We’re Going to Cuba! Join Us!!
May10

We’re Going to Cuba! Join Us!!

This is a long overdue announcement. I get emails on a near daily basis asking about when my next travel photography workshop and tour will be announced. And the truth is, my photography partner in crime Jeff Bartlett and I have gone back and forth on about a dozen different destinations, and dates before coming to a decision. We’ve decided to run our next big photography tour in Cuba December 2016! I can’t tell you how excited I am for this. I was in Cuba in October doing some scouting and working with local agencies to see if a trip like this is possible. And, in the end, not only is it possible, but it’s going to be an amazing experience. As you know, Cuba is like a step back in time. I’d say that since leaving Africa 3 years ago it is the most visually interesting country I’ve set my lens on. Every corner of the country is just so photogenic. The landscapes and nature are impressive, the people are some of the most friendly in the world, and the architecture and classic cars are from another era. This photo tour of Cuba will start in Havana on December 4th, 2016. We’ll visit highlights in the country such as Viñales, El Nicho, the Bay of Pigs, Trinidad, and much more. Check out the full 13-day itinerary here. The goal of this particular travel photography workshop, is not to just give you a change to take some excellent photographs with the instruction of professional photographers, but to give you an insight into life in Cuba. We will take some amazing photographs of beautiful things, but we will take away memories far more powerful than any photo. To get the full information on the workshop, head over to this page. There you’ll get information on how to sign up, the costs, and every other bit of information you’ll need. Photos From Cuba Here’s a slideshow of some images from locations this photography workshop will visit.  All of these images were shot in a 3 week period of time. Information for Americans The US government has re-opened its Embassy in Havana, so local support is available in Cuba. There are now direct flights to Cuba from Miami, or there are dozens of daily flights connecting in Central America. The American government has lessened the restrictions on visiting Cuba. However, the rules for travel to Cuba are still very strict. If you have any questions regarding your ability to visit Cuba, please refer to the information provided by your government. Please note that government policies can change, so please keep yourselves informed...

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Recapping Our Morocco Travel Photography Workshop
Mar27

Recapping Our Morocco Travel Photography Workshop

As you all likely know, Jeff Bartlett and I ran one of our travel photography workshops in Morocco last month.  The trip was an absolute blast, and a perfect adventure.  We had an awesome group, and got lucky with weather most of the way along the way.  Of course, like any bit of travel, it wasn’t without its fair share of unexpected events.  For example, when in the Sahara Desert we got hit with a massive sand storm, which was wild and left us with countless stories.  And then, in the Dades Gorge we got hit by an overnight blizzard which left the valley covered in snow, and shut down the pass across the High Atlas Mountains. But, it’s these unexpected adventures that make travel so much fun.  This is where the stories come from, and often the coolest photos. Before I get into the location-to-location recap from Morocco, I want to remind you that we’re booking our next photography adventure which will be a workshop and tour in Cuba!  This trip is filling fast, so if you’re interested, please let us know as soon as possible. Marrakesh Instead of go in depth into each destination, I just thought I’d share some of the images and quick anecdotes from each location.  This should serve to show a bit what you’d be getting into if you join one of our future trips to Morocco.  As of right now, the plan is to re-visit Morocco in a couple years.  It is just such a great destination, and so diverse in what it has to offer. We started, and ended, this travel photography workshop in Marrakesh. Casablanca and Rabat On our way to Chefchaoeun we made stops in Casablanca and Rabat. In Casablanca, we visited the Hassan II Mosque which is perhaps the most impressive piece of architecture in the country.  It’s also one of the few mosques in Morocco which allows non-Muslim tourists to enter on a tour.  From Casablanca, we pushed on to the capital city of Rabat where we visited some palaces and mausoleums. Chefchaouen Chef is one of my favourite destinations in Morocco.  It’s just fascinating to me.  The “blue city” is just that; it’s blue.  Nearly, every corner of the city is covered in blue paint.  And, the soft rock buildings make the city feel ancient.  It’s obviously a pretty unique destination.  The lack of cars and plethora of beautiful alleys, makes Chef a great place to wander and shoot photography.  The overview above the city, too, makes for a wonderful place to shoot imagery. Volubilis and Meknes On our way to Fes, we made a quick...

