Posts Tagged ‘photo’

7 Things to Do When You Retire

February 28, 2012

1. Travel: Job and family responsibilities keep people rooted in one community. Familiar sights and habit often lead to stagnation and boredom. To really feel alive we must experience new sights and new traditions. There is a whole world out there of folks doing things differently and still being successful. We are often surprised and gain a whole new perspective on what’s possible. New avenues and possibilities suddenly appear before our eyes. Magical moments that send us off on an entirely new course of discovery. Travel is a great way to recharge your batteries after doing the same-old, same-old for so long. Pledge to travel. Pick out someplace you’d like to visit. You don’t have to go all exotic. A trip to a state park you’ve never seen is a very inexpensive way to get started. Or maybe to your state capitol if you’re not a big nature fan. Or, just hop in the car once a week and drive off to destinations unknown. Many of my best discoveries came from just such unplanned adventures. Drive until you come to something interesting, then, hop out and take a better look. Travel is a great way to begin your retirement years. Later, I’ll tell you about one simple new technology that makes travel exponentially more fun, even if you have to travel by yourself.

2. Get a Job: Of course I don’t mean go to work for someone else. This is your chance to finally do what you love to do. This is your chance to turn your hobby into a source of additional income. Making money doing what you love is the dream. Sharing your crafts or hobbies or interests with the world has never been easier thanks to the internet. In the not too distant past, retirement came awfully close to the end of our life expectancy. But not anymore. At age 65 most of us can look forward to another 10, 15, 20, 25 or more years of living. What will we do with all that time. Earl Nightingale, famous radio personality and co-founder of the Nightingale-Conant corporation that built their success on audio education programs once said, “The people who live the longest are the people with something to do.” We need something to do. We need some plan or structure in our life. Like it or not, a plan for the future, some expectation or excitement for what’s to come is a driving force in our life that pulls us forward.
When you tie your hobby or interests to a source of income generation, you insure that you’ll always have the financial freedom to enjoy what you love and you’ll get even more enjoyment from it knowing that others are interested in your work too. What joy is the most beautiful flower in the garden, or the best recipe, or the fine wooden craft if there’s no one else to share it with. Sharing has never been easier with the internet and a simple new digital tool.

3. Meet New People: One of the greatest joys in life are friends. People to share our interests and activities with. Meeting new friends was easy when we were in school. Classes would change, kids would come and go. We’d meet new people through sports or clubs or parties. Once we get into the workforce though, we find ourselves a bit more limited. Maybe we’d get to know a coworker. Or someone at church. Or someone from our kid’s school. By the time we retire we can often feel a bit lonely. Kid’s are grown. Sadly, some of our friends have gone off to their great reward or moved into retirement homes or places like Florida or Arizona. Meeting new people can sometimes be a real challenge. Luckily, there are hobbies that make it easy to meet new people.

4. Stay Active: The human body was not designed to be stationary. We we’re meant to move. Activity keeps our muscles in tone. It keeps our fluids moving. It lubricates our joints and aids our digestion. The trick is to find an activity that is low-stress but still addresses all of our physical necessities. Fortunately, walking is an activity that most of us can do. In fact, walking is the activity most often prescribed by doctors for people of all ages. It’s great for our posture, it stimulates our cardiovascular system and its low stress. The only problem is people often get bored with it. Fortunately, when you combine walking with another popular activity you can overcome that boredom and get even greater benefits. Benefits like triple calorie burn, instant gratification, and an excitement to get up and out the very next day. In fact, adding one simple activity can increase your interest in walking from 15 minute to one hour easily, thus quadrupling your benefit.

5. Leave a Legacy: Let’s face it, one day, we’ll be gone. Our time here on this planet will come to an end and we’ll take all of our memories and experience with us. How great if we could leave just a portion of that knowledge, talent and experience behind. What can you do to share? Rich folks leave large sums of money to benefit their favorite charities and institutions. Many other folks volunteer their time and talents. What organizations could use your help? What do you like to do? Could you volunteer your time? Could you write a book? Technology like computers and online retailers like make it very easy now to write and publish your knowledge. Perhaps you like to make things? Furniture and wood crafts. Decorative items for the home. How about art? Do you like to draw or paint? Perhaps you’re one of those frustrated artists who can never get their hand to do as the brain says? Fortunately there are digital arts now that leave your traitor hand out of the equation and let your wild imagination do all the work with a keyboard and mouse.

6. Teach: What better way to leave a part of you behind than to teach? When you share your knowledge you give the next generation all the benefit of your experience. You give them a head start, a leg up, a shortcut to success. There are many community education opportunities where you can even earn money sharing your knowledge. How about SCORE, the service corps of retired executives? Perhaps you could share your knowledge to help other businesses grow?
Starting your own class is easier than you think. It can provide great satisfaction, purpose, and is a great way to meet people with the same interests as you.

7. Buy a Camera: One of the best ways to get maximum enjoyment from your retirement years is to get a camera and learn a bit about photography. Photography is a great way to unify and magnify the benefits from all your activities.

A recent survey, conducted offers some interesting health benefits not normally associated with photography.
• 3 out of 4 people in the survey indicated that photography made them more active each week.
• All of the survey’s participants said that photography stimulates their mind. Half stated that it made them feel more focused, alive and creative.
• 82% found the ability to sustain high levels of concentrate while taking photos. (not an easy task in today’s hurry up era of infinite distractions)
• Fun – Most study participants were involved just for fun, deriving no income from their photos.
• 93 people out of 100 reported that photography made them feel good about themselves.
• 8 out of 10 said it lifts their mental state daily… it makes them feel good.
• More than half the people surveyed felt more connected to the local community and the world.
• 8 out of 10 reported that their involvement in photography had increased their contact with other people.

