Category Archives: Photography

Social Networking and Photo Safety

One of the many features of social networking sites is that now you can quickly and easily share new information and photos with a huge number of your friends and family, all at the same time – and without spending anything more than time to do it. Some sites even allow users to create links that are sendable to friends and family who haven’t made the social networking leap. This is a great tool, but some users are experiencing issues when their photos fall into the wrong hands.

Sometimes things end up photoshopped to embarrassing proportions, and sometimes pictures simply become the assumed property of whomever decides to take them. Unless you’re a professional photographer (in which case you should be heavily using some form of watermarking your photos), any photo placed in a public forum becomes public property, and there’s nothing you can legally do about it being ‘stolen,’ UNLESS the person used your image to make money. In that case you would either need to be IN the photo or able to prove you took it.

The only surefire guarantee that your photos can’t be stolen online and reused is to not put them online at all in the first place. Of course, that defeats the idea of easily sharing them with people, so there are a few things you can do to help safeguard your pictures. First, if there’s someone on your friends list that you don’t want to access your pictures – you can either put privacy on the photo albums preventing the people from seeing them, or delete them from your friends list. After all, why are they your friend if you don’t trust them with your pictures?

If the pictures are going in a more public forum or you want people to see them but not take them, you can size them down to the point where the photo is viewable, but its’ integrity would be completely lost if someone took it and tried to resize it to being printable. (Definitely keep the originals someplace safe if you do this!)

Finally, if it’s your website or you have the ability to do a little HTML on the page, you can block users from right clicking and copying the picture using this technology. There’s nothing you can do however about someone pushing ‘print screen,’ no matter how much HTML you know, and many of the larger social networking sites don’t allow HTML content to be added.

Once someone takes your picture, if they deface it, the damage may be done. You could ask them to return it or take it down, but you can’t force them to. If they only took the picture because it was good and they wanted a copy, be flattered – someone liked your work enough to want a copy! But, it might be worth mentioning that you’d appreciate if they could ask ahead of time in the future.

How to Photograph Snakes Safely in the Wild

Photographing snakes, or any wildlife for that matter is a tricky business. If you are not careful about what you are doing, then you will quickly find yourself with a very nasty little snake bite. The beauty of photographing snakes in the wild, however, is well worth the risk if you take the time to mitigate those risks. The beauty of a snake picture shot in the wild is well worth the time and effort. Here is how to photograph a snake safely in the wild step by step.

The first thing that you will want to do is to learn about the snakes that can be found in the area you will be shooting. While you may only be wanting some pictures of harmless garter snakes, you still will want to know what a copperhead, and other dangerous snakes looks like. One important thing to remember here is that venomous snakes often look very different as babies. When a venomous snake is young, it is still very dangerous. As such, make sure you study the appearance of snakes at all ages of their growth.

Another important factor is to learn about where you are likely to encounter snakes. It is tough to get a picture if you can not locate one, right? Take some time to learn about snake habits and locations. Common places to find snakes are around bodies of water, under logs and fallen trees, around rock piles, and anywhere that the rodent population is high. If you see mice, then it is likely that snakes are nearby as well.

When looking for a snake to photograph in the wild, you should make sure that you have the equipment to do so safely. You should carry along a long (at least five feet) stick or bar in order to move logs and rocks around. You do not want to reach under there with your hands, as this is a common way to get that snake bite we talked about earlier.

Once you have located the snake, you will want to try to disturb them as little as possible. The snake will attempt to flee, and if you follow be sure that you are careful about distance. The snake is generally able to strike from about half the length of its body. If a six foot snake strikes at you, then you need over three feet of clearance. This is a general rule, and should not be taken as exacting in the least. Give yourself way more room then you think you need.

Sometimes the excitement of finally finding that snake can cause your judgement to fail. If a snake refuses to sit still for a picture, then leave them be. Even a nonvenomous snake can deliver a nasty bite when provoked. Still, you must remember that a camera has a zoom lens feature for a reason. While it may not have been created to keep you from being snake bitten, it certainly can have that effect. Use your zoom feature. It will get stunning pictures of snakes in the wild.

