How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Photographer?

martina

I published this article which offers tips by ImageBrief, a stock photo agency that promotes and sells stock imaging created by professional photographers.  Professional photographers must pay an annual or a monthly subscription to be a member of the ImageBrief agency.  As part of the ImageBrief membership,  member photographers receive image criteria for certain types of professional imaging requested by other agencies, corporations, and publishers. The ImageBrief client picks the image(s) and the user pays a fee for the use rights to the member photographer.  The selected image(s) use-term rights are negotiated in the initial payment to the member photographer.  Image pricing can have a broad range of costs to factor in, e.g., image creation difficulty, rarity, demand, publication types, and circulation.  

Too often potential image-buyers wonder, “how much does it cost to hire a photographer?” Even more often, they shoot themselves in the foot before they ever even find out because they think hiring one will be too expensive. Without a comprehensive rate sheet floating around to guide them, clients looking for photographers don’t know where to start their negotiations, and it’s often left to the photographer to be the first one to pop the “what’s your budget?” question to get the ball rolling. Well, I’m here to tell you that hiring a photographer can be more affordable than you might think, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

What buyers sometimes don’t understand is that the cost for a photographer often depends on several factors: travel, day-rate, assistants, equipment, retouching, and, perhaps most important, usage. If a photograph is going to be published in a worldwide print campaign, the negotiation and cost for those rights is likely higher than if the same image were to be used for a one-off social campaign or internal catalog. Keep in mind, all this depends on the scope of the shoot, and of course the photographer.

Examples of photographers hired through ImageBrief offered a bit about each of their shoots to illustrate how hiring a photographer is more affordable than you might think. By no means is this an end-all-be-all guide to pricing, rather it’s meant to show a range of options and what can be involved. When hiring a photographer though, always keep one thing in mind: photographers have spent countless hours, years, and even decades honing their craft. If you’re looking to hire a photographer, you’re not just paying for an image, you’re also investing in the vision and creativity that’s behind the lens. When reaching out to a photographer, remember to be respectful of their abilities.

Half-Day, Quick Turnaround

Budget: Under $1,000
Usage: Internal, promotional
Time: Half-day

Depending on how much prep is involved and what you’re looking to do with the finished product, hiring a photographer for half a day can be within most shoe-string budgets. Standard pricing for a half-day portrait shoot of a popular Canadian Photographer with the rental of a couple of lights, and the usage of four photos for their website and a brochure is normally under $1,000 Canadian.

Big Client, Medium Budget

Budget: ~$1,500
Usage: Social media
Time: Single-day

Even giant brands can do moderately-priced campaigns. When Young & Rubicam was tasked with putting together Land Rover’s #GoSomewhereRare campaign, they needed to come up with 31 images from 31 parks and turned to ImageBrief to find a couple of photographers to add to their arsenal for the campaign. Y&R ended up hiring two ImageBrief photographers, each for a one-day shoot in their park of choice. The photographers were paid $1,000 each (plus expenses) and given a Land Rover for a day along with creative rein to show what it means to #GoSomewhereRare. Rather than a giant television campaign or world-wide print ad, the photos were used for a social media campaign for the brand, and the budget is reflective of that type of licensing.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/107764553

Multiple Media Means a Budget to Match

Budget: Five-figures, enough to buy a new car
Usage: Worldwide, multiple print campaigns and more
Time: Single-day shoot, several days production

When a large agency came to ImageBrief looking to hire a photographer on a tight deadline, ImageBrief put out an assignment brief for a photographer able to work under a tight deadline. A member photographer put himself forward and was hired for the job, which had him involved with nearly every step of the creative process: location scouting, working with producers on wardrobe and with models, concept, and of course, actually shooting the campaign. Because the job was for such a high-profile client and the process was very involved, it called for a fairly large budget (in the grand scheme of things though, giant brands can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on shoots, but those are pretty rare). When it came time to negotiate the rights for the images Mat shot, this part of the puzzle weighed heavily on the final budget because it was for a print campaign that appeared in several large business magazines with a worldwide circulation.

As you can see, the price for hiring a photographer depends on a range of factors. If you’re looking to hire for a shoot, be honest and up front with the photographer about your budget and the scope of the project and you’ll likely get negotiations off on the right foot.

