Thoughts On the Canon AE-1 Program so far…

Hey guys,

This is the Canon Ae-1 Program I picked up last week from Facebook Marketplace.

Alot of people recommended this camera when I was researching what film camera to buy. I wanted something simple, affordable and easy to take with me.

Continue reading “Thoughts On the Canon AE-1 Program so far…”

My Phone’s Camera Roll Photos #2

Hey guys, I hope you’re doing well out there!

For this photoblog I scrolled through my phones camera roll and picked out 8 photos I wanted to share with you today. These photos aren’t necessarily my favorite, or best capture, but they’e meaningful to me and I think you’ll like them!

Camera roll stories


I took this photo while walking around downtown Bristol, RI. It’s actually composed of two photos. I used a picture I took of a blue cloudy sky to frame the group of friends watching sunset. I then used a white border to bring it all together. I’ve been finding it interesting all the ways you can compliment a photo using borders and frames.
This is the canon ae-1 program I picked up last week. For those of you who don’t know, the canon ae-1 was a popular film SLR back in the 80’s. When I did my research for what camera I should buy a lot of people recommended I start with the ae-1 for its price and simplicity. I’ve only shot with it a handful of times but so far I’m having so much fun with it.
Another example of how I’ve been experimenting with borders lately. I took both photos a few years back in Pico, Azores and I used a shot of the ocean to frame my subject throwing up a peace sign. The ocean picture alone is boring, but when paired with the second I think it really brings out a cool aesthetic.
The sign reads, “Wall of Lost Soles”
I stayed at a cottage over the weekend down near Cape Cod, MA and our neighbor had a wall full of lost &found sandals, flip flops, crocs, and swim shoes. On my last day there, I lost my own slides trying to cross over to the beach. I hope they too end up on the Wall of Lost Soles one day.
I took this photo on a camping trip to upstate New York this past summer. Pictured is my Uncle and Auntie overlooking Lake George from one of the many viewpoints at Prospect Mountain.
When I was staying in Buzzards Bay, MA, the cape cod canal was perfect to walk and get good exercise. A lot of the times I’d bring my camera with me and take pictures along the way. There’s always a bunch of people camping, fishing and doing outdoor activities which makes for awesome scenes to photograph.
A few more:

# 7

I took this photo while I was visiting my brother in North Dakota. I found Minot beautiful in its own empty way. On my walks I would get to a certain point where for miles and miles all I could see was fields and winding hills.

Another shot at sunset:

#8

For the last photo I picked this one of me waiting at the airport. Long layovers are the worst.

Check out my other articles on travel and photography!

August Memories from Buzzard’s Bay, MA

Photos taken early August, 2020

Buzzards Bay

Massachusetts


Nikon one-touch 100

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May Memories on Cape Cod’s Canal

In the month of May I spent two weeks in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts with family & friends. During this time we made it a priority to walk along the canal at least once a day, although usually it ended up being two or three thanks to how scenic it was during the spring. As of […]

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call: The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct

The stark differences between travelers and tourists: Which One are You?

Hey guys,

It occurred to me how many different ways people like to travel, but for the purpose of this article I’m categorizing them within two main categories:

Travelers and tourists.

Both travelers and tourists love visiting foreign countries, however, their approach to traveling widely differs and there are distinct qualities that separate the two.

Every traveler is a tourist, but not every tourist is a traveler.

See if you identify closer with one of the two as you read!

Travel Itinerary

A tourist visits a country for a week or two on vacation.
A traveler visits a country for an extended period of time.

Tourists book their vacation a year or two in advance to get away from the everyday hustle. They want a holiday escape to unwind, relax, and take time off from their responsibilities.

Travelers go to a country on an expedition of sorts where the purpose is to learn something about the world. They want to stay for as long as possible or until they achieve what they originally set out to do.

Packing, luggage & belongings

A tourist packs 2-3 suitcases.
A traveler packs just what he needs.

Tourists ALWAYS overpack. They think they need way more than they actually do. Instead of packing for 1-2 weeks, they pack a few months supply of clothes, accessories, and personal items. They end up only using a fraction of what they packed.

Travelers understand the less the better. They know overpacking means excess weight that becomes a hassle to bring around everywhere. Less stuff means less worry and more attention towards the trip itself.

Lodging & Accommodation

A tourist stays in resorts and hotels.
A traveler hostel-hops, couch-surfs , and sets up camp.

Tourists value comfort, convenience, and cost. Most of them want a private, up-scale, fully accommodated room with professional service a phone call away. They want a king-sized bed, a main lobby with a rec centre, swimming pool and a downstairs restaurant & bar. The price needs be fair and reflect high value for the amount payed.

Travelers value experience, immersion, and cost. They want to be surrounded by like-minded people who share their stories and insight. Many of them lean towards hostels since they’re economic and provide a central hub for other travelers with similar objectives. If a local invites a traveler to stay with them for a few nights, the opportunity for immersion far out weighs the comfort and convienence of a standard hotel/hostel room.

To-do list

A tourist joins tour groups and purchases sight-seeing packages from travel agencies.
A traveler meets people who show him around and give recommendations for free.

Tourists rigorously plan and schedule their 7-14 day vacation. They want every hour of every day to be something to do and somewhere to go. Travel agencies mark their calenders and suggest everything from where to eat, to places you should and should not go.

