How to Declutter Your Place Like A Responsible Person during COVID-19 Lockdown

How to declutter your place like a responsible person during lockdown?

While coronavirus lockdown has left many folks with more free time on our hands, plenty of attention has turned to get our homes into shape by tackling an awfully common household job – decluttering.

But now that several waste management services and tips are temporarily out of action, it is often tricky to really get eliminate your clutter after you’ve had a clear-out. Winston Scott, from waste management services provider, shares his tips for decluttering your home and getting eliminate old junk during the lockdown. Here’s a way to declutter your place a responsible way:

Check before you declutter — and do not fly-tip

The lockdown has closed nearly the foremost essential services, meaning that the majority of recycling centers and tips across the state have finished off. Charity shops and other donation points also are out of action, meaning that there are not many places you’ll safely and responsibly get eliminate your unwanted items.

As a result, fly-tipping offenses are on the increase. Some areas have even seen a 300 percent increase in fly-tipping offenses since the lockdown came into force. Not only does this create an unsightly mess in your local area, but it also puts even more strain on key waste management workers. So, if you are doing want to reorganize your home during the lockdown, you’ll have to create sure that you are going about it during a responsible way, which you’ve got a method of getting eliminate any unwanted stuff.

Even though most local authorities have made the choice to shut tips and recycling centers, some still remain open in some areas. If you have some stuff you would like to drop off, check whether any in your local area is still running. Remember to undertake to limit the number of trips you create and bear in mind that you simply will have to follow social distancing measures while you’re there.Keep on top of bin collections and household recycling

While plenty of recycling centers across the country are out of action, the govt. has been keen to emphasize that the majority of household waste and recycling collections are going ahead as normal within the majority of places. But, if you’re going to throw some extra stuff out, it is important to test along with your local council to work out if there are any changes to services in your area. You certainly don’t desire to fill your wheelie bin to the brim with old stuff only to search out out that collections are delayed every week.

The government has also issued a press release asking people to stay to their normal recycling habits, saying that we are able to all do our part to assist local waste collectors by continuing to cut back, re-use, and recycle the maximum amount of our waste as possible. It’s also important to be extra vigilant about sorting your rubbish properly, as this can help to cut back the number of labor for key workers in recycling centers.

Stash your unwanted items and eliminate them later

While the pandemic may need to make it plenty tougher to eliminate unwanted items, you’ll still have a decent declutter, as long as you’ve got an area to store your old possessions for the duration of the lockdown. This way, you’ll get your home looking beautifully organized, without putting extra strain on roadside collections or resorting to irresponsible ways of throwing out your rubbish.

First, you’ll have to search out an out-of-the-way spot in your home where you’ve got a small amount of free space for storing, just like the attic, the cabinet under the steps, or maybe a garden shed. Then, once you’ve had a decent clear-out, just bag or confine anything that might have gone to the tip or charity shop, label it clearly, and stow it somewhere out of the way until normal services resume.

Give old items a replacement lease of life with upcycling

If you can’t throw away your old stuff, why not try giving it a replacement lease of life? plenty of home items you do not need or want are often re-used or upcycled to form something new, and there is really never been a more robust time to begin a replacement project.

There are such a lot of ways to try and do this — all you wish could be a little bit of creativity. Old buckets, bowls, and other containers are often repurposed into planters for the garden, while old books, calendars, and magazines can all be used for arts and crafts projects to stay the youngsters entertained, like “papier-mâché” or collages. Unwanted clothing or sheets are often wont to make rags for cleaning, or split into scraps and used for stitching projects. If you wish to allow your home a makeover and declutter at the identical time, you’ll even create some patchwork cushion covers using scraps of old clothing. Almost everything is often upcycled in how, so take a glance at Pinterest for a few inspiration and begin getting crafty.

Weight Loss

12 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight On Intermittent Fasting

There’s nothing buzzier than intermittent fasting (IF) with regards to current weight loss patterns. Huge numbers of celebs tout it as their go-to eating way to deal with getting or remain fit as a fiddle—including Halle Berry, Jenna Jameson, Jennifer Garner, Stassi Schroeder, and Vanessa Hudgens, to give some examples.

