For the love of pictures: 500px

I have been a flickr pro-member for six years and never thought I would ever talk about another photography site. However, when I found out that 500px was born right here in Toronto it was pretty easy to jump ship. I still love flickr but I’m going to rooting for 500 px just that much harder.

Things I like about 500 px? The sleek design; the square, 230x230px thumbnails; the fluidity of the site; the fact that the photos that are featured on there seem to be everyone’s best work – something that I think flickr has let slide over the years. It’s understandable of course; for some flickr is *the* way they share photos1 but it does mean that when you’re searching for a sexy photo of something for a blog post you end up having to sift through a lot more photos that would be better for a cute family scrapbook.

I haven’t fiddled around with the site that much but it has certainly revived my passion for taking pictures. I’m not a photographer by any means, I just enjoy taking pictures; they’re a little easier to handle when you have a small apartment that you can’t fit an easel into2. Now if only I could afford a new camera… my 6MP camera has served me well but perhaps it’s time for an upgrade?

If you haven’t heard of 500 px yet3, you must check them out! 🙂4

Footnotes:
  1. when you know, they refuse to get a facebook account[]
  2. yet, it’ll happen[]
  3. you probably have[]
  4. oh and this isn’t a paid message; so just go over there already – if you like photography![]

Christmas shopping isn’t easy

I always have these great ideas for Christmas gifts, but I don’t necessarily always know any one who I could give them to. So I thought I would put together a little guide in the hopes that these ‘ideas’ can benefit someone else:

  1. Personalised Calendars
    I already got this for my parents’ anniversary, but I am still considering making one for a few other people. There are many websites that allow you to create them online but you have to pay the company to print it and wait for them to ship it so I set out to find websites that allow you to print your own calendars from the comfort of your own home:

    • HP has an online tool that allows you customise your calendar online. The down side is that they have a limited number of designs to choose from. But if you’re strapped for time and/or don’t have MS Publisher or even MS Word – it would be your best bet as I didn’t find any other online photo calendar editor. To see a sample of what you can create click here1.
    • Of course if you have MS word or publisher you can always download calendar templates from the Microsoft Office Online website. But this is only available to you if you have a valid Microsoft Office Suite key, which I apparently do not2.
    • Also, since I ended up not using any of the above mentioned options however, and created my own template. Final Calendar size is 5″ x 7″ (wxh) – if you’d like a copy of this template ((its in MS Word format)) , please email me at reggysy at yahoo dot ca. I didn’t want to leave it as a link in case a lot of people downloaded it and my (blog) world as I knew it came crashing down on me.
  2. Baked goods
    I like to give everyone presents, and when I can’t buy them something nice I like to make them something tasty. Here are some great baked ideas for gifts:

    • Cupcakes: This is probably my favourite baked good to give for Christmas as you can decorate them with lots of tasty treats3.
    • Macaroons: Quick, easy, and super tasty. Just place in a basket and wrap with cellophane and tie with some decorative ribbon and you’re golden4
    • Cookies: Cookies are also quick and easy and really who doesn’t like cookies? If you want to try something different, instead of making round cookies – making shaping them so they’re like cookie sticks and place them in a jar5 that you can decorate with some ribbon and a simple gift tag.
  3. Speciality kits
    I wouldn’t suggest giving this kind of a gift to just anybody, and while this doesn’t necessarily fall under a gift that you make; it is a gift that you put together for someone so I’m putting it under these category:

    • Sewing craft kit: needles, thread, buttons, zippers, fancy zip pulls, pin cushions, chalk (for marking material, and so on.
    • Painting kit: You don’t have to go all out; you can start a person off with three tubes of paint6, one paint brush and one canvas. If you can find a cheap easel7, it would make this gift all that much more special.
    • A Bartender kit: Grab a wine opener, a mini bottle of vodka or gin8, and a mini drink recipe book that you put together yourself9 and stick it in a cocktail shaker. If you like, you can add some ice cube trays and an ice bucket and put the stuffed cocktail shaker inside.

And I think that’s all I have for you today. I’m sorry there are no demonstrations but if you’d like more information feel free to ask me questions in the comments!

Do you have any Christmas gift ideas you can pass on?

Footnotes:
  1. will open a pdf file in a new window[]
  2. shhhh don’t tell anyone[]
  3. I realise you can do it with cookies too but I prefer cupcakes[]
  4. brown, just like the macaroons hehe[]
  5. that you can get from the dollar store[]
  6. think primary colours[]
  7. a tabletop easel tends to be cheaper[]
  8. depending on the person’s preference[]
  9. just look up recipes on the internet![]