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Travel Photography Tip #7: Have Fun With A GoPro

The GoPro has revolutionized the way we can capture our adventures at every angle and during every exciting moment. 

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In this installment in my series on travel photography, we’ll discuss the importance and awesomeness of the GoPro. I feel like I should mention that I have received nothing from GoPro and am only writing this on my sincere recommendation.

The GoPro has revolutionized the way we can capture our adventures at every angle and during every exciting moment. The camera shoots still photos and video with an interesting fisheye lens. They are waterproof and shock resistance so you can basically do any activity with these bad boys capturing every moment.

The best part is GoPros are very affordable, the batteries last a long time and you can take GoPros where normal cameras can’t go. You can shoot for hours on one battery life and memory card and these cameras can literally anywhere and under almost any circumstances.

The only caveat is the fisheye lens takes some getting used to. I advise some practice shoots before your big trip so you can get accustomed to the camera and lens.

Here are my tips for taking the best GoPro photos and video.

KEEP IT STEADY

These little cameras are super sensitive so make sure you keep them steady. Any movement can make the video seem shaky or images seem blurry. Remember this when you are taking video the most as movements can really affect the quality of the video. Of course with an action camera movement is going to happen, so try and make the movements smooth.

These things shoot incredible video and stills so practice makes perfect and getting used to the lens takes some time.

SHOOT FROM THE HIP

With this I mean, remember that this camera shoots with a fisheye lens, so you must account for this when lining up your shot. Try to shoot for a lower center and you will have the best composition possible. Luckily with digital photography, we can mess with the composition in post to correct little adjustments. If you are taking a selfie with a GoPro, remember to aim lower so you capture your whole body instead of just your face and a lot of sky.

TIME-LAPSE

Try out the time-lapse function of the camera to get the best selfies. Remember to switch the camera angle and your expression to get the best picks. You can trash the unwanted ones later, but the time lapse is a great tool. The camera shoots in bursts from 2 to 10 seconds in between shots.

GET THE RIGHT ACCESSORIES

Accessories make the GoPro so accessible and adventure ready. Make sure you get the right accessories for your trip. What are you going to be doing and where?

WATER

Grip Floatie: Get the floatie grip for snorkeling and scuba trips. This handle extender also acts as a float in case you drop your camera from excitement.

Surf Mount: Get the surf mount obviously if you plan on hitting the ocean waves. It clips to the nose of your board so you can get some awesome shots of you ripping up the waves.

Anti-fog: Get these inserts for your waterproof housing so your camera doesn’t fog up and become unusable.

ADVENTURE

Chest Mount: Get the chest mount for hands-free adventures. Your camera mounts directly to your chest so you can record first-person video form some awesome locations.

Selfie Stick: These convenient devices have gotten a bad rap, they are extremely useful and a must buy.

Sticky Mounts: These one time stickers can be mounted on anything and gives you the opportunity to get some interesting and exciting camera angles.

MAKE SURE THE LENS IS CLEAN

This is serious, these little cameras can get dirty easily and a small smudge on the lens or housing can ruin all your pictures. Carry a lens cleaner and constantly check your lens for the best pictures possible.

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Guides

Avoid These Common Cruise Mistakes

From singles cruises to senior cruises, we have it all covered, so bon voyage and enjoy the ride.

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Its cruise season and many of you will be embarking on your first adventure at sea. For all the cruise virgins out there, this helpful guide could make your vacation the best and help you avoid the most common first timer mistakes. Chose the right trip for your lifestyle and pack the appropriate clothing and get ready for the time of your life. From singles cruises to senior cruises, we have it all covered, so bon voyage and enjoy the ride.

 

Bring the allowed amount of alcohol

Most cruise ships make a huge portion of their money on alcohol sales, so look into your chosen cruise company and their alcohol rules. Most boats will allow visitors to bring one bottle of booze on board per passenger so pack wisely. My wife and I enjoy different drinks so we pack one bottle each and will help us save about $100 per person at the minimum. Cruise ships have you trapped so there is no other way to buy drinks but from them. Another sneaky trick is to buy a “gift” of alcohol when on shore at one of your destinations and sneaking it back on board wrapped up. Some ships check when you board so don’t try this on the first stop.

