Black and White PhotoWith shutterbugs taking the black and white challenge all over social media, it has become the current trend among photography lovers. While many photographers have been partial to black and white, there are still others who are hesitant because of its supposed limitations.

With digital photography, you have more options at your disposal to breathe life into your shots. offers ways to take your black and white photography to greater heights.

Shoot RAW

As long as your camera allows it, it is better to shoot in RAW when taking black and white pictures. You will have more control this way and it will be easier to take out the color in non-black and white photos. Shooting in RAW offers you more possibilities in post-production than shooting in JPEG does.

Minimize ISO

When shooting black and white, use low ISO. This is in stark contrast to colour photography where you generally want to use a higher ISO. The noise created by ISO is even more prominent when it comes to black and white pictures. Adjust your settings accordingly when shooting in black and white.

Time Your Shoot

Knowing when to shoot also plays an important part in black and white photography. Low contrast settings are more popular among photographers who like to shoot in black and white. This makes darker days with preferably overcast skies the perfect time to do your shooting.

Tweak Your Pictures

If you can’t shoot in black and white, shoot in color and simply treat your pictures afterwards. Even if your camera does not have the raw feature that enables you to shoot in black and white, you can still add the black and white touch afterwards on your computer.

Black and white pictures need not be as dreary as most people make them out to be. In fact, these can even be more fun than color photos. It takes some skill to take really good black and white pictures, so keep these tips in mind and see how your pictures come to life with every shot you take.

Payroll GivingIf there is one thing that most small business owners hate dealing with, it is managing payroll. Making sure that employees receive the wages they deserve is crucial, but it certainly isn’t easy. But what really makes payroll so difficult to get right?

Running a payroll system isn’t just about writing people checks and making sure there is still enough cash left in the bank. There are many challenges to doing it properly, and these are the main ones.

1. Regular filing – Dealing with government and bureaucracy is never fun, but it is even more stressful as a business owner. Failure to accurately file, report, and pay your obligations will greatly cost your company, and it is the biggest mistake you can make. Knowing all the relevant laws and deadlines is vital.

2. Constant adjustments – Even without taking into account the different salaries your employees have, there are many adjustments that you will have to keep track of. Vacations, sick leaves, pay raises, overtime pay, social security contributions, and countless other factors affect how much your staff will actually receive every pay day.

3. Lack of technology – Although you can now easily find affordable small business payroll software from and other providers, many companies are still slow to embrace accounting technology. This is a major disadvantage that makes the entire process more cumbersome and inefficient than it has to be.

4. Competing for time – Running a business is incredibly time consuming, and many owners have difficulty with juggling payroll in addition to all their other important tasks. The limited amount of time that they can devote to this can easily cause mistakes.

5. Human error – Finally, there is the ever present risk of human error. Forgetting a step or adding an extra zero can be disastrous, and will have far reaching effects. This is another area where technology helps greatly, as good software acts as a highly effective guard against silly mistakes.

Managing payroll becomes increasingly complex as time goes on, and the consequences of doing it wrong can be heavy. If it becomes too difficult, you may want to even leave it to a dedicated accountant, and focus on other areas of your business instead.

fireplaceChristmas is just around the corner, and for many families in Utah, this means it is time to dress up the home once again. Decorations add to the cozy and magical vibe of the season; with the perfect decors and theme, you can make your home ready for the holidays.

Some, however, are not quite sure where or how to start with the decorations. You do not have to break the bank to have a lovely and captivating interior Christmas design. You just have to know about a few design hacks to make your interiors even more charming and inviting this upcoming holiday season.

Warm Center

Fireplaces are indispensable when it comes to holiday decor. A fireplace contributes character and depth to the interior layout and doubles as a great way to warm your house. With all the options available today, you can have a fireplace that fits your unique needs and preferences. For instance, says quality gas fireplaces can easily add charm to your interiors.

Winter Wonderland

Walls and furniture bathed in white are a staple design choice every Christmas. It can be quite tricky, though, to make it work and flesh out its aesthetic potential. You can include accent colors to highlight particular pieces of the design or add texture to change up the interiors.

