Tag: Silver Lake
In honor of National Plan for Vacation Day, I thought I would share some of my best tips for planning vacations.
Flight Deals: Everyone is always searching for the best deal on flights. Assuming you’re not loyal to a specific airline, I recommend you check out the Hopper app. You tell it where you want to go and when and it will watch for flight deals. Every week it gives you an update on prices and if there’s ever a great deal, it will notify you. If you don’t have a set date or destination, I recommend Skyscanner and Airfare Watchdog as well.
Look Outside the Hotel Box: Hotel rooms are small and expensive. Get more space for less money by renting a room or a whole house. HomeAway, and airbnb are great places to look for a hotel alternative for your next trip. HomeAway has been around longer than airbnb and is more sophisticated, HomeAway is great option if you are looking for accommodations for a larger group (castles and whole islands are available to rent on Homeaway). On airbnb you are able to rent a whole home, but you also have the option of sharing a room or even renting a couch for even cheaper travel.
Hotel Deals: That being said, sometimes you want to amenities and comfort of a hotel. There are so many different sites for booking hotels that it can be really overwhelming. I typically look at two site: Priceline and TripAdvisor. Priceline is great because it has the name your own price option and express deals if you’re OK with not knowing exactly what hotel you’re booking. I have used Priceline quite a few times and I have never had a bad experience. Its a great way to get a high end room for a discount. Since you can’t book through TripAdvisor, I find that their reviews are the most honest and accurate.
Plan a Road Trip: I absolutely love using Furkot for planning road trips. It helps space out stops and helps you find a place to stay along the way. It can even help find stops along the way to help break up the drive.
Take a Cruise: Want a vacation where you visit a tropical island, go to sleep and wake up in a new place while dining in Five Star restaurants and seeing world class shows? Take a cruise. Don’t know where to start? Check out Cruise Critic. Also, listen to cruise reviews on Cruise Radio.
Things to Do: You have arrived at your destination. What do you do now? Check TripAdvisor. As mentioned above, users of TripAdvisor rate experiences and allow them to rank restaurants and attractions in a designated area. I have found some hidden gems while traveling (in my home town) because of TripAdvisor. If you travel without TripAdvisor, you are really missing out.
Do you have any travel tips for me? I would love to hear them in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter! Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
When talking skies, I had to go back to my trip to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Rain was on the forecast, but we decided to take the chance and drive up there anyway. The results were stunning! We got beautiful shots of the rain falling over Lake Michigan. I learned my lesson, that’s for sure! Don’t let the weather deter you from exploring and photographing!
About the Photo:
When I saw the sun in the sky this day, I knew it was the perfect candidate for a sunburst! To do this, you’ll want to be in Manual or Aperature Priority Mode on your camera and set a small aperture (larger number). I recommend starting around f/16 and taking shots, each time getting a smaller and smaller aperture. Especially if you are shooting RAW, you may not see the results on the back of your camera, but once you import it into Lightroom, pull out the highlights and you should see a sunburst in the sky!
Nikon D3100 with 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, handheld
April 1, 2016
Over Spring Break, one of the places I wanted to visit was the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. It was supposed to start raining and turn into snow on the day we had chosen and I was skeptical about whether or not we should still go. Well, Chris talked me into and I’m glad I decided to brave it! It was a great photographer’s sky! Those rays in the sky are not Photoshopped in! That is the rain coming in off the lake! Tip for photographers: Don’t let “bad” weather stop you from exploring and shooting! Be brave! Clear sky days are the time to stay home and do housework!
About this Photo:
I knew going to the dunes that I was going to want the widest lens I have and that wasn’t even really wide enough, so I decided to go the panorama route. This was 5 shots stitched together in Lightroom. Once Lightroom did its thing, I did my basic edits and voila!
Nikon D3100 with 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, handheld. Tip: If you’re planning a visit to the dunes, bring your camera bag with you. It is quite a climb up there and you don’t want to get any sand in anything!
April 1, 2016
The posting of the photos that I took while on vacation continues this week, and we are back to Silver Lake State Park near Mears, MI.
We were at Silver lake on this sort of blustery, cold day, where rain was imminent. Really, it was actually snow that was imminent, but we didn’t know that yet. Overall, that week’s weather had been pretty nice for the first week in April, but the upcoming weekend was about to teach us a lesson, and that lesson was to not assume that spring had arrived just yet.
About the photo:
This beach, near the Little Sable lighthouse, had some really cool driftwood; this one was my favorite piece. Unlike the picture I posted a few weeks ago, where I had enhanced the light beams, these ones are straight out of the camera.
Nikon D3100 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
April 9, 2016
Since Spring Break is over, I have been busy planning our summer road trip. I was looking for an app or website that would help me with this planning; something that could help me choose an order for stops and let me know if the distance between stops was unrealistic. Well, after a quick Google search, I found exactly what I was looking for. Furkot.com does all that and more (and no one is paying me to say this). Furkot can help you find lodging in your chosen destinations or at certain intervals throughout your trip that you can customize. It will also help you plan your meals and activities once you’ve finalized your stops. If you are planning a road trip, you’ve got to check out Furkot!
About this Photo:
This photo was taken near the Little Sable Lighthouse at Silver Lake State Park near Mears, Michigan. This shot was taken right as a snow storm was blowing in off of Lake Michigan. It was a single RAW exposure with basic edits done in Lightroom.
Nikon D3100 with 18.0-55.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 handheld
April 1, 2016
This summer, I made the trek over to Silver Lake State Park. Unbeknownst to me, this is a big ORV park and at first I was curious as to why all the cars had flags on them. We parked and began climbing the dune and we started hearing the sounds of engines revving and people laughing. The view at the top of the dune was unbelievable! White sand dunes as far as the eyes can see and off to the right, the flags made sense; cars were driving up and down the dunes, stopping in a cloud of falling sand. Dune driving is not really my cup of tea, so after we enjoyed the view, we drove over to The Little Sable Lighthouse.
The lighthouse was built following the loss of the Schooner Pride in 1866, although it was delayed until 1874 due to lack of roads in the area. The natural brick exterior of Little Sable Light was a blessing for the lighthouse keeper as he did not have to whitewash it. When electricity reached the lighthouse in 1954, the lighthouse keeper’s dwelling was destroyed and the light was automated. If I could go back in time, it would be pretty cool to live in a lighthouse. Although, I don’t know that I would want to be the one to carry the kerosene up those narrow, winding steps.
For this trip, I had just got my telephoto lens and I was very excited to use it. Shooting a lighthouse is not exactly the perfect use for a telephoto, so I had to get creative. One of my favorite shots of this day was a panorama of the lighthouse that I stitched together in Photoshop. I would really like to go back here with a wider lens to better capture the feel of the lighthouse.