Surprise – The quality of the photos taken did not influence results. Even though half the people found others showed little or no interest in their photos, they still reported feeling all of photography’s positive benefits!

When asked to reveal, in their own words, the benefits they enjoyed from photography here’s a snapshot of the replies:

Connecting with nice people, relaxation, reduced stress, creativity, extra income, greater appreciation of the world, help people preserve memories, make people happy, get out of the house, meet new people, nostalgia, makes me feel better, relieves pain.

Photography can make your current hobbies more fun by allowing you greater opportunities to share. It can be a great motivational force to keep you active each day. Digital Photography has become much more a communication medium than an art. Technology has made it easier for anyone to take a great photo with just a bit of training.

A recent report indicates that now 10,000 people will retire each day in the country. That’s a lot of people who need something to do. They’d better get busy. Life moves pretty fast and they just might miss it.

Learning a bit of photography can open a great many doors to making retirement one of the best times of your life.

by Robert Schwarztrauber

“Change Your Life in a Flash” is a great introduction to all the benefits of photography. Improve your picture taking skills and find out exactly how to apply these skills to improve your health, wealth and happiness. This 90 minute audio CD program will open your eyes to a whole new world of opportunities. Opportunities available only to the digital camera user. You can get more details on this program at


Mothers Love This Gift Most

May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day Gift from

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

None of us would be here today without you!

And we’re grateful for every day you’re here to share your love, your kindness, and your wisdom.

Here’s some great news for you – and a great gift idea for those looking for something truly special to give.

I read a report today by Evangeline Lausier, MD, director of clinical services at Duke Integrative Medicine and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, both in Durham, North Carolina. She is an internist specializing in women’s health and complex multi-system illnesses, with an emphasis on preventive lifestyle.

In the Bottom Line Report, she listed several ways to boost your energy in 8 minutes or less:

“Take 800 steps. A moderately brisk walk — at a pace of about 100 steps per minute — is an excellent way to get blood flowing to your heart and brain. Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that make you feel alert and energetic. If possible, walk outdoors — the sun’s rays activate the synthesis of mood-enhancing vitamin D.”

And what better way to get motivated and actually DO IT than to take your camera along to record some special sights along the way.

Here’s what else Dr. Lausier recommended:

“Express yourself to lower stress. Play the piano, pen a poem, paint a picture or just doodle. The purpose: Creative self-expression is stimulating — it alleviates energy-draining stress by helping you reconnect with your deep inner well of emotional well-being.”

While she didn’t expressly mention digital photography, we know that it is a great creative outlet. And it has one distinct advantage over those she did mention…we do it while in motion! We stand, we walk, we climb hills and we get fresh air and sunshine!

So if you’re looking for a perfect Mother’s Day gift to get your mom…get her a digital camera! That way she can have fun and get the exercise that will keep her healthy and with us for a long, long time.

If you’re a mom and didn’t get a camera (and you need one) go out and give yourself the best Mother’s Day gift ever!

Give the gift that moms love most…the one that just might help them be with us longer…give them a camera!

Happy Day Moms!

Robert Schwarztrauber

For more photography relate fun, check out my other sites at:

Creative Photography Tricks

January 22, 2011


Creative photography can add a whole new dimension and enjoyment to your photography. It can turn so-so photos into stunning works of art. It can create interest in your work through online communities and in your own local community.

If you’ve lost interest in your hobby, or are struggling to come up with new projects that excite you, or you just want photography to be more fun, you owe it to yourself to explore the possibilities of adding a few creative photography tricks to your repertoire.

Nothing beats the feeling you get when the  “oohs and ahhs” start coming when folks look at your creative photos. It has been said that we humans need  praise and attention for good mental health as much as we need vitamins and minerals for good physical health.

Learning just a few new creative photography tricks is a great way to start getting your RDA of attention and praise. It’s literally just a click away!

I’ve just opened a website that’s makes it so easy for you to get started in creative photography. In no time at all you’ll be creating clever photos to amaze and confound your friends. You’ll be their hero and leave them drooling in awe at your new found skills!

Here’s a link to the new website…click on over and have a look!

Robert Schwarztrauber

Time for a New and Exciting View

December 18, 2010

Niagara Falls Best ViewMaybe this has happened to you too…

The other night I was watching “Build It Bigger” on The Discovery Channel. They were showing how the Hoover Dam was built. I’ve always been fascinated by how some of these giant structures come to be.

In fact, I was so wrapped up in the program that I didn’t hear my daughter ask me a question. “Dad, didn’t you hear me?” she asked.

“No, I was hypnotized by the TV,” I said.

Truth be told, I was not really hypnotized by the  tube, but the results were the same as if I had been. In reality, I was simply experiencing the effects of tremendous focus. Concentration. In that state we block out unrelated sights and sounds until they suddenly startle us from our trance.

It is a known fact that most of the world’s greatest success stories are born of this great concentration. Someone with great vision and persistence (often called FOCUS) was able to accomplish in one lifetime what the millions who came before him or her never could.

Some people say it’s hard to concentrate, hard to stay focused. And yet everyday millions of people will sit hypnotized for hours in front of the TV. Concentrating on the plethora of nonsense borne of viewer polls and advertising statistics. If it’s loud and changes views every 7 seconds, we’ll watch it – good, bad, or ugly. Especially bad or ugly.

