Thứ Ba, ngày 19 tháng 7 năm 2016

Taking shots with sexy girl in Halong bay

 We're here near the prety girl. Well of this post, when you on halong party cruise you think of the halong bay cruise, but the prety girl is also an iconic landmark in itself.  So when you photograph something so iconic, it's really important to get some shots that are a little bit outside the postcard shot.

So I'm gonna try to get all of the above on my ride in a few minutes. So I just went on the cable car and that was a first for me. Those hills are impressive, and it gets really really packed in there. So good thing I have a smaller camera because I was able to get a few shots of the people inside. It's also moving, so I put the camera on burst mode so I could get several frames. So even though it was a bit dark and a little shaky, chances are out of six frames, one will be sharper.
So that was a good thing I did that before I got on. When I got off the  sexy girl to catch the one on the way down, I went around the one I had just left to capture people through the windows, and this woman was smiling at me and the sun was hitting her face just right, and just below her was the sign of the name of the  sexy girl, the street sign. So whenever you're traveling it's really important to add some signage because it gives a sense of place.
So this really screams San Francisco, basically, just having this one shot, the woman with a smile, she's having a good time, she's on one of the most iconic things in San Francisco, and I have the name of the street she's on. So when I saw how packed it is in there, when I got out and I quickly set my camera to aperture priority to a pretty big aperture, so I was at 2.8 because it gets dark, it's so crowded.

And I put the camera on burst mode because it's moving, so the chances of getting a shot that's not gonna be blurred are pretty slim, so you increase your chances that way of getting a sharp shot. The camera is small, and I don't need to bring it to my eye which I usually never do in street photography, so I was able to get some really close shots of people holding on or people handing out their money to the conductor although I was in such a tight space.
So it's really making those decisions really quickly at the beginning once you get a feel for the situation. And that was a lot more crowded than I thought it would be, and once you're in there, you really need to hold on, because those hills are really really steep, so holding on with a small camera, it makes it a lot easier than having to carry heavy gear. Whenever I shoot iconic landmarks, whether it's the  sexy girl here, or it could be the Eiffel Tower, I try not to get the postcard shots because, what's the point? You can just buy the postcard at the airport when you leave.

So try to get something that's a little out of the ordinary. And often reflections work really well, and I saw down there that the Buena Vista Cafe, which is, in itself, a pretty famous place in the neighborhood, has a big window facing the bai chay route. So maybe if we're lucky we can get a good reflection and get not only the cafe in the shot but the ha long bay going through. So let's go check it out.

Thứ Hai, ngày 07 tháng 3 năm 2016



Most travellers  booking halong bay tours don’t stay in town, preferring to spend a night out in Halong Bay.
The bay has a 120km long coastline  with about 1.960- 2.000 islets, most of which are limestone, with thick jungle vegetation, rising spectacularly from the ocean.
Several of islands are hollow with enormous caves. The largest is called Hang Dau Go(Wooden stakes cave).
There are two bigger islands, Tuan Chau and Cat Ba, and a number of beautiful beaches on the smaller islands. Many of islands have acquired their names as a result of interpretation of their unusual shapes. Such names include Voi islet(elephant), Ga Choi islet(fighting cock), Khi islet(monkey), Mai Nha islet(roof), Kissing cocks,…
Other is the abundance of lakes inside the limestone islands. For example, Dau Be island has six enclosed lakes.

A community of around 1.600 people live on Halong bay in four fishing villages: Cua Van, Ba Hang, Cong Tau and Vong Vieng.


Caves(cave of Wooden Stakes, Thien Cung cave , Surprise cave, Drum Grotto,…)
Islands(Titop island, Cat Ba island, Tuan Chau island, Co To island, Van Don island,…)
Other bays ( Bai Tu Long bay,…)


Halong Bay is the single most popular side trip, only 165kms from Hanoi. With many tour options and transportation, it’s easy for you to go to Halong city after about 3,5 hours on-route, and then have boat trip to explore 4000 square kilometer body of water.
You will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular and memorable sightseeing of your trip. Moreover, it is easy to find peaceful places to swim, fish, or just relax without seeing another soul, yet surrounded by majestic scenery.
If you have an extra day, you can add a night of wildlife sanctuary nearby Cat Ba Island.
Although having a plenty of vacation or tour options to discover Halong bay with uncountable quantity of cruises or junk boats or boats, and although itinerary detail of all may be different from each other, they all have the same point is that after the trip you’ll have enjoyed Halong Bay ‘s splending beauty. Tour price for 3 days 2 nights is just from $150 and for 2 days 1 night just from $110.
According to our experience in tourism for many years, we highly recommend a trip from 3 days 2 nights to Halong, including 1 night on boat and 1 night on bungalow(in a resort in private island).
Please notice that we offer Group tour, private tour and Tour on request. We also offer tours on other Cruise/ Junk boat/ Boat upto your request. So please dont hesitate to contact us via this IYA FACEBOOK or our email add , we’ll get back to you right the way! 