Contributed by: Martin  Allred, http://www.floridaography.com

http://www.NationwidePhotographers.com

 

Posted in Dining, Home, Photography Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Volcano Bay” Orlando Now Open

Image result for pictures of volcano bay hi res

Universal Studios has added another theme park to their repertoire. Volcano Bay is now open and is expected to be at capacity for the memorial day weekend. The site ads are claiming no long lines like the other two theme parks experience. Now, that would be nice, if that holds true.   This weekend rates and notes.

All-New Wonders Of TapuTapu  At Volcano Bay

An image of a TapuTapu wearable, a device available at Universal's Volcano Bay water theme park.

Volcano Bay™ guests enjoy all the benefits of the TapuTapu™ wearable. The TapuTapu eliminates standing in long attraction lines by enabling you to relax and play while waiting in the park’s Virtual Line™ until it’s time to ride. Plus, with TapuTapu you can enjoy the fun and convenience of activating interactive surprises, opening lockers, making cash-free payments and more.

TapTu Pay™ Is The New Way To Pay

At Universal’s Volcano Bay™ your TapuTapu™ wearable lets you TapTu Pay™ to make cash-free purchases of food and merchandise throughout the park. You’ll just need to set up an account and assign a credit card. Then, when you’re in Volcano Bay, you’ll enjoy the ease and convenience of making most transactions with a simple tap of your TapuTapu.

Memorial Day Weekend

Volcano Bay™ capacity notification May 26-29

Due to Grand Opening excitement, Universal’s Volcano Bay water theme park is currently at capacity. Guests can follow Universal’s social channels for real-time updates or call 407-817-8317.

The Attractions…..

The Volcano

Island Centerpiece

At the heart of the island stands Krakatau™, the mighty Fire and Water Volcano. Towering 200 feet above the tropical landscape, Krakatau™ streams waterfalls during the day and fiery lava effects at night. Inside the cavernous volcano, the Waturi people dare you to brave a variety of heart-pounding water slides.Image result for pictures of volcano bay hi res

Krakatau™ Aqua Coast

Honorary Waturi can experience the power of Krakatau™ on this amazing ride. Four-person canoes slide upward through the mists and into the dark twists and turns within the volcano before emerging with a plunge through a shimmering waterfall.

Ko’okiri Body Plunge™

Join in the centuries-old tradition of honoring the volcano god, Vol, by braving the incredible Ko’okiri Body Plunge™. Featuring a 70-degree fall through a drop door and 125 feet of white-knuckle fun, this dizzying descent ends with a watery tribute from Vol himself.

Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides™

Join Kala and Tai Nui where sea and sky meet and take a leap of faith from high atop the volcano. Twin drop doors simultaneously plunge two guests down clear, intertwining tubes before sending them joyfully splashing into the turquoise waters below.

Punga Racers™

A favorite among Waturi children of all ages, Punga Racers send single riders on their manta ray mats sliding down four lanes through underwater sea caves. And to this day, the first racer to cross the finish line receives a watery salute from Punga himself.

Wave Village

Crystal Waters And Sandy Beaches

Wave Village is the first of three villages guests encounter at Volcano Bay™. This peaceful escape overlooks the sparkling waters of Waturi Beach at the base of the volcano.

Waturi Beach

Locals know that the waves are always perfect at Waturi Beach. Swim, splash and relax right along with them in the sparkling waters and warm waves of the lagoon at the foot of mighty Krakatau™.

The Reef

Watch the bravest Waturi take the Ko’okiri Body Plunge from the comfort of this peaceful leisure pool. A clear plexi tube shoots straight through this 5.5-foot-deep pool, which features its own private waterfall perfect for frolicking.

River Village

Fun Flows Through

The scenic River Village has fun for people of all ages, including the very youngest Waturi.

Honu ika Moana™

Just like the ancient Waturi people who rode the ocean waves on friendly sea turtles and whales, guests can enjoy these two twisting, turning, multi-person slides. Honu sweeps up two massive walls, while ika Moana sprays water on riders from the center of the raft.

