Bajamar & Punta del Hidalgo

What Bajamar lacks in a picturesque old quarter or charming architecture, it makes up for in the richness of its natural assets; a splendid coast frayed with natural rock pools, spectacular views inland towards the Anaga Mountains and south westerly over the sweeping valleys of La Laguna and La Orotava with Mount Teide, resplendent in its mantle of snow, dominating the skyline and the best weather in the north of the island.
A popular weekend getaway for the residents of La Laguna, Bajamar is beginning to combat its1960s image of high rise concrete blocks and replace it with a softer, more health conscious one where facilities are geared towards time spent in the great outdoors with a campsite, sports facilities and wide coastal promenades for walkers and joggers. Recent developments include an idyllic swimming environment, an expanse of sunbathing terraces and enough seating for the entire population of the town to take a rest at the same time.
Bajamar’s smaller, sister resort of Punta de Hidalgo, which circles the north west tip of the island, looks out over layer upon layer of towering megalithic crags that guard the headland like sentries to Middle Earth. This is the starting point for a myriad of walks into the Anaga Mountains offering some of the finest views in Tenerife.

Unlike the 7 million year old Anaga Mountains in which the town sits, development in Bajamar didn’t begin until the twentieth century; before then it was a small farming and fishing community with just 135 inhabitants, mainly settled around the Ermita del Gran Poder at the coast and at the mouth of the Barranco San Juan.
Bajamar first became known as a tourist destination in the 1930s when the population of the municipality’s capital, La Laguna, adopted it as their summer bathing spot. The area responded by constructing sea water pools to protect bathers from the force of the Atlantic, an astute move which has held Bajamar in good stead ever since.
At the end of the 1950s, the growth of the domestic tourism market saw a surge in the construction of hotels and apartments to meet the growing demand for beds but a tourism crisis in 1973 halted development of the area and the three most important hotels went out of business. When the crisis abated, short term tourism had all but disappeared and many of the town’s population moved to the service industry in La Laguna leaving mainly long term visitors and retired residents.

What to See
Bajamar’s natural rock pools are a magnet for sun worshippers, swimmers and fishermen. Three elegant, capacious pools occupy the promontory; the first is open to the sea in one corner allowing a natural tide to lap onto the gently shelving golden sand beach that forms the mouth of the pool. Two further pools are entirely enclosed, save for the crashing waves of the Atlantic that break against the outer wall sending in naturally cleansing fresh sea water. Swimming here is an optical illusion; the horizon of the Atlantic blends imperceptibly with the pools yet the giant rollers that pound the ear are tamed to a mere ripple as they enter the water; like swimming in a bubble of dead calm in the midst of a storm.
Along the wide sun terraces, the ‘chilled’ bodies of La Laguna weekenders lie prone in the sun. Above the pools, large aluminium sun shelters give dappled shade to the viewing benches below while another level up, the small paved plaza of Bajamar affords yet more places to sit and watch the cinematic quality of the sunsets that are a feature here.
The wide, sweeping road that joins Bajamar to Punta de Hidalgo passes the, now sadly headless, monument to the musical ensemble Los Sabandeños before reaching the resort. A left turn takes you to the coast where an assortment of hotels, apartment complexes and restaurants line the front. The coastal path takes you easterly to the unusually designed lighthouse that wouldn’t look out of place against a Manhattan skyline. Westerly, the path runs the entire length of the resort, past natural rock pools and black sand beaches to the quaint harbour and boatyard where you expect to hear the fishermen speak with a Cornish accent.
The main road continues through the resort, past the folly which is a replica of La Gomera’s Conde del Torre, to the viewpoint of San Mateo where the twin peaks of El Roque de los Dos Hermanos tower above the barranco and where a short walk to the end of the road rewards you with breathtaking views of the Anaga cliffs.

What to do
Get to the point
The three hour trek from the visitor’s centre at Cruz del Carmen to Punta de Hidalgo is one of the most spectacular hikes on the island. The path winds through ancient laurel forests, quaint terraces and the fascinating troglodyte community of Chinamada, where around thirty residents still live in houses built into caves, before descending through dramatic ravines to the coast; magnificent vistas will keep your mind off the return trip.

Surf & turf
Whilst Bajamar’s sea pools offer a leisurely bathing experience, for those who prefer the challenge of battling Atlantic rollers, nearby Playa del Arenal is part of the Canarian ‘surf and body boarding’ circuit. On the other hand, if any of the family prefers their boards with wheels, the specially designed park, near the campsite, is a skateboarder’s dream.