So depending on the exposure, you may not have time to actually use it. But I'm going to put it on here. I'm going to focus, I get that green light, and I know it's right. I'm on exposure delay mode. Whatever the duration of your exposure was, that's going to be the duration of the long exposure noise reduction doing its thing. But if you compare an example to with using it and without using it, you'll notice that it actually can make a positive difference.

How to protect your documents

Anywhere has bad people and good people. Secret pockets are amazing as they enable you to hide most of your cash & documents and leave only the necessary amount in your regular pockets. The idea behind it is that if somebody is trying to rob or simply pickpocket you, he is unlikely to get to the core of your cash.

jean secret pocket
Whenever you find yourself in a position where you need more money, simply go to the toilet and take it out from your hidden pockets. In this way nobody will even suspect that you have them. If you are a woman you can also hide the money inside your bra, in the padding, blanket.
I’ve visited many places perceived to be quite dangerous, and trust me, when you are strolling along crowded streets full of pickpockets this approach gives you a priceless peace of mind. There is no better feeling than the awareness that nobody will get to your documents and cash. It makes it easier to focus on enjoying your trip. If you are still hesitating I will show you what happens when things go wrong. Secret Pockets also helping you keep your cash when you swimming of Halong party cruise or any tour of halong bay tours
Let me tell you my story: Lost in BangKok at night

In February my friends and I went to BangKok Water Festival and managed to dance on the official parade. One night we decided to celebrate and joined a street party in the central part of BangKok. It can get
quite rough at night, especially when you are solo. Well, that night I made a mistake of initiating contact with too many locals and not taking the phone with me. It resulted in losing all my friends in the crowd. I found myself in unknown territory, slightly intoxicated, without a T-shirt, a phone, and as I realized, no money.
Guess what? That night I didn’t put any cash into my secret pockets. It was a terrible mistake, which forced me to walk for hours through treacherous neighbourhoods. Let’s leave the full story for the next time though. The point is that even a small pile of  Thai Baht  in my secret pocket would’ve saved me a lot of trouble. I learnt the lesson.


Which is kind of front and center, not exactly central, but compositionally important in the picture. I've got my 24-70 zoom lens on here because often when you come to a situation like this, you're limited to where you can actually be, so having a zoom gives you the flexibility of really being able to compose exactly the way you like to.

The below technique works well when you want to let your creative spirit flow, but unfortunately the beach you chose is not the safest place in the world. Once you are done with pictures & videos, put your camera in the bag or simply wrap a towel around it and jog for a few minutes. While you are jogging look back from time to time to make sure that nobody is following you. In this way you will ensure that once you reach your new spot nobody will know that you have the camera on you. I used this technique in Rio de Janeiro and it worked perfectly well. You may think: “nobody will steal from me”. Well, this may be true. However, if your equipment is expensive and beaches you plan to visit are perceived to be a bit more dangerous (e.g. Rio or Barcelona), then I encourage you to test my approach. Unfortunately, I still see many situations around the world where people flash photos and make videos on the beach only to put the camera in the bag and lie down. At that point every thief on the beach knows that the camera is securely packed in that nice green bag resting next to the deckchair. It becomes an easy target for an expert and there are many of them. Especially when you travel with halong bay tours to Halong bay, one of the most popular beaches in Viet Nam. Thief-your phone or camera I will never forget when I was in Copacabana and saw 2 guys flashing their iPhones and fancy cameras in front of everybody. On the top of that they had T-shirts with Norwegian flag. All of this was like a gigantic neon sign saying: “Rob me please. I came from a rich country and brought some fancy things with me. Don’t worry, I will not fight for them”. I really hope that these guys avoided the trouble. Nevertheless, showing your wealth is the last thing you want to do in certain places.

