Monday, May 21, 2018

Investing in Mutual Funds: 101

A friend recently asked me my thoughts on mutual fund investing, seeking advice on how to build a portfolio.  Rather than just give him some notes, I choose to right a post so that anyone can see my approach.  It's certainly not perfect.  I strive for simple and easy to manage.  I do not chase the latest fad.  I talk only about mutual funds, the same thing can be accomplished with ETF's purchased through a broker, direct mutual funds save a middle man, they are easier, if you don't have a broker.  

What is a BarrettPhoto Book?


The books I create are complications of images taken at a specific event or series of events.  My intent in putting them together is to capture memories and build something that is a worthy keepsake for the participants in the event.

Photo books allow me to utilize images that would otherwise end up in a shoebox or just sit on a disk drive into something that I am proud to share with people who may be interested in where I have visited and/or seen.

Some of the books are intended for any/all participants in a group trip, such as the Grove City Alumni travels that Linda and I enjoy participating in.  So far, I’ve produced three such books, with one more slated for June/July of 2018:

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Consumer Reports rates Photo Print Labs - 2017



Consumer Reports recently published a rating of Photo Printing Services with some analysis.  Top quality honors went to Walgreens (98 of 100) with AdoramaPix close behind (97 of 100). The best pricing on 4x6 prints was a tie at 9¢ between Walmart, Amazon, and Snapfish.  Several labs charged $1.79 for an 8x10 (Walmart, Amazon, and Costco).  Adoramapix was competitive on pricing for an 8x10 at $1.89 while offering a higher quality print.

The Consumer Reports Article is available on the CR web site.

I am pleased to see my photo lab of choice coming out on top.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fonts in Barrett Photo Books

My knowledge of typography is fairly sparse. I have picked up a few things here and there in classes and other readings.  I've learned enough to know it is an important element of book / page design and that I don't know nearly enough.  That said, I have settled on a few design guidelines that I think make sense and I try to follow. I'll try to lay them out here, for my own reference at least.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Freezing Flowing Water

This is old hat to many photographers, but the use of shutter speed to freeze flowing water is something worth understanding even at the risk of repeating what might be obvious.

Water in motion can make striking images.  Our eyes naturally blend the motion of falling water drops and make water falls / rapids into silky ribbons of water even when they are actually individual droplets of water.  A camera can freeze that motion, or allow it to flow, it all depends on the shutter speed.

The accompanying shot of the water wheel was shot at 1/50 of a second.  This allowed the water to move a short distance during the exposure and blurring, but not forming a long smooth silky fall.  In this case, I wanted the water to show motion, to make the shot feel like it's in motion, but I wanted the spokes of the wheel to be relatively sharp, nearly frozen in time. That's what I was seeing when I looked at the scene and that shutter speed (on a tripod, BTW) was just right.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Photography Tips: AdoramaPix

It's pretty obvious that I like working with AdoramaPix.  The books that they print are just amazing, always bringing smiles to viewers eyes and they aren't too hard to build.  So I follow what they are doing.  I also am a big fan of learning.  Nearly everyone can and should learn.  Getting better is always a solid objective.

I recently came across Adoramapix's blog that mixes these two things.  They have solid advice on a number of aspects of photography and are easy reads.  If you're in the mood for photographic learning, take a moment to visit them at their blog.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Framing and Matting

Information in this post is old news to anyone who knows how to mat pictures, but they are things I needed to learn and don't want to forget.

One of the first steps in matting is to decide what size and how many layers are going to be used.  Mats can be single, double, or even triple with various amounts of inner layers exposed.  My typical mat is a double with 1/4" of inner mat exposed.  The width of the outer (nearest the glazing) varies depending on the of the image.  Here's the table I start with:

Rule of Thumb for Mat size. 
United Inches    Suggested Mat 
    8" to 11".....................1"
   12" to 17"...................1 ½”
   18” to 24”..................1 ¾”
   25” to 36”.................2”
   37” to 44”.................2 ½”
   45” to 56”.................3”
   56” to 60”.................3 ½”

It comes from a blog post on AmericanFrame.com's blog. Color is of course important, but I'll let that discussion alone and move forward with the steps of actually cutting a mat.