Allow enough travel time

It’s important to give yourself enough time when you travel before and after your cruise. If your flight is delayed and you miss the cruise departure, your trip is officially forfeited and you won’t get a dime back, so make sure you leave yourself some serious safety time. I tend to get to the departure city at least 24 hours in advance just in case.  Same goes for when you return home as cruise ships can encounter delays as well. Don’t allow delays ruin your trip and plan ahead.

 

Bring all Documentation

Don’t forget the important things like Passport or Ticket info, the boarding process on a cruise is pretty quick and they don’t have time for delays. If you leave your passport, most likely they won’t even allow you on the boat if it’s an international cruise.

Extra Splurges

Most cruise ships are all-inclusive with meals, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t splurge on the extras, like fancy dinners.  Sure the normal included buffets are great usually but the fancy ala carte restaurants are 5-star and top notch. I usually will splurge and buy at least a few dinners out and I’m never sorry.

 

Don’t miss the free entertainment

Cruise ships offer tons of free entertainment and you should take advantage of them fully. From plays to comedians and music acts, cruise ships offer plenty of free entertainment that you already paid for, so don’t miss out.

 

Keep keycard on you all the time

Your keycard is your cash on a ship since most are cash free. Never leave your room without your keycard or you won’t be able to buy or do anything. They are used to check in at all the restaurants, bars and casino.

Pre Booked Tours etc

Every time the boat docks there are free tours offered by the ship that are an excellent way to see the destination. I don’t always take the tour because sometimes I just like to wander around certain locations.

 

Don’t forget these helpful tips when you take your first cruise.

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Hawaii Travel Restrictions to Change

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Travelers to Hawaii will need to undergo COVID-19 testing and have negative results prior to entering the state, stresses Governor David Ige, as Hawaii travel restrictions get modified.

Effective a couple of days before Thanksgiving, stricter Hawaii travel restrictions are to be initiated. This is to halt the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, David Ige, the state’s governor proclaims on Thursday.

At the moment, visitors are permitted to reach Hawaii by using a pre-testing protocol. Upon reaching the state, travelers can simply upload their test’s negative results on the Hawaiian COVID-19 visitor database and bypass the 14-day quarantine used by other US states.

This current mandate is problematic, however, as more and more tourists later prove to be positive after being allowed passage into Hawaii. This issue, then, compromises the health and well-being of residents, resulting to the prevalence of new COVID-19 cases in the area. Hence, Ige points out the need to tighten border patrol to curb this rampant result.

The said tightening of Hawaii travel restrictions plans to take effect on Tuesday, just two days before the upcoming holiday celebration.

To forego, however, the 2-week quarantine protocol, tourists are required to take the proper COVID-19 test at any of the accredited testing centers or partners of the state. Nevertheless, if the results of the test do not arrive before flying into Hawaii, the tourist shall be forced to take a 14-day quarantine or even stay on lockdown for the duration of his visit, whichever is shorter.

It is essential to note that tourists who do not obtain their negative COVID-19 results before departure won’t be able to enter Hawaii even if the said information arrives just before they reach the state.

Travelers are still provided with the option to skip COVID-19 testing, however. Both tourists and residents who arrive at the border can still opt to take the 14-day quarantine, either at their designated hotels or at home. This option comes in lieu of the lengthy COVID-19 testing queues across the United States as more and more Americans are forced to get tested for the said virus.  

At present, the US still holds the topmost record of the most COVID-19 total cases in the world. As of writing, it already has a record of 12,078,831 positive cases. To prevent the upsurge of the same rapid transmission within Hawaii’s borders, the need to require negative COVID-19 results as part of the modified Hawaii travel restrictions is pointed out.

