Give!

This past Friday my family and I went to eat at a local pizza buffet.  There was a total of six of us.  My dad paid for my mom, my nephew and himself while I paid for Annie, my daughter and myself.  Dad paid first and he used a discount card which gave him a dollar off his purchase.  He handed me the card but I decided to use my military discount instead to see if I could get a better deal.  My total purchase ended up being a dollar “more” than my dad’s order.  lol  We both kind of scratched our heads and questioned what had just happened.  If anything, our bill should have been the same, but in reality, my bill should have been lower since my military discount was better than his $1 off.

As the cashier looked at our receipts he determined that he had accidentally charged me for an extra childs buffet and was more than willing to refund me the money.

Now, I’m not tooting my own horn or anything here, but I am telling this story so that maybe someone else will do the same thing in the near future.

Instead of taking the refund, I asked the manager, who was standing there, if they would just keep the money and donate the meal to the next child that came through the line.  He assured me that he would.

A few moments later a nice gentalman came up to me and shook my hand and told me thank you.   It made my night!

The next time you over pay a little more for something think about donating the overage to the next person.  Or better yet, the next time you go through the drive-thru window, pay for the car behind you.  Can you imagine how it would feel to pull up to the drive-thru and find out that the person ahead of you just bought your meal.  That some stranger took time out of their day to pass along some generosity to another stranger.

As we get closer to Christmas I ask that all of you think about paying thing forward.  Slow down and realize that there are people out there that could use a little helping hand.  Not only will it make them happy, but it does something good for your soul too.  God gave his son for our sins and that’s what He asks us to do for others.  So this season, give!

Camera Equipment and Tips

Friends often ask me what kind of camera I use.  Before I answer them I usually ask them why they want to know and 99% of the time, the reason is that they love my images and want to be able to make images like mine.  A lot of the times these same friends have a good, quality DSLR camera similar to the one I shoot with.

The reason for this post is this; the cameras that we have today are 100 times better than most of the film cameras people were using just 10 years ago.  The camera doesn’t make the image, the person behind the camera makes the image.

If you want to learn how to use your DSLR to it’s maximum let me give you a few tips.

1.  Read your manual.  Learn all you can about your camera.  Become one with it and it won’t lead you astray.

2.  Stop using the pre-programmed modes.  Use the “A”, “S”, or “M” modes.  These will give you greater control over how your image looks.

3.  Read and view professional photographer’s blogs such as Joe McNally, Scott Bourne and Chase Jarvis.

4.  Visit my buddy Stephen Zeller’s DSLR Workshop page and watch his tutorials.

5.  Get off your butt and shoot.  The more images you make, the more you will learn and the better you will become.

For those of you who are wondering.  I shoot with a Nikon D300.  I usually have either the kit (18-135mm) kit lens attached to it or my 50mm f/1.8.  You don’t need all that crazy expensive equipment to make beautiful images.