Why writers should have a powerful computer?

Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration
Desktop Personal Computer (PC) In A Dual Monitor Configuration

Recently, when speaking with a friend of mine, he questioned why I had purchased such a powerful computer? It seemed to him to be unnecessary to purchase such a powerful computer.

By way of background, my most recent personal computer (PC) is a super high-powered gaming computer, meaning it has multiple CPUs a high-powered graphics card and several gigabytes of memory.

Pondering on his question, I decided to write a short article explaining my reasoning. After having written several books and running several blogs for years I have come to this understanding of why a high-powered computer is a benefit to writers.

As it happens, my most recent computer purchase was a desktop. However, I have laptops, iPhones, iPads, as well.

I would like to note, that even though I own a gaming computer, I am not nor have I ever been a gamer. As a matter fact, I’m never found much purpose in games; computerize or otherwise.

Computer Application Performance
Computer Application Performance

Perhaps, my biggest reason for investing in a really powerful computer, is application performance. There are a number of applications that I use in the course of my day, which I like to have work quickly and efficiently. This is especially true, for tools such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking (my speech to text tool), my word editor, and my photo editors; all of which I use on a daily basis to support my writing and my blogs.

Speech To Text

Nothing hinders my performance more than sitting around waiting for an application to catch up. I find waiting on the computer to catch up when I’m using speech to text, for example, to be super annoying and distracting to the point of causing me to lose my focus sometimes. This hasn’t been a problem in a while with the new computer but is definitely work on my nerves in the past. This is an area where high-speed CPUs and significant amounts of memory can be very helpful.

Photo and video editors

I use a number of photo editors and today even if you take a photo with your iPhone modern cameras take photos which can be quite large sometimes. This is even more true, if you’re working with video. This would be the reason that I lean toward a significant amount of memory and for high-end graphics card.

Web-based tools

in addition to having high-speed Internet access, in my case 1 Gb optical, it pays to have plenty of memory, high-speed CPUs, and a good graphics card, so you’re not sitting around waiting for your tools to keep up online and so that they’re not always having to buffer to your PC. And this can be true for any number of tools including WordPress, Grammarly, and online word processing and editing tools.

Web research

for the same reasons that having a powerful computer helps will web-based tools, it also helps when you do online research and when you download online content. This is particularly true, when downloading large content.

Photo Editing On A Computer
Photo Editing On A Computer

What I look for when I buy a new computer?

Plenty of memory

Plenty memory is important, 16 GB of memory is kind of the minimum these days, so, go for as much memory as you can reasonably afford. Memory isn’t terribly costly these days but unless you just like buying more memory and switching it out (assuming your not tech savvy and like that kind of thing), I recommend that you get the memory up front in your computer or have it installed by their support team at the time of purchase. The more memory you have the more work at one time your computer can do in memory without writing to disk–working in memory is always faster than writing and reading from disk.

Several high-speed CPUs

Since CPUs are the real brains of the process along with the high-speed memory is important to get modern high-speed CPUs and several of them.  Multicore computers are not terribly costly these days, either, and with a 64-bit operating system can be quite fast and efficient. More CPU’s and/or Cores will allow you to run multiple programs efficiently at the same time.

Graphics cards

Now graphic cards may be a little more optional if you don’t do a lot of work with photographs and videos but I would still recommend that you consider getting a computer with a powerful graphics card installed. Even if for no other reason than the ability to work efficiently with your content on the web and in the cloud. Powerful graphic cards improve the performance of photographic and video editors, as was as, providing a smoother overall user experience.

High Speed drives

If you have the budget for it going with a Solid State Drive (SSD) rather than Hard Disk Drive (HDD) can also add performance with it comes to caching and saving you data and files. My most recent computer actually had both types. An Solid State Drive (SSD) as my main drive (C Drive) and an Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for backup, recovery, and long term storage for less frequently used file. This combination has worked very well for me.

Blogging – Why Should Your Blog Post Have More Than One Picture?

Adding Photos to you Blogging Content
Adding Photos to you Blogging Content

In blogging, images play a crucial role in your success. No matter the subject you are writing about, believe me, or not pictures are not easy to ignore if you are looking forward to succeeding.

Thus, in this article, we have comprehensively covered why blog pictures are important towards achieving success in the blogging field.

