Dealing with People

People have mixed feelings about being photographed. The people who hire photographers for an even have mixed feeling about being photographed. Photographers themselves have mixed feeling about being photographed. Partly this is because we have seen unflattering photos of ourselves; partly this is a mystery held back by some vanity issue. Either way, there are some ways to deal with it in other people.

HAVE PEOPLE SIT DOWN: For some reason many people are less self-conscious this way. It’s worth carrying a portable chair to events for the sake of getting a few good shots of a few individuals.

DO SOMETHING WITH PEOPLE’S HANDS: Again, less self-conscious. This even works with some children.

DISTRACTIONS: when people deliberately try to pose they usually look unnatural. Professional models work hard to get past this issue. Children can be inspired to give a natural looking response from a toy or other novelty. Occasionally a child will respond well simply with the knowledge that they are the centre of attention. Adults require something more, but a person responding to something out of shot is a promising opportunity for an image.

SPONTANEOUS: There are staged shots and there are moments that are captured on film. If you are unobtrusive and follow the subject for long enough you will find a few great moments. Always go for a potential great moment of spontaneity.

An art that is acquired rather than learn is dealing with people. For the staged shots just the ability to look professional and make others enthusiastic can make for far superior images. If people want to work with you the results will show it.











A Few Cleaning Hacks

Though your grandparents wouldn’t have used the term ‘hack’ they probably knew a few ‘tricks of the trade’ or ‘insider’s secrets’ as they were once termed. A hack is that particular method of solving a particular problem in an efficient and effective way.  A few home and office cleaning ideas from our Sydney readers are included below.


CLEANING GAS COOKTOP: Remove Knobs and soak in soapy/detergent water. Anything removable from the cooker can be cleaned in this way. Vacuum the cooktops surface to remove loose crumbs and then the surface with a cloth dampened in water and detergent. Make sure the cloth is only damp as water flowing into the mechanism is an issue. Lastly, clean the grates with baking soda sprinkled directly on the grates; mix kosher salt and baking soda if necessary.

If the grates are particularly hard to clean, put them in a plastic bag overnight with some ammonia.


CRUMBS IN CORNERS: If the vacuum doesn’t reach, use masking tape.

SOAP SCUM ON TILES: Use Liquid shower gel.

CLEAN BLENDERS:  Blend soap and water.

TOYS: Many, but not all, can go through the dishwasher. Proceed with caution, however, as a few plastics will melt.

COFFEEMAKER: Equal parts vinegar and water can clean a coffeemaker. Check the instruction first. Always flush out with water afterwards.

FOOD ON DISHES: Soak a dryer sheet in a dirty dish overnight.

AIR VENTS. Glue some cloth onto a paddle pop stick or old chopstick, and then use it to clean the vents.

WOODEN KITCHEN CABINETS: Mix Vegetable oil and baking soda to get gunk off a wooden kitchen surface.

DRY PAINT ON CLOTHES: A disposable razor can remove some paint stains; also removes piling.

GREASE ON CLOTHING: Chalk with remove some grease stains.

LEATHER: Shoe polish can remove discolouration from worn leather. Finding the right colour polish is a trick, but application is the same as cleaning shoes.

WORN SHOES: If polish isn’t covering up the wear marks, try spraying the shoes with methylated spirits, applying polish liberally, and leave in the Sun for a few hours. Then polish as usual.

NAIL POLISH ON CARPET/CLOTH: Rubbing alcohol and a microfiber will remove most nail polish.

CHEESE GRATER: Grate a raw potato, then wash as normal. The cheese will come lose.

PET HAIR: Use a Squeegee

LIPSTICK: Try hairspray. Wait 10 minutes and dap with a damp cloth.


AIR EXTRACTORS AND FANS. Use a can of compressed air. As blocked extractors can be a fire hazard we recommend regular cleaning.


For Home cleaning have separate cleaning equipment for the bathroom, toilet and kitchen. Label if you have to, but do this to avoid cross-contamination. This works for kitchens in Office cleaning too.


For home, office or strata cleaning call AAA Cleaning, Sydney.