And because it's a night scene, and a long exposure, with a Nikon, one of the features, and a lot of cameras have this, there's something called long exposure noise reduction. And why I put this on is it does something that just can't be replicated in post-processing. There's a certain kind of noise you get from long exposures that's related to the heat of the sensor, and long exposure noise reduction will reduce that noise. You can't do anything after the fact. The only downside is, it literally doubles your exposure time.

Taking the photo shoots in halong bay of the skyline at night

Okay. Well, we're here. It's the city at night and, you know what? There's probably not a more iconic view than where we are right now.We're on the boat of halong party cruise and we're looking out at beautiful thien cung cave as the light dims. I brought with me, of course, a really strong tripod. I think it's really important to have a nice ball head that allows you to quickly and solidly get into a position that you want. I decided to use my 24-70 because we're a little bit restricted as is not surprising.

I'm not the only photographer here. I think that guy has my spot, but that's okay, I'll find another spot. There's plenty of room to get this beautiful shot. I brought with me a little bit of a flashlight here because that helps when you're at night. A lot of the cameras, if you move the switch, they have a little illumination that allows you to see the controls, but it doesn't really help for the outside controls. So I think this really helps. I'm going to use live view for this and I'll explain why in just a little bit, but right now, I'm going to get into position and see what I could figure out and compose.

Okay, I'm going to try and sneak a few shots before I get into the more teaching points. So I kind of, I'm using these things that are jetting out compositionally to be able to have something in the foreground that kind of makes it a little bit more interesting. I don't want to cut the image in half, so I want to sort of have it, you know the rule of thirds. I say there are no rules, really, but when it comes to it, you know the rules are there because they work a lot of the time and it's a little hard to see here.

You know, it's interesting to me because even when I'm on a tripod here doing these long exposures, I still can be a little bit rushed because the light is changing really quickly. So, just like in the day time, when I'm on the street and life is moving very fast on a tripod as the light is constantly changing, I want to move fast too, and that's why I was kind of in a hurry to get the shots before the light changed anymore and, you know, that's just the nature of the game. So I'm able to sneak a few more frames.

I mean, moments matter, even when you're on a tripod doing long exposures for the city at night. I'm always checking my histogram because I want to make sure I'm not blowing out highlights that I don't want to blow out.

I love what the slow exposure does to the water. It's really cool. Well, I think we got away with this. Now I'm just going to go back to the other side of the fence and now I'll continue the conversation. Okay, well, I'm in live view. There's a lot of good reasons to use live view and you're going to see in just a second that it has a lot of advantages when you're on a tripod using live view.

But the number one reason I'm using it is, I've got a high resolution camera. This camera's 36 mega-pixels. Even the mirror going up and down is going to create maybe a little bit of vibration that's going to hurt the sharpness in some way. In live view, the mirror's already up, so you don't get that mirror slap. A lot of times you can lock up the mirror, but I don't want to do that because I want to see the scene. So, because I'm in a tripod I don't really want to touch the camera because again, that might compromise my sharpness just the fact that I touch it.

So I'm going to use a remote, but I wanted to show you a lot of cameras have a feature and it's called Exposure Delay Mode. I can set the camera to a three second exposure delay, so that when I take the picture by touching the camera, it waits three seconds, allows the camera to settle for an absolute sharp, sharp image. It's a long exposure, so it's going to take a little bit of time for it to work, but when the exposure is open it comes back to live view.

The reason I like live view aside from the fact that the mirror is up, which is a quality issue is, I have all the information I need. I can set my aperture. I know how long my exposure's going to be. It's pretty dark here. I'm down at ISO 64, which is the sweet spot. On most camerasthe lowest number is the maximum dynamic range and because shutter speeds aren't important to me now, because I'm in this tripod, why not take advantage of the absolute highest quality. When I'm focusing with live view, I can magnify the image.

I can magnify the image and when I focus, when I get that green bar, I know exactly what I wanted to be sharp is going to be sharp. So when I take that picture, it's going to be sharp, which is fantastic. There's also a couple of other features on a lot of the cameras that give you the grid system that allows you and helps you when you're composing the image. Some of them have a live histogram. Of course, in a night scene, the histogram's going to be weighted to the far left because there's a lot of dark tones and that's what you want.