Tot Tiki Reef™

Even the youngest Waturi can get in on the fun in the shallows of Tot Tiki Reef. Play among splashy slides, a tot-sized water volcano and a family of friendly tikis with spraying fountains. Plus, adorable whales spray and sing as kids raise and lower their hands.

Runamukka Reef™

Once an exotic coral reef beneath the ocean, Runamukka Reef is now a favorite play place for young Waturi children with its bubbling geysers, water guns, slides and dump cups. Shaded by fanciful bamboo sea creatures and waving seaweed, it’s the most playful spot in Universal’s Volcano Bay™.

Kopiko Wai Winding River™

Take a slow ride on the Kopiko Wai Winding River through the tropical landscape of Universal’s Volcano Bay™, a land full of surprises. Sprays of water surprise along the way, and beneath the lava rocks, Stargazer’s Cavern reveals the magical night sky above.

Rainforest Village

A Forest Full Of Excitement

The third village you’ll discover in Universal’s Volcano Bay™, Rainforest Village stretches along the shores of an action-packed river and features the perfect mix of relaxation and exhilaration.

Taniwha Tubes™

There’s a place in Universal’s Volcano Bay™ where the puka trees grow abnormally tall. Inspired by their twisting roots, the Waturi built four twisting water slides called the Taniwha Tubes. Riders can try all four twisting tracks, but beware—mischievous tiki statues spray jets of water when you least expect it.

Maku Puihi Round Raft Rides™

This six-person rafting adventure isn’t for the faint of heart. Choose one of two lava-tube paths or try them both. Maku slides through a deep volcanic gorge before spinning wildly around bowl-like formations. Then, test your bravery on Puihi, where you’ll feel the stomach-flipping thrill of a zero-gravity hang time before splashing your way to safety at the bottom.

Puka Uli Lagoon

This pool features elements that even the tiniest Waturi can enjoy like bongo drums and spraying water.

TeAwa The Fearless River™

Race along a roaring, watery stream of churning rapids and choppy waves while hanging tight to your inner tube on this thrilling whitewater ride.

Ohyah & Ohno Drop Slide™

Ascend the side of a cliff before plummeting down the twisting waters of the Ohyah Slide and dropping out four feet above the pool below. Then, brave the rope bridge and take the plunge down the Ohno Slide, a serpentine adventure that ends six feet above the awaiting pool.

Guests can also consider purchasing a 2-Park 1-Day ticket to visit Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Prices are $179.00 per adult and $174.00 per child and $ 149.00 for Florida Residents.

For more info click here: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/theme-parks/volcano-bay/index.html

 

Contributed by: Martin Allred

http://www.Floridaography.com

 

 

 

Posted in Dining, Just for Fun, Worthy Destinations | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U-le-le “Yay” Tampa Airport SW Terminal

20170428_110458Ulele..(pronounced you-lay-lee) celebrates the vibrant fusion of ingredients from Florida waters and land once home to many Native Americans, including the legendary young princess Ulele.
Located on the Hillsborough River in Tampa Heights, 400 yards from the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Indoor and outdoor waterfront dining. Lunch & dinner daily. Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas.
Featuring intricately flavored, visually appealing dishes prepared on our 10′ round barbacoa grill.
Ulele operates in the lovingly re-imagined 1903 Tampa Heights Water Works building, which also includes its Ulele Spring Brewery to provide a number of craft beers on tap. Next door to Water Works Park.
See live video of the Oyster grill at Tampa Airport:
https://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?action_choose_add_method=1&v=F9pZmyf0e7c&lang=en
The airport location is merely a satellite location and a welcome addition to Tampa’s Southwest Terminal.
20170428_111118
Fresh Grouper Sandwich
The airport location has a very limited menu but seems to have something for everyone.

The primary restaurant opened in August 2014, and sits on the banks of the Hillsborough River in Tampa next to the Spring.. It is adjacent to the Water Works Park, which has been transformed into a family-friendly park.

Ulele is a native-inspired restaurant and brewery, using fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and other proteins from Florida when they are available, just as my ancestors did.