DIY Tree

Lastly, a Christmas-themed interior will not be complete without a tree. There are many ways to incorporate this element into your design. In fact, if you are feeling a bit more creative, you do not have to use an actual tree at all. You simply have to repurpose old furniture like a lamp post and design it as your DIY Christmas tree.

The Christmas season is the perfect time to beautify your home. With these design tips, you do not have to splurge on decorations and still improve the look and feel of your interiors. As you prepare for the holidays, it helps if your home reflects the festive atmosphere.

teching englishProficiency in the English language is a valuable trait, if not a necessity, in the global context. This is why countries make it a priority to constantly improve their English curriculum. In Australia, for instance, there are national standards to maximise learning outcomes and produce competent individuals. This is the case even if English is the language spoken at home for most.

In the Australian Curriculum, English classes target competence in Language, Literature, and Literacy, which is why it encourages teachers to provide insightful and fun learning experiences that meet the needs and interests of students of all ages.

For teachers experiencing difficulties making English fun for students, there really is no need to worry. Here are some creative approaches you can use in the classroom to take English classes from boring to brilliant.

Art-related Activities

When discussing poetry and literature, immerse the children in art activities such as painting and sculpture so they can have a mental picture of the stories and characters. This will not just hype them up about their reading tasks, but may also deepen their understanding of the narratives presented.

Chapbook Project

Encourage students to produce a chapbook at the end of the school year. A chapbook will not only flesh out the creative juices of students, but will also assess their understanding of grammar. Your students will definitely love it when they see their works published.

Drama and Role-playing

Drama provides the opportunity for students to explore the characters being discussed in literature. They will be able to put themselves in the shoes of the personas they are reading about, allowing them to not just have an intellectual view of literature, but a personal take on it as well.

Music Composition and Raps

Some kids learn by the ear, so it may be wise to compose songs about different grammar topics. Take a popular song the children love and change the lyrics into verb rules or the parts of speech.

Teachers, remember to deliver the English curriculum in a fun, fresh way. English is not meant to be difficult; use creative approaches to ensure kids have fun in English class.

home renovationNot all remodelling efforts will give you the best value for your money when you eventually need to sell. So, which projects will yield the most profit?

Here’s a list of the upgrades that will most likely recoup your investment:
Updating the Kitchen

Future homebuyers know that renovating the kitchen can be a nightmare; the designers at understand this sentiment very well. Buyers will appreciate if you did the dirty work for them. Simply stick to high-quality fixtures that can last a long time, such as granite counter and stainless-steel appliances.

Modifying the Bathroom

Kitchen and bathroom remodels are two of the best investments you can ever make. They’re always right there at the top of the list, because they’re the big, sexy rooms that new builders splurge on. That’s what buyers look for in an older home, too.

Choose classic colours and fixtures for your bathroom, as this will appeal to both traditional and contemporary buyers.

Painting Both Interiors and Exteriors

Painting the exterior and interior is a cheap way to up your home’s resale value. It can even give you a half or a full return on your investment.

Choose a neutral palette over trendy colours, as this appeal to a broader range of buyers. Pale yellow, however, can help your home sell faster. Yellow symbolises optimism, so it gives buyers the sense that there are brighter times ahead.


If potential buyers pass by your home and do not feel impressed, they are not going to walk inside. The front of your house is the first thing people see, so it makes sense that improvements like a fresh new coat of paint and planting beautiful flowers will be worth the effort.

Big trees, in particular, are nice to look at. They also prevent erosion, block runoffs, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Before you dive head first with a hammer in your right hand and a screwdriver in another, do your research and seek help from a renovation contractor. Remember, these things will only give you the maximum return on your investment if they are tasteful and well made.

airconMany western travelers often find themselves surprised when they travel in the southeastern parts of Asia. They know it’s going to be hot here, but what they don’t realize is how hot it will really get the moment they wander the streets and bask under the sun on the beaches.

