Cooler Beaches better for Sea Turtles Survival …

turtle hatchlingNearly 90% of sea turtle nesting in the U.S. occurs in Florida. The nesting season runs from May through October where most of the turtles return to their home beaches to lay eggs. Although, some species will come ashore as early as March.

Turtles deposit approximately 100 golf-ball size eggs, and gently cover the eggs with sand and then they spread sand over a wide area to obscure the exact location of the chamber. They then leave the nest site and re-enter the water never to attend to their hatchlings again.

The remaining article below is a reblog from my Daily Curio.

Climate change is having an unintended consequence affecting the gender of sea turtles. Sadly, this phenomenon could affect the future survival of the species. In a recent study from Current Biology, scientists found that in major breeding areas along The Great Barrier Reef, warming sands are causing over 99% of green sea turtles to be born female. A sea turtle’s gender is determined by the temperature of the sand where the egg incubates. At around 85º F, a clutch of turtles will be about 50/50 male and female. But if it’s slightly cooler, they skew male; slightly warmer and they skew female. The Current Biology study looked at a population of 200,000 turtles in the nesting area of Raine Island in northern Australia. They discovered that 99.1% of juveniles, 99.8% of subadults, and 86.8% of the entire population were female. Populations in southern Australia fared better, since beaches there are cooler, with 65% to 69% females. When the biologists combined their results with temperature data in the area, they concluded that these green turtle rookeries have likely been producing predominantly female populations for two decades. Since the animals don’t reach breeding age until 25 or 30, it means disaster could be right around the corner. What’s more, scientists have long looked at sea turtle populations to predict trouble for other heartier species. Sometimes called the “lawn mowers of the ocean,” sea turtles maintain coral reefs and transport their nutrients for other marine animals. Not all the news about turtles is grim. A study from last year showed many of the planet’s seven species of sea turtle are increasing in population. But where those populations will thrive is another question.

More info related visit:  Sea Turtle Conservancy, a non-profit group based in Gainsville, Florida.

Contributed by: Martin J. Allred

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Christmas Stolen

images-2 copy copy copyJust recently I watched a news video on TV showing a person stealing a Christmas Tree,  if that doesn’t score an all-time low for the season,  gangs are targeting bus riders and drivers for their Christmas bonuses in Central American.  The Toys for Tots and Salvation Army collection bins are being robbed. We read about homes and cars being burglarized and the contents many being Christmas gifts are being stolen. The holiday crime stats show criminals are robbing and stealing more than ever.  Many of the culprits feel so pressured to provide gifts for their loved ones that they resort to theft.

I wonder what would happen if we stopped giving each other gifts for Christmas? Would this help prevent attacks on innocent people and theft during the Christmas holiday?

The over-commercialization of Christmas on television, print, and the Internet help fuel the criminal activity because many people,  especially children are so excited about receiving gifts.  Advertisements run day and night about many new products and create these desires.  Family and friends have grown accustomed to informing each other on which gift they expect for Christmas.

I was out shopping the other day and noticed a Christmas Tree dress on a mannequin. Although, I think it was just a display decoration for the holiday, because if it wasn’t who would wear such a thing?  It did reinforce my thoughts about how far our society has shifted and commercialized Christmas. Think for a moment, we buy a tree, all the decorations, ornaments, lights, stand, etc., then spend hundreds of dollars on gifts to pile under the tree. People overspend and many create debt on their credit cards that take months to pay-off.  Retailers spend millions on decorations, ads, and inventory for the holiday.

However, the holiday does provide some positive outcomes for many people and a great deal make a living on holiday retail sales.  As a matter of fact, some retailers only exist due to the holiday sales and jump-start their marketing campaigns early and skip right over the Thanksgiving holiday altogether to cash in early.  If that seems a little overzealous, you can actually find the popular after Thanksgiving shopping day Black Friday running multiple days. Just look at the recent sales posted by the online shopping giant Amazon last month. Early Monday after Thanksgiving, Jeff Bezos Amazon Founder and CEO was worth $99.6 billion, according to Forbes. By the opening bell, Bezos surpassed the $100 billion mark making him the richest man in the world, and Bezos made almost $2.4 billion on Black Friday alone. That’s Billion with a B! 2,400 million in one day. Wow!  I don’t think anyone has ever done that.  Makes one think about what will be spent on Christmas.


The Christmas gift of giving for many has been lost, stolen and overly commercialized along with the true meaning of Christmas.

As a society, we have created this monster holiday that manifests itself and feeds it’s growing appetite on the back of a lost Holy Day.

What if we just totally stopped giving each other expensive Christmas gifts altogether and started helping our fellow neighbor in kind acts?  We could spend a little time volunteering at local food shelter or church,  deliver food to the needy and elderly,  help with needed home repairs or purchase school supplies for unfortunate people.  We could lend a hand to a non-profit charity. Isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas? It would most certainly help stop the theft and focus more attention and help provide remedies to the neglected people in dire need. But I think most of all, it would be teaching our children good morals, which in return would be teaching our society to give rather than to take. I don’t know about you, but for me personally, I think that would be the best Christmas gift for all.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Contributed by: Martin Allred

A reblog from Martin Allred.


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EOS 5D Mark IV: Timelapse movies

canon5d-mark-IV-dslr--800x534The EOS 5D Mark IV features a time-lapse movie shooting option to create time-lapse directly in-camera without needing to stitch the images together afterward. When you shoot a time-lapse movie, you will notice that the resolution is FHD and it is recorded at either 29.97P (NTSC) or 25.00P (PAL). If you wish to record a timelapse at a higher resolution or with a different frame rate, then you should use the interval timer instead to capture still images that you can later combine on a computer. This will allow you to capture a timelapse at a much higher resolution, in RAW, or with a faster or slower frame rate as required.

This feature works well with trade show set-ups, construction projects, and beach sunrise and sunsets. The camera should be mounted on a tripod and placed where it will not be moved for best results.

Source: Canon Professional Services

Contributed by: Martin Allred,



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Canon 5D Mark IV Tips for Lens Correction

caption_002.jpgEOS 5D Mark IV Diffraction Correction

As part of the lens correction options, the EOS 5D Mark IV features a Diffraction Correction option to remove any diffraction caused by the lens while shooting. This setting works well and helps ensure you achieve the best possible results from your lens. Under some shooting conditions though, there may be increased noise shown in the image, especially in the shadow areas. If this happens, either reduce the ISO speed where possible, or disable Diffraction Correction and instead apply it using the Canon Digital Photo Professional software on your computer.

Source Canon Professional Services.

Contributed by: Martin J. Allred


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How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Photographer?


I’m writing this article which offers a few 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.

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,


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“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:


Contributed by: Martin Allred




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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:
The airport location is merely a satellite location and a welcome addition to Tampa’s Southwest Terminal.
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


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



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.


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.”


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

Photo: Martin Allred,  Nationwide Photographers    

See all the winners

Contributed by: Martin Allred


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


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:

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.

The DOT Aviation Consumer Protection Division provides a more detailed explanation of consumer rights in the publication

Contributed by: Martin Allred

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

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





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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!


Contributed by: Martin Allred,                photo: Martin Allred

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