Stone me
Not all activities require effort; the only thing that’ll bring on a sweat at the Océano Mayr Centre is when hot stones are placed on your body’s energy points during ‘Lastone therapy’. With a bewildering range of cosmetic and therapeutic treatments including Cleopatra baths and massages using special Sri Lankan oils, the hardest task is deciding which to choose. ‘Relax on the Atlantic’ and ‘Well being week’ are two packages which include many of the treatments available.
(+34) 922 156 000; Océano Aparthotel; treatments from €24, ‘Relax on the Atlantic’ costs €388, ‘Well being week’ costs €318

A night under the stars
A perfect way to soak up the area’s natural beauty is to spend a night under canvas at the campsite situated a few metres from the shore. Prior reservations are necessary and, as the council is in the process of seeking new management to run the site, availability is a tad unpredictable at the moment.
(+34) 629 139 203; €2.10 per tent, €2.10 per adult, caravans €3.00; reception open 09.00-14.00 & 16.00-22.00

Tucked away at the side of the Hotel Delfín in Bajamar, this small Artesanía is well worth a visit; original sculptures, paintings and photographic prints complement a stylish collection of jewellery and souvenirs.
(+34) 922 545 511; Avenida El Sol, local 39, Bajamar; open 10.00-13.00, 17.00-20.00 Tuesday to Saturday, 17.00-20.00 Friday, closed Sunday and Monday

Where to Stay
It’s fair to say accommodation is not this town’s strong point; hotels and apartments have yet to make the transition to the style and facilities today’s consumers demand. Having said that, there’s one notable exception:
Océano Aparthotel
Describing themselves as “a health centre devoted to well being”, the Océano sits on the sea front in Punta de Hidalgo. Flawless lawns and perfectly behaved gardens surround an elegant sea water swimming pool where, should just reading the menu of the extensive range of sports, health and spa treatments prove too exhausting for you, you can spend the day soaking up the rays in harmonious reflection.
(+34) 922 156 000; Punta de Hidalgo;; apartments from €50 per night; minimum stay 2 nights

Hotel Delfín
Proximity to the Bajamar swimming pools and town centre offer some solace for the style and décor.
(+34) 922 540 200; Avenida El Sol, 39, Bajamar; double rooms from €50 per night

Where to Eat
Cofradía de Pescadores
If you have a yearning for fish or seafood, Cofradía de Pescadores (fishermen’s guilds) restaurants are always reliable choices. This one comes with the added bonus of being situated so close to the picturesque harbour that fish could leap straight from the multi-coloured fishing boats into the pan.
(+34) 922 156 954; average cost of a ration €4.50; open midday-23.00 daily

El Abogado
The name El Abogado (the lawyer) comes from the moniker given by local wags to the loquacious owner. Generally regarded as one of the best restaurants in the area; ignore the uninspiring frontage and venture inside to the warm, welcoming interior for an authentic Canarian eating experience and some fabulous local cuisine.
(+34) 922 156 066; Carretera General, 35, La Hoya; average cost of a main course €7.50; open midday-17.00 & 19.30-23.00, closed Wednesday

Casa Pepé
Overlooking Bajamar’s seafront, this pleasant little restaurant has an imaginative range of choices on its Mediterranean inspired menu. From fish croquettes to pasta, everything is homemade; with vegetarian options as well as meat and fish choices, it caters for all tastes.
(+34) 922 540 958; Avenida Las Piscinas; average cost of a main course €7; open 13.00-16.15 & 19.00-22.45, closed Monday & Tuesday

Charco de la Arena
Walk beyond the lighthouse to find this restaurant whose terrace juts out over natural rock pools. A traditional menu includes old favourites like the hearty stew, Pucheros Canario. Entertainment is provided by a couple of gulls who perform at the owner’s bidding, motivated by the chance of some fishy morsels.
(+34) 922 156 834; Camino de la Costa; average cost of a main course €7; open 11.00-18.00, closed Monday

With regular dances and occasional operatic performances, Centro Ciudadano, at the end of Paisaje Los Huaracheros, provides much of the area’s evening entertainment. Its bar is home to the town’s domino-playing population, where matches are played with such zest that barman, Antonio Perdomo has designed a table to keep drinks safe no matter how animated games become.