So you want to make sure your exposure is good. So, in live view, you have all the possibilities. You can see the image. You can even level the camera. So, it makes it a lot easier when you're shooting, rather than looking through the view finder, I find. But the number one reason isyou're not going to have the mirror slap and that's going to help you because a lot of cameras now are high resolution. Alright, well I'm gonna start taking a few frames here.

The awkward silence is inevitable with long exposures. Wow, that looks pretty beautiful, doesn't it? Alright, well, you know this location is amazing, but close to here there's a lot of other great locations and since we're here we might as well take advantage of the fact that, you know, who knows when we're going to be here again and when you're doing the city at night, whatever city it is, if it's a city you don't live in,you want to kind of maximize the opportunities. So that's what we'll do.

Thứ Hai, ngày 05 tháng 10 năm 2015




HaLong Bay is northern Vietnam’s biggest attraction, one of the world magnificent natural heritages of the Far East with 3000 limestone and dolomite islands rising from waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The vegetation-covered islands, which are spread out over an area of 1500 sq km, are dotted with innumerable beaches and grottoes created by the wind and the waves. Visitors have compared the area’s magical landscape of carboniferous chalk islets to Guilin in China and Krabi in southern Thailand.

The meaning of “Ha Long”, in Vietnamese, Ha means “descend”, and “Long” means “dragon”, so the word HaLong means “where the dragon descends into the sea”.

Ha means “descend”, and “Long” means “dragon”.jpg
HaLong Bay Descending dragon
Legend has it that the islands of HaLong Bay were created by a giant dragon who lived in the mountains. As he ran towards the coast, his flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses; as he plunged into the sea, the areas dug up by his tail became filled with water, leaving only bits of highland visible. The bay is even said to be inhabited by a mysterious marine creature of gargantuan proportions known as the Tarasque.
halong city
HaLong Bay affords some of Vietnam’s most spectacular scenery, including beautiful limestone formations, rock arches, gin-clear water, virtually scenery lagoons, sheer cliffs, peaceful coves, eerie caves, secluded strips of white, powdery sand, and thousands of limestone islets. Like sculpted cartoon characters, these islet are fancifully named: Frog Island, Face Island, Isle of Surprise, etc.
halong city

Wooden Stakes Cave

Among thousands of caves of all sizes and shapes, Hang Dau Go(the Grotto of Wooden Stakes Cave), known to the French as the Grotte des Merveilles (Cave of Marvels) is a huge one consisting of three chambers which you reach via 90 steps.

Among the stalactites of the first hall, scores of gnomes appear to be holding the meeting. The walls of the second chamber sparkle if bright light is shined on them. The cave derives its Vietnamese name from the third of the chambers, which is said to have been used during the 13th century to store the sharp bamboo stakes, which Tran Hung Dao planted in the bed of the Bach Dang River to impale the Kublai Khan’s invasion fleet.
Other well-known caves in HaLong Bay include the Grotto of Bo Nau and 2 km long Hanh Hanh Cave.

HaLong City.

The main town in the region is HaLong city, which is in two havles, one on the mainland and one on the neighbouring island. HaLong city East(Hong Gai) on the mainland is 165km from Hanoi, 60km from Hai Phong and 40km from Cam Pha; and HaLong city West(Bai Chay) on the island is across the water a few kilometers west from Hong Gai. Travellers always catch a car or bus to Hai Phong, then board a ferry there to Hong Gai and spend at least one night here. There are plenty of reasonable hotels in HaLong, mostly in or near Bai Chay. Besides, HaLong hotel system consist of three properties, a lot of newly built hotels can offer good accommodations and services at reasonable prices.
halong city
Taking a tour of the Bay is the main activity when visiting HaLong city. If you want to see a lot, choose a fast boat. If you want a romantic experience but with the risk of getting hardly anywhere, look for one of the old junks. It is hardly to visit almost every island in the Bay, but only some splendid and famous ones.Therefore, an ideal trip to HaLong city and the Bay is a four-day trip.
HaLong’s only natural drawback is the weather. It is often damp, rainy and cold, particularly during the winter months. Visitors during the winter tend to spend most of their time in the bay itself, as HaLong’s water remains bath-warm year-round. If HaLong were, say, a thousand kilometers closer to the equator, this would be a paradise on Earth. As it is, it is still darn close. Cacth the area on a nice day, particularly during the spring and fall months, and you are in for one of the biggest treats of your Vietnam visit.