Their food is harvested and raised in the United States, preferably from family-owned and independent companies. Their organic food is not genetically modified, and has no hormones and antibiotics. The wines are from the U.S.: California, Oregon, Washington and emerging areas, such as New Mexico, Virginia, New York, Texas and several other states.

Local craft beers, available only at Ulele, made on site by our Brewmaster Tim Shackton.

Part of The Columbia Restaurant Group, the eatery and park has reenergized and built renewed pride in Tampa Heights.

Contributed by: Martin Allred  www.floridaography.com

 

Posted in Dining | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

9 of the 12 Top Beaches in the U.S. …And the Winner is…..

rdTopLaurel_L_TM.jpg

Florida 

According to Tripadvisor’s 2017 Traveler’s Choice survey, Florida captures 1st place for the best beaches in the United States, including Hawaii.  Florida now has nine beaches on the top twelve list. That’s really good news for Florida.  Unfortunately, the good news will bring bad news to the existing residents,  bringing  more seasonal travelers, tourists and new residents which will undoubtedly compound the local traffic congestion. I say, “Urgh!!”

Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota reclaimed the 1st place title from Clearwater Beach, which came in 4th this year, while St. Pete Beach jumped to 3rd place from the previous year’s rankings.

The top Florida beaches are well known for their sugar like white sand and beautiful clear aqua colored waters.

20141228_131022

Photo:   Martin Allred, Nationwide Photographers   Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, FL

“Pristine beach that never seems to end. Photographer’s dream. A place in the sun that warrants returning again and again.”

ST PETEBCH1

Location: St. Pete Beach at Caddy’s Restaurant on the Beach 

Photo: Martin Allred,  Nationwide Photographers    

See all the winners

https://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Beaches-cTop-g191

Contributed by: Martin Allred

http://www.floridaography.com

 

Posted in Dining, Home, Worthy Destinations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Not So Friendly Skies “Know Your Airline Passenger Rights”

800px-United_Airlines_Boeing_737-800;_N12216@LAX;10.10.2011_622ge_(6414422745).jpg

I travel frequently and know the basic rules the airlines impose when it comes to getting bumped. However, flights are over-sold on a regular basis and airline employees are trained to offer the lowest compensation possible at first to get passengers to give up their seats. They usually raise offers as more seats are needed to get their higher level travelers confirmed seats. For instance Lori Begley Bloom, a  travel  writer cashed her Delta seats in this week for whopping $11,000.  She wrote an article that just appeared in Forbes Magazine this week.  Click here to read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2017/04/09/why-delta-air-lines-paid-me-11000-not-to-fly-to-florida-this-weekend/#148efbf04de1

The skies haven’t been so friendly with United Airlines lately after the news broke about the airline forcibly removing a passenger with a confirmed seat on one of their flights this past Sunday.

The major news networks aired numerous videos  of a man being assaulted by airline security while sitting in his assigned seat.  The videos have since went viral on social media sites and drawing hundreds of millions of views around the world.  Millions of travelers have become outraged!  The videos show a man of asian decent being dragged off the plane while screaming and bleeding because he didn’t want to give up his seat for the $800.00 compensation offered by United.

My first question: “Why didn’t the airlines up the ante and offer more compensation? Why didn’t the airline supervisor on duty override the computer generated pick and ask the other passengers to give up their seats. Surely if they had upped the ante to $1300 instead of $800 someone would have volunteered.”

Think for a moment, the whole incident could have been avoided possibly for a mere $1300.  As a result China is now calling for a national boycott. Apparently, China has the second largest aviation market in the world and United claims that it “operates more nonstop US-China flights, and to more cities in China, than any other airline.” Wow!  that could be a huge blow financially. Note: United Airlines stock lost over half billion dollars this week as a result of the incident.

I just don’t get it. Who makes the decision to have an airline passenger forcibly removed from a confirmed seat anyway? Apparently, it’s all done by a random computer pick.

At times the airlines show little regard for their passengers when the human element is removed and operations are dictated by computer reliant dimwits that show no signs of human compassion whatsoever?

What do the rules actually say if someone is bumped from their seat by an airline?

According to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) the following rules may apply. (Although on smaller aircraft the rules differ slightly not in favor of the passenger.)