From Puerto de la Cruz, catch the 102 to Santa Cruz, changing in La Laguna to the 105 to Punta de Hidalgo which operates every half hour between 05.15 and 20.55.
From Las Americas and Los Cristianos catch the 110 or 111 service to Santa Cruz, departing half hourly between 06.15 and 20.45, then transfer to the 105 (see above).

The Taxi rank in Bajamar is opposite the Chapel of the Gran Poder de Dios. The local number is 922 540 485. The number for Punta de Hidalgo is 922 540 096

Useful Information

Tourist Information
The nearest office is in Plaza del Adelantado, La Laguna (open 08.00-20.00 Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday). The best place for information about walking trails in the area is the Cruz del Carmen visitors centre (open 09.30-16.00 daily)

There is parking adjacent to the coastal road in Punta Hidalgo. In Bajamar there are spaces beside the promenade.

Bajamar holds a small carnaval each February, whilst Punta de Hidalgo celebrates el Santísimo Cristo in September. Other events to look out for are the surfing and bodyboarding competitions, which take place between November and February, and the multi-adventure sporting weekend in September which features mountain biking, orienteering, trekking and kayaking.

The Flavor of Retirement in Franklin, Tennessee

Do you fancy the unique charm of a small town, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city? If so, Franklin may be just the kind of place that would appeal to you when the time comes for you to start thinking about where you want to retire.

Franklin, in the state of Tennessee, has a population of less than 48,000. 7.4% of these residents are over the age of 65. The average price of a 3-bedroom house for a single family here is around $ 270,000. You’ll find houses that stand alone as well as town houses in Franklin. The average price of the latter is roughly $ 120,000. People in Franklin are generally friendly and tend to mix easily.

With Nashville about 18 miles to the north, Franklin has a Victorian downtown quarter that has found mention in the National Register of Historic Places. So if you’re fond of Victorian architecture, you’ll find plenty of it in Franklin and can have your fill of it. Although Franklin has a fair number of senior citizens, the town also has a wide range of attractions for people of all ages.

It’s a popular perception that Franklin tends to draw younger people who are attracted by the stability of the economy and the availability of jobs. Once they find their feet, their parents pay them a visit and are completely won over by the mild climate. Add the rolling hills and the unhurried pace of life for good measure….. and it won’t take long to figure out that the older generation is sold on Franklin as a wonderful place to settle down. So that ultimately is how they came to arrive in Franklin! Quite unusual. to say the least.

One elderly couple settled in Oklahoma, but their daughter and son in law settled in Franklin. In time, after several visits to Franklin, the couple shifted their base from Oklahoma and moved to Franklin themselves. Old Jake was a retired army man who now found that he was able to keep up with the latest news on military matters. He did this by joining the Middle Tennessee Retired Officers’ Association. You never can tell how events will pan out, can you?

His wife was elected to the board of the homeowners’ association. So eventually they both found interesting ways in which to occupy themselves. And they are in no way unique. There are several similar stories of people who moved to Franklin without actually having planned to, and were able to settle in happily.

Franklin has a number of shops and restaurants that should keep you suitably occupied. Apart from this, golf is also a major attraction and you’ll find an abundance of golf courses – four public courses to be precise – and five private golfing clubs in the town. If you are a football or hockey enthusiast, or a music lover for that matter, there’s plenty for you in Franklin.

If you’re looking at finances, Franklin has a number of surprises for you. For starters, there’s no income tax in Tennessee, apart from tax charged on investment income. Then again, property taxes in Franklin have not changed for 13 years, and the situation is likely to remain static for at least some time to come.

Now that’s a juicy tidbit that should start you thinking in earnest about retiring in Franklin. There’s nothing quite like going easy on the pocket to cheer you up as you get older.

Now that you have all this information about Franklin, it wouldn’t be very surprising if you are actually trying to visualize yourself living there. So if Franklin has captured your interest, maybe you will find yourself living there eventually!

