World Changers,

I started taking photographs right out of college after taking a trip to the Netherlands. I took my Dad’s 35mm camera and tried to take amazing photographs to WOW! my family and friends. Well, needless to say, the cook at the restaurant I worked at thought they were boring! So, I have been taking photos for the past 6 years and after learning these easy 3 steps my photos drastically improved. 

While taking the photo:

1. Get close to the subjects! 

While taking a photos of family and friends, a lot of people will stand far away. I recommend you get as close as you can without losing subject matter: meaning not cutting off half of someone’s face or granny in back. But don’t leave a bunch of sky, if you don’t need to.

2. The Rule of Third’s

Basically, think of dividing the photograph into 9 equal parts in your mind (some viewfinders or LCD screens do this for you). It should look a little like a Tic-Tac-Toe board.

the rule of thirds

 

Position the main points of interest in the 4 red areas.

Position the main points of interest in the 4 red areas.

 Now, if you are still with me, the 4 points where the lines meet around the middle box are where you should put the main subjects of the photo. (definitely check the photos or http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds)

***Okay, so you just took a bunch of photos using the rule of thirds and you got close to Granny in all her glory. Now, make sure you have a basic photo editing software. I use iPhoto that came with my Mac but if you don’t have that, I have used Google’s Picasa (a free download at http://picasa.google.com/) as well which works well. For 98% of my photos I will use basic photo-editing software.

3. Crank up the Contrast!!!

Make the dark colors darker and the light colors lighter. This will make the photo look more dramatic. With Picasa, you have 2 ways of doing this. 

A. Let Picasa do it by choosing “AUTO CONTRAST” (I never do this). 

B. Select the “TUNING” tab, and you will see 4 bars. FILL LIGHT, HIGHLIGHTS, and SHADOWS. Don’t worry about COLOR TEMPERATURE. By moving the indicator on each bar to the right, it makes the highlights lighter or the shadow’s darker or let’s in more fill light (lighten’s the whole photograph). I usually make the shadow’s as dark as possible and the highlights as light as possible, without the photograph becoming “fake” looking.

Tell me how it goes and good luck shooting in all your world changing adventures!

Change your world,
ben.

“The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.”
-Henri Cartier-Bresson

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/ 

In the past month, I have tried to read as many blogs as I could get my eyes on and this is one of the best around.  Chris Guillebeau is attempting to travel to 197 countries (I think that’s pretty much all of them, he is not going to 5 or 6 because they are deep in war) by the next year or so. This guy is my current inspiration and deserves a lot of credit for many of the ideas that I am using for my trip.  He writes about entrepreneurship, international travel, and personal development.  He has some great ebooks, “A Brief Guide to World Domination” and “279 Days to Success” that are all free that have some great ideas about how to live exactly how you want to live.

Here are some lessons I am going to call my Guillebeauism’s:

1.  Be Transparent!  No schemy marketing ploy’s or pschyhological games so people will pay me money.

2.  Give!  Tell your secrets and don’t charge people an arm and a leg.  GIVE THEM AWAY!

3.  Stick to your guns!  Do not sacrifice your values for exposure or compensation.

4.  Shoot for the Moon!  Live how you want to and don’t settle for less.

 

 

 

Change your world,

ben.

 

Look at everyday things from a different perspective.

Look at everyday things from a different perspective.

“It’s a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.” Robert Benigni

 

 

 

 

 


4:03pm at the Drowsy Poet Cafe in Lynchburg
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

According to Google Maps from my home in Farmville, I have traveled 51.9 miles, not including the windy around to avoid highways.
Lessons learned so far:
1. Bring a bigger water bottle.
2. Find a good hitchin’ spot and stick!
A. A good hitchin’ spot is right past a light where the car’s are going slow, NOT near a prison, & it has plenty of space to see you and have a safe spot to park.

