Murray's
Domain

Interests and Tips

Photography

 I've come along way and still have a long way to go. Good thing digital is free!

I have three cameras. A Pentax Kr, a Nikon Cool Pix and a Nikon P900. 

Here are a few things I've learned and I hope are worth sharing.
  • Spend time online studying technique and getting ideas
  • Put the manual that came with your camera in your camera bag
  • Use the case and the wrist strap that came with your camera. A wide shoulder strap is invaluable
  • Ask before you take someone's picture. 
  • Learning proper composition will result in better photos than the most expensive camera and lens
  • It's ok to 'clean up' your shots with software. That's what it's for. I do have a hard time with 'photo shopping' an image so that it's not real any more
  • Don't be afraid to lay down on the ground and look up. It's a different view. Go ahead, get dirty
  • Buy the best tripod you can afford. Still is good. Blurry is bad
  • Take your most portable camera with you as often as you can. You'll be glad you did that one time
  • For your best shots get up early and be where you want to be 1/2 hour before sunrise. And, be late for dinner and be there 1/2 hour before sunset. You will then learn why you need a great tripod
  • Share your work. Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, the list is long. I use Flickr. Here is the link to my gallery; www.flickr.com/photos/imchilly
Cooking

Yes I have been known to burn toast and prepare and serve a 5 course meal to five of my wife's best friends. 

Like photography, I'm still learning. And sharing.
  • Learn to sharpen knives and keep them that way
  • You can never have enough cook books even though there are a gajillion recipes on the internet for free. Make sure one of them is the 75 year old Joy of Cooking
  • Buy the best pots and pans you can afford
  • Buy fresh herbs, spices, seeds, nuts, etc. and buy only what you need at the bulk food store
  • Use fresh anything when you can
  • Wash your fruit
  • Separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, fish, fruit and vegetables is a good thing
  • Use the back of your knife not the blade when scraping off your boards
  • Keep a guest journal. Use it to record what you served to who and most importantly, which recipe source the menu item came from. The time you save searching for the recipe for a memorable dish will be enormous
  • Treat wood or bamboo cutting boards, wood knife handles, salad bowls, even wood salt an pepper grinders with a blend of mineral oil and bees wax. A container that will last for years can be found in any quality kitchen store
  • Shop local ethnic stores for quality and fresh ingredients
  • Buy a digital scale
  • Rubs are way better than sauces on grilled meat, fish and poultry
  • Nothing beats the flavour and aroma of pouring water over freshly ground coffee beans in your Bodem. Use a carafe to keep it fresh and hot and once plunged, to get it away from the beans
  • Want to experience grilling and taste grilled food like never before? Buy a Big Green Egg
Golf
The great game of opposites to any other sport! Like, low score wins, we referee ourselves, fans are instructed to be quiet, etc.


  • Take lessons
  • Practice
  • Play
  • Take lessons
  • Practice 
  • Play
  • Need I say anymore on the above?
  • If you can, golf with people better than you are. Your game will rise up to meet the challenge.
  • Don't be late for your tee time.
  • Before teeing off spend as much time as you can on the putting and chipping green vs. the driving range.
  • Replace your grips every year. For about $8 a club it will feel like you just got a brand new set of clubs.
  • If your clubs are 5 years or more old, consider getting new ones. Yes, technology does make a difference particularly for us high handicappers.
  • Play with the best ball you can buy. When hit well they go further and stop quick on the greens. Why not buy all the help you can especially if it makes the game more enjoyable.
  • Don't cheap out on your golf shoes. Buy for comfort and support. The rest of your body will thank you walking up the 18th fairway.
  • Stay cool. It's only a game. Your round is supposed to be recreational. This is not what you make a living at so relax. Someone is always watching.
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