Continuing Education

After 4 photoshoots in 3 days, I have 1.2k new photos to go through. I've learnt alot more things which I'd like to share:

- whenever you're looking for something.. you normally won't be able to find it
-- couldn't find 1) my prop box, 2) the head for my umbrella flash kit, 3) a rosary prop

- music is important to creating a fun and relaxing atmosphere
-- lacked music in photoshoot 1&2; luckily my stylist used her laptop to stream music

- always check all your equipment to make sure everything is there and works
-- the lighting equipment that I borrowed from my friend was missing the sync cable and one of the cords' third prong was broken

- when shooting women atleast, make sure you include their feet/shoes in your shots

- directing can be a tough thing to learn about doing photos with models; my only advice is that do whatever makes you comfortable and the great news is that it becomes easier the more you do it

- having food; snacks and drinks for everyone (models, stylists, friends, etc) helps put people at ease

- the first couple (lol 50) photos may not turn out too well as the model and you are becoming acquanted with each other; once you start to click, the photos turn out better

- use a flash when taking photos of the model when outdoors
-- otherwise they'll have a dark(or overly lit) face if not properly posed

- bring a reflector/diffuser when you're outside
-- otherwise people will squint in the harsh light

- outside photography may be more fun for some people, but you have to work with fickle light/sun


Mega Ramp

Hope everyone had a great weekend and that it didn't feel like flew by.. like mine.. lol.

There are cards like this one that makes me wonder what makes it so good/rare.

With decks such as my Kraken deck, casting creatures is difficult due to their prohibitive casting cost. When you have 7 mana and you still can't cast a creature.. you're kinda sol. So if you cast this spell, you get technically 7 additional lands. Cast it again and you've used up 28 lands.. and in a 60 card deck, thats normally all of them. How can that be good you ask?
[insert maniacal laughter]

Boom goes the dynamite!... if you have that card.


Tighter Control

Lets talk about something different.
Earlier this week there was a shooting in the east end of Toronto which killed 2 people and injured about 14. Just last night with the midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises, there was a shooting in Colorado which resulted in 14 people dead and about 50 injured. My condolences for all affected.

There has been alot of talk about how to solve and avoid tradegies such as this:

- have more afterschool activities for at risk teens

- create more jobs 

- tighter gun control

- (more american response) allow more concealed weapons for people

Each has their own merit.. I wonder what is best for each situation.


I started a new blog with my girlfriend if you want to take a look. Before I Do.
Its a blog on questions a couple should explore before getting engaged/married. Kinda like questions one would go through in a marriage prep course at church.

I can see this will be difficult... in that now ill be managing and writing for 3 different blogs..


Thursday Musings

For my best friend, Hunter, who I think would appreciate a woman like this ;)

I bought Terraria 2 days before the Steam Summer sale and although I paid 7$ more than I could have, it was still worth it. Very sandbox-ey. My kind of crafting game.
The first thing anyone should learn how to do is to make a house. This will protect you during the first few nights when zombies will come at you relentlessly and your weapons are too weak. Check this vid which does a good job. As long as its not the Blood Moon, zombies cannot break through doors.

A good thing for newbies is to go to the Settings and set Auto Pause to On so that while you craft or check your inventory, monsters or slimes don't constantly interrupt you.

Lastly, there is a point to making better quality tools (pickaxe, axe, hammer); the better the quality, the faster you can harvest materials.


Choose your Guild!

 Some screenies of the Return to Ravnica (RTR).. so like I previously said, the first set will have Azorius (white/blue), Rakdos, Golgari, Selesnya and Izzet. While the second set will have the other 5 guilds.. (containing my favorites: Simic and Gruul).
When you go to the prerelease, you'll pick your guild and you'll get the appropriate boosters and guild paraphernalia. Depending on the cards, it'll be a tough choice between Simic and Gruul.. though ill most likely take Simic. I don't particularly like any of the guilds in the first set.. I did make a great black/green deck a long time ago that countered my friend's infect deck. I think if I would pick a guild for the first set prerelease, it would be Selesnya or Golgari for the green side cards.

What guild would you pick? Think you will go to this prerelease?


Danger Zone!

