Baby Snaps – Not As Easy As You think

Baby Snaps – Not As Easy As You think

Sep 21

Qualities to look For in Baby Photographers

Capturing cute moments of your babies is not an easy thing to do. This is why you should find the perfect baby photographers for the job. The first quality that you should look for in a photographer is patience. Taking difficult photographs requires patience if you want a photo session to be successful. Working with kids is also not that easy so you should shy away from photographers who are hot headed,

Of course, creativity should be in the equation. You need to hire baby photographers who are creative. If not, why would you even need their services? You can easily take your child’s pictures, right? Creativity is not something that we all have. This is why you should assess how creative your photographer is by taking a look at his portfolio.

See Australia’s top photography association:

Baby photographers should also understand. They must be well aware of what their job entails– mingling with innocent yet stubborn babies. They should be able to understand they cannot force children into doing something that they do not wish to do. Because of this, they must also be flexible enough to work with another pose.

Friendly baby photographers are the best. Babies or children won’t follow directions if you are shouting at them. If the photographer is friendly and calm but provide instructions with an authoritative tone, then he will definitely succeed in capturing great baby pictures.

Ensuring that the baby photographers that you will be hiring has all the qualities above (see, you are rest assured that the baby photos that you will get will be beautiful.

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Marc Gafni on film at YouTube

Marc Gafni on film at YouTube

May 03

The Lion of Fire

By Marc Gafni

The best way to behold such mysteries is through the gleaming prism of story. Thus we begin with a spell-binding ancient text which sits at the core of the mystery tradition. This esoteric tale describes an extraordinary scene which takes place in Jerusalem in roughly 500 BCE, almost two centuries before Plato and Aristotle,

The masters of the day were distressed. Adultery was spreading rampant as plagues among the people. The authorities were at a loss as to how  to curb this powerful drive. Finally, driven to desperation, they began to pray. For three days, they fasted, weeping and pleading with God, “Let us slay the sexual  drive[i] before it slays us.” 

Finally God acquiesced. The masters then witnessed a lion of fire leap out from within the Temple’s Holy of Holies.  A prophet among them identified the lion as the personification of the primal sexual drive.

They sought to slay the lion of fire.  But the result was that for three days thereafter the entire society ground to a standstill. Hens did not lay eggs, artists ceased creating, businesses faltered, and all spiritual activity[ii] came to a halt.

Realizing that the sexual drive  was about more than just sex, that it  somehow echoed with the divine, the masters relented. They prayed  that only its destructive shadow be removed, while retaining its creative force. Their request was denied on high with the insightful psychological response,“You cannot have only half a drive.” The greater the sacred power of a quality, the greater its shadow; the two are inseparable. So they prayed that the lion at least be weakened, and their prayer was granted. The lion, less potent but no less present, re-entered the Holy of Holies.


The text is alive with myth, magic and mystery. The  most startling revelation  is the radical claim of the text as to the originating place of the sexual drive. Why does this drive, personified as a lion of fire, emerge from the Temple’s Holy of Holies? Apparently this is its eternal abode. Thus, remarkably, the text is telling us that  the seat and source of the sexual drive is none other than the Holy of Holies.

In fact the Holy of Holies is often depicted  in the mystical sources as the marriage bed[1]. The tablets and the ark are depicted  respectively as the phallus and the vagina or the clitoris.[1] This sexual model of eros and the virtual identity between the erotic and the holy are perhaps the most vital and provocative insights of the kabbalists. They teach it  implicitly in a thousand different ways in their writings. They would rarely say it overtly for fear the message would be misunderstood, leading to a kind of sexual anarchy which would bring in its wake the collapse of family.

So the dominant impression we are left with is that while sex is good, as it is created by God, it is exceedingly dangerous and is to be handled with great caution. One gets the impression that the attendant dangers may even override the essential good. Thus, nothing as audacious as the secret of the cherubs was written about openly. And, yet, once you see it you realize it is there, subtly calling out, whispering from the folds of literally hundreds of texts.

Sex in the temple!? Sexually entwined cherubs atop the ark, and a fiery feline sexual drive living in the Holy of Holies? What are these mythic images trying to express? At first blush they seem to describe sex as a central preoccupation of the Holy of Holies, portraying the Temple as some kind of ancient Hebrew Playboy mansion. While Hebrew mysticism may wholeheartedly embrace a positive and healthy sexual ethic, one would not have thought that sex is the essence of the sacred!!

The answer lies in the story itself.