Below is why blog pictures are essential in a blog post:

Visually Appealing Photograph Of A Butterfly
Visually Appealing Photograph Of A Butterfly

Visually Appealing

Having a picture and the right picture makes your content to create a positive impression.

If your post is visually dull and has no emotions, most visitors will run away from your site even before reading anything thus creating a lousy impression.

However, if your posts are visually attractive, the chances of creating emotional connections with readers are high thus luring them to take actions.

In some cases, images are the main focus of your post. Make sure the pictures you have used are beautiful and relevant to the content of the post to make them attract the reader and convey the message you intended to pass.

Selecting From Search Engine Results Based on the Pictures
Selecting From Search Engine Results Based on the Pictures

Search Engines Traffic

When you use appropriate images in your blog post, be assured to get better results in search engines.

There are some things you should consider when adding images to increase the traffic from the search engines. Adding tags, descriptions, and titles is vital in boosting performance in search engines.

Use of relevant keywords in a good way, help to make your post easily seen. Compressing and resizing your images helps in optimizing them to load faster and rank well in search engines.

Social Media Apps On a cell Phone
Social Media Apps On a Cell Phone

Social Media Exposure

Many social media users will pay a little to no attention when bypassing their timelines and come across posts lacking images.

Use of emotional and creative pictures will make your post easily seen in a timeline that has been overcrowded.

Posts accompanied with pictures get higher engagement which is contrary to posts without images.

If your post has images, you will get more likes than that lacks. With a picture, some users will like the post even without reading it.

When users are interested in the image you have used, there are higher chances of clicking on your post and open it.

If social media has no pictures, it would be a dull and unimpressive place. Use relevant photos to ensure your posts are standing out.

Blog Pages with Little Written Content
Blog Pages with Little Written Content

Article Length Increment

There are posts which require few words to pass the intended message, i.e., “Top 10 best web designs trends in 2019”.

In this case, you’ll to have ten images, ten subtitles, as well as ten short descriptions and you, ’re done with the post.

Thus, relevant and well-chosen images are perfect in creating a lengthy blog post using very few words.

Understanding Complex Information
Understanding Complex Information

Makes Understanding Complex Information Easier

In some posts, for example with more technical data like how a specific technology works, may be hard to be understood by those with little to no knowledge on that field. Thus, the use of screenshots can be a good way to go.

So, it’s good to provide images to make the information easily understood. These images are crucial and educate the readers about whatever you are writing and illustrating.

The use of screenshots, educational images like tables, graphics as well as wireframes will give more precise meaning to the information making it easy to be understood and relevant to the reader.

Photos Support Your Point
Photos Support Your Point

Supporting Your Point

Whenever a reader reads, a blog post gets a kind of a certain feeling. Depending on the posts, some will encourage, guide among others.

With the help of images, you can achieve this comfortably. Let us say your post regards losing weight and the content is about healthy eating, using a picture of a slim and fit woman will motivate the reader.

Relevant images will support your statement, and your post will be useful to many.

People are visual
People are visual

People are visual

If for no other reason because people of all ages are visual and simply enjoy pictures and graphics. Vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch are the five traditionally recognized senses and sight (or vision) is almost always listed first among them for a reason. A person need look no further than Comic books and children’s books to understand this. Also, a reader can derive meaning from context and content of a picture or graphic, people will tend to remember it faster, better, and longer.

Pictures Add Color and Character to Your Writing
Pictures Add Color and Character to Your Writing

Conclusion

Images play a crucial role in blogging. The just discussed why blog pictures are important reasons are a tip of an iceberg. They are many and endless.

However, when you use images in your blog post, you will get all the benefits discussed above, and you will have a breakthrough in the blogging industry.

Related References

Photography – How To Create Quality Landscape Photographs

Moraine Lake Sunrise Colorful Landscape
Moraine Lake Sunrise Colorful Landscape

How Can You Create Quality Landscape Photographs?

Today, landscape photography is very popular, perhaps more than ever before. If you think about it, you can probably remember seeing at least two landscape prints that you felt connected and drawn to. Photography can be an art form and more than just a pretty picture; Landscape photography is a message you want to convey to your audience, whether is it is the beauty, the devastation, a historical perspective or an emotion, it is your message.  Now, if you specialize in landscape photography, you may think that capturing a great image is simple. But, there’s more to it than simply aiming a camera and taking a photo. You need to pay attention to detail, and make sure that you have great lighting, and properly place the subject you are photographing. It’s also important that you have the right equipment to aid you in your pursuit of photography.

