Sunday, November 11, 2012

Simple Lifestyle Changes and Menopause Supplements For Memory Lapses

The Problem - Memory Lapses

During menopause, you may experience frequent memory lapses. Hormonal imbalance is an important factor in memory problems among menopausal women.

During menopause, the estrogen level fluctuate greatly, causing physical discomforts such as joint pains, headaches, hot flashes, sleep disorder, and mental problems including mood swings, anxiety, depression and irritability.

In case of memory lapses, declined level of estrogen affects the cognitive functions of the brain. Insufficient level of this female hormone causes the brain to slow down, leading to frequent memory lapses.

In addition, stress and disrupted sleep during menopause can worsen the condition. Some women also report fuzzy thinking as an accompanied symptom.

Memory problems may impede daily life. Misplaced keys, forgetting names, failing to remember appointments or important numbers, these can be very troublesome for many women.

Simple Ways to Alleviate the Problem

The good news is that: memory lapses are reversible and preventable, with some effective treatments, such as lifestyle changes and natural remedies.

Incorporate exercise into our daily route. Regular exercise sends more oxygen to your brain and relieves stress and tension. Increased oxygen and reduced stress can help the brain function better and reduce memory problems.

Limit intake of alcohol. Alcohol is harmful for the brain function as it damages never cells and depletes vitamins in the body, which are vital for building neural connections.

Get more snooze time. Sleep is essential for proper memory functions. Lack of sleep can affect mood, judgment and memory ability. A good night's sleep can improve your memory, especially for menopausal women. Aim for 7 to 8 hours sleep a night to get fully rested.

Natural Remedies to Relieve the Symptoms

Apart from memory lapses, you are very likely to suffer from other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, weight gain, insomnia and anxiety. These symptoms are all hormone-related and can make your memory lapses worse.

To maintain a good menopause health and reduce the hormone-related symptoms, make sure you give body all essential nutrients for a good health foundation, as well as effective herbs to fight the unwanted symptoms.

Herbs can help stimulate the brain and boost memory. Herbal supplements for menopause can regulate hormone levels and alleviate menopausal symptoms. Effective herbs include Black cohosh, Dong quai and Red clover.

When you are combining lifestyle changes and quality supplements for menopause, you are treating the problems from inside to outside, from root cause to related symptoms.

When a Lapse of Memory May Be Something to Be Concerned About

We all have had a lapse of memory from time to time and thought nothing of it. However, repeatedly having memory problems may be a symptom of something more. Here's why your memory may be a good barometer on other health issues.

Memory lapses can range from mildly annoying such as forgetting to grab your keys as you run out the door to down right infuriating that you forgot to make a deposit and bounced a check as a result. Usually we remember after a moment or we shake our heads and move on to the next thing. However, it may be wise to pay more attention to what we're forgetting and how often.

The brain's ability to recall is a sensitive mechanism that can be greatly affected by a number of factors. Most people are familiar with the more serious lapse of memory that comes from actual disease like Alzheimer's. Physical damage to the brain interferes with the process of recall. However, the memory function is lost gradually over time not all at once. Recognizing the signs is key in getting an early diagnosis and treatment in order to preserve brain function as long as possible.

With a disease like Alzheimer's, memory lapses usually start like normal where you forget something for a moment or don't remember doing something a few days ago. However, they progress to getting more frequent with more serious and permanent loss. Things once familiar become foreign.

However, a lapse of memory doesn't necessarily mean a disease like Alzheimer's. Memory can also be impacted by things like stress, lack of sleep or even diet. Having trouble with your memory may be a sign of those things or even a illness like depression. Understanding when it is a symptom instead of a regular lapse of memory is the key.

So how do we tell the difference? It's not easy, after all memory can be somewhat subjective...some people have better recall than others. But, the trick is knowing what is normal for you and then being able to notice if it changes. If you always have trouble remembering names, but rarely forget phone numbers then you might be concerned if you started having trouble with numbers as well as names.

Frequency is also important to track. If you notice that memory lapses are happening with greater regularity then it may be a sign that there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Also the type of information that is being forgotten could be telling too. If you are having trouble remembering things that were normally simple for you or if you forget things that are routine and/or very familiar to you then that would be a more serious red flag.