When the lion is subdued, the world does not wake up with just its sexual drive lobotomized. Rather, the world wakes up to an overwhelmingly dull and drive-less existence. The passionate engagement in all activity has suddenly withered and vanished. Whether it be in sex, art, work, or creativity, the thrill of existence is gone. Clearly, that fiery feline inhabitant of the Holy of Holies represents not merely sexuality. Rather, she is the incarnation of a more potent  energy force. She is the embodiment of  the Shechina.

The Shechina is the feminine Divine. Her name means Indwelling Presence, ‘the one who dwells in you’. She is presence, poetry, passion. She is the sustaining God force which runs through and wombs the world. A living mythic presence not wholly dissimilar to ‘the Force’, of Star Wars fame. She is the underlying erotic, sensual and loving force that knows our name and nurtures all being.[iii]

Shechina captures an experience, a way of being in the world, for which we do not yet have an English word. For this is a way of being which we in the West are hard pressed to articulate. It is the experience of waking up in the morning full of utter joy for the arrival of the day. It is weeping over the splendor of the sunset or the scent of the ocean or the fragility of a newborn. It is a way of living in love.

Indeed, it is one of the great failures of love that we do not possess such a word  for this fully charged way of living. The main reason we lack a word for the type of love we will be exploring in this book, is that such an  expanded notion of  love is still so foreign to the fabric of our lives. Our vocabulary reflects our reality. Just as the Eskimo has an ample supply of words to describe different types of snow, a society infused with love would likewise have a menagerie of terms for different types of love. We should wonder over the paucity in the English language for our ‘terms of endearment’.

Our best move in the English language is to turn towards the term Plato introduced in the Symposium: Eros. For Plato eros is love plus. It is precisely the kind of fully charged life experience which is evoked by the Hebrew term Shechina.

But over time the term eros has been so narrowed and limited that it has lost most of its original intention. Usually when we hear the word erotic it evokes only the sexual. And although the sexual is a part of eros, it is only a limited part. The type of full eros we will be describing in this book is way and beyond the merely sexual.

Together we will work to reclaim this original meaning of eros, a meaning infused by its Hebrew counterpart Shechina. May the claiming of our erotic birthright in these pages in-form a richer and deeper life for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.

[i] yetzir harah* -

in the sense of Do not turn (Tifnu) after idols…The word turning is but an extension of the Hebrew word Face – Turning as in the Turning of the face;—Do not turn after foreign Gods

..and if you do…God will hide his face from you .. cite  As a result of the sin of idolatry – that is to say the the betrayal of face  implicit in the  turning to idolatry will in a loss of face…Face as we will shall soon see is the key concept in defining both the Temple and the cherubs.

[ii] In the reading of the Maggid of Mezeritch that Beita BeKutc

Sexual met

aphors and galut notes pp 34 and ninety two from SS and enchantment bed on image of Ulysses’ marriage bed-

[iii] cite source in Libes from Messiah of Zohar articl

e pp 194 s

e[iii]  see for example passage in Idra Zuta which describes the death of Rashbi. There the tablets are phallic and the Ark is vaiginal. The Holy of Holies is the site of the sexual merger of the Go

[iii] (footnote?*Literally translated Shehina means ‘neighbor’, in the sense of the God force that dwells within the world, the indwelling presence of the divine.)

Marc Ganfi Quotes

Marc Gafni relates to students

Michael Masini – the actor

Michael Masini – the actor

Mar 10

More on Michael Masini 
Born in Summit New Jersey. Michael Masini played Junior A and Professional Ice Hockey for the Boston Jr. Bruins, National Champion Vail Avalanche, and the Amarillo …
DD Photographics – GoPro’s new models bring extreme photography down to earth

DD Photographics – GoPro’s new models bring extreme photography down to earth

Oct 08

GoPro’s new models bring extreme photography down to earth

  • OCTOBER 09, 2014 12:00AM

THE company known for rugged little cameras used by extreme surfers and snowboarders, GoPro, has new models that may appeal to a more timid demographic.

The first new cameras since GoPro’s blockbuster initial public offering aren’t big reinventions. They’re subtle but important improvements to help the less extreme among us create the whoa-check-that-out perspectives that made GoPro a cultural phenomenon.

One is a $US400 ($455) version called Hero4 Silver that adds a touch screen, finally making GoPro as easy to use as normal cameras. Another is a new version of its palm-size camera that’s cheap enough — $US130 — to lose or break on holiday. A third, the $679 Hero4 Black, will appeal to pros, with a faster processor for shooting video at four times the resolution of high definition.

