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Travel Photography Tip #1 : Vantage Point

Vantage Point: A beautiful and instagramable travel photograph doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, instead, it is created. Photography can make anybody nervous and unsure about your approach, but a good eye is a start. Having a keen eye is crucial to being a photographer, but what about us normal, non-professional picture takers? That’s why […]

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Vantage Point:

A beautiful and instagramable travel photograph doesn’t just appear out of nowhere, instead, it is created. Photography can make anybody nervous and unsure about your approach, but a good eye is a start. Having a keen eye is crucial to being a photographer, but what about us normal, non-professional picture takers? That’s why I made this blog, for people who want amazing pictures but don’t know where to start. Let’s get your Instagram account some hearts and maybe some recognition from your friends and family.

I’m no Ansel Adams or Annie Leibowitz, but I sure as hell can take some cool travel pictures that will turn heads. I take the time to know the proper protocol that a professional may follow and I practice. That’s what is so convenient about digital photography, you can trial and error all day and all you have to do is erase your memory card and start all over again.

 

My first tip for taking amazing travel photography is Vantage point. This is the view that a photograph is taken from. When I speak of vantage point being important to photography, I’m talking about changing up the normal human eye level view. The most common vantage point for travel photography is eye level because it’s the easiest. Sometimes to make an omelet you must crack a few eggs.

A novice photographer will take most pictures from eye level and the results will look average at best. To spice it up here are my 4 keys to changing your vantage point.

 

1- Height

Get above the action to make a photograph memorable. A bird’s eye view is always a crowd pleaser because it’s not our normal view. The higher you get the grander the scale will become. A little work like climbing up a ladder or scaling some stairs will increase the majesty and magnitude of your photos.

 

2- Look Around

When taking a photo from eye level, scan around and see if something up or down takes your attention. A simple scan of your environment will sometimes reveal a very interesting subject and angle. Architecture and statues will benefit from this perspective. Sometimes an unusual perspective will be fascinating for the viewers. 

3- Subject’s Perspective

This is a harder concept to grasp but when shooting a subject, look at the world as it would. Meaning that if you are shooting a dog, try getting low and shoot it as if another dog was taking the picture. Similarly, if you are shooting a stature, try and get up to a higher vantage point to shoot it at eye level.

 

4- Get Dirty

This may be the most important and most overlooked tip for taking a great travel photograph. Sometimes you have to get dirty to get the job done. We all know you are wearing your new outfit but if you want a lasting pic, maybe you’ll have to ruin that shirt if you want the shot. If you aren’t totally prepared to lie on the ground or stand in a puddle to get the angle that makes the subject look epic, you will fail. Don’t be afraid to look odd, twist your body to contortionist levels to snap the most impressive picture.

Good luck out there and hopefully changing your vantage point will start you on the road to taking professional level pictures and ramping up your Instagram account.

 

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Destinations

Disneyland Attractions That Have Been Lost In Time

Many Disneyland attractions have survived since it first opened in 1955, but others have come and gone. 

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Disneyland has brought joy to children and adults alike since it first opened in 1955. Many attractions have survived since the beginning, but others have come and gone. Here are some of the most memorable Disneyland attractions that have been lost but not forgotten. 

MIDGET AUTOPIA

This attraction only existed in Disneyland from 1957-1966. It featured miniature cars that traveled along a permanent path. The driver could control the speed using gas and brake pedals, but the steering wheel was not functional. It eventually was removed to make room for “It’s A Small World,” but it lived on for another ten years in Marceline, Missouri, the birthplace of Walt Disney himself.

 

COUNTRY BEAR JAMBOREE

One of the more classic attractions on this list, The Country Bear Jamboree survived from 1972-2001. It featured animatronic bears (and a few other forest creatures) that would perform pre-recorded songs. It was eventually removed and was replaced by “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” 

ADVENTURES THRU INNER SPACE

An attraction ahead of its time, Adventures Thru Inner Space was a part of “Tomorrowland” and took guests on a magical tour through the atoms of a snowflake. It used an “omnimover” system that is still used in many rides to this day. It was eventually replaced by “Star Tours” in 1985.