Shooting pictures of snakes in the wild is a rather easy and rewarding thing for an amateur photographer to do, but it must be done with respect for the snake. Snakes are not the easiest subject to shoot, but they make for outstanding pictures when you finally succeed.

Want to Be a Photojournalist?

They say the odds of becoming a front page photojournalist are extremely thin. I really believe that but I also really believe that you can accomplish what ever it is you set out to do. I have never been good at sitting around and to make matters worse I was blessed or cursed (depends on how one perceives it) with very active mind. I don't know maybe I was dropped on my head when I was a baby. My only weapon against my very active psyche has been activity itself. In short I stay busy. Not reading, I love to write but my mind goes into some kind of rebellion mode when I command it to sit and read.

When I signed up for a writing course the very first thing my instructor emphasized was, read a lot of material. I should have thrown in the towel then but that's not me. To make matters worse the course I had chosen was writing for children I thought it would be fun. I mean how much brain power would it take to create children's books with very limited wording per page. You know, Rusty The Zebra Has A Bad Day At The City Zoo, kind of thing. But turns out its way more complicated than that. I had forgotten that I hated English 1 in school or it hated me. Either way it was my adversary. My writing instructor drove home the point that I should just be myself when writing but then she went on to re-write all the assignments that I turned in. I suppose when the course was completed I had learned something but I never did publish a children's book. So I chalk that one up to experience for later application.

The next wild idea I came up with was to become some sort of a photographer, perhaps wildlife. After all I love the out of doors and spend a lot of time in Idaho's back country. The opportunities would be limitless, I thought. After all Ansel Adams did it with black and white photos. Photo technology had made leaps and bounds since the days of black and white film. It should be fairly easy to break into some level of photography and make it pay.

Oh Yeah, I would Need Equipment!

I was really enjoying the photography course but it was putting financial demands on my wallet. Probably the first thing one realizes when getting involved with photography is that skies the limit when it comes to buying equipment. Man that stuff can get pricey! I still had kids at home extra money for camera equipment was way down on the list of priorities. But as I said earlier, I'm no quitter. I scratched out the addresses of all the pawn shops in the surrounding area and headed out to find equipment. After studying at least fifty older 35 millimeter cameras and a half million or so assorted lenses ( of which I knew nothing) I settled on an Olympus with a wide angel lens. The shop owner assured me that it was in good condition. Turns out he was mostly right accept for the slight light leak somewhere in the frame that demonstrated itself by a slight red streak on the upper left corner of intermittent photos. But the price fit so I put up with it. As I moved through the course I became aware of what lenses could do for the photographer. I had also set my mind on the holy grail of cameras a Nikon 800S. The camera alone was something like $500.00 but it offered all the bells and whistles. I suppose now when I think back on it that camera is what really opened the door of opportunity for me.

I also think back to how much firewood I cut, split and sold to pay for it. In those days one just didn't dip into the financial cookie jar. I poured through the photography equipment magazines in search of cheaper lenses that would fit my new camera. I finally found lenses by Tamron that fit the wallet but would involve more wood cutting. I really didn't mind it offered more time in the beautiful Idaho forests.

With camera in hand

I was learning a lot from my photography course and the new camera and lenses were producing great photographs. But I still had no idea how I would make any money at it. A friend of mine had recently started a business photographing weddings and other social events. I watched him go through the gyrations of trying to please both sides of the family, I deduced that it wasn't going to be for me. I continued honing my skills taking pictures of flowers, babbling brooks, scenery and wildlife. All very enjoyable but it wasn't putting anything back into the old cookie jar.

I guess it was providence.

