Better Digital Photography – Taking Pictures Or Creating Pictures

When you have got a digital camera it is very cheap to take pictures. In fact it costs you nearly nothing. That’s good because you can take hundreds of pictures without worrying for the costs, and just keep a few of them.

When we take pictures we try to make the best out of the situation. We see friends in a nice or interesting situation and we snap some pictures. We visit different places and we take pictures of what we find interesting or fun, and we take pictures to have something we can show our family and friends when we come back from the visit. Nowadays more and more take pictures to put them online to make them visible to the whole world or at least to their selected friends and their family.

On vacation the pictures will be a sum of our memories to keep for decades to make the vacation even more valuable for us. You meet new people and conserve the memories on the digital files.

Some people develop a keen eye in seeing the opportunity for a picture and become good photographers by catching that special moment that will be a true pearl of their collection of photography. This is a very good talent and some of the most celebrated photographers in the world have had that ability to catch the special moment, in some cases to catch an action in a split-second of time.

On the other hand some of the best pictures aren’t just been snapped, they have been created by the photographer. Here are some ideas for creating your own super-shots.

Put things together to create a picture

Let’s say that you are having a wonderful meal and want to take a picture of the meal. The food is delicious, the decoration at the table looks terrific and you are together with a nice person. In such a situation you will often get the most interesting picture by taking the picture vertical. Organise some food in the foreground, make sure that a limited part of the table decoration is in sight and place your nice company in the picture. To make all this happen you just need a few minutes to take a look of the possibilities at the table and to make sure everything is in your frame of your picture. If you have to use the flash of the camera you might get the trouble that the foreground becomes very light and your nice person behind becomes too dark. With a white tablecloth this problem might even be exaggerated. To avoid the problem reduce the distance between the foreground and the person behind.

Include a colourful foreground when taking a picture of a place

Just one single colour added the right place in a picture might make it much more outstanding. Are you taking pictures in a garden there might be many colourful flowers. But without having one of the flowers in the foreground the picture might look very banal. You might have the option to move a pot or jar with a colourful flower in front to include it in the picture. Don’t place this flower in the centre of the picture frame but arrange it to the left in such a way that it is around 1/3 in the picture from the left. That will often add substantial appeal to the final picture. Many artefacts can be used with a similar effect in other situations.

Let people do something

When you take pictures of friends and family let them do something. When people are active the picture will be more interesting to see. Many pictures of friends show the friends shouting hallo or drinking or showing faces. That isn’t what I mean with letting people do something. No, let people do something more unique to each person. Let them do something related to their work or hobby or other special interest. A trick could be to let them dress themselves in a special way, With a little practise you might be able to create really outstanding and interesting pictures, you will be happy with yourself and improve your esteem as a photographer among your friends.

These small tricks are useful whatever kind of apparatus you are taking picture with. Are you taking your pictures with a mobile phone you will still be able to improve your pictures by making use of the above photo tips. As you start giving your picture taking more attention you will see the potential of starting creating pictures and not just taking pictures.

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Bratt Decor Chelsea Crib – Are Lifetime Cribs All They're Cracked Up To Be?

Have you seen cribs like the Bratt Decor Chelsea Lifetime Crib? This baby bed is fairly amazing.

It is astonishingly beautiful to look at and that's only the beginning. As a "lifetime" crib, it is designed to do just that – grow into a full-sized bed as your child grows – meaning that you won't ever need to buy another bed for your child.

Ever.

Interesting idea, to be sure. But lifetime beds do come with a substantial cost attached and that's the real key to this idea. Are they worth their price tag?

Let's look at the concept of lifetime cribs from the eye of a parent. I've raised four children and have seen plenty of beds come and go through our home. Here are some things you'll want to consider – both pro and con – before jumping on Bratt cribs' – or any other manufacturer's – lifetime baby bed bandwagon.

The good news first.

– Yes, lifetime cribs make good sense. They're high on the value scale. First a baby bed and then, with a full-size mattress and box springs addition, a complete adult bed.

– If you concentrate on quality when shopping, you'll be happier down the road. Trust me, this is a bed that will need to take abuse for many years.

Chances are high your child (and her friends) will jump on, kick, dance and dramatically throw themselves on this bed. So it goes without saying that it needs to be sturdy. Check for quality and look for other parents' comments on the durability of the bed you choose. Bratt Decor, for example, has a reputation of building quality baby cribs; This is something you can check out easily enough by visiting some parenting forums and asking questions.

– Are you planning on having more than one baby? Then a drop-dead beautiful and sturdy lifetime crib can make a lot of sense because you'll be needing a crib over and over.

– As I mentioned before, this particular brand of baby crib is gorgeous and frankly, I'm sure that's a huge selling point for this company. Some lifetime cribs come in plainer versions which may appeal more to you and may bring the price point down, as well.

