Operation Slim Jim (UPDATE) – 22 Sep 2012


Weighed in day today.  Gained weight; what that!!.

Though I had been good all week; eating healthy food , going for 30 minute brisk walks and what do I get….more bloody weight!

Oh well. I know I want to lose weight but my body doesn’t. Will just have to try harder.

Todays Stats

Weight:               67.3 Kilograms
Waist Measurement:    91.5 CM
Date:                 22 September 2012

MY FOOD DIARY – Week Sep 17 – 21 2012



17 SEP 12

1 x Soft Boiled Egg and veggie smoothy for breakfast

1 x small bowl of porridge with a table spoon of honey and cinnamon.

1 x small box asst nuts and berries

1 x Salad sandwich on whity brown bread stuff

2 x Small tub of Ski Yogurt

1 x Chicken Parma (Home Made) with veggies

12 x squares of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate

1 x Glass of low fat milk before bed

5 x Glasses of 120mm water throughout the day


18 SEP 12

1 x Soft Boiled Egg and veggie smoothy for breakfast

1 x small bowl of porridge with a table spoon of honey and cinnamon.

1 x small box asst nuts and berries

1 x Salad & Tuna sandwich on whity brown bread stuff.

1 x Small tub of Ski Yogurt

4 x Rye Cruskits & Peanut Butter

1 x Salad with free cooked Bacon slice cut up plus small amount coleslaw dressing

6 x squares of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate


19 SEP 12

1 x veggie smoothy for breakfast

1 x Hard Boiled egg for morning tea

1 x small bowl of porridge with a table spoon of honey and cinnamon.

1 x small box asst nuts and berries

1 x Salad sandwich

2 x Rye Cruskits & Peanut Butter

3 x Glasses of 120mm water throughout the day


20 SEP 12

1 x veggie smoothy for breakfast

1 x Hard Boiled egg for morning tea

1 x small bowl of porridge with a table spoon of honey and cinnamon.

1 x small box asst nuts and berries

1 x Salad & Tuna sandwich on whity brown bread stuff.

1 x Small tub of Ski Yogurt

2 x Rye Cruskits & Peanut Butter

1x Nandos ¼ Chicken & Chips/rice with Coke Zero and small chocolate desert

6 x squares of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate

(Note: Felt sick after dinner and next morning. Is my body rejecting junk food?)


21 SEP 12

1 x veggie smoothy for breakfast  – 6AM

1 x small bowl of porridge with a table spoon of honey and cinnamon. – 9AM

1 x Hard Boiled egg for morning tea – 10AM

1 x small box asst nuts and berries  –  10:30AM

1 x Salad & Tuna sandwich on whity brown bread stuff / Can Pepsi Max  – 12PM

1 x Small tub of Ski Yogurt – 12:45PM

1x Small tub of Yogurt – 5PM (Dinner)

6 x squares of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate  – 6PM

Until next time, eat well and stay healthy – Regards mark Elliott





Operation Slim Jim (UPDATE) – 16 Sep 2012


Weighed in day today.  Gained a little but still steady.

Anyway, still on track just hope I can keep it up.  Visit next week to see if I’m still on track.

Todays Stats

Weight:               66.9 Kilograms
Waist Measurement:    90.5 CM
Date:                 16 September 2012


My goal is to get down to 60 kilograms over the next 6 months.

Operation Slim Jim (UPDATE) – 08 Sep 2012


Weighed in day today.  Lost a little but it has been less than a week and I did sneak in some chocolate TimTams and some yummy jam biscuits!

Anyway, still on track just hope I can keep it up.  Visit next week to see if I’m still on track.  Mind you though I do have a pizza Sunday to attend, yum….pizza!!

Todays Stats

Weight:               66.4 Kilograms
Waist Measurement:    90.5 CM
Date:                 08 September 2012


My goal is to get down to 60 kilograms over the next 6 months.

Operation Slim Jim – 05 Sep 2012


Summer time is almost here; well in a few months anyway.   However, spring is here and it’s time to lose that winter flab gained during my hibernation period.

