The view from today’s virtual office– pool side at Le Sirenuse Hotel in Positano
While I’ve been exploring Italy’s Amalfi Coast this week, I’ve made an effort to try to master Vine. The app has been sitting on my iPhone since January, but it hasn’t really interested me until now. I think that Italy’s gorgeous scenery has made me less concerned about creating the perfect Vine and made me enjoy using the app more.
I like Vine’s ability to capture & share short video postcards to share on various social media platforms.
Here are a few tips to help make your own fun vacation videos using Vine:
1) Focus on action, but keep your mobile device still
Video loves action– but the key to shooting action successfully is keeping your camera still, resulting in stop action fun.
You Can’t Spell “Funicular” Without “Fun”
Vine is fun to use to show the passage of time. For really good results, use a tripod or a clamp like the InYourFace Viewbase.
2) Shoot transitions like pans or fades so your Vine loops seamlessly
If you are running out of frames while shooting your six second Vine, slowly move the camera up to bright light or towards the ground (or a dark object) to create a dissolve like transition.
While making this Vine during my ferry ride from Capri to Sorrento, I made a point to shoot the boats wake in 3-frame bursts to create a sort of rhythm to the ride.
Ferry Ride to Sorrento
3) Shoot in bursts of 3 to 5 frames. Your brain needs a little time to grasp and process action. I count out frames of 3 and 5 bursts to make the vine less jarring and more enjoyable to watch.
4) Create a Vine Highlight Reel
I haven’t mastered sound recording using vine, but one easy fix is to string your vacation vines together and include titles and some music using a video editing app such as Reel Director or Silent Film Director.
This allows you to add some music after the fact and create a longer-length video you can post to YouTube or Vimeo.
Vine Video Highlight Reel of Italy’s Amalfi Coast
I’m lax2nrt on Vine. You can check out my Vines here.
Getting comfortable in Suite 1E with a glass of Dom Perignon
In March I flew in Emirates First Class from Dubai to London, aboard an A380. The experience was highly enjoyable. Emirates has fantastic crew from many different countries, which reflects the international appeal of the airline.
The First Class Suites, which can even be closed if you want additional privacy, come complete with your own private mini-bar featuring 2 kinds of water. I was a little shocked it was not refrigerated, but I wasn’t complaining.
There are is also an Onboard Lounge behind business class where you can socialize and get something to nibble on or a drink, as well as an additional First Class Social Area with a bar, but with no bartender.
I shot some video during this flight and hope you enjoy it.
The seat controls for the Emirates First Suites. There are onboard power outlets too.
Left: Truth: the tea tasted like Arabic coffee. Right: My personal mini-bar
I love the I Dream of Jeannie-inspired hats and scarves worn by female members of the Emirates crew
My only issue with this flight was that I was not offered a sleep suit (perhaps because it was day time flight). I’m pretty sure if I would have asked for one, a sleep suit would have been magically delivered to my seat/suite. The flight had wifi, and I was a bit surprised that First Class passengers had to pay to use it. Fortunately it was a Saturday so it was a non-issue.
Paulo, my Italian-born Flight Attendant, made sure my Champagne glass stayed full.
Left: The caviar course Right: The Thai chicken curry
Then there is the food. It’s fine dining in the sky. From the Arabic coffee and dates prior to take off, to the extensive menu with selections ranging from miso marinated salmon to beef. The caviar portion was generous and traditional local Arabic mezze platter that were straight up good (not just “good for airplane food.”). The Thai chicken curry which absolutely the best in-flight meal I’ve ever had. It was followed by delicious Arabic sweets, including katayef and cashew nut baklava.
The Emirates Mezze Platter paired nicely with the Dom Perignon
The shower suites are off the hook– you can book a time to take your shower and are allowed 15 minutes in the suite (you get 5 minutes of shower water time, and an additional 10 minutes for using the rest of the facilities.) The water pressure is strong and the shower suites– painted with the architecture of the Dubai skyline- are jammed with amenities including a hairdryer.
The shower suites feature flattering lighting and scenic painting of the Dubai skyline
Left: The First Class Social Area Right: The Onboard Lounge, located behind business class
There is not one bar but two on board, should you not be satisfied with the fabulous service offered by the Emirates flight attendants. I felt the need to try out both the First Class Social Area (located at the front of the cabin, near the shower suites) as well as the more happening Onboard Lounge (located behind Business Class). The Onboard Lounge comes complete with a bartender and benches to sit on. I think the Onboard Lounge is the better in-flight bar option.