EPS Equipment

Styrofoam is 95% air. An EPS recycling machines removes the air, making the product 50-70 times smaller. Older methods of removing the air from foam were less efficient as they merely compressed the substance.

Hydraulic densifiers:

These use hydraulic pressure to compact the Styrofoam. This pressure is sufficient to remove the possibility that the foam will return to its original shape. This process does not use heat, and therefor does not produce smoke or odour. These hydraulic systems can accept many different type of foam without issue.

Thermal densifiers:

This system will heat Styrofoam in order to reduce its size. The final product is either a rope or block. The rope version of the foam requires some additional about for it to be stored, but both forms are weather resisntant. These thermal densifiers do require a considerable amount of electrical energy. They also produce a strong odour.

Screw Drive Densifers:

These use speed and pressure to reduce Styrofoam into solid blocks. Because of the use of pressure (rather than heat) there is no odour produced. The only disadvantage is that these machines cannot simultaneously process different densities of foam, though modern devices are more tolerant of this.

Hybrid densifer also exist, which combine the hydraulic and screw mechanisms.

An EPS recycling machine is a useful device. It will mostly go unseen by the general public, even as the public continues to use the Styrofoam with countless products. Though not traditionally seen as recyclable Styrofoam can now be processed to be reused and have minimal impact on the environment.

Recently it has been discovered that mealworms can digest Styrofoam, strongly suggesting an environmentally safe way of dealing with the product.



There is a long history and even some prehistory to the piano. Other keyboard instruments existed, such as the virginal, the clavichord and, most famously, the harpsichord, long before the piano was conceived. Unfortunate, these tended to suffer limitations; the harpsichord produced sounds as a fixed volume no matter how hard of fast the performer played. The virginal only had a few octaves of range. These limitations restricted what music could be played or performed. It is frustrating to hear music performed by other instruments or groups that cannot be reproduced on the keyboard. The modern piano has only minor limitations here.

The first true piano emerged in Italy in 1709, conceived and built by Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori.  It was capable of producing notes of considerable volume as well as extremely soft tones, on a keyboard with several octaves range. Pianos later acquired an even larger keyboard, and various improvements; at the same time the earliest piano is not that different to the acoustic pianos of today, some 300 years later.

A few other keyboard instruments are different to the piano. Though they also have a keyboard the playing experience and technique required are notably different. Some notable points are:

  • A piano has a sustain pedal where a traditional organ does not. This means it is not possible to hold onto a note while moving to the next note. The fingering technique is therefore different with these instruments.
  • A traditional organ has its volume controlled by a pedal. This means all the notes being played will sound at the same volume. A Piano, by comparison, can play loud and soft notes simultaneously.
  • A synthesiser can bend notes with an extra control. This is one of the few forms of expression not possible on an acoustic piano.

Electronic and digital pianos have been steadily developing over the past few decades. Some of these sounded so different they were really alternatives to traditional acoustic pianos. Other electronic pianos could produce a reasonable facsimile of a piano sound, but lacked the expressive capabilities that made the piano so unique and desirable. It has only been in recent decades that digital versions of the piano could compete with general quality pianos, while also providing some of the facilities found on other keyboard instruments. Yet even with the ability to bend notes or record compositions directly most high end performances still use high end acoustic pianos, especially with older music specifically written for the instrument. It is almost impossible to find a music school that does not include a piano.

Piano lessons can be of great benefit even to those pursuing another instrument. The systematic layout of a keyboard allows a good perspective on where the notes stand relative to each other.  The advanced understanding for experienced musicians  taught  in music schools often uses the piano, regardless of the style or instrument the individual student intendes to specialize in.

Car wash, Perth

The Car Wash is more of a cultural phenomenon than what one would expect. Google the term and you will find popular songs, television episodes and at least one film. Very few people write songs about cleaning windows or floors. Cars are important to their owners and car washes are culturally iconic.


