WHY YOU SHOULDN’T BE HYPED ABOUT BLACK FRIDAY

Yeah, tomorrow is the day when people are rushing into shopping malls and online stores to find the cheapest possible products. I think most of us are more than glad to get new product below the market price, but how many of us thinks about its effects to our environment?

See, there’s some problems with Black Friday. First – we don’t need that stuff we are buying. Think about it: how many times and for how many years you’ve used something you have bought below the market price from Christmas season sale three years ago? We’ve all done that – bought something because it’s cheap and you “may” use it some day. As the end result we have our closets full of stuff which we doesn’t even use. Really wise huh?

Secondly – While manufacturing incredibly cheap products companies doesn’t most likely operate ethically and ecologically. Work has always its costs and sadly, usually in cheap product’s the costs comes from the spine of someone who’s paid much less than should. Also the materials costs something and when the companies are using the cheapest distributors in order to sell cheap products, what do you think – are the distributors working ethically and ecologically?

Gladly, there’s some companies who’s standing against this Black Friday craziness. Couple of weeks ago I saw a small Canadian clothing brand Lifestyle over Luxury came up with this in their Instagram:

 

F**k Black Friday. It’s that time of year again, your feeds are filling up with 50% off banners. While all the other brands hustle the masses their leftovers, we’re bowing out.
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Our store will be CLOSED Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
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This time of year sensationalizes everything that’s wrong with retail. The, ‘as much as we can possible buy for as cheap as we can get it’, attitude is everything we stand against.

From Lifestyle over Luxury’s Instagram page

 

Yet again, Finnish clothing company Makia announced today that their only flagship store as well as online store will be closed during Black Friday:

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These actions are still rare but hopefully they will open more peoples eyes about the fact that their consumption habits really matter. When we change our way to consume and support the companies and brands which care about their social responsibilities, also other companies and decision-makers will follow the money and change their way to operate.

Money rules the world but we have the power to decide where we will put our money in.

I don’t get paid from the companies mentioned above. I just like what they are doing and that’s why I wanted to endorse them.

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MONEY CAN’T BUY HAPPINESS

It’s funny how one phone call can change your mood so rapidly from tired and frustrated to energized and grateful. I was laying on my bed finishing some work when my best friend called me to hit up for a coffee. Tired or not I thought this would be a lot better option than spending rest of the day home alone with a laptop. And guess what! While walking back home in darkness and slushy rain I was so much happier than the moment I was walking towards a local café.

If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life… were you alone? Life’s better with company.
Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) in the movie Up in the Air

All of you guys can ask yourselves the question above and I bet you’ll end up with the same answer. Last week I decided to cheer up my friend and made a video about all of the small clips taken during the summer. The video was not fancy or anything but above all funny. My friends liked the video but maybe it was me who enjoyed it most watching it repeatedly with an idiotic smile on my face. Going back to those great memories from last summer brought me so much joy and pure happiness that I couldn’t stop until it was time to go sleep.

See, with money you can buy clothes, cars, telephones and other irrelevant matter. What money can’t buy is the moments spent with people you love and making memories, sometimes lifelong memories. Those moments can be as simple as sitting down for a cup of coffee with a good friend and sharing stories.

Finally a message to all my friends – thank you for being there and bringing happiness in my life.

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3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY

As I’ve said earlier, most of the pictures in the blog and in my Instagram is taken with my iPhone. Still, many people has asked me “You take those pics with DSLR camera, right?”

I’m not the best photographer, but many of you guys seem to like some of my pictures. That’s why I decided to share some tips how one can improve his or her mobile photography.

1. MANUAL CAMERA APPLICATIONS

There’s planty of options in App Stores to decide between but I am using the free version of the MuseCam app. This app is pretty easy to use and learn and gives you some of the features that you’d have in DSLR like shutter, ISO, white balance and focus. These features allows you to use much more creativity and to find the best option already when you are shooting.

I learned to use this app after couple of times shooting with it and I believe that so do you. I’ll maybe try some other app later, but this one has worked fine for me this far.

2. LENSES

I have to admit I was a bit sceptic about the quality of these things but after purchasing one I made my mind. There are many options in the market: macro-lenses, tele-lenses, wide angle-lenses and fisheye-lenses. It’s about you and your style which is the right alternative for you. I decided to buy the Blackeyelense’s HD Wide Angle lense which works with most of the phones on the market and provides a clear 160° angle to your photos. The pictures gives a bit like GoPro feeling to your photos which I like.

3. LEARNING TO EDIT

Instead of using the filters in Instagram or other applications, learning to edit your photos properly can make a huge difference with your pictures. As in manual camera applications the variety is huge and I’ve tried many of these. I used to use Google’s Snapseed and many of people likes the VSCO app which I haven’t tried yet. My personal favourite is Adobe Lightroom CC for mobile which is easy to use and includes all of the features I need at this point.

Learning to edit properly can take some time, but practice makes perfect. I’ve spent hours with different apps and have still so much room for improvement. Anyways, It’s always nice to get back to old pictures and see how much you’ve improved during specific time period.

I don’t get paid from any of the companies/products/apps mentioned above. I just like them a lot and thought maybe you could like them as well.

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SURVIVING THE WINTER DARKNESS

I guess today was the first day for me this winter when the darkness hit me straight to the face. The fact that it’s dark when you are going to the office and again dark when you are leaving isn’t really too amazing. Luckily or not, I’m not the only one affected by this and the situation could be even worse if I lived closer the Arctic Circle. And you know what they say: focus on the things you can affect, not the ones you can’t.