I would like to take all the credit for what was about to happen but I have to give some of it to the poor truck driver. I was on my way to get a loaf of bread I eased my jeep up to the intersection stop sign. I watched it happen the poor truck driver never had a chance. The old dog in the highway scenario, truck swerved, jackknifed and tipped over. That alone was somewhat newsworthy but what came gushing out of the tank he was pulling made it a whole different story. I just happened to have my camera bag with me. I drove to the crash site getting there way before the cops. I jumped out and started taking pictures I burned up two rolls of film. I jotted down the name of the trucking company and headed for our local newspaper office. I walked through the front door with what I thought was the scoop of the year, a chemical spill on a state highway! The girl at the front desk asked if she could help me, suddenly I was dumbfounded, I held the film up and said, " I might have some pictures of interest." She simply pointed at a lady at a distant desk and said I would have to talk to her. I pushed through the swinging half doors and approached the obviously busy woman who was presently talking rather boisterously on the phone. I stood in front of her desk like a school child at the principals office. She hung the phone up looked over the top of her glasses and inquired as to how she could help me. I held out the film and told her what it was.

There is nothing quite like it!

She took the film from me and the name of the trucking company. She informed me that they don't pay for walk in pictures but that they would replace the film, which they did. She also took my name and phone number. Ok I confess, I was standing at the grocery store the next morning waiting for the newspaper to be delivered. There it was my photo of the wreck right on the front page, and my name was even written under it as the photographer-holy cow!

How lucky is that to have your first newspaper photo on the front page? Yup your right, I purchase all of the newspaper from the rack. I surmised in my mind that if I got myself a police scanner I might be able to get a lot more accident photos and get more pictures in the newspaper. This venture will require more firewood sales. I purchased the scanner and tuned in the local police and fire department action. I stayed busy zooming around in my jeep pickup to all the traffic accidents and then delivering the pictures and information to the lady editor of the newspaper. Each time I did the pictures would show up somewhere in the newspaper. Great fun but still operating in the red. I guess I could say that I broke in to the newspaper business on the misfortune of others. I justified that with the old saying, somebody has to do it. Finally I had delivered so many accident photos that editor requested that I cut back informing me that they really didn't care to run too much of that kind of thing. I thought for sure that I was finished but she went on to inquire if I might be interested in covering a 4th of July parade in a small town in Idaho. I accepted the assignment without having the slightest idea of how to do it.

This is when you find out if you have it

I must have ran two miles covering the parade not knowing what to shoot I decided to shoot it all. I delivered the half dozen rolls of film to the editor of the small town newspaper and went home. The editor was pleased enough with the pictures that he called the editor that tipped me about the job and bragged about me. This probably inspired them to ask if I would be interested in writing a short hunting and fishing colum for a new section they were adding to the newspaper, of course I accepted the offer. Over the months this small colum eventually worked into several pages of an insert magazine that featured events throughout central and southern Idaho. While the original intent was to have me cover hunting and fishing (what they called the blood sports) I eventually went out on all kinds of assignments. I kind of helped this along by self assigning myself (sometimes at my own expense) in hopes of persuading the editor to buy the story. I also got creative like telling the editor that I was taking a drive up to check on a huge forest fire that had been closed to the press because of dangerous conditions. I knew that any newspaper would be glad to get their hands on photos/material from the fire. She said they would pay mileage, etc. Now I'm not telling you to do what I did but some of the stuff you see on television has some truth to it. I will also say that these tricks to the trade are your secrets the Editor can't know about them. Before going up to the fire I stopped by Walmart and purchased a couple of bright yellow t-shirts kind of the same color as Forest Service uses. Now this is down right sneaky but if your going to excel, well. Anyway I pulled my jeep into the long line of vehicles loaded with firefighters. I slipped a yellow t-shirt on, and put a piece of cardboard with a series of numbers I grabbed out of the sky on the dash so they could see it through the windshield and they waved me through the gate.

Play it to the end? Of course!

It was nearly dark when I parked my vehicle along side one of the fire buses. I slipped out opened the door to my camper shell and climbed in. It wasn't long until I realized that I was engulfed in thick grey choking smoke produced by the forest fire .

