Friday, August 4, 2017

Lesser-Known Attractions in Paris

Benjamin Perlin is a Nashville-based photographer who enjoys exploring darkroom techniques and using traditional film cameras. Outside of his work as a photographer, Benjamin (Ben) Perlin enjoys travel and has visited a number of major cities around the world, including Paris.

While many people associate Paris with the Eiffel Tower and the Moulin Rouge, Paris has many attractions that are off the beaten path. Le Marché de Belleville is a market that few tourists explore. Visitors are greeted by the smells of spices, vegetables, and roasting meat. The market remains one of the most ethnically diverse in Paris, so tourists can find truly unique items. 

Paris is also known for its museums. One of the best that often gets overlooked is the Musée Rodin, which is dedicated to the famous sculptor. There, visitors can see The Thinker, The Gates of Hell, The Burghers of Calais, and other masterpieces.

Out of the city, tourists can explore La Petite Ceinture, a 19-mile ring of abandoned railway that circles Paris. The railway was the target of a massive restoration project that converted it into a haven for plants and animals. The area remains one of the best spots in Paris for hiking.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When to Visit Tokyo

Tennessee resident Benjamin Perlin divides his time between photography and philanthropy. For more than a year, Ben Perlin has volunteered at the Tennessee State Veterans Home. In his free time, Benjamin Perlin enjoys travel and recently visited Tokyo, Japan.

Although Tokyo serves as a great year-round destination, its peak tourist season is in summer. From June through August, the city is crowded and hot. While average temperatures range from 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity makes for a sticky vacation. The increase in crowd size means long lines at attractions and high hotel prices.

Tokyo experiences autumn from September through November. Autumn is regarded as one of the best times to visit Tokyo because crowds, heat, and humidity die down. Most daytime temperatures range from the low 60s to upper 70s, and many of Tokyo’s trees come alive with autumn colors.

Winter in Tokyo lasts from December through February and serves as the low tourist season. On average, temperatures range in the 40s and 50s, but nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. Humidity is typically low during this season, as are rainfall and crowd numbers. Despite being the low season, accommodation prices often remain high.

In March through May, Tokyo experiences springtime. Visiting in the spring grants tourists the opportunity to see the city’s cherry and plum blossoms, which draw crowds. The weather is generally comfortable, with averages between 50 and 70 degrees. Golden Week, a national holiday, can bring quiet days in Tokyo.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

What Are the Different Strategies for Non-Digital Photo Manipulation?

A volunteer with the Tennessee State Veterans Home, Benjamin Perlin has donated his time to a number of local charities. Benjamin Perlin also works at his local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and is a talented photographer. A fan of film over digital images, Ben Perlin enjoys using science to create the exact images that he wants. Since the creation of photography, a number of different manual photo-manipulation strategies have emerged.

One of the most time-tested strategies involves manipulation in the darkroom. Dodging, masking, and burning are all techniques that create effects similar to digital manipulations except that they are done by hand during the printing process. American photographer Jerry N. Uelsmann has been one of the major pioneers of darkroom manipulation. 

An old-school technique is negative scratching, which came into fashion in the 19th century. The so-called pictorialists used negative scratching to personalize their photos. This strategy uses a small tool to make marks in the negatives. Individuals can also write words on the top of the negative with the scratching tool or even a pencil.

Some photographers use double exposures as an artistic technique. While some film cameras have the ability to take a double exposure, individuals often have to use filters to achieve the effect. The filter covers part of the lens for the first shot and a different part for the second shot.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Improving Piano Skills

A creative individual, Benjamin Perlin enjoys photography. The owner of numerous film and digital cameras, he often favors the results of film and enjoys darkroom development. Benjamin “Ben” Perlin’s creativity also extends to the realm of music. He enjoys playing the bass guitar and is fond of the piano.

Practice is the key to improving overall piano skill, but it can only work if players practice the right things. Ideally, pianists should start their lessons with learning the basic techniques. These techniques help pianists play chords properly and serve as a foundation to build on as they progress. Unfortunately, some beginners learn incorrect techniques during their beginning years. If this is the case, pianists must first learn the correct techniques if they want to improve. Beyond these basics, pianists benefit greatly from learning about music theory. Music theory makes it easier for pianists to connect different chords and weave together varying sounds.

Once a pianist has mastered basic techniques and music theory, they can focus on improving other aspects of their playing skills. During this time, it is best for pianists to become their own worst critics. In doing so, they learn to assess sounds, rhythms, and tempo and can easily figure out where a problem may be hiding. Further, pianists need to challenge themselves as they progress. Although playing the same songs repeatedly can improve playing, it ends up limiting a pianist’s musical range. Instead, pianists should challenge themselves with new songs that test their skills. However, they must remain realistic about what pieces they can play and avoid songs that are far above their current skill level.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SAE International Offers STEM Education Programs and Scholarships

Dedicated to charity work and volunteerism, Benjamin (“Ben”) Perlin serves as a volunteer for various nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes. Benjamin Perlin also helped configure the electronics of a race car built by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International.

SAE International provides learning opportunities for engineers in the aerospace and automotive industries. Established in the early 1900s, it aimed to address technical questions in the growing automotive industry. Today, SAE International disseminates industry news and updates through its publications and offers training and professional development programs.

SAE International recognizes that there are fewer students attending science and technology programs, which is likely to affect workforce demands. To address this concern, SAE International created the SAE Foundation, which offers Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education solutions. The SAE Foundation also funds undergraduate and graduate scholarship programs to help students pursue careers in engineering.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Three Organizations That Offer Travel Opportunities to Volunteers


Benjamin Perlin contributes to the community by actively participating in volunteer work. Dedicated to a life of service, Ben Perlin works toward the vision of charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Tennessee State Veterans' Homes, and Second Harvest Food Bank. Benjamin Perlin also finds a sense of fulfillment when traveling.

While others travel for leisure, some travel in order to do volunteer work. Here are three organizations that provide opportunities for traveling volunteers:

World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) - Volunteers are deployed to any of its 53 host countries, to fulfill farming duties for a period of time. WWOOF provides volunteers with board and lodging throughout their stay.

Conservation Volunteers - Based in Australia and New Zealand, this organization seeks the help of volunteers in protecting habitats in local and international locations. Volunteers are required to contribute a small participation fee in exchange for food and lodging.

Peace Corps - This organization relies on volunteers to implement its projects in different countries. To become a Peace Corps volunteer, individuals should be residents of the United States and willing to commit to a 27-month long placement program.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore Home Improvement Centers

A resident of Nashville, photographer Benjamin Perlin maintains an active community focus and contributes time and effort to Second Harvest Food Bank. Benjamin Perlin also regularly volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville’s ReStore donation and home improvement retail center. 

Spanning the United States, nonprofit ReStores sell new and used appliances and furniture, as well as housewares and building materials. All items are offered at a significant discount from what they would cost if purchased new through conventional retailers. The money raised goes toward Habitat’s efforts to provide local families with homes that are decent and affordable. This is accomplished through funding mortgages that allow the purchase of land and building materials. 

ReStore donations are encouraged, as a way of both assisting local Habitat fundraising efforts and diverting perfectly good items from landfills, where they create more waste. Volunteers are available to provide pick-up services for larger-sized items, and “deconstruction” teams go in and provide removal services that would otherwise add to the cost of remodeling homes. 

In his activities with the ReStore charity shop in Nashville, Ben Perlin is involved in unloading donations and sorting them for placement in the store. He also stocks items and provides customers with assistance in loading heavy items into vehicles.