Remember that a bed usually is the largest piece of furniture in a bedroom, which means you will want one you enjoy looking at for years. Such a consideration is a smart choice for both your eyes and your pocketbook.

And the bad news?

– Cost. Lifetime cribs often cost more than their counterparts and that's no surprise. After all, you're getting more bed. But be careful because the quality of baby cribs varies widely.

Go to a store where you can actually put your hands on these cribs and give them a shake (do make sure the demo cribs are completely assembled first for an accurate test). Sometimes the lower cost versions are quite wiggly; you can tell they are not going to stand up to much usage.

On the other hand, you can pay the equivalent of a cheap used car for some lifetime cribs. If you actually use that crib for the next eighteen plus years and never have to refinish or replace it, you may have just got yourself a deal.

– Let's be clear here; the crib is lifetime. The mattress is not. You will have to buy the mattress and box springs to convert these cribs into full-sized beds. But you'd have to purchase mattresses no matter what bed route you choose, so that cost is a wash in this discussion. Still, you need to keep it in mind.

– Some folks love heirloom furniture. Some like to redecorate on a shoestring every few years. A lifetime baby bed like the Bratt Decor Chelsea crib is for the former folks. If you are in the latter camp, then having a gorgeous bed that you are sick and tired of is definitely a point against this type of purchase.

When you add it all up, lifetime cribs make a lot of practical sense. Whether or not you decide to go with an upscale model like the Bratt Decor Chelsea Lifetime crib or a simpler baby bed really depends upon how much quality you want to pay for and if it will make you happy to be passing this crib onto your grandchildren some day.

En la tienda online de Camisetas de fútbol tenemos todas las camisetas de tus equipos y selecciones favoritas en tallas para adulto y niño. by Colleen Langenfeld

Discover Photography: The Art of the Image

Since the time of Stone Age Man, when images of the animals and men hunting were first used to decorate the walls of cave, we have been fascinated by the captured image. Although it was not until the invention of photography that truly made this fascination into an art form that everyone could enjoy regardless of artistic ability. People all over the world take pictures of themselves, relatives and friends, pets and landscapes whether or not there is a particular circumstance or reason for doing so. But how much do we actually know when it comes to photography? Below are some of the different kinds of photography that will help us learn more about the different ways of taking photographs.

Amateur Photography has grown in recent years with the advent of cheep digital cameras and this digital photography that has become easily accessible to the amateur due to the low cost of both equipment and reproduction of the images, that we will have a brief look at in this article.

Black and White or Monochrome Photography

The first are to consider is black and white or monochrome photography. This is not simply presenting an image in black and white. Black and white photography explores the contour and character, tone and texture, the aesthetic art and beauty of the subject. The two components of black and white photography that give depth and feeling to the image are the shadows and highlights, if we learn to use them then we can create great images.

Color sometimes obscures the texture and form of subjects, it draws our attention the way flowers attract insects and birds, and ripe fruit catches your eye on a tree. Sometimes that's what we want, but black and white can emphasize the texture of the subject.

The variety of ways that different colors convert to different greys means that you can have quite fine control over just what parts of your picture will be light and dark, in addition to lighting levels. The absence of light can be as important as the highlights. Good deep shadows can give a depth and solidity to an image. It allows us to separate out the effects of color and luminosity, put another way black and white photography allows us to use color more effectively.

Action Photography

Action Photography may be where the photographer takes pictures of sporting event, or of children playing, anything intact where there is movement. Either set the shutter speed to freeze the action or try a slower shutter speed to blur the movement. This blur effect can create the sense of drama and movement. If the subject is moving across the frame try to track the subject, this is called panning, the effect once perfected is the subject is sharp but the background has the movement blur giving the impression of speed.

Shooting Action Shots of Athletes, people and animals in motion, and other moving objects create wonderful photo opportunities. However, capturing fast action on a digital camera can be challenging.

Certain settings on many digital cameras allow photographers to photograph action in a point-and-shoot mode specifically designed for moving subjects. Other times it is up to the photographer to manipulate the digital camera to achieve the best possible photos.

Digital cameras with less shutter lag capture better action shots. Regardless of your camera's specifications, you can further minimize shutter lag by pre-focusing before you snap the picture. To do this, hold down the shutter button halfway and then once the camera has focused; press it down all the way to take the shot.

Fast shutter speed allows photographers to capture great shots of moving subjects. If your digital camera supports a slower shutter speed, it is still possible for you to shoot some wonderful action shots. It may take some practice, but try panning the camera, keeping the lens on the subject's action.

Shoot in continuous mode if it is available to you. You might feel like the paparazzi when you first get started, but you will love how this quick mode does not let you miss a shot! Digital cameras that support continuous shooting work nicely for action shots because they are able to write all the photos to memory at the same time instead of one by one.

