Do a Little Good While Shopping

A few friends told me about Amazon Smile, smile.amazon.com, where for every purchase you make through Amazon’s charity, a percentage of the cost on eligible items goes to the charity of your choice. You have to go to smile.amazon.com and choose your charity and then from then on, shop through that portal. Easy peasy. At 0.5 percent, it might not seem like a lot, but I bought a book recently and $13 went to my charity of choice.

In preparation for my move to a new adventure, where all roads lead to, I am buying lots of visual storytelling equipment, and now I am doing a little good at the same time (pats self on back). If you want to use it on your iPhone app, you will have to allow notifications. I prefer to use smile.amazon.com from my computer.

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As an aside, I bought a bespoke iPhone SE 2020 case on Amazon Smile from MTRONX Direct. The ink job on the case is well done and the case has the flat sides, like the iPhone design from the 5 SE. Good old days. It took almost two weeks to get the order, but it was worth the wait. Plus, the little holes for my lanyard/hand leash are an added bonus.

 

Becoming My Own Film Crew

I have become my own film crew, my own makeup artist, director, script writer, sound crew, caterer, gaffer (okay, not yet), lighting director, film editor… you get the idea. Recently, I needed some new headshots. What, I have to put on real clothes?! So I took out my makeup and put on “outdoor” clothes, set up my studio, and did a photo shoot. I even did two wardrobe changes.

The photo is from an art exhibition at the Ministry of Culture in Lima called, “Peruvian Beauty” by Yayo Lopez, and it included people from Peru of all ages and types, but the beauty on the poster shows a good example of a headshot.

What I learned from doing the photo shoot was that I’m glad that I bought a remote control for my phone, use good lighting (nothing beats sunlight), use plain backgrounds, have the camera at eye level, and take many photos. A trick I used to get a smile to reach my eyes was to do some silly photos as these would make me laugh thus causing some of the jollity to reach my eyes for the more normal headshots.

Staying indoors is giving me time to look through old photos and try to organize them. But mostly, I’ve been teaching myself how to use iMovie, GarageBand, and other tech tools for my blog.

A friend suggested that I name my studio space (my dining room table). Clearly it has to be Madventures Studios.

In the Eye of the iPhone?

img_0073As much as I like the photos that I take with my “big” DSLR camera, I’ve stopped lugging it around. Sometimes convenience is more important than a big lens. With the improved camera on the iPhone, I tend to just snap my food photos before I eat, and avoid a fancy photo shoot. I imported a photo from my iPhone SE and did a little post-production on it. Yup, I think it looks fine for my purposes. That said, I still work on having the light (muted daylight is best) coming from one angle, and I only take close-up photos.

Usually every photo can look amazing on a computer screen — it all depends on the number of pixels on the screen. But, to print a photo, it has to be a certain size. These new iPhone SE photos are large so I think they will print without too much pixelation. I’ll find out later when I work on a new book…

iPhone in Dhaka

Airtel kiosk sells Grameen top up cards.

Many of the photos I take are with my iPhone including this one of the kiosk (near Gulshan 2 circle on the DIT 2 market side of Madani Avenue) where one can purchase scratch off top up cards for one’s prepaid iPhone. If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a sim card, some scratch off cards, and after some set up, you are good to go. I’d guess I use around 300 Taka per month ($4) on my phone and Internet. The sim card cost 250 Taka. You can also go the post-paid route and go to Grameen phone, give them copies of your passport, a photo, and then you will receive a bill monthly.