Sunday, November 8, 2015

Art Advice For The Day

Just make some art. Don't think about, don't care about it, don't worry about it, don't judge yourself. Just make some art.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

 "Apart" by Linda Morgan Smith 
Raya Fine Art Photography  

N E W   O R L E A N S

Useful Tips on Photography

If you're new to photography, then it's natural for you to want to find a way to improve your pictures quickly. This article is just what you are looking for - tips that will get you started in the world of photography.
Keep the process you use for taking pictures as simple as you can. Photographs can capture something wonderful, even without knowing how a single setting works.

A great photography tip is to invest in a tripod. Having a tripod is very important because it will allow you to take a clear and focused picture. Don't assume that you can take a clear picture just by using your hands. Avoid blurry pictures by getting a tripod.

There is a feature on the camera called white balance, manual play around with it. Indoor shots tend to have a yellowish tone to them due to the lighting. Rather than changing your room's lighting, you can change the white balance of your camera. The professionalism should be much more apparent in your photos by using this technique.

The "S" stands for shutter speed. Use low shutter speed to get sharp pictures when capturing moving objects. Set the shutter speed to higher speeds for creating a more experimental picture. This is a cool feature to use when getting photos of fireworks or tail lights on a car. It is an easy way to get artistic features in your photos.

Keep your camera very steady is the key in shooting images that are crisp and very sharp. Many cameras have an automatic stabilizer built right into it to allow for some leeway. If you are still having problems keeping your camera steady, invest in some kind of a tripod.

A great photography tip is to bring your camera with you wherever you go. You never know when an awesome opportunity might present itself. If you don't have your camera during these moments you'll definitely regret it later. Always try to bring your camera wherever you go.

Make sure to set up your compositions so that vertical lines are truly vertical. Tilting the camera backwards to capture a tall building, for example, can cause the building to appear as if it is falling backwards out of the frame. Photographs in which buildings are not vertical often appear unnatural.

Taking an amazing photograph will capture a second of time for eternity, sharing it with the world. With these tips in mind, you're on your way to becoming a photography expert

The photograph is copywritten all rights reserved Morgan Smith Design. 
Article written by  jitennagda

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No Fail Pralines - Free Recipe by Sister Raya of New Orleans

Pralines...the most delicious candy confection from the Deep South. I crave them; I want them; I dream about Pralines. Warm sugary caramel swirled around freshly picked Louisiana pecans and left to cool on wax paper.  Within a few magical minutes the caramel hardens into a lopsided circle that tastes like candy crossed with a  pecan laden cookie. The flavor is so wonderful that it makes you just want to hold each bite on your tongue to make it last.

After trying many recipes and failing miserably I decided to give up on trying to make these tasty treats.  Every time I tried to make pralines on the stove, I ended up with a burnt pot of charred sugar and incinerated pecans.

But, alas, not all was lost! The "praline muse" intervened and led me to a recipe on how to make real pralines in the microwave. Yes, the lowly microwave. There was no way this would work, I thought.  But, my desire to make my own pralines was stronger than my doubt. So I rolled up my sleeves and carried out the microwaved mission.

After I made my first batch my eyes rolled back in my head. The microwave version was the best I had ever tasted!  Easy, quick and delicious!

So I am now passing this recipe along to you. You will be amazed and so will your friends.  Join my mailing list for my monthly newsletter. Cooking tips, southern recipes, my original folk art and more!

Sister Raya's No Fail Pralines 


    • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1-2 cups pecans, whole or chopped

  1. Line baking trays with waxed paper and set aside.
  2. In a large (2 quart) microwave safe glass bowl, combine the sugars and cream. Microwave on high for 6 minutes.
  3. Stir well and microwave for another 6 minutes.
  4. Stir well, adding the butter and vanilla. Heat for another 2 minutes.
  5. Beat until glossy and thick (1-2 minutes). Drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper to set.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Women in the Arts

A Journey to Success-series one

article written by Linda Morgan Smith 

Self Promotion! 

Artists sometimes believe that in order to promote their artwork they may be viewed as egotists or braggarts. While modesty and humility are virtues of character; they will not serve you very well within the stark reality of business competition.  The old axiom that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," speaks volumes in terms of brand recognition. One must overcome the perception that self promotion is somehow crass and vulgar; so lets start getting "squeaky!

When done properly, self promotion can be done with taste and style in order to attract potential buyers. No one likes someone who is pushy when it comes to sales. High pressure tactics and spam do not work within the realm of arts and crafts. Art and fine crafts are purchases which  reflect the customer's own idea of style. Acquiring art is a long way from buying dish soap.  Artwork should be promoted and marketed as creatively as the artwork itself.

With the advent of the internet, the venues for promoting your art is almost infinite and mostly free. Even within the knowledge that cyber marketing is an accessible way to market,  the questions to ask  are: "What will be your strategy in this age of vasts amounts of information?": "How will  my artwork stand out from the crowd?"

Mapping your strategy is essential. It does not have to be perfect but you should make a list of all the potential ways you can promote yourself online. We all know that Facebook pages and blogs are ways to get the word out, but, how to use those blogs and fan-pages takes strategy.  

My next article on self promotion will include free tips on how to promote yourself online and offline. Stay tuned! 

Follow  me on Facebook!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Please join my Facebook Fan Page. Daily postings of my art and jewelry. Sister Raya Fan Page