Black And White Landscape Photography

With black and white landscape photography capturing an amazing image is even more challenging than if you were taking color pictures. With color taken out of the equation, you are forced to focus on lighting and shadows more, which can be challenging. The composition is also very important; you need to pay attention to how you frame an image and look at edges, textures, and tones that you see. The goal is to get your camera to capture an image in black and white that looks like what your eye would see in color.

If you choose to try your hand at black and white photography, you should try to focus on capturing images of buildings and water, since these are the most common subjects for this type of photography. Pay attention to highlights and shadows, as well as the angle from which you take the picture. When photographing water, water can  provide an excellent contrast to trees and rocks, which helps to capture the eye of the viewer. Another great technique is to take photos of landmarks such as buildings and bridges to help draw the viewer in.

Color Landscape Photography

Paying close attention to contrast is essential with color landscape photography. While color gives an image a more vibrant look, it also makes it harder to achieve the contrast you need to create an interesting image. For example, if you are taking a picture of water under a blue sky, there probably won’t be enough contrast to interest people looking at the image. But, if you take a picture of water under a sunrise or sunset when the sky is bathed is reds and oranges, you are more likely to get a much better image. Remember that you need to take your time, set up properly, and take multiple pictures to ensure you have choices, that accidents destroy or cause to lose the composition of your picture.  

Position is important

As it happens, I have more than once found the best picture of a landscape or other subject was not the one I originally intended to take.  By taking multiple pictures from different positions, vertical angles, and lighting perspective, a person sometimes gets a far better picture or series of pictures than a carefully planned and choreographed approach.  

Lighting For Landscape Photography

A landscape photographer depends upon natural lighting rather than artificial lighting, which means you will have to adapt to your subject since you won’t be able to alter or control the lighting. Filters can be used to achieve some specific effects.  For best result use of a professional grade camera and tripod is recommended.  Other things to consider where lighting is a concerned are:

Desert Dune In Partial Shadow
Desert Dune In Partial Shadow

Use of shadow

Taking advantage of shadows can add a lot of character to our landscape shots. However, it will take some patience, and you will have to leverage what mother nature has to offer. In the case of a landscape photographer, we have to work with the shadows that are provided by the angle of the sun, other objects in the landscape, such as mountains, trees, and clouds. Whether only partial shading is involved or perhaps complete shading of one object in the non-shading of the remainder of the landscape, shadows can add a significant amount of contrast or pictures.

Forest With Golden Autumn Colors
Forest With Golden Autumn Colors

Use Of Seasonality

Seasonality, can add character in a number of ways. First, is the simple color of the changes that occur in certain parts of the world and fall and spring and winter and even the nature of what is there to offer such as snow cover. Also, the sons lighting tends to change across the season’s fall, and autumn may have yellow were sunlight then Midsummer. Working with what the seasons provide the same landscape can look stark if it happens to be a deciduous forest in winter, glossy bright this new snowfall warm hot and dry and Midsummer heat. So, there are reasons that even the same landscape character can change in just a few weeks and therefore, it doesn’t hurt to return to the same landscape multiple times to take advantage of the change in character.

Forest With Sunrise In Background
Forest With Sunrise In Background

Use Of Time

Time is also important to a landscape photographer, both from the perspective of the time of day; morning, noon, evening, night, dawn or dusk. But there is also another characteristic of time, which can be very useful when taking landscape pictures, which is time-lapse photography. Time-lapse photography provides a character to landscape photos in certain circumstances. In those instances where you have movement in the environment, such as running water, windblown leaves, branches waving in the wind, shadow movements across time, and others, time last photography can add character which no other approach can. Time-lapse photography is also a very good reason a high-quality camera and perhaps most of all a tripod.

Conclusion

With some planning and by honing your skills you can become a masterful landscape photographer  But, you have to remember that the small LCD screen you are looking at won’t show you everything that will show up in a final print. Always take more than one picture from different perspectives to provide more opportunity to have high-quality pictures to choose from and use or sale.  Just remember nobody is born a great photographer.  To achieve mastery takes, study,practice, a smidgen  of talent, a passion, and perseverance.

