No TV Day: how to make the most of mornings without TV

  • Team Brunch, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 31, 2014 10:38 IST

Nothing's good on TV at this hour, anyway. Make the most of the sunshine by loosening up with family and friends and capturing a cherished moment.

Idea #1
Shoot an old-school family portrait
Forget selfies. A great family photo makes for a more memorable and treasured shot.

Photos courtesy: Imagesbazaar (left); Natasha Hemrajani (right)

Mornings are a good time for a family photo. The light's right and everyone's looking fresh. "Play with poses," advises Natasha Hemrajani, who photographs regularly for magazines, including Brunch. "Sitting in a straight line makes for a dull picture." Get one member to hop on the couch's armrest, ask your dad to hold the family in a giant hug, get the kids to leap into the air, or capture your family looking fondly at each other.'t fake the smiles. Before you hit click, crack a joke, recall a happy memory, or the way your pot-bellied uncle dances at weddings. "Expressions say it all," says Monisha Ajgaonkar, a wedding and celebrity photographer. Wink, grin, pout and laugh away.

"Get your family to sit in a non-cluttered background," says Hemrajani. You do not want a switchboard in the family portrait. "A colourful wall or corner makes a great background," says Ajgaonkar. Or just wear all white or funky colours.

Shoot when natural light is pouring in through the window.
"Don't stand with your back to the window, and avoid flash,"
Hemrajani says. If you're shooting with a cellphone, avoid using the digital zoom. "It only crops your picture," says Hemrajani. Instead, move forward so you're closer to your subjects. "And hold your breath before you click for clear stills."

If you are not happy with what you've shot, there are apps that can come to your rescue. Hemrajani recommends Snapseed and Vignette for quick photo-editing and cool effects.

Idea #2
Organise a friendly football match with your neighbours
Want to break the ice with the ones next door? Siddharth Pandey of LEH LEH Sports suggests a kick or two.

This No TV Day, we also tell you:

How to make afternoons worthwhile without TV

How to make evenings hot and happening sans television

* Organise a non-competitive game, with five to six members on each team. Involve everyone from your society, including the kids, and make sure there's at least one girl on each team. The game should last 30 minutes with one break after 15 minutes. Make sure that after the game, every player gets a small prize. "This motivates kids to ditch their Xboxes and PS3s and play a real sport," says Pandey.

*You can also organise a separate game for the adults. Set an age limit for the game, preferably between 18 and 30. You will need referees, line markings, score sheets, a scoreboard and rules. "Maybe older members can keep score. They will gladly be a part of a community activity."

* You will also need light refreshments (bananas, glucose biscuits and sandwiches). A first-aid kit is a must (painkillers, Band-Aids, Dettol, cotton and antiseptic spray). "Know where the nearest medical centre is in the unlikely event of any serious injuries," Pandey adds.

* Do this for a couple of weeks and before you know it, the guys next door will have turned into everybody's friends.

Idea #3

Play paint balloon darts with your pals

You will need: Water balloons, darts, an air pump, acrylic paints, canvas, push pins and string.

What to do: Spread newspaper to save your floor from paint drips. Get small and big balloons. Check balloon for tears and strength.

Next up: Dilute the paints by adding water and fill the balloons. Take care that it does not reach the rim. Blow them up, taking care that you don't suck in the paint. Once you have mastered the technique, fill balloons with more paint and less air. Secure the end with a string.

Finally: Pin the paint balloons on to a white canvas using push pins. Tie the canvas at a height.

You can now aim your darts and pop those balloons. If you hit bull's eye, the artistic paint splash on the canvas will be worthy of a spot on your living room wall.

From HT Brunch, May 31
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