can store them in the fridge for later, since there are a few neat ways that you can still use them after enjoying a cup of afternoon tea:

Protect your indoor garden from fungal disease

The caffeine and slight acidity in tea is just enough to keep fungal disease at bay while still being friendly to plants, and all you need to do is take a used tea bag, re-brew it, and water your plants using the tea once it’s cooled down.

Make them part of your bath

No need to splurge on expensive bath bombs! If you have a bathtub and like to take a good soak to unwind after a long day, used tea bags also make for a great substitute that’s gentle for your skin while providing a gentle fragrance for some added aromatherapy.

Add flavor to your next meal

Adding used tea bags in boiling water does a lot to infuse your food with flavors you didn’t think were possible. One example for this is by adding a used bag of jasmine tea just as the rice is about to boil.

Take the smell away from your carpets

Carpet cleaning isn’t just about vacuuming away the dust – it’s also about getting rid of the smell. The good news is you can do that without having to go to a laundry shop every time, especially when you have a busy schedule.

All you need to do is to open up several used teabags once they have dried, and scatter the contents all over the carpet and wait for a few minutes before you vacuum.

And it’s not just carpets that can you can use this on: simply spread dried tea leaves in smelly areas, like the bottom of your trash can, and wait for the smell to go away after a while.

Buffing leather shoes

Leather shoes eventually fade over time, but a great way to keep them looking like new without too much effort is by taking a damp teabag and buffing the leather surface with it.

This is because the damp tea leaves allow you to add a beautiful stain for your leather shoes that’s just as good as a shoe polisher, and this gives you more reason to stock the used tea bags in your fridge to keep your leather shoes looking good.

How to Care for a Chinchilla

A chinchilla might look like a cross between a rat and a rabbit, but it has specific needs separate from those two species. Chinchillas are called crepuscular rodents that live in burrows and crevices when they’re in the wild. What makes them so great as pets is that they can live for 20 years, but they are sensitive and fragile, not ideal for a family with small children.

Feeding a Chinchilla

The primary source of food for a pet chinchilla are the chinchilla pellets, which can be bought at pet shops in Singapore. You need to supplement their diet, however, with Timothy hay to provide them with fiber for digestion, and to help them grind their growing teeth.

Dried vegetables and fruits can be fed in small quantities, but remember not to feed your pet with food high in fat and sugar. New food should be introduced gradually for at least 10 days before replacing an old diet. Food and water should be placed in clean feeding bowls that will not easily tip over.

Avoid feeding them with rabbit mix, because they’re not rabbits. Other food to avoid are sunflower seeds, iceberg lettuce, and peanuts. Avoid giving them too many treats that can cause diarrhea or fatty liver. Instead, feed them only with food recommended for chinchillas, such alfalfa, prairie grass, leafy greens, and orchard grass.

Housing for a Chinchilla

Ideally, a cage for a pair of chinchillas should not be less than 1 m x 1.5 m and must have a plastic bottom. Inside the cage, you should provide your pets with shelves and small boxes to encourage them to exercise and an enclosed space for sleeping, while the floor should be padded with shredded paper or dust-extracted bedding, but avoid cedar shavings.

Place their housing in areas where they are safe from other animals, traffic, and other elements. Chinchillas are prone to heat stroke, so you should never place their cage outside your apartment in Singapore. It’s also important to clean your pet’s housing everyday to remove uneaten food and other debris. Chewed wood and boxes should also be removed and replaced occasionally.

Exercise and Socialization

Chinchillas are social animals that will get lonely if they are alone, that is why you will be advised to get a pair instead of just one. If you don’t want to have a breeding pair, however, getting chinchillas of the same sex is still okay.

Chinchillas are gentle creatures, but young children should be supervised when handling these pets. They are considered skittish and are wary of strangers, so it might take some time for them to get used to other people.

Common Diseases

Watch out for common issues such as dental problems and constipation. With the right diet, however, these can be prevented easily. That is why hay is important not just in providing fiber and good gut microbes, but it’s also a way for your pet to grind its teeth.

What to Do With Your Life When You’re Feeling Lost

Sometimes, we find ourselves on crossroads, dead end or even a path that seems go nowhere. If we have life all figured out, then it would’ve been easier—but as what they say, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” If you are unhappy about the road you’re taking or unsure where to start, then it’s a call to re-assess. Look into the factors that hinder you from finding or realizing your goals and search ways to deal with them. As Sim Wei Ping, life coach at Executive Coach International quotes, “Anything in life is possible given enough time and the will to achieve it.” Here’s how:

Ask yourself

Pause. Breathe. Meditate. Spare some time for yourself. Ask yourself small and big questions that will lead you to get to know who you are. Grab a piece of paper and write down the things that you are interested in and things that you can imagine yourself doing if money, time and other perceived limitations were no object. Silence your mind and really get into the feeling and imagine yourself doing the things you desire.