From Thailand to Indonesia, there’s no doubt that the region’s temperature is fairly sultry. It just justifies Southeast Asians’ affinity for air conditioners and dehumidifiers. For instance, Filipinos have a longstanding love affair with the likes of and manufacturers of air conditioners. But, there are other ways to keep yourself refreshed while you’re traveling to one of the Southeast Asian countries.

Here are some of them:

Bring Water

Before you wander off the streets of Bangkok, make sure you have a bottle of water with you. Don’t depend on drinks with high sugar or caffeine content, as they will only make you feel dehydrated. Bring a water bottle for refills or buy extra bottled water if you’re too particular with safety.

Plan Your Itinerary

Consider the season when traveling. The heat is tolerable from June to December. Normally, the months of April to May are the hottest. If you’re traveling during these months, include beaches in your itinerary. For instance, if you’re heading to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, make sure to include Nah Trang on your list.

Modify Your Garb

Ditch those fur coats and thick scarves. Favor thin clothes and light-colored ones. If you’re going out in the midday, bring an umbrella with you. Don’t forgo the sleeved shirts, as the heat may cause sunburn and unsightly marks.

Make the Most of Hotel Facilities

Enjoy all the available facilities to the fullest if you’re staying in a hotel or a beach resort. There will always be pools, spas or wellness centers where you can beat off the heat. Take part in hotel-sponsored activities, such as scuba diving and snorkeling.

These are only some of the ways you can beat the heat off while traveling anywhere in Southeast Asia. Browse travel blogs and magazines to learn more about how you can enjoy your stay in the region’s countries.

sunglassesAustralia is home to a beautiful and warm afternoon weather, which is why it is common to see people wearing sunglasses while strolling down the streets or in the park. More than protecting the eyes from too much light or just enhancing the appeal, these shaded eyewear helps keep the eyes healthy.

With the occurrence of global warming, sunrays can hurt your body way beyond sunburns. The UV rays not only affect the skin, but the eyes as well. Even the lowest risk level of this radiation can cause eye damages such as photokeratitis, macular degeneration, cataracts, and Surfer’s Eyes among others.

Make the Most of the Lenses and Frames

Wearing sunnies would be significant in reducing the harmful effects of UV rays. The lenses play a major role by reducing the UV exposure of the retina. The team from For Eyes Only said that “the quality of lenses, are as, or if not more important than the quality of the frame you put them in.”

Similar to the lenses, a good frame is essential to protect the eyes, as well. Experts suggest wearing ones that close-fitting to block as much sunlight in the above and peripheral spaces from reaching the bare eyes. If you will be wearing frames that are relatively loose, then might as well remove it entirely.

Determining the Factors Enhance UV Rays

There are factors that help determine when you need to wear sunnies. UV rays have higher levels in places with tropical climate or those near the equator. The nearer your place is to the central horizontal line, the greater the risk. Higher altitudes add to the gravity of UV rays, as well.

Cold-weathered places are not entirely safe. Studies show that your exposure to this harmful light can increase in winter as the snowy surface reflects it. It is best to wear an eyewear when the sun is high. As much as possible, keep off from open space as well. If you can, walk through the shadows of tall buildings.

Choosing a good pair of sunnies is essential, given the harsh weather in the country. Visiting a professional is advisable, to help you find the most suitable eyewear in blocking harmful UV rays.

ductwork cleaning servicesFire is one of the most damaging and life-threatening incidents that could happen in a commercial kitchen—in fact, it is one of the worst disasters that may hit anywhere. Business owners don’t want their investment to turn into ashes, so they find ways to keep it safe and secure. The problem is they often overlook minor details.

The Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES) stated that more than 80% of kitchen extract ducts in the UK have never been cleaned. Leaving this part of the kitchen alone increases the risks of fire.

How Often Should Cleaning Take Place

For extract hoods and filters, it’s best to clean and degrease them every day unless the manufacturers state otherwise. Never cook without a filter, as heat could travel through the air and cause the canopies, extractor fans, and ventilation ducts to ignite. Hiring ductwork cleaning services depend on the kitchen’s level of use. Here’s a short breakdown to help you set a schedule:

– 12 to 16 hours of daily usage – Maintain every three months
– 6 to 12 hours of daily usage – Maintain every six months
– 2 to 6 hours of daily usage – Maintain every year (12 months)

Why Cleaning Is Important

The build-up of dirt and grease can put any establishment at risk. According to the London Fire Brigade, a number of calls that they receive are fires that ignited in the ductworks and kitchen extraction systems of restaurants, hotels, and pubs. These are all due to poor cleaning and maintenance.

