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Travel Photography Tip #3: Magic Hour

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take the perfect travel photos; all you need are some good techniques. The magic hour is an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset, when the natural light is perfect for capturing your subject in all its glory.  

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You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take the perfect travel photos; all you need are some good techniques. A great picture doesn’t have to be perfect but it should be visually stimulating and pleasing to the eye. I’m no pro, but I do take high-quality photos and it’s because I follow my own guidelines. I can remember just a few years ago, I was completely an amateur and my photos looked like it. After some practice and a little research, I was able to pinpoint some important rules to taking great travel photos.

Today we will talk about when to take pictures, focusing on the time of day. Lighting is important to a photo because it allows all aspects to be clearly visible. The magic hour is terminology that every photographer, professional or amateur, should understand. The magic hour is an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset, when the natural light is perfect for capturing your subject in all its glory.  

A good photographer will get up early or stay out late just to get the right shot and this includes the magic hour.  Photos not taken during these magic hours are often too bright or not illuminated enough, so it rewards the shutterbug for their efforts. Overcast skies resemble the lighting of the magic hour, so pray for cloudy skies; your photos will thank you.

EARLY

Waking up early can be very beneficial for capturing some amazing photos. If you are trying to take pictures in an already busy tourist area, getting up before the sun rises will help you beat the crowds. Nobody is clamoring to look at crowds of people in line to see an attraction, so beat the rush and get there early. You won’t be the only one with a camera early; it’s a common practice among professionals.   I can guarantee that your pictures will be better without hordes of people and your subjects will be clearer.

If you are searching for the magic hour, you had better find out when sunrise and sunset are. Knowing this will help you be in place when the magic hour strikes.

The weather will have a bearing on your pictures, so check the forecast to see if your early rising will be worth the trouble. The mornings are often more gloomy than evenings so be prepared for an overcast sky. Many will think that overcast skies are bad for photography, when in fact, it makes the magic hour last much longer.

By waking up early, you get an interesting view of things seldom seen by tourists. Most tourists travel on similar schedules, making attractions busy during popular times and photos less unique. I like to see how huge operations like farmers markets are set up; it lets you see how the locals live, which makes for excellent travel snapshots.

LATE

Staying out late to get the images you desire is a great technique for taking amazing travel pictures. I’m sure you’ve seen photos of cityscapes, with the downtown lights twinkling in the night sky. These are some of my favorites vignettes, showing just how bustling a city can be. I like to take these and compare to see which locals I visit have the most active nightlife.

Some cities, like Las Vegas, just look better at night. Vegas is a city that at night looks like one of the eight wonders of the world and during the day, it looks like one of the saddest, worn out cities imaginable. You want the vibrant color of the city lights with an almost black backdrop, so I advise you search for that magic hour. If it is too dark, the shadows can overtake the beauty of the photo and you may lose some contrast.

When shooting at night, I also recommend using a tripod, to help stabilize your camera. Many times, cameras at night will use a higher sensitivity lens, which takes longer to actually take the picture. This time taking the picture means you must keep the camera stable the entire time or it can easily be out of focus.

Remember to use these tips and you will be taking radical travel photos in no time.  The magic hour or Golden Hour is short-lived, so be prepared and take some amazing photos.

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Travel

Super Secret Summer Travel Deals

 Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

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The temperatures are rising, your kid’s school is winding down and it’s almost time for your yearly summer vacation, but how can you afford it? Not to worry, we have the super secret deals on all your summer vacation needs. Whether you prefer a beach destination, outdoors adventure or swanky five-star hotels, we got the hook up. Let’s explore some exciting ways to save money on your family vacation or your super singles weekend getaway.

 

Cheapest Destinations

Of all the popular destinations this summer we found the three with the best deals and most enticing perks.

Canada

This is the season to check out Canada and see what this great country has to offer. Not only is Canada beautiful and widely overlooked on vacationer’s travel lists, but this is the country’s 150th anniversary so all of their National Parks are free to visit. Yes, I said FREE. You can check out what these amazing Canadian National Parks have to offer, like the pure unbridled natural beauty of Banff National Park for free.

Canada’s dollar is also worth less than the American dollar, so your money goes a long way up North. On average you will save 20-30% on everything because of the favorable dollar price.

 

Yellowstone

If you want to stay in the states, Yellowstone National Park is a great way to go. See the epic geysers and all the other natural wonders that prehistoric park offer.  Head up to Wyoming and check out the vast 3,500 plus square miles of untouched nature and see some serious wild animals. Expect bears, wolves, elk, bison and antelope, just to name a few.

 

Fort Lauderdale

If fun in the sun is your vacation of choice, Sunny Florida is a great way to catch some rays and swim in the warm Atlantic Ocean. Ft. Lauderdale is a much cheaper destination than its pricey neighbor, Miami. Get the same weather, same powder white sandy beaches and all the beach amenities for half the price of nearby hot spots. You can make day trips to Orlando for Disney or Universal Studios and check out the awesome Everglades National Park too.

 

Best Airline Deals

If you are looking to fly on vacation saving big on flights can help with your overall budget. Check out these airlines that are seriously cutting prices this summer and offering up great deals.

Norwegian

If you are looking for awesome deals check out Norwegian Airlines, who offer the best deals to Europe right now. The Scandinavian company is hooking customers up this summer so check them out if you want to go to Europe.

 

 

WOW

Offering the cheapest deals to Iceland and parts of Europe, WOW Airlines is hurting other airlines with their bottom basement prices. It’s a great time to fly to Europe with these super cheap deals.