It has been the convention wisdom for years that automatic drive through car washes are bad for the exterior paint of your vehicle. This is at least partly myth. Car wash facilities have been around since at least the 1920s, though the automatic versions didn’t really start till the 1950s. These earlier cleaning systems tended to use harsh brush rollers to clean the car surface, along with harsh detergents. These steadily wore at the paint, and people noticed the effect after a few years. Later car wash systems used only super cleaned water, with no solid surface touching the car. This removed virtually all risk of damaging the paint. There were also detergents developed that did not cause problems.


To confuse matters many home washing techniques cause problems. It varies greatly with the materials used, but many sponges used for car cleaning actually ruin the surface of the car. Ironically the attachments designed to fit over the end of a hose, the ones specifically designed to clean cars, were found to cause the most damage. This matter was compounded by the amount of water used. The average domestic house hose had insufficient pressure to properly clean a car surface, meaning more water and more use of the sponge was required. Worst of all the water, and the detergent it now contained, both entered the water supply and contaminated the surrounding soil.


The environmental effects of a well-run car wash are less than that of home washing. With the professional system the water is reclaimed, filtered and reused at least to some degree. This process serves to reclaim detergents and other substances, preventing them from entering surrounding soil or the local water supply. Energy use in commercial car washes is also kept to a minimum.

Hi car wash, the definitive car wash in Perth, uses a combination of hand-washing and modern techniques. This makes for a well-kept car, almost no risk of vehicle damage, and the best present option for reducing environmental impact.

Decorating with blinds, Sydney


Functionality is foremost with blinds. They are neatly stored away when not in use, and effectively block out light when needed. This is simple and effective.

Child safe blinds: If you have small children we strongly recommend control rods rather than cords. Children can get caught in cords, and choking is an issue. Metal bead cords reduce this risk as the cord is designed to break, but control rods are safely out of the way and minimize the risk with shutters.

Style. Blinds can be anything from wood to metal to cloth to modern polymers. Colours vary according.

Other options than blinds: Although other countries often use plantation shutters, Sydney has minimal use for these Nonetheless, some individuals like the look of plantation shutters, and recognize the functional and security advantages they afford. They are also extremely long lasting and wooden shutters can be painted a different colour should the home ever be redecorated.

Printed Blinds: High definition digital photography allows us to print any image on a blind. Do you want to look out on the Paris skyline, or look like a surrealist painting? Then get it printed on a blind. These are great for a room with a minimalist look; the blind image is the room’s dominant feature, until it is rolled way for the light to come in.

Harsh Sunlight: The great advantage of cloth blinds is that some materials can filter out the harsh glare and UV rays while still letting the natural illumination in. All the benefits of natural light, like lower electricity bills, without the Sun damage. It’s useful warmth as well.

Hard to reach Windows: Motorized controls are great when the window is out of reach. This is very popular in large rooms or public spaces like auditoriums.

TV and film viewing: Need complete dark when viewing? Modern projectors and screen often need this for the best image. Blinds can give you this with ease.

Many places emphasize functionality with their style. Modern security doors, Sydney is not completely immune from threat, serve to look slick while still providing safety. Blinds, shutters and windows can be made to match the same look as the door.

Clean you’re carpet – Best Tricks

Remove all stains as soon a possible

  • Blot any stains don’t rub. Start from the outside and move inward.
  • Club soda is good for blotting, especially with alcohol bases stains.
  • For stubborn stains use part vinegar with equal parts water. Repeat this till the sin has gone, then wash with warm water dry overnight with white paper towels.
  • Shaving cream will remove many stains, using the methods described above, but always spot check the effects.

Particular stains:

  • Wax on carpet – put a white cloth over the wax stain and briefly heat this with an iron. Do not let it get too hot or the carpet will be damaged. Repeat if necessary. Finish with another ironing over a white paper towel. Repeat this is necessary.
  • Blood – start with diluted detergent and dab. Then use hydrogen peroxide.
  • Ink or grease – Mix some corn-starch and milk, allow it to dry on the stain, then vacuum.
  • Nail polish – Hairspray, Windex and nail polish remover can all work well here, though you should always spot check first.

Ask about carpet protector sprays. These need to be re-applied after each professional cleaning. Always ventilate the carpeted area afterwards.

Get professional carpet cleaning every 6 month and your carpets will last longer and look better.