How to take Great Photos


We’ve seen them all before; beautiful Tumblr photography, sunsets, focused pictures, quality pictures. You name it, the photos will have it. And although these pictures seem very hard to make, it’s actually very easy. All you have to do is put a mind set on something that interests you and bravo! You’ve got a whole theme of pictures that look super professional!

So how does one do it? I got you on this one. I’m not an awesome photographer, but I’ve got a professional Nikon camera that helps me with taking great pictures. But you don’t have to have a great camera to take good pictures. A normal camera is fine for anything and everything. A camera tip is to press halfway on the snapshot button before taking the picture; it’ll help a lot with focus. If your thinking of taking a blurry pic, just slightly move the camera at the halfway point before pressing down completely. It’ll give you a great effect.

You can take pictures of anything, but here’s a few tips to get you started.

  • Go to a local park. Take pictures of flowers close-up, tree branches, pine tree leaves, sand grains, rocky paths, benches… anything that is focused and close-up looks great. If you want to take shoe pictures, the park is a great place to have a great background.
  • In your house. Decorations are everywhere in your house. Got a couple cute pillows? Grab a gold necklace and drape it around, then snap a pic. The possibilities are endless. Blurry pictures are great in a homely environment.
  • Restaurant. Not just the food, but the décor and bathroom lighting is amazing. Get your camera and head around, you’ll find some great stuff.
  • Polaroid. Using a couple of these super cute pics, snap a picture of them in your hands like a deck of cards or scattered around a table. It helps if these polaroids are themed.

Remember, lighting is a big part of taking good pictures. Filters might ruin the quality of a picture if the themes don’t match. A grey sky doesn’t ruin photos, but a dark room does. Sky and cloud pictures are only cute when they look pretty; pink and purple, bright blue and white and dark blue with yellow skies are the best.

Like I said before, I’m not the best photographer. I can only tell you so much before you set on your way to the world of photos. Here’s a couple pics I took in a park. Including the one at the top of the post, I can only say one thing; sunshine is my favourite filter.




Wiped off the Face of the Earth

Dear Humanity,

I find that death is a very unfortunate thing, sometimes. In some cases, when you die, you are plain gone. Your face has been wiped off of Earth’s. The world’s population drops by one and then that’s that. Your memory will stay in some of your close ones hearts, but for other people, it’s just “another one gone.” You can see this clearly displayed in the movie “Turbo”. Whenever a snail was plucked away, the sorrow was in their hearts for a while, but then they moved on.

But I don’t blame them. Everyday, people have to keep on moving. If they stop, they suffer the consequences. For the snails, if they stopped, they would be eaten as well. So, as someone dies, the other people need to move on. They cannot sit at the grave 24/7 mourning over the loss. So they move on. Maybe they will visit once a week, but no more. Moving on brings get sorrow, but we learn to live with it. I have to learn to live with it as well.

I also find death- or should I say, myself – very unfortunate because of the people that talk behind your back. Even though your backbones have been safely buried, they still talk behind it. Some grumpy, cruel and wicked people will say, “Thank goodness he’s dead, he was such a burden.” or perhaps “Did you hear, he cheated on so and so”. I wish for once that I could communicate with humans, directly, to the face. The thing about dying is, you never know when I will come. You never have the chance to go back and fix your mistakes and leave a happy impact on every person in the world. So when you die, they will continue to talk and talk and talk, but eventually it will not be of you. The gossipers, they love to move on. After an hour or two of great gossip, they move on to the next person. Once again, you are forgotten.

I feel for you, when you do die. It’s a great loss to be forgotten. I am often forgotten. People with such airs, people who are too rich to worry; and I always have to come for them first. They are so caught up in their dollar bills, some forget to write wills. That leads to riots which leads to brutal fights and jails, and I always have the most work in fights and jails. I am so forgotten that I come in a stampede but they don’t notice. It’s hard to imagine anyone like them to be light sleepers.

I also find myself unfortunate, but not because of you. Because of me and what I have to do. You see, I don’t really have a choice. The end of your life will come when it wants. But sometimes, it really, truly sucks to be me.

I don’t have much time. But I’m asking one thing: don’t forget me. Go make lasting change, and don’t forget to leave your name behind.

But even that won’t stop you from being wiped off the face of the Earth.


