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1. Archway to the Afterlife

I took this shot on a recent trip to Fort McClary near the little seaport of Kittery Point, Maine. It was late in the day and we where lucky to make it to the fort before closing time. I did a quick tour of the fort, taking pictures as I went and didn’t think I was really capturing anything of worth. Just as I was about to leave I noticed a small dark tunnel. I ventured in not really expecting to find much, and I didn’t, until I turned around to leave. I noticed the shot look cool through the viewfinder, so I snapped this shot of my wife descending the stairs. I thought after looking at it on the PC that it had a ghostly atmosphere, hence my title for it.

2. Soaring Seagull Over Collins Cove

This one was taken in my adopted hometown of Salem Massachusetts. It was taken during the early summer months. I had been down to Collins Cove a few weeks prior and had noticed that an amazing number of Gulls seemed to gather down by the shoreline and sea wall. So armed with my camera I headed down their with a loaf of bread to lure the gulls into helping me capture my shot. It took some doing having to trow the bread high up and then try and quickly look through the viewfinder to take my shot. I got a few that where similar to this one, but ultimately liked this one the best.

3. Macro Ladybugs

This shot was taken whilst I was on vacation in Canada. I believe the town was called Hatley or possibly North Hatley. I must have really had my eyes open that day as spotting this amongst a swaying tree on a windy day wasnt an easy feat. I took a number of shots (with a macro lens) and decided upon this one.

4. Firepower

The First Muster of the National Guard in Salem Common 2009.My wife went for an early morning walk earlier this year down by Salem Common. She came home and told me that there was all sort of military people converging on the common. Thinking we where at the onset of a war I grabbed my camera and rushed over there to find that I was in fact witnessing the The First Muster of the National Guard for Salem. They had all sorts of military personnel on display through different ages. I took many many shots and got a few interesting ones. But my favorite was this one to the right of the gun firing a shell. I basically set my camera up for multiple shooting and went for broke. Quite a few came out similar to this one.

5. Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun I took this shot again on Salem Common. I couldn’t sleep and it was around midnight so I decided to go for a walk and take my camera in case I happened upon any interesting shots. I was originally trying to get a shot of an American flag bathed in a spotlight from a nearby bandstand. However I soon lost interest in that after I noticed that a street light was casting an eerie glow through one of the old trees on the commons perimeter. I took a number of shots set at different exposures. After some cropping, contrast changing and general other photoshop adjustments I decided this one was the keeper.

I hope you enjoyed this set of photos. I would appreciate comments, suggestions, constructive criticism etc. So please feel free to post your thought in the comments section below and feel free to share your own photography links.

This is about the best video I have found on youtube for a solid explanation of what Google Wave offers offered.

Since this post was made Google have discontinued developing this project further.

 

Twitter LogoThere are many techniques for earning twitter followers. You will notice as you go explore twitter you see users that have tens of thousands of followers. There are 2 reasons for this. 1 – the users are famous people like Barack Obama or Ashton Kutcher or they are playing smart and using some of the many techniques I am about to explain

Given a week or 2 using these techniques I am sure that you can build a small army of followers that will be in your target market.

1. There is no better way to get followers, than to simply follow others. This should be done with a measure of intelligence. Search for people that have the same interest as you do by checking out their profile information and also their tweets. Another thing to look at is the ratio of followers to following that they have as this is an indication of whether they will follow you back or not.

2. Look at the trending topics in the sidebar. If any of these topics appeal to you, get involved in the conversation. After all, Twitter is about social interaction and people will be less likely to add you if you chat with them and become involved.

3. Tweet about things that people will find engaging. Post links to interesting articles where you can. If people start to recognize that you are posting quality tweets. You will be more likely to build a following. People will be more likely to RT (ReTweet) you and mention you, which will spread your influence and help you build a solid network of loyal followers.

4. Be innovative and hold competitions where you can. Everyone loves free stuff, this can be in the form of giving them something that’s either physical or perhaps a spare account for an online service such as Google Wave for example. You could hold a poll and try to get people involved and create interest in your profile.

5. Automate your service. This is not a sales pitch for any one service, but a quick search of Google will reveal a number of services that offer desktop software that will plug into your twitter account and if used correctly will increase the number of people you can reach out to. Simply by adding keywords you are looking for in profiles coupled with a location and search radius along with ratio of followers to following will give you a list for ideal candidates to reach out to.

6. Get the ratio of followers to following right.If you decide to use a service to add batches of followers, you are not always going to get those people following you back. This can cause a lopsided look to your following to followers ratio. If you are adding people in bulk, you should use a service such as “huitter.com – mutuality” This offers a way to “clean out’ your unwanted users that wont follow back. Its a good idea to only use this every 3/4 days to give people ample chance to follow you.

7. Make yourself stand out from the crowd. Upload a custom profile picture, but don’t use a logo or graphic. People like to communicate with other people, not faceless entities. So upload a good picture of yourself and its sure to catch the attention of more potential followers. The custom logos should be saved for your background graphic. This is also a good way to show that you have spent some time carefully crafting your twitter presence.

8. Avoid making every tweet a sales pitch. Its a good rule of thumb to tweet about things that others will find interesting. Perhaps make 75% of your tweets about things of current interest or areas where you hold expertise, and maybe 25% subtle tweets about your own business with a URL link thrown in.

9. Ask questions when you need help. This is a good way to get conversations going with fellow twitter users and a good way to get follows. Likewise it is good to use a service such as TweetDeck that can help you more clearly organize your tweets, mentions and direct messages so that no potential leads fall through the cracks.

10. Add yourself to user listings. Google search for Twitter directories and add yourself. Be descriptive in what your aims are and people will be likely to find your profile. A great one to add yourself to is Twellow.com

I hope you found this list helpful. Given a week or 2 using these techniques I am sure that you can build a small army of followers that will be in your target market and if you carefully maintain and manage your account it will give you a soapbox to voice your opinions, get involved in discussions and ultimately push your message out to the right people and hopefully get you more leads and convert them to revenue for your business. Please feel free to share this list with others through the sharing widget to the right of this page.

 

I took a walk in downtown Salem today as the first major snowstorm of the year was just winding down. There was at least a foot of snow on the ground after a blizzard hit overnight. The photo to the left and the one below are of the statue of the founder of Salem Roger Conant. In 1626, he founded Salem, Massachusetts and was its first governor, but in 1627 he was replaced by John Endicott. He remained active in town affairs and is today memorialized in a statue across from the Salem Common.[4] He died on November 19, 1679 in Beverly, a nearby town which he also helped found. Check out the wikipedia article on him here to find out more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Conant_%28Salem%29

On Essex Street i took the shot below of the Gardiner-Pingree House which is a National Historic Landmark at 128 Essex Street in Salem, Massachusetts. The house was built in 1804 by Samuel McIntire in a Federal style. It was added to the National Historic Register in 1970. The house is owned by the Peabody Essex Museum as part of the Essex Institute, and is open for guided tours. It features 18th and early 19th century furnishings.

In the spirit of getting my blog off to a running start I am posting some drawing’s that I did several months ago. I have always loved to draw people. It’s the one thing that truly inspires me as its a great challenge drawing someone and trying to capture something of the essence of the person. As soon as I get some time to dedicate to drawing I plan to roll out many many more. I think it shall be my new years resolution to do at least a drawing every week. But for now here is a few I did earlier. Enjoy!

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