It was going to be a long night. The next morning brought no relief from the smoke but there was a hidden bonus. I found out later that the diffused crimson colored sky had added a special effect to certain photographs I took. I got kudos for something Mother Nature had actually created. This is when you recognize the fact that your camera will always see things that you don't. I definitely felt like a fish out of water as I roamed through the fire camp shooting pictures. I captured all aspects of fire camp life, mess hall, showers, rows of small two man tents, and mystical lines of firefighters walking across smoke laden meadows. I was though surprised how cooperative everyone was, however I never let on that I was Press. I can tell you though that a huge dose of good manners will go far in such a situation. Eventually they caught on and I was busted. This next part still tickles me to this today. The fire boss that thumbed me threw me a hard hat loaded me in his green pickup and drove me to the fire line. He said, " Hell long as you're here we might as well get some good pictures."

I got full front page coverage and inserts on A and B sections for my troubles and made good money also. I also moved up a peg at the newspaper and was allowed to pick and choose my own stories. I covered everything, skydiving, drag races, river rafting, contact sports, even line dancing, you name it. I can still remember when they issued me my Press Card (which I still carry to this day) it was the icing on the cake for me. Anyway, this is one way that you can become a photojournalist. It was by no means a short cut but it was pure adventure all the way.


Your picture in a frame,

in a box.

I wasn't strong enough to take it out,

until today.

Dusting off the photo of my dear Grandpa

told me it was time.

I cleared a new space,

where your smiling face would look back at me.

Dusted off the glass of the frame.

Made sure not one speck of dust was on you,

and placed you right where I could see you every day.

You look so happy.

That dashing smile.

Those gorgeous dimples.

My reflection appears in the black of your shirt,

we have the same shape in our eyes.

Our foreheads are identical.

The sweetness in your smile reminds me of mine,

how timid we are yet genuine when we are amongst those we love.

So many thoughts race through my mind,

trying to outrun the grief in my heart.

Somehow the grief prevails.

I swallow the lump.

My youngest is nearby,

I don't want to upset him.

The lighted turtle in the amber shell,

the one I bought him for his birthday 9 years ago.

Now it sits next to his photograph.

I turn it on and it's shell glows warmly.

I think about how he fussed when candles were lit,

he was afraid something would catch fire.

Same fear I have.

He bought his wife a flickering candle for Valentine's day,

no flame, just a light that danced in place.

Just like a candle,

just like his turtle.

I read somewhere that when you lose someone you love,

you light a candle in their memory.

Some believe that lit candle will guide their spirit to you,

just for a moment.

Bringing a little peace,

to an aching heart.

Regardless of our fears I look for a candle,

and find one my oldest son bought for me.

He was visiting my dad last summer.

Dad taught my son the joy of giving,

and helped him pick out presents to buy.

One for each of his family members with his own allowance.

This pretty candle holder in a rainbow glass,

with a topper decorated in sparkly flowers,

and a dragonfly that dances on a bouncy spring.

Light this one in his memory.

I pause to stare at the setting before me,

my dad, the turtle and the dragonfly candle.

My grief crosses the finish line,

the lump too big to swallow.

My Grandpa on one side of the room,

my Daddy on the other.

I can't take this anymore,

I don't understand why.

How many more photos will I have on display?

How will my heart handle any more loss?

The thought is so overpowering,

that empty feeling.

Black and gaping as ever.

His warm smile.

His soft eyes.

Those adorable dimples.

I wasn't blessed with those dimples.

I'll never see them again.

Life is going on all around me.

I can't merge in with it right now.

I'm stuck on the shoulder,

waiting to gather the courage to move again.

Is it courage I need?

I don't know.

I need something.





Ok maybe not medication,

but it would be so easy.

At least I think so.

I won't because I know that is when I need courage,

to not take the easy way out.

To feel the grief charging through me.

Because it's real.

Painful, but real.

Like my love for my Daddy.

So I write.

That helps.

For now.