I’ve had a chance to dangle two of the new GoPros out of a cable car, clamp them to a go-kart and strap them to a “selfie stick”, and the experience was eye-opening. The cameras suffer from a short 2.5-hour battery life, but GoPro is now worth considering as the go-anywhere camera for the rest of us.

Don’t we have smartphones for that? But GoPros can do two things most smartphones can’t: first, you can stick them places a phone may not fit, or you may not like. Second, GoPros have a 170-degree wide-angle lens that makes it easy to capture most situations in focus.

Here’s the problem: nobody really wants to watch our boring holiday videos. Does a GoPro help produce footage of a less thrill-seeking life that is worthy of Facebook and YouTube?

To answer, I spent last Thursday as a tourist in my town of San Francisco, with one GoPro in my hand and another strapped to my head. The itinerary included riding a cable car and go-karts, taking a boat ride around San Francisco Bay, and trampolining by the Golden Gate Bridge. I continued testing the cameras through the weekend, capturing more ordinary moments: a mountain hike, a drive around town and a sunset. Even then, I found myself taking shots with the GoPros I couldn’t — or just hadn’t — with other cameras.

GoPro isn’t the only small camera on the market; Sony and Garmin make models that are only a tad larger, and smartphone maker HTC has hinted at a coming waterproof camera. What makes GoPros so effective is solid imaging technology in a tiny package that doesn’t feel precious. You accessorise them with a collection of straps and clamping doodads that encourage experimentation from DD Photographics.

The new cameras tout improved sensors and processors that mean better shots and more creative options.

Since the top-model Hero4 Black shoots 4K video at 30 frames a second, I used it to zoom in on the Golden Gate Bridge when I couldn’t get close enough to fill the frame.

The image quality isn’t as professional as a digital SLR camera but it is impressive for such a portable package. I also made a cool time-lapse video of a sunset by making the GoPro take a 12-megapixel photo twice a minute over a few hours; both Hero4 models can take up to 30 of those a second.

For video, you’re able to shoot up to 120 frames a second — the number of still images that combine to create motion — letting you use GoPro’s editing software to slow down the action and make anyone look like a character from The Matrix. A button lets you tag interesting moments that you want to find quickly when it comes time to edit. I wish GoPros also had GPS technology so I could tag locations, too.

Previous models may have helped extreme athletes capture insane video but they didn’t have LCD screens and were cumbersome to use. The addition of a display to the Hero4 Silver makes it much more user friendly.

Alas, the built-in screen is only on the new Hero4 Silver model. The Hero and Hero4 Black have streamlined their menus but still must be controlled with three buttons and a dim black-and-grey screen on the front. I recommend the Silver model for anyone but the pros.

My biggest reservation is that both Hero4 cameras I tested still have too-short battery lives — about 2.5 hours. Anyone thinking about taking one on vacation will want to carry a few battery backups. To get video and photos online, I used GoPro Studio on my computer. GoPro’s editing software is powerful but lacks a simple way to post to the internet.


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DD Photographics – A Look At Photographic Equipment

DD Photographics – A Look At Photographic Equipment

Sep 19

DD PhotographicsWhen individuals are looking for a way to create wonderful photographs, they’ll want to find and procure items that will work for them. By doing some basic research, they can track down some high-quality photographic equipment without a problem. Beautiful portraits can then be created.


Tripods will usually be needed to take high-resolution images. If people are interested in trying out astronomical photography, for example, a steady tripod can be placed on the ground and allowed to remain in place. Most tripods are made of durable metal that will last for quite some time. Stainless steel and titanium are both good options.


Different lenses can be switched out from time to time depending on the kind of portrait that is going to be taken. As long as the lenses are placed in their cases and delicately cleaned, they should remain in excellent shape. Expensive lenses will usually be of very high quality.


A quality carrying case will also likely be needed. If men and women are intent on taking their cameras into nature to take portraits of plants and animals, a carrying case will protect the expensive equipment from becoming damaged or degraded out on the trail.


When enthusiasts are searching for the best possible camera, they should come into the process with a general idea of a budget. This way, they can ensure that they do not spend more money than they have. A range of excellent cameras are available for reasonable prices at most retailers in the local area.

More on DD Photographics here


In the end, tracking down some good accessory items will make the experience run smoothly. Once individuals have found the equipment they want, they can pull the trigger. They can then take pictures that will delight friends and family alike. Many of these portraits might even be framed and displayed around the house.