Anticipate the action and position yourself accordingly. If you are shooting sports, camp out by the goal line or find a good location where you can get clear shots of the athletes.

Invest in a good lens. Many action shots will benefit most from a digital camera with a 200mm lens, though you can interchange lenses for different effects. Zoom lenses work wonders for sports action shots.

Aerial Photography

Aerial Photography is best if you want to photograph a landscape or cityscape. Sadly we can't all afford to have our own helicopter, but great effects can be achieved from the top of tall buildings, bridges or mountains. So although true aerial photography may be out of reach, we can still have the illusion of aerial photography.

Travel Photography

Travel Photography is not just about your holiday snaps. It is about capturing something of the feel, the emotion, the essence of a place. It is about telling the story of the people and the landscape; It captures the mood and the setting. But you don't need expensive foreign holidays; travel photography can be your record of the next town or city or even neighborhood. As a is an exciting local city for me to explore, but with the added advantage that it is not far to travel to.

When photographing people in their local context there are a number of techniques that I try to use but keep in mind the principle of treating people with respect.

I've already talked about making shots contextual but one great way to do this is to think about what's in the background behind the people you're photographing. Ideally you want something that's not too distracting but that adds to the context of the place you're shooting in. Another technique for shooting shots of people that ignores the 'contextual' rule is to find a brightly lit position with a dark background. This can really help the face you're shooting to pop out and capture the viewer's attention.

Some of the best shots I've taken of people while traveling have been where I've tightly frames people faces. This means either getting in close to the person or having and using a good zoom lens.

Go for natural (un-posed shots) – While sometimes the posed shots can work quite well they can also lack a certain authenticity. Photograph your subject doing something from their normal daily life, at work, the marketplace, home, or just crossing the street etc.

Most of the shots I've taken of people over the years while traveling have been of single subjects alone in the shot. This is partly just my style but is something I've become quite aware of in the last few months. Adding a second person into an image takes a photo into a different place. No longer is the shot just about a person and their environment but it somehow becomes relational. The viewer of the photo begins to wonder about the relationship and a new layer is added to your image.

Quite often it's the shots of people dressed in national costume that tend to attract photographers when traveling. While these shots can be very effective I wonder if they are always really representative of a culture. Quite often these people have dressed up especially for a show or tourist attraction and the majority of people in that country look quite different. Mix up the types, gender and ages of the people you take photos of and you can end up with a very effective collage of faces of a country.

It goes against the nature of most travel photography which is usually very fast and spontaneous, but if you can spend time with people, if you have the opportunity to sit with a person for a longer period of time and photographed them in a more extended manner This enables you to tell the story of the individual and can lead to some wonderful sequences of shots using different photographic techniques, lenses and situations, while the person becomes more relaxed around the camera.

Keep your camera to the eye for taking those spontaneous shots between the more posed ones. It's amazing what images that you can find when the person isn't 'ready' for you to shoot. These shots often include people interacting with others or expressing true emotion. I find setting my camera to continuous shooting mode often leads to some wonderful candid shots. If conditions permit don't replace your lens cap until you pack your camera away.

When it comes to choosing lens, I find that a focal length between 24mm and 135mm is a good range to work with. Going for wide angle lenses can also produce interesting shots but you will often find that they do distort your subject's face a little. Choosing a longer focal length can be useful for putting your subjects a little more at ease.

Underwater Photography

Underwater Photography has become more accessible with the advent of cheep underwater cameras. Whether you intend to take photograph in a pool, lake, river, or the sea underwater photography can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things to do.

The difficulties you encounter when in shooting underwater can be summed up in one word, "limitation." Communication and travel below the surface are limited. Natural light and visibility are limited. How you tackle these limitations depends on your skill underwater and your photographic equipment.

However the most important advice you can receive has little to do with photography, and everything to do with your safety. A watery environment can be a dangerous one, even if it is a swimming pool. No photograph is worth your life. Depending on the type of underwater photography you wish to practice, you must first acquire the appropriate specialized knowledge and training, and obtain certification from a qualified instructor. This applies to every aspect of underwater activity, from basic swimming skills to advanced sub aqua diving techniques.

This list is by no means exhaustive; they are just some of the various types of photography you can discover. There are so many other forms of photography from infrared to medical, street, landscape, portrait, macro and Panoramic photography. Photographic work can be divided into dozens of categories, many with lots of sub-categories. But for now, just go and have fun with your camera and discover the joy of photographing you chosen subject!

Camisetas de fútbol Equipamiento, ropa y calzado deportivo . Compra online ahora con los mejores descuentos. by William Charles Johnston

Sightseeing in Leicester

In truth Leicester is neither quaint, nor full of historic places to visit. However, the few truly ancient or historic buildings it has are shown off well and the city is quite rightly proud of them. Here are a few of the sites worth seeing in Leicester.