What do you do if you suspect that your memory lapses are something more serious? Obviously the first step is to seek medical attention. A doctor should check you out and review your diet, sleep and stress patterns with you to see if they can determine a root cause. If that doesn't seem to be it they may need to run certain tests to see if they can uncover the reason for the issue. They may also refer you to a Therapist who can rule out things like depression or some other mental health issue.

Some steps you can take to combat memory lapses and possibly restore memory function is to adjust your diet to be healthier, exercise more or perhaps take a supplement designed for supporting brain function. These combined with the advice of your doctor may help you find and address the more serious issues your lapse of memory is trying to signal.

Slipping - How to Deal With a Dietary Lapse

We've all done it. You try to go on a healthy eating diet, but one day you binge. Maybe you go out for a big lunch with friends, or you're feeling a bit down and missing the chocolate or you're just tired and take away is SO much easier than cooking. Then you feel you've just lost the momentum and give up all together. This is what happens to a large percentage of diets or exercise programs, often in the first ten days. It's why so many fail. So how do you deal with a slip without destroying all the good work you've done, and without giving up all together? I think the first thing to do is accept that lapses happen to just about everyone. It's not the end of the world and it's definitely not worth giving up on your health plans.

Here are few strategies to deal with a lapse:

1. Celebrate your successes not your failure. If your lapse is on the fifth day, celebrate that you had 4 successful days rather than lamenting 1 unsuccessful day.

2. Relax a little and don't blame yourself for the lapse. Give yourself a break. You may have broken your diet but that's OK, you're human. No-one is perfect. As long as you treat yourself well, eating healthily as much as you can, the odd lapse shouldn't change your determination to look after yourself.

3. Instead of feeling like your diet is all over because you blew it once, take the time to figure out what went wrong. Consider if you were very tired, unhappy, scared, sad or anxious. Maybe you found the dieting situation pressured, uncomfortable or embarrassing. Figuring out where you may have taken a wrong turn and what you can do to get back on track to your weight loss goal will get you out of the "giving up" mode and may prepare you to avoid it in the future.

4. Give yourself a day off. If you are starting on a new regime it's fair to give yourself a day off. Allocate these days and let yourself eat as much chocolate as you want, or lie on the lounge in front of the TV rather than exercise, or have a big lunch out with friends and eat whatever you choose. This way, if you have cravings you know when you can indulge it, and hold off until then. Just be sensible in how often you allow these days. A day off every second day won't help you achieve your goals. Maybe start with once a week then extend to once a fortnight, then maybe even extend to once a month, but only if you can hold out that long between days off. A scheduled day off from any healthy eating or exercise program can actually ensure the program is a success.

5. The most important thing is to get back on track the next day. One lapse is not going to ruin your plans, but giving up will. Each time you lapse, just start up again the next day as though nothing happened. There's a good chance you'll lapse again. Don't panic!!! Each time you'll find there are more days between the lapses.

The key thing for you to keep in mind if you lapse is DON'T GIVE UP. Remember that lapses are a part of any diet, and a natural by product of any eating regimen change. Realistically, they should be taken into consideration from the earliest planning stages. Of course, you'll lose weight faster if you lapse less frequently. You'll certainly enjoy a diet more if you're not constantly struggling against cravings and temptations. One bad day is not enough to "break your diet" unless you let it get you down. It's what you eat over the long run that counts. The best way to get over a lapse is to treat it like the insignificant blip it is and just get right back on track!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wedding Photography Lenses That Every Photographer Can't Do Without

There are generally four kinds of photography lenses that every wedding photographer should have in his or her gig bag:

    Wide-Angle Zoom
    Wide-to-Telephoto Zoom
    Image-Stabilized Telephoto Zoom
    Prime/Portrait Lenses

Wide-Angle Zoom

Wide-angle zoom lenses are one of the most important photography lenses that every wedding photographer should have, typically 17mm to 35mm in length with a fixed aperture of f/2.8. They provide a large depth of field, making it simple to have foreground and background in focus. They are an indispensable wedding photography equipment which allows versatility in confined areas such as a small banquet room or crowded dance floor. While shorter photography lenses allow you to capture more details, wide-angle zoom lenses allow you to capture more reactions and atmosphere to tell a richer story.