Conquer distractions and procrastination

Time is running and you are not getting any younger. If you defer taking steps and time to pursue your dreams, you might catch yourself at the end of your life with nothing but a bunch of Facebook posts and series of TV shows you had to binge-watch. If you are serious about chasing your dream and changing your life—whether it’s becoming an entrepreneur, designing clothes, professional makeup artistry or being a rich and famous writer, you better start now and get your hands dirty. Take those steps, no matter how big or small. Close your Facebook and get to work. Truth be told, nothing will happen by just merely thinking how great you could possibly be.

Find comfort in discomfort

Life can get uncomfortable, sometimes we don’t have the money to kick start and do the things we truly want. If there is something you really would like to pursue, then you must be open and able to live with some discomfort be able to do that. For example, you want to move and study a course, you have to accept multiple jobs even the odd ones to save up money. No matter how uncomfortable the situation may be to get you where you want to be, one thing is for sure: Great things in life takes hard work.

Try your interests

One suggested way before taking the big leap is to try out, shadow or volunteer an occupation you’re interested in. For example, if you dream of being a teacher, shadow or volunteer as a reliever for someone and do their work. Get a hands-on experience of what you would like to do. With so many options in life, it’s inevitable that there is more than one thing we’d like to do or be, and immersing yourself to these (one at a time) will lead you to what you’ve been truly yearning for.

Sometimes, we think we want to do a particular thing and after we give it a shot, we figure out it’s not the kind of job we like doing. It’s imperative to get as much information before leaving all behind to pursue dreams.

A Guide to Properly Caring for Your Knitwear

Regardless if it costs much or less, knitwear pieces require special care for it to maintain its original shape. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to spend extra bucks just to dry clean it every time. Aside from dry cleaning, there are other inexpensive ways that you can do to give your sweats some love. Here, we listed down some of the things to remember as you care for your precious angora, cashmere, synthetics and wool.

Shave the Bobbles

Bobbling occurs when two pieces of fabric rub together over time, or when it is frequently washed. To keep it from ruining the appearance of your knitwear, ensure that you remove it regularly – and a quick way to do it is through using an electric razor. Using a sharp razor, shave off the bobbles of your sweater to leave the surface of your knit feeling smooth again.

Comb Your Sweats

Another good way to maintain the prime state of your knitwear – and a good investment, might we add – is to run a cashmere comb on your sweater to get rid of any snags before washing them. This is crucial in keeping the fabric fibres from catching or tangling on any other garments.

Wash It Regularly

The easiest way to ensure that your knitwear stays in tip-top shape is to wash it regularly. Machine washing is good, but ensure that it’s only set on hand-wash setting and that you wash your coloured pieces separately. If you’re not that confident with using the washing machine, simply opt to hand-wash your sweaters. Just make sure that you press (not wring) it when you’re done.

Flat-Dry Your Knitwear

Once you’re done washing your knitwear, ensure that you dry it flat so it retains its original shape. Only stretch or weight it down if necessary, and never wring it just to get rid of the excess water. If you want to remove excess water, just scrunch it into a ball and gently squish it with your hands.

Avoid Dampness

Make sure that your sweaters are completely dry before stowing them away. Remember that even the slightest dampness on your knitwear will already result in discolouration, mildew or mould – and we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want to see any of that on your clothing pieces.

Properly caring for your sweaters isn’t as difficult as you think. Simply putting these tips to work is already enough to ensure that you give your knitwear their much needed tender loving care.

How to Tell if You Are in an “Almost Relationship”

Almost relationship are just exactly how they sound – there’s no certainty about what you’re getting into, and the rules in your supposed relationship just keeps changing as you go. There is no word used to describe it, hence the term, “almost relationship.” What’s clear is you’re in a supposed relationship with a person who may or may become your partner in the future. It’s extremely confusing but worry not, as we’ve listed down some signs that you might be involved in an almost relationship.

Something important is missing even if you’re together

Sure, you admire the qualities that the person possess and you enjoy each other’s company, but at the end of the day, something still seems missing. For some, it may be the chemistry. Perhaps you are not that attracted to the person, or there’s a level of intimacy that you just can’t move into. You might even be telling yourself that you might become more attracted to the person if you just get to know him or her more, but it never happens.

You can’t seem to tolerate the person’s behaviour on a long-term basis

When your partner is on his or her best behaviour, you like him or her even more. If he or she becomes moody, however, you end up feeling frustrated and annoyed at the person. You do your best to support her in ways that you can, but you also constantly keep you guard up to protect yourself his or her nasty aside. This is when your relationship becomes too difficult to enjoy and maintain that you’d end up breaking up later on.

Your relationship already stopped growing

When your “almost relationship” is already prepared to turn into the real thing, you and your partner should start getting more serious with everything that you do. You should already be showcasing your growing feelings for each other. But if you’re still doing the same things over and over, and you’re not connecting on a much deeper level, then that just means that your relationship already reached its peak and will likely start deteriorating.