What’s more, the advantages of intermittent fasting aren’t restricted to weight reduction. The research suggests intermittent fasting may help bring down your cholesterol, improve your focus, and even assist you with dozing better.

In any case, on the off chance that you are utilizing IF for weight reduction purposes, realize that it’s in reality entirely simple to do it inaccurately, and slow down your weight reduction, consequently. You need to nail your eating window to procure the wellbeing and weight reduction benefits, down to the planning and the nourishments you eat when you do break your quick.

So on the off chance that you’ve been trying and attempting to get in shape with intermittent fasting and your body isn’t changing, continue perusing for the greatest errors individuals make on IF consumes less calories that may hinder weight reduction, as per enlisted dietitians—and how to address each issue.

So how does intermittent fasting work for weight reduction, precisely?

“Intermittent fasting is about when you eat,” says Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, CPT, proprietor of Shaped by Charlotte, LLC. “Contingent upon the IF approach, you’re either shortening the eating window every day, or participating in around 24-hour fasts at least one times each week.” One of the most well known methodologies is the 16:8 technique, which is the point at which you quick for an eight-hour window, as from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the following day.

The Ultimate Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Basically, by confining your nourishment admission to an abbreviated time window, you normally decline your caloric admission and, thus, can get thinner. (Keep in mind, weight reduction, at the most essential level, happens when you devour less calories than you exhaust every day.) “In addition to the fact that you are taking in less calories, but at the same time you’re hindering your insulin siphon, which may help fat consume,” clarifies Martin.

To what extent does it take to begin getting more fit when you’re doing intermittent fasting?

There are a ton of components that can add to what extent it might take for the weight to begin falling off.

“The pace of weight reduction will fluctuate incredibly from individual to individual contingent upon a few variables, including: beginning weight, the intermittent fasting approach utilized, the sorts of (and how much) nourishment expended during the eating windows, and the sky is the limit from there,”


In the event that you wind up lessening your general caloric admission immediately and you reliably eat less calories than you use, at that point you should begin getting in shape right away. “In any case, you likely won’t notice any weight reduction results for at any rate two or three weeks,” notes Martin, including that some weight reduction first and foremost will “probably be water weight.”

“Contingent upon the calorie sum you devour while intermittent fasting, you could encounter an estimated one-to two-pound weight reduction every week, which would mean it could take as much as eight to 10 weeks to see huge weight reduction,”

says Kristen Smith, MS, RD, representative for Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In case you’re losing more than that? It could be a warning. “On the off chance that you notice yourself losing a recognizable measure of weight during the initial not many long stretches of following an intermittent fasting plan, you should likely rethink your calorie admission to guarantee you are devouring sufficient nourishment to address your body’s issues,” says Smith.

So if I’m not shedding pounds with intermittent fasting, what’s the catch?

There could be a couple of reasons. Here are 12 intermittent fasting botches that you may be making, and how to fix them.

  • You’re eating a lot during your eating window.

As referenced, as a rule, “Weight reduction basically comes down to calories in versus calories out,” reminds Martin. “On the off chance that you wind up devouring a similar number of calories (or more) during your eating windows as before you began intermittent fasting, at that point you won’t get thinner.” at the end of the day, on the off chance that you simply pack the entirety of the calories you’d regularly eat into your eating window, you’re not so much changing your eating regimen.

Step by step directions to fix it:

Try a calorie-checking application.

“In spite of the fact that I don’t normally suggest calorie tallying, it might assist with following your caloric admission for a couple of days utilizing a calorie-following application. These applications will, for the most part, reveal to you the estimated day by day calorie sum you should be at so as to get more fit. Despite the fact that these estimations are for the most part off, they can be utilized as a decent beginning stage.”

The application can, likewise, uncover dinners or explicit nourishments that have a greater number of calories than you’d expect, and you can change your eating regimen appropriately.

  • You are not expending enough calories on non-fasting days.

“At the point when you don’t expend a satisfactory measure of calories on non-fasting days, your body may save the vitality you devour, as opposed to consuming it,” .


