Tuesday, August 30, 2016

tuesday tip

If any of my younger family members ever gather round my creaking rocker and ask, "Ancient Auntie Quinn, what words of wisdom can you give us, from the blurred vista of your long years?" I will be ready for them. I have my Words of Wisdom all figured out.

And since none of my blog readers is a member of my family (as far as I know, anyway...and if so, you're getting the jump on the rest of those slackers!) I will share my WoW right here and now. Ready?

Spread to the edge.

That's right. I'm talking butter. I'm talking mayo. Peanut butter. Jam.

Take the extra 15 seconds - the rest of your life will wait - and spread to the edge of your bread, toast, or muffin. No dull, bland, unadorned bites. Every bite: good.


Having shared this valuable tip for living an enriched and satisfying life, it occurs to me: perhaps I should include more useful information on this blog? I probably can't do it frequently, as I don't know very much universally useful stuff. And unfortunately I cannot promise to consistently deliver the same depth and value as "Spread to the edge." Which is good enough for an epitaph, I think.

But let's see. How about a tip for photography? I know a lot of us carry our cameras everywhere, and are always trying to get clear images under less-than-ideal conditions. Well, here's a simple tip you can try when you want to increase your chances of getting a sharp image under low light conditions, when your camera needs a longer exposure time. Or even if you are just tired. Ready?

Spread to th

Hah! Just kidding. Here's the tip:

Set your camera's timer to it's shortest delay, compose your shot and hold your camera steady (wrapping your camera-arm around a tree or fence, or pressing your back against something solid so that your legs and the Solid Thing function as a tripod, can help a lot - hey, there's another tip!) then press the shutter release. And keep breathing. While the timer is counting down (2 or 3 seconds is plenty) the camera will stop moving from the pressure of your finger on the shutter release. So when the shutter trips, you'll have a much better chance of a sharp image.

I mention breathing because even though we think of holding our breath as part of being "still," holding your breath can create tension in your body that may actually cause the camera to move a tiny bit, even on a short exposure. (Crikey, is that a third tip? I hope you were all sitting down when you began reading this post.)

So: stabilize your body, use a very short timer delay, and keep breathing.

It's not the same as using a tripod and a cable release, but heck, if you're carrying a tripod around, you don't need to worry about wobbling on long exposures.

Try it, fellow photographers! I hope this is a helpful tip for some of you.

And anyway, there's always the other one:



  1. Great Tips!
    Now all I have to do is find the timer setting. lol

  2. Ha-ha! you always make me smile! I usually have to lean against a wall to steady myself for bird and moon shots. Took my Canon all the way to the States to give to my oldest soon who would like to start taking wildlife photos. We spent a week and a half together and guess where the camera is? Back here in Kuwait with me. Oops! I'm just going to tell him to do his research and buy the one that will work best for him. His 21st birthday is in October, so it can be my gift to him. :)

  3. Like Tammy said, you always make me smile.

  4. My kind of wisdom. When my son was in kindergarten, his class was asked to make a 'cook book' by describing their mom's best meal. Other kids wrote about roast turkey and lasagna -- my kid said that his mom, me, always spread the butter to the edge of the toast. It's the little things. :)

    1. Smart boy, your son! Must be all that excellent toast :)

  5. "Spread to the edge' could be a mantra for life in general! I like that one Quinn - and thanks for the tip re the photos. Will have to see if my camera possesses such a thing as a timer. Hmmm.

  6. Quinn, I always try and spread to the edge...especially when it's home churned butter and home made jam. As to photography...I like using a Gorilla pod or, maybe it's called a Gorilla tri-pod...works great and I always hold my breath to help steady me.

  7. Amazingly great tips! I can't eat many spreads... except jam and I'm going to follow your tip!

    I love your photography tip... I never thought of using the delay in that situation. I usually just find a surface to rest my camera on. But the delay will help even more.

    Wow, what WoW!

  8. And don't spread too thin! LOVE this, and the photography tip. Now, if you have a tip for a new (free) collage/photo editor thingey other than Picmonkey, I would love to hear that. For the past month, my crystal clear photos are turned fuzzy in their normally crystal clear collage thingey (it's a technical term). XOXO

  9. Quinn, why'd you have to go and do that? I'm a breadaholic and was keeping away from my homemade sourdough bread this morning until I saw this!

  10. Here are some more WoW (from my dad, bless his heart): Never walk on ice with your hands in your pockets.

    This has saved my bones more than once.

  11. My father-in-law always insisted that the butter (mayo etc) be spread to the edge. Wise man, and best F-I-L possible.

  12. I have always insisted that it be spread to the edge, what good is a mustardless salami bite, a PB&J with a mere bite of PB in the corner, a BLT with a corner lacking in mayo? Thank you for confirming my little peccadillo as a life philosophy.


Thank you for leaving a comment! I enjoy reading each one, and will usually reply either here or on YOUR blog!

Due to spam, Anonymous comments are blocked. I'm hoping to avoid the annoying Word Verification gizmo! If you find you cannot leave a comment, please email me so we can try to sort it out.