Southwest and SeaWorld No Longer Partners

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In 2010, a documentary was produced entitled “Blackfish,” which focused on the mistreatment of animals at SeaWorld’s amusement parks. In particularly, the piece focused on the captivity of the killer whales in the three parks located across the United States. The documentary explores the issue of Tilikum, one of SeaWorld’s killer whales, which attacking and killed its trainer, Dawn Brancheau. Through this exploration of the park and its treatment of its killer whales, the documentary explained that whales held in captivity—as they are at SeaWorld—become more aggressive towards each other and towards humans. As a result of this environment, Tilikum attacked, out of pure instinct.
Since “Blackfish” appeared, many entertainers have canceled planned performances at SeaWorld parks, based in the belief that the park’s mistreatment and misunderstanding of the needs of the killer whale are what directly caused the death of one of its employees.

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This sign of support has only driven animal rights activists further in their efforts to discourage corporations from partnering and working with SeaWorld. According to an article recently completed by The Guardian, activists assembled to rally earlier this year, gathering signatures for a petition to urge Southwest Airlines to cut off their marketing partnership with SeaWorld. The partnership, which has existed for twenty-five years, resulted in three of Southwest’s planes painted to depict prominent SeaWorld animals.

The activists wanted the partnership severed, as to have one less company supporting a park that they believed to not have the best interest for the animals at heart. To make their case, a petition and required signatures were assembled and was given to Southwest Airlines. The partnership has since been severed. However, according to the article, the decision was not based solely in “Blackfish” or the urgings of the activists. Both companies mutually parted ways, in search of partnerships that address the growing international markets.
Regardless of not being the sole priority behind the fracturing of the partnership, Marilee McInnis—Southwest Airlines’ spokeswoman—did declare that, on the issue of animal rights, they always maintained a listening and educated ear.

(Youtube)

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Cameron Frost’s Latest Prezi

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Cameron Frost has been a professional photographer for the last decade and has dedicated much of his time to serving his community. Cameron enjoys working alongside local charities and helping them grow any way that he can! To learn more about Cameron Frost’s experience, background, career history, interests and activities, check out the video about Cameron’s latest prezi presentation below:

Cameron Frost: Prezi from Cameron Frost on Vimeo.

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The Benefits of Photography On Therapy

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According to an article recently completed by Psych Central, Rosemary Bannon Tyksinski, PhD and therapist, declares on her website that photography can be instrumental in therapy for certain clients. To her, art is a form of communication. It allows many who can’t directly discuss what’s bothering them to find and express the deeper, underlying issues. Essentially, it allows some of her clients to speak in images, either directly or through the use of a metaphor. For her personally, Tyksinski finds that art allows her to communicate what she sees—things that are important to her and what she experiences. Through expressing these observations, she is able to say things she can’t find words for.

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In terms of completed artwork and photographs, Tyksinski feels that the best photos are ones that evoke deeply buried psychic material—things that her clients may have left hidden otherwise. Through this reveal, clients can find ways to connect with their true selves—parts of their personality that are hidden, but which are vital aspects of themselves.

From this, Tyksinski found her way to photo therapy. At its very core, the practice is the use of photos in therapy sessions, as a means of prompting responses and finding ways to discover the client’s hidden desires and parts of his or her personality. Tyksinski does this through a variety of measures. She typically starts by using photo albums provided by the client—pictures of their own acquaintances, such as important family members, friends and pets. It is important to note that the client did not need to partake in the participation of the photos—either as the photographer or the subject—for this to be successful; simply seeing photos of those who are important to the client could be instrumental in revealing hidden aspects.

In a more generic sense, a therapist can provide photos for their client, in the hopes of awakening some hidden conflict or resolution. Tyksinski mentions several artists she prefers to use—photographer’s who work has prompted many positive results. Matej Peljhan is a psychotherapist and a photographer and, as such, knows precisely what is needed to get the juices flowing in the mind. Maggie Taylor combines her work with a camera and images she can create using her scanner to create “photo montages,” which have shown to be very beneficial in the service of Tyksinski’s clients.

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Take Photos Of People Like A Professional

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Does the idea of photographing people intimidate you even if it’s taking photos of close friends? People can often times be the easiest subjects to photograph once you get over your fear of doing something wrong with the camera. For example, photographing people can be much simpler than taking a photo of a landscape because for landscapes you might have to drive somewhere faraway in order to find a decent landscape and even then the lighting and weather must be ideal in order for the photo turn out well. However, you have absolute control over how you photograph people versus taking photos of landscapes in which you can’t control the elements.

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With people as your subjects, you can control the elements of photography such as lighting techniques and positioning. You also have an unlimited number of subjects at your disposal. These subjects include your friends, relatives and friends of friends. Not to mention each of these subjects is unique and will produce a different type of photograph. You can adjust lighting, the subject’s clothing and makeup as well as location. Imagination is the key to successfully photographing people as subjects. You don’t even need to be an expert on your camera’s settings. Use your camera’s portrait mode in order to take decent photos of other people. Become an expert on your camera settings later. To improve your photography skills, start thinking like a professional photographer would. Here are some tips from a recent article:

Get to Know Your Subject. Start by building a rapport with your subject. You’ll want your subject to feel comfortable with you so that this translates into him or her feeling comfortable in front of the camera. Encourage your subject to be versatile in their movements and positions. If your subject is relaxed, then you will have more success with the photos.

Go Wide with your Lens. The reason documentary photographers and photojournalists like to use wide angle lenses is because it allows them to become intimate with their subjects. The photographer is able to move close to the subject in order to create this sense of connection between the subject and the viewer.

Try Photographing in Black and White. These types of photographs are both artistic and creative. Today, there are many notable portrait and fashion photographers that shoot in black and white.