To elaborate further, wide-angle zoom photography lenses allow you to shoot a wider perspective of moments happening around the major subject, hence providing a bigger picture of the entire event. For example, wide-angle photos have the capability to tell "stories within a story", allowing you to reveal more of the story behind the shot. This is essential for a good photojournalistic wedding photography. As events surrounding weddings are so time sensitive, good photography lenses will allow you to capture as many actions or emotions in the quickest time as possible.

When used in a venue such as the church or ballroom, wide-angle zoom photography lenses also magnify the grandeur and spaciousness of the area, which encapsulates the creative feel for a photojournalistic wedding photography.

However, you need to be selective of the scenes or actions using wide-angle photography lenses, as a caveat to shooting wide is that it creates some body distortion, particularly when a subject is photographed close-up. Generally, people tend to look heavier and shorter on the edges, while arms can look huge. The last thing you want is to have the bride cursing you for making her look like she has put on 10 pounds! To get around this problem, you should as far as possible avoid putting the bride and groom at the edges of the wide-angle distortion. In addition, wide-angle photography lenses might also introduce distracting or unwanted elements into the frame, which would otherwise ruin a picture perfect moment.

Wide-to-Telephoto Zoom

Wide-to-telephoto lenses are the single most important photography lenses that a wedding photographer cannot do without. They should ideally be lenses that cover somewhere around the 20-70mm focal length range with an aperture of f/2.8. This ideal range lets you get wide enough to take a group photograph and close enough to capture facial emotions in your candid shots or a three-quarter portrait of a couple without the undesirable effects of wide-angle perspective distortion. They also double as good lenses for portraits. Given just this lens, you would be able to capture most of the shots needed for a wedding decently well.

Image-Stabilized Telephoto Zoom

Image-stabilized telephoto zoom lenses are also essential items in your wedding photography equipment checklist. The 70-200mm focal length is an important range for wedding ceremony photos. It allows you to give your subjects more space in situations where you don't want to get in the way. As you will often be photographing down the aisle from the back of the church, image-stabilized telephoto zoom lenses will come in very handy. 200mm is long enough to be able to take 3/4 length images of the bride and groom exchanging their vows while staying at a reasonable distance away from the action and 70mm is wide enough to take in the bridesmaids or groomsmen as a group without switching photography lenses.

A good point to note is that when using such photography lenses, nice blurred background can be achieved with maximum wide apertures of f/2.8 and long focal lengths of 200mm or 300mm, whether you are using a full-frame or a small sensor body. This allows you to isolate the subject from its background, and to focus attention on the image as the main subject you want to portray. Such photography lenses are especially useful for shots where you are unable to get in close and for intimate and private moments, where you want to be an unobserved stranger at a distance. Some examples include a stolen glance, a mischievous grin, a kiss - the details that are effectively conveyed by the emotions. Image-stabilized telephoto zoom photography lenses hence play an important role in capturing such moments.

These image-stabilized telephoto zoom photography lenses aren't only good for blurry backgrounds or shooting events from a distance. They could also be used to photograph stunning facial close-ups from creative angles above or below the subject that don't exhibit the normal distortions of large chins or shrinking heads that come from wider photography lenses.

Yet another advantage of such photography lenses is that you can use the small-sensor camera's 1.5x crop factor to your favour. The 200/2.8 long end of the standard zoom effectively becomes 300/2.8, a lens that would cost $4000 for a full-frame camera. The effective 300mm length allows for more creative photo angles than shorter photography lenses, such as tightly cropped images of the groom's hands lifting the bride's veil or the bride and groom's hands while they put rings on each others fingers.

The obvious disadvantage of image-stabilized telephoto zooms is that in many cases, long photography lenses tend to disconnect the subject from the main scene and there might be little to no context as to why the subject may have had expressed how they were feeling, the whereabouts of the subject and who else was there.

When using a small-sensor camera as your primary or backup body, the other disadvantage of image-stabilized telephoto zoom lenses is that neither Nikon, Canon or Sony make an f/2.8 lens that gives you an effective 70-200mm focal length. Hence, you would have to pay the high price and carry the weight of photography lenses designed for a full-frame camera.

Canon's Image-Stabilization, Nikon's Vibration-Reduction and Sony's SteadyShot INSIDE systems are indispensable in allowing you to hand-hold these large and heavy long photography lenses, especially in low light situations. Every wedding photographer should ensure that the image-stablization and vibration-reduction features are available on their long lenses. You might also want to consider using a tripod to ensure continuous, accurate subject placement and sharp photos. Such telephoto zoom photography lenses are huge investments and if you have a budget constraint or an amateur just starting out, you might want to consider rental instead.

