Five Quick Grammar Tips to Improve Your Writing – Plus Free Cheat Sheet

By Stacey Roberts - Punctuation is important. It is the difference between

This is a guest contribution from Jim Butcher of Mr and Mrs Romance.

There’s never really such a thing as a perfect blog post, is there? There’s always something else you could have done, something more you could have added. Another, better way you could have phrased a sentence.

And then there’s grammar and punctuation. I was never taught grammar at school further than ‘a verb is a doing word. A noun is a naming word, etc’. It’s no wonder native English speakers make so many simple mistakes.

Spotting these mistakes after you’ve hit ‘publish’ or – even worse – having a reader tell you about them, isn’t a nice thing. In fact it’s downright embarrassing.

The good news is these mistakes are pretty easy to avoid.

Here are my top five grammar focus points for mastering – or at least controlling – the written word!


These little things can turn a man’s hair white with fear, but they’re not that bad once you get to know them.

They have a couple of different uses: for contractions, and to show possession.


These are the easier ones that most of us know pretty well. If you’re cutting down a word – like we are, you can just …read more

Via: Problogger

3 Ways to Get Killer Portraits Using a Tripod

By Post Production Pye


As photographers, you’re all looking to “wow” the people we’re taking pictures of, whether they’re clients or just friends. When you show final images, there’s that sense of anticipation, excitement and nervousness as you gauge reactions. And when you hear the words “amazing” or “I love them,” it’s truly a great feeling. So how do you get the “wow” and avoid the “just okay?” Well that’s not always easy. With so many good photographers out there and so much of their work getting exposure via social networks, expectations for good photography is as high as it’s ever been.

Here are three ways to achieve killer portraits with the use of a tripod that we use in our studio. These include the following, all of which we’ll show you – keep reading:

  1. Shutter Drags
  2. Composites
  3. HDRs

Required Equipment

Are You a Terrible Manager? Or Just an Imperfect Fit?

By Lou Adler

Hiring for company-wide cultural fit is important, of course. But perhaps more critical is matching the work styles of hopeful employees to the managerial styles of their bosses. Here’s how.

A few years ago, the CEO of a high-tech software company asked me to augment a planned training session with a segment based on Blanchard’s Situational Leadership model. The company’s managers had just taken a two-day course on this subject, and the CEO wanted to help them better manage new hires.

I read the book and quickly concluded the idea wouldn’t fly. The big problem: I didn’t see how managers could modify their leadership style to meet the coaching and training needs of each new hire. Instead, I suggested hiring people who already fit their future boss’s approach to management. I later called this concept Managerial Fit and described the process in The Essential Guide for Hiring.

The candidate assessment starts by first categorizing managers into six basic styles based on how hands-on or hands-off they are. During the interview, candidates are categorized into six companion styles based on how much support and direction they want and/or need. The two styles are then compared to determine their …read more

Via: Inc


There’s times to sprint — indeed — but many times not to sprint. It’s important to be self-aware of when there isn’t any real pressure, and if you’re running at like 60% effectiveness, it can be very worthwhile to rest, recharge, and invest in your health at the expense of some short-term mid-effectiveness production.

As the last Great Unifier of Japan in the Sengoku Era, Tokugawa Ieyasu, put it –

“Life is like unto a long journey with a heavy burden. Let thy step be slow and steady, that thou stumble not. Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the lot of natural mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair. When ambitious desires arise in thy heart, recall the days of extremity thou hast passed through. Forbearance is the root of all quietness and assurance forever. Look upon the wrath of thy enemy. If thou only knowest what it is to conquer, and knowest not what it is to be defeated; woe unto thee, it will fare ill with thee. Find fault with thyself rather than with others.”

…read more

Via: Miscellaneous

Light Blaster [ For Special Effects Lighting ] a Review

By Neil Creek

Light blaster 33 1024 resize

Sometimes a new piece of camera equipment will let you do something better, faster, or cheaper. But sometimes it lets you do something wholly new, that nothing else can do, and it opens up a whole new world of creative opportunities. The Light Blaster is that kind of gear.

By combining a flash, a lens, and one of many different slides which you can buy or provide yourself, the Light Blaster lets you project an image into your scene or onto the subject. Like any new piece of equipment there’s a bit of a learning curve, but you can create effects that add to your photo in ways only possible with tricky DIY hacks until now.

How it works

The Light Blaster is a strong plastic shell that acts as a mount to hold the three key elements – lens, flash and slide – securely in place and in the correct relative positions. You provide a lens and a flash. The lens attaches to the front via an EOS bayonet mount (a Nikon adapter is available). There’s no lock, but it is held firmly. At the back you slide in your flash, which is held in place with a strong leather …read more

Via: Digital Photography

Blame Heartbleed: requires users to change their passwords

By Nick Mediati

If you have an account with, you can expect to change your password the next time you log in. And you can thank Heartbleed for it.

According to the website, all users will be prompted to change their passwords the next time they log into the site. According to the site, “ uses many layers of protections to secure your information,” and there’s no sign that any user information has been compromised, so this is mainly a precautionary measure.

The Associated Press notes that the US Government is reviewing al of its sites to see if they’re vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug, so it’s possible that users of other government sites may have to change their passwords in the not-too-distant future.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

…read more

Via: PCWorld

Survey: Americans aren’t keen on drones, Google Glass-like devices

By Nick Mediati

Let’s face it: A lot has changed in the past few years. Smartphones! 3D printers! Drones! Face computers! Self-driving cars! It almost feels as though we’re living in the future. According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, Americans expect this rapid pace of change to continue over the next 50 years.

And while most of those surveyed think all this new tech will be a good thing, there are a few things the populace is wary about.

The Pew survey found that 56 percent of respondents “are optimistic that coming technological and scientific changes will make life in the future better,” while 30 percent have a more dystopian view of the not-too-distant future.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

…read more

Via: PCWorld

HDR Darkroom 3 Software Review

By John Davenport


Digital cameras may be making incremental improvements with dynamic range capabilities, but are still lacking in terms of what they can capture. Bracketing multiple exposures of the same scene and merging them together with tone mapping software is one way of creating an HDR photograph allowing you to capture the full range of the scene in front of your camera.

The people at Everimaging have recently upgraded their HDR tone mapping software offering to its third edition, and as a result today we’re going to talk about HDRDarkroom 3. It’s available for both Mac and Windows users, and a free trial version can be downloaded from their site.

What’s Cool About HDR Darkroom 3?

The number one thing that stands out to me is the user interface. The simplicity of the way that HDR Darkroom 3 uses presets to get you started with tone mapping is unique, and takes a lot of the work out of finding the right starting point. The program is also stripped down in a way that gives even the most novice HDR photographer an easy learning curve to get started.


When you launch the program you can choose from three different import methods: …read more

Via: Digital Photography

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Via: PCWorld