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DJI Unveils The Phantom 4, The Smartest Flying Camera Ever
Mar12

DJI Unveils The Phantom 4, The Smartest Flying Camera Ever

After setting the standard with its Phantom quadcopter line, DJI has unveiled its newest camera drone—the Phantom 4—which has been dubbed “the smartest flying camera ever.” In professional aerial photography and videography, it usually takes a whole crew to create the perfect shot or get just the right footage: the pilot, the camera operator, and at least one spotter. DJI has simplified this complicated process with the Phantom 4, the most independent consumer drone on the market. Unlike previous models, DJI’s new camera drone now has the ability to track or avoid humans, maneuver itself around obstacles, and best of all, avoid crashes. Adorama, which will have the Phantom 4 available for pre-order starting March 23, was at an exclusive, invite-only event hosted by DJI in New York on March 1, where the latter announced and demonstrated its new drone’s fantastic new features. There’s TapFly mode, which allows making the drone fly immediately in any direction simply by tapping on the screen of the device while watching the camera’s live view. To avoid obstacles and crashes, the Phantom 4 is equipped with a highly sophisticated Obstacle Sensing System that uses its five onboard cameras plus advanced computer vision and processing technology to intelligently fly around, over, or under any obstacles in its way. Aerial photographers and videographers will definitely benefit from the Phantom 4’s new ActiveTrack feature, which allows the drone to recognize and track certain subjects automatically. This means the drone’s onboard camera can instantly identify a subject and follow it naturally to ensure that it is always in the frame, making for better photos and videos. For sports photographers, the Phantom boasts of a brand-new Sport mode that makes flying at high speeds easier and safer. This is thanks to responsive controls, a reliable flight control system, and a streamlined, aerodynamic design that make it easy to race through the air while following a speeding BMX biker or a professional snowboarder. In addition to the new advanced flight modes, DJI’s latest quadcopter has a much longer battery life compared to previous Phantom models and other brands on the market. Flight time has now been extended to 28 minutes—25% more than the Phantom 3 Professional—and a range of 3.1 miles (5 km.) on a single full charge, which is extremely impressive considering all of the onboard cameras and sensors. In terms of looks, the Phantom 4 still seems quite similar to its predecessors, but there are a few noticeable differences. For instance, the matte white exterior with metallic stripes that DJI previously favored for their Phantom line has been swapped for a shiny, futuristic white shell. It also...

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Kwihala Camp and 3 Other Breathtaking Places to see Wild Elephants in  Africa
Mar08

Kwihala Camp and 3 Other Breathtaking Places to see Wild Elephants in Africa

Visiting an elephant sanctuary is nice…you can see the animals up close, you can even stroke them, but nothing beats seeing elephant in their natural habitat, strutting across the African savannah. Being in the wild amongst these huge, majestic, intelligent creatures is an utterly breathtaking experience, and within just a few minutes, you’ll learn so much more than you would by spending days with a captive elephant. You’ll see entire herds protect babies, marvel at how desert elephant treat the scant vegetation with the utmost of care, and if your vehicle happens to separate a herd crossing the road, you’ll be met with incredible displays of mock-charging. Wild elephants are at the top of most safari travellers’ must-see lists – you just need to know where to find them. Here, we highlight three of the most breathtaking locations for viewing wild elephant in Africa, from the infamous Kwihala Camp in Tanzania all the way to Samburu in Kenya. Tanzania With around 40,000 elephants roaming its land, Tanzania boasts one of the largest wild elephant populations in the world. The country yields 16 national parks, plus a variety of game and forest reserves, so you’ve got plenty of choices when trying to find a Tanzanian safari to fit in with your itinerary. Ruaha National Park is the largest reserve in Tanzania, yet it’s not inundated by travellers, so your wild elephant sightings will be relatively uninterrupted. It’s here you’ll find the Kwihala Camp, which is one of the most highly regarded camps in the whole of Africa, famous for its in-depth walking and vehicle safaris that are perfect for spotting wild elephant. Tarangire National Park is another great option, especially if you’re visiting between July and mid November, as it’s renowned for elephant migration. Even if you’ll be in Tanzania during the wet season (December-May), Tarangire still provides an intriguing visit, as it’s possibly the only place you’ll encounter large breeding herds of elephants – and by large, we mean hundreds! Botswana Botswana is where you go if you want an idyllic safari experience; the country is sparsely populated, and the entire northern hemisphere has given over to safari. There are an estimated 70,000 elephants in Botswana, and interestingly, they are considered to be the largest elephants in terms of body size. As so many tourists travel through the country, the wild elephant here are relatively used to travellers, so you may be able to get slightly closer than you would in other areas. The Ngoma Safari Lodge is popular amongst those who want to visit the northern part of Chobe, which is well known for its unique wilderness appeal,...