The most effective method to fix it:

Make a feast plan for yourself for non-fasting days. “Make a reasonable feast plan for non-fasting periods that incorporates adjusted suppers comprising of at any rate 300 to 500 calories for each dinner.” This way, you take out the mystery and can guarantee that you don’t hold back on calories for yourself.

  • You’re eating less-nutritious nourishments.

“In spite of the fact that the focal point of intermittent fasting is on when you eat as opposed to what you eat, that doesn’t mean you can eat anything you desire during your eating windows and still get in shape,” Martin calls attention to. “On the off chance that your eating routine comprises of for the most part calorically thick nourishments, similar to cheap food, you presumably won’t get more fit.”

The most effective method to fix it:

Focus on eating supplement thick nourishments.

“Eating nourishments wealthy in lean protein, fiber-rich carbs, and sound fats will help top you off and normally lessen your general caloric admission,” she says. Try not to stress: “You can at present appreciate a portion of your less-sound top picks, similar to pizza and dessert, with some restraint!” she includes.

  • You’re not fasting sufficiently long.

“On the off chance that you choose a period confined taking care of approach and you just abbreviate your eating window by an hour or so a day, you likely won’t see a lot, assuming any, weight reduction,”


You’re simply not changing enough from your typical eating schedule, tbh.

Step by step instructions to fix it:

“Most ladies discover accomplishment with around a 10-hour eating window, which means a 14-hour quick,” says Martin. “You can generally begin with a more extended eating window and work your way down if your standard eating window is any longer than this,”

  • You’re skipping dinners during your eating window.

“Skipping dinners and not eating enough during your eating windows can make you be incredibly eager during fasting periods, making it more probable that you’ll wind up breaking your fasts,” says Martin. “Limiting yourself a lot during one eating window can likewise lead you to gorge and indulging during your next eating window, which can likewise build by and large calorie admission.”

Step by step instructions to fix it:

“Ensure you’re eating until you’re full and fulfilled, yet not overstuffed, during your eating windows,” she says. Martin additionally recommends doing some feast prep on the ends of the week for the week ahead to guarantee you don’t skip dinners when you get going or lost your timetable.

  • You picked an inappropriate kind of fasting plan.

“There are a few sorts of intermittent fasting plans. Not all plans may accommodate your way of life or help support your particular metabolic rate,”


For example, in the event that you are preparing for a continuance challenge and picked an arrangement that keeps you from eating in the first part of the day when you need fuel for exercises, you may tumble off the intermittent fasting wagon all the while. (and furthermore hurt your body and execution).

Step by step directions to fix it:

“Consider picking an intermittent fasting plan that best matches your way of life and can be kept up for the long stretch,” says Smith. You should counsel an enrolled dietitian to assist you with settling on this choice and evaluate your way of life and dietary needs.

  • You aren’t resting enough.

“Scarcely any investigations have taken a gander at the immediate relationship with weight reduction and rest while following an intermittent fasting plan, anyway in general,several considers have indicated an association between satisfactory rest and positive weight reduction results,”

How to fix it:

You’ve heard it previously, in any case, “Put forth an attempt to rest in any situation for at least 7 hours of the night,” says Smith.

  • You’re working out a ton.

“Periodically individuals will begin another eating routine, similar to a fasting diet, at precisely the same time they choose to begin another activity plan or lift the present exercise plan they’re on,” says Martin. “Over-practicing or turning out too seriously, particularly while endeavoring to diminish nourishment consumption, can cause vitality levels to drop and craving levels to soar.” subsequently, you may wind up eating a greater number of calories during your eating windows than you’re consuming, even with the extraordinary exercise, she notes.

Step by step guide to fix it:

If rehearsing entire day fasts (like with the 5:2 strategy, for instance), make certain to keep practice light on fasting days. “When all is said in done, ensure your activity routine is testing yet at the same time possible and agreeable. In the event that you notice you feel avaricious when you work out, it might mean you’re propelling yourself excessively hard,” says Martin.

  • You’re not hydrated enough.

Not drinking enough water during your quick may leave you dried out, yet by not drinking enough, you’re likewise passing up water’s advantages with regards to suppressing hunger.