The undoubted oldest structure in Leicester is the Jewry Wall. This is a section of ancient wall about 5m high and 23m long alongside Talbot Lane in the city center. Originally known as Hadrian's bath House, it is part of what was the Roman baths, built there sometime around 130 AD. Unfortunately, unlike other Roman bath houses, due to an engineering error the aqueduct that was supposed to feed water into the baths was mis-aligned, resulting in the Roman bathers having to use a cistern to fill the baths by hand. A shocking state of affairs in those days! There is of course a Jewry Wall Museum, which also houses Roman artefacts, including Roman milestones from nearby Fosse Way and mosaic floor-tiles.

Enclosed in the same grounds as St Martin's, Leicester Cathedral, and in-between Guildhall Lane and Peacock Lane, is the Guildhall. This half-timbered building was originally built in the late fourteenth century and has, through the ages, been the Town Hall, a prison and a police station. Now open to the public, the warped beams and rickety floor in the Great Hall immediately demonstrate that you are in a truly ancient building. In 1642 part of it was occupied by the town's library, making it the third oldest public library in the country. For the more ghoulish visitors, it is reputed to be the most haunted building in Leicester. You can see the old prison cells and the conditions endured by their captives and if you wish, you can see the gibbet from which the bodies of the hanged were put on public display up until 1840. Whilst in this area you can also visit the cathedral . However, apart from the finely carved medieval wooden entrance porch, there is little evidence of the original eleventh century building.

Refurbished in 2006 and early 2007 Newarke House Museum is housed in two sixteenth century buildings, Wygston's Chantry House and Skeffington House, at the bottom of the Castle Gardens. Its main theme is the daily life of 'Everyman in 20th Century Leicester', with galleries dedicated to displays on the story of immigration into Leicester, the Teddy Boy era and a recreation of shopping in the 1940s. The museum also houses the history of the Royal Leicestershire regiment.

Another newly refurbished museum in Leicester is the New Walk Museum off Princess Road West, as you head out of the city center to the South West. This is Leicester's oldest established museum and houses scientific and artistic collections. Current exhibitions include; Wild Space – looking at the biodiversity of the planet, Mighty Dinosaurs, Leicestershire's rocks, Ancient Egyptians, and of course, art galleries. The art galleries contain varied collections on themes such as; Our World through Art, Expressionism, The Captured Image, World art and Gallery Nine, which is devoted to the artistic expression of the multi-ethnic nature of the city.

Leicester is the home of the National Space Center, which is off Corporation Road to the North of the city. If traveling to it by car, the road signage can be confusing. However, when near, you can't miss its distinctive shape. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see any rockets taking off from here as the National Space Center is a museum concerned with space exploration. The center has a constantly changing series of events and activities. However, it also houses permanent exhibitions such as space rockets, space capsules, satellites, orbiting the earth and exploring the universe. There is an emphasis on the National Space Center being an interactive museum, so there's plenty to get involved in rather than being a passive viewer. After standing by the huge booster rockets that are on display, you can go to The Space Theater, which takes you on a journey through the galaxy. The National Space Center excels as an educational museum and supports a variety of educational activities.

Nearby to Leicester city is Market Bosworth, not necessarily in itself worth a visit although it is a pleasant village to see. The special thing about it is that nearby, to the south at Sutton Cheny, is the historic Bosworth Field, site of the famous defeat of Richard III by Henry Tudor. Here there is a visitor's center to provide all the background information you might need before you proceed on a tour of the battlefield itself. There is an annual re-enactment of the last battle in the 'War of the Roses' on the week-end nearest to August 22nd, to commemorate the actual battle of 1485. NB. Archaeologists are currently re-assessing whether this was the actual site of the battle or not. If you visit it you may wonder how well the site matches the contemporary descriptions of it.

You might also consider visiting Belvoir Castle. Historic home of the Duke & Duchess of Rutland, it commands a beautiful view (belvoir) across the Vale of Belvoir. Dating back to Norman times it was almost completely destroyed during the 'Wars of the Roses'. The current building was completed in the 19th Century. Belvoir Castle is off the A1 near Grantham.

Compra online la Camisetas de fútbol! En JD encontrarás las del FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, la selección de España y equipos internacionales. by Susan Ashby

Manchester United Winning the Battle But Losing the War?

It is almost starting to become funny; all the fuss over one player borders on the ridiculous. Cristiano Ronaldo has made headlines for weeks just because someone decided he should make the move to Real Madrid. Whether the entire thing was initiated by Ronaldo himself, Real Madrid, an outspoken fan or someone else, it is turning into a joke. Manchester United thought they had turned the tables on Real Madrid, but from the looks of current events, the joke is on United.

