Photo Of The Day By Tim Williams

Today’s Photo Of The Day is “Sandstorm Light” by Tim Williams. Location: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.

“Thunderstorm outflow kicked up a mighty sandstorm, which luckily coincided with the sunset hour and some amazing light,” explains Williams. “Taken at White Sands National Monument during the monsoon season.”

Follow Tim Williams on Facebook to see more of his photography.

Photo of the Day is chosen from various OP galleries, including Assignments, Galleries and the OP Contests. Assignments have weekly winners that are featured on the OP website homepage, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To get your photos in the running, all you have to do is submit them.

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 expected to be uncovered on September 12 in China

We've been hearing a lot about Xiaomi’s latest flagship device, the Mi Mix 2. Now, a fresh leak suggests that the successor of the Mi Mix might be launched on September 12, the same day as the iPhone 8 is expected to be launched.

Over the past few days, there have been a lot of leaks about the Mi Mix 2 and little is left to imagination. While there has been no confirmation from the company about the launch date, Xiaomi CEO, Lei Jun had earlier revealed that the device will be launched in the second half of the year, which makes the leaks a lot more plausible.

To recall, the Mi Mix was launched in October last year and it came with near bezel less display and curved edges. It was powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor, coupled with 4GB or 6GB RAM, up to 256GB internal storage and a 4,400mAh battery.

Philippe Starck, the man behind the Mi Mix design will also design its successor. This was confirmed by Lei Jun in a Weibo post. Starck recently shared a concept which revealed extremely thin bezels on the top, left and the right side of the Mi Mix 2. The bottom of the device houses a camera and is slightly bigger than the other sides.

The main highlight of the device will be its bezel less display and a dual camera setup. Some rumours have also revealed that the Mi Mix 2 will come with a 3D camera for facial recognition.

Coming to the leaked specifications, the Mi Mix 2 is expected to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. It will come with an AMOLED display and a 4,500mAh battery.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 is expected to be priced around CNY 4,599, which is roughly Rs. 48,000. However, like its predecessor, the Mi Mix 2 may not be launched in India and may be limited to the Chinese market only.

Amazon India Apple Fest: best deals on iPhones, MacBooks, iPads and Apple Watch

Amazon is offering some good deals on Apple products such as iPhones, MacBook, iPads and smart watches as part of the Amazon India Apple Fest. The sale begins today and will end tomorrow, i.e. August 29.

Apart from price discounts, the MacBook and iPad also come with exchange offers and no cost EMIS. Customers will get a cashback of Rs. 1,500 as Amazon Pay balance on using American Express credit cards.

Apple MacBook Air MQD32HN

The MacBook Air is available for Rs. 58,900 after a discount of Rs. 18,300. It comes with a 13.3-inch retina display, Intel core i5 processor, HD Graphics 6000, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and runs on MacOS Sierra.

Apple MacBook Air @ Rs. 58,900 (save Rs. 18,300)

Apple MacBook Pro MJLQ2HN

The Apple MacBook Pro which is priced at Rs. 1,54,900 is currently being offered at Rs. 1,41,485 after a discount of Rs. 13,055. It comes with a 15.4-inch retina display, Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 256GB HDD and runs on Mac OS.

Apple MacBook Pro @ Rs. 1,41,485 (save Rs. 13,055)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 Plus comes with a dual rear camera setup and IP67 certification, meaning that it is water and dust resistant.

The 32GB variant of the device is available for Rs. 60,890 after a discount of Rs. 6,410, the 128GB variant comes with a discount of Rs. 4,300 and is available for Rs. 72,000 and the 256GB storage variant is available for a discounted price of Rs. 74,990.

iPhone 7 Plus 32GB @ Rs. 60,890 (save Rs. 6,410)

iPhone 7 Plus 128GB @ Rs. 72,000 (save Rs. 4,300)

iPhone 7 Plus 256GB @ Rs. 74,990 (save Rs. 10,410)

Apple iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 is ideal for those who need a flagship phone in a compact size. Just like the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 7 also comes with IP67 certification.

The 32GB storage variant of the iPhone 7 is available for Rs. 43,665 after a discount of Rs. 12,535. The 128GB storage variant comes with a discount of Rs. 11,940 and is available for Rs. 53,260 and the high-end 256GB variant comes with a discount of Rs. 13,010 and is available for Rs. 61,390.

iPhone 7 32GB @ Rs. 43,665 (save Rs.  12,535)

iPhone 7 128GB @ Rs. 53,260 (save Rs. 11,940)

iPhone 7 256GB @ Rs. 61,390 (save Rs. 13,010)

Apple iPhone 6S

The iPhone 6S 32GB storage variant which has an MRP of Rs. 46,900 is currently being offered at Rs. 35,999 after a discount of Rs. 10,901. Interestingly, the 16GB storage variant is currently being offered at Rs. 39,999 after a discount of Rs. 10,000.

