Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army… What an amazing organization.

I organize and direct a group of 10 photographers and about 50 helpers photograph portraits for the poor and needy on Christmas morning just before the Christmas dinner at the Phoenix Civic Center.

For an hour and a half, each photography booth will shoot a new family portrait every 3-4 minutes.

Runners then takes the digital photo card from each camera to a room that has two professional printers and about another 20-people handling and printing the photographs and putting the 11 x 8 portraits into beautiful cardboard frames.

Each family will receive two of these portraits. It’s amazing how fast these printers work.

They are usually done printing about 20-30 minutes after the last portrait is shot. Hundreds and hundreds are passed out the morning.

While these portraits are being shot another group of photographers are shooting children as they sit down with Santa Clause.

Refreshments are served to everyone while the first professional band is playing Christmas music in the background.

FREE haircuts are being cut by a group of 15-20 professional hair stylists in a side room and in another room people can call anywhere in the world and talk to family for 10-15 minutes.  

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner will feed over 5,000 at the dinner itself and then another 3,800 meals go out by car to those who can not making it to the Civic Center.

It takes about 1,000 people to volunteer in various capacities to make this successful.

This is the most amazing event I have ever participated in. Salvation Army brings in professional chefs to cook the turkey dinner and all its fixings.

The dinners are served on china, silverware and fancy table cloths with 10 people per table while professional musicians playing holiday music in the background.

They are the second band to play that day. Presents are handed out to the children when the guests have been fed.

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner


This will be my 8th year…I think, I have lost count. 

When you love doing something that happens.

The main husband and wife team that organize the whole  Salvation Army Christmas Dinner have been doing this for over 20 years but I think its closer to 30. They seem have lost count also…

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner
Salvation Army Christmas Dinner

Salvation Army has hundreds of these celebrations and dinners going on ALL across the USA and the rest of the world on Christmas.

God bless them and how He has used them to bless so many of His people.

I think I am far more blessed by my participation in this annual event than the blessing I give to others.

God works like that…

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner Phoenix Arizona

Salvation Army Christmas Dinner
Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode

Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode

Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode


Why you need to take control over aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

by Rob Lim

Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode



You have probably heard, over and over, that you should be shooting your camera in manual mode.

But what is manual mode, and why is it so important for your photography?

Lets figure it out!

Manual mode is one of the main settings on your camera, and it lets you manually control shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. These three settings work together to control the how bright or dark your photo is (known as exposure), as well as change the overall look of the image. Super important stuff!

Now, if you’re just getting into photography you might not even know what shutter speed, aperture, and ISO do, so taking control over them can be overwhelming. But don’t let that stop you from shooting! Here’s a big secret that I don’t even know if I should be saying here… You don’t need to know how to shoot in manual mode in order to take great photos.Gasp! Yes, it’s true. The auto modes (Auto, Program), and semi automatic modes (Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority) on your camera are great places to start.


Manual mode is going to give you much more control over the look of your photos.


So why learn to shoot in manual mode if your camera can automatically adjust settings for you? Because manual mode is going to give you much more control over the look of your photos. And that, my friend, is a huge deal.

Let’s take a look at the main benefits of shooting in manual mode, and just how that can help you improve the look of your photos!


1. Take Creative Control

The biggest advantage of shooting in manual mode is that it lets you take creative control over aperture and shutter speed, and just brightness in general.

Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode

ISO 100, 50mm, f/1.6, 1/500s


By manually controlling aperture you’ll have more control over the depth of field in your image. (That is, how much of the image is in sharp focus).

This can be super helpful when taking portraits. A large aperture (smaller f/number) will help you create shallower depths of field, which can massively help your subject to stand out from the background – not to mention helping you create some amazing bokeh!

On the other hand, you might want to select a smaller aperture (bigger f/number) if you want more of your photo in focus.

This can be useful for many situations, like in landscape photography where you want to capture both foreground and background in reasonably sharp focus. Shooting in manual mode let’s you make the choice based on what result YOU want!

Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode

ISO 500, 37mm, f/8.0, 1.3s



As for shutter speed, being able to control it can help you capture motion in more creative ways.