On Monday, an official complaint was logged by Manchester United with FIFA, claiming that Real Madrid is publicly courting the winger without the consent of the club that currently owns his contract. Real Madrid is countering that United doesn’t have a case against them. The fact of the matter is that FIFA does have a rule about negotiating with a player who is under contract, and if Real Madrid has done that, then they are indeed in violation of the rules. However, there seems to be no evidence of that. True, Real Madrid has said they want Ronaldo. But, in reality, have they done anything beyond that? Ramon Calderon of Real Madrid says they haven’t, and it is rather questionable if Manchester United will be able to prove otherwise.

To add to the frustration at Old Trafford, Karim Benzema has decided to stay in France rather than make the move to Manchester United. Beyond that, the twenty-year-old Ligue 1 Player of the Year has said when he has learned all he can in France, he’d like to make the move to Real Madrid. The desired move of the young striker has to be making the head honchos at Manchester United see red. But to add insult to injury, while Benzema had been considering a move to United, he doesn’t feel he is ready to play for a team of Real Madrid’s calibre.

Then there is seventeen-year-old sensation Aaron Ramsey. Everyone was certain Ramsey was going to Old Trafford when they entered into talks with Cardiff’s young star. But though they courted him fervently, even offering to loan him back to Cardiff for a year, it appears they have somehow drawn the short straw yet again. Rather than leaving behind the Cardiff Bluebirds to become a Manchester United Red Devil, Ramsey has chosen to head to Arsenal instead. People are speculating that the ability of Arsenal’s manager to develop young talent was at the core of Ramsey’s decision, but what if there is more to it than that?

Looking at Manchester United’s recent actions from the perspective of a player shows another possibility. Basically, their response to the Ronaldo situation says that if you play for United, especially if you play well, they own you. Who in their right mind would want to join a club like that? Perhaps it has nothing to do with the decisions of Benzema and Ramsey, but the thought may very well have crossed their minds before deciding against moves to Manchester United. So while Old Trafford may manage to keep Cristiano Ronaldo, one has to wonder what it will cost them in terms of their reputation and future.

Echa un vistazo a nuestra variedad de Camisetas de fútbol. Camisetas de entreno y partido de clubes nacionales y selecciones internacionales. by James Griffiths

On Being a Fan – Why I Love West Bromwich Albion

I don’t really remember when I first became aware of football as a kid. It was just always there. Every scrap of wasteland was a pitch, every battered can a ball. WBA, Wolves and Villa graffiti was daubed on every pub car park wall and slashed into most of the red leather bus seats of the Midland Red fleet. In the Black Country, the heavily industrialised core of the West Midlands, football is totally tribal.

West Bromwich Albion were formed in 1880, one of the founder clubs of the first ever Football League, starting as the West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 formed by a dedicated group of manufacturing workers at the Salter Spring Works in West Bromwich. The club roots are therefore firmly knotted into the industrial heritage of the area and in its early years, workers from nearby heavy industry would flood through the turnstiles of the Hawthorns, their heavy industrial protective clothing giving rise to «the Baggies» tag which has been long used to refer to the club as well as the fans.

For me, football dominated childhood Saturdays during the season and talk was always of Albion. Legendary names like Jeff Astle and Ronnie Allen were as familiar as any other in the streets where I grew up. Our road was an ‘Albion road’ and all the scarves were navy and white. On home game Saturdays, garage doors would rise in unison and Ford Cortinas and Escorts would be reversed in formation before the mass driving over to West Bromwich to the ground we Albion fans now call «The Shrine.» Even to this day, 30 odd years later, the sight of those Hawthorns’ floodlights still send a shiver down my spine, sending me hurtling back to the days when the team ran out to the old reggae tune ‘The Liquidator’ by the Harry J Allstars and Bryan Robson wore the Captain’s no 7 shirt.

West Brom in the veins. That’s how it always been. The emotional attachment you feel to your local football club especially when its been handed down the family line is hard to explain to non-fans, but you can never walk away and my God at times you want to run. Supporting «The Baggies» is not for the lily-livered. You have to be stoical, very stoical.

Albion are as big a part of my family as any of us. Dad and Grandad were big Albion fans and this was passed to me and my brother like the family name via striped DNA. At games today, I often think about Dad, back in the 50s, sat on the railway sleepers that were wedged into the bank that is now the Birmingham «Brummie» Road End watching his beloved Throstles after leaving his bike down «someone’s entry» close to the ground. And then there’s my much beloved Grandad, Daniel Nock, long gone, who stood opposite where I sit now, in flat cap and rainmac, cigar in hand at the Hawthorns of the 60s when Albion flew high, winning the League Cup in ’66 and the FA Cup in ’68. The ground gives me the strangest feeling of being ‘at home’ it sounds corny but its true. For me, there is something very special about that place and I know that essential feeling won’t fade.

