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Behind the Camera at Holi, India’s Colorful Spring Hindu Festival

April 16, 2014 by  

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Camera  protection Holi Holi is the colorful spring Hindu festival which is a photographers dream and nightmare at the same time. Colored powder and water are thrown and painted on people which is beautiful to photograph, but also concerning from a gear standpoint. Aas much fun as it is to participate, I was there to take pictures too. Here are a few tips if you are attending Holi to take pictures with a DSLR.

Cover Your Camera

I used a LensCoat Raincoat to protect my Canon 60D. I secured it with duct tape so that I could zoom in and out easily. The only issue is that it’s not see-through material – so I had to shoot blindly for part of the time. You can also use a clear plastic bag and wraps which solves the issue of being able to see, however it is a less easy to zoom depending on the size of your lens and potentially not as durable as the Raincoat. Some didn’t use anything and just planned on doing a thorough cleaning afterwards such as an air gun/compressor.  This strategy can work as long as you can avoid the colored…

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Kyoto Japan: Where Are All the Geishas?

April 15, 2014 by  

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I was so certain I would see a geisha as my train rolled into Kyoto Station that I didn’t even allot time for it as I mentally planned out my evening. “They’ll be everywhere in that one district, what’s it called?” I looked at my map. “Gion. I’ll just stroll through Gion on my way up to Kiyomizu Temple and be done with it.” The receptionist at my guest house was kind enough to aid me further. “Avoid the main avenue in Gion,” she advised, and circled an adjacent, smaller road within the district. “You’ll see lots of geishas here, but not so many tourists.” In spite of the extent to which she fed my optimism, the young woman did reveal the sobering fact that geishas don’t tend to emerge until after nightfall, so that it would be best for me to watch sunset first and head down to Gion later.
The dusty orange and rose hues of the sky proved the perfect accompaniment to the pale, pink sakura trees rising through Kiyomizu,…

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Cuban Revelations: Behind the Scenes in Havana

April 13, 2014 by  

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Cuban Revolutions, Marc Frank Fidel Castro’s mustache instantly attracted Michelle’s attention, but his oratory prowess and political passion piqued her interest soon after. “Everyone always loves Che, but I’m trying to convert them.” Curious to the point of obsession, my flatmate devours biographies and fictional histories, printed interviews bigger than a Bible and Fidel’s own heated publications. After reading about the Cuban leader, Michelle will visit his small but proud Caribbean country. And while she’ll travel with more knowledge than most, few books will help her accept those upcoming experiences better than this one. Cuban Revelations – Behind the Scenes in Havana – Marc Frank, 2013 Cuban Revolutions, Che and Fidel U.S.-born Marc Frank spent nearly 25 years living in Cuba and working as a foreign news correspondent. From the fall of the Soviet Union (and its subsequent influence in Cuba), through the proceeding decades of governmental transition between Fidel and his brother Raul, Frank recounts the political and economic developments that have reshaped this island nation. Marrying a local and raising his children here, Frank’s observations are made with the interest of an outsider and the healthy realism…

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A Top Ten List of New York City Films

April 12, 2014 by  

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 I am offering an admittedly highly subjective list for my “Filmed in the Big Apple Top Ten Movie List” from the female pov, and the biased opinions of a born and bred New Yorker – we’re all like that i.e. overly opinionated!  I am opting for the gentler, kinder movie NYC tempered by the double “X” factor. Yes, there are a few mean streets here but there’s also the yellow brick road. The only criteria for my selections is that NYC work as great backdrop and setting, yet assumes such importance that our great city becomes an essential character in the film. By the way, the last time I did a “Top 10” movie list, I had 117 selections.  So make certain your Netflix account is in good standing, you’re gonna need it! Enjoy my self indulgent anecdotal commentary – my personal version of pop up video.

10.  “ENCHANTED”

Photo Credit: https://www.movieposter.com Who doesn’t love a fairy tale? Starring the gossamer Amy Adams, and a gorgeous Patrick Dempsey, this film solidified her cinematic future. A star was born.  Adored the charming romp thru the eastern side of Central Park, especially literary walk…

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Taking a Look Inside Cultural Barcelona

April 11, 2014 by  

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Barcelona, Spain If you think everyone you know has been to Barcelona, you’re probably right. With more than 7 million foreign tourists in 2012, Barcelona ranked fourth among Europe’s most-visited destinations. In spite of how ubiquitous the city has become among travelers, it’s still possible to enjoy a holiday in Barcelona that’s all your own. Continue reading to learn my top tips for a unique trip to Barcelona.