FLYING SAUCERS

The Flying Saucers were a popular attraction within “Tomorrowland,” although they only existed from 1961-1966. Guests would sit on single-rider “saucers” that would move around in a fashion similar to how an air hockey puck moves. It also had a very exciting bumper cars element as riders could slam into each other. 

 

MONSANTO HOUSE OF THE FUTURE

Another attraction involved in the early days of “Tomorrowland,” The Monsanto House of the Future served as a glimpse into what a future house might look like. Complete with futuristic appliances. It lasted in the park from 1957-1967 and was the joint brainchild of Monsanto, M.I.T., and Walt Disney Imagineering. 

 

MINE TRAIN THROUGH NATURE’S WONDERLAND

The Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland was a ride enjoyed by Disneyland guests from 1960-1977. It served as a tour of the fictional town of Rainbow Ridge and featured multiple waterfalls over a thousand animatronic elements. It was eventually replaced by “Big Thunder Mountain.” 

 

THE PEOPLE MOVER

The aptly named “People Mover” did just that – it moved people! Another element of “Tomorrowland,” it ran from 1967-1995. It was a roughly 16-minute ride and provided riders with a scenic tour of Tomorrowland as a whole. It later served as a tour of the “World of Tron,” an attraction built in partnership with the release of the hit movie. 

 

CHICKEN OF THE SEA PIRATE SHIP AND RESTAURANT

This incredible attraction was a staple of Disneyland from 1955-1982. It featured an extensive, tuna-specific menu and was a joint venture with the tuna company, Chicken of the Sea. The company eventually removed their sponsorship and the beautiful pirate ship was turned into “Captain Hook’s Gallery” in 1969. 

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Travel

An Alarming New Technique Used By Human Traffickers To Abduct Women

The world we live in is a scary place full of danger and you should always be on guard, especially when alone.  Women should definitely be aware of their surroundings while in public.   Unfortunately, there are predators everywhere and they are waiting for you to be caught off guard.   You never know when danger […]

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The world we live in is a scary place full of danger and you should always be on guard, especially when alone.  Women should definitely be aware of their surroundings while in public.  

Unfortunately, there are predators everywhere and they are waiting for you to be caught off guard.  

You never know when danger will strike, just like it did for Savannah Nguyen’s mother of Appleton, Wisconsin. She was almost a victim of a ruthless crime syndicate that preys on women who are alone.

 

 

In today’s wild world, it’s important to be cautious of your surroundings and thankfully Savannah’s mom was and acted accordingly to avoid danger.  

She was leaving the local mall and was parked in an empty section of the parking lot until an SUV with dark tinted windows pulled up next to her car.  She thought that was weird since every other space in the entire parking lot was empty… she thought that was odd.

 

The mother of four felt immediately uneasy and wanted to get into her car quickly, but she struggled with her keys.

Once in her car, she noticed that there was something under her windshield wiper, but instead of getting out, she locked her doors, started up her car and sped away.  

 

Something in her gut just told her to drive away, and thankfully she did.  She could see whatever was under her wiper blade was flapping away in the wind, but she didn’t stop until she was safe in her own garage.

Her mother rushes into the house and tells her daughter all about what had happened and they investigated what was under her wiper blade.

When they looked under the blade, they found a small plastic bag with a ring inside and a note written on the bag.  The note said the ring was a gift and was free.

 

When Savannah realized what was happening she freaked out, her mother was almost a victim of human trafficking.  She had heard stories of women finding things under their wiper blade and when they got out to investigate, they were abducted.  

Luckily, her mother felt uneasy when that SUV drove up next to her car and she got out of there before investigating.  

 

Savannah wanted to get the word out so she shared her mother’s story on Facebook and the response was epic.  The next key step is for you to share this story and get the word out that human trafficking is real and is closer to home than you could ever expect.  Women and children are getting abducted all over America in big cities and small towns.  

Be safe out there, be aware of your surroundings and if you feel something is off, get out of there and tell someone.