Know your rights for involuntary bumping

  • If you are bumped involuntarily and the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to get you to your final destination (including later connections) within one hour of your original scheduled arrival time, there is no compensation.
  • If the airline arranges substitute transportation that is scheduled to arrive at your destination between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours on international flights), the airline must pay you an amount equal to 200% of your one-way fare to your final destination that day, with a $650 maximum.
  • If the substitute transportation is scheduled to get you to your destination more than two hours later (four hours internationally), or if the airline does not make any substitute travel arrangements for you, the compensation doubles (400% of your one-way fare, $1300 maximum).
  • If your ticket does not show a fare (for example, a frequent-flyer award ticket or a ticket issued by a consolidator), your denied boarding compensation is based on the lowest cash, check or credit card payment charged for a ticket in the same class of service (e.g., coach, first class) on that flight.

Click this link to read more on the subject of being bumped on an airline.  http://www.travelsense.org/Consumer/consumerdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=13894

The DOT Aviation Consumer Protection Division provides a more detailed explanation of consumer rights in the publication https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights

Contributed by: Martin Allred     http://www.Floridaography.com

Interesting, after I posted this article yesterday I read about another incident with United Airlines today..read here.

A passenger seated on another United flight this week was threatened with handcuffs to give up his seat.. read more about his story here. http://www.latimes.com/business/lazarus/la-fi-lazarus-united-low-priority-passenger-20170412-story,amp.html

Just for fun, I couldn’t resist the logo below…

IMG_20170411_102307.jpg

 

 

 

Posted in Home, Photography Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Botanist Cocktail

The most awesome Gin Cocktail ever!!! 🙂  
1.5 oz of The Botanist Islay Gin (yummy)
2.5 oz of Fever-Tree Elderflower Tonic
Spash of Royal Rose Lavender-Lemon Syrup
Stir ingredients in a martini shaker …
Garnish: a sprig of fresh thyme, a thin slice of lemon and three whole juniper berries.
Serve in a stemless wine glass for the optimum bouquet of freshness on the nose.

I enjoyed  this cocktail right after I photographed it…It was truly awesome!

_MG_0021.JPG

Contributed by: Martin Allred, http://www.floridaography.com                photo: Martin Allred

Posted in Dining, Just for Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine Road “Russian River” Sonoma County

IMG_0467blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reblog                               (Gary Farrell’s Wine Cellar)

Wine has been around for thousands of years, and is closely entwined with the history of civilization, religion, cuisine and agriculture. Some archaeological evidence even suggests that the earliest known wine production may have occurred around 7000 BCE. Wine has become such a major part of our society that some people actually pick food to compliment a wine instead of vice versa. We incorporate it into many of our food recipes, and perhaps, no other cuisine in the world benefits from wine as much as French food. As a matter of fact,  French wines are actually meant to be consumed with a meal. With that said, food and wine parings have become so popular now that many local restaurants host private wine dinners teaching us which type of wine to drink with certain types of cuisine.  I say, “Hurray” for that trend!

Certainly one of my favorite pleasures is enjoying a really good glass of vino. I like distilled spirits and beer beverages too. But, I just adore a great glass of wine. In my opinion good vino is so straightforward and easy to drink, and it seems to pair well with most cuisines leaving it the obvious choice as my go-to favorite beverage. Wine undoubtedly adds a factor regarding sophistication to drinking on the whole. Additionally, a glass of decent vino will help make a mediocre meal more palatable and you genuinely never hear anyone’s express their opinion on the size of one’s wine tummy.

If you are interested in learning about wines or want to expand your palette on the many varieties, a trip to “Wine Road” in California may be the idea place to jump-start that quest.

California produces more wine than any other state or country in the Americas, and ranks 4th overall in total wine production in the world, following France, Italy and Spain. In my opinion, the California vintages can stand up and hold their ground to some of the most sought after and overly expensive French wines too. Thus, the “Paris Tasting”

I normally leap towards the first opportunity to experience  a wine tasting, especially when I can sample some primo vino.  However, most local wine tastings are held as fund raisers and the wines showcased usually aren’t very high quality. That wasn’t the case on a past business trip to San Francisco. That opportunity gave me a chance to experience the Wine Road region and experience some really delicious vino.