Your Dearest Death

The New Tech Generation

There is no use in pondering over whether or not this generation is a tech generation. The answer is quite simply, yes. We have become the people that rely on technology to navigate through countries, stay in contact with people from all around the world, and work on. The question is that will being the “tech generation” affect our future?

Look at us right now. Almost always on our phones, computers, tablets, and devices. Is that what will continue happening? Just imagine sitting with your family with a three year old watching cartoons on his new IPad that he got for his birthday, while you are on your own phone chatting away. That’s definitely not your classical picture, like the mother in the kitchen baking bread while the kids learn their ABC’s with learning blocks.

Even learning has been transferred to technology. The App store allows you to roam thousands of apps that will teach you counting, reading, and writing. That’s all great, right? But imagine two year olds gluing their eyes to a tablet, to apparently “learn”. The children being born right now are called “tech natives” while the people who are elderly are called “tech immigrants”. Wait a second, since when were we natives and adults immigrants? Since when did we know everything and adults were still learning? It’s because the new generation is being born into technology. I’ve seen mothers give their child an IPad to calm them down.

I’ve also seen a tiny baby at the doctors, who would start crying if her mom moved the phone that she was watching cartoons on. We are officially experiencing “technology addiction” and there may not be enough time to stop it. Come on, a kid’s worst nightmare about getting grounded is having their devices taken away. Surely a decade ago such things did not exist. Kids would be afraid that their punishment would be “you can’t go outside to play with your friends”. I don’t think this happens anymore, since kids are normally inside on their devices rather than playing outside.

But there is more than just me complaining about our future. There are many disadvantages of staying glued to a screen. You’ve heard them all before: poor vision, wrist joint pain, back pain, the list goes on. Texting is said to be bad for your writing skills. “gtg, brb, lol” Don’t lie, you’ve seen and used them all before.

So what exactly does our future have in hold for us? Or will we be too busy holding our devices to truly care?


My Internal Thoughts

I sometimes can have the most challenging, bitter thoughts. Internal thoughts that surround me and I cannot wait to put in words, and share with the world. And so begins my segment of internal thoughts.

First of all, I’d love to ask every human being what empowers them today. What empowers the “freaky” people, our what empowers the “popular” people? What empowers the kids in the class who actually talk back to the teachers? What empowers me, today? What empowers you?

The least I can say about this is that I was born. And you were too. And that makes us the same and different in so many ways. And maybe we weren’t empowered by anything. Maybe we just chose to be. And I’m saying this because even though I was born, just like you, you will never be me and I will never be you. Sure they might laugh. Sure, they might turn you into the “freak” or the “popular” one. But always remember that you can choose to be. You can turn your world around and flip it over 10 times around, but you are always what you CHOSE to be. And if you aren’t, then maybe you need to let go of what you were just inspired by. Stop trying to be like that great guy. Be what you WANT to be because I’m telling you, you will regret everything when you fall down to the ground. Because you wont be able to get up, cause you’ll just be a carbon copy of your inspiration.

Don’t take me wrong, being inspired is a great thing. But if you just do what your “role model” does then what’s going to be left of YOU.

Secondly, who’s your judge? Are you judged? Do you like your judge? Do you feel judged?

We are all here and we are standing, or sitting for whatever matter. We are either surrounded by people or we are alone. We are either hidden or we are shown. It’s suddenly not about me it’s about what THEY will think. I’m fine but what will they say. We worry that our fears will be shown. We worry who’s watching us. Whether it be the most hated person in your life or just someone you want to impress, we have always been judged. Sometimes misjudged. It’s like those serpent eyes watching your every move, and it might seem okay. It might seem like things are going fine but then we remember our judge. We remember the feeling of being judged and then it’s all about not so fine. They call it “peer pressure” but for me it’s the single act of being judged. Pressure, right? No, it’s more than that when it comes to judging. When it comes to judging, suddenly it’s like we are holding the weight of the sky. The least one can do is stop judging, because not all of us are meant to be lawyers. We all don’t have the studies to make decisions. And as soon a those serpent eyes look down, we’ll be fine.

That’s all for today, my readers. I want you to think about this because we have all had these gut feelings once in a while. It takes courage to take a stand against them. And I know that everyone of us is a lion at heart.

~Yusra I.

The House on the Block

I’ve always wanted to see more than my everyday life, and today I just realized that I’ve been looking at it all along. The Gourley medical home. Everyday, to and from my school, we stop at the street lights in front of the community home. I’ve been told by my friends to not look through the big window out at the front when there is someone there because they will come out. I’ve been scared of those people.

