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Reactions to Life Events

Reactions to Life Events


Our past experiences can and do influence our emotional reactions and responses to present events.

Our experiences color everything. The events of the past can have a profound effect on how we see our lives now and what we choose to believe about our world. Our past experiences can also influence our emotional reactions and responses to present events. Each of us reacts to stimulus based on what we have learned in life. There is no right or wrong to it; it is simply the result of past experience. Later, when our strong feelings have passed, we may be surprised at our reactions. Yet when we face a similar situation, again our reactions may be the same. When we understand those experiences, we can come that much closer to understanding our reactions and consciously change them.

Between stimulus and reaction exists a fleeting moment of thought. Often, that thought is based on something that has happened to you in the past. When presented with a similar situation later on, your natural impulse is to unconsciously regard it in a similar light. For example, if you survived a traumatic automobile accident as a youngster, the first thing you might feel upon witnessing even a minor collision between vehicles may be intense panic. If you harbor unpleasant associations with death from a past experience, you may find yourself unable to think about death as a gentle release or the next step toward a new kind of existence. You can, however, minimize the intensity of your reactions by identifying the momentary thought that inspires your reaction. Then, next time, replace that thought with a more positive one.

Modifying your reaction by modifying your thoughts is difficult, but it can help you to see and experience formerly unpleasant situations in a whole new light. It allows you to stop reacting unconsciously. Learning the reason of your reactions may also help you put aside a negative reaction long enough to respond in more positive and empowered ways. Your reactions and responses then become about what’s happening in the present moment rather than about the past. As time passes, your negative thoughts may lose strength, leaving only your positive thoughts to inform your healthy reactions.

Sony a9 shooting experience

Sony a9 shooting experience

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D review

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D review

The Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D is the latest incarnation of Canon’s hugely popular mass-market range of DSLRs. This latest model is built around a 24MP sensor that uses Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system to offer improved autofocus in live view and video (more on that later).

At its core, it shares a lot with the more expensive EOS 77D but the differences become apparent when you first turn them on: both models feature a simplified ‘skin’ over the user interface, but only the T7i has these guiding functions switched on by default.

Key Features

  • 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel design
  • 45 AF points, all of which are horizontally and vertically sensitive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with Bluetooth and NFC
  • 1080p video at up to 60 fps with electronic IS
  • Fully articulated 1.04M-dot rear LCD

This should make immediately apparent who Canon is targeting with this camera: casual and family photographers buying their first DSLR and people who want to learn a little more about photography. It’s these two audiences we’ll focus on in this review.

The rivals

The Canon Rebel series (as it’s known in North America) is the best-selling series of DSLRs in the World, but it’s not without its rivals. A couple of these stand out, to us. Nikon’s D5600 is another 24MP camera that aims to offer a lot of capability in a relatively straightforward way.

Sony, meanwhile, offers two mirrorless cameras to target these users: the a5100 is a simpler, more point-and-shoot orientated camera while the a6000 has a little more of its raw power on display, for those who have the time to learn how to use it. Fujifilm again focuses on the photographer looking for a camera to grow into with its X-T20. Similarly, the Panasonic G85/G80 gives room to expand into, especially given its mix of touchscreen and button control and its 4K video capability.

Canon T7i Fujifilm X-T20 Nikon D5600 Panasonic G85 Sony a6000
Price (MSRP, w/kit lens) $899 $999 $799 $999 $698
Sensor 24MP APS-C 24MP APS-C 24MP APS-C 16MP FourThirds 24MP APS-C
Image stab. Lens-based Lens-based Lens-based In-body Lens-based
AF system Dual Pixel
Hybrid Phase-detect Contrast-detect Hybrid
LCD 3″ fully articulating 3″ tilting 3″ fully articulating 3″ fully articulating 3″ tilting
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Viewfinder Optical Electronic Optical Electronic Electronic
Burst rate 6 fps 14 fps 5 fps 10 fps 11 fps
Video 1080/60p 2160/30p 1080/60p 2160/30p 1080/60p
Wireless Wi-Fi NFC BT Wi-Fi Wi-Fi NFC BT Wi-Fi Wi-Fi NFC
Battery life (CIPA) 600 shots 350 shots 970 shots 330 shots 360 shots
Dimensions 131 x 100 x 76 mm 118 x 83 x 41 mm 124 x 99 x 70 mm 128 x 89 x 74 mm 120 x 67 x 45 mm
Weight 532 g 383 g 415 g 505 g 344 g

* Denotes AF systems combining contrast and phase detection

In this company it’s really the T7i and D5600 that do most to accommodate both the beginner user and the photographer who’s already overcome that first difficult slope on the learning curve; the others, particularly the Fujifilm and Panasonic, work better if you already have a good idea of what you’re trying to achieve.