The hundred cols tour 4000 km

The toughest bicycle ride in the world? Four thousand kilometers over the toughest and best known cols in France!
The Hundred Cols Tour is the ultimate challange for the bicycle rider. 4000km overr all the great mountain areas of France, passes more than hundred cols and almost sixty côtes. This is an individual challenge. Whoever succeeds in doing this tour may find himself under the strongest riders in the world. The Hundred Cols Tour can only be done by riders that have a tremendous perserverance. Indeed: The Ultimate Challenge..
This route “100 Cols Tocht” was introduced in 1979 by the NTFU (Nederlandse Toer Fiets Unie, the Dutch sport cycling association). Immediately there was a lot of interest. Shortly afterwards, they stopped their interference, until a few members from the Utrecht cycling club RTC De Domstad decided to do the route and adapted it over the years. In 1983 they first published it. In 2003 the Tour was further taken care of by the Hundred Cols Foundation. Since 1979 more than 1000 participants have subscribed of which more than 200 have finished, some of them even a few times. It’s a very challenging, tough but incredibly beautiful ride. Many newspapers and magazines have already reported about it.
Since 1979 the route has changed considerably. In 1983 we added the Couillole, Bonnette and Grand Colombier. The second major adaption was in 1989, when nearly 1000K was changed as the mountain roads are getting more and more popular than ever. In this way Marie Blanque and Ballon d’Alsace were added and Haguenau became the new starting point, instead of Wissembourg, which replaced Bitche. Nowadays it’s Saverne in the NE of France, just NW of Strasbourg. Since 1992 the route was adapted every two years, latest in 2005, and alternatives were searched for busy roads.
The itinerary is a sequel of mountainous areas.  In total there are 106 cols and 85 côtes. We recommend doing it in the described direction. Not only because it’s easy to follow the directions, but also as it has a more natural ascent in difficulty. The first part is firly easy. After a few Vosges cols (up to 700m) the route goes to Plateau de Langres to Bourgogne and Beaujolais (up to 1000m). With lots of cols. Eight cols / 100K is not an exception. The Beaujolais goes into Massif Central, with the infamous  Puy Marie as the highest (15% ascent). We didn’t include the Puy de Dome as it is a ‘cul-de-sac’ and not permitted for cyclists. After troublesome Gascogne with its many, short and tough climbs the Pyrenees come up next (up to 2000m) with tough climbs of 10 to 20%. Then we descend to the Cevennes, with easier climbs. The section from the Rhône to the Provence is fairly flat, but once we climb out of the Rhone valley, we quickly arrive at Mt.Ventoux, which is no doubt one of the toughest climbs especially since it’s nearly always quite hot here. Then we go through the Alps. The first cols from the Alpes Maritimes only reach to 1000 m, but they are very steep. Col de la Bonnette is among the highest paved cols in Europe. Now the other giants follow one another, with the Galibier as its highest climb and finishing it off by the spectacular climb (16%) to the Grand Colombier.

After the Alps the Jura and Vosges are much easier, though the Grand Ballon at 1400 m and 15km of climbing is quite difficult nonetheless. Then we finish with many small, but tough climbs finishing off everything with a climb to the well-known St. Odile’s abbey.
The steepness of cols is varying. Most major cols are between 7 and 12% steep, but there are a few steeper climbs such as Marie Blanque, Menté, Portet d’Aspet, Peguere, Solperiere, Ventoux, Buis, en Grand Colombier.
The NTFU didn’t say for nothing this is the world’s toughest ride. Cycling in the Pyrenees and Alps is difficult, but especially the continuous lengthy climbs are very hard on a human body, both physical and mental. Total denivellation is 56 K. In comparison, the well-known Liège- Bastogne-Liège is 3K and the Tour de France 20 K in altitude gain. It’s important to train and having a few years’ experience in cycling mountainous areas (Ardennen, Eifel) is recommendable. As the major cols don’t open up before June 1 there’s enough time to get trained in spring. Your best bet is to train in the Belgian Ardennes or another hilly area in your region. From Holland it is recommended to cycle to France by bike, so as to add a training element in the Belgian Ardennes hills and Northern France. Those who have finished the ride mostly used 20 to 40 days to finish, often divided over several years. Participants were beween 18 and 72 years old, both men and women have done it. So far as many as thirteen women finished. We think that the 100 cols ride can be done by any healthy and fit cyclist provided they take enough time. In some cases it’s recommended to get a physical examination prior to the ride in a specialized sports centre.

Natural beauty.
This “100 cols tocht”  is not just the toughest, but according to nearly all participants also the most beautiful ride in the world. You will encounter beautiful, varied landscape and magnificent vistas. If you truly want to enjoy this, take your time and read guide books. The route goes right through many regional parks, and a lot of attention has been devoted to making it a scenic route. Sometimes you may do a shorter route in between 2 controls but you are not really doing yourself  a favour by short-cutting it.
The 100 cols package.
As soon as you have paid by giro you will receive the package at home. It is available only in Dutch. The envelope contains:
– description of the route
– profile of the mountains.
– index list of all cols en côtes
– address list  (to get road info on some cols)
– control booklet
– recommmendations for luggage
– alternative routes in case a col is closed due to weather circumstances
– information on getting there
– print from 100-cols register (with names of finisher)
– information bulletin  
Not a race
The route is not a race and there is no record. Every participant gives her/his best. We will not cooperate in record, which will be difficult nonetheless as the route changes every 2 years. The only record we recognize is that of Ton Handgraaf from Haarlem: he completed the 100 Cols at the age of 73.