Blogging – Software Tools I Use

Blogging Tools for Writing and Publishing
Blogging Tools for Writing and Publishing

I thought it might be useful to put a short list of the tools that I use to create an update my blogs. I don’t use anything spectacular just the basics, but here’s a quick inventory of the tools I use and what I use them for.

Writing and Composition

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word

 

I use Microsoft Word for my blog editing and basic blog formatting, mostly because I own it.  Also, it does have some convenient features such as being able to push my blogs out to a PDF and the fact that Grammarly integrates nicely with it. I don’t use the published directly feature, but I have used it in the past.

WordPress Editor

Wordpress
WordPress

I do use the WordPress editors to finalize my posts and sometimes from the iPhone app to create initial drafts when the inspiration hits me. Truthfully, of the two web-based editors, I still use the old format.  I have found the new WordPress editor to be a little clumsy for me, but perhaps that is because I learned the old one first.

Proofing and Editing

Grammarly
Grammarly

For proofing and editing, I use Grammarly, for the most part, but I also use the grammar and spellcheck capabilities of Microsoft Word.

KompoZer HTML WYSIWYG

I use KompoZer mostly to edit my tables and paste them into the text tab to ensure they display correctly on my sites. I have used KompoZer for other uses, but tables are how I use KompoZer most the time. I found that some of the other tools don’t translate quite the way I expected them to.

Photography and Photo Editing

For photography and photo editing, I used several tools, which include paint.net, my iPhone camera, and my digital camera.

Paint.net
Paint.net

Paint.net

Currently, for my photo editing, I’m using Paint.net, it’s fairly basic but it gets what I need to do done. I have you used other tools, but the types of editing I do to support my blogs doesn’t require an expensive fancy tool.

iPhone Camera

iPhone
iPhone

 

I use my iPhone camera mostly to take pictures and, usually, because I have my iPhone on me as a necessity of my day job even on weekends.  And to tell the truth, the camera on my phone not bad at all.

Digital Camera

Blog Digital Camera
Blog Digital Camera

I use my digital camera, mostly to support my iPhone when I have a planned outing to some local venue or a planned trip and I’ve thought ahead and put it packed my camera. Also, I use my digital camera when I want to ensure stability and I want to mount it on my tripod or I happen to have some free time and I’m feeling creative and I want to use a photo box and take some special shots.

PDF Printable version of this Article

The First Rule of Photograph

Photographer In Action
Photographer In Action

The First Rule of Photograph

The first rule of photography is that “Any picture Worth taking, is work taking more than one picture of.”

Why should you take more than one picture?

There are many very good reasons, but here are a few which come to mind immediately:

  • The first picture may be the quality you expected—blurry or darker than wanted, etc.,
  • The picture you thought you wanted, may not be the one you end up using,
  • By varying your position on the target of your photography, may provide you with pictures, which may be useful for other reasons,
  • If like me you are not the best photographer on earth, carefully and thoughtfully taking more pictures, can be more forgiving than risking everything one photograph,
  • And in an age of digital photography why not? Once you get back to the office or home, you can put them up on the computer and then decide, which to keep for future use.

Related References

Blogging – What is a Pinnable Blog Picture?

What is a Pinnable Blog Picture
What is a Pinnable Blog Picture

Whether you are just starting with blogging or have been doing it for years, you must know by know that images are critical elements of your posts. Online we are focused on visuals. The text comes second. How can this simple insight help you to drive more traffic to your blog? Just by filling it up with loads of cat pictures?

Well, not quite. The magic word is Pinterest.

But how can a scrapbook page for girls planning their perfect wedding and grandmas who love flower arrangements help you to increase your monthly amount of visitors?

We will show you!

How pinnable images can help you to drive traffic to your blog

First of all, you need to have excellent content that gives value to your reader. Without that, nobody will stick around. Even the best Pinterest viral campaign won’t bring you anything more than a one time visitors.

Having said that, once your content is fantastic and you have a pinned image going viral, then prepare yourself for some interesting times ahead!