Wine Road, as it’s referred is not really a road, but a large region that has many great wineries located along Highway 101, just north of San Francisco in the north central part of Sonoma County, California. The Wine Road region produces some of the finest Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zin and Rosé wines available.

sonoma_county_map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Wine Road, as it’s referred is not really a road, but a large region that has many great wineries”

Continue reading

Posted in Dining, Home, Worthy Destinations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Costa Rica Lower East Coast… Cahuita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limon Provinceon

DCIM101GOPRO

A reblog from April 2, 2013 on Location

Tap.. tappity.. tap..tap.. its 4am and for the last three days the sound of the raindrops continues to play a steady drumbeat hitting  the metal rooftop of the adjoining room. The intense climactic down-pours are very sporadic and carry the sound similar to a drum symphony during a finale. It looks as though the wet or (green) season has started early this year in Puerto Viejo.

The town of Puerto Viejo, meaning “old port” is on the southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica approximately 10 miles from the country of Panama, just south of the city of Limon and should not be confused with Puerto Viejo Sarapiqui, a small town located in the north mid-part of the country. Puerto Viejo is a popular tourist destination known for it’s clean blue waters, beaches, surfing, green foliage and alternative life styles.  The beaches and waters are less than optimal near the shore in the rainy season due to the mud run-off from the tropical rains, however, surfing is still considered fantastic with the ever-present warm Caribbean winds propelling plenty of wave action.  Puerto Viejo is home to “Salsa Brava” the most popular surfing area in Costa Rica.  An area not recommended for beginning surfers due to the deep hollow waves that could reach mountainous heights and pound a surfer into the long shadow reef beneath.  Salsa Brava is renowned for claiming many broken bones and surfboards over the years. Many experienced surfers call this area suicidal.

DCIM101GOPRO

Numerous indigenous communities inhabit the Caribbean Coast including the Cocles, Bribrís, Talamanca and Cabécar, as well as a large Afro-Caribbean population. Small roadside bars and restaurants flank the road and offer delightful savory Caribbean-Creole infused Cuisine.  The laid-back reggae music and cannabis supporting life-style seems to be the norm for the area.

“Small roadside bars and restaurants flank the road and offing delightful savory Caribbean Infused Cuisine.

DCIM101GOPRO

The small beach towns of Cahuita and Puerto Viejo can be quite intimidating to tourists. Many of the locals are extremely poor and live in dire conditions.  Metal security fences and bars cover the doors and windows of many local resident homes.

DCIM101GOPROTheft runs rampant and the local thieves will grab and run with anything of value.  Most of the crime is just petty and tourists are advised to leave all expensive jewelry, large cameras or cell phones in their hotel rooms.  The hotels recommend carrying only what you need. We passed through a couple of police checkpoints on the coastal highway in a heavy agricultural area with the police’s attention focusing on theft of the “Peach Palm” or the “Pejibaye Palm Tree”, a local favorite fruit with the taste and texture similar to a sweet potato.

Pejibaye Fruit

Our hotel, the Banana Azul (Blue Banana) is constructed of light and dark hardwoods throughout with a very inviting open lounge area. Situated between the main highway and the beach, the hotel is surrounded by heavy foliage of tropical plants, trees, and a Koi pond that borders and runs the length of the patio.  The atmosphere is somewhat secluded and filled with the indigenous sounds of the tropics, creating a favorable mood of solitude. You can hear the waves of the Caribbean Sea crashing against the beach about 150 feet or so from the hotel’s patio.

“The atmosphere is somewhat secluded and filled with the indigenous sounds of the tropics, creating a favorable mood of solitude”.

bananaexterior

Our bedroom offers an eclectic décor with the floors covered in beautiful hardwoods, Asian style bamboo ceilings, sliding parlor doors framed in a beautiful dark red mahogany and glass. A colorful hammock hangs in the adjoining room which has a rock garden, accompanied by a huge tub constructed in miniature shades of aqua green tile.  A large grey porcelain shower stall adjacent to the tub completes the extended part of the hotel room.

azul2

The hotel has approximately 16 unique rooms, which includes a small apartment building in the front. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and the beach area. Fresh fruit mixed drinks and full bar service is offered along with some pleasing cuisine options in the restaurant. The food is good and moderately priced. Accompanying the regular menu is a chef’s special created every night which was satisfactory.  We love the hotel, staff, décor and location,  it was just as we imagined it to be  and beyond.