Shutter Speed (Shutter Speed Priority) Setting on the camera

Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter remains open to allow light to reach a digital camera sensor. Shutter speed is measured in seconds, or fractions of seconds.

Using very fast shutter speeds “freeze” fast-moving subjects, such as birds in flight. Slow shutter speeds are used to intentionally capture the movement of a subject.

How an image is exposed is determined by the combination of the lens aperture and shutter speed. A fast shutter speed will use a larger aperture (small F-stop number) to avoid an under-exposed image. A slow shutter speed requires a small aperture (large F-stop number) to avoid over-exposure.

Typical shutter speeds are: 1/2000 sec, 1/500 sec, 1/250 sec, 1/125 sec, 1/60 sec, 1/30 sec, 1/15 sec, 1/8 sec, 1/4 sec, 1/2 sec and 1 second.

When taking long exposures, you should use a tripod to prevent camera shake. Also, when using shutter speeds below 1/60th of a second without image stabilization, use of a camera support is recommended.

Shutter Priority Mode

Shutter Priority mode is a semi-automatic exposure mode. You select the shutter speed and the camera automatically sets the aperture for a proper exposure.

For digital cameras without Shutter Priority, use Sports or Fast Shutter mode.
Shutter priority mode is a camera feature that allows you to manually choose the shutter speed you wish to use and leave the camera to select the appropriate aperture size so that the image is exposed correctly.

This camera mode is usually used in one of two cases.

  • Either when you wish to freeze very fast movement, perhaps in sports photography (in which case you would want to select a short shutter speed, usually 1/125s or below (a higher number)
  • or if you wish to create special effects, such as flowing water., use speeds below 1/15 of a second.

Speeds that need a tripod, to be placed on a steady surface with self-timer used or, in some cases, the use of a flash:
15”, 13”, 10”, 8”, 6”, 5”, 4”, 3”2, 2”5, 2” 1”6, 1”3, 1” (seconds)
“.8, “.6, “.5, “.4, “.3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13 (of a second)

Steady hands can hold still at these speeds (not recommended)
1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50 (of a second)

OK to hand hold with faster speeds below
1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000, 1/1250, 1/1600, 1/2000, 1/2500, 1/3200 (of a second)
(the higher the number the faster the speed)

Grey Water in Australia

Australia is the world’s driest habitable continent and as of late the dams near major cities have begun to dry up. This has caused widespread debate on what can be done, and the most efficient and practical suggestion has been to recycle domestic grey water.

Grey water comes from showers, dishwashers, washing machines, and the like. There is nothing wrong with it that cannot be eliminated using various techniques. Once it’s treated it is quite suitable for use on gardens.

Why are we watching this valuable resource flow down the drains when it can be recycled and save thousands of megalitres of pure water?

Many areas of Australia are on water restrictions, meaning that outdoor hoses are being eliminated, and yet, we are still letting a huge proportion of our water escape without being recycled. While we are still in the clutches of an extremely long drought, we need to take action to save this valuable resource.

There are many ways to convert grey water into water suitable for human consumption. The first and most controversial in Australia is called Reverse Osmosis. This is the finest type of purification that has ever been discovered, and can remove anything up to an ion from a substance.

Reverse Osmosis is the best but unfortunately the most expensive way of recycling grey water and huge recycling plants are in the process of being established to produce water that is fit for human consumption.

The reason that it is controversial is that some places, such as Toowoomba in Queensland have had strong opposition to putting in a plant because of lack of knowledge and ignorance. To see how controversial it can be, pay a visit to Toowoomba Recycled Water – Debating the Issue .

However, most of us are not going to use our recycled grey water for human consumption so we need something that is effective and inexpensive to recycle our grey water.

Fortunately there are many different kinds of store-bought products that can be purchased that will effectively clean grey water to usable levels. Some use sand filtration and pump straight from the laundry to the garden, whereas others take the water into a large tank where it is split between garden watering and flushing the toilet.

You will find some interesting suggestions and ideas on setting up your own recycling system for grey water in a fact sheet on the ABC’s Gardening Australia website.