Take Time to Learn About Lighting Techniques. Direct sun isn’t always great for shooting portrait photography because of it’s potential to cast harsh shadows on peoples’ faces, but overcast skies and late afternoon sun are better.

(Youtube)

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How Can You Help Out At Your Local Animal Shelter?

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Get involved this summer at your local pet shelter in order to do something great in your community. There are so many ways to help out the local pet community including volunteering at the shelter for rescued animals. Animal shelters have estimated that they take care of 6-8 million dogs and cats each year in the US. Around 3 to 4 million of the animals are euthanized. Because there are no factual reports about how many are actually euthanized, so these are all estimates. During the 1970s, shelters had to euthanize around 12-20 million animals when there were 67 million pets in homes. Nowadays, shelters euthanize around 2.7 million animals while there are 135 million pets in homes. We have made progress from euthanizing 25% of the dogs and cats in the US to only euthanizing 3% of them. More progress can be made if we simply work on diminishing animal overpopulation.

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The question we keep asking ourselves is why are there so many animals in shelters? This is mainly due to the problem of animal overpopulation when for example, owners relinquish their pets or pets are rescued from the streets and bring them to shelters. In order to prevent animal overpopulation within shelters, we need to encourage pet owners to be responsible pet owners by providing information and training on proper pet care. Another way to keep pet alive is to promote private citizens to volunteer in animal shelters as much as possible.

Below are some tips for how to begin volunteering at an animal shelter:

1. Find a shelter near you. Begin by searching Petfinder in order to find a shelter closest to your home. This way you can find a shelter by figuring out first where pets are up for adoption within your community. Get the shelter’s phone number.

2. Contact the shelter via phone or stop by. Drop into the shelter to learn more about how it operates and what the guidelines are for volunteers. Also, ask them if there are other ways to help the shelter besides volunteering in person.

3. Find out if you meet the requirements to volunteer if you are truly interested. If you are too young and the shelter tells you that you can’t volunteer because they don’t have tasks for you to complete, then this most likely isn’t true. Suggest that you can clean cages, make phone calls/ general office work, work on their social media, take photos of pets to put up on PetFinder, or even become a foster home for animals.

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Animal Rights Activists Storm Chinese Dog Festival

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Animal Rights organizations flocked to China to protest the Yulin Festival.

In recent news in China, hordes of angry animal rights activists flocked to the scene of a traditional Dog Meat Festival known as the Yulin Festival in the Guanxi Province which includes the slaughter of around 10,000 dogs. The festival occurs every summer when thousands of tourists and locals flock to the district in order to consume dog meat. At the festival, visitors consume traditional dog meat dish such as dog hotpot. Along with the dog meat, the festival goers drink enormous amounts of alcohol.

Although the country takes part in strange diet traditions, there is now a growing concern over public health and the public’s well-being. More importantly, there is an overwhelming concern and outcry over animal cruelty and the rights of the slaughtered dogs. Before this summer’s festival the authorities vowed to crackdown on the dog slaughtering  and be stricter on food regulations.

Days leading op to the festival, the animal rights activists staked out the restaurants and vendors serving the meat in order to try to stop the dog eating practices that China has taken part in for centuries. The activists also began many social media campaigns in order to disrupt the festival’s dog eating customs. A popular Chinese restaurant, South China Morning, complained that a few of these activists broke into their slaughterhouse and stole their dogs in order to keep the restaurant from killing them.

A separate group collected money and used their own finances to buy dogs from restaurants for as much as one hundred and eighty dollars each. This happened while a group of Buddhists recited prayers as they walked through the hanging carcasses in an area with the most slaughtered dogs dogs for sale. The tension between the activists and the diners came to a head on Saturday when the opposing groups began fighting in the street until the police eventually intervened.

An activist with Animals Asia, stated that the festival was cruel and unhygienic. Many dogs are stolen from homes after being darted with drugs which will most likely make its way into the stomachs of festival goers. All in all, although the locals promote the festival as part of a cultural tradition, most find the festival to be cruel and inhumane.

 

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Tips For Snapping Photos With Your Smartphone

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So you have a camera phone, but for some reason every time you attempt to take a photo with it, the picture doesn’t turn out well. With the latest phone technology, you should be able to take high quality images. You should take advantage of your camera phone, but don’t waste your time taking poor quality photos. If you learn a few tips, you will be able to use your camera phone to snap better photos. With only a few, slight tweaks, you can take better photos. When taking photos on your phone, remember basic photography rules.

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Here a few photography tips when using your smart phone.

Use Your Lighting. Before snapping a photo, ensure your subject is facing the light source. This is particularly important when using a smart phone’s camera. Most likely, your phone’s biggest weakness is the inability to take pictures in low light. This is the main reason you’ll want your subject in good lighting.

Clean Your Camera Lens. if your photos are turning particularly blurry, then make sure you remove your phone from the case and clean the lens. You will see an immediate difference in the two pictures.

Stay Away From The Zoom Button. You can always crop a photo later, so why bother cropping while you are taking it? If you want a closer picture of a subject, you should step closer to it. Digital zoom is really the same thing as stepping closer.

Use The Flash Carefully. The flash on your camera phone can be harsh, and more than likely your phone will want to use the flash when it’s unnecessary. In some lighting situations, not using the flash will be a better idea. Snap two photos- one with flash and one without- in order to see which picture turns out better. Another tip for softening your flash is to place a piece of tissue or a white sticker over the lens. The flash will still provide light, but it won’t be so harsh.

Adjust The Camera’s Resolution. Many camera apps have options for adjusting the resolution which allows you to snap photos at different resolutions. If you just want to take a quick picture and send it someone, using a low resolution should work fine. If you want a higher quality photo, use a higher resolution.

(Source)

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