Yosemite Signs

I have not forgotten you my friends!  So much to share with you so stay tuned!  In the meantime, here are some pictures for your eyes to eat…

Word Break (trail edition)

Photography 101 (lighting)

I love photography and the many ways you can create beautiful images and unique pictures.  But, alas, I am not knowledgeable in that area so I invited someone to come share with us photography tips.

Meet Carlie!  She takes lovely photographs and is going to share some tips and the importance of lighting when it comes to photography…

Oh!  Don’t forget to check out her lovely blog!  Welcome Carlie!


Photography has been a passion of mine since childhood, but I didn’t just pick up a camera and become a photographer.

It takes time, patience, and many mistakes.

When I took my first photography course in college we only shot with natural light.

Natural light is known as available light, most commonly, the sun. By not allowing us to use a flash, my professor taught us how to be prepared for any lighting situation. To this day I still do not use flash even when it’s pitch black out.

For any beginning photographers out there, my advice would be to experiment, experiment, experiment!

Once you have mastered shooting with natural light, the possibilities are endless. Lighting can be used to create intense and dramatic photo effects.

Here are a couple pointers, I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out.

  • The best time to shoot is known as the ‘golden’ hour, which is just before sunset or sunrise.
  • Pay close attention to which direction the light is coming from.
  • Let’s say you are shooting a woman in front of a tree. If the sun is shining upon her face (direct sunlight), you will get a warm, light, and detailed photo.
  • If the sun is coming from behind her, which is known as ‘backlighting’, it would create a hard, vivid and contrasted image.
  •  Both lighting situations can work to your advantage; I love to use direct sunlight for portraits to bring out the details in my subjects’ faces and to get a beautiful glow.

I like to use backlighting to create artsy and contrasted silhouettes. Shooting in shade also makes for a beautiful, softer image, but make sure there aren’t shadows being cast on your subjects.

I hope this article was helpful. Remember to experiment and learn from your mistakes : )

A backlit image. You will notice that the image is darker, contrasty, and you lose detail in the subject’s face.

Now I’ve turned him around and he has direct sunlight hitting his face. We can now see more and a beautiful glow upon his face.

In this image I used backlighting to create a contrasted and colorful silhouette of this little boy running along the beach.

There is no such thing as “world peace”

Image courtesy of John WP

We are always searching for peace in our lives.

It is when we sip chamomile tea before bedtime.  It is working in the garage to relieve some stress.  It is seeing the children asleep, happy and healthy.

But the peace that people advocate, “world peace,” is not attainable and unreachable in this dunya (life).  The reality is there is no such thing as peace when it comes to running and ruling the world.  The word that we are seeking for is justice.

Peace only exists in Jennah (heaven).  Truly.  Our Creator has created Earth where man must carry out justice and fair due.  Peace is a word that has a connotation that refers to perfection and Allah has reserved that “world” in Paradise.

There is no such thing as peace when there will always be violence and an unharmonious world.  There will be disagreements, different mentalities, and different ideologies as to how to run our little universe.  This is natural and that is the way life is but that is not to say we are all going to load our guns and shoot one another (even though that does happen unfortunately).

Our focus should not be “world peace” but rather creating “world justice” and dealing out reasonable and appropriate punishments to the crimes.

If horrible and wretched things and situations did not exist on earth or this life there would be peace.  It would be paradise.  But we are not in paradise but rather residing in a place where we are tested in our lives to see if we will make it to live in another life, a life where we do not search for peace but are living it.

What do you think-is there such thing as peace in this life?  Does the word “justice” replace what we are truly scouting this dunya for?