Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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25 Things Every Woman Should Have By The Time She Turns 25

25 Things Every Woman Should Have By The Time She Turns 25

Life is an Exquisite Journey:

To all of my daughters and young female friends. Be intentional about the life you want to live. For all of my older sister friends, we still have time to complete this list. Love you! Michelle

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

1. Enough confidence to no longer feel the need to justify what she eats, who she dates or what she wears, not only to other people, but to herself. 

2. The goal of a bank account with a few months’ living expenses in it, if she doesn’t have that already. Just in case.

3. Only the phone numbers, Facebook friends, weekend plans, and roommates she actually wants.

4. A best friend who is like a sister.

5. A space of her own.

6. A good idea of what she needs in a romantic relationship, not just what she wants, or what she thinks she needs, and the willingness to explore different people and other ideas to find what exactly that is.

7. A closet of what she considers to be her “staples,” and among these things, something to wear to an interview, funeral, wedding, impromptu Friday night drink at a casual bar…

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Newsletter: Spring 2014


Originally posted on Connecting generations of Hoyas…:

Dear Hoya Gateway Volunteers,
In May, Hoya Gateway will celebrate it’s one year anniversary. In one short year, over 700 alumni and over 1300 student have joined the program, with over 860 connections made. As we noted when we launched, we are in some ways building the plane as we go, building Hoya Gateway brick-by-brick. Hoya Gateway is a work in progress and is strategically built to be a flexible and responsive platform for student-alumni interactions.  As such, we are excited to launch a new meeting type option for alumni: Job Shadowing. Now, in addition to offering mock interviews, informational interviews, and resume reviews, you can choose to host a student at your place of employment for a ½ day or full day job shadowing experience.  We hope you will consider logging in [] and adding “job shadowing” as a meeting type you are willing to offer.


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In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. “Symphony of Brotherhood”


I wanted to share this video with you all in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream Speech.” The music exudes the passion and the urgency of the words of the most powerful speech ever written. Can you hear it? Let’s continue to work toward the Dream.

How Bill’s Road ID saved the day


Life is an Exquisite Journey:

I have recently begun cycling and I do enjoy riding alone because I can explore new trails at my own pace. I think I will look into this Road ID option for identification purposes in case something should happen to me when I am riding.

Originally posted on The Bike Lane Blog:

Bill and Road ID
My Road ID truly saved me that day
From the Road ID Testimonials:
I was recently at a local club’s time trial, and because I work at a fairly popular local shop, I knew at least half of the people there. They all knew me as “Bill from The Bike Lane”, but no one knew much else. During the race, two ladies that had been hiking walked out onto the road that was being used for the race. As I approached them, I said “on your left”, and they turned with a look of “what do you want me to do?”. I was approaching so fast that I asked them to just stay in place. They instead moved right, directly into my path. I swerved and was thrown from my bike into a nearby ditch. I ended up unconscious with lots of road rash and a broken color bone.


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I Love the Train


Life is an Exquisite Journey:

Great post from Bomani! When was the last time that you paid attention to the details of the hustle and bustle of your morning or afternoon commute?

Originally posted on Bomani D. Armah:

L'Enfant_Plaza_station_crossvaultI love the metro train. The train loves me back.  Worn out carpets with chewing gum polka dots.   The Saturday morning train ride is the best.  It’s nice and quiet; mostly tourists getting a jump on the National Mall, or the poor guy who can’t believe his manager scheduled him on the weekend.  They are traveling live art installations; graffiti played out in between speeding walls.  On the outskirts of town trains are empty enough that I can let my sons stand holding the poles in the aisle, as long as they don’t spin around.  I used to let them spin around on the poles (something I probably wouldn’t let them do if they were girls…yeah, I know), but now they’re growing faster than my bank account.  They need to know that the train is a serious place, where they are no longer the cute little toddlers everyone will love.  …

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