The First Class Social Area comes stocked with beverages and snacks
The First Class Suites come complete with Do Not Disturb Signs
February may be the shortest month, yet it’s always the one where winter seems the longest, making it the perfect time to plan a tropical getaway. Here’s a dose of virtual vitamin C in the form of a highlight reel of the amazing St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, which I visited in November. I hope this slice of Polynesian paradise!
Rainy Day in Singapore Panorama of the Marina Bay Harbourfront
While I’ve had my share of spectacular views and gorgeous Tahitian sunsets in the past few months, I wanted to use this special FriFotos “view” edition to focus on a different travel reality that cares nothing about if you’re paying a luxury price point… and that is rain.
My trip to Singapore in early December was incredibly rainy, which gave the glistening southeast Asian banking city-state an extremely interesting vibe, and made for some spectacular pictures. There is nothing like a tropical downpour to make you want to curl up and give in to the jet lag, and focus on taking a long nap and reviewing the comfort of your hotel’s bed. Instead, I fought the urge and headed to Lantern, the uber-stylish rooftop bar at the exquisite Andre Fu-designed Fullerton Bay Hotel.
A Dark & Stormy at Latern
Even in the rain, you could tell the the rooftop pool at the Fullerton Bay is beyond cool, complete with hot tubs with panoramic views of Singapore’s Central Business District. The hotel is set on the Marina Bay waterfront and has a gorgeous view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the ArtScience Museum among the most distinctive buildings in the skyline.
Latern is delightful, even in the middle of a tropical storm. The floors were slick with rain and bright orange umbrellas are set outside the elevators to cover you until you get to your table. The music they play is interesting– some really good cuts combined with the worst K-Pop covers of your favorite tunes, which made me very curious to stick around to see what was next on the song rotation. Latern has a great cocktail menu and, to fit with the weather, I ordered a Dark & Stormy (made with dark rum, citrus and ginger beer). When the rain got even heavier after the first round, I decided it was time to try some of the tapas.
As a general rule, I prefer appetizers to entrees and like the pupu platter concept of trying a bunch of small plates. Sometimes when you’re at a seriously cool bar, the food is not that great. Fortunately, that is not the case at Lantern (or really, anywhere in Singapore. You eat well in this city). The satay with peanut sauce was delicious, as one would expect in this part of the world. The signature duck spring rolls with chili dip were delicate and crispy and a nice contrast to the soggy weather. The mini Wagyu burgers were exceptional enough that my husband and I went back for another plate of them later during our stay.
One of the things you need to make peace with as a traveler is that you can’t control the weather. No doubt Lantern is even more spectacular on a sunny day or clear night. I know I’m dying to swim in that pool the next time I’m in the city. But the view was pretty interesting, rainy day quirks and all, and it was a delightful place to spend a few hours on a rainy afternoon in Singapore. It’s worth a visit even if you’re not staying at the hotel.
Poolside on a Rainy Day
The Marina Bay Waterfront on a Rainy evening
Pool Next to Lantern, at evening when the rain had cleared. Pretty nice, huh?
Address: Rooftop at The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore
Reservations: +65. 6597 5299
It’s my last day on Bora Bora, and while I’ve been relaxing and working on my tan, I’ve also been documenting the beauty of the island with my my iPhone 5. I’ve been shooting using mostly the following apps:
ProCamera, Which helped me get this excellent shot of a friendly local’s ink during a boat ride from the St. Regis Bora Bora.
Hipstamatic (the Jimmy lens+DC Film+ Jolly Ranibo 2X flash has delivered some stunning results this trip), like these palm trees, which I ran through a few more apps to make more dreamy.
and TrueHDR to get my captures, like the blue lagoon outside of Villa 122 on the pontoon of the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort.
I shot this image of the local Tabu Beer (It’s the Corona of the South Pacific) using the new EyeEm Camera.
Perhaps I was inspired by the rumors that James Cameron stayed here while he cut Avatar, but I felt the need to try using my beloved TimeLapse app and thought the Polynesian Dance show at the St. Regis Bora Bora was a perfect opportunity. The light was low, so the result was a bit grainy, but I ran the footage through Movie Looks to boost the color a bit. The result was kind of fun and silly and worked really well with the Call Me Maybe/Gangnam style Mashup. Enjoy the show! The music is xaeroseven’s über-viral Carly Rae Jepsen vs. PSY – Call Me Gangnam mashup
A self-portrait on the beach in Bora Bora
I like this island so much I’ve extended my stay by a few days. Stay tuned to the blog for more posts and video about Bora Bora. I’m officially on vacation for the next few days.