Prime Lenses

Prime lenses are essentially photography lenses with fixed focal lengths, as opposed to zoom lenses, which have variable focal lengths of say 24-70mm or 17-55mm. Prime lenses generally have a better optical quality than zoom photography lenses, and usually come with wider maximum apertures such as f/2.8 or f/1.8.

Good prime lenses are must-have photography lenses for any wedding photographer, as they are excellent for taking good portraits. Although you will be adequately equipped for a wedding shoot with the three zoom lenses in your lens kit as discussed above, it is worth including two to three fast prime lenses in your bag as well. These photography lenses are compact, light, and fairly inexpensive and would probably be needed in about 10 to 20% of a wedding shoot.

Faster prime photography lenses are ideal in situations where f/2.8 aperture is not enough to get the motion-stopping shutter speed or shallow depth of field desired, whether for artistic or technical reasons. For example, an image that requires a 1/20th of a second shutter speed at f/2.8 will only require 1/60th of a second at f/1.8, forming a distinction between a sharp image and a blurry one. Many professional wedding photographers actually include prime lenses in their gig bags as an economical backup to their zoom lenses. Not many people could afford to purchase an additional 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens as a backup and you also want to prevent a frantic situation whereby your photography lens fails on you during a crucial moment.

There are many prime lenses available on the market but most photographers would include a 28/1.8, 50/1.8, and 85/1.8 in their prime photography lenses kit to be used on a full-frame body. The 28mm is wide enough to cover most ceremony locations and confined spaces, the 50mm is good for small groups or a priest blessing a couple, and the 85mm is long enough for ceremony vows and exchange of rings. A wedding can be successfully photographed with just these three photography lenses.

When you make a well-informed choice on the right photography lenses to use, it will definitely elevate your wedding photography to a more professional level.

Personal Tech and Memory to Lapse - You Still Have to Remember What to Search

If you are one who is unconvinced with the reality that the Internet is causing people to have shorter memories, then I'd like to explain why our high-tech world is in fact causing human brains to function differently. First of all, I'd like to state a fact, which I think we all know intuitively, even if there are no major research papers on the topic. And that is; "the brain works much like a muscle, and if you don't use it, you lose it." Now then, I can say we all believe that, and understand that principle.

Now, let's talk about your cell phone and how it stores all the phone numbers that you used to have to remember. And let's talk about the reason that it's no longer important to remember dates, events, or famous people - after all, you can look it up on the Internet anytime you want it's always there 24-7-365. Even kids wonder how come they have to do reports on various topics in school, as all the information is already there on Wikipedia, why should they have to redo it? Worse, they wonder why they can't just copy it, are you beginning to see the problem.

And, I think most of us realize that rote memorization doesn't work, or at least it doesn't work that well, and it's probably a lousy way to teach young humans in school. Nevertheless, we still do that, and you and I, and all of our friends have had a lot of training and memorization, but these days we don't use our memory very much, and therefore, often we feel it is lacking.

No, it's probably not onset Alzheimer's, but rather the fact that our brain just doesn't work that way anymore. We've not been reinforcing the memorization of information as we used too.

Still, I wouldn't say that the high-tech world and information age will totally destroy human memory, because Alas, you still have to know what to search, so you do have to remember the concept, even if you can never how to spell the names, or remember the dates behind that subject. Please consider all this.

Time Lapse Still Digital Photography Technique

Time lapse photography is a technique that allows to quickly and visually convey processes that take a long time in real life. For example time lapse photography can shrink to 10 seconds the complete process of building a new bridge. Although usually used in videos time lapse can also be used in still digital photography.

The idea behind time lapse is simple. You want to capture a change that usually takes a long time in real life. In order to accomplish that you take photos either every fixed period of time or every time there is some change in the real life process. For example you can take a photo once a week to document the building of a new bridge, or you can take a photo every time a new floor is built in a new skyscraper. When viewing these photos in sequence the feeling of the actual real life process and its magnitude is very effectively conveyed.

