Posts Tagged ‘Hipstamatic’

Check Out My HipStop: St. Lucia Piece in the New Summer 2014 #HOT Issue of SNAP Magazine

A honeymooner going coconuts in St. Lucia

The summer 2014 #HOT issue of Snap Magazine is live and available for free in iTunes here. It’s filled with stunning images, recipes (chorizo breakfast tacos, anyone?), a hot summer playlist and my HipStop: St. Lucia piece.

The cover of the Summer 2014 #HOT issue of Snap Magazine

Left: Sugar Beach does umbrellas right  Right: squirtguns on the table at Dasheene

I love shooting assignments for Snap. The hard part is picking which images to send in the final edit. In this post I’ve included a few of my favorite images that did not wind up in Snap.

I met this fruit and vegetable vendor at the market in Soufriere.

Left: Diamond Falls Right: The Rain Forest Walk at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort

All the images in Snap are shot using the apps created by Hipstamatic. I shot all of my St. Lucia images for Snap using Hipstamatic’s Oggl app, which allows you to changes the film and lens after you’ve captured the image.

Palm Frond Sunset at Sugar Beach in St. Lucia

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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 batcon.org 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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hotel Review: A Stay at GeeJam in Port Antonio, Jamaica

Soaking tub with a view in Drum & Bass at GeeJam

After falling hard for Port Antonio, my friend Zan and I decided to extend our vacation by an extra night. After shuffling our flights home, we headed to GeeJam (which is managed by the same great staff as the Trident) and checked into the Drum & Bass suite, which is located directly under the GeeJam’s onsite Recording Studio.

Chic island simplicity in Drum & Bass

With only seven rooms– five of which are stand alone cabins and one three bedroom villa, GeeJam is intimate and cozy and feels like a five star glamping experience in the jungles of Jamaica. It’s more rough luxe than the sleek and chic Trident, but the experience is just as fantastic.

All the rooms at GeeJam are named after different styles of Jamaican music

Drum & Bass had a killer deck with a hot tub that we didn’t have time to use and chic island white decor. The glass paneled walls opened up, making the whole place be about indoor/outdoor living. GeeJam has killer public spaces– including the BushBar restaurant where bands perform live almost every night. Even if you don’t stay at GeeJam, I highly recommend coming for dinner at BushBar when their de facto in house band, the Jolly Boys, are performing. 

Love the Flintstones chic paver stones near exterior of Rock Steady at GeeJam

The Jolly Boys are Jamaica’s answer to Menudo– except all the “boys” are over the age of 70. They perform great mento music as well as some killer cover songs I’m particularly fond of their mondern mento cover of New Order’s Blue Monday.

Green grounds at GeeJam at the Jungle luxury

GeeJam is built into the side of a hill, and that might be an issue for people with mobility issues or small children (in that case, the Trident might be a better choice for you). Down the hill, there is also a private beach club complete with loungers, a bar, and paddleboards. If you want more of a local beach experience, the staff will happily drive you to nearby Winnefred Beach or Boston Bay Beach.

Comfy lounging area in Drum & Bass

In addition to wifi, GeeJam (like the Trident) gives guests a mobile phone so they can contact the staff wherever they are on property or in the area.

Left: the soaking tub at Drum & Bass Right: the hairdryer

The bathroom was modern with a HUGE soaking tub and enormous steam shower that I didn’t stay long enough to enjoy.

I slept exceptionally well in the comfy all-white bed in Drum & Bass

Musicians often stay on site here when recording in GeeJam’s studio (like Amy Winehouse and No Doubt).

Banana pancakes for breakfast at GeeJam

I loved the friendly and laid back luxury of GeeJam. The staff was top notch and made sure we were well taken care of. Room rates include breakfast which is a nice touch.

Jamaican swag on GeeJam’s chef’s uniform

The staff at GeeJam had no problem with my food allergies and was friendly to boot.

The exterior of GeeJam’s Recording Studio

GeeJam’s rates start at $395 per night, and you can find specials here.

The outdoor pool table at BushBar

Left: cozy lounge seating at BushBar Right: the view from the deck of Drum & Bass

Zan exploring the Beach Club at GeeJam

On the walk to GeeJam’s private beach, you can take a detour and explore nearby Drapers– which has some great hole in the wall bars and is very atmospheric. You’ll pay $2 for a Red Stripe.

The sharply dressed Albert Minott, lead singer of the Jolly Boys at BushBar

The Jolly Boys performing live at BushBar

Before things got hopping at BushBar

Left: BushBar has fab drinks Right: the outdoor pool table at night

GeeJam is a Jamaican gem and will appeal to those seeking a non-generic luxury experience. It’s part of the reason I am so crushing on Port Antonio (so much so, I’m already planning a return visit with my husband).

Night lights at GeeJam

GeeJam Hotel is located just east of Port Antonio in Drapers.