For my enthusiasm towards photography this isn’t any better when shooting in a good light is possible mostly during weekends. If you guys have any tips for this I’ll take them more than gladly! Also, if you have any special tricks to hit back this winter darkness, share them into the comment section.

Now I’m going to eat, open Netflix and start watching a Swedish criminal series I began with yesterday. Ironically the title of the series is nothing else but Midnight Sun.

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WANT TO BE A ROCKSTAR?

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While writing this post I’m watching Veronica Maggio (a Swedish singer-songwriter) rocking the Stockholm Stadium on her gig last year. Her ability to make amazing songs, to sing them and gain the attention of the whole stadium to sing along with her is just incredible. For me and propably for many others she’s a true rockstar (If you are interested to watch the gig I’ll add the video in the end of this post). While watching the show something came up to my mind: what does it take to become such a rock star as Veronica or someone other? Or what it takes to become the rockstars of our own lives?

In order to become a rockstar or even good at anything we are doing we need skills. What is skill then? The Best definition that I’ve hear for skill is from legendary basketball coach John Wooden who won 10 NCAA championships as a coach (including 7 of them in a row) and became the very first person to be chosen in to basketball Hall of Fame both as a player and a coach. Wooden’s definition for skill is: A knowledge and the ability to properly and quickly execute the fundamentals. In this fast-paced world we are living it seems like many of us are trying to find shortcuts to success, but as we know, in life or in anything else there’s not any shortcuts. You have to do the work and as Wooden says, every skill is based on executing the fundamentals on a highest level possible.

Yeah, success. Associated with being a rock star right? Once again we can ask the great uncle Wooden for a help: Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. Success doesn’t mean fancy cars or five star hotels. It’s not stadium gigs or Champions League finals. It is the feeling when you feel happy with yourself, knowing that you’ve really done your best. Success is available for all of us so we should continue to chase our dreams and become rockstars of our own lives.

Do you feel like becoming a rockstar? Share your dreams in comments and tell me what you are doing to achieve them.

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IN TO THE WOODS

New week and new challenges, but before that let’s take a small throwback to yesterday when me and my friend went to Nuuksio National Park for a hike and campfire barbecue!

After gathering all the essentials (we learned really fast that we didn’t have all the essentials) we drove for 30 minutes to Nuuksio and started our hike. As the sun was already setting we decided to take the shorter trail Haukankierros (à 4km) instead of the longer Korpinkierros (à 7km). The plan was to shoot some photos and just enjoy the pure, fresh nature.

The Weather wasn’t greatest as the ground was quiet a wet and slushy, but when we have decided to go for a hike we indeed are going to hike! Well, after one hour hike when socks were wet and shoes were full of water I kind of debated over my choice of shoes. We got couple of shots before the sunset and then things got quiet interesting.

You know, I learned a lot about walking in a pitch black, wet and slushy forest trail. I wonder why either of us didn’t think about bringing the flashlight with us – which could’ve helped even a bit to see if you are stepping on a stone instead of deep, wet mud. We survived well of walking but the next challenge was to make the campfire with help of iPhone’s flashlight. Finally we managed to light the fire and had our rewarding barbecue after 4km hike. All in all this was a great adventure and despite our unpreparedness we had amazing time and lots of laughter. You can see the pictures from yesterday down below.

Several notes to self for the next hike:

  • Bring a knife
  • Bring a flashlight
  • Choose your shoes visely
  • Leave early enough before sunset
  • Bring a backup-battery to your phone (especially if you don’t have a flashlight.)

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TRAVEL DREAMS

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As it gets darker and darker here in Finland day to day I guess many of us dreams about a getaway to some other place for adventure, relaxation or just to get some time off the daily life.

For me (and probably for most of us) travelling is essential. I guess all of us have some kind of in-built, strong need for adventure and exploring new things. During past years I’ve wanted my travelling to be as active as possible. Seeing, doing, tasting and exploring new stuff in new circumstances.

In this blog I will share you the top three destinations I would like to visit as soon as possible.

Morocco

I’ve wanted to learn surf for a looong time! Many of my friends does surfing in more or less regular basis and I can only believe how cool it is when you manage to catch the wave and ride it all the way to the end. This is something that definitely includes to my bucket list.

Morocco came to my mind when I first saw Jon Olsson’s vlog (below) about the place couple of years ago and ever since I’ve wanted to travel there and take my first steps with surfing. It’s also many years since I last time visited Northern Africa and it would be cool to get to know it even better!

Iceland

Well Iceland, the only Nordic Country I haven’t visited yet. The things I’ve heard and seen about this place are so incredible that this needs to be on the list. Iceland is maybe mostly known of its nature, vikings, lately arised success in football and music including Björk and one of my favourite bands Of Monsters and Men. Also, for a newly excited beginner photographer it would be a perfect place to shoot!

Japan

I’ve read or heard somewhere that if you want to go for powder skiing or snowboarding, Japan in the winter is the perfect place for you. Also the videos I’ve seen of some freeriders seems just amazing! As I love snowboarding and want to become better at it and learn myself more about especially freeriding, it would be cool to go for the place where it really is at its best.

Needless to say there’s also so much more to experience in Japan in forms of food and culture etc. Definitely on my list of the places to travel!

Do you have some experiences to share about these places or where would you like to travel and why? Leave a comment down below!

Have a great weekend everybody!

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