One slight disappointment is the adoption of a new ‘kit’ zoom lens. The T7i gets bundled with the 18-55mm F4.0-5.6 STM IS. This the standard range we’d expect to see a kit zoom cover and offers fast focus and image stabilization. However, it takes the unusual step of being 1/3EV darker than most of its rivals’ lenses. This isn’t a big difference, and the optical performance is very impressive, but any move towards a darker lens will hold the camera back, at least a little, and represents a step in the wrong direction.

Family/casual photographers

The most basic need for a family or casual photographer is an Auto mode that performs well. The Rebel does extremely well in this respect, doing a great job of setting focus, exposure and white balance, meaning you can get good results by simply pointing and shooting.

That said, the T7i can be a little bit too keen to use its built-in flash, which risks bleached-out images. And, if you turn the flash off, the camera will tend towards the use of quite slow shutter speeds rather than hiking the ISO up, risking blurred shots if your subject isn’t fairly still. Sadly there’s no way to change this behavior, short of learning enough about the camera’s settings to correct it, undermining slightly its easy appeal.

This is the camera working at the limits of what the kit lens will allow. I forced the flash not to go off, then used exposure compensation to tell the camera that the image should be 0.3EV darker than it ‘thought’. Image stabilization and a patient subject did the rest.

The camera produces JPEGs with excellent color and its image quality is competitive with any of its rivals, even as the light falls or you move indoors. Photography under artificial light can sometimes be a little orange for our tastes and you’ll need to move to ‘P’ mode if you want to override this.

Caption: The large number of buttons might make the T7i look daunting, but it behaves itself pretty well when left in auto.

What makes the T7i really stand out for casual shooters is how consistent the shooting experience is, regardless of whether you shoot through the optical viewfinder or in live view, using the rear screen. Historically this has been a weak point for DSLRs, with a significant drop in performance if you tried to use the rear screen for composing or shooting. The relatively seamless behavior means you can shoot using the rear screen just as if it were a compact camera or smartphone.

The EOS T7i/800D features a series of simplified menu options. In each case they guide you to change the settings in the same way you would if the guide mode were switched off, helping you learn the effect of each setting and how to change it.

The benefit of the camera’s Dual Pixel autofocus system for family and casual shooters is twofold, beyond the simplified user experience. The first is that the camera can track subjects around the frame as well (if not better) in live view mode than it can when you’re looking through the viewfinder, which is perfect if you just want to tap the screen and have the camera follow your child at they run around.

This same capability and simplicity extends to video shooting. The camera is a little bit limited in spec terms: it only offers 1080p video and either auto everything or full manual. However, Dual Pixel autofocus design means again you can just tap where you want the camera to focus and be more confident that the focus will stay on your subject and won’t ruin your footage by hunting for focus.

Our only real concern for beginner users is that, because viewfinder and live view operation have historically been totally different, it ends up being possible to set them to behave differently, in terms of autofocus. Particularly for beginners, we’d like focus drive mode and focus area mode to honor the same settings across both methods of shooting.

Sadly, this simplicity doesn’t extend to the operation of the camera’s Wi-Fi system. There’s little point having a better quality camera if your images remain landlocked on the memory card while everyone around you posts their phone images to social media or sends copies to other family members. We found the T7i is a little complex to connect to a smartphone, which may hinder some users.

Student/developing photographers

The other key audience Canon has always aimed this series of cameras at is a person who wants a camera they can learn and grow into. This is a difficult balance to strike: the more camera and capability you offer for developing photographers, the more you risk over-complicating the camera for those users who don’t necessarily want to learn every function.

The T7i does a great job of striking this balance. Its guided and simplified user interface acts like training wheels, supporting you until you can live without it. Once you’ve done away with it, you’re left with a camera that offers a good level of direct control and a well-worked Q.Menu that lets you change some of the less-obvious settings without menu diving.

Canon’s JPEG color is among the most popular. Here we’ve set the white balance to ‘Daylight’ to capture how orange the late evening sunshine was.