 

Side Notes:

 

Avoid Sunday July 9

The busiest travel day this summer will undoubtedly be Sunday July 9th, the Sunday After July 4th. This day will be a nightmare on the roads, in the air and in terminals at airports and train stations all over the U.S. Avoid travel on this day if at all possible.

As always Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest and least busy days to travel so book your flights and trips on these two days.

 

Unlock some serious summer savings and turn the vacation of your dreams into a reality.

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Air Canada Announces the Gift of Travel Campaign

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Air Canada provides travelers with a unique opportunity starting this December. The company’s Gift of Travel initiative is certainly worth looking forward to.

Air Canada announces a new holiday campaign called the Gift of Travel. It’s the company’s new initiative that celebrates different actions done by several heroes in the community who are providing selfless possibilities to fellow Canadians.

The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted our freedom to explore the world and travel without increased border restrictions.  Air Canada’s Gift of Travel campaign aims to help procure funds for various organizations in Canada. The initiative also provides avid travelers with easier travel passes, enabling them to reach their dream destinations conveniently.

“Canadians from across the country have shown remarkable resilience, solidarity and generosity in the face of COVID-19 and we were inspired hearing stories of people who dedicated their time and energy to caring for others, making a memorable impact on other people’s lives. We are proud to launch this campaign with our Gift of Travel video featuring heartwarming stories of community heroes and share the gift of travel through a message of hope and optimism from our employees as we all look forward to brighter days ahead,” shares Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources, and Communications Officer at Air Canada. “We are also proud to continue our long-standing effort through the Air Canada Foundation in supporting communities through its inaugural Gift of Travel auction and the annual Aeroplan Matching Campaign,” she adds.

The same Gift of Travel campaign highlights with different inspirational stories about Air Canada personnel as they do community work, providing assistance related to the fight against COVID-19. These stories can be accessed via the company’s social media handles and website.

On 1 December 2020, the company will launch its Gift of Travel auction. The said auction will highlight rare aviation implements including the opportunity to fly or operate an aviation simulator. It will also feature a ride-on plane for kids and even a chance to have dinner with the company’s most celebrated chefs.

All proceeds of the said Gift of Travel auction will be given to various Canadian charitable groups and organizations that work toward better health for the youth and children.

Also, the Gift of Travel campaign will cover the yearly Aeroplan Matching Campaign week celebrations. This will feature the Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program, an advocacy to help sick children to get the medical help they need.

Through the Air Canada Foundation, the charitable arm of the company, Air Canada specifically aims to help Canadian children and youth in their medical and health needs. The Foundation also provides financial assistance and in-kind aid to various charitable organizations in Canada.

The company’s Gift of Travel campaign also highlights a Gift of Travel pass that allows convenient travel to one of the six designated locations. This pass will be valid until April 2022 and will provide the bearer with utmost flexibility.

The COVID-19 outbreak has heavily affected Canadian’s capacity to travel wherever and whenever they want. With Air Canada’s Gift of Travel, however, more opportunities to travel—and even to help others—becomes a vivid reality.

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Travel

Best Ways to Save $ on Summer Travel

If you use these savings tips, you should be able to afford the most amazing vacations without breaking the bank.

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Summer travel season is upon us and if you haven’t started the booking process yet, there’s still time. We travel in the summer because it fits into our schedules with work time off, children’s school vacations and of course the weather is just right. Summer is also most destination’s peak season, meaning savings are rare but with our help, you’ll find them. We searched for the best ways to save big on your summer travel plans without missing out on all the fun. Pack your bags because with our help you’ll be able to afford any dream vacation.

 

Be Flexible

One of the best ways to save is being flexible with your travel plans. Picking the cheapest flights, hotels and attraction tickets can help make ant trip more affordable. Being flexible doesn’t just deal with time; it involves destination, activities and mode of travel. Often times a resort town will have neighboring towns with better deals and cheaper activities and accommodations. Maybe a train or driving is a more affordable mode of transportation. The point is being flexible with your plans and you can save big, meaning you can do and enjoy more on your trip.

 

Tues/Wed

If you don’t already know, Tuesday and Wednesday are the cheapest days to fly so if you are going for a week, try flying in and out on these days. These are generally the slowest travel days so you win twice. You’ll fly for cheaper and the airport and airplane will be less crowded.

 

Book Early

It may be too late to book early for the beginning of summer but you still have time to book trips near the end of summer and still get good deals. The more time in between the time you book and the time you travel equals savings.

 

Price Drops

Most major travel sites will offer price drop guarantees when you book early, so if the price drops, you get refunded the difference. These are free or a few dollars and are definitely worth it.

 

Membership Discounts

We are already paying for memberships like AAA or AARP, so why not take advantage of the incredible savings these organizations offer. Check with your respective organization and inquire about travel deals. You will be surprised by how large these discounts can be.

 

Book Online

Many resorts or airlines offer deals for booking online, so take advantage of these lurking online deals. They are often hard to find so do some snooping and see what kind of savings you can unearth.

 

No Rental Insurance

If you are renting a car, never get the added insurance; you are already covered by both your insurance and the credit card you used to pay. These rental car companies will lie and tell you that you need the added insurance, don’t fall for their trickery.

 

Pack Food

If you want to save big by doing almost nothing, simply pack some snacks. Food on the go is so much more expensive than bringing snacks, so save big by doing very little.

 

Package Deals

Search for package deals where they combine airfare, hotels and other amenities into one price. These are often huge deals and make everything seem so seamless. These sites are everywhere so do your research and find the best ones.

 

Deal Sites

Get daily deals from coupon sites like Groupon and LivingSocial. These sites offer incredible deals for a fraction of the original price. We find huge savings on theme parks and hotels almost everyday.

 

If you use these savings tips, you should be able to afford the most amazing vacations without breaking the bank.

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