By selecting slower shutter speeds you can capture shots where your subject shows some motion blur.

Think about those neat nighttime city shots of cars making trails of light, or waterfalls with smooth flowing water. Slow shutter speeds are what let you capture that!

Or maybe you want to completely freeze some kind of action, like a child jumping in midair. Using a fast shutter speed will help you freeze that instant in time.

Being able to choose your shutter speed let’s you decide just how you want movement to be portrayed in your image.



There are also times you’ll want to take creative control of the overall brightness of an image (by manually adjusting shutter speed, aperture, and ISO).

One example would be creating silhouettes. This requires having your subject stand in front of a bright background, and then deliberately underexposing your subject so that they appear quite dark.

Another example is star photography. In this situation you typically need to shoot with a large aperture (small f/number), have the shutter open for a long time (10-30 seconds), and shoot at a higher ISO.

These are two different scenarios that each require a specific approach to choosing your settings in order to get the look you want!

But it isn’t just unique situations like silhouettes and star photography that benefit from control over exposure.

More broadly speaking, the brightness of your photo is a personal preference, and an artistic choice. Being able to choose the exposure in your image is a big part of getting your message across!

Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode

ISO 125, 200mm, f/7.1, 1/500s

2. Deal with Tricky Lighting Situations

Now here’s a huge reason to learn to shoot in manual mode: Some lighting situations are simply too difficult for the camera’s auto modes to handle! 

Trying to shoot these scenarios with an automatic mode can straight up give you the wrong exposure, and be an exercise in frustration.


Some lighting situations are simply too difficult for the camera’s auto modes to handle!


The biggest problem is with backlit situations. If the light behind your subject is much brighter than your subject itself, then your camera will try to adjust the settings in order to capture the brighter light.

This will result in your subject being completely underexposed, and hard to see. Not good.


To read the rest of this article go here: Why You should learn to shoot in manual mode.


Reasons To Shoot In Manual Mode

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

by Rob Lim

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG? Yes, yes and a BIG yes and here is why.

The world of digital photography changes FAST.

It’s a fun and exciting time, with new gadgets coming out all the time.

But as a digital shooter you need to think ahead to the future, and figure out how you can protect your images from the changing times!

If you’re not planning right, you might end up with an archive of images that you can’t even open.

Uh oh. Read on to learn more about this subject, and how you can prevent that from happening to you! 

Now, if you shoot in the RAW file format you may or may not have heard of the Digital Negative (DNG) format. The DNG is an open source RAW file format that was developed by Adobe and released in 2004.

You might want to consider converting your RAW files to the DNG format as it offers some serious benefits!

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

This is where you tell Bridge to convert your RAW file into a .DNG. It will also embed all the information into the .DNG so there is no need for a side car to follow tour RAW file around.

The Benefits Of DNG



One of the problems in photography right now is that the vast majority of camera manufacturers have their own proprietary RAW formats.

If you shoot Canon you might have noticed your RAW files end with .cr2, or with Nikon it’s .nef.

These proprietary formats might be difficult to read in the distant future since the format hasn’t been openly documented and support from the manufacturer may not always be there.

It’s hard to imagine not being able to open Canon or Nikon files today, but ten or twenty years from now who knows where those companies could be!

Since the DNG format (.dng) is open source anyone can write software to read or write the format.

It’s not limited to Adobe software like Lightroom and Photoshop.

Many different software developers support the DNG format (Apple Aperture for example).

There are also no license restrictions so camera manufacturers could use DNG as their default RAW format instead of their proprietary format.

Some camera manufacturers like Leica and Hasselblad already capture in the DNG format.

If (when) other camera manufacturers adopt a universal format in the future it’s highly likely it will be the DNG.

Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

Lightroom will also convert your RAW file into a .DNG when you process your image so if you do not do the conversion when you down load images from your camera you can do it here instead.


DNG files are around 15-20% smaller in file size than proprietary RAWfiles without any loss of quality!

You also have the option to include the original proprietary RAW file in the DNG which effectively doubles the file size – though it’s not really necessary.

If you would like to read the rest of this article go here: Convert RAW to .DNG


Should You Convert Your Photos To DNG?

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