The government has set rules through the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to make sure that kitchen extract systems are part of every establishment’s risk assessment procedure. If not followed, they have the right to invalidate fire insurance policies for a breach of the Environmental Health regulations.

Don’t let fire be the reason of a business’ downfall. It takes about six months to recover from such incidents and in worst cases, never. Check even the slightest details to keep the kitchen and its surrounding areas fireproof.

5 Common Surgical Procedures

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anaesthesia servicesSurgeries are common medical procedures that often require patients to go under heavy sedation in order to be successful.

If you are careful with your health and lucky enough, you may go through life without ever having to experience it. Most people, though, go through surgical procedures, whether minor or major, at least once or twice in a lifetime. Thanks to modern medicine, procedures need not be painful nightmare-inducing ordeals.

Many accredited organizations provide anesthesia services for medical procedures. These include services for both the hospital and clinical settings. Listed below are some of the most common surgical procedures:

  1. Appendectomy – This type of surgery involves the removal of the appendix, a small tube that branches out of the large intestine, whenever patients suffer from acute infections that cause appendicitis.
  2. Breast Biopsy – Breast cancer is the leading form of cancer in women. Biopsies are a good way to prevent cancer among women. These involve the removal of abnormal breast tissue to keep potentially cancerous cells from spreading.
  3. Mastectomy – Mastectomies are procedures to treat breast cancer. These involve the removal of part, or all, of the breast. Types of mastectomies include partial, total, radical, and modified radical mastectomy.
  4. C-Section – There are cases when normal childbirth is not an option for patients giving birth. In such cases, doctors perform caesarean section deliveries. It is a much safer alternative to vaginal delivery and it involves making an incision through the abdomen and the uterus to bring the infant out.
  5. Coronary Artery Bypass – Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in modern times. With the lifestyle that most people live it should come as no surprise. Doctors perform bypass surgeries on people suffering from angina or coronary artery disease. It enables blood to flow freely around obstructions.

In addition to these procedures, surgeries are also required to restore dislocated or fractured bones. Imagine the horror of having to undergo surgery without anesthetics.

shoppingWalking down the aisle at a supermarket, you find yourself torn between two choices of cheese. Mozzarella or cheddar? You see the sign above the stack of mozzarella sticks that read “Buy 2 Get 2.” In the end, you get four packs of mozzarella sticks. As you make your way towards the counter, you find a shelf of snack bags. There is also a sign that reads “10% off.” You can’t help but get two bags. Once you are out of the market, you realize that the entire trip has somewhat played a lot of tricks that have left your wallet almost empty.

What appears to be a seemingly mundane activity actually has some psychology involved in it. Other than using tools to observe shopping behaviors, such as the use of wireless people counters from the likes of, retailers come up with techniques that will influence the buying decision of their customers.

Here are two important concepts about consumer psychology you need to know:

What Makes Clearance Sales Exciting

Clearance sales make consumers excited because of two things. First, they make customers fear that they’re missing out on something. The fear becomes more stirred if you realize you’re competing with other people who want to get the items on sale. Sometimes, it’s not the excitement that ensues; it’s panic.

The Agony of Waiting

Long wait times are one of those shopping pet peeves that may make buyers frown, attack the customer service representatives or, worse, leave. Some retailers have found some ways to make the most of this dilemma. They place stacks of products near the counter in hopes to entice shoppers to buy more.

The wait time becomes more painful when the customer is anxious; he feels like the time is stretching. Moreover, wait times appear longer if the customer compares queues, especially if the line he’s in isn’t moving fast.

These are only some of the important concepts in consumer psychology that influence your buying decisions. These concepts are not only useful for retailers; you can also use them to assess and improve your shopping behavior.