Because of the nature of the platform, images on Pinterest are really ‘spreadable’; when people like an image on Pinterest, they are eager to share it. In fact, a pin is 100 times more spreadable than an average tweet! Also, the lifespan of a pin is quite long: Around one week. Compare that with content on Twitter (24 minutes) or Facebook (90 minutes).

The trick is to have a really good image on your blog and make this pinnable, which means that it can be found and shared on Pinterest.

We will give some good tips on what kind of creative content works well on Pinterest.

What is a good image for Pinterest?

And image which works well on Pinterest should be of the right size, because 80% of pinners view feeds on a mobile device, tall images work well. Try to go for an aspect ratio of 2:3 of 4:5.

Pro tip: A very long image takes more space on Pinterest, and is, therefore, harder to ignore.

Other than the right size, try also to incorporate the following aspects in your picture:

  • Avoid faces. Focus on things.
  • Use fresh and vibrant colors.
  • Give your images a colorful background with context related to the subject.
  • Try to put some red in your pictures. Red appears to increase the change on repins!

Depending on your graphic design skills, you can make all your Pinterest content yourself. You can use photography and photo editing software to develop the content.

If you are not so tech savvy, then there are loads of easy to use apps which can help you in creating amazing Pinterest pictures. You can also ask you creative cousin or a graphic design hero to help you out.

It is good to realize that you need to have a potential market on Pinterest for this method to succeed. If none of your target audience uses the platform, then it will be hard to gain traction. However, if you see that your subject is already represented there, then you have enormous opportunities for growing your traffic!

So go ahead: create killer content on your blog, add a beautiful image and make it Pinnable. With enough dedication and hard work, you will see your traffic increasing.

Blogging Tip – Why You Should Take Your Own Photographs

Why You Should Take Your Own Photographs
Why You Should Take Your Own Photographs

Why You Should Take Your Own Photographs

Visual content is so important nowadays. Designs, drawings, and pictures are used to supplement the blog post’s and site’s message, Pictures are key to potential audience clicks and engagement with your blog, which can be easily demonstrated by the success of site like Instagram and Pinterest.

Be that as it may, in case you’re not an expert picture taker or graphic designer, simply the possibility of making visual content can make you feel queasy.

Need some inspiration? Give here are some reasons why you should take your own blog photographs:

Ownership of creative control

If you take your own photographs regardless of what tool you use and it doesn’t matter whether you use your cell phone, a camera, or your iPad, if you take The Photographs yourself, you retain creative control.   Retaining creative control means, that you don’t have to worry about licensing restrictions, if later you choose to convert your site to a eBook or something else like that.

 Provide a sense of time and place

Taking your own photographs as you go about your life give your photographs a sense of time and place, as well as, a visual opportunity to generate potential future blog post ideas.  All these make you blog look and feel more real to your audience.

Everyone Gets Images at the Same Place

Pinterest is dripping with pins about the best places to discover free stock photographs. While a significant number of websites do offer lovely pictures for you to use; the issue is every other person is using them.

It seems frustrating to spend an hour to search for an ideal free stock photograph to use and afterward instantly observe others using it. In addition to the fact that that is disappointing, it is confusing to your audience also.  As that were not bad enough, it undermines your eminence in the eyes of your audience, which can be especially import, if your blog is about your profession or a potential future profession.

Wouldn’t you rather stand out as unique?

Photos Fit with Your Brand

Searching through those free stock photograph sites most times can be disappointing. Especially, if you’re trying to accomplish a specific look with your brand. Possibly, you can discover a photograph with your brand colors in it, however, it contains men and your audience is ladies or, maybe, you need a laptop photograph for a blog post about your Dell laptop and all the on brand photos you find feature Macs.

Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to find the perfect photo, use what you already have and you are destined to feel authentic.

Cost Saving

If you happen to be pay for royalty free photographs, using your own will save an expense, which you may well be able to better apply elsewhere.

Save Loads of Time with Batch Processing

Additionally, you can create a makeshift studio in your home and take a bunch of photos at once. By setting aside time once a month, you can take and edit all of your blog and social media photos in one fell swoop.

By batch processing your photo taking, you will eliminate wasting time on blog post day searching through those stock photo sites. There are many good open source photo editors of varying complexity which can be used to inexpensively edit your photo.  Also, choosing to work you r photos in batch allow you to name and organize you photos in a way which and be searched for file system and which is intuitive to you.

Related References