Sometimes, there is a man who is moving from foot to foot. Non-stop. Sometimes that man will be talking to the crossing guard. When I first saw him there, I nearly freaked out. Me and my friends whispered to keep our heads low. The way we acted, you could have believed that the president was there. But when we got closer, the man independently walked away for awhile. It was surprising to me, and this continued to happen all the time.

Until today, I haven’t looked through that window unless its a side glance. Until today, I was scared. Tomorrow, I might not be. I feel as though I can now understand that they are humans too.They probably won’t hurt me. And being afraid of them won’t do anything, because each one of us is unique.

That is what I learnt from the house on the block.

~Yusra I

Economic Injustice and Equality: An Overview

Economic injustice. Sound like a word used in politics, right? Today I am writing to inform you about the impacts of economic injustice, the gaps between the rich and the poor, and equality from the Millennium Goals.

What is injustice? What is economy?          Injustice is when some people are not given the privileges or fair rights that you and I might enjoy. For example, you might be laughing at a time when someone who lives in injustice cries in hunger, thirst, or due to the cold harsh winters. The economy has to do with the money the government gives and also has to do with the money a country has.

The Gap Between the Rich and the Poor       The rich and the poor- a common opposite. The rich throw away their food and the poor scavenge garbage cans. It’s the “way of life”. I don’t agree. Scavenging is for animals. And you might say as a petty comeback “Humans are animals”. But what I mean is human beings themselves shouldn’t have to watch the rich eat luxurious foods.

If you ask a rich teen girl what her struggles are, she’ll say “I need a new lipstick.” But then try asking a poor teen girl. “All I want is a meal”.Sometimes, the rich are selfish. They keep the gap very wide between them and the poor. Sure, you don’t want always want a dirty man from the streets on your polished marble floors. But can you maybe take your time to eat your food?

The gap between the rich and the poor also can cause crimes, which affects even the rich.

Equality in the Millennium Goals     The Millenniums Goals were made in 2000 by the United Nations, which were some vows they made for the world that they wanted to complete in 2015. Some of these promises were based on injustice, discrimination and differences.There was the goal to eliminate poverty but the world is still living in poverty.  In fact the poverty rate increases everyday.

Another goal was to promote gender equality and empower women. Gender equality basically means that I as a girl can do whatever a boy can do and vice versa. When we look at the case of Malala we can see that this goal has not been achieved.

What We Can Do to Help       Another goal was to have partnership in development. And that’s exactly what we need- to work together. Here, let’s look at it like this: I’m here. I’m going to donate a sweater. Who is that going to help? One person. What if we all donated a sweater? That would help much more people. Another thing that is very important is to give. Their are many donation worldwide that need help to fund for the needy. Here’s a story I would like to share with you.

Me and my 4 year old brother were sitting, watching TV. An advertisement came up, asking for donations to people in Syria. My brother asked “Do they have water?” I answered no. He asked “Why do we have water and they don’t?” And I didn’t know what to say.

How do you explain to a little kid that because they live in a different part of the world, they don’t have water? Because that isn’t true. Syria has enough water to feed those mouths. Why do I shower every second day with warm water, go swimming every week, and they don’t? We need to help those who are in need!

It’s not just the government that needs to have partnership in development, it’s us too.

Conclusion    I know it’s hard to be thankful for everything you have, but today I want you to look at everything you have with appreciation. Don’t stare at the gap between the rich and the poor. Promote equality! Be thankful for what you have, because some people do not even have that.


~Yusra I.



My One Word for 2015

I know I’m a little late to be thinking of a word for 2015. But I’m a surfer, and I’ve seen numerous blogs doing the #oneword2015 challenge. I think I finally have my word, though, and I wanted to share it.

My word is pretty simple. It’s possibilities. But its more than that, because anything is possible with this word.

I think that it’s not about the fact, it’s about the thoughts. I feel as though I need to walk of the road now, and go to the true possibilities. I’ve learnt that I regret not doing some things, and I’m trying to get rid of this feeling, so here you have it. I want to accept possibilities and challenges. I tried to put my word to use today, but I only did one thing.