But there is a better view available. One that lets you choose the best scenes in the world. Surprisingly, some of them can be found right in your own backyard. (Like Niagara Falls is to me. See photo above).One that lets you get your body moving, one that lets you meet new people, one that lets you feel better about yourself instead of worse.

There is a view that will train your mind to concentrate, to focus as you’ve never done before.

Let’s recap.

Better concentration. More fun, more physical activity. More people meeting. More praise. A heightened sense of self-respect and a general overall good feeling about one’s self.

“Sounds pretty good,” you say. “How can I get that view?”

Well, it is as near as the back of your camera. It’s called, oddly enough, a viewfinder.

Ironic, the simplicity. We all walk around hoping for something new and exciting to appear in our life, but though we want another view, how many of us actually go to the VIEW FINDER?

Millions of photographers do worldwide. But all those extra benefits I mentioned in the recap are often kept quiet, and discussed infrequently, and just amongst ourselves. You can join us if you like! We’ve got a great view on life because everyday we get up and look for what’s beautiful in this world. Studies have shown that what we look for, what we think about most in our life, comes to be. We create our own reality – which is merely a reflection of our thoughts.

This year is about to close. I can promise that if you do nothing to change the view, the view will still be the same next year. And the year after that. You’ll sleepwalk  through life, hypnotized by the folks who do have a better view.

Why not get a little serious about photography now?

The physical, mental and even economic rewards can be great. But as they say…you’ve got to participate.

Robert Schwarztrauber

P.S. If you’re interested in using your viewfinder (your camera) to really improve your health, wealth and wisdom in the coming year, send me an email and I’ll be sure to put you on my pre-publication list for my soon-to-be-released home-study photography program. Unlike other programs, this one’s not designed to push you toward achieving worldly artistic greatness, but is focused instead on a simple,  fun way to achieve your own personal satisfaction, and better physical and mental health through digital photography.

Send your emails to:

Zig Ziglar’s Take on Your Autumn Path

October 27, 2010

"Fall Path"

Our senior years are often referred to as “The Autumn of Our Life”.

We’ve weathered the seasons. Grown strong. Brought forth new fruit. We’ve matured.

But Autumn doesn’t mean “the end”. It’s likely we’ll slow down a bit, but we’re far from through!

Many new studies show that our chronological age does not have to be reflected in our physical or mental states. There is a great deal we can do to control the condition of our bodies and our minds.

Studies also show that one thing is key. Exercise.

Just last night I read two reports from totally unrelated sources that came to the exact same conclusion…exercise (something as simple as walking) can slow or reverse the effects of aging on our bodies and our minds.

Adding an element of interest, challenge, or interconnection with other people  (like photography!)  intensifies the effect.

In a recent article, Zig Ziglar, America’s famed sales and motivational speaker sited research indicating that exercise is the factor that seems most likely to benefit the brainpower of the healthy, sick, young and old alike. He recommended 9 ways to stay fresh. Remarkably,  8 out of the 9 can be accomplished with your camera in hand.

1) Be flexible.  2) Find peace.  3) Eat right.  4) Get lots of stimulation.  5) Stay in school.  6) Seek new horizons.  7) Engage the world.  8)  Take a daily walk.  9) Finally, keep control.

In the second unrelated article University of Pittsburgh psychologist Kirk Erickson told Yahoo:

“In fact, there’’s only one practice that’’s been proven, without question, to preserve your memory: exercise. Aerobic activities tend to show larger effects than non-aerobic activities.”

Working up a sweat helps your mind stay fit better than any crossword puzzle–unless you’re doing that crossword on a treadmill.

The good news is that you don’’t need to run a marathon. Just walking six miles a week can ward off memory disorders caused by aging, according to Erickson’s research published this month in the medical journal Neurology. “It appears that if people start exercising their memory may improve and if you continue to exercise, that might delay, or offset, the age-related decline in memory,” he explains.

And you don’t need to lift any heavy barbells either. Erickson and his team monitored 300 senior adults over a period of 13 years, and found that those who walked between 6 and 9 miles a week——whether to work or with the dog –had half the brain deterioration of those who didn’’t. “Exercise seems to enhance some of the more fundamental properties of our brain,” Erickson explains. “It increases the growth of new cells and improves cellular processes associated with learning and memory.”

To put it simply, walking keeps your gray matter from shrinking. And the more matter, the more mind.  >>>end article<<<

Substitute “CAMERA” for “dog” and you have a much more potent stimulant for fighting the effects of aging. Photography requires far more use of your brain cells and concentration than any dog will. Don’t get me wrong…I love dogs! They have a powerful effect on keeping us happy too. Maybe you can alternate days of walking the dog for exercise, with walking your camera for mind power!

More and more studies seem to be supporting my position that one of the best ways to keep your mind and body young is to pursue your photography with passion!

Get up. Get out and enjoy this beautiful world we live in.

And bring your camera to record and share that beauty. It might just save your life!

Or at least make your Autumn years that much more colorful.

If you haven’t already, please help me in my research on this topic by taking just 3 minutes to complete my survey on the effect photography has on those who take pictures, either casually or professionally. It’s completely anonymous, and just 10 multiple choice question.

Here’s the link to the study that’s posted on SurveyMonkey

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Speaking of scary… one study also sited that people’s single biggest fear after 55 is Alzheimer’s disease. Take care of yourself…grab your camera and start walking!

by Robert Schwarztrauber

“The Secret” of Photography

April 7, 2010
The Secret

The Secret Revealed

One of the most popular videos of late has been, “The Secret”. In this film, much is made of the Law of Attraction. Particular attention is placed on the premise that as you think, so shall you become. While I found the film to be motivational and informative in many ways, I found it came up short on something equally important to success.