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The Top Photography Spots in Dubai
Feb23

The Top Photography Spots in Dubai

Dubai is full of glitz and glamour and is well-known for being a playground for celebrities and multi-millionaires the world over. Dubai is also full of amazing attractions and sights to see, and with this in mind I have compiled a list of some of the best spots to take a photograph in the United Arab Emirates city. The top of the Burj Khalifa The Top of the Rock (the Rockefeller Centre in New York City) might be regarded as boasting the best views over a city, but the Burj Khalifa undoubtedly offers the best views over a city anywhere in the world. Holidaymakers who have bought their tickets for flights to Dubai and are planning their itinerary before their break in Dubai should have a visit to the Burj Khalifa right at the top of their list. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and has a staggering 160 storeys, but once you take the elevator up to the world’s highest observation deck at Level 148, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city below. You can get some great shots of the city and surrounding area from the observation deck, so make sure you take your tripod if you have one. If you decide not to scale up the world’s tallest building, then instead take some snaps looking up and try to capture the magnitude of this iconic building within your photograph. Dubai Marina If you like taking photos of skyscrapers then the Dubai Marina is the place to visit as it is surrounded by tall buildings. To take the best photographs it is best to head to the marina either at night or in the early morning as you will hardly see a soul and can take some majestic photographs of the surrounding skyscrapers. Business Bay Business Bay is one of the most popular spots for photographers to visit in Dubai as the arc of the bridge with the Burj Khalifa and the rest of the cityscape in the background is good enough to go on the front of a postcard. There is still a lot of construction going on around Business Bay, so try to choose a spot that avoids the work that is going on. The markets With all the modern-day skyscrapers it is quite refreshing to visit the fish, fruit and vegetable markets in Deira to take some vivid, lively photos. The variety of vibrant colours make great shots, as does capturing the traders at work, as it shows a different side to the glamour that everybody associates with Dubai. The old adage ‘the early bird catches the worm’ isapt...

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Spending the New Year in Budapest at the Aria Hotel
Feb18

Spending the New Year in Budapest at the Aria Hotel

Over the years, I’ve become a pretty good traveller. And, I honestly think I work about as hard as anyone in the industry. However, what I’m not really good at is relaxing. I tend to just go, go, go without taking any time away from photography, travelling, or working behind the computer. So, one of the things I’m really going to focus on doing more in 2016 is taking weekends here and there to just relax. Since it’s a bit of a New Year’s Resolution type of goal, I decided to kick this off in style by spending the New Year in Budapest at the incredible Aria Hotel Budapest. The property is new as of March 2015, and has already become one of the top hotels in Budapest. I quickly found out why. The hotel is stunning, and gives you a very personal feel right in the heart of the city. Check out my vlog, footage, and thoughts from the hotel below. About the Aria Hotel Budapest The Aria Hotel Budapest is located right next door to St. Stephen’s Basilica, which is really the heart of the Pest side of the city. From there, you’re basically a 5 minute walk to the famous Chain Bridge and the Danube riverfront. Essentially, it’s the perfect spot. It’s especially great at New Years and Christmas time because the square at St. Stephen’s is full of awesome Christmas markets. If you’re looking for a party, the hotel isn’t far from the best clubs and ruin bars in Budapest. The hotel itself is great. In fact, I might go as far as to say it’s become of my top 5 favourite hotels I’ve stayed at. It’s much more of a boutique hotel rather than a big “chain” hotel. In fact, I’d even go as far as to say the hotel has more of a hostel feel to it, in the sense that if feels very homey, and like a little community. The rooms, of course, are far from hostel-style rooms and are instead perfect luxury. Rooms have big TVs, comfy beds, coffee machines, lovely artwork, and an iPad to use and control music. In regards to the music, that is theme of the hotel, as well. Each wing has a different genre and the rooms are styled in that way. In the hotel, there’s even a fantastic music library and listening area. Also, there’s a wonderful spa, saunas, and pool area in the hotel as well. The best part of the spa area is that since the hotel is relatively small, you quite often have it all to yourself. I seriously spent about half...

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