At a time when Australia is facing unprecedented levels of drought and possibly the worse to come, we are using more and more water than ever before. Now is the time that we need to be making the water we have work harder. In fact we need to make it work twice as hard; first drinking water and again as grey water.

Of course you can go to the expense of treating grey water but it can be used to water gardens and lawns without any treatment and that can save us money. The cost of pure water is going to increase and soon the cost of watering your garden or lawn will become an economic burden on many households

Australia is suffering at the hands of a countrywide drought. The least we can do is recycling the water that we have. If not, and the good rains don’t return then disaster could occur. There is always the possibility of rain, but there is no certainty.

Grey water is the only viable solution that we can start using right now…

8 Rewards of Photography

So you’re interested in beginning photography – congratulations! Photography is a fascinating, practical hobby as well as an exciting career choice. Over the coming days and months, you will find a growing library of photography tips and tutorials on this website.

Some like this one will be written specifically for beginners like yourself. As you hone your skills, come back though because you will also find here tips and tutorials for the more advanced photographer.

Let’s begin with an overview of photography. Learning photography takes a little patience, but the rewards are worth it. To name a few…

  1. The ability to record special events like a child’s birthday or the family’s vacations with clear, focused well composed photographs.
  2. Never missing another “Kodak moment” while searching for the right dial or button.
  3. Taking beautiful photographs that you and your loved ones proudly frame and display.
  4. Communicating through your photographs. A picture really is worth a thousand words! You can capture an expression that says it all. Or as we’ve seen in magazines like Time and National Geographic, you can shoot photographs that convey messages powerful enough to open a mind or convey just about anything you want to communicate. You don’t have to be a professional photojournalist to get out there and take some great shots.
  5. The ability to take a portrait photograph in a home or outdoor setting that captures the unique personality and beauty of a loved one – the type of portrait that uplifts the person and makes them want to see the portrait framed  and on the wall, not hidden at the bottom of a box.
  6. Excitement! With a good telephoto lens you can, from a safe distance, capture exciting shots of wildlife and weather phenomena. Imagine visitors reactions when they see these amazing types of photographs that you took framed on your walls.
  7. Fun! It’s fun to take photographs of people, places and things we love. It’s even more fun to take them after learning a few skills!
  8. Fame and Fortune! Many a hobbyist photographer has gone on to win ribbons and awards and to set up websites where they sell prints with or without frames. Others sell downloads at microstock photo sites like iStock. Some take pet portraits of their neighbors’ pets, and eventually start a business from there. Others become wedding photographers or get jobs working as photographers.

You may have some goals in mind that weren’t listed here. As mentioned the rewards of photography are many. To get started with beginning photography, all you need is a decent (not expensive) camera and a few basic skills.

Point and Shoot v DSLR

Two types of consumer cameras are on the market — SLR cameras and “point-and-shoot” cameras.

Point and Shoot 

P&S cameras are usually small and fit into a pocket or purse. They are best used for casual picture taking where capturing the memory is more important than creating a marketable image.

Point and shoot cameras mean just that, point the camera at something and trip the shutter. The camera does all the work for you

You don’t have to have a fancy camera to take great photographs. There some limitations as to what a point and shoot camera can do but that doesn’t mean it can’t take great images. You simply have to know your camera’s capabilities and apply solid photography techniques.

Ideal for people who value simplicity, the top cameras in the point and shoot category produce high quality pictures with an absolute minimum of effort. Made for photographers who don’t need a variety of manual controls, these cameras take the guesswork out of picture-taking. But don’t be fooled into thinking they are just for beginners. Available features include optical and digital zoom, movie mode (some with audio), special image effects, and many other options that can keep novice and experienced photographers alike very

The main difference between point and shoot and DSLR cameras is how the photographer sees the scene. In a point-and-shoot camera, the viewfinder is a simple window through the body of the camera. You don’t see the real image formed by the camera lens, but you get a rough idea of what is in view. This means that what you see through your viewfinder may not be what you capture on film or digital media. With a DSLR camera you view the scene through the lens (TTL)


SLR stands for Single Lens Reflex and DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex . These are the cameras you see many professionals and serious amateurs lugging around. These cameras have a larger body than most P&S cameras and interchangeable lenses. These cameras allow for great control over the photography process and allow the photographer to take images not always possible with a P&S.