 

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Travel

Stop Checking Your Bags And Start Living Free

Don’t Check your Luggage Airlines and airports are modern marvels which I’m amazed run as well as they do, but even well-oiled machines have their problems. Hundreds of airplanes, thousands of people traveling in different directions and each with bags of personal belongings, mistakes are bound to be made. There are too many moving parts […]

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Don’t Check your Luggage

Airlines and airports are modern marvels which I’m amazed run as well as they do, but even well-oiled machines have their problems. Hundreds of airplanes, thousands of people traveling in different directions and each with bags of personal belongings, mistakes are bound to be made. There are too many moving parts to trust a machine that big, that’s why I never check my luggage.

 

I hate checking my luggage when I fly and you should too. Checking a bag just complicates things and is essentially a waste of my precious time. I’ve logged hundreds of thousands of airline miles and the one thing I can definitively say is that checking luggage is bad news.  

I’m a professional traveler, one who lives out of a suitcase for weeks at a time and I never check my bag with the airlines. Checking luggage is another cost that these airlines tack on to an already hefty price tag. Checking bags cost extra money that I’d rather spend on my trip. Some airlines do offer free checked bags but restrictions usually apply, so its best practices to figure out your carrier’s baggage rules ahead of time.

 

Not only do most airlines charge you to check luggage, they regularly go lost and sometimes are even ransacked by airport employees. My mother had her digital camera stolen from a checked bag, granted she shouldn’t have checked her digital camera in the first place.  Theft and damaged bags is a serious problem that airlines and airports don’t seem to take seriously.

It’s no secret that airlines lose luggage and never give you a good excuse as to why. Many times they are just delayed because they missed a connecting flight, but any delay in not having your personal belongings can really ruin a trip.

 

Is there anything worse on a trip than the airline losing your luggage? How about checking your suitcase and when you get to your destination, something of value has gone missing? These scenarios can ruin a perfectly good vacation, so why put your fun in the hands of others? I’ve been burned by the airlines enough to learn my lesson and hopefully you can learn from my experiences too.

If you learn how to pack your carry on bag correctly and only bring the bare essentials, anyone can forgo checking of bags altogether. Now I understand that not every trip allows you to go checked bag free but to ease your travels I suggest you make an effort. Packing smart and planning ahead are your two keys to victory and a hassle-free experience.

 

I always tell people that if you can’t wear something multiple times during a trip then you probably don’t need to bring it. Of course, circumstances arise where you need to bring something special, in these cases you can make sacrifices to make it all fit. I tend to pack one less of everything I think I need. If I’m packing two pairs of jeans, I’ll toss one last second and go with my gut.

Always remember that hotels have laundry and it’s easy to do a quick load or two mid-trip to essentially double your wardrobe. Resorts and higher-end hotels will even offer a laundry service so you don’t even have to break a sweat. I love staying at AirBnb’s where you can choose laundry as one of your search criteria, so you know you’ll have in-house laundry.

For some people packing light is a terrifying ordeal and you can’t imagine not having choices. Sounds like my wife, but once she planned ahead and packed smart, she was amazed at how convenient packing light truly is. Save yourself the hassle of having a bulky bag when you get to your destination and enjoy the freedom of packing light.

Time is the most valuable asset we all have and you only get so much, so save as much as possible by not checking a bag. Arriving at the airport hours in advance and waiting at the gate for an hour or so is a real drag and is seriously cutting into your pina colada time. Save yourself an hour on each end of your flight and get your vacation on.

 

Tips to Pack Smart

Russian Doll

Everything has a home when you are packing smart, so learn from the Russian Dolls that your grandmother probably had. Russian dolls perfectly fit inside each other to save space, think about this principle with packing. Socks balled up can fit inside your shoes; extra purses should be packed with underwear or other small garments. If you pack like this then you will be amazed at how little space you actually need.

Plastic Bags

Pack each individual article of clothing in a plastic bag that has a zip top enclosure and vacuum seal each bag by sucking excess air out.  This packing trick is an excellent way to make extra room in your luggage and also helps you organize your bag.

Make a List

I’m a list maker and a double checker, but these practices actually help with packing smart. I try and plan out my outfits by checking what the weather will be like and packing accordingly.

Layers

Layers are your best friend when packing light. Believe me when I say that three shirts and a windbreaker pack much easier than a bulky winter jacket. Each layer can be worn separately to create varied looks.

Pack smart, pack light and never check your luggage again.


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