How to fix it:

Drink up! Furthermore, you can get extravagant with your water. Intermittent fasting-affirmed drinks including hot tea, dark espresso, seltzer water, frosted tea, tea or espresso with Stevia.

  • You’re not following your method as instructed.

“Following an intermittent fasting plan can be hard for certain calorie counters as they aren’t accustomed to going significant stretches of time without eating,”

So in the event that you continue tricking your arrangement week to week or compromising, it likely won’t yield the weight reduction benefits you were trusting. Thus, you might need to reexamine whether IF is directly for you and your way of life.

The most effective method to fix it: “Pick an intermittent fasting plan that best matches your way of life and can be followed for longer timeframes,” says Smith.

  • You don’t prepare.

“Preparing is a significant part of keeping up a solid mediation,” says Smith.

How to fix it:

“Attempt to design every one of your suppers and snacks in any event daily ahead of time. Having an arrangement of what you will plan, remembering pressing dinners and snacks for advance, or investigating eatery menus to choose what you will arrange,” says Smith.

  • You feel frustrated because you didn’t keep up

On the off chance that takes practice and persistence. “Most people who attempt IF, paying little heed to the methodology they pick, will wind up breaking a quick in front of calendar sooner or later,” says Martin. “In case you’re not kidding about proceeding IF, it’s significant not to feel remorseful, embarrassed, or frantic at yourself for doing as such and to return to a usual show as quickly as time permits.”

Step by step instructions to fix it:

It’s essential to give yourself some beauty and to proceed onward! “Advise yourself that IF takes some experimentation—it’s inescapable that your IF plan won’t generally work out as expected,” says Martin.

Weight Loss

Why You’re Not Losing Weight From Intermittent Fasting?

VIPs like Terry Crews have introduced intermittent fasting—not eating for a certain period of time—like a weight-loss strategy.

The training doesn’t ensure you’ll drop pounds, however, it can assist you with devouring fewer calories—which assistants in weight reduction.

As a boost, there are various approaches to quick, yet individuals by and large follow three regular calendars: interchange day fasting, entire day fasting, or time-limited fasting. Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital, prescribes beginning with time-limited fasting. The 16:8 arrangement, which means you just eat for eight hours in a day, is famous for this strategy.

It’s continually disappointing when the scale is stuck on a similar number—regardless of your earnest attempts. On the off chance that you’ve been fasting and haven’t gotten results, it’s a decent time to break down your procedure.

Here are some basic reasons that clarify why you’re not getting more fit from intermittent fasting.

You’re eating an excessive number of calories

You need to begin a nourishment diary before leaving on any sort of diet, says Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital.

“It is useful to screen your admission to in any event comprehend what your benchmark is,” Boehmer discloses to Men’s Health.

Track all that you eat in a given week utilizing, Lose It!, or MyFitnessPal.

At that point, decide what number of calories your body needs to keep up its present weight. This should be possible utilizing a recipe or the bodyweight organizer by the National Institute of Health.

From that point, it’s simply an issue of contrasting your real admission with what you need. It’s implied that you won’t get in shape—paying little thought to fasting—on the off chance that you expend such a large number of calories.

Think little of parts

On the off chance that you’re not shedding pounds—notwithstanding remaining inside your calorie needs—at that point, it’s a great opportunity to see serving sizes. It’s entirely expected to miscount the amount you’re really eating, which prompts expending a greater number of calories than you might suspect. This is especially valid with calorie-thick nourishments, for example, cheddar.

For instance, a one-ounce serving of full-fat cheddar rises to around four shakers. Utilize a nourishment scale—or eyeball divides with this instructional exercise—to all the more precisely compute nourishment consumption.

You’re not eating enough

On the off chance that you’ve hit a weight reduction level in the wake of shedding a couple of pounds, Boehmer says you might be eating too hardly any calories.

That is on the grounds that our bodies acclimate to whatever we toss at them, she says.

“On the off chance that on normal you’re just taking in 1200 calories, which is something none of us ought to do all the time, your body will figure out how to work on 1200 calories.”

Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital

Decrease calories gradually and focus on increasingly moderate weight reduction, says Boehmer. She exhorts slicing enough calories to lose about a pound seven days.

“At the point when we talk about shedding pounds, the objective is consistently to lose as a lot of weight eating thee most that you can so you don’t make that metabolic inhibitor”

Melanie Boehmer, R.D. at Lenox Hill Hospital


Stay Safe The Next Time You Photograph in Extreme Weather

Heat wave sign on the city. Heat wave concept

Some people say that photographers don’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.  Little do they realize that rain is often the least of our worries. We often expose ourselves to weather extremes – heat, cold and unpredictable storms to name a few – in search of that perfect picture.

Fortunately, there are some commonsense guidelines that – if followed – will help keep you safe even in the most extreme of weather circumstances. 

Extreme Cold

Cars and trucks driving on snow packed roads taken through a windshield covered with snowflakes.

Who has not dreamed of capturing penguins in the Antarctic, polar bears in the Arctic, or the dramatic Northern Lights that seem to only appear in the coldest parts of the world?  The key to successful shooting in extreme cold is to dress appropriately and protect your gear.

Thermometer with celsius scale placed in a fresh snow showing sub-zero temperature minus 30 degree – extreme cold winter weather concept

Dress in layers-Making sure you are dressed correctly will help protect you in even the most severe cold.  Layers make it possible to trap and keep warmth close to the body allowing you to comfortably stay out in the cold longer.  A base layer of light, breathable moisture wicking cloth next to the body. Synthetic thermal undergarments are the best while cotton is the worst.  Add an insulating layer or two of wool, polyester or fleece to help trap the warmth. And finally add a wind and waterproof outer layer to protect from the elements.

Hats and gloves are a must for shooting in extreme cold.  A good investment are fingerless mittens that allow you to operate your camera equipment without exposing your hands with a pair of warm outer mittens you can quickly put on when needed.

Rainbow on the horizon over the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico

Keep feet warm and dry by layering wicking inner socks with one or more pairs of warm woolen ones inside water resistant boots.  Disposable hand and foot warmers are a great addition when the temperatures are especially low.

Protect your camera gear– Rain covers for the camera body and hoods for the lenses will keep falling snow, ice and rain from hitting your gear.  Some people like to use a clear UV filter, which is easy to wipe dry without worrying about harming the expensive glass, but you need to be aware that this will cut down on your available light and may affect the quality of your shots.

Batteries lose their power quickly in cold environments.  A handy trick is to use disposable hand warmers attached with a rubber band around the battery compartment to help keep them charged longer.   Keep extra batteries in your inner pockets next to the warmth of your body to keep them from draining too quickly. “Dead” batteries can sometimes find new life if they are warmed up again, so keep your used ones close to you in case you need that extra power.

And finally, have a plan for when the cold gets too much.  Having access to a car or shelter to warm up – if even for a few minutes – can keep you and your gear safe and shooting for hours on end.

Extreme Heat

Preparing yourself for extreme heat – such as shooting in the desert or tropical environs – takes a bit of planning as well.  Again, attention should be give to both dress and equipment.

Heat wave sign on the city. Heat wave concept

Dress for the Heat-Opt for lightweight, light colored loose fitting clothing.  The goal is to cover as much skin as possible to protect from the suns damaging waves.  Wearing long pant and long sleeves with UVA/UVB protection if you will be exposed to the direct sunlight for extended periods.  Use a well-vented, wide brim hat to protect your face, neck, head and ears from the sun. Add a good pair of sunglasses to complete your protection.

Camera equipment protection– Humidity will cause extreme condensation on your lenses and camera bodies when traveling in and out of air conditioning in tropical conditions.  Placing your camera in airtight bags and allowing the camera body and lens to adjust to outside temperature before removing from bag will minimize fogging.  Use moisture absorbing desiccant packs inside camera bags if you are going to be exposing your equipment to humidity for extended periods.  

Keep unused equipment in airtight plastic bags.  Try keeping you kit out of harsh sunlight when not shooting, and NEVER leave your gear inside a car or trunk.  Temperatures can reach damage causing levels quickly in hot environments. 