A tour operator offering several types of local activities is located near the entrance of the hotel. We chose to visit, “Jaguar” and “Tree of Life”, both wildlife rescue centers.  The Jaguar wildlife center had several types of native monkeys, snakes, birds, butterflies and sloths. The sloth is most common to this part of Costa Rica. We captured the photo below of a “Two Claw Sloth” walking a power-line, a regular occurrence that has contributed to many deaths of the breed.

sloth2

Although very rainy in April, the temperature was just perfect for our visit. It seemed the heavier rains came mostly at night and early morning which didn’t affect the daytime activities as much. I enjoyed the relaxation, serenity and the local cuisine of the area.

Contributed by: Martin J. Allred

Reblog from April 2013….

Posted in Dining, Essential Travel Devices, Worthy Destinations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sarasota, Florida.. Grouper Paradise!

 

17424846_10209234687924401_6601809084453841988_n

Sarasota, Florida (Steve with a nice Red Grouper)

We normally hop aboard our boat at Marina Jack on Sarasota Bay. The marina is located in downtown Sarasota only a couple miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Having a boat docked so close to the Gulf of Mexico contributes to lower fuel consumption and shorter travel times back and forth offshore. Once we leave the dock and hit the Gulf Waters we usually have lines in the water in approximately 45 minutes.  The wind plays a major factor in our travel time,  if under 10 knots we can be 25 miles offshore in about 1.5 hours. Although, we could get out slightly faster but choose a lower prop RPM to help conserve fuel.

Having a fellow boat club member and good fishing buddy  (Steve) who lives nearby is another advantage.  We normally ride together and split the cost of the boat, fuel, tips, ect. Steve stocks bait which he purchases in bulk  at a discount and stores in his outdoor freezer.  Octopus, Squid, and Red Herring  seem to work pretty well with us. Although, I like the squid because its seems to last longer .

20170322_131703

We choose to go offshore  in the middle of the week because there’s less water traffic and more boats available. Also, it frees up the weekend giving you more time to do things with your lady.

We had another great day on the water last week catching three limits of Red Grouper, several Porgies and a nice Mangrove Snapper.

Steve is pictured here with his catch of the day (Red Grouper). Yours truly caught some nice ones too.

17457581_10209241082964273_1327455737474096109_n

I pan seared a couple fillets the next day with a compound butter concoction  of Jalapeno, cilantro, tequila, lime and zest. Served the fillets on top a fresh roasted corn and red pepper risotto. It was awesome!!

Click on the link below for  some other great recipes from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for cooking your catch.

http://www. bountiful.com/Recipes/Seafood/Grouper

Recipe for the Tequila Lime Butter Compound.

  • One stick salted butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced jalapeño or serrano chiles, seeds and membranes removed
  • 1 freshly squeezed lime juice (from a medium lime)
  • lime zest of two limes
  • 2 teaspoons tequila (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • a dash of  kosher salt.
    1. Place butter in a medium bowl and, using a rubber spatula, soften until it’s very spreadable. Add remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
    2. Place compound butter on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a log and twist the ends to seal. Place butter in the refrigerator to harden.

Season fish fillets with creole seasoning. Sear both sides of  fish in a light coating of olive oil but don’t over cook. Top fillets with butter compound and finish in oven. Place on top of risotto and garnish with a couple pieces of cilantro or lime peel and spoon the pan dripping on the fish.

grouper and risotto

Contributed By: Martin J. Allred    www.floridaography.com

 

 

Posted in Dining, Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canon Releases Three New Cameras

Canon Releases a Trio of New Cameras: M6 Mirrorless, T7i, and 77D DSLRs|


Canon has managed to sneak in a last-minute surprise for this Valentine’s Day, with the announcement of a trio of cameras and an 18-55mm zoom that will pair perfectly with the new DSLRs. Leading the way is Canon’s latest mirrorless, the EOS M6; a more compact take on the M5 that forgoes the built-in EVF for a smaller, modular design. Alongside the M6 is a pair of APS-C DSLRs—the T7i and 77D—that have been sped up and refined over previous iterations. Finally, the EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is a compact, stylish, and versatile zoom that will grant excellent image quality without breaking your back or wallet.