You can think of great inspiring plans, and dream of the opulent treasures that await you, but until you actually DO SOMETHING, things may be attracted to you, but it is by doing that we prepare ourselves to receive what we have coming. Until you do, until you give, you can never begin to get. It is the results of your actions, that began with your thoughts, that ultimately brings you the things you desire.

And the things you fix your mind to getting.

One of the most prominent figures in the movie “The Secret,” Bob Proctor,  made an analogy to the Polariod camera in his famous book, “You Were Born Rich”.
He said that our conscious mind is like the shutter on the camera. It is responsible for snapping the picture. The conscious mind chooses what we see and what we focus on we permit through to the subconscious mind. He goes on to say the subconscious mind is like the rest of the camera. It is responsible for bringing forth the image captured by the conscious mind and producing it exactly the way it was seen. The final Polariod  photograph is our result.

Our conscious mind, our thoughts, envision the thing we want, our subconscious mind then gets to work to create that vision in a physical form which is then available for all the world to see – we call it our results. If our image of what we want is not clear, our results will not be clear either. if we can’t hold a steady thought in our head, if we’re flipping all around from one thing to another, our results will reflect that lack of focus.

To extract the maximum benefit from “The Secret” and the Law of Attraction we must first have a clear vision of what we want to attract. We must then hold steady and focus on that vision even while we go about our regular duties in life. We must let that vision work through our powerful subconscious mind to process it into the physical result (the doing) and only then can we expect our vision to be drawn to us in the form we intended.

The process for getting good results in photography holds true for life as well. Have a good vision to share. Hold steady while you compose your vision. Have a proper tool to process your image. Then share the vision that is produced to benefit those who see it too.

Rudyard Kipling: On Success in Photography and Life

March 28, 2010
Children of the Fire

Children of the Fire

If I’ve learned anything in my many years it is this:

“You succeed by learning a skill, applying what you know, failing, learning something more, trying again. You repeat the cycle, hopefully failing a bit less each time until finally, if you persist, you succeed. Learn, fail, learn more, try more, eventually succeed.

It’s THE process for becoming good. Even “The Best”.  True in photography, true in life.

I think Rudyard Kipling summed it up very well when he said:

“I keep six honest serving men,

they  taught me all I know,

their names are what, why and when,

and how and where, and who.”

If you want to be great in whatever you do, make use these six counselors to help you. Persistence and dedication are your allies. Most folks will never be great simply because they lack the will to do what others won’t, to have what others can.

Want to be great? Do what the majority won’t!

Let’s take Mr. Kipling’s six honest serving folks one at a time and see how they can help us become more successful photographers.

What: Do you take pictures of the same things everyone else does? Stop it! People crave variety, something with a “Wow!” factor.

Why: Every great photograph answers this question. “Why am I looking at this?” If your photo doesn’t instantly offer your viewer the answer to this question, you’ve got to try harder, try again. Because the viewer shouldn’t have to, won’t think. “Why are you showing me this?”  If you can answer that question with your photo, then you’re miles ahead. Capture the emotion, the drama, capture a color, a light. Capture something special.

When: Do you shoot all your photos at the same time? Stop! Mix it up. Early morning and evening offer the best lighting for outdoor scenes. Cloudy days can be great too. Shooting on a sunny afternoon will put awful shadows in your work, so unless you’re going for a harsh look, avoid these times. Often it is helpful to add a “When” to your photos. Including weddings, birthdays, and other special events can add greatly to the interest of your photo.

How: How much do you study photography? Study proven and new methods? You should always be asking, “How is that done?” As long as you stay curious about your interest, and try new things, you will improve. Often before an assignment I’ll flip through 100’s and 100’s of photos on the internet to search for ideas and inspiration. Not to copy someone, but to see “How did they cover this subject?” I’ll look for an hour or so and then go to bed. Almost always,  the next day I’ll have dozens of ideas I’ll want to try based on images I saw from the day before. Look at the light in all the great photos you see and try to figure out how they achieved that look – so you can do it yourself. You can also physically change how you shoot. Shoot telephoto. Shoot wide angle. Shoot macro. Try fixing your aperture for a day and adjust around that. Try fixing your shutter speed so it forces you to learn to compensate with aperture. Change how you shoot your subjects, lie on the ground and shoot up, get a ladder and shoot down. Great photographers (designers and other artists) often have a signature “Look”. What’s yours?

Where: Where do you go to take photos? Go someplace different! Often we get in a rut, shooting the same things. Go somewhere different to find different subjects. If you normally shoot outdoors, shoot indoors. If you normally shoot pets, shoot kids. If you normally shoot kids, shoot teens. Shoot weddings. Shoot still lifes. Are your backgrounds always the same, change them. Change where you typically stand. Get closer! You can also change where you get your knowledge from. Hundreds of sites on the internet. Try a new one.

Who: Who are you learning from? If it’s not working, change that. If is is working, honor that pro by learning faster! Maybe you need to change who you shoot? Or maybe you need to join a club or forum so you can get feedback from some different “whos”? Anywho, changing your reference source can be a great way to change your results.

So there you have it. Six ways to shake up your habits and make great strides to becoming better at photography and everything you do.