Creating an Impressive Online Photograph Studio

Over the last few years, technology has made the job of taking photographs easy and hassle-free. Various models of modern cameras are being introduced regularly in the market and catching a gizmo of preference has become easy with a significant numbers of online retailers putting on sale online latest cameras of different brands. With auto-metering and auto-focusing functions embedded in contemporary cameras, a wit is going round in circles that even a dunce can now take photos. Not hurting the sentiments of professional photographers, this light remark is aimed at to express easiness arriving because of today’s humanoid technology.

While online retailers have become a major cause to introduce new things to a wide customer base, professional photographers have now rather encompassing platforms in shape of websites to exhibit their photographs and art works. For example, fashion industry has shaped into a most modern and dynamic industry and is propelling wheels of textile and garments businesses. However, most importantly, it has sensitized people to aesthetics and subtleties involved in costumes and fashion items. A photographer covering fashion events must be deft to capture shots that are not devoid of any angles to take care of consciousness of viewers. With lot of attention-grabbing content, often professional photographers do not have presentable platforms online. Therefore, they miss the chance of capitalizing on growing fashion-consciousness of customers worldwide.

Websites are very efficient means of carrying portfolios of professional photographers on the world of internet. Not only fashion photographers, but also wild life, events, and commercial photographers need to have online presences to get recognition as well as businesses for their art works. Websites get photographers rid of carrying compact discs with them along the streak of searching new contracts or businesses as they put the sizable visual data on the internet for anyone to have an access.

During the past few years, the information and technology world has seen a huge growth in websites selling web templates. Web templates are premade designs of websites and are available in wide variety. Fashion, art, medicine, sports & photography website templates the list is long. These templates are inexpensive and time saving.

Photographers need to be very much cautious about color, fonts, layout designs, and graphical features while choosing website templates . A slight ignorance can lead to destruction of the quality of snapshots termed beautiful or pathetic solely because of their visual elements. Since web templates are sometime sold with the post-purchase customization benefits, photographers should no more be worried about wrong selection in any way. Even few web templates sellers offer services of replacements of one type with another without extra charges. For instance, if CSS static template was selected, it might be replaced with Joomla. The difference in both of them is simple. While CSS static is non-functional and stands for cascading style sheets, Joomla is content management system that makes the jobs of content modification, deletion and updates very easy and can be carried forward by non-technical persons. Joomla web template can become a powerful presentation platform for photographers.

Websites are important for photographers to add value to their outputs.

How to Use Home Photo Studio to Apply Effects to Your Photos

There are quite a few effects that you can apply to your photos in Home Photo Studio. With a couple clicks of your mouse, you can apply many types of effects. Some of the effects include grayscale, emboss, and glass. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to apply effects to your photos using your Home Photo Studio program.

You can begin using this tutorial by opening a photo to work with. You can use this photo to learn how to apply effects. Nothing is saved until you actually save the photo, so you will not have to worry about messing the photo up. To be on the safe side though, open a photo of scenery or something like that.

If you are new to Home Photo Studio and don’t know how to open a photo, follow these steps. Go to the top of your program and click File > Open. That will open a box of folders and you will need to locate the photo that you want to use for this tutorial. Click the photo and click the open button and the photo will open in your program.

Next, you can start applying effects. Most of your effects is located in the Effects menu at the top of your program. Go to the top of your program and click Effects. When the menu opens, you will see the different effects that you can apply. Try the different effects out to see what they look like. To undo an effect, press CTRL Z on your keyboard. Then you can apply another effect.

You can also open the effects browser and apply effects from there. Go to the top of your program and click Effects > Effects Browser. That will open a new window and you will see your photo along with the different effects on the right side of the window. You will also notice different tabs above the effects. These are the effects categories. Click a tab to see the different effects. To apply an effect, click the effect and click the Preview button. If this is the effect that you want to use, click the OK button.

Clicking the OK button will apply the effect you chose and close the effects browser. If you want to undo the effect you applied, press CTRL Z on your keyboard and it will be undone. You can then open the effects browser again and select another effect to apply to your photo. When you are finished, you can save your photo by exporting it from the file menu.