I usually hibernate during the winter and tend not to take many photographs as it’s just way too cold!   After losing 15 Kilograms the previous year, I put on 3 Kilos over the winter.

Well it is time to take action!   As of today (05 September 2012); “Operation Slim Jim” is in effect.

I will document my weight loss in the lead up to summer and if anyone is interested you can follow my progress right here.   My goal is to lose some weight and get more energetic so I am ready to snap away with my camera over the summer holidays.

Weigh in times will be in the AM on each Saturday so if your interested check back on a regular basis.


Start Weight:               67 Kilograms
Start Waist Measurement:    92.5 CM
Start Date:                 05 September 2012


My goal is to get down to 60 kilograms over the next 6 months.
Below is how much I need to lose 6.7 Kilograms (1 Bag = 1Kg)

For those that have tried to lose weight in the past, you all know it ain’t easy and there are many temptations put in our path!

Before & After

Come and join me in my adventure and just maybe we can all lose that winter coat and get on the right track for a healthier life.

Mark Elliott



08 September 2012



Share this Article 

Taming the beast “contrast” is often a photographer’s biggest challenge. As the photographer, your task is usually to decide what’s most important and then compromise on the exposure accordingly, based on the various elements in your scene. Here’s a typical situation: you’re by a lake. It’s late evening and the sun is setting. The warm sunlight is coming off the water and at an extremely low angle.

"Almost Silhouette" captured by Sophia Anin

“Almost Silhouette” captured by Sophia Anin (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Your subject is bathed in warm light but one side of her face is in heavy shadow. Your camera meter suggests 1/250 sec at f8 at ISO 100. You whip out your trusty digital SLR and you shoot your picture hopefully you’re shooting on manual. This is the best mode to shoot if you want to master your digital SLR. Manual mode allows you to see the metadata of each picture you take so that you can troubleshoot when things go wrong. Automatic, aperture, shutter and program tells you nothing if things go wrong so you won’t be able to learn how to correct your picture-taking mistakes. You look at your efforts and you see the picture above. One side of her face is underexposed, but the other side looks perfect at least on the little LCD monitor.

What your eyes see in the monitor depends on how bright the ambient light is. I’m sure you’ve been burned at least once trusting your eyes as they look at an image right after you take a picture. So the more reliable method is to enable the histogram view in the LCD and learn how to interpret that. You may have heard this next piece of advice somewhere. Move in closer and fill the frame or viewfinder with your subject. This gives your camera a better chance of getting an accurate reading. This time you fill the frame and the meter suggests 1/250 sec at f5.6 at ISO 100. That is an increase in 1 f-stop of exposure i.e. opening the aperture from f8 to f5.6. Your next picture shows an improvement, or does it really? Now you can actually see the shadow side of your subject better. But there is a down-side. Her face closest to the light is now so over-exposed, you can’t see any detail in the highlight area. Face it, you have to choose between losing detail in the shadow side of your subject’s face or highlight detail. You have 2 options.

1. Boost the shadow side with a reflector or a flash
2. Have your subject turn so that both sides of her face is lit more evenly by the light.

"beauty definition" captured by Alexandra Catana

“beauty definition” captured by Alexandra Catana (Click Image to Find Photographer)

Typically at this late hour in the evening, you have to work fast because the sun is setting and the light levels drops quickly. So why did you choose a shutter speed of 1/250? The foremost reason is: 1/250 sec is the highest shutter speed our camera will sych with our flash units.

This shutter speed may vary from model to model but the typical highest sync speed whether it is a Nikon or Canon camera these days is 1/250 or 1/200. You could use the equivalent exposures of 1/125 at f8, 1/60 at f11 and 1/30 at f16, but why would you? This is a portrait situation and you want the background to be as blurred out as possible. Besides, our mnemonic device, Seasoned Apples Smell Nutty to Blushing Bachelors, tells us to “Set Aperture to Small Number to Blur out Backgrounds.” And to compensate for that large number f-stop or aperture, you should use your longest lens. If you take a picture with a telephoto versus a wide angle lens, you will find that the longer focal length lens blurs out the background more than a wide angle lens.