iPhone 6S 32GB @ Rs. 35,999 (save Rs. 10,901)

iPhone 6S 16GB @ Rs. 39,999 (save Rs. 10,000)

Apple iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 32GB is available for Rs. 25,330 after a discount of Rs. 4,170. Again, the 16GB variant comes with a higher price tag as it is being offered for Rs. 27,999.

iPhone 6 32GB @ Rs. 25,330 (save Rs. 4,170)

Apple iPad

Amazon is offering a discount of Rs. 4,254 on the Apple iPad. The iPad with 32GB of internal storage is currently being offered at Rs. 24,646. It comes with a 9.7-inch LED backlit display, A9 chip, 8MP primary camera and a 1.2MP secondary camera.

Apple iPad 32GB @ Rs. 24,646 (save Rs. 4,254)

Apple Watch

Apart from the above mentioned devices, Amazon is also offering some discounts on Apple watches. If you are looking to buy an Apple watch, then now is the right time as apart from the discount, you get an additional cashback of Rs. 1,500 if you pay using an AMEX credit card.

Apple Watch Series 2 42mm @ Rs. 33,900 (save Rs. 1,000)

Apple Series 2 42mm Smart Watch @ Rs. 32,500 (save Rs. 2,400)

Apple Watch 42mm Nike+ @ Rs. 33,900 (save Rs. 1,000)

Apple Series 2 38mm Smart Watch @ Rs. 30,500 (save Rs. 2,400)

Apple Watch Series 2 38 mm @ Rs. 31,900 (save Rs. 1,000)

Apple Watch 2 Sport 38mm Smart Watch @ Rs. 29,900 (save Rs. 3,000)

Composition Conventions, Part 2

Composition Conventions, Part 2

Last week, in part one of this two-part tip on composition, I covered three ways to arrange the elements in a scene in an orderly way to help make a successful photograph: balancing the primary subjects, as in not having a photo “tip” to the left, right, front or back; applying the rule of thirds, which states that the primary subject should be placed close to one of the power points within the photo; and, finally, preventing mergers, which is when key compositional elements touch or overlap one another or when the subject and background form awkward connections. Now, in part two, I conclude with three more composition conventions to contemplate.

As a refresher, here’s my definition of Composition: It’s the orderly arrangements of elements within the scene. Key components should be INcluded while those that cause a distraction should be EXcluded.

Composition Conventions, Part 2

Light—Bring The Viewer’s Eye To The Main Subject: Hand in hand with good composition is learning how to read light. Use light to direct the viewer’s eye to the subject. Use the light to dictate the composition. Look for situations where the light is interesting and study the environment where it hits. Incorporate the rule of thirds and balance, and avoid mergers, which you learned about last week. If clouds create a spotlight effect, wait for the light to fall upon the primary subject. It’s great when the subject is illuminated and shadows fall behind or around it. The result is a three-dimensional effect. If the light drifts, wait for balance so no one side commands for attention because of its brightness.

The Background: As I discussed in last week’s tip, mergers occur because the photographer zeros in on the main subject and overlooks the peripheral areas. Distracting backgrounds appear in photos for the same reason. We key into the main subject and, as a result, overlook what’s behind it. When we edit our photos on the computer, we scratch our heads and wonder why we even pressed the shutter—the background looks awful! Psychologically, the shutter press occurs because of two key reasons: a) we don’t notice the distracting background when the photo is made; b) if we do notice it, we hope it won’t be as bad as it looks and still make the photo. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If the background is busy, no matter how you try to ignore it or hope it will be okay in the end, you’re fooling yourself. The background should be given as much attention as the subject. The more simple and clean the background, the better. It allows the viewer to concentrate on the main subject and not battle distractions. If the background is busy, move to your left, right, up or down to try to eliminate it. Often, a small shift can mean the difference between a bad and good photo.

Composition Conventions, Part 2

Leading Lines: A leading line provides a visual path to journey the viewer’s eye through the photo. This occurs because our eyes naturally follow lines and their course. Photographically, the placement of a leading line dictates the route along which the viewer studies the photo. Position the start of the line at a strategic location and have it wander through the rest of the image or lead to a key element. The lower left is a great location to start the line. Leading lines can be all shapes and sizes. They can be curvy, diagonal, zigzag or even straight. The classic “S” curve is common and works well. Place the element that becomes the leading line in an area where balance can be achieved. Incorporate the rule of thirds and be aware of the background.

The more you can combine all the rules from this and last week’s tip and still produce a clean image, the sooner you’ll be on your way to creating great compositions all the time.

Visit for information about his nature photography tours and safari to Tanzania.

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