Again, the highly capable autofocus, particularly in live view mode and video shooting help set the T7i apart as your photography develop. It means you can spend a little money on a better or more specialized lens, after shooting the camera for a year, rather than feeling the need to move to a more expensive camera.

There are a couple of odd omissions that you might find yourself missing as your knowledge grows, though. The lack of in-camera Raw conversion option is frustrating, for instance. It’s now a commonplace feature unless you’re shooting Sony or low-end Canon (it’s offered on the 80D and upwards). The option to re-process a Raw file with other settings such as lifted shadows, corrected white balance or a touch more contrast is hugely useful if you want to Wi-Fi and post to social media.

The camera’s Auto Lighting Optimizer lifts the shadows to balance high-contrast scenes. Sadly, there’s no in-camera Raw conversion option to let you apply more or less of the effect, after you’ve shot your image.

Another disappointing limitation is the simplistic Auto ISO implementation. You can choose the highest ISO the camera should use, but there’s no way of telling the camera whether you’re more concerned about camera shake or subject movement, so it won’t necessarily get you the photo you want. Canon has a more sophisticated system, but has chosen not to include it here.

Overall, these are minor concerns, though. The balance of features and image quality make the T7i an excellent choice for someone just getting into photography or hoping to develop their skills and understanding. That said, the more expensive but very similar EOS 77D adds an extra control dial for faster operation, while maintaining everything that makes the T7i so attractive.


The Canon Rebel series has long been a safe bet: not necessarily the best camera available, but usually competent and competitively priced. Looking around the comparison table above, it might look like that story has been repeated: there are cheaper cameras with competitive specs, faster cameras and cameras that shoot better video. Yet the T7i stands out as the best Rebel I’ve ever used.

It’s not got the best specifications we’ve ever seen, but the new kit lens is really quite capable.

Guide modes are pretty common on cameras of this type but I’ve rarely seen one that helps with learning how the camera operates beyond guide mode, rather than leaving you stuck in a simplified mode forever. This, combined with the consistency of performance between shooting through the optical viewfinder and rear screen (in terms of both speed and effectiveness), makes the T7i one of the easiest DSLRs to use if you’re not familiar with their operation. It also means it’s one of the easiest cameras to capture video with.

It’s not perfect: the video is only 1080 and is a little soft, settings aren’t always consistent between live view and viewfinder shooting and the supposedly simple Wi-Fi system is perhaps too clever for its own good. Overall, though, it’s a great camera for its intended audiences.

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category.
Click here to learn what these numbers mean.

Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D / Kiss X9i
Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Compare mode
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D is arguably the best ever Rebel. Its Dual Pixel autofocus allows it to offer similarly fast performance whether you shoot through the viewfinder or in live view mode, helping make it one of the most accessible DSLRs we’ve ever encountered.
Good for
Casual and beginner photographers looking for an easy-to-use and relatively easy-to-learn DSLR.
Not so good for
Enthusiast users, who will eventually hit the camera’s limitations. Dedicated video shooters have better choices for the money.
Out of camera JPEG.
















Have a Fancy Outdoor Party Without Buying a Ton of Fancy Things

Have a Fancy Outdoor Party Without Buying a Ton of Fancy Things via @Thumbtack 05/10/17 #Thoughtful #Civilized

You want to have a nice BBQ. Thoughtful. Civilized. A BBQ that doesn’t end with a mustard stained paper plate in your bushes. According to Jennifer Sutton, a San Francisco-based event designer and planner on Thumbtack, you can make it nice without spending a lot. Just use a bunch of stuff you already own to make a beautiful, sophisticated, completely sensible-for-the-backyard party.

Eclectic is ok.

“Use what you have and don’t be scared to mix and match,” she says. “I usually take stock of what I have in terms of plates, chairs, glasses, and all of that good stuff, and go from there.” The key to mixing and matching, she says, is to make it obvious that’s what you’re doing. “Then everything comes together and it looks purposeful instead of misplaced.”

And don’t stress if you don’t have enough outdoor seating, Jennifer says. “Mix and match with things from inside your house that you wouldn’t normally use outside, like stools, chairs, and benches. Kitchen and dining chairs can easily be moved back inside after and it helps the whole thing feel fun and casual.”

Real plates make it feel fancy.

“You don’t need to use paper plates and plastic forks. Instead, if possible, use real plates and glasses; it makes things look polished. Anything you can use inside, you can usually use outside as well.”