The SLR is much larger and heavier than the point-and-shoot camera. If you are leaving the house to socialize and want a camera to keep in your pocket just in case an interesting photo presents itself, the SLR will seem cumbersome. If you are heading out specifically with a photographic project in mind you will appreciate how the SLR and its controls fit into your hands.

Using the Canon XTi Cameras

“Norming” and Clearing the Camera
1.   Check out the camera with your School ID. 
2.   Check that you have a) body, b) lens,  c) Strap d) USB cord. Keep track of the box.
3.   Turn on the camera (Top of body, right hand side).
4.   Press the MENU button on the back of the camera, left of the LCD screen.
5.   Using the four direction arrows on the right hand side of the screen, toggle the menu to the “TOOL BOX 1” icon (wrench, hammer, 1), then down to FORMAT. 
6.   Press the center button “SET”, then toggle to “OK” and press “SET” center button again.  This clears the memory card.
7.   Toggle back to the top then to “TOOL BOX 2”.  Down to “Clear Settings”.
8.   Press the center button “SET”, then up to “Clear all camera settings”. Press the center “SET” again.  This reverts the camera to Large JPEGS, ISO 100 and other necessary settings for the Dig Photo class.
9.   Failure to do the above will likely cause you to loose precious time and require you to reshoot your images.  Do this EVERYTIME you check out the camera.

Taking a Picture

1.   To start with set the Creative Mode Dial (top, on right)  to “M” for Manual.  This gives you the most control of the situation. Check the Lens: set for either MF or AF – decide if you want to control the focus.
2.   Put the camera strap around your neck, not around your wrist. Always use it!
3.   Hold the camera with your left hand supporting the camera lens and your right hand lightly holding the camera body.  Keep your elbows tight next to your body.
4.   Look through the view finder and lightly touch the shutter release button. Green Numbers and a light meter should light up in the viewfinder. 
5.   Check to see that the lights are clear and NOT BLURRY.  If they are blurry, the diopter needs to be corrected.  It is located on the right of the view finder and can be adjusted to make the image clear. (if you wear glassed or contacts, you should have them on before doing this).
6.   When you’ve located your shot, move up, down, right left, zoom in  and out, move your feet, bend your knees.. consider all of your options as you decide what will be included.
7.   Touch the shutter release (half way) to show the green numbers.  Set the shutter release to 1/100th of a second (100 in far left viewfinder)  or HIGHER  (any slower requires a tripod) using the Command Dial (Top, Right, next to the Shutter release)
8.   Decide what is more important, Movement or Depth of Field (area of things in focus).  If Movement is important, decide how fast or slow the shutter speed (SS)needs to be.  If Depth of field is most important, adjust aperture or F-stop setting.
9.   To change aperture setting use the Command Dial again, BUT you must press and hold  the AV button on the back of the camera WHILE you turn the dial. (numbers in view finder are located next to the SS number)  Higher F-stops allow more depth of field, lower allow you to limit what will be in focus.
10.  Looking at the scale to the right of the SS and Fstop numbers, Balance the light meter to ‘0’ using either the SS or Fstop control DEPENDING on what you decided is most important, use the opposite control.
11. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.  If you are in AF make sure that the focus is on the area YOU want, the camera may make the wrong thing in focus.  In MF, double check.
12. Press the shutter release GENTLY till the shutter releases.

Sankyo super cme440 hi-focus /Sankyo super cme666 hi-focus

1. The Sankyo requires 4 AA batteries to be loaded into a plastic battery holder before being placed into the handle of the camera. Correct orientation of the batteries in the holder is very important, as incorrect orientation, ie: negative and positive, will result in the battery holder melting. AA batteries will be supplied by the “renter”.

2. The film cartridge is placed into the side of the camera via a small slide button on the rear of the camera. Be sure the camera can expose the film correctly; different cameras have differing abilities to expose some types of film.

3. If shooting with lights, screw in the screw accessory into the top of the camera. If shooting in daylight do not insert the screw accessory.

4. Film use can be monitored on the top of the camera in feet. When the film reaches the end of its length, the motor will make a distinctly different noise. Insert a new film cartridge.

5. The camera is off when there are no batteries loaded, and on when batteries are loaded. To prevent accidental running of the camera motor, there is a slide lock under the trigger that prevents accidental running.

6. The camera has a manual and automatic exposure control on the top of the camera. To activate the manual control, rotate the switch off “AUTO” adjust the desired exposure before the dial moves into the “LOCK” position. To activate the automatic control, rotate the switch to the “AUTO” position.