Photography: What you need to learn in photography, you’ll need to learn to be successful in everything – so you might as well grab your camera and have some fun. Make photography part of your total fitness package. Mind, body and soul.

It’s total fitness photography.

Robert Schwarztrauber

Photography Fights Cabin Fever

February 8, 2010

Amaryllis in Winter

The weather this time of year doesn’t always favor photographers. I know I’m loathe to get outside for walks and photos when the temperature dips below freezing and the wind numbs you clear to the bone.

Luckily, with  a little creativity and a Google search, one can still find plenty of opportunities to get up and out – even during the coldest winter months.

This weekend, before settling in to watch Super Bowl 44, (where I’m proud to say my pick, the New Orleans Saints, won!) I  had a little bit of time to stop by one of my favorite winter retreats.

The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens was featuring a beautiful Amaryllis display under it’s rare Victorian glass dome. Fortunately I was able to take advantage of the rare glimpse of sun that helped to show off this delicate flower’s beauty.

Most cities have at least a few indoor facilities where you can find something interesting to photograph. With a little creativity you don’t have to be trapped indoors during the harsh winter months. You can still get out to exercise your body and your mind while improving your photographic skills.

Most museums allow photography, although one should always ask about the restrictions on flash photography. Or how about the beautiful churches in your town? The architecture and stained glass windows there make for many opportunities. Check the events calendar in your town also for listings of ongoing or upcoming events that might make for some interesting photo outings.

At the very least, if you can’t find a suitable indoor venue, consider just shooting from your car. Many scenes look beautifully unique when covered in snow or ice. You’ll not get too cold when you stop (please do stop…no shooting while driving!) and roll down your window to capture the scene. You may not get the physical exercise you otherwise would, but it still does a body good to get out and stimulate the mind in search of beauty.

So next time you’re getting that cabin fever, those winter blues, decide to get out your camera and find a destination. Next thing you know you’ll be happy as clam sorting through all those pics to find the pearl.  (is that a mixed metaphor, clams and pearls?)

Robert Schwarztrauber

Photography is Like Making Spaghetti

June 8, 2009
Making Spaghetti

Making Spaghetti

Your hand squeezes each plump, red tomato attempting to find just the perfect texture.

The bold, green color of bell pepper catches your eye next as you begin selecting the ingredients for a meal that’s sure to please. Each item must be chosen with most careful scrutiny in order for your creation to become a masterpiece of culinary delight.

But this is just the start.

Anticipation grows on the drive home with your precious cargo. You eagerly await the preparation which comes next. You imagine yourself carefully peeling away the parts that aren’t needed until just the very best remains. Each part must hold it’s own for the final feast to please. The kitchen is filled with excitement as the aromas begin to tease.

From all of your gathering of ingredients, preparation, and artful assembly a spaghetti dinner has been created! Friends and family can now enjoy.

So how in the world is photography like that?

Rather than just tell you outright, permit me to share a little story and see if you can find a similarity.

The park is filled with magnificent colors. The sweet scent of fragrant flowers is in the air. You can hear the shrill sound of the blue jay, off just a bit in the distance, near I expect to where the small but sparkling waterfall meets the pooling waters below.

You know you have found the perfect spot to gather photos. The beautiful flower colors beg to be taken home. The unique textures on the rock wall and the shadows they form would be great to show your friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a shot of the beautiful blue jay as he sweeps by in pursuit of his next meal. It’s like being in paradise, again.

I say again because at least once a week, I head out, camera in hand to gather the wonders of nature on film. It’s a great chance to look for, enjoy, and appreciate all the magical things that surround us every day, but often go unnotice in our hustle and bustle lives.

Each week I  gather the visual ingredients that will make for great photographs to share with friends and family…and everyone here at this blog. But the process of creating great photographs just begins in the camera. There are so many ways to prepare them later, just as there are hundreds of ways to prepare tomatoes. One outcome may be quite different from another.

On my journey home from the park, I begin to imagine just how I will use my digital photo editing software, in my case Photoshop, to careful craft the final images. Digital editing is the equivalent of cutting the veggies to make a fine spaghetti sauce. Only in photography we’re preparing pixels.

Once “cut and washed” until sparkling clean and clear, the final image you will see nears completion. Perhaps I’ll pick a nice frame just as you would settle your fine spaghetti into one of your best dishes for presentation.

You gather and you prepare, savoring each step as you go.

That is exactly how photography is like making spaghetti. A few hours spent immersed in the enjoyable adventure of creating something grand to share.

However there is one critical difference I should make you aware of. Photography will never put one pound on your body, no matter how often you partake.

In fact, when you follow the  program I suggest on this blog, you can actually find yourself losing weight! And having a great time doing it!

Spaghetti on the other hand?


Senior Fitness Movement

April 15, 2009
Waves Tube Slide

Waves Tube Slide

Yesterday, on a brisk and sunny weekday afternoon, we packed up the minivan and headed over to Waves Indoor Waterpark in nearby Niagara Falls, Ontario. A great way to enjoy time with the kids while they are off from school for the Easter (Spring) holiday.

We had a great time zipping down the three-story waterslides and getting tossed about in the wave pool. I even got to enjoy a little quiet time in the huge hot-tub when Stephanie (my daughter) wasn’t pulling me out to get the next soaking from the giant bucket dump!

It was there, in this time of quiet reflection, (ha-ha!) that I made an interesting observation leading to why I write about this here today.

As you know, my position is that photography is more than just recording a visual point in time. It’s more than capturing a memory. It’s more than creating a light picture that will hang on the wall. While all that is fun, the hidden benefit of photography is that it is good for our bodies. Photography leads to better physical and mental health.