If it makes you nervous to use glass wine glasses, it’s okay to use plastic, she says. “The ones in the photos are plastic and you really can’t tell.”

Add color with centerpieces.

“For outdoor dining, I really like centerpieces with bright colors. Anything that’s really bright and pops against your table setting is the way to go,” Jennifer says. “Sunflowers and greenery are great for any summer party.”

You can also bring out some air plants or succulents and nestle them among the table settings to add a nice touch.

Make the meal family style.

“I love seated family style meals. Just pile all of the food on the table, so everyone can help themselves. You may even have to clear the centerpiece to make enough room and that’s okay.”

“Keep the menu simple,” Jennifer says. “If you’re dining outdoors the last thing you want to do as a host is run back inside to grab or prep things. I think aside from grilled mains, it’s good to rely on fruit and salad and things that can be created ahead of time. It will make your life a lot easier.”

Set up a drink station.

“Having water on hand and keeping everyone hydrated is really important in the summer,” Jennifer says. “Setting up a drink station is a good complement to grilling outside; people can grab a drink, hang out and walk around—they don’t feel like they need to be seated to get their drink.”

“If you’re planning on serving drinks, a batch cocktail that’s light and easy to serve out of a canister is easiest,” she adds. “You don’t want to have to hand-mix drinks.” You also want to have a booze-free option available. “Lemonade is always a crowd favorite that works for adults and kids and says ‘summer’.”

Add ambiance with lighting.

“Even if it’s daytime, outdoor lighting can add cool ambiance,” Jennifer says. “Bistro lights are a good go-to, but if you don’t have an outlet that’s easily accessible, putting candles in hurricane holders is a way to class it up and bring some ambiance.”

Don’t be shy about the blankets and bug spray.

“Try to think of what you’re guests are going to need throughout the party,” Jennifer says. “If you live somewhere where it gets chilly at night, keep blankets on hand. If you’re in an area where there are mosquitos, place a fan on the table to keep them away from the food  and put out bug wipes and bug spray. If you’re going to be out in the sun, have sunscreen on hand. Your guests aren’t going to know what to expect, so try to guess what they might need. It makes people feel at home and comfortable.”

Jennifer Sutton is the owner of One Fine Day, a full-service wedding and event planning and design company that helps put on gorgeous events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Napa/Sonoma Valley, and Santa Cruz County. You can find her on Thumbtack.

Santa Fe Photographic Workshops FE

© Lillia Pino Blouin

Santa Fe in San Miguel!

Viva San Miguel! Santa Fe Workshops returns to one of the world’s friendliest cities, San Miguel de Allende, for our fourteenth season. Enrollment in our San Miguel workshops is capped at 12 participants; these smaller numbers allow you more one-on-one time with our gifted instructors. In addition, we are offering advanced-level Master Classes, with enrollment capped at 10 participants in workshops with Keith Carter, Sam Abell, and Arthur Meyerson.
September 27 – October 2
Creative Infrared Photography
with Laurie Klein

September 27 – October 2
The Poetry of Perception: A Master Class
with Keith Carter

September 27 – October 2
Photographing the People and Culture of Mexico
with Jennifer Spelman

October 4 – 9
Cameras Don’t Take Pictures
with Reid Callanan

October 4 – 9
Visions of Mexico in Black and White
with Tony Bonanno

October 4 – 9
The Sensual Image
with Elizabeth Opalenik

October 11 – 16
Seeing Gardens/San Miguel: A Master Class
with Sam Abell

October 11 – 16
The Color Moment: A Master Class
with Arthur Meyerson

October 11 – 16
Portrait of Colonial Mexico
with Amy Toensing

October 29 – November 3
Day of the Dead in Colonial Mexico
with Jennifer Spelman & Michael Amici



Florida Conservation Voters

Constitutional Revision Commission

Every 20 years, Florida’s Governor, the Senate President, Speaker of the House, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoint delegates to a 37-member commission of citizens to review the state Constitution. Known as the Constitutional Revision Commission or “CRC,” this body has the authority to propose amendments to be placed on the next general election ballot in 2018. These amendments are approved with a 60% margin.

As part of its duties, the CRC holds public meetings across the state to identify issues, perform research, and draft amendments to the Florida state constitution. Unlike citizen initiatives, the Commission places proposed amendments to the constitution directly on the ballot, without collecting signatures or getting supreme court approval. The CRC proposals also do not require any legislative review.