Today is a very snowy day. It’s cold. And it’s dinnertime. I get asked to get Sprite from the garage, so I put on my shoes and go to the garage. It’s freezing, but not too much. Then I notice that the Sprite plastic is not opened, and I’m talking about HARD plastic. I’m standing about 3 meters from the door, and of course, I can go and get the scissors. But, I don’t. I pick up a gardening shovel and start stabbing at the plastic. Eventually, the plastic rips and I take the Sprite back inside.

This makes me happy! I fulfilled my goal of the day, accept possibilities. I could have used scissors, but I didn’t. It’s weak and silly, but its a start!

What’s your one word for 2015?


Subway Cars into Coral Reefs?

For more than a decade, decommissioned New York City subway cars have quietly been shipped out the Atlantic, where they’re dumped into the ocean. It’s part of an environmental effort to build an artificial habitat for coral reefs.

Should this be happening? I do not agree. The weight of the subway car going down into the ocean could kill fish and other plants. And how are these dumpers so sure that coral reefs will grow here? The subway car might pollute the entire ocean. Also, there has to be another way to protect coral reefs than to dump our junk into the ocean. I just think that the dumpers need a good excuse to throw out their junk into a natural habitat, because they don’t want junkyards.

But some people…do not agree with my point of view. “Corals provide habitat to support fisheries that feed millions of people; generate jobs and income to local economies through recreation, tourism, and fisheries; and protect coastlines from storms and erosion … this is an important, sensible next step toward preserving the benefits provided by these species, both now and into the future.” says Jane Lubcheno.

If you take a little look, most of these things are only for people, jobs and tourism. I don’t much about the environment.

What do you think? Should New York subway cars get dumped into the ocean, in “hopes of creating homes for coral reefs”?


Journalism at a Glance: The Charlie Hebdo Attack.

Citizens play a big role in journalism because there are many different views and perspectives of a story. One story might not be true and citizens play a big role in determining what is right and what is wrong.

There is always a cause and an effect to something. The Paris attack was due to extreme satire pictures of an important figure in the Muslim religion. If this had not happened than maybe the attack would not have happened.

Those terrorist figures should not promote Islam, because Islam is against terrorist. The Quran says that a terrorist is not a Muslim. In fact, it says that “If a person kills one man, it is as if he killed all humankind”. Freedom of speech should not be prevented because freedom of speech is important unless it goes too far.

As a journalist I believe that journalism is the freedom of speech: we all are in a fight for peace. 


Changing Your Character Independently

We revolve around change and we are always trying to change everything. From buildings to food and even other people. But one thing that has become a challenge for even the world’s best builders, is changing yourself. Without help. Changing old habits, changing your actions, changing the way you treat things. All by yourself. Sounds hard, doesn’t it?

Well there are quite a few ways you can change yourself independently. As a student, you might struggle working with some people and you want to change the way you act. Or maybe you are concerned about your attitude.

Changing Your Character: Solution #1

The first strategy to use is the mirror talk. The mirror talk is basically a little time you take out of your day to look at yourself in the mirror and talk. Talk like you would normally talk at school. Do you feel good talking like that? What do you look like talking like that?

Specialists say that this strategy helps you reflect on yourself and your actions. Are you the person you want to be? If you are a quiet person, maybe you are not really shy, but your outside character shows what your inside character is not.

Changing Your Character: Solution #2

Prioritize. Do the things that matter to you the most, not what others tell you to do. It is your character, not theirs. And you have the right to maintain a healthy schedule. Sometimes changing our character can mean getting better grades and getting your homework in on time.

It’s all part of being independent when you are trying to change yourself, because in order to change your character you need to change at home and at school. You have to stick to it, and prioritizing is a good way to practice your character.

Changing Your Character: Solution #3

Talk to people you are having issues with. It might seem hard, because  maybe they are having issues with you, but remember that in order to have a good character people should not have bad thoughts about you. You might be surrounded by friends but there will always be someone who is angry with you because you are not their friend, or maybe there is a problem that you have yet to apologize for.

Your character is your character, but it affects people around you. When thinking about changing yourself, think of yourself in other people’s shoes. How would you feel? Are you the person you want to be in everyone’s eyes?


The main reason why I added ‘independent’ to changing your character is because sometimes other people shape our character more than we realize. Sometimes in negative ways. Sometimes we want to change ourselves but ask for support too much. In order to change your character, follow the steps I have listed, and also, remember to think for yourself.

I wish you luck on your journey.

~Yusra I.