The proof I discovered today at the waterpark, in a not-so-scientific but very revealing study,  is that seniors with cameras in their hands tended to move around while seniors without cameras tended to sit in one place.

Yes, because this is a great place for kids to be active, grandparents with cameras (and parents too) had to get up from their chairs and follow the kids around to snap their picture. They had to get moving. And any fitness professional will tell you that moving beats sitting hands-down for creating a healthier body. And any mental health professional will tell you that being active and doing something  is far better for your mind than not doing anything.

Do you think at any time those folks with cameras thought, “I better get up and get some exercise by chasing those kids around with my camera?” No.

Once again proving my point that photography is one of the best, fun ways to keep your body mentally and physically fit. When you head out regularly to capture a photo of something you love (children, grandchildren, flowers, landscapes, pets, birds, boats, etc. ) you’re doing  something to give your body all that it needs to stay fit.

The camera. The ultimate mind-body fitness machine… that’s fun to use! (and you can’t hang your clothes on it!)

Grab your camera now and lets get fit!

Robert Schwarztrauber

2nd Chance For Camera Cash

March 29, 2009

spring-card4Short Note:

Many folks were interested in getting the NewPhotoBiz 1.0 offer I wrote about previously, (Recession Beating Income)but were closed out

Well I’ve just been informed that it will be opening up again, slightly better, next week. Scott has also prepared a FREE online-video introduction that really offers some great Photoshop and business tips as well.

If you missed out last time, you won’t want to miss this. Since I’ve gotten so many questions specifically on Photoshop, I created a new site more dedicated to the details.

You can sign up for Scott’s NewPhotoBiz Lite, free videos when you fill out the name and email form on the top right of my new photoshop dedicated blog, Photoshop House of Cards. Click here to go there now.

Remember, if you’re looking for a great way to create waves of cash using your camera, Scott’s, NewPhotBiz Lite, is the Tsunami you’ve been looking for!

Recession Beating Income from Digital Photo Biz

January 27, 2009
Simple to Make with NewPhotoBiz 1.0

Simple to Make Money with NewPhotoBiz 1.0

If you’re looking to finally start your own business to ease the layoff worries, or to supplement your income on a part-time basis, or maybe you’ve already lost your job and are wondering how to make ends meet, then here’s a new product that might make it easy for you.

It’s called NewPhotoBiz 1.0 by a professional photographer named Scott Voelker. He has created an amazing “business-in-a-box” that just might get you earning $1000 per day creating amazing photographs of children from your digital camera. Using his custom “Anne Geddes” style templates, anyone can create photographs no mother could ever resist – and do it in just minutes!

One client who purchased NewPhotoBiz 1.0 earned $6000 their first month – working only 3 days per week!

I purchased his program and was blown away by how thoroughly he takes you through every step from beginning to end. Beginners have everything they need to start a successful business today…and pros can jump right in using his amazing templates to add $100 to their existing products.

This is a rocket to success in a fun, photo business. No matter how tight the money gets, moms are going to buy pictures of their kids. This business beats the recession, is easy to start, and you can earn as much as you like. Working as many or as few hours as you like. Full or Part-Time!

You’ll kick yourself if you don’t check it out. Here’s the link with a complete description and the  100% satisfaction, no questions asked guarantee:

NewPhotoBiz 1.0 Lite

If you’ve ever thought of taking simple pictures to earn cash, you must get this program. Check it out now before it’s gone!

Remember, this program is ALL you need to make your dreams come true in 2009. I’ve never seen anything offered on the internet this good, this thorough.

P.S.  With Scott’s  How-to VIDEOS you can also learn a ton for FREE!     The photo of two girls in the leaf was created in less than 10 minutes using Scott’s program. Pretty cool, huh?  I don’t recommend many products highly, but this one packs in a lot at a bargain price. Even if you never go pro! You’ll have the best kids portraits to show off to friends and family! They’ll be drooling with envy. And begging you to do one for them!

Increase Your Income in 2009

January 2, 2009

Just a short post today, as the new year begins, to remind everyone that it’s not enough to be great at taking pictures. I have no doubt that there are great photographers across the planet wondering where their next dollar will come from.

Great income comes from great marketing.

Here’s a new link to one of my best resources, Clayton Makepeace and his crew over at The Total Package.
Go here for great money making techniques that will send your income soaring. (I almost forgot to mention…it’s FREE!)

Also, don’t forget to get your copy of
“How To Pay The Rent With Your Camera – THIS MONTH!”  from “Dan the Man” – who knows all about making money with your camera.

Here’s that great ebook link again:

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year!

Robert Schwarztrauber

Top 5 Reasons to Choose Camera over Retirement Gold Watch

December 24, 2008
Say NO to Gold Watch

Say NO to Gold Watch

If you are offered the traditional gold watch upon retirement, you would do wise to politely decline this gesture – in exchange for a camera.  More precisely, exchange it for a digital, single lens, reflex camera, DSLR for short.

There are many reasons why choosing a camera over the gold watch (whatever the wild market price of gold might be as you read this) could just be the smartest decision you ever make in your life.

In fact, it just might SAVE your life.

Or at least help you live longer.

Here are my top 5 reasons to chose a camera over retirement gold watch:

1. Cameras Stop Time

Watches are for keeping track of and counting down time. Is that how you want to spend the rest of your life, counting down the hours until your ultimate demise?

