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Writing

Turks & Caicos

A few years ago, my brother and I visited Turks & Caicos on a whim. It was a fairly inexpensive destination, it was close to New York and the landscape looked amazing!

When we got there, it was empty and we had an absolute blast!

Fast-forward 7 years later to this past weekend – my wife took me to Turks & Caicos for an early birthday celebration and it wasn’t anything like our first visit there:

  • Flights have gotten significantly more expensive

  • Full-service hotels aren’t even close to being affordable - even the base hotel room costs more than an overwater villa in some of the nicer Maldivian resorts

  • While still relatively empty, the amount of people on the islands have increased dramatically

I think it is only a matter of time where all these untouched and natural landscapes get overrun by tourists. But for now - there’s still time to explore the best of nature.

Weekend Getaway: Sag Harbor
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While looking for at destinations for a surprise trip for our parent’s anniversary, we looked at a lot of different options but decided to check out a summer destination in the middle of winter: Sag Harbor.

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Just over 100 miles away from Manhattan, it turned out to be a great location for us to relax, wind down and celebrate their 34th anniversary. While things are definitely quiet for the off-season, it was a great way to experience the sights without any of the summer crowds.

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As travel and tourism has soared thanks to social media, it most certainly is a breath of fresh air to travel to places that are quaint and charming – even for a few days.

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New York City: An Aerial View

This Sunday, I had an opportunity to take some photos above New York City, thanks to repetitive retargeting ads from FlyNYON. I'd heard good reviews and after booking my sunset flight, I only had an hour to prep my gear and head to New Jersey.

The waiting process was fairly long and largely unproductive. However, after the brief safety video and the harness training, we were ready to head to the heliport.

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With the temperature in the low 20s on the ground and extremely freezing in an open-door helicopter traveling 100mph and 2000ft above ground, it was brutally cold.

I had brought a 2 lens setup for my A7RIIIs: a wide-angle(16-35mm) and a telephoto(70-200mm).

While I managed to get a few decent photos, I'd love to do it again with the following learnings:

  1. The telephoto lens was almost useless when you're in a fast moving helicopter that you aren't controlling. Wide-angle zooms are the way to go.

  2. The light at sunset goes away VERY quickly.

  3. The faster the lens - the better the quality.

360 Degree Cameras on Vacation
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I've been a camera geek for as long as I can remember. I love how each camera is able to play on its strengths to create beautiful images and videos.

In the last few years, there has been an increase in advanced camera technology – iPhone's portrait mode all the way up to 360 degree cameras.

Last year, I purchased a GoPro Fusion camera to experiment with and so far, it has accompanies me on every major trip.

For our end of the year vacation in Thailand, I left it running in a few different places, edited the videos when I got home and simply published it on YouTube. The result is embedded below:

For the first time ever, a technology is able to truly capture the surroundings without disruption.

As I continue to research this technology, I'll definitely be posting a lot more videos on my YouTube channel.