Christina Hendricks Playboy Photos Draw Extensive Interest

Christina Hendricks Playboy photos were leaked to the internet today. Those Christina Hendricks Playboy photos are also creating a lot of interest in the actress, as fans of her hit show had not known that she had ever posed for the men's magazine.

The Smoking Jacket is the website that posted the Christina Hendricks Playboy photos, depicting her posing with two other girls, a clown, and a guy with some huge leg muscles. It was Playboy Magazine that leaked these pictures today, giving out a Twitter picture that they claimed had a celebrity in them. It became a trivia question to see if people following Playboy on Twitter would be able to figure out who they were looking at.

It turns out that the Christina Hendricks Playboy photos were taken back in the 1990's, and that she appeared in the July 1999 Playboy issue. She was pictured in the forefront of both pictures, headlining an article about "summer shooters" that are also depicted in the picture. The three women all have what appear to be bikinis on, as well as some very bad looking wigs.

The revelation that Christina Hendricks actually posed for Playboy has been a huge surprise to those that have watched episode of AMC's 'Mad Men'. She might look a bit different 11 years later, but her facial structure is what makes it pretty obvious that she is the one in the photograph. Her fame has led many internet users to try and track down the photos, but many have been posting comments because they were disappointed she had so much clothing on.

We have posted a picture of what Hendricks looks like now at the top of this article for those that haven't been tuning in to her hit show.

Portable & Home Console: Best Photo Album Programs

There was a time when photo albums were stagnant, stiff, and vulnerable. The slightest spill or the loss of a single photo could mark the end of a memory. Imagine never being able to quite remember your deceased grandmother's face – or no longer having the luxury of seeing the last time you and your relatives were all united. While the digital era has its faults, the rise of photo album software and programs has been a godsend for those unwilling to rely solely on paper and plastic to protect their precious memories. Don't toss out the negatives yet – not until you've gotten one of these great photo album programs.

Nintendo DSi Digital Camera & Photo Album

It's hard to find fault with Nintendo's DSi Photo software. The editing system is fantastic – numerous filters, additions, and alterations exist in the program. With a simple motion from the stylus you can stretch, contort, or play with any photo you take with either of the Nintendo DSi's two built-in cameras. Want to see what your baby sister would look like as a cat? What about yourself with Toon Link eyes? Want to morph two faces into one? All at your fingertips!

The Nintendo DSi even lets you edit expressions and add backgrounds – not mention other expansive editing tools all supplemented by stylus control. It also offers direct upload to Facebook support, SD card support, and internal memory. The Nintendo DSi organizes your nicely rendered pictures neatly and records what date they were taken on- as well as offering a 'favorites' system with three classifications. This robust, extremely user-friendly portable photo program is a highly recommended.

Sony PSP 3000 Photo System

It's a shame the Sony PSP 3000 has to follow an act like that. Compared to the laundry list of features you get with the Nintendo DSi, the PSP's capabilities are slim. The Sony PSP's built-in photo album software is easy to navigate and meets the bare minimum requirements, but brings some slightly annoying issues with it.

Rather than support the memory medium of choice for digital cameras, SD cards, the Sony PSP only supports Sony Duo Memory Sticks. These are considerably more expensive and less useful as their SD card counterparts and much less user-friendly. In order to utilize their memory, you'll need to use a USB-to-PSP cable and then manually navigate and install photos. While a PSP camera can be connected to make the process easier, it is sold separately. Beyond that, the editing tools are a little scarce. On the positive side the photos look great and can be utilized as the background image for the PSP menu. Despite these drawbacks, the Sony PSP 3000 makes a more than suitable portable system for those interested. Moderately recommended.

Nintendo Wii Photo Channel

It might not be portable, but Nintendo's Wii Photo Channel is a fantastic part of the Wii Menu. The Wii's Photo Channel supports numerous image formats and displays beautifully. The interface is complimented by the Wii Remote's IR pointer and the ease of control offered by it. Two of the most innovative features for the Wii's Photo Channel are its 'jigsaw puzzle' and 'slideshow' options.