A camera lets you explore and capture all the beauty of this world – to enjoy again and again – whenever you chose. A camera is the ultimate time-stopper. Each image, each memory is frozen for all eternity.

2. Photographs are Priceless

A gold watch has a market price sure, maybe even $800 – $1000 per ounce. But if you trade in your time piece for cash, blow it on something else, then where will you be?

A camera may or may not be worth as much per ounce, but is priceless in terms of the opportunities it provides for adding enjoyment to your life. Imagine the smile of one adorable grandchild, captured forever by the lens on your camera. Imagine the most beautiful sunset or sunrise captured by your camera as you sit with your spouse in some exotic location (or even on your own front porch). How much would that be worth? Priceless, wouldn’t you agree?

3. Cameras Can Help You Live Longer

Watch the time! Do you know how slowly time seems to go when you’re watching it? With nothing to do? Don’t count the hours -Live Them!

It has been shown, scientifically, that (barring some inherent illness, accident,  or disease) the people who live the longest are the people with something to do. What better way to live your life than in search of the beautiful things -the things we love to take pictures of. And if you already have a hobby, photography can be the spice that really adds a punch to your passion. It could even earn you a nice income. (see more articles below on earning big bucks with your camera!) Don’t count hours, live! Nobody is too old to start!

4.Cameras: The Perfect Hand-held, Mind-Body Fitness Machine

Tic-toc, tic-toc, ’round and ’round she goes. Looking at that shiny gold case or those hands going around won’t do anything to stimulate your body or your brain. And if you don’t do something, it’ll all turn to mush.

A camera on the other hand is a call to action. Imagine jumping out of bed each morning in eager anticipation of capturing the best sunrise you ever saw. Imagine heading out each day in search of some wonderful photo, that you took, to share with your spouse, your friends, or your neighbors? “Ooh, ahh”  they’ll say! Your ego will soar. And tomorrow, you’ll get up, take a walk, use your whole brain and all of your senses to search for the perfect scene. And then concentrate on the best way to capture it. You’ll build your body and your mind – the perfect “exercise”. And it will feel like fun, not work! Choose the camera!

5. Cameras Can Lead to Fame and Fortune

While you might appear on one episode of “Antique Roadshow” with your retirement watch, it’s unlikely to bring you much fame or recognition.

A camera on the other hand lets you share your world with folks from around the globe. No picture ever taken is quite the same as another. And when you are serious about taking good photographs, other folks will heap praise upon cash to see your work. It’s a great way to get your name out there, meet new people, and win awards and even cash. When was the last time you received an award- for anything? In photography, it’s quite easy to get a pat on the back, a “Good Job!”, “Nice Work”. And the number of photo contests and opportunities to be “famous” and earn cash are almost endless.  Finally, you can… BE SOMEBODY!

To wrap up, whether or not it’s your time to retire, (and likely as not there is NO longer any gold watch being handed out) DO get yourself one of the new digital, single lens, reflex cameras (DSLR’s) and begin to learn about photography. Digital makes photography so much easier. Anyone can do it! Even if you’ve never tried before. (If you have questions , I’m always here to help you. Just email your questions to me)

More information on how the camera can dramatically improve your life is contained in the preceding posts…be sure check them out below!

Be sure to sign up for my newletter delivered via email. Everything you need to begin an exciting new life with camera in hand. Write to me at:  And be sure to put NEWSLETTER in your subject line.

Robert Schwarztrauber, photographer, is a regular contributer to picture posts and informational sites across the internet. For more information on how photography can dramatically improve your life, request his eNewsletter from:

“How To Pay The Rent With Your Camera – THIS MONTH!”

December 22, 2008
 Holiday Gift Ideas

Short on Cash?

Turning Photos Into Cash

How great would it be if someone were actually PAYING you to capture photos of beautiful, wonderful, or just plain fun things?

If you’re like most people who get the photo bug, you start taking pictures because it’s just great fun.

Nostalgia. When you come across something beautiful, or something wonderful, or something fun you want it to last forever.

Snap! Got it. Now, with picture in hand, you can feel that same feeling over and over again. Flip out the picture…ahh, you feel great again.

Where would we be without our photo memories! In fact, next to saving their children and pets, people will most often run back into a burning building to save their precious photographs!

Now just think how great it would be if someone were actually paying YOU to capture photos of their kids, their pets and their whole family!

Imagine that people will come to you and ask to have their picture taken. One simple technique could have folks handing their cash over to you.

A great new book has just been released which can have you getting cash fast – using your CAMERA to make you money!

A master of creating cash from your own photography business,
photographer DE has assembled this great book to help photographers of all skill levels go behind the curtain to discover proven techniques, in use, that get you PAYING customers. It’s about simple, slap-yourself-on-the-forehead, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that techniques by photographers from across the country. All sharing their secrets.

And get this! For less than you’d pay to buy one person a holiday gift, you can have ALL the tips, techniques and strategies in this book!

What’s more, you could pay for all the holiday gifts you bought this year from just ONE tip in this book!

Or, as the book is titled, see “How To Pay The Rent With Your Camera – THIS MONTH!”

It’s priced at just $27 now, but I can’t believe he’ll give away so much for long. Click the blue link below and pop on over to get your copy securely from Clickbank now.

Click Here!

You CAN create wealth using your camera. I thought I knew a lot but the ideas in this book really opened my eyes. You’ll love it too.
(But you might not get any sleep tonight once you get these great
ideas rolling ’round in your head. I know I didn’t!)

