Going Shooting? Do not Leave the House Without These 5 Gadgets

I personally do not like to drag a lot of equipment with me when I'm out shooting, but there are a few things I simply can not do without. I have listed my top 5 pieces of equipment that every photographer (amateur or not) should consider adding to their camera bag.

Epson's Multimedia Photo Viewers
These small, portable backup / storage / display devices can truly save the day if you are out shooting and find yourself with filled up memory cards and lots left to see. You can transfer photos (as well as video and music) straight from your camera or through the built in card slots. The viewers come in three different configurations: the P-3000 has a 40GB hard drive, the P-6000 80GB, and the P-7000 160GB. All measure 3.5×5.9×1.3 "and weigh 1lb, and some of the features include 4" screens, long life rechargeable batteries, and A / V output. $ 299- $ 699.

Gorilla pod
These flexible, funky looking tripods are amazing little gadgets. Sturdy and durable, their legs twist and bend so that they are able to attach to almost anything (your bike, a car, a pole, a branch, etc.). They come in 5 sizes to suit everything from cell phones to heavy video cameras, and are really lightweight: 1.6oz (the "Go-Go") to 1.1 lbs (the "Focus"). The SLR model weighs in at 5.8oz and costs $ 44.95, and the original model (for point and shoots) weighs 1.6 oz and sells for $ 24.95.

Homemade Flash diffuser
On-camera flashes typically produce some pretty horrible results, and not everyone wants to spend money on an external flash (and take the time to perfect using it). I have found two home remedies that work really well:

For popup flashes, use an old film canister (not the black ones obviously, the hazy white ones). Take the lid off, cut a strip out of it from top to bottom, just wide enough so that it fits snugly over your flash, and just slide it in place so that the flash is being fired through the canister. You'll have to play around with the camera settings a little bit to get the exposure to where you want it. If you do not have any old canisters lying about, ask at a photo printing shop if you can have one.

For point and shoot flashes, I use a small piece of tape, regular Scotch Magic Tape (not the totally clear kind). Put one piece over the flash, test and see what you think. If it's still too strong, just put another piece over it. Weight: negligible. Cost: Around $ 2 for the tape.

Collapsible Reflector
It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but these small, lightweight disks are invaluable for adding light to the shaded part of a person or object, both indoors and out. I use the 22 "Photoflex disk in Silver / White for just about everything, but they come in several different colors. your subject holding the reflector (outside of the picture of course) so that it bounces the light from the window into the shook side of their face, and look at the difference. a white piece of cardboard .It works just as well, but it's not as easy to pack in a bag.

Rain Protection
The Shutter Hat is like a raincoat for your camera (SLR) so you do not have to pass up shooting outside just because it's raining or snowing. It's held in place by Velcro and a rubber piece that fits into the flash hot shoe, and covers lenses up to 8 "long. It also has two slits for the strap, so you can still carry it around your neck with the Hat on. It folds up really small, so you can carry it with you and have it on hand all the time in case of a sudden downpour.

For point and shoot cameras, your best bet is to invest in a waterproof case such as Aquapac or DiCAPac. Not only will they protect your camera in the rain, you can also take it snorkeling or diving. 2.7oz, $ 29.95- $ 49.95. For a land-only low cost alternative, use a shower cap or a ziplock bag with a hole cut out for the lens.

What to Do When the Debt Collector Sues

If you're behind paying your bills – and who is not, these days? – it's tempting to let the mail pile up. After all, who wants to face yet another reminder that their financial house is not in order? Ignoring the bills and debt collection calls can have a significant drawback, however, if a debt collection agency decides to take you to court.

Increasingly, debt collectors are using the court system not as their last line of defense, but as their first line of indemnity. There have been numerous reports in the mainstream media about debt collection attorneys filing hundreds of cases a week using automated software. Nonprofit organizations in New York City recently issued a report detailing the ways in which debt collectors routinely target lower income residents with lawsuits.

According to the law, you must be informed if you're being sued. Often, however, debt collection agencies do an end run around the law and do not notify the consumer (that's what the New York City study revealed). Other times, consumers let the mail pile up, not knowing that it contains legal documents that require their attention. Still other times, consumers know that they're being sued, but do not know how to go about defending themselves, and so either show up for court unprepared or do not show up at all. A recent survey of sentences conducted by the American Bar Association found that consumers who represent themselves in court do so to their own detriment, in that the have less favorable outputs than consumers who are represented by attorneys. For consumers who do not attend the legal proceedings, the judge has no real choice but to rule in favor of the debt collector.

Once you have a legal judgment against you, life can become even more difficult than it already is. If you do not have a job or any assets, you may think that a legal judgment can not do any real harm. After all, they can not squeeze blood out of a proverbial turnip, can they? That may be true, but chances are good that, ever, your financial situation will change. When it does, a debt collection agency will swoop in to collect on the judgment. In fact, there's been buzz in the debt collection industry about how it's time to get out those old judgments. Their thinking is that the economy is slowly improving, people are starting to go back to work, and the judgments will soon be enforceable. What does that mean? If you have a lawsuit against you and you get a new job, the debt collection agency could garnish your wages. It will feel like one step forward and two steps backwards.