And probably the most important consideration when working in extreme heat is to stay hydrated – drink lots of liquid but avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks.  Seek out shade as much as possible, and try restricting movement to the bare minimum during the most intense periods of the day. A good sunscreen on any exposed areas will help to further protect from sun damage.


Enemy number one for DSLR sensors is dirt and sand. While precautions should be taken in any outside environment to avoid contaminating your camera body, shooting in a desert or a beach requires extra consideration.

NEVER change lenses in a dusty or sandy environment.  If you think your will want to use more than one lens during your shoot have an extra camera body of each one.   If you find yourself in situation where you must change lenses, do so completely within an airtight bag to simulate a clean environment.  

Fine sand and dirt can infiltrate even the tightest of seals.  In extreme situations it is wise to keep your camera in an airtight container at all times. Underwater casings can be used for this, or you can fashion a casing yourself using zip-type plastic bags.

The next time you find yourself called by the lure of that perfect picture –be ready no matter what Mother Nature may try to throw at you by being prepared to protect yourself and your gear.

Stock photos and illustrations via


How to Remove Backgrounds from Images

Sooner or later every photographer wants to learn how to remove backgrounds from images in Photoshop.  Maybe they are trying to isolate an object to use in a composite.  Or maybe they want to remove the sky to replace it with a more dramatic one.  Whatever the reason, it is definitely a skill every advanced post processor should know. 

Select the Subject

The first challenge is to select either the background to be removed or the subject to be isolated.  There are several options to do this. The least eloquent of these is to use the Quick Select tool in Photoshop.  If your subject is uniform in shape and coloring, this method will probably be sufficient.

However, if there are irregularities to the subject, other tools may be more appropriate.  The Select – Subject menu option can work well providing the subject is well defined. If you shot on a Green Screen the Select – Color Range is probably your best option.

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The most precise, and tedious, method is to use the Pen tool to draw the boundary of the subject to select.  

Regardless of the method chosen, detail like wispy hair can be impossible to define without further refinement, which is where the Select – Select and Mask tool is used.

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Select and mask

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Refining the selection using this tool is a straightforward process.  In the Select and Mask dialogue box, Set View Mode to View on Layers to clearly show the selected areas.  In Edge Detection, set Radius to 4px and check the Smart Radius box. Now use the Refine Edge Brush Tool to work around the edges to remove, or OPT (or ALT on Windows) Refine Edge Brush Tool to add back in, pixels around the edges.

Tick the Decontaminate Colors and adjust the Amount slider to ensure none of the background color tint remains (this is especially important for green screen), and choose Output to New Layer with Layer Mask.  The subject is now isolated with a clipping mask.  

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To remove the background, simply CMD-Click on the output layer, choose Select – Inverse from the menu bar, click on the background layer and either mask or delete the pixels.

Masking with Channel Pull

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For trickier selections, using the alpha channel channels to pull selections for a mask can be the most eloquent solution if you have an advanced comfort level with Photoshop.  Let’s use this image as an example and use channel pulling to remove the sky.

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First, duplicate the background layer (to preserve the original) and work on the copy level.  Open the Channels panel. Click through the RBG layers to find the one that gives you the most contrast between the subject and the background ( in our case the blue in the sky makes the blue channel the one to work with) – and duplicate that layer.

Create a Level adjustment and use the sliders to make the background pure white and the foreground as dark as possible without losing details.

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Using Cmd-Click will select all of the white areas.  Sometimes you will select some of the foreground area especially if it is the same color as the background.  You can either use the Quick Selection Wand to remove those areas or see how we deal with that in a minute. Now enable the RBG channel and disable your Channel copy.  Return to the Layers panel. Since we want to mask out the background (the area that is currently selected) and keep the foreground, let’s Select – Inverse to select the subject area, and then use the Add to Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel.

The mask now completely removes the sky background, but you may notice that’s some of the foreground (especially the blue areas) have been removed as well.  Paint them back in by clicking on the mask, choosing the paintbrush with white in Overlay Mode on a hard brush and paint over the areas to bring it back in.   

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Karen Foley is a freelance photographer and frequent contributor to  See more of her work at