How You Can Participate in this Process

The 2017-2018 Constitutional Revision Commission is now underway and the first round of public meetings have been scheduled. Florida’s wildlife, waterways, and remarkable natural areas need you to be their eyes, ears, and voices at these hearings. Proposed amendments will appear on the 2018 General Election ballot and must be approved by Florida voters with a 60% margin.

Your participation in this unique democratic process is crucial. Please attend the hearings in your area and help spread the word about these meetings with your friends and neighbors. Participation in this process would also make a great discussion item for civic groups, homeowners associations, and activist clubs.
Our lawmakers and public officials need to hear from you about the issues that matter most. Don’t miss out on your chance to make your voice heard.

Upcoming Meetings

Bay County
Wednesday, May 3: 4 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Gulf Coast State College (GCSC)
Amelia Center Auditorium
5230 West Hwy 98, Panama City, FL 32401
RSVP to our event page on Facebook

Lee County
Wednesday, May 10: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW)
Suncoast Credit Union Area
13351 FSW Parkway
Fort Myers, FL 33919
RSVP to our event page on Facebook

Hillsborough County
Wednesday, May 17
Location: TBD

Download a Public Hearing Appearance Form
Download a Public Hearing FAQ

Did you attend a CRC meeting?

Tell us what happened here.

National Geographic Photographers

National Geographic Photographers

Share the adventure with the world’s most accomplished photographers

A National Geographic photographer is on board every departure of the National Geographic Orion and the National Geographic Explorer, and on select ships and departures throughout the year. They’re at your side, on deck and in the field, inspiring and advising. They share their secrets and tips, and actively lead special photo walks on shore or Zodiac cruises to help photographers of every skill level capture the best shots possible. They give informative presentations, interesting whether you’re a photographer or simply a fan of the images in National Geographic magazine. In addition, they participate in one-to-one critiques, and sociable laptop gallery events where everyone is invited to display their expedition shots.

Some National Geographic photographers lead “on assignment” photo walks to illuminate how they tell their stories. You may even find yourself in the midst of an actual assignment. Our ships have been used as floating base camps for National Geographic photographers on assignment, or to deliver goods and supplies to them, as we did for Paul Nicklen when he was shooting images for his gorgeous photo book, Polar Obsession.

Whether you’re watching whales from the ship or strolling the streets of Tallinn, Estonia, in-the-moment tips from accomplished pros will help you return home with your best photos ever.

Featured National Geographic Photographers

  • Flip Nicklin

    ALASKA, 26 JUNE 2017

    Flip Nicklin was born with both diving and photography in his blood.  His grandfather dove while wearing hard hat gear for construction. His father, Chuck, is a diver and underwater cinematographer, who taught his sons to become scuba divers. By the age of fourteen, Flip was helping his father teach people to dive off of the coast of Southern California, in La Jolla.Read More

  • Jay Dickman


    A Pulitzer-Prize winner and National Geographic Photographer, Jay’s work has appeared in 15 of the high-profile “A Day in the Life of…” series. His work also has won several awards in the World Press International Competition, including the Golden Eye award, and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism. Read More

  • Krista Rossow


    Krista Rossow is a freelance photographer and educator based near Eugene, Oregon. Her specialty of travel photography has allowed her to travel the globe photographing everything from people and cultures to wildlife and landscapes. She sees the camera as a tool for understanding new cultures, meeting the locals, and exploring the natural world. She shoots nationally and internationally for travel publications such as National Geographic Traveler. Her latest assignments had her bumping down potholed dirt roads exploring a surfer’s paradise in Costa Rica and visiting a Zulu farm in the stunning countryside near Durban, South Africa.Read More

  • Massimo Bassano

    ARCTIC, 05 JUNE 2017

    Massimo Bassano has worked as a freelance photojournalist since 1990. His work appears in National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic online edition, as well as many publications throughout Europe. Massimo’s photographic subjects know no bounds—his recent assignments have covered social issues, international travel, fitness and health, fashion, and portraiture. In 2004, he was awarded a Ph.D. in journalism from the Italian Association of Journalism. Read More

  • Michael Melford

    ARCTIC, 23 JULY 2017

    National Geographic Photographer Michael Melford has produced 18 stories for National Geographic Magazine and over 31 stories for National Geographic Traveler magazine, including eight covers. Born in New York, Michael received a Bachelor’s in Photography from Syracuse University, in 1973 and started his early career in New York City in 1977. Read More

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