7. The diopter setting needs to be adjusted for each person that uses the camera. To set the diopter (eyepiece) focus the camera on a distant object, and adjust the diopter by rotating the adjuster situated just above the eye piece until the object is in clear focus.

8. To adjust focus quickly, zoom into the subject, pull the front lens hood towards you and turn the front lens hood until the double image in the view finder “lines up”. This feature is unavailable on the 666 model.


New Years resolutions have been set and many are embarking on their first century training program as a result! In order to maximize performance, it is essential to fuel yourself properly during training rides and racing, especially when you are riding longer than 2 hours.  As a nutritionist, I have found that many cyclists tend to overestimate actually cycling energy expenditure, causing them to overeat during the day and gain unwanted weight during season.  Furthermore, an overzealous calorie intake during training can trigger a multitude of stomach issues (e.g., nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, side stitches, sloshing) and ultimately diminish performance.  Below is a step-by-step guide to help you determine your total calorie burn during training rides as well as your target calorie replacement needs after about 90-120 minutes of cycling.  Happy riding trails!

Step #1                  Determine your goal cycling speed

Step #2                  Multiply cycling speed coefficient (see table 1) by your total body weight.

Step #3                  Multiply Step #2 by 60 minutes to determine hourly calorie expenditure.

Step #4                  Add 22 calories to Step #3 for every 100 feet climbed during cycling event. 

Step #5                  Multiply Step #4 by 0.3 to determine minimum hourly calorie replacement demands

Step #6                  Multiply Step #4 by 0.5 to determine maximum hourly calorie replacement demands

Table 1. Calculating Calorie Expenditure during Cycle Workouts
Average Speed (mph)
Coefficient (cal./lb./min.)*

Sample Case Study
Joe is a 150 lb athlete gearing up for his first Ironman®.  He has had issues with premature muscle fatigue and cramping during previous races which has lead him to seek nutritional advice with regards to race day fueling.  We used the guidelines specified above to help calculate and devise the perfect nutrition plan for his needs.
The Ironman® bike course Joe will be racing has a net elevation gain of 1000 feet.  Joe’s goal cycling speed, as practiced during training, is 19 mph, which yields an energy coefficient of 0.0811 calories/lb/minute, and places him at the bike finish  in 5.89 hours. 

Step One:              We calculated Joe’s hourly cycling expenditure.
                                0.0811 x 150 pounds x 60 minutes = 730 calories

Step Two:             We calculated Joe’s total cycling expenditure.
730 calories x 5.89 hours = 4,303 calories

Step Three:          We added on appropriate calorie expenditure based on the course profile.
For every 100 feet of elevation gained, Joe adds 22 calories to his total expenditure:
                                (1000 feet gained / 100 feet) x 22 = 220 calories
                                220 calories + 4,303 calories =4,523 calories

Step Four:            We calculated Joe’s total calorie replacement goal during the bike leg of his Ironman®.
                                MINIMUM: 0.3 x 4,523 calories = 1,357 calories
                                MAXIMUM: 0.5 x 4,523 calories = 2,262 calories

Step Five:             We calculated Joe’s hourly replacement goal during the bike leg of his Ironman®.
                                MINIMUM: 1,357 calories / 5.89 hours = 230 calories
                                MAXIMUM: 2,262 calories / 5.89 hours = 384 calories

Step Six:                We discussed how Joe was going to replace these calories.
Because Joe spent the first 90 minutes of his Ironman® swimming, calorie replacement on the bike can start immediately upon pedaling!  On training rides, water is the only nutrient needed during the first 90-120 minute.  We calculated Joe’s calorie needs during the bike leg to average ~1,800 calories.  In order to simplify his nutrition, Joe customized his sports drink.  Each serving of his sports drink contains 200 calories, 45 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams protein, 375 mg sodium, 110 mg potassium, 30 mg magnesium, and 15 mg of calcium. Joe’s goal is to finish 1.5 servings (~300 calories) each hour during the bike leg.  Instead of carrying a lot of weight on his bike, Joe opts to mixing his formula into a concentrate and using the water at the aid stations spaced in 8 mile increments to meet his fluid needs. On his bike, Joe has 2 back-loading bottle holders and then one more on his stem.  On race day, he plans on carrying two 24-ounce bottles, each containing 900 calories or 4.5 servings on his bike, and then one course-provided bottle of water.  Joe plans on taking shots of his formula every 10 minutes along with water so that 8 ounces of his concentrate and 24 ounces of water bottle are complete each hour.