Using the the built-in flash So after selecting your lens, you now decide you like the pretty warm light that you see on your subject. To maintain that “look,” you will have to supplement or fill the shadow side of your subject’s face. A reflector is perhaps the easiest fix if you have someone to hold it for you as you shoot. But unless you know beforehand that you’ll have an extra set of hands, the more practical thing to do is to use flash. Most consumer grade digital SLRs like the Canon 20d, 40d, Rebel XTi or Nikon D40x, Nikon D200s have a built-in flash that pops up. They remind me of a crab’s eye. To turn them on, you usually have to switch the camera to “Manual” mode, then press a button somewhere. On the Canon digital SLRs, that button is located near the red dot of your lens. When your little flash pops up, all you have to do is compose your picture and fire away. For those of you who want even more control, you can try this:

1. Push the button to illuminate the LCD panel on the top of your camera.
 Press the Flash exposure compensation button.
 Dial in the amount of fill flash you want. This is just a fancy way of telling your camera flash how much light “to kick into the scene.”

"dorotka" captured by bruklin

“dorotka” captured by bruklin (Click Image to Find Photographer)

If you want to overpower the ambient light by one stop, all you have to do is to turn the Quick Dial on the back of your camera clockwise or to the right and the flash should overpower the ambient light setting by 1 or 2 stops with 1/3 stop increments. The camera figures out that how much power the flash needs to put out to fill the shadow side of the face without any fuss whatsoever. The picture above without fill flash is not too bad but if you were to print it, you’ll see that you can’t see your subjects face that’s in shadow. On the computer screen, it looks alright but trust me. What you see on your monitor doesn’t always print because it is beyond what is reproducible on print. The picture shot using the built-in flash on automatic or the default setting will print very nicely because the range of the brightest highlight to the darkest shadow has been narrowed. For even more control, an off-the-camera extension sync cord is even better. Stay tuned for my next article on why I think this accessory is an absolute necessity.

About the Author:
Peter Phun is an adjunct photography instructor at Riverside City College (http://www.peterphun.com). He is a freelance photographer, web designer and stay at home dad. He previously worked as a staff photographer for 18 years at The Press-Enterprise, SoCal’s 4th largest daily newspaper. Peter is the webmaster for the Mac group in the Inland Empire.

Copyright © 2003-2012 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Creating a successful wedding photography business is a lot of hard work but doesn’t come without its rewards. Just because you can take a good picture doesn’t mean that you are ready to start your own wedding photography business.

wedding photography business

Photo captured by Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva (Click Image to See More From Natalie Milissenta Shmeleva)

There are many stages involved in building a successful company. But believing in yourself and your abilities as a photographer is also essential.

Some things to consider when starting out. What makes your images unique, for example, do you have more of a photojournalistic style capturing candid moments, and working in all natural light? or do you enjoy working with off camera flash in a studio like setting?

Always be true to yourself, find your own creative style. If you perfect your skills in a certain style of photography you’re passionate about; this is the best way to building confidence in yourself. Practice on friends and family, but don’t take their word for how good your work is as naturally they are going to be biased.

The average customer you will get as a wedding photographer is going to be more critical about your work. You might be wondering how to get exposure out in the field? You currently have no portfolio to show potential clients, and no experience dealing with new clients.

From my experience, one of the best ways to start building your portfolio is to find work as an assistant or second shooter for an already established photographer or studio. This is a great way gain confidence, and gain first hand experience not just for producing some great images, but also customer service and learning how to direct a shoot. Even at this early stage you should always carry a backup camera.

I wouldn’t recommend taking on a friends wedding as the main photographer, this is way too much of a responsibility, even if you think you are well prepared. Its their special day and shouldn’t be time for you to practice wedding photography.

You need to also be critical of your photography. Know that you’re good, but also know where there is room for improvement. Rather than trying to compete with a million other wedding photographers out there, set yourself a personal high standard. If your not at the level you need to be at, find a photographers work that you admire, research what makes them successful, understand the quality of work they have to offer and know whats involved in producing it. Forget about the rest, there are a lot of ordinary photographers out there too. Remember you need to aim high. Research what you need to get to that high level. You can never spend enough time researching new photographic methods and the latest equipment on the market. Practice using your camera in manual mode, know your equipment like the back of your hand. This will give you the confidence and practical skill that you will need as a professional.

wedding photographer

“Cyprus wedding” captured by Vavinov Alex (Click Image to See More From Vavinov Alex)

It is also of great importance to be proficient in post processing, spend plenty of time using Lightroom and Photoshop, buy photography magazines, keep reading articles on here, you can educate yourself, as everything you need for honing your photographic skills is online. I’ve always thought that if you do a course in photography, you are only ever going to be as good as the person that teaches you, their technique is not necessarily the best, teaching yourself builds more confidence, you are learning your own style not someone else’s!

After gaining some experience as a second shooter, and you have your own portfolio, you might be thinking that your ready to begin your own business, but it is best to not rush into it. Try to save as much money as you can from your assisting work to go towards advertising your business. If you have enough work on as a paid second shooter you can think about advertising your business locally and online, and see what kind of response you get. If you have a good contact that you are assisting for that has plenty of work, I wouldn’t recommend moving onto your own business until you are close to fully booked for a year.

When setting your prices an important factor is knowing your value. don’t set your prices too low, people will second guess your quality, even if you do great work, they will perceive it differently. Of course don’t charge too much either if you are just starting out, you don’t want to lose clients because you’re too expensive! I find smack bang in the middle is a good option. That way clients won’t second guess your prices. If they like your work enough they normally have a set budget for their wedding photography, and they’ll hire you. The average for photographic coverage with all images in high-resolution on a disk is $2500, this doesn’t include an album, but with the disk they can print as many photos as they like for their own personal use, and perhaps create their own album.

Establish a relationship with a local print lab, learn about the proper conversion of files from digital to print, get some test prints done and figure out what type of finish best displays your work. Make sure you have a logo, and business email, its these finishing touches that make a big difference in how you present your business.

business in wedding photography

“The bride and her thoughts” captured by Aiza Cruz-Wing (Click Image to See More From Aiza Cruz-Wing)

Look into wedding album suppliers, and have some ideas for when a client requests an album, getting a sample album made up is a good option, you can take this or an iPad with you to show clients your portfolio.

When running your own wedding photography business, start locally. Pick an area and start advertising with local business linked to weddings. That includes:

  • Dress makers
  • Cake makers
  • Limo drivers
  • Wedding planners
  • Wedding venues etc.

Get some quality business cards and brochures made up to give to them. A good idea is to offer a finders fee for any referrals. 10-20% is a good amount. This will mean that they will be actively promoting you by passing on your business cards, and brochures and recommending your work to new customers looking for photographers.

After registering your business, you should be promoting your own website online. A great way is doing some SEO – search engine optimization, again, this takes a lot of time and research, but you will reap the rewards if you put the hard work in. There are great tools online that will scan your website for keywords, meta titles and tags, this is how people find your website. If you don’t promote it online, you will not have a presence. People will never see your work. Pick only your best images to display online.

There are plenty of wedding photography business listings online that are worthwhile to sign up for, a lot are free, and some can charge $100 or more per month, most of the time their reasoning behind charging that much money is because they get so many views per month. Check compete.com, this shows how popular their site is and then maybe you can possibly trial them for a month and see if you get any leads.

wedding photo

Photo captured by Grigoryev Sergey (Click Image to See More From Grigoryev Sergey)

A very important aspect of being a wedding photographer is your customer service skill, always be on the ball and be very clear with your clients, don’t wait to long to reply to their emails, and keep them unto date with whats happening by confirming their payments, and delivering contracts to them.

Its very fulfilling when you start your business from scratch. Your images should speak for themselves when it comes to marketing yourself, but with wedding photography producing great images is 50% and the other 50% is great customer service. If they loved working with you they are going to pass on the good word to their friends and family. Do your job well, and you will find most of your work is in referrals.

About the Author:
Melissa Fiene is a wedding photographer based in Sydney Australia. To view her work please visithttp://www.melissafiene.com. She produces high quality images, providing contemporary, and natural style wedding photography.

Copyright © 2003-2012 PictureCorrect, Inc. All Rights Reserved.