What’s Shutter Speed Got to Do With It? How to Take Better Photos.

Want to take better photos? The key is practice, practice, practice. And, if you get the chance to practice in the company of a pro, do it! Taking a photo tour with a legit photographer gives you the chance to ask all kinds of dumb questions and to correct one or two things that will immediately improve your shots.

take-better-photos-walking-tour

Wandering around the Donaldson Farm, I kept waiting for the big tractors to talk to me as if I was in a Disney cartoon. Photo: The Open Suitcase LLC

Getting the chance to bum around with a professional photographer with an all access pass is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And you don’t have to have tons of equipment or years of experience to have a great time and to learn to take better photos. I self-identify as a beginner-intermediate when it comes to using my DSLR camera, meaning I still have to think really, really hard about whether the aperture needs to be big or small to get a crisply focused background. Continue reading

When Bad Things Happen to Good Travelers

Savannah-dawnI need to make a confession.

It’s a bit embarrassing, since I’m a travel writer, consider myself an organized and experienced adventurer, and routinely dole out advice to others. But, here goes…

During my last vacation, I lost my rental car.
Continue reading

A Sunrise and a Sail: Escape to Montauk

montauk-lighthouse-at-dawn

I was expecting “Wolf of Wall Street” and I got “On Golden Pond“.

Montauk’s got a bad reputation. It’s widely reported that NYC hipsters and throngs of kids with fake IDs descend on the easternmost village in the Hamptons and trash the place during summer weekends. It’s gotten so bad the locals are fighting back.

But, during the week and off-season, Montauk remains a sleepy coastal village, where people fish. Surf. Veg. Repeat. Continue reading

Before There Was Bernie: A Visit to FDR’s Home and Library

Eleanor-and-Franklin-Roosevelt-statuesI received a campaign ad from Bernie Sanders the other day. He compared himself to a legendary reformer, America’s one and only 4-term President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Is Senator Sanders’ New Deal comparable to the old New Deal? I figured I’d take a ride up to Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park, New York, and find out. Continue reading

Time to Rediscover these Popular 80’s Travel Destinations

Are you watching the new CNN series about the 1980’s? Bad hair. Sad outfits. And the music was either very, very good (The Clash, Madonna, Michael Jackson) or god awful (remember¬†Chris DeBurgh’s “Lady in Red”?).

Here’s a look at 6 destinations featured in the news or on the air during the 1980’s and why you might want to consider them for your vacation this year. Continue reading