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Using a Wide Angle Lens For Your Nature & Wildlife Shots

January 31, 2014 by  

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We spend our time trying to get closer to animals and nature, to photograph them and to see the intricate details they possess. We can sometimes become so focused on getting in close that we tend to lose sight of the bigger picture. More often that not, I have failed to capture and animal in its natural environment and put some perspective into the lives these wild animals lead. This post will hopefully help us step back, and take a look at the scene: manage lines, contrasts, natural light and scale. Just a few aspects to keep in mind when using a wide angle lens to photograph wildlife. I recently purchased a wide angle lens, the Canon 10-22mm EFS. It was my goal to get into some sort of landscape photography, but when exploring through the reserve and testing the lens, I was amazed at the types of images popping up on my screen. However, there is much to a wide angle lens, and it is not as simple as point and click. But by doing a bit of research one can slowly get to grips with certain aspects that will make using a wide angle lens so much more…

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The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide For Finding Mafia Hotspots in Sicily

January 31, 2014 by  

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A new travel guide to Sicily is an illustrated journey to the heart of the Mafia. Written for tourists and armchair travelers alike, the book is a geographical history of Cosa Nostra on the Italian island of Sicily, the picturesque birthplace of organized crime.  In The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide ($18.95, Strategic Media Books, February 2014), author Carl Russo takes the reader to key hotspots in the history of the Sicilian Mafia: where the murders happened, where the godfathers lived, and where their victims are buried. The book’s many photographs were the result of Russo’s undercover work in Sicily over the course of six years. Russo’s guidebook, the first of its kind in any language, is an adventure for anyone interested in unique travel, Italian history, or the annals of crime. From the sunbaked fishing villages of the Mediterranean to the darkest alleys of Palermo, western Sicily is the exotic background for disturbing tales of murder and mayhem. Readers will discover:
  •  A hundred strange and violent tales from Cosa Nostra’s 150-year history, meticulously researched and rendered in sharp prose.
  • 202


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Exploring Nashville Tennessee Inside & Out

January 31, 2014 by  

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One of my travel goals is to explore more cities in the United States and Nashville was at the top of that list. Oh, and if I’m going to be completely honest here, the ABC hit show of the same name might have had something to do with it. Although I don’t own a TV, I started to notice that every week I came up with some silly excuse to watch an episode on Hulu. Nashville was never far from my mind but the show definitely reignited my interested in visiting. I also chose to explore Nashville in the winter because I simply love off-season travel. As a newcomer to Music City, there were a few things I noticed right off the bat that I think are worth sharing. Here are five reasons travelers will appreciate this cultural and creative city.

1.  Nashville IS and IS NOT a walking city

Clearly, I didn’t do too much research before boarding my flight because I always assumed that Nashville was a walking city…and it is in some ways. On one hand, many of the main touristic attractions are located downtown – The Country Music Hall of Fame, the famous honky-tonks and The…

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Laotian Food in North Carolina: Bida Manda Restaurant

January 31, 2014 by  

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Exterior of Bida Manda Laotian Restaurant in Raleigh, NC. You know the movies about American high schools where everyone is comfortably cubby-holed into neatly organized cliques, hierarchically organized by commonplace definitions of what’s hot and what’s not until an exotic stranger arrives and turns everything upside down? That’s kind of what happened to the Raleigh restaurant scene when Bida Manda arrived in the heart of downtown. Before I knew anything about this Laotian newcomer I saw it sandwiched between a well-established Irish pub and a reverberating music hall, glowing with an inviting light. I first spied this ghostly apparition late on a Friday night, when my elbows chain-linked me to my friends as they pulled through a throng of concert-going hipsters sipping PBRs who had spilled onto the street. Before I could learn more, it disappeared into a cloud of cigarette smoke. During Restaurant Week, murmurs about a new Southeast Asian bistro starting surfacing, with a resurgence of rumors when Maneet Chauhan, a Food Network chef featured the less-than-a-year-old restaurant on her new “Cutting Edge” reality show. As a lover of Southeast Asia and an avid investigator of apparent mysteries, I scheduled a meeting with…