Skype reservations available on the GeeJam website

phone 1-888-4-GeeJam

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Stay The Trident Villas in Port Antonio, Jamaica

The Trident’s infinity Pool stretches into the Caribbean

Port Antonio, Jamaica was the original hot spot on the Caribbean island. The marina is even named after Errol Flynn, who used to vacation here. After the depression, tourism dried up. When visitors started coming back, they did so by plane and the International airports a few hours away in Kingston and Montego Bay have kept those seeking convenience from discovering Jamaica’s true gem: Port Antonio.

Mid-century chic is the vibe at the Trident Villas in Port Antonio

But Portie (as it’s called) is having a moment right now and the cool kids are starting to come back… and stay at sexy and sleek  Trident Villas and Hotel. Recently renovated, this hotel has been the backdrop of multiple photo shoots for good reason– it has stunning lines, fantastic staff, delicious cuisine and great service.

Left: Lawn sheep at a touch of whimsy Right: manicured trees on the grounds of the Trident Villas & Hotel

Food and beverage costs are reasonable by resort standards you’d find on the more developed parts of the island. All this luxury doesn’t take away from all that is special about Port Antonio– the lack of major chains (no Starbucks) and package tourists. The Trident is run by the GeeJam Collection, who have a musical history far too deep to get into this post.

Wicker swing outside the Trident Lobby

As the poshest hotel in Port Antonio, the Trident is where Beyonce and her sister stayed during their girls getaway last winter before Beyonce’s secret album dropped. The location is ideal for privacy or those who want to escape the crowds. Port Antonio is easy to reach via a scenic 20 minute flight over the Blue Mountains to the Ken Jones Airport, which the front desk at the Trident can arrange. The drive from Kingston is about two hours and well worth it.

The modern chic decor of the sitting room in Villa 1 at the Trident

The hotel has it all– a gorgeous infinity pool, a private beach club in a cove, a gym, and great food served on the Veranda. After dark the action moves to the bar and Mike’s Supper Club, a modern speakeasy with top notch cuisine (jerked yellowtail= yum) and live music nightly.

Left: The Eames chair was perfect for reading Right: Orchids in the bedroom

I stayed in Villa 1 and loved it. It had every possible amenity: plunge pool, speedy wifi, huge closets, comfy reading chair, large living room and plush beds. The bathroom even feature a gorgeous outdoor bathtub with a peek-a-boo view of the Caribbean. Sunsets are particularly beautiful on the patio.

The Zen bedroom of Villa 1 a the Trident

The Trident is one of the few hotels where I was planning my return visit before I left– it’s that good. With only 13 villas, service is personalized and top notch. There is a spa and gym on property, as well as a playground for kids.

Villa 1’s outdoor has a peek-a-boo view

The Trident feels like the perfect choice for the destination wedding for founder of a start up that just went public. It has that off the beaten path charm, yet doesn’t sacrifice any of the comforts you’d expect in a luxury hotel.

The Trident’s veranda is perfect for breakfast

The food is delicious at the Veranda, where every morning you can try a different “Jamaican Breakfast of the Day.”

Left: fresh tropical fruit at breakfast Right: Mackerel + boiled banana =the Jamaican Breakfast of the Day

Left: Fish for breakfast Right: an omelette made to order

Waking up in Jamaica with Blue Mountain Coffee

There is no Starbucks, so Blue Mountain French Press coffee is the best way to wake up in Jamaica.

Left: nothing says “vacation” like a paper umbrella in a drink Right: Refreshing Jamaican lemonade

Red Stripe by the in-villa pool at The Trident

While the Trident Port Antonio has everything you could want right on the property, there is a lot to see and do in Port Antonio– from rafting down the Rio Grande to exploring the Blue Lagoon. You can even go surfing at nearby Boston Beach.

The poolside vibe was gorgeous and modern

The Trident is an exceptional blend of modern luxury and old school Port Antonio cool. It’s a great pick for honeymooners who want a refined experience and some interesting surroundings (and options for interesting and cool cultural excursions).

Splashes above the infinity pool at the Trident

The Trident is pure #luxuryrealness.

Left: Photo shoot action at the Trident Right: Killer coastline on the grounds of the Trident reminds me of Big Sur

You can walk to the Trident Castle next door, and Sunday brunch is sometimes served there.

Jamaican sunset as seen from Villa 1 at the Trident

Pool table in the Trident’s Explorers Lounge

The Trident has screening room and conference facilities should you be looking for a hip destination for a corporate retreat or conference.

Left: Trident Bar Right: Art in the Explorer’s Lounge

Jerk hamachi at Mike’s Supper Club

Live Jazz at Mike’s Supper Club

Night lights at the Trident Villas

Trident Hotel

http://www.tridentportantonio.com/

Address: Anchovy STP, Port Antonio, Jamaica

Phone:+1 876-633-7000

Rates start at $675.60

You can find special deals at the Trident here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook YouTubeTwitterSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSSSubscribe via RSS