Posts Tagged ‘Instagram’

Exploring the Big Island of Hawaii: a Photo Essay Using the Boomerang App


Shaka symbol shadow puppets on the Big Island

I just got back from  a girls trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. I decided to document our trip using the Boomerang App from Instagram on my iPhone 6s (Boomerang is also available for Android users). The Boomerang app creates short videos from bursts of still photos. Below are some of my favorite Boomerangs from the trip to the Aloha state.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 21, 2016 at 5:56pm PDT

Sunset Zen on the Big Island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawaii excels at sunsets. I took this Boomerang on the beach at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Kohala Coast.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 15, 2016 at 5:54pm PDT


Hang Loose Shadow Puppets

The Hulihee Palace in Kona was once a vacation home used by the Hawaiian royal family. Built in 1838, it is now a cool Victorian era museum with a great collection of Hawaiian artifacts and pictures. You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside the palace, so I made this boomerang of the “hang loose” shaka symbol. The shaka symbol is used as greeting in Hawaiian culture.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 22, 2016 at 5:42am PDT

Rush Hour on the Kona-Kohala Coast

The waters off the beach at the Fairmont Orchid are perfect for swimming, kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. It’s a great snorkeling spot as well. The local fish and giant turtles (known as honu) happily share this portion of paradise.


A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 20, 2016 at 6:27am PDT

Hula Dancing on Hilo Bay

My friend, Zan Aufderheide, learned a few hula dancing basics during a tour of the Big Island. Here she is showing her mad hula skills on Hilo Bay.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 16, 2016 at 2:08pm PDT

Yummy Tuna Crudo

The Beach Tree Bar and Lounge at the Four Seasons Hualalai is one of best spots on the Kailua-Kona Coast to take in the sunset and enjoy a meal with a view. The tuna crudo (ahi sashimi) with spicy aioli was both satisfying and light and paired perfectly with the tropical cocktails. I recommend trying The Green Flash made with Patrol Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, lime, cream of coconut, Genovese basil, and fresh jalapeno.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 15, 2016 at 1:24pm PDT


Yellow Flags at the Fairmont Orchid

I stayed at the Fairmont Orchid. The hotel has a lovely beach and bay which is a great place to snorkel with the giant turtles, known locally as Honu. These yellow flags amongst the palm trees gave a real sense of being on vacation.

A video posted by Jen Pollack Bianco (@lax2nrt) on Jul 16, 2016 at 9:02pm PDT


Handsome Furry Local

Much of the Big Island of Hawaii used for ranching, complete with cattle and cowboys. I met this furry local, a dog known for guarding cattle up in Waimea. If you’re in the area, try one of the locally sourced burgers at Village Burger. Located in an laid back strip mall, locals and visitors flock to Village Burger for their cooked to order Hawaii Big Island Beef Burger. I wasn’t even hungry and I could not resist the delicious smell wafting in the Hawaiian breeze.

For best results, Boomerangs are best viewed using the Instagram app. If you’re not yet following my Instagram, here’s a link.

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Sydney Harbour Time Lapse Comparisons: iPhone 6 vs. TimeLapse App vs. Hyperlapse

Photo Feb 27, 7 58 39 AM

Rainy morning in Sydney

On my recent trip to Sydney, my room at the Park Hyatt Sydney had a killer view of the iconic Sydney Opera House. I’ve shot some of my favorite time lapse videos here. The backdrop is especially stunning at sunrise, when the harbour come to life and starts buzzing with activity.

Since I knew I was going to be in this spot for a while, I decided to compare a few different #shotoniPhone6 time lapse options. I shot videos using my iPhone 6’s native camera time-lapse function, another using the TimeLapse app, and the third I made with the Hyperlapse app.

First up, the iPhone 6 Native Camera’s Time-Lapse feature: The iPhone’s built in time-lapse function:

I am happy with the  results I got using iPhone 6’s built-in Time Lapse function. The pacing works well for the clouds and rain and the traffic on the harbour. The downside: there is only one time lapse setting. So the results might not be as idea for different shooting situations like capturing crowds or night traffic.