With the Magic 2013 Core Set officially out, Mark Rosewater, a Head Designer for Wizards blew his mind out and spewed tons of juicy information on the upcoming set: Return to Ravnica. Like I said before, totally loving the flavor and the theme and everything about the original Ravnica: City of Guilds design. For those that don't know, its a world covered by one massive city and has 10 different guilds which is a combination of 2 different mana colors. Each has their own special mechanics and feel to it. Their own legendary leaders and captains. My favorite guilds was the Boros Legion for the Red/White (new Vigilance Deck) militaristic orderly bent, but from the two colors that I use most often, I would be on Gruul (Red/Green: Om nom nom Devour) and Simic (Green/Blue: Release the kraken!!!). Extremely excited about it.

Mark Rosewater made me wet my pants from the tweets he made yesterday on the new set:

"All ten guilds are returning in the Return to Ravnica block. Each guild will get a new keyword. No old guild keywords are coming back. "
- fantastic; not sitting on your laurels and reusing major parts which made Ravnica great. Keep innovating

"Return to Ravnica will be a large set coming out this fall. It will feature 5 guilds (Azorius, Rakdos, Selesnya, Izzet & Golgari."
- the original first part of the block of Ravnica had Boros(r/w), Golgari(g/b), Selesnya(g/w) and Dimir (b/u)

"Gatecrash is the name of the 2013 winter set. It too will be a large set with 5 guilds (Dimir, Gruul, Orzhov, Boros & Simic)."
- my most favorite guilds R/G, U/G, R/W.. all in one set.. Winter Is Coming!

"For RTR & GTC prereleases, you choose a guild. You will then get a guild prerelease pack - a box w/ 5 RTR packs & 1 guild booster."
- ok Mark, you did it. I am now OFFICIALLY going to my first prerelease party ever. I'm a bit VERY shy when it comes to public competition events, but this just convinced me. I'm going. For sure.

This may be the next big thing. My bar is set so high! *whimper*

Its always good to read up at the Daily MTG site; articles like this one will give you insight to why an innocuous card like Smelt is actually much better than say... Shatter.

Also something that I now understand from the article. This card is a 'sudden death time' card and gives that epic red spell feel.


Waiting to Play

Lets have an actual entry than what I like to do when I have nothing else to say: post big pictures. Lol.

Haven't been playing much of anything other than Diablo 3 for the first time in 2 weeks and the new Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 (Dotp 2013). Some random thoughts:

- absolutely hate Diablo 3 requirement to be online all the time. Sure it cuts down on cheaters, but my slow internet connection is the reason why I've played only once (and maybe only for an hour) in the past 2 weeks. I want to get Guild Wars 2 but am thinking carefully on whether I should waste my time on it and be permanently upset due to lag.

- its still nice to play Diablo 3 vs Skyrim, b/c you can still just pickup and go; you don't need to remember what you last did and whether you like the way the character is built/equipped.

- while the cards in MTG 2013 core set are much more interesting in recent memory than any other core set, the Dotp 2013 is really annoying. 

- Dotp 2013; bug infested (your own creatures committing kamikaze attacks when its NOT your turn)

- Dotp 2013; timers going unnaturally fast, meaning you miss out on getting to do what you want.

- Dotp 2013; cheap pc player; enuf said

- Dotp 2013; Planechase mode is interesting which has a global big card and a dice that makes it more luck based than skill (double edged sword). Its still pretty cool.

- possibly the only good thing about Dotp is that after everything is resolved (ie. Damage), your opponent won't decide to (basically mulligan and) cast a spell which totally changes the outcome.  

- I really want a Dotp game where you get a finite set of cards and make your own deck. I know there is the online game which can allow you to do that, but i'd prefer a contained 'offline' game.
Lorthos currently occupies my desktop wallpaper as my new Kraken deck is quite the juggernaut... atleast in testing. Go here for all the MTG wallpapers!


Split Second

Want to be a photographer?
Take your freaking camera everywhere! Stop being lazy and just bring it with you! There are amazing photo opportunities always when you don't bring it with you.


Time to Relax

Happy 4th of July and belated Canada Day everyone!
I've improved on my fireworks photography this year (practice makes perfect); its still a bit hit-and-miss though. The trick is to use a cable release and time atleast 5 seconds; anything shorter, the photo will come out too dark. Anything longer and you may get a scene that appears too busy (too many fireworks at one time). Even when you time it right, it may not come out like you see it in your head. I wish I had the energy to go each night over the weekend to practice taking photos as I would have liked to see if I could get stills of the fireworks instead of long exposure ones.