When I was growing up, football was everything and everywhere. Saturday afternoons were spent at my Nan and Grandad’s in Blackheath. Nan and I would listen to the match on the radio, waiting for Dad, Grandad, my brother and champion onion growing twin neighbours Ernie and Ivan, to return from the match. If we won, and in the late 70s this was more often than not, Grandad would come charging through the back door armed with chips and tales of my childhood hero Cyrille Regis and total Albion legend Tony ‘Bomber’ Brown. These were the days when I was told I was too young to go and Dad forbid it absolutely. I therefore had to rely on my brother’s tales of his experiences of the Smethwick End stand. Stories which I held in awe, tales of the crush of the terraces and the sporadic violence that by then was rising in the English game, of bricks and coins being thrown across thinly segregated fans.

In the late 1970s, West Brom were quite the golden team and this was a great time to be a fan, a welcome distraction for many from the pains of a severe economic depression that was hitting the Black Country hard, with the old steel and manufacturing industries that had propped up our communities for a century or more, beginning to falter and break down. Football took on an even stronger role for local people needing a focus and an escape.

In 1979, WBA finished third in the Old Division 1 and qualified for European football. This was the flair team still feted by fans today and only in the last two seasons have we seen (with some joy) an Albion side rise to anywhere near their level. Albion then fielded three black players in the same team, something that was then totally unknown in English football – Cyrille Regis, Brendon Batson and the wonderfully gifted, sadly late, Laurie Cunningham. These incredibly talented footballers became known to fans as ‘The Three Degrees’ and acted as pioneers of black players in football, inspiring a generation.

Cyrille was and still is a tower of a man and is still hugely loved and admired by Albion fans. A superbly strong, powerful player, he was to become for many the true benchmark of everything a centre forward should be. Brave, big, fast and the scorer of some absolute thumping belters from distance and beyond. He didn’t get knocked down very often. In late 2011, I was lucky enough to meet Cyrille while he was collecting for charity outside the Hawthorns before a home game. It was wonderful to tell him he was my Albion hero and I nervously but proudly showed him the back of my shirt as proof, emblazoned as it was with ‘Regis 9″. He seemed very surprised to see a fan with his name emblazoned on a recent home shirt and was as gracious as I’d always imagined him to be. It was a great moment for that WBA loving kid that’s still very much me.

Players like Regis, Batson and Cunningham had to face down hideous racism just to do what they did best, week in, week out. There is a much viewed video of West Brom’s famous 1978, 5-3 victory over Man Utd at Old Trafford on You Tube. In the footage, you can clearly hear Laurie Cunningham in particular, being booed repeatedly by the Man Utd fans. It is undoubtedly due to the colour of his skin and unusually for the times is even mentioned by commentator Gerald Sinstadt who makes reference to the «repeated booing of the black players’. The skill shown by Cunningham as he cuts through the United’s midfield is breathtaking. He simply carries on regardless and is described by Sinstadt as «booed but unperturbed», showing what a truly skilful and wonderful football player he was. All three of these players responded to racism in this way and let their football make their response to the ignorance and the mindless chants. To me and hordes of other fans, ‘the Three Degrees’ made our club that bit more special and we took them to our hearts.

In terms of the Albion story, the years that followed on from the success of the late 1970s were mixed and difficult for Baggies fans. My first ever league game was West Brom v Liverpool in February 1981. We won that game 2-0 against the then league champions with a Bryan Robson miraculous back heeled goal. I guess as a kid, I thought this was always how it was going to be. It didn’t work out quite like that. I had to wait thirty more years to sit and watch my club do something truly special, when I was lucky enough to watch Albion beat Arsenal at the Emirates in a Premier League game in September 2010. But it was worth the wait. It was a joy to hear Albion fans on the phone to their loved ones after the game shouting «I feel like we’ve won the Cup!»… other young fans in their 20s proudly proclaimed on Facebook «This is the best day of my life!» It seems ridiculous but I know what they mean. That day in 1981 in the old Rainbow Stand with my Dad with his packet soup packed tartan flask and mini pork pies was one of mine and I’ll never forget it.

In 1992, I persuaded my Dad to come with me to go and see the Albion together for the first time in years. By then they we were languishing in what was the old Division 3. The Hawthorns was tatty and attendance was poor. We were playing Leyton Orient and the performance was lack lustre to say the least. I remember feeling gutted to see the club on its knees after what we had been and I know it was even harder on my Dad who’d see the joyous days of Jeff Astle. But, I was still heartened by the singing of the Brummie Rd and Smethwick End stands and the fact that the hardcore of supporters had stuck with the club. At half time, I went and touched the grass of the Hawthorns pitch, no one seemed to care that I jumped the barrier. It wasn’t the wonderful flair football I’d watched Albion play as a kid but at least we’d scraped a draw. There were many ups and downs to follow – too many to catalogue here – as Albion were to be crowned the classic ‘yo yo’ club – with successive promotions and relegations stressing the hell out of Albion fans for season upon season.