Next, I tried shooting a sunrise time lapse using the paid version of TimeLapse app‘s Sunrise/sunset preset feature:

Morning Sunrise time lapse from my room at the Park Hyatt Sydney

I’m really happy with the resulting time lapse video and love that the app offers presets for different shooting situations. I think if you’re going to shoot time-lapse videos in a variety of different scenarios, this app is well worth the $4.99 as an additional tool for serious shooters.

Next, I shot a bit later in the day using the Hyperlapse app from Instagram. What Hyperlapse has going for it is image stabilization. It’s probably your best option when shooting a time lapse video handheld, if you don’t have a tripod or mount handy.

Sydney Harbour Hyperlapse

I think the resulting hyperlapse video is fun, but not substantial because the app’s default resolution is too low for my liking. Turns out there are “secret settings” you can unlock in Hyperlapse which are shown in this YouTube video.

My issue is that the secret settings are tricky to access, especially if you have cold fingers. But accessing them allows you to unlock an expanded range of options including higher resolution and more speeds. While I currently think Hyperlapse is your best option for handheld time lapse videos, and I’ll have to review my thoughts on as a serious tool for time lapse options after I use it with the unlocked range of functions, and the higher 1080 pixel resolution.

Park Hyatt Sydney

7 Hickson Road, The Rocks

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia2000

Tel: +61 2 9256 1234

Fax: +61 2 9256 1555




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Guest post: Camino Royale: Snapshots from 100 kilometers in Galicia

Editor’s Note: My friend, Tanya Yuson, is a Manila-based producer and friend of the blog. Last week she joined her mother on a Pilgrimage in Spain and documented her trip using the Momento app on her iPhone.  I asked her to share her experiences (and images) here in a guest post series. Here is her first entry. You can follow Tanya on Instagram where she’s @TYPIX. – Jen

A Brief Background

Sometime last year, my mother broached the idea of wanting to do the Pilgrimage in Spain also known as the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. One could start this Pilgrimage from a number of places – From France, from Portugal or from the Northern part of Spain and would be about 800KM or so. But she wanted to opt for the more manageable 100 km walk from Sarria in Galicia – the minimum amount required to earn the certificate known as the compostela.  She asked me if I wanted to join her . At first I wasn’t sure. I knew I still had some reserves of stamina from when I was really fit though, lately, I could hardly get myself to the gym. Would I survive walking 100kms?  I talked with some friends who had just done it and they said it was an experienced not to be missed. They also said that in a pinch, you could hail a taxi if you needed to. Technically that would be cheating though as you are required to walk the last 100km of the Camino.

In February of this year I just said to hell with it – I would do the Camino with her. We made arrangements and through the coordination of a friend we ended up becoming a group of 6 that would be going on this Pilgrimage together in October. It all seemed like pie in the sky plans, until finally we all converged at our starting point of Sarria in the province of Galicia. And then things got real.

Day 1 – Sarria to Portomarino

Starting out on my first day of the Camino was like hopping on to a roller coaster for the first time- you know you’re in for a thrill ride, but you hope that you make it back in one piece.

For someone who spends a lot of time seated and working on a computer- 23km was kind of daunting. Even though I knew I could do 6km stretches. Once you get going though, there’s the ever changing, always beautiful, Galician countryside to distract you from the task at hand. Rolling hills dotted with family run farms. Stalks of corn and rows of Kale were the common denominator. But there was the occasional family garden which had tomatoes and peppers. Interesting to see in October. But then, when the sun was out, it still felt like it could be late summer.

Going through the back roads in the forests was also quite magical, with the trees giving you shade as you tread over the uneven ground. Some parts were most likely the old road that had been broken up by centuries of rain and pilgrims’ traveling on it. Occasionally you would see a marker or a tree where people would leave their own version of a prayer or an offering- a picture of a loved one, a flag or, occasionally, a shoe.

On the flip side of it, our group christened one particular part of the trek, the Cow-mino to the Composte-tela. There are farms after all and naturally there should be cows as well as Composte for the fields. At one point we shared the road with a whole herd of cows moseying along home, we presumed. We wished them a Buen Camino ( the typical greeting amongst the people you meet on the way)  and they replied “Moo.”