Time lapse photography is mostly known for such scenarios as the process of building bridges and buildings or the process of flowers growing. There are however other usages to time lapse photography that are more relevant to the amateur home photographer. Here are some examples:
Moving apartments: You can document your moving to a new apartment using time lapse techniques. In this scenario it is best to take photos based on events and not every fixed period of time. For example start with a photo of the apartment you are moving from. Then as you start packing take a photo every time you pack a box. When the movers show up take photos as furniture are moved away from your apartment. Do the reverse in the new apartment. Take a photo of it being empty. Then start taking photos as furniture move in and finally take photos as each single box is opened and put in its new place. Taking the time to take such photos can be a great way to capture memories for years to come.
Renovating your house: Similar to moving, renovation can be documented using time lapse techniques. Take photos as significant changes are made to your house. Take the first photo before any work is done. Then continue taking photos as renovation progresses, for example when a wall is taken down. Take the last photo when the renovation is completed and the house is ready.
People and kids: You can use time lapse techniques to document how your kids are growing up or other changes in people you care about. One way to accomplish that is by taking a photo of your kids every 6 months or a year. It is a good idea to take the photos in the same place and in the same position as it will intensify the effect of the changes happened to them over that period of time.
Your garden: If you are working on your garden, maybe planted a tree or some special flowers you can use time lapse techniques to document the progress of your work. Take a photo every fixed period of time, depending on the time it takes for the tree or plant to grow this can be a few days or a few weeks.

Professional photographers sometimes use special equipment that can automatically take photos every certain period of time. For most amateur usages manually taking the photos is good enough. Some things to care about when taking time lapse photos: try to take photos in the same time of the day and with the same lighting - this will intensify the effect as the difference between the photos will be mostly the changes that you care about and not other external factors like lighting that can draw unwanted attention.

What Is Time Lapse Photography and How Is It Done?

Time lapse photography or film making works by a single image or frame being taken at intervals, ranging usually from seconds to hours in order to capture a process which usually takes a good deal of time to occur, but for which the photographer or film maker wants to display in its entirety but at a speed far more rapid than the rate at which the event or process has actually taken place.

When all the images needed have been captured. these individual frames are edited or sequenced together at around 25-frames-per-second, to produce a sequence or film.

Even amateur photographers or film makers can try this, usually by connecting their camera to an intervalometer which instructs the camera to take individual frames at pre-set intervals.

This is fine for very short period time lapse work, where the camera can be physically checked and is kept indoors or, if outdoors, is operating in dry and relatively warm conditions.

However, long-period time lapse work or time lapse work in extreme locations needs a much more professional approach. Specialists in long period time lapse can leave their cameras to operate for weeks, months or years. They achieve this in the following ways:

Firstly, they mount their cameras in specially designed housings, which contain heating, cooling and air conditioning systems, which keep equipment operating to the optimum, in carefully controlled conditions. Next, they connect their cameras to more complex control mechanisms, which not only control the camera's operation, but also allow considerable amounts of data to be managed. In addition, these control systems and the cameras themselves are usually remotely managed by networking them, in order that they can be controlled remotely and data can be transferred and backed-up. Also, these systems often need to be powered in specialist ways too, such as through solar paneling or wind turbine systems.

Such specialist companies usually work for a variety of clients. Broadcasters or media production companies who wish to incorporate time lapses into their programmes or works may employ them.

Construction companies may also use their services in order to record a building or construction project for training or quality purposes, or to inform of'process' and/or for promotional purposes.

Promotional companies may also employ such specialists in order to record a particular even or occasion.

Because such specialists network their systems and upload all the images collected, they can also offer clients special access (via the web) to the 'live' frames being recorded, in order that clients can monitor a job themselves. Clients may want to do this for a variety of reasons. For example, surveyors, architects, stake holders, colleagues etc can view projects from anywhere in the world, or access can be given to the public to promote a build, or to sell a product or service. Access is provided by some, on Smartphones too, via 'apps'.

So, as well as time-lapsing, these specialist companies, at the same time, can offer all sorts of imaging services. The cameras can even be used for 24/7 security monitoring. and in a way that is better than normal CCTV, as the images they provide are usually in HD (High Definition) and can be digitally zoomed into to show great detail of a particular aspect of a project.

Because of the high specialism of such services only few companies are able to offer a complete range level of such services effectively.

Time Lapse Systems operate time lapse projects in all sorts of locations, over both shorter as well as very lengthy time periods. The team of specialist working at the company offer a range of integrated media services, making time lapse systems a leader in the field of time lapse photography and film making.