Gulliver traveled. Look where it got him: lashed to the land by little people. Columbus, big traveler, right? Underestimated the circumference of the Earth and died thinking he’d found India. Sure, you can come up with justifications for never leaving the splendid safety of your office chair. Truth is, travel makes us better in many ways: better employees, better family members, and better friends.
Every year, the month of January makes us say things like: Out with the old; in with the new. It may be cliché, but every year, we say it. That may be because there’s something about the beginning of a new year that automatically sparks a desire to make a change or start something fresh. But instead of making a new year’s resolution that is unattainable, why not find something you will be able to achieve and enjoy at the same time.
How about learning how to actually use your camera? (Remember that there is a camera on your phone, so this applies to all smart phone users as well.) Our resident social media guru put together these five simple tips to help kick start your camera knowledge.
Number 1: Get to know your camera/phone functions. You don’t want to be fumbling with controls and missing moments.
Number 2: Turn your flash off for nightscapes. Flash can only travel a few feet, so there is no way it’s going to help you with that Vegas-by-night shot. Find a stable place to sit the camera, like a portable tripod or even a curbside newspaper box.
Number 3: Use flash in the sun. Try turning on the flash when you’re taking portraits of each other in harsh sunlight. It sounds odd, but flash will actually fill in the heavy shadows caused by the sun, giving you more even light and color.
Number 4: The landscape mode on your camera is designed to give you sharp pictures from a distance, along with rich blue skies and lush earth tones. Flip to this mode when you need it, and let the camera do all the work.
Number 5: Don’t always rely on zoom lenses to get you close to the action. Walk right up to your subject, interact with them, and get details that fly-by tourists would miss in their haste.
Now that you know how to use your camera, let’s put your new knowledge to use. And there’s no better way to test your camera skills than to go on a trip. Think about the amazing adventures, delicious food, and the beautiful photos you will take. Exciting!
There’s only one thing left to do. Plan the trip.
Why? Because the pleasure of pre-trip anticipation is invigorating. It’s why puppies are more joyful than dogs.
Pros to planning now: A vacation begins the second you start to plan it. Travelers’ moods improve as soon as the planning begins, even before the actual vacation starts.
Cons: Running out of toner the second you try to print your boarding pass. Trying to remember where you put the digital luggage scale. Rushing out to buy batteries for that digital luggage scale.
Canada’s cities are energetic, multi-cultural, and most importantly, distinctive. You don’t drive from one to the other expecting the same. Vancouver and Victoria’s lifestyles are always relaxed, and while it may be wet, it doesn’t stop people from enjoying the natural surroundings of each city. Booming Calgary and Edmonton reap the benefits of our natural resources. Regina and Saskatoon proudly bring vibrancy to the prairies. Winnipeg is a definite cultural centre at the heart of the country. Toronto and Ottawa are the corridors of business and politics. Montreal enjoys a reputation as the coolest city in the country, if not the continent, while the streets of old Quebec City feel like they’ve teleported from Europe. The history is everywhere in Halifax and Charlottetown, and the charm thick in Fredericton. In Newfoundland, St John’s witnesses the first sunrise of the continent, and its brightly painted houses as animated as its people. Let’s not forget Whitehorse, Yellowknife, and Iqaluit, our vibrant outposts of the Great White North.
Whatever your new year’s resolution might be, whether it be travelling or learning how to use your camera, Sandman looks forward to spending time with you in 2014!