1. Plan loosely

You’re going to want to see iconic Barcelona attractions like the Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas and the seaside neighborhood of Barceloneta, especially if it’s your first visit. Avoid getting caught in the tourist trap by planning your days as loosely as possible – leave room for spontaneity.

2. Get lost

Barcelona, at least in the center, is a city of grid-patterned streets, with the occasional diagonal avenue, so why not venture off the beaten path into a local neighborhood? You never know when you’ll happen upon an architectural treasure, an amazing shop or restaurant or a stunning viewpoint you’d never have seen otherwise.

3. Learn about the work of Joan Miró

Antoni Gaudí is Barcelona’s best-known artist, but Joan Miró’s work was just as significant.…

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3 Unique Boutique European Festivals For Your Calendar

April 10, 2014 by  

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Three upcoming European festivals worth putting on your calendar include: Meadows In The Mountains (Bulgaria), SunSplash (Turkey) and Edge Of The Lake (Switzerland) all with their own unique differences. The Sunsplash Festival in Turkey will be held from June 1-June 8, 2014 at Aspat Beach in Bodrum Turkey.  Returning fo it’s 6th year SunSplash embraces all the natural beauty of the Turkish Mediterranean, the festival’s stunning new home of Aspat Beach truly reflects the ethos of SunSplash and it’s festivalgoers. Nestled inside a private bay, the new site features a huge private palm fringed beach, a tropical style beach bar, a natural creek shaded by enormous eucalyptus trees, beach bungalow accommodation, historic ruins guarded by the noble Aspat Mountain, the top of which extends stunning views across the Turkish Mediterranean and the festival site itself. With extensive gardens, open spaces, sea breeze, wind sports, yoga zone, outdoor workshops and more.   Artist line up includes:  ZARA MCFARLANE // OSUNLADE // GILLES PETERSON // WILLIAM ADAMSON // MARK de CLIVE-LOWE // KARIZMA // PHIL ASHER // RAINER TRUEBY // PATRICK FORGE // ALEX ATTIAS // LeFTO // KEV BEADLE // MIGHTY ZAF // RUBEN ESTEVEZ // AHU // KAAN DUZARAT // DJSOULPROVYDER // CEGIZ ULUSAHIN // ERTAN KURT // YEK // MANASSEH  The Edge of the Lake Festival runs from June 27-29,…

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Jaipur’s Vibrant Annual Holi Festival

April 5, 2014 by  

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  “Happy Holi!” the young girl said as we walked by her in the streets of Jaipur. Her colorful scarf trailed behind her as she walked by and smiled. I’m not sure why I was surprised at this greeting, the Hindu festival of Holi was the main reason that I came to India early. Besides the pictures I had seen of people covered in colorful powder I actually knew very little about the festival. But I was about to get a very quick education. We went to Jaipur because we had heard Holi was also accompanied by an colorful elephant festival and thought we could do both. However, due to issues around the treatment of the elephants, the government cancelled the elephant festival at the last moment which left us to go visit the elephants instead.

Preparing for Holi

Holi Festival Jaipur india Holi vendor measures out colorful powder Holi bonfires Selling trees for Holika bonfires The day before Holi we went into the old city of Jaipur to look around. The streets were filled with vendors selling bright colored powder, balloons, and paper horns. There were also corners filled…

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Ready to Watch the Top 10 New York City Movies?

April 2, 2014 by  

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  My love for The Big Apple goes back to my early memories as a little boy and talks with my father. He told me of the most magical city in the world that existed a very long ways from our home in California. It had the tallest buildings in the world that looked like regal giants. It was a city where all of your dreams could come true. That was his New York City. It quickly became mine too as Dad would sit at the side of my bed and instead of reading a book to me or with me he would tell me stories. The true life recap of his memories as a little boy following the New York Yankees in the 1920′s and 30′s. The most beautiful stadium ever being The House That Ruth Built. And that crown jewel lay in amongst more treasures than could be mentioned from Times Square and the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty. My love and infatuation was forever born and remains steadfast to this day. I have never been to New York City. I will someday. All of my life I have frequently visited it vicariously…

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