I left my home in Farmville around 7am and walked out of town and stuck out my thumb. At around 9am, Bill picked me up. Bill is a Machine Producing Fella, who is from New Jersey and likes reading Theology. Bill is a good guy, drives a nice car, apologizes when his phone rings and he talks on it, and worked his way into Electrical Engineering not through college but by learning on the job. His advice is do what you feel like doin’ even if it seems “stupid”, because he regrets not doin’ some stuff when he had the chance.

Bill drops me off near Lynchburg near 29. I try getting a ride north on 29. Not happenin’ so I took a nap. Then I decided to try to get to Roanoke, but couldn’t find a good hitchin’ spot.
So I walked. Walked to Lynchburg and through some neighborhoods searching for the dollar movie theater and hopefully some Wi-fi.

It gave me time to think about what values I want to live by on the journey, here goes:
1. Be Courageous! If you want something ask for it. Talk to people. Don’t worry about what others think.
2. Give! Even though I will be broke give to as many folks as I can. Not necessarily money, but gifts, encouragement, smiles, and kindness.
3. Don’t give up! Push on. The trip is long.
4. Be Grateful! Life is all about perspective.

Change the world,
ben.

I am grateful to Bill!

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.”

Marcel Prous

Monday 9:57pm.
Farmville, VA.

Tommorrow, I am going to get up. Pack my bag quickly. Water my lawn (and leave a note for my roommates to water it) and then walk west with my thumb out. See how far I can get West in One Day!

I’m going on a shitty gear test run. I am going to see exactly what gear I am going to need to buy for the journey.

Meaning when I return I am going to be writing Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Patagonia, North Face, Moosejaw Mountaineering, Apple Computers, and any other companies that would be willing to sponsor me gear. But I want to know what I need so gear that I currently have that I need to test and see what makes me uncomfortable and what i can live with:

1. Shoes – Nike’s that look retro, old. need boots.
2. Sleeping Bag -40 degrees, very small but is it warm enough.
3. Tarp – thinking of buying a small tent or bivy sack for journey
4. Video Camera – just “bought” today from Wal-mart. Flip Video HD hooks directly to the computer. small. this is nice.
5. Trash Bag – to keep my laptop waterproof, this definitely needs an upgrade but for a couple days should be okay.

My goal also is to spend less than 5 dollars a day.

Will write tommorrow from the road. Davey and Robbie hey guys thanks for joining, my goal is to have 10,000 members of my actual page after a year so cheers to your pioneers. If you have any feedback please send it. This facebook page is all about ideas! You guys rock on!

Change your world,
ben.

“When we are dreaming alone, it’s only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginnig of Reality.”
-Dan Helder Camora

Gotta hold myself accountable & I don’t just galavant off through the countryside and forget about this, So here are 4 pledges for my journey:

1. For a year, I will write a blog every day (baring no Wi-Fi).

2. For a year, I will upload at least one photograph I have taken that day (baring no Wi-Fi).

3. I will travel by thumb/my own feet (no greyhound/airfare) and I will not sleep in any hotels or hostels. (exclaimer: I am in severe physical harm, sick, or an emergency happens)

4. I will compile (suggestions will be needed) a list of 50 influential people that are World – Changers and meet at least 10 of them the first year.

For example, people to meet:
A. Barack Obama
B. Bill Gates
C. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook
D. Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Outlier’s” among other great books.
E. Eckhart Tolle, author of “The Power of Now”

Change your world,
ben.

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
– Alan Keightley

My goals for this page and my trip:

1. Change my world! Live how I want to, by making a living by traveling.

2. Seek out the people whom are changing the world as we speak. From the famous and influential person (Barack Obama) to the underappreciated person living in a small town (Ronna Strilaff-Maldonado). The World Changers whom are striving to make the world a better place!!!

3. Give!!! Give along the way, whether it’s having good conversations, volunteering, or smiling at a stranger. But also SHARING EVERYTHING that is learned on this site (well actually my own website but this is the beginning).

Hopefully, the website is a place that not only tells my story but countless other people’s tales that are doing things that make them happy, yet also are changing our world for the better.

Change your world,
ben.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualist concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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