Functioning as a media player, the Wii Photo Channel can play movies and music. Users can scramble existing photos into jigsaw puzzles with varying difficulty settings. The Wii's SD card slot and Wifi options make adding, sending, and receiving pictures extremely easy. Among its best capabilities are its editing options. The Wii Remote has near limitless options for playing with or altering images. Highly recommended.

Sony Playstation 3 Photo Album

Sony's Playstation 3 Photo Album is reliable and smartly designed, but ultimately lacks much of the personality and functionality of the Nintendo Wii Photo Channel. Like the PSP, users can use existing photos as backgrounds to the menu. Also worth noting is the HDD and its massive size for photo fanatics. The editing tools are a bit limited, but the presentation is great. Like the Wii, users can send and receive photos- though SD cards are not accepted unless in a USB adapter. Favorably recommended.

Microsoft Xbox 360 Photo Software

When compared to the Nintendo Wii and the Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft's offerings can appear fairly limited. There isn't much to say. Like the PS3, it renders images nicely but lacks SD card support. Beyond that there isn't much else. Users with an attachable HDD will have plenty of space- those without it will be forced to rely on internal memory or a memory card. The range of options is somewhat low and is hurt by a somewhat unfriendly user interface. Otherwise, passable. Somewhat recommended.

Hugh Jackson Lean and Mean 'Wolverine' Photos Hit the Internet

New photos hit the Internet of Hugh Jackman from the new "Wolverine" movie. The images of Jackman show him shirtless, lean and ripped, covered with muscles and veins. The movie, set for release on July 26, 2013, and it looks like Jackman has lost a lot of weight to play the X-Men member for this new comic book movie. Here is a look at other instances where actors lose a lot of weight to take on a movie role.

Christian Bale, "The Machinist"

Christian Bale made "The Machinist" before "Batman Begins," which made his amazing weight loss even more impressive. In "The Machinist," Bale plays a man who suffers from insomnia and has lost so much weight that he almost looks emaciated. He suffers from strange behavior and might be involved in a murder.

Bale lost more than 60 pounds for the role and wanted to lose more, but producers rejected his request for health reasons. He gained all the weight back, plus 60 extra pounds in muscle for the role of Batman.

Tom Hanks, "Cast Away"

In "Cast Away," Tom Hanks plays a man involved in a plane crash, ending up lost on a deserted island. His only friend on the island is a volleyball that he names Wilson. He is lost on the island for over four years and loses a great deal of weight as a result.

Hanks, at the time of filming, was 40 pounds overweight. To play the role properly he chose to lose the weight naturally instead of using makeup and CG to fake the effect. Production stopped for a full year, allowing Hanks to drop 70 pounds to play the role of the character four years after ending up on the island.

Donnie Wahlberg, "The Sixth Sense"

For the movies above, the men who dropped the weight were the main stars of the film and did it to help the film they headlined. However, former New Kids on the Block member Donnie Wahlberg only appeared in "The Sixth Sense" for the opening scene. Despite only having mere minutes of screen time, Wahlberg dropped 43 pounds for the role of an abused young man who shoots the psychiatrist he believes failed him.


Who is in that
portrait you paint
without restraint

More drama
the eyes are all on me
my poor sad life
Isn't that the way it is supposed to be

But in the
pursuit of happiness
self fulfillment
on that path we digress

We lose sight
of the most important things
our friends and family
and the fulfillment they bring

It is not in ourselves
we find the pursuit of happiness
it is in our children
we find our bliss

We are their guides
in this life so confusing
when others falter, fail
it is not so amusing

Happiness is not in
how you look to the world
but the in the special moments
that every day unfold

To let your children
go unchecked
while you follow another path
another train wreck

But still
after all the crap, the nonsense
still you don't see
still will not pay your penance

pretty, sad, surreal
the only problem is
your own happiness is all you feel