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Hawaii: Beyond Sunsets and Mushrooms

January 30, 2014 by  

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sunset A colorful Big Island sunset over Kealakekua Bay During a recent trip to Hawaii, I had the pleasure of road tripping around the Big Island, beginning in Hilo and ending in Kona. I spent a week exploring, touring organic farms, having exciting adventures, indulging in local foods and, the highlight for me, seeing the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen (Seriously! Big Island has super low hanging clouds that look otherworldly, while the colors of the setting sun last for hours). To give you an idea of my experience — and inspire your itinerary — here’s a photo essay of my time on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Sunsets Like I’ve Never Seen

As someone who is constantly on the road, I’ve seen my fair share of gorgeous sunsets; however, none compare to what I recently saw on the Big Island. The clouds are extremely low, allowing you to see every curve and cotton candy crevice (and feel like you can reach out and touch them!). Additionally, while many sunsets happen quickly, the Big Island’s seem to last for hours, the sky lighly emitting hues of pink and orange even after the stars are out. Then…

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Supergroups In Mainstream & Indie World Grow In Popularity

January 30, 2014 by  

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BOTH This from Pitchfork:
Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann and indie-punk fixture Ted Leo toured together in 2012 and 2013, resulting in a collaborative songwriting project called the Both. (Thankfully they’ve dropped the hashtag from the name). On April 15, they’ll release a self-titled collaborative album through Mann’s label SuperEgo. Check out “Milwaukee”, the first Leo-Mann hybrid recording.
Just as I predicted. Supergroups in the mainstream and in the indie world will be a big part of the music industry in 2014. Why? Probably because. More Voynostradamous predictions to come true soon. Watch for the signs!  


The Foodie City of Bangkok Thailand

January 30, 2014 by  

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Thai Food by Ya-YinWe all have trouble deciding where to go when we have a holiday, but seek no more. Spending your holidays in Thailand is an ideal family vacation if you want to taste delectable cuisines, shop and experience the rich Thai culture. From culinary delicacies to succulent wineries, Thailand offers much more than you could imagine from an ordinary holiday. Most people head straight for Thailand’s beautiful beaches and islands, but don’t miss out on spending some time in Bangkok. Asia’s City of Angels is nothing short of fantastic, with plenty of options for everyone. Colorful Buddhist temples, cruising the Venice of Asia in a river taxi, bustling markets, cheap shopping and world-class museums and galleries are just a few things you can enjoy in Bangkok. And the food! The glorious, wonderful food! Eating out in Bangkok is simply wonderful, and there are no shortage of restaurants and street carts to try out. BBC’s article on The best of Bangkok’s street food reinforces the idea that Thai cooking should be a highlight for anyone visiting Bangkok. So where does one go for great food in Bangkok?  When seeking a great…

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Rome & Stockholm, Like But Not Unlike Each Other

January 30, 2014 by  

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I’m always rooting for the underdog, which won’t surprise you if you know anything about my life story. This is true when it comes to politics, to personal feuds and, of course, when it comes to travel. As globalization has become a thing over the past couple decades, one of the hierarchies social scientists have come up with to make sense of the mess is the idea of “global city” rankings. (Warning: I am about to unleash my inner geek for a moment!) There are a few of these, but the one that makes the most sense to me is the “Globalization and World Cities” (GaWC) one, which ranks cities according to their economic, political and cultural contribution to the world, starting at Alpha and going right on down the Greek alphabet to Gamma. I’ve been studying these lists and the movement of cities up and down them since I first became aware of its existence years ago and have noticed, as I have been traveling the world essentially at my leisure that many of my favorite cities are not in the top “Alpha” tier, but in the secondary “Beta” tier. Anyway, enough of that nerd stuff. Here are two of…

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