Tips to Avoid Blurry iPhone Photos


If you are like me and probably most anyone with a cell phone these days,  you are snapping photos left and right!   Over the past couple of years, I have been intentionally taking photos of our everyday activities.  The reason I named my blog Life is an Exquisite Journey was to be able to capture some of the exquisite moments that me and my children experience on our collective and individual journeys.

It is amazing to me how much more attentive I have become to the details of life and the beauty around me while viewing my world through my iPhone camera lens.  My iPhone cameras has been the gateway to my actively engaging in my love for photography.  I’ve always admired the work of other photographers and now I am developing an eye for my own personal artistic perspective.  I devour every new piece of information that I receive to be able to incorporate a new technique or strategy for the next photo opportunity.

Today, I ran across this article,    How to Never Take A Blurry iPhone Photo Again, by Emil Pakarklis.  Emil shares several key points to remember when taking your photos:

1.  Don’t Rely on Auto-Focus

2.  Keep Your iPhone Steady

3.  Reduce the Effects of Movement

As I was leaving the Salamander Resort & Spa early this morning, I tried to grab of photo of this piece of art.  It is a map of Virginia framed in metal and filled in with corkscrews!  It represents the myriad of Virginia wineries that are sprinkled throughout the state.  The detail and variant colors of the corkscrews is what really attracted me to the piece.  However, I tried to take the photo while I was walking through the room.  Instead, I should have “reduced the effects of movement” as Emil suggests and stopped to manually focus the image in my camera lens, while keeping my iPhone steady.  I  would have gotten the desired result – a photo capturing the detail that I could see with my naked eye.


Emil provides great visual images of the PROBLEM PHOTO and the PHOTO with the SOLUTION applied.  Great tips as I try to work towards perfecting my craft.  I thought you might be interested in Emil’s suggestions as well!

Meanwhile, I need to make plans for my next visit to Salamander Resort & Spa to retake this photo and many other exquisite captures!

Hugs and Blessings!

Life is an Exquisite Journey




You May Qualify for SAT Fee Waivers and College Application Fee Waivers


Life is an Exquisite Journey:

High School Seniors – it’s time to get organized for the final PUSH!

Originally posted on Family College Coach:

Students that qualify for the national free and reduced-price lunch program may be eligible to receive a fee waiver for the SAT Program and up to FOUR college application fee waivers.

“a student must be either an American citizen or a foreign national who is testing in the United States or U.S. territories. Eligibility is determined by family income or by participation in a public assistance or other program for economically disadvantaged families.”

If you think you qualify, you have homework! I want you to make an appointment with your high school counselor to discuss the options below and to find out how you can take advantage of this opportunity!

College BoardSAT fee waiver form

Studentscan takeadvantage of the College Board’s SAT® Fee-Waiver Service — which covers the basic test fees for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests™ — studentsmay also be eligible for up to four application fee…

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16 Things You Need To Know Before You Date An Introvert

16 Things You Need To Know Before You Date An Introvert

Life is an Exquisite Journey:

It is very important to appreciate the personality differences in one another. It helps us to build stronger, lasting, fulfilling relationships. I am very much the introvert and these reminders on how to relate with us are right on point!

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. Some of us have very outgoing personalities. We don’t always come across as the stereotypical introvert. We can be social butterflies and charming dates and then need a few days alone to recoup.

2. Listen when we say we’re uncomfortable with something. It may seem like a simple task — to venture out to a party, to make a speech at a friend’s wedding, to put ourselves on display in one way or another — but it’s not for us. Don’t belittle us when we say we’re nervous about something that seems commonplace to you. Our hearts are pounding and we’re going to be overthinking this for weeks, the last thing we need is to feel like you don’t support or understand us.

3. More often than not, we’ll bottle up our emotions because it’s exhausting for us to express them all the time. So while our quietness doesn’t necessarily mean…

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Zola’s Exquisite Journey as a Classical Double Bassist


10462429_10204318052215420_906693918121963652_o ZOLA SMI 2014

NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra

“The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute is a four-week festival of orchestral and chamber music for young people ages 14-21 at the Kennedy Center. Musicians from around the country participate in the Institute, which consists of orchestral and chamber music coached by NSO musicians, conducting and master classes, private lessons with NSO musicians, and additional enrichment sessions. Several of the local students are graduates or current participants of the NSO Youth Fellowship Program, an orchestral training program for talented young musicians. Also included are students participating in the Young Artists’ of Color national training initiative of the Kennedy Center.”   – NSO - SMI website.

My daughter, Zola, a classical double bassist, had the distinct honor and pleasure of performing with the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra the past two years.  What an amazing experience and opportunity!  If you have any young musicians in your life, encourage them to apply for the NSO Youth Fellowship.  It includes housing, a stipend, and intense training and performance experiences!

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the final performance of the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra which was held in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.  Simply PHENOMENAL!  It is always a WONDER for me to sit in front of the Double Bass Section and watch my daughter transform right in front of my eyes.  She fully immerses her soul and her being into this gift that she has been given.  I am thankful for the doors that have been opened for her through her dedication, hard work and talent.  May Zola continue to inspire others along her Exquisite Journey!

Enjoy  last night’s performance!



The MOST Exquisite Moment: Seeing My Billboard Ad in New York City!


From the first Facebook post from my college friend to the 2:44 a.m. text on Sunday morning from a high school friend telling me that they saw my face on a billboard in NYC,  I knew I would  go completely BONKERS if I did not have a chance to see the billboard for myself!  I mean it is not every day that a mom of five meets a photographer, poses for some shots for an ad campaign and then ends up in the featured photo of a New York Times article that highlights the campaign and the billboard with her image on it!  WHEW!  Talk about a series of EXQUISITE MOMENTS!

In comes the most generous and thoughtful exquisite gesture – an offer to fund my trip to NYC so that I can see the billboard for myself!  I have tears in my eyes just thinking about the magnitude of this gesture in my heart.  So off I go – on a day trip to see myself on 42nd Street in NYC!  I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.  I got three hours of sleep before I had to ride to the bus station which thankfully was only 10 minutes away.  I thought I would get some sleep on the bus – but NO!  I was just to exited about the whole entire trip because this was my first time going to New York City and I was so looking forward to the adventure!IMG_8676

The bus arrived in the city at 12 noon.  It was the perfect day to walk the city!  With so much to see but first things first, I have to make my way to the Pfizer Building.  GPS in hand in Walking Mode of Transport here I go.  I will confess I got turned around for a minute but I finally found my footing and was on my way!


As I was taking in all of the sights I realized I was almost there!  The address f the Pfizer Building is 235 E. 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues!


Then there it was!!!  It is REALLY BIG!!!  LOL!  But I was so happy to finally be able to see it in real life!  As Exquisite Moments would have it, an employee recognized me as I was getting my photo taken in front of the billboard.  She was so excited to see one of the models live, that she rushed me into the lobby and ran upstairs to grab one of the executives in charge of the campaign.  Lo and behold, it was one of the executives that was there at the photo shoot!

As you can see I am quite happy that I finally had a chance to see the billboard live and in person!

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