And remember, it’s risk free when you purchase from Clickbank.
If you’re not satisfied for ANY reason you can simply get your money back with their generous return policy. But when just one of DE’s proven methods can earn you back $100’s, I don’t expect you’ll be needing that refund if you’re serious about making money using your camera!

Again, Click Here! to get your copy today!

Copy This Orchestra for BIG Photography Profits

December 20, 2008
Doggy Basket

Doggy Basket

Last night I attended an amazing holiday production by the
Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Now most people think nice classical music (or boring!) when you mention going to the symphony. Being a holiday presentation tends to worsen their regard since they already know all the songs.

Not too exciting they imagine.

But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the spectacular show put on by this talented group of musicians. And that’s where the lesson begins that can teach (or remind) photographers an awful lot about achievingtheir maximum potential.

Most “normal” orchestral events differ very little from listening to music on a CD except for the ticket price and the polite applause heard between songs. You watch a sedate group of musicians sit and play for hours on a rather stark stage. In my estimation, a 90% auditory experience coupled with a 10% visual experience. If that style of performance has changed in 300 years, it’s not by much.

Therein lies the problem. We live in a society raised on television. We’re a visual society now more than ever. More than any other time in history we want, ney expect, excitement to come blasting in through our eyeballs MTV knew that. And now it seems there can be no stopping the proliferation of YouTube style videos that are popping up at a phenomenal rate. (see the trend?)

Million dollar opportunities spring from nowhere when you include visual stimulus in either your product or its presentation.

We demand visual excitement in our lives.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra has rocked up the old Christmas standards. Athletic performers of boundless energy playing electric guitars and violins to songs like “O Holy Night” rock the house. You get keyboards and rockin’ drum solos set to a laser and pyrotechnic light show that rivals the biggest
names in rock-n-roll history. They get it.

They saw the trend to visual 10 years ago and took action – building a touring group that plays to sold out venues everywhere. Their great show is easily 50-50 in terms of visual to auditory. Half great sound, half great visual show. They added excitement to their music in a very visual way and now reap mega-millions annually for their intelligence

And that’s what we need to do as photographers. Add excitement!

While there is still a place for the standard portrait, there is an even greater opportunity for photos that excite. Photos that people get all hyped up.Photos that people can’t wait to show and tell their friends about.

Photos with that “WOW!” factor.

And now, thanks to SV, a master of photography techniques and marketing, ANY photographer, amateur or pro, can add the equivalent of a rock band’s light show to their photographs.

SV has created a unique way to add extreme visual excitement to your photographs.Best of all, it’s simple and easy. He has a great way of showing you how, and, no surprise, he uses FREE videos to let you in on his secrets.

Discover more about how to add extreme visual excitement to your photos and boost your income substantially at :

Better Photos for Weight Loss

September 10, 2008
Delaware Park Rose Garden

Delaware Park Rose Garden


You’ve got the camera and you know you’ve got to get out and use it…
if you want to lose it. Pounds that is. Like most fitness equipment, the only time it provides a benefit is when you use it.

Heading out, camera in hand can give you a great cardio workout,
perhaps what will seem like the fastest hour of exercise you ever had.

So let’s get started.

Before heading out, you need to have a subject. A purpose. A focal point.
A good photo outing, like a good photo, must have a singular point of interest.

To wander around aimlessly has it’s place, but as motivation to action it won’t work here. So decide where you want to go, (we discussed 3 options in the last post…the city, the beach or waterfront, or the park) pick one and go.

Once there you can begin your walk in search of great photographic subjects.

Keep in mind these secret photographer’s tricks to achieving really great shots:

1. Rule of Thirds: Imagine your view screen is cut by 2 lines vertically and 2 horizontally, creating 9 equal squares on your viewfinder. Always try to place the main subject of your photo along on of those horizontal or vertical lines. Avoid placing your subjects directly in the center box. You’ll see an instant improvement in your photographic skills.

2. Contrast: Light against dark or vise versa.

2a. Color Contrast: Imagine the color wheel (or better yet, get one) to see which colors are opposite on the wheel. Try to find subjects together that are opposite on the wheel for maximum visual interest (contrast).

3. Angles: Try to create a diagonal through your photos with streets, or grassy edges or buildings, fences or any natural element. Start it from the lower left corner of your viewer in towards the center of your photo. This helps to draw the eyes into and toward your subject. (See todays photo taken with a Nikon D40)

4. Focus: A couple of points here. Eyes should always be sharply in focus when photographing people or animals. To have your subject stand out from the background, blur the background by using a large lens opening on (D)SLR cameras (that means a small f number like f4.5 rather than f8 or f16).

Below are a list of subjects to look for. If you browse through magazines, retail stores or anywhere pictures are found, you will find that these are the most popular things that people like to look at. (if your interested
in the types of photographs that sell…send me an email)

Flowers, trees, gardens, garden paths, butterflies, stone walls, architecture colorful umbrellas, sea shells, fountains, statues, pets, animals, birds, reflections from puddles, windows, lakes, ponds, farmer’s markets, countryside, cows, horses, tractors, kids, couples, doors, churches, clocks.

Get out, look around with purpose and you’ll begin to see a whole new world reveal itself to you.

I guarantee once you get out there, you’ll be hooked!

Once you get home to look at the photographs you took, you’ll be like a kid on Christmas eve…eager for the new morning so you can get back out there again to capture more of the beauty that surrounds us.

All the while burnin’ calories without the dreaded…”exercise”.
Try to get that excited about your treadmill.

by Robert Schwarztrauber

NEXT: Photography: The Miracle Brain Food