I met one of Albion’s promotion winning bosses, Roberto di Matteo, at Wembley in August 2010. Albion had seen promotion back to the Premier League under Di Matteo during the 2009-2010 Championship season. My friend approached Di Matteo and brought him over to have a photograph with me ‘for my Dad’ as she told him. I remember greeting him mumbling something about being a West Brom fan, probably with the kind of face a Chilean miner might look at his rescuer. God knows what he thought but he obliged with good humoured grace, guess I was remembering that cold, dark day in November 1992 and being ever so grateful for what he and others like Ardilles and Megson and Roy Hodgson after him had brought back to our club.

In 2010, my annual WBA membership renewal came through with a promo leaflet from the club emblazoned with a picture of the Hawthorns and Jeff Astle and had the words, «You were born a Baggie and you’ve been part of the team ever since» written across it. At first I thought it was a bit cheesy then I was surprised that it brought half a tear to the eye, because it’s true enough. It is about belonging and this is what the local football clubs we love do for us.

The club I was ‘born’ into has sometimes been the bain of my life but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Blue and white striped veins, or «Albion ‘til I die», that’s just the way it is.

I hope to God the days of 1992 are banished for ever, but if they came back I know I’ll still love the club and always will. But I’d moan and we do like a good moan when we get going. That’s why we’ll keep singing Psalm 23 whatever the score – you never know when you are going to need some help to get to those green pastures and quiet waters. To this day, I’ll never tire of hearing thousands sing ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’ in Black Country accents. It can be no coincidence that this is Albion’s football ‘hymn’ and you’ll hear it sung by fans at every match. If ever there was a hymn for the need for faith when you are facing the dark nights of the soul then this is it and my God there’s been a lot of those for us Albion fans. 3-0 up at half time, think you’re safe? Think again. Its what we call «typical bloody Albion» but try and make us stay away – we can’t. We are Albion.

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An Overview Of Serie A Teams

Serie A, also called as Serie A TIM, refers to the top level professional league in the Italian football league system. Founded during 1929-30 season, Serie A is now on its way to complete 87 seasons. Lega Calcio was the organizer of the Serie A competitions until 2010 but Lega Serie A was introduced during the 2010/11 season. It is widely regarded as one of the most competitive football leagues in the world. In accordance with a report by IFFHS, Serie A is the strongest national league all over the globe. Serie A teams have been the highest number of European Cup finalists till date.

The Italian outfits have reached the Europa competition final 26 times, which is a record in the continent. They have wrapped up the title in 12 seasons. As per UEFA’s league coefficient, Serie A ranks fourth among the European leagues and come only next to La Liga, Bundesliga and English Premier League. The ranking is based on the Italian clubs’ performance in the Europa League as well as the Champions League over the last five years. The league was the topper on the UEFA ranking between 1986 and 1988 and also from 1990 to 1339. Let us now take a closer look at the best Serie A clubs.

Serie A Competition

Before 1929, many Italian clubs participated in the top-most level. Till 1922, the earlier rounds were played on a regional basis. Inter is the only club that has played in every Serie A season since its inception.

Best Teams in Serie A

The top-tier Italian league hosts Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan which are considered three of the most popular clubs in the world. All of them are the founding members of G-14 which hosted the most famous and largest football clubs of Europe. It was the only league which had three representatives in the G-14 group. More players have been awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or during their Serie A spell than any other country league. However, 18 players each from both Serie A and La Liga have received the award FIFA Ballon d’Or so far.

Juventus is considered the most successful Serie A club. The club, nicknamed as the Bianconeri, the Old Lady etc, is the only entity in the world football to have won every continental competition in Europe as well as the world title. Inter Milan became the first Serie A team to have won a treble following their 2009/10 achievement. Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan along with Roma, Lazio, Napoli and Fiorentina form famous Seven Sisters of Italian Football. Juventus is the current defending champions of Serie A title. However, Inter Milan are, at present, the topper on the league table.

Serie A Footballers

Serie A have produced some of the best names in the world football. Diego Maradona, the prince of football, also played in Serie A at Napoli. Paolo Maldini, Michel Platini are among other stalwarts who took retirement from international football. Serie A teams are also big spenders and don’t mind forking out a fortune to capture the star players.

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Using Zoning Laws to Protect Affordable Housing

After five years of negotiating with Mayor Mike Bloomberg's office, the New York City Council has approved extension of a zoning-law amendment aimed at protecting affordable housing units in several districts. Affected areas include the Garment District, West Chelsea and Hudson Yards – three areas that have seen a lot of new developments and increases in property prices.

The new zoning law prevents both landlords and developers from significantly changing more than twenty percent of existing units in multi-family buildings. Renovations and updates can be made, but can't significantly alter the unit's price.

