Variable Temperature Kettle

Tea

I’m a very keen tea drinker and here I’m talking about green teas and herbal teas. I’ve always been a tea drinker, never really liked coffee. But I’m not talking about tea with milk and sugar. Which was introduced to me as a child by my parents.

China Clock Tower China Visit

I then visited China about 25 years ago and tea, and only tea, was everywhere. But it was only jasmine tea, a slightly weak fragrant tea in a put with a small cup.

I didn’t warm to it at first but it was either that or soft drinks. I persevered and it got better. Quite refreshing after a long day.

Chinese Herbal TeasMy Switch To Green Tea

Going back home I switched back to English tea with its milk and sugar and quickly realized that my tea drinking had moved on to a higher plain.

I subsequently discovered that there are health benefits from drinking green teas, white teas. There are compounds in the tea leaves that are released by the hot water and have some positive influence over our health and well-being.

But this health benefit is at its maximum strength when the tea is brewed at its optimum temperature. Brewing with boiling water which breaks down all those delicate plant compounds, reduces its usefulness.

Oriental Tea SetThe Right Temperature

So the Goldilocks approach is that the water should not be too hot, not too cold but just right. Well this is a hard trick to pull off because making a simple cup of tea becomes a laboratory experiment with thermometers and adding the correct about of tea leaves. There had to be a better way and there is.

temperature control kettle You can get these instead of a traditional kettle. They will boil water just as a normal kettle will do but they also allow you to set the temperature that you want the water to reach, then stop.

The ones shown here temperature control kettle Are even better. They not only stop at the correct temperature but will keep it at that temperature for 10 minutes or more.

So now my tea is perfectly brewed for both flavor and for health.

Home Water Softener

splashing waterSoft Water, Hard Water

Soft water is better than hard water, period. Hard water contains dissolved salts and minerals and when that happens, we refer to it as hard water.

But I don’t want to get into the science of it all. I just want to tell you about the benefits of soft water and what you can do if you live in a hard water area, as most of us do.

Let me first say that our bodies are immune to the differences between the two types of water. And can cope well with either type, as it has done for millions of years.

The Problem

But when you turn to the home to our pipe work, our hot water systems and appliances, then things are not so good. Why should you care? Because this hard water will cost you money. Not in the short term but as the years go by you’ll be replacing those expensive washing machines and dishwashers more often than you should.

The problem is that the minerals dissolved in the water come out of solution and stick to anything that the water happens to be passing. And when it’s you home, everything that you use will fur up eventually with that white hard chalky substance known as limescale.

hard soft water video

It gets Worse

Most appliance manufactures will incorporate some form of limescale remover. But even these get clogged up and needed replacing. And very few us do appliance maintenance.

Every tried to turn an old tap that won’t turn? That’s typically limescale which has deposited bit by bit, year by year, into the thread of the tap and set like cement.

soft towelsThe Solution

The most effective way to deal with this is to treat the water as it enters your home. This can be done write cheaply now and it’s a wise investment. Plus, it will help with the resale value of your property. You’ll find a good selection of the products here whole house water softener

You fit them as the water enters the property from an outside baby feet in a bathsource. They remove all the salts and minerals from the water. They act like an internet firewall (if you like). Preventing limscale from every taking hold in the first place The result is appliances that last twice as long. Heating systems that don’t deteriorate over time and just nicer water to drink and to wash in.

And it saves you money in the long term. A water softener system is definitely a worthwhile investment.

best selling camera tripod

smartphone cameraThe Ever Changing World of Photography

The world of photography has changed immensely over the last 10 to 15 years. Film has been replaced by digital and although film is looked back on in fondness, digital has just taken photography to a much higher level. It’s almost the same jump as it was from black and white to color.

Being digital means computers, which means software. And this too has changed photography in ways that we could never have dreamt of. Where we see this most is on the Cell phone or more correctly the smart phone.

Software in smart phones, such as Apple, Samsung, plus all the others manufacturers, can all do things which we would not have thought impossible just a few short years ago.

The smart phone knows what you want to do. You point the camera and it adjusts all the settings for you. And it’s quite uncanny how it seems to get it right most of the time They’re almost telepathic in the way they behave.

canon 7ddSLR is Still King

But I still use a real digital SLR an old (now) Canon 7d. And I won’t be giving it up any time soon. It takes a while to master and there’s still things it can do that I’m still finding out about, almost six years after I bought it.

But it’s the flexibility and the control it gives me which allows me to adjust and tweak a shot or a photo shoot to my liking. Something I just don’t have with a smart phone or a “do it all for you” type camera.

My hobby has taken me more into studio work. This allows me to work in a controlled environment and set the lighting just as I want it (painting with light) and all the time using a camera tripod to keep the camera in a fixed position throughout.

camera and tripod at sunsetLenses and Tripods

Some people are more spontaneous, I’m a bit of a control freak good quality lenses, which I pick up from eBay are remarkably well looked after. You have to take some care and use some diligence for sure but you’ll find some real bargains a well. A good sturdy tripod is next like the ones I found here best tripod. Always go for quantity over price as the best tripods are solid and can take a lot of punishment.

camera tripods are so well made these days. I replaced my old, very old Slik 88. And now the choices are immense and the technology and design features make then so quick and easy to use. I like the way I can just release the camera so quick from my tripod and use it hand held, with no fuss.

Smart phone tips and tripods

Good Day and Welcome

This is our contribution to the world of photography. What makes this site specially? Well nothing really. Just our enthusiasm and passion for everything photography.

As time goes by well add more articles and things we find, links to really good sites a treasure trove of information.

Thanks for popping by come back soon, for some really good articles.