Nevertheless, Ige explains that the necessity of protecting Hawaiians from the possibility of inbound infection can be skipped by choosing to stay on a 14-day quarantine. Travelers can still opt to remain within their hotel rooms or head straight to their homes, eradicating immediate—and unprotected—contact with locals during the said time period. Thus, tightening Hawaii travel restrictions aims to halt rapid COVID-19 spread as everyone awaits news of an effective vaccine that may possibly help the country—and the world—revert to the unrestricted mobility experienced way before this unprecedented pandemic emergency.

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Guides

Explore Dubai’s Adrenaline Junkie Scene

From zip lines to sky diving Dubai is now home to more extreme sport activities than anywhere else in the world.

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Dubai has quickly become the playground of the uber-rich and now the city is morphing into the ultimate adrenaline junkie’s paradise. The city has grown exponentially since the turn of the century and the limits just keep being pushed. In a land known for its opulence and extravagance, adrenaline junkies are finding new uses for the area’s extreme landscape. From zip lines to sky diving Dubai is now home to more extreme sport activities than anywhere else in the world.

Let’s explore what Dubai has to offer on the extreme activity front and see if any of them tempt your adventure side.

 

Dune Bashing

Dune bashing is as violent as it sounds as people race across the undulating dunes in 4×4 vehicles at high speeds. It’s an amazing way to spend an afternoon in the extreme heat of the desert. Imagine flying through the air as your catapult yourself over these heaving dunes. 

Power Boating

The rich love their cigarette boats and the calm waters of the Arabian Sea make for the perfect racing zone for fast boats. You can often see boats zooming across the water at speeds up to 120 mph.

 

Zip lining

What better way to see the city while navigating its busy streets from a few hundred feet above? The city introduced the first urban zip lines in the world in 2015. It’s an adrenaline rush and the best and fastest way to zip across town.

Shark Diving

Where else but Dubai has a shopping mall with an aquarium which you could actually swim with sharks? It doesn’t get more extreme than swimming with sharks. 

Surfing

There are actually some pretty good surfing spots around Dubai, so bring your board or rent one.

 

Skiing

Who says you can’t go snow skiing in the desert? Only in Dubai would there be an indoor ski arena. You can ski or snowboard in this awesome indoors mountain with constant 24-degree weather and a few challenging slopes. There is even an adventure park for skilled skiers and boarders to get some air on the jumps and half pipe.

Diving

Even the odd sport of extreme high diving was recently brought to the adrenaline rich city. The Red Bull Cliff Diving series was held at the Dubai Marina Pier with a 90 –foot platform was erected. 

 

Skydiving

Skydive Dubai offers risk takers the opportunity to fly through the sky above all the man made islands and get the coolest and most unique views of the city. You can try tandem or if you are experienced, you can jump solo.

BASE Jumping

BASE-jumping is considered to be illegal most places in the world except Dubai where the daredevil sport is encouraged and often sanctioned by the government. A private company also has plans to build a 1,000-foot tower for extreme sports like rock climbing and BASE-jumping. Imagine jumping off the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa and living to talk about it.

 

Rally Racing

The dunes and the desert are perfect for rally racing either cars or motorcycles. With a wide-open desert as the backdrop to the city, Dubai is made for extreme racing.

 

Urban Climbing

This is an obvious thrill-seeking event in a city with so many tall skyscrapers. With more super tall skyscrapers than anywhere in the world and not strict laws against urban climbing, Dubai is the top choice. All the top climbers are heading to Dubai to climb the Burj Khalifa and it’s intimidating 2,700 feet.

 

Flyboarding

Flyboarding is the new jetpack of our generation. Hooked up to a jet ski, a rider straps water jets to their feet and off they go on an epic adventure. Riders can reach heights of 30 feet while cruising at speed of 25 MPH.

Gyrocoptering

Gyrpocoptering is a new phenomenon that has adventure seekers lining up to try. Imagine flying your own mini helicopter high above the city’s epic skyline in a two-seater gyrocopter.

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