Historically, when an apartment or townhome complex is renovated, the result is increased rental or purchase prices. The ability the charge higher prices is typically the motivating factor behind renovations and upgrades. While the city council doesn't want to interfere with a property owners right to make changes (or profits), it has also seen low-income people repeatedly forced to move out of renovated properties that they can no longer afford.

The Chelsea area, in particular, has become a popular place for new developments – both residential and commercial. City Council members were concerned that landlords – in an effort to capitalize on higher-end business – would renovate existing structures to the point that they would become unaffordable for current residents.

City Council members also hope the new zoning laws will preserve some of the older architecture in the affected districts. The new law extends an existing Special District amendment that was passed in 1974. It affects all multi-family buildings of three units or more that were built in 1974 or prior.

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FC Barcelona Player Profiles – Eric Abidal

Eric Abidal was signed in the summer of 2007 as a replacement for Gio. While he is a natural left back, Abidal can also play as a center back when necessary with his combination of footballing skill, positioning and tactical awareness as well as his semi-legendary runs up the wing in support of the forwards.

Futbol Club Barcelona is Abidal's first team outside France and he arrived at the club after strong interest from Arsenal. Despite being pursued by Italian clubs also, he refused to move there because he feels the game in Italy is still too racist. His move to Barcelona is under a four year deal and on arrival in his new team was unable to assume is usual number 20 due to it already being worn by Deco and he wears 22 instead.

He moved from Olympique Lyon, who Barcelona have faced in the 2007-08 Champions League, with who he won the French league title on three occasions in a row (2004-5, 2005-6, 2006-7), as well as the French Cup of Champions twice (2004-5, 2005-6). As part of the deal to move to Barcelona, ​​Lyon will gain half a million Euros if the Catalan team win the Champions League in the next four years. Previous clubs also include Lyon-La-Duchere, Monaco and Lille.

The player, who is of Martinique decent, was considered one of the best fullbacks in the country and played for the French national squad on more than 20 occasions, including being part of the team that were runners up in the 2006 World Cup.

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The Oldest International Stadium in Football – The Racecourse Ground

The Racecourse Ground: Wrexham

The Racecourse ground situated in Wrexham, North East Wales is the oldest International Football Stadium in the World and has been the venue for some of British Football’s most historic memories. The following article details the fascinating history of the stadium.

The Racecourse Ground («Y Cae Ras» in Welsh language) is the long term home of Wrexham Football Club who currently ply their trade in the Blue Square Premier league, the Racecourse is the largest stadium in this league with a capacity of 15,000, however this is currently reduced to 10,500 due to the kop stand being closed awaiting renovation to take the ground to being an all seater venue. In early 2010 Super League (Rugby League) side The Crusaders relocated to Wrexham and now use The Racecourse Ground as their home base.

In the 1800’s the Ground was owned by Wrexham Cricket Club and was a venue for Cricket and Horse Racing (hence the grounds name). In 1872 Wrexham Football Club was born and thus the ground became a football stadium. In those days however it was less of a «stadium» due to the lack of facilities. The first stand to be built was the kop terracing in the 1950’s whch is the oldest remaining part of the gound. The current away supporters stand (Eric Roberts Builders Stand) was built in 1978 following Wrexham’s most successful period on the pitch. By this time floodlights had already long been installed. In 1999 the ground was brought to it’s current standards with the completion of a 3500 capacity, modern designed stand including restaurant and bar facilities. The current capacity of 15000 is dwarfed by the record recorded attendance of amlost 35,000 people to witness an FA Cup tie against Manchester United in the 1950’s

The Racecourse Ground’s most distinguishing fact is that it is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest International Football Stadium in current use. Over the years it has hosted many Wales International matches meaning the roll call of world greats to have graced the Racecourse changing rooms is long and distinguished. The Raceourse ground was the venue when Wales beat England 4-1 in the then Home Nations Tournament, a game still oft referred to and featured on television programmes. Similarly the Racecourse ground is featured annually on the weekend of the FA Cup third round having been the venue for the greatest FA Cup giant killing of all time when Wrexham beat current league champions Arsenal 2-1 in 1990.

The ground is no stranger to club level European football either, Wrexham enjoyed many ventures in the European Cup Winners cup and in recent years Welsh sides Bangor City and Total Network Solutions have used the venue for their European ties.

The Racecourse ground is also a favourite rugby venture. Currently the home of Rugby league team «The Crusaders» it has also been used by Rugby Union region «The Scarlets» as well as playing host to World Cup Rugby League and International Rugby Union matches.

The future of the Racecourse ground is that Wrexham Football Clubs owners plan to redevelop land behind the top end of the ground into student accommodation whilst rebuilding the kop stand into a multi purpose stand. The future may be different from the past but it is certain that the history and memories of the ground will live forever.

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