You can’t seem to talk about the important things in your life

One sign that you’re involved in an almost relationship is when you’re having a hard time speaking about things that are important to your relationship. Regardless of how much you bring up the subject, something just always comes up. Be it your own doubts about your situation or your partner’s knack for disappearing every time the subject comes up, the signs are obvious and there’s just nothing else you can do than leave the relationship.

While there’s a chance that an almost relationship can turn into a long-lasting one, it’s definitely a situation you wouldn’t want to be in. So instead of settling for something that’s barely even there, work your way to achieving an actual romance with your significant other.

4 Reasons You’ve Hit Muscle-Building Plateau and How to Power Through It

To put it simply, having a muscle-building plateau means that your muscles have hit a wall and have stopped growing. When this happens, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your muscles can’t grow anymore. It simply means that there’s something you’re not doing right. Read on to see the different causes of plateaus and what you should do to gain muscle again.

1. You don’t do progressive overloading

Progressive overloading is one of the main principles of building muscle. When you start lifting weights as a complete beginner, naturally you’ll see some gains within a month or two. If you don’t increase the weight you’re lifting after that, you’ll hit a plateau. This is where progressive overloading comes in. For example, you do 4 sets of 8 reps on the squats during the first week. Then in the second week, you do 4 sets of 9 reps. Then on the third week, you do 4 sets of 10. After that, you increase the weight. This is basically what progressive overloading is.

2. You don’t “change up” your workouts

One of the main reasons you hit a plateau is because your muscles are “already used” to your workouts. Let’s say you routinely do bench presses then head directly to the pull-up bar after. Your muscles already know what’s coming. Our muscles only grow if they’re put under enough stress. That’s why you should constantly change up your workouts. For example, you could do drop sets where you lift 25 kg dumbbells and do 10 reps. Then without rest, switch over to the 20 kg dumbbells and do another 10 reps. Then drop the weight again and do another 10. This will add a new dynamic to your workouts.

3. You don’t eat enough or you don’t eat right

Seasoned gym-goers and professional bodybuilders will tell you that gaining muscle is all about proper nutrition more than it is about staying for hours at the gym. To put it simply, you have to take in more calories than you burn and you do that by eating more. In addition to that, you also have to pay attention to your protein intake. If you don’t already know, protein mainly helps build and repair our muscle tissues. That’s why you have to eat enough protein, fat, and carbs daily to help your muscles develop better and faster.

4. You don’t get enough Z’s

Many would say that Singaporeans tend to skip out on sleep. This will be a problem if you’re trying to gain some muscle. Sleep is just as important as nutrition because it’s a time for your body to recover and make repairs. In fact, the muscle-building process really kicks in not when we’re in the gym, but when we’re already in our beds getting a good shut-eye. This also helps us increase our testosterone as well, which is also vital for growth. So, make sure you get enough sleep.

4 Things You Can Do to Get Past a Hangover

There’s no denying that nightlife in Singapore is pretty lively. From beach bars to rooftop bars, you’ll never run out of places to eat, drink, and have fun. The thing is though, there’s always that dreaded feeling in the morning after your night out. You’re having a headache and muscles are aching as you get out of bed. Finally, you realize you’re having a hangover! So, let’s not dawdle around and see how you can get rid of that hangover.

1. The easiest way is to…

Okay, not that we’re taking the “prevention is better than cure” route here, but that’s really all there is to it. If you’ve experienced a hangover before and want to make sure not to have it again, just resist the temptation to drink too much. It’s not that you shouldn’t drink at all, just remind yourself to drink moderately!

2. Don’t skip your morning carbs

One of the best remedies for a hangover is to eat your breakfast. When you eat breakfast, you’re giving the body more fuel to replenish energy and nutrients. You’re also giving your brain more nutrients necessary to relieve headaches. There is a reason why people come up with hangover soup as breakfast food in Singapore. Pair that up with some rice and you’ll be good to go.

3. Drink more water

Alcohol is a diuretic which basically means it causes you to release more water (it makes you pee more). When you don’t drink water to compensate, you’ll get dehydrated and that mostly affects your brain. This is why hangovers are characterized by headaches. Your brain and body already lack hydration. That’s why you should drink more water while drinking alcohol. This can also keep you from getting drunk too easily.

4. Listen to your body

When you wake up in the morning with a hangover, your body will tell you not to leave the bed. You’ll feel all groggy and tired when you stand up. Considering all that, listen to your body and just go back to sleep. That’s your body’s way of recovering, so don’t interfere. If you wake up for a while, drink some water and go back to bed.

Hangover Myths?

Some say that when you drink a bit of the alcoholic drink you had the night before, it can help ease your hangover. They say this is because a hangover is a form of alcohol withdrawal. There’s not much study behind this though. When you drink alcohol the next morning, the hangover could drop as your blood alcohol rises. But later on, you’ll only feel it again. That makes it a band-aid solution only.