The bottom line? If you're in a position where you might be sued by a debt collection agency, you need to keep an eye on any potential legal proceedings. If you're sued by a debt collector, you should mount a rigorous defense with the help of an attorney. Often, a fair debt attorney can help you to avoid a judgment, and sometimes even get the debt dismissed.

Top Workplace Harassment Questions

Harassment at work is a form of employee discrimination. It has many forms with varying degrees of seriousness and legal implication. While it is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights act, it can often be difficult to prove in a court of law. This can lead to unanswered questions. Below are five of the most common workplace harassment questions.

Q. What are some types of workplace harassment?

Harassment at work includes sexual, racial, religious, and age-related harassment. The fear of losing a job keeps many employees from reporting harassment. Many employers have what is called an "at will" employment. If you are an "at will" employee, technically you can be terminated for no reason at all. Since this is usually your word vs. their word, it becomes difficult to prove. However, if you can prove the harassment – possibly with witnesses or pictures – this could be an important factor in your case.

Q. What is the difference between workplace harassment vs. a hostile working environment?

Harassment at work is any type of unwelcome action taken by either one employee towards another, or by members of management to subordinates. Management includes supervisors, the boss / owner or any person in a position of authority. Any unwelcome action towards an employee that violates the employee from performing job duties or makes the employee feel violated or uneasy can be considered workplace harassment.

A hostile work environment is when an employee experiences acts that provoke fear of going to work. Often, these acts are offensive intimidation initiated by the harasser. Yelling, being rude, and creating an environment full of severe stress results in a hostile work environment. Typically, hostile work situations are created by a boss or manager to provoke an employee or employees to quit their job.

Q. Are verbal threats considered harassment?

Verbal threats are considered a form of workplace harassment in West Virginia and many other states. However, until the harasser actually acts on the threats, you would only have a civil recourse and it does not become a criminal indemnity.

Q. Is slander the same as harassment?

Depending on the situation, slander is often considered a form of workplace harassment, especially if it was sexually oriented. Heinous lies, verbal attacks and rumors can discredit a person and cause not only stress in the workplace, but in his or her personal life as well. The law for slander differs from state to state. However, if you can prove the accusations, you may also have a case.

Q. I have been accused of sexual harassment at work; can my employer reprimand me without an investigation?

Employers are bound by most states to show that some sort of investigation was made in the event that an employee was accused of sexual or any type of workplace harassment. Employers can reprimand an employee through a verbal and written warning to be placed in the employee's permanent record. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious situation and can have a lasting impact on your career.

Mental Health Supplements

Most people, who suffer from depression, also suffer from anxiety disorder. In fact, anxiety and depression are the most common types of mental health issues. The cause of these disorders is due to chemical imbalances in the brain. There are prescription drugs that a doctor can prescribe to help lessen the effects of depression and anxiety. These treatments can provide relief, but there are also alternatives. Many individuals have had success with using mental health supplements. Some individuals rely on 100% mental health supplements for treatment, while others use health supplements in addition to prescribed medicines. Before choosing to take mental health supplements for depression or anxiety, be sure you first speak with your physician.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an excellent way to help with symptoms of depression. There are many ways to increase omega-3 take. The most common way as with fish oil supplements or you can take flax seed oil supplements. The reason why this is an effective therapy for depression is due to the eicosapentaenoic acid, which is found in fish. For people who are depressed, they tend to have lower levels of eicosapentaenoic acid.

Often found in research on mental health supplements, is the suggestion of increasing amino acids. When people suffer from anxiety or depression, lower levels of amino acids are usually found. Some doctors specialize in amino acid therapy. Therapy may or may not be needed, but you can find many amino acid supplements available on the market. When taking amino acid supplements, patients tend to notice an increase and improvement in mood.

Studies show that patients who suffer from depression also have vitamin B deficiencies. Vitamin B is important because it helps with mood regulation and brain function. Taking a daily dose of vitamin B can help lower the symptoms of depression.

When researching for mental health supplements you may come across one named SAMe – otherwise known as S-adenosyl-L-methionine. You can find SAMe easily as it is available for the dietary supplement. This chemical, S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is made by the liver and helps produce neurotransmitters. When taken as a supplement, it improves the conditions of depression.

For an herbal extract, the most widely used is St. John's. John's wort. St. John's wort is best to use in cases of mild to moderate depression. For anxiety herbal supplements, there is passion flower, kava kava and magnolia bark. An Herbal treatment that is good for both anxiety and depression Ginkgo biloba.

Once again, it is important that you first consult your physician before you try to use mental health supplements . This is especially true if you are already taking prescription medines or over-the-counter medications. The reason for this is that some of these supplements can have an adverse reaction to certain medicines.