Canon EOS M6 Mirrorless Camera

At its core, the mirrorless M6 delivers image quality and performance similar to the larger M5, due to both sharing a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and the DIGIC 7 Image Processor, enabling sensitivities up to ISO 25600. The differences really come in terms of body design, where the M5 takes an SLR-like approach, and the M6 is a more traditional compact with no EVF. An optional 0.39″ 2.36m-dot OLED EVF-DC2 is available, giving users the option to decide whether it is needed for your particular shooting style. The M6 does step things up from your average camera with its 3.0″ tilting touchscreen, which allows for direct control over your focus and settings by intuitively tapping the screen.

Designed to provide plenty of speed, the M6 boasts a maximum continuous shooting rate of 7 fps, or up to 9 fps with AF lock. The body also sports five different dials for direct, tactile control over your settings. Along with all of this, the M6 supports 5-axis Combination IS with compatible lenses, as well as the ability to record Full HD video at up to 60p and accept external mics via a 3.5mm input jack. Additionally, it has built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth for transferring files to a smartphone, along with remote-control functions. This mirrorless camera will be available in black or silver, as well as in kits with a 15-45mm lens or with a 18-150mm lens.

Canon EOS 77D

Part of a brand-new series, though spiritually replacing the T6s, is the EOS 77D, a compact and lightweight DSLR with some notable high-end features. Beyond using the latest 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF and the DIGIC 7 Image Processor, the 77D uses a 45-point all cross-type AF system that ensures accuracy and speed with a variety of different subjects in various shooting conditions, including a top shooting speed of 6 fps. This model also features a top LCD screen that provides quick access to your essential shooting settings without needing to look at the screen or through the viewfinder, something extremely useful when shooting from the hip or when using a tripod.

Designed for advanced users who require many physical controls, the 77D features a rear control dial that can be locked to avoid accidental changes. It also has a vari-angle 3.0″ touchscreen LCD that provides intuitive and direct control over AF and image review. Full HD video recording has some nice capabilities, as well, including Movie Electronic IS, HDR Movie, and Time-Lapse Movie modes along with a 3.5mm mic jack. And, much like the M6, the 77D incorporates Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth. This camera will be available as a body only or as a kit with an 18-55mm lens or with an 18-135mm lens.

Canon EOS Rebel T7i

Sitting just below the 77D is the EOS Rebel T7i, which continues the legacy of the extremely popular and capable Rebel line. It sports many similarities to the 77D, including using the same sensor, processor, and AF systems. It can also reach 6 fps in continuous shooting and has a vari-angle 3.0″ touchscreen LCD, as well as Full HD video, a mic jack, and many of the same modes and features. Where the T7i separates itself is with a lighter, pared-down body that eliminates the top LCD and rear control dial. There are even modes and settings designed for those looking to learn photography or boost their picture-taking capabilities, including a Feature Assistant and Creative Filters for both sills and video. And, just like the previous models, it will have Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth built-in. The EOS Rebel T7i will be available as a body only or as a kit with an 18-55mm lens or with an 18-135mm lens.

There are a couple of other items being announced for Canon’s latest DSLRs, including a new redesigned kit EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens, which is more compact than previous offerings and comes equipped with a lead-screw-type STM AF motor, ensuring fast, silent AF for stills and video. Also, the Image Stabilizer can compensate for up to 4 stops of shutter speed. Also, a new BR-E1 Wireless Remote Control is designed for the two new DSLRs, and takes advantage of their Bluetooth connectivity for controlling the cameras’ basic settings and functions and for triggering the shutter wirelessly. And, it will support the PZ-E1 Power Zoom Adapter when used with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens, for complete remote control of your camera system.

Reblogged from Canon USA

Contributed by: Martin Allred

http://www.Floridaography.com

 

 

Posted in Essential Travel Devices, Photography Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment