Recent Mobile photography Articles

Where to Eat in St. Lucia: Petit Peak Restaurant

The Creole Bird was the standout dish at Petit Peak

When I’m on vacation, I always try to take the opportunity to leave the resort and dine at a local restaurant. During my recent trip to St. Lucia, my driver recommended having lunch at Petit Peak restaurant in Soufriere.

The restaurant’s waterfront location and  incredible views sunset are enough alone to recommend it. But Petit Peak also has friendly service and tasty food. We came for lunch, and liked it so much we came back for dinner the following night.

The roof of Petit Peak Restaurant

Petit Peak is the kind of place where the taxi from the hotel will cost you more than the meal– but it was a welcome change from hotel dining (and resort prices).

Left: tasty chicken wings Right: The Chicken Roti

Lunch was very reasonably priced (especially compared to the resort pricing where we were staying). We sampled a few Caribbean specialities. The chicken wings with creole BBQ were flavorful and tasty. The Chicken Roti wrap was good, but not as memorable as the Creole Chicken my husband ordered. That was the standout dish of the meal, and cost about $8.

Wash everything down with a Piton Beer

We liked Petit Peak so much that we came back the next night for dinner, which I’d recommend because if you get one of the booths next to Soufriere Harbour, you have an incredible view of the Pitons at sunset.

Left: Caribbean Shrimp Right: Caribbean chicken with vegetables

The food is simple, and lunch was served with more local side dishes, but dinner comes with a pretty spectacular sunset. The service is friendly, and the bathrooms are clean. Petit Peak also has wifi, which is nice bonus in a local hole in the wall.

Interior of Petit Peak Restaurant at night

We also split a piece of chocolate cake which did not photograph well, but was most and delicious and paired nicely with the spectacular Soufriere sunset.

Sunset view from my booth at Petit Peak Restaurant in Soufriere

Petit Peak Restaurant

Maurice Mason St., Soufriere, St. Lucia

Telephone: +1 459 7838

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FriFotos: Service Dogs in Uniform at the Monkey Tail Ranch

Tim and Tater, the FEMA search and rescue dog, en route to Alaska

When I found out this week’s FriFotos theme was “uniform” I decided to take the opportunity to pay tribute to some very special professionals who wear uniforms– service dogs.

I’ve learned quite a bit about service dogs in the past year because my puppy, Zeppelin, is being trained by Tim and Elise of K9 Training Concepts who know quite a bit about the subject. In addition to training dogs as family pets (like my Zeppelin), Tim and Elise are both members of the FEMA Search & Rescue teams. Their dogs, Tater and Lupin, are are trained to find live human scent in disaster situations. These dogs have mad skills. Check out Tater climbing a ladder at the 1:15 mark in this video.

Tater climbing a ladder at the 1:15 mark is highly impressive

Tater in Uniform

Tim and Elise are also the co-founders of The Monkey Tail Ranch, a non-profit organization where they train service dogs to help those living with autism, post-traumatic stress, and other disorders that can benefit from having a service animal.

Nothing cuter than a puppy in uniform: Future service dogs in training

I didn’t know about autism service dogs until until I got to know Tim and Elise, and every time I hear updates about how the Monkey Tail service dogs have changed lives, I often find myself moved to tears. 

First time in uniform: 9 week old Bailey, a future autism service dog

If you know of anyone who might benefit from an autism service dog, I highly recommend checking out The Monkey Tail Ranch. I cannot speak highly enough of Elise and Tim’s commitment to dog training– be it their own FEMA search and Rescue Dogs,  service dogs for austim, and family dogs.

Lupin the FEMA Search and Rescue dog looking very handsome in uniform

Tim is also a full time firefighter, and while Firemen a reputation for looking fine in uniform, I don’t think he’d be insulted knowing that Tater and Lupin kind of steal the show. I’m grateful Elise and Tim train family dogs, too, like our Zeppelin. Zepp is an Instadog and won’t be officially home with us until he is fully trained this summer.

Zeppelin is proudly being trained by k9 Training Concepts

Above Photo Credit: Rebecca Adler Rotenberg

The Monkey Tail Ranch is located in Silicon Valley in Hollister, California.

The photos in this post are courtesy of the Monkey Tail Ranch and Rebecca Adler Rotenberg. Much thanks to Tim, Elise, and Rebecca. Without them, this post would not be possible.

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The Truth About Waiting For the Famous Bats of Austin

Waiting for Bats at  Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin

Austin, Texas is home to one of the largest urban bat colonies in the world. The estimated bat population varies between 750,000 and and estimated 1.5 million bats and one of the best places to view them is from Congress Avenue Bridge.

I spent this past weekend staying at the Hyatt Regency Austin, which overlooks this bridge. I was attending a Bat Mitzvah party on the 17th floor of the hotel, which provided a great view of people gathering at dusk to see the bats. I got really excited since the DJ kept hyping that the bats would be showing up “any second.”

I even decided to try out the new Cinamatic video app in hopes of documenting some cool bat action on my iPhone.

Waiting for the Bats in Austin: A Cinamatic Video

What the DJ failed to mention–but local Austinites did– is that May isn’t the best time of year to view the Austin bats. The bats spend their winters in Mexico and start migrating back to Austin in March. The best months for seeing the  (mostly) Mexican free-tailed bats are the summer months– a local told me August was the best month for bat viewing. If you’re planning a visit to Austin I’d suggest checking out this nifty link from which has twice weekly updates with estimated bat emergence times and suggested viewing locations.

While my bat viewing experience was a #fail,  I did enjoy using the Cinamatic app ($1.99 in iTunes) and now have an excuse to come back to Austin during the summer when more bats are in residence.

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Seattle in Motion: Time Lapse Video & GIF

Sunset reflected in Belltown windows

Time lapse videos are such a great way to show motion. I’m a big fan of the TimeLapse for iPhone app ( $4.99) and have really enjoyed using their new presets. I shot this video of a particularly beautiful sunset in Seattle on my iPhone 5s using the “Clouds” preset.

Clouds and Sunset Time Lapse Video

Pastel sunset over Elliott Bay in Seattle

My view of the May Day demonstrations and marches through Seattle was from above and I found the still shot a bit boring.

May Day Demonstration in Seattle from above

I decided a GIF might work better to show the action. I thought it better conveyed the protest vibe than the still photo. I use the GIFFER Pro app for iPhone, which is well worth the $3.99.

Seattle May Day March GIF

When photographing motion, I don’t mind a little blur, especially when another part of the image is in sharp focus. That’s what I got when using the Oggl app (free) to capture some flying salmon at the Pike Place Fish Market.

Catching salmon at Pike Place Fish Market

On my next trip to Pike Place Market, perhaps I’ll try and get a GIF of the famous flying fish.

Interesting factoid: the “stunt” salmon which are tossed at Pike Place Fish Market are donated to the zoo to feed the Grizzly bears.

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A Virtual Tour of GeeJam Studios in Port Antonio, Jamaica

Dale Dizzle Virgo at the board in GeeJam Studios

One of the coolest things about my recent stay at GeeJam Hotel in Jamaica was getting to tour GeeJam Studios, which are right on the property. The studio is above the Drum & Bass suite where Zan and I stayed.

The exterior of GeeJam studios

GeeJam Studios were founded by Jon Baker, who founded Gee Street records and worked for Richard Branson Chris Blackwell in the early 90s. Before that, Jon Baker worked as a stylist for Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran.

The Marumba Box

The studio has a cool island vibe that has drawn artists like Drake, The Gorillaz, Alicia Keys, No Doubt, and Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion. Snoop Dogg changed his name to “Snoop Lion” right in the studio, when he was working on Reincarnated.

The GeeJam Studios piano… if it’s good enough for Alicia Keys

Amy Winehouse stayed at the hotel while developing material for Back to Black. This was the first place I’ve I seen a Marumba Box, a stringed instrument used frequently in Jamaican music that is strangely always in tune.

Percussion section still life

Dale “Dizzle” Virgo, one of GeeJam Studios in-house producers and engineers showed us around the cozy island studios. Dizzle has worked with Rihanna, so I suspect giving a tour to Zan and me was slightly less exciting but he was a great host.

Knobs at GeeJam

Left: Controls Right: The Distressor

These cords seem important.

Since I don’t know much about music recording I don’t know what they do. Fortunately the crew at GeeJam Studios know how to use them!

In the studio at GeeJam

Artists seek out GeeJam for the vibe and some pretty amazing music has been recorded here.

No Doubt Underneath It All ft. Lady Saw

If it’s good enough for Gwen Stefani… then it’s pretty damn cool.

Drake Thank Me Now

GeeJam Studios

Geejam, San San, Port Antonio, Portland, Jamaica
Telephone: +1876 993 7000
Fax: +1876 993 7156

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