Sorry I haven't responded earlier. I wasn't avoiding the question, I actually don't know the full answer.
Here's what I know. I take all my photos with a 3.2 mega pixel Canon PowerShot SD110 Digital ELPH. I know very little about photography and less about cameras. I absolutely love my digicam. I carry it everywhere. It's pocket sized and can take a beating!
I have it set to default on the largest photo setting (2048 x 1536 pixels). No special lenses or gadgets. I just point and shoot. I snap a few photos from different angles and hope I got something useful. Then I crop and resize in Photoshop Elements 2.0.
For this particular shot, I disabled the flash and enabled the macro setting by making the little flower icon appear - stuff I learned from SloMo. No zoom. I don't always have a steady hand for that. On this day, I had the camera in one hand and a leash attached to a big German Shepherd in the other.
Hope that helps.
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Heat and No A/C
I've lived by the beach for most of my LA life. There, it's practically unheard of to have (or need) air conditioning. Walk a mile east and A/C is essential.
Granted, we are having record-breaking heat all over the country, but studies are showing that we should be a one-degree-hotter planet by 2015. (sorry no linkage. do a google search on global warming.) In some places, climate/weather could increase by more. Glaciers are melting. It may not exactly be "right before our very eyes" but it kinda is, you know?
Thanks to everyone for your tips and suggestions on how to keep cool. We have three big box fans in the apartment. One in each bedroom and one in the living room. We leave them on at night, and it helps to circulate the cooler air. By noon, they're basically blowing hot air around. And the cycle begins again.
So, it's hot.
Our landlord responded to my pleas for help by informing us that a window air conditioning unit will be installed in the living room first thing Monday morning. Yay. Thank you.
It's going to cost us more in rent, but we can handle the increase, rather than buying an air conditioner and installing it ourselves. (could you imagine?)
Our next door neighbor (we share half a wall) was rushed to the hospital last week due to dehydration - just from sweating in his apartment for 24 hours. The scary thing is, he's young and fit. It happened so fast, he didn't even realize what was going on. But he felt bad enough to call 911. Good thing too. They pumped fluids in him through an I.V. and brought his electrolyte levels back to normal. He's okay now. Shaken, but okay.
He took six showers and drank two gallons of water that day - but it wasn't enough to hydrate him. He had already lost his essential vitamins and minerals. Good to know.
I was up all night, tossing and turning, fighting nausea, dizziness and nursing a headache. I don't want to take any chances. I've been putting Emer'gen-C packets in my water all week. And we bought a bunch of Gatorade today. Bananas too.
More to come ... I'll share about the writers' blogs I've been reading. And we'll see if I've made any progress on my list of projects.