From Sarria- we finally reached the town of Portomarino. Basically, a town built on the remnants of the original town lying in ruins in the river. We would have explored more but first day muscle adjustments got the best of us and we just flopped down onto our beds- trying to stretch out hamstrings and open hip flexors with the  minimum amount of effort. We survived the roller coaster of day 1. An early dinner and then it was off to bed. Tomorrow, we’d have to climb a mountain.”

Day 2 – Portomarino to Palas del Rei

Reading our guide’s notes on Day 2 the night before and we are blanching at the terms easy up and climb. We learned yesterday that our guide is not to be trusted with the term easy up ( i.e. easy ascension). Lies!! Added to the fact that this is to be the longest and hardest day of our schedule. 24.8 Km from Portomarino to Palas de Rei.

It is foggy when we set out. We hit the plaza in front of the church and of course must take pictures. A contingent of 5 women and 1 man ask me to take their photo by the statue pointing the way to the camino.

We cross a bridge overlooking the ruins of the town in the river and it seems beautiful if eerie with all the fog. The thought of it quickly vanishes as we are faced with our first challenge of the day- a steep climb up a forest path. We are huffing and puffing along with our fellow pilgrims- including Deitrich, a gentleman from Germany who has a host of flags waving from a  pole attached to his backpack.

After that climb, the trails winds through wooded areas as well as sunken riverbed-like  paths. The cement markers come every half a kilometer. Sometimes they disappear altogether and the only way to know that we are still on the Camino is via spray painted arrow. Sometimes on a wall, on the side of a stone house a lot of times on the side of the road. It’s government sanctioned graffiti!! I think the Banksy would have a field day tagging the Camino.

It’s a long day- made bearable by the gorgeous weather and the frequent stops. Our final push is through five hamlets and then we follow the freeway to Palas de Rei. We belatedly realize that the mountain we thought we had to climb, was done during the hamlets. We’d celebrate if we weren’t so tired.

At the Pension Palas- we drop our things and change out of our sweat soaked clothes and go to mass and a late dinner. Palas de Rei is a tiny town, and like many of the others we pass seems sparsely populated. After dinner the air has turned incredibly chilly so we run home to our beds.

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Dutch Doscher Talks Mobile Photograpy & Video on Grryo (formerly known as We Are Juxt)

A Ride Home by Dutch Doscher

Check out my latest feature on Grryo (formerly known as We Are Juxt) where Brad Puet and I interview director & photographer Dutch Doscher about mobile photography & video and where it’s headed. He gives some great pointers for shooting mobile video.

It was really fun to interview Dutch because he’s not only a talented photographer and videographer, but a pioneer in the mobile creative arts. He also talks a little time travel. You can read the interview here: Dutch Doscher on the Future of Mobile Photography & Video.

Jen at MoMA NYC by Dutch Doscher

I love this photo Dutch Doscher took of me at MoMA NYC

You can follow Dutch Doscher on Twitter, EyeEm and Instagram @DutchDoscher.

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Hummingbirds at Cresto Ranch

Hummingbird feeder at the Cresto Ranch Farm House

Hummingbird feeder at the Cresto Ranch Farm House

I’m not much of a bird watcher but on my recent glamping trip to Cresto Ranch at Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, I became totally fascinated with hummingbirds. There were a bunch of them on the property.

The Farmhouse at Cresto Ranch was originally built in the late 1800’s

At Cresto Ranch, you eat your meals in a old farmhouse which was built in the late 1800s. There are several hummingbird feeders hanging from the eaves of the farmhouse’s wraparound porch.

Colorado Hummingbird GIFColorado Hummingbird GIF

Watching the action at the hummingbird feeder became a daily routine. Along with the other guests, we noticed that hummingbirds aren’t above bullying and can be rather vicious when food is involved. They may be tiny and pretty, but hummingbirds have no problem going all Mean Girls and having a smackdown at the bird feeder.

San Juan Mountains + hummingbirds = gorgeousSan Juan Mountains + hummingbirds = gorgeous

I found myself both mesmerized by the daily activity at the hummingbird feeder, and missing it once I left. So I decided to put together some of my favorite images and media to share it with my blog readers.

Hummingbird smackdown at the feeder

Hummingbird smackdown at the feeder

Hummingbird Instagram Video


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