Travelers don’t want a pre-decided plan. They act spontaneously and instinctively. Most of the time they meet friendly locals who want to show them around their city. Instead of adhering to a rigid plan, they have a general idea of what they want to do and where they want to go for the day.

Where to go and what to see

A tourist wants to see the main attractions.
A traveler wants to see through the locals’ eyes.

If you’ve ever been to a popular major city like Paris, or Rome I’m sure you’ve seen the groups of tourists with selfie-sticks taking photos in front of the historical monuments.

Tourists want to see historical significance as long as they’re able to share it with their friends and family on social media.

Travelers and tourists alike want to visit world famous monuments, buildings, and museums, but the only difference is a traveler tends to see the main attractions as a “tourist trap.” Travelers want to experience Paris and Rome as a local does, not as the tourism industry advertises.

Language learning

A tourist doesn’t spend time learning a new language.
A traveler finds it important to communicate with the locals.

A tourist at most remembers a few words from foreign language class. Maybe they use important words and phrases like, “please, thank you, & where is the bathroom?” Beyond that, the places they go are most likely accustomed to English-speaking tourists so there’s no need (or want) to actually learn the local language.

Travelers, on the other hand, make a genuine effort to speak and learn the language of the country they’re visiting. They want to talk with a native speaker who doesn’t speak English as a second language. A travelers goal is to be able to order food, ask for directions, make small talk, and immerse themselves as much as possible in the culture.

Comfort and Novelty

A tourist acts within their comfort zone.
A traveler seeks to explore the unknown.

To a certain extent, when a tourist visits a foreign country it is acting outside of their comfort zone. For the most part, however, a tourist adheres to the pre-planned itinerary and doesn’t sway too off schedule. Tourists tend to stick with what’s familiar and not too far off from their cultural norm.

When a traveler visits a foreign country, he/she wants to experience something other. A lot of times they’re on personal quests of self discovery, meaning, and existential order. Travelers seek adventure and discovery. They want to experience all the ups and downs that comes with venturing outside of their comfort zone.

Blending in and Standing out

A tourist always walks looking up, down & around.
A traveler walks with direciton.

A tourist stands out.
A traveler blends in.

You can spot a tourist right away. They stand out like neon colors. The tourist starter pack includes a camera, oversized backpack, souvenir shirt, selfie stick, and a local map.

Travelers try to blend in as much as possible. They want to look and act like the local population to not draw unnecessary attention.

Bonus*
A tourist walks into an Italian cafe and makes sure to order Italian coffee and Italian cookies
A traveler walks into an Italian cafe and orders coffee and cookies.


So, which one are you, traveler or tourist? Comment below & and Share with your friends!

Read my other posts!

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call: The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct

Street Photography in Downtown Bristol

Photos taken August 12, 2020

Downtown Bristol, Rhode Island


One of my favourite photography exercises is going somewhere you’ve been many times before and trying to find shots you haven’t taken. I find there’s always something new to shoot if you consciously look for it.

My favourite time to do this is right before golden hour so that I can follow the light as it shifts and casts shadows on potential subjects.

Not to mention, its also therapeutic. When you force yourself to look at a familiar place in a new way I think it makes you appreciate your surroundings more. On top of that, you get plenty of exercise!

Walking home alone at night

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Bristol, Rhode Island

Like all of you, I spent both the winter season and spring cooped up at home social distancing, self-quarantining and losing partial sanity.

On Photography Gear & What I’ve Learned In the Past 4 years (Read Before Making Your Purchase!)

I started photography when I got back from my trip to the Azores in 2016.

That trip inspired me to invest in my first camera as soon as I got back home to Florida.

I went to Best Buy, bought a Canon Rebel T5i which came with a 18-55mm f/5.6 kit lens. I spent around $600.

Here are a few raw shots
(june, 2016)
Photos straight out of camera. No edits or adjustments.

A few months later I bought a new lens: the 50mm f/1.8
Price: $96

This lens introduced me more to the technical side of photography. I looked into portraiture because I started to understand more about aperture, bokeh and compositional elements.

A year later I realised a wider angle lens suited my photography interests better. I loved taking wide-open landscape shots at the beach, and creating a better sense of place in my images.

A birthday gift that year was the Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/5.6 ($200)

here are some raw photos

A few months into photography and the original kit lens for my Canon Rebel T5i drowned in an unfortunate canoe expedition! By this time I mostly used the 10-18mm anyway, so it wasn’t a huge loss.

For me, the 10-18mm and 50mm were a practical combination. It was the perfect focal-length range to use for a variety of circumstances. I used the wider lens for landscapes and the prime lens to get up close in detail.

During this time I followed a bunch of photographers on Instagram to see what they were using to get the final results they posted on their feed. Most of them used a Canon 5d Mark iii with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens. This gear setup cost over $2,500 at the time and was far off my budget.

Summer was approaching and with it, a family trip to the Azores! This was my chance, I thought, to take my photography to the next level. I couldn’t afford the lens along with the camera body, so I opted for the Canon 6D (used- $950.) I didn’t realize beforehand that my wide angle lens couldn’t be mounted on a full-frame camera.

The summer of 2017 I bought the Canon 6D and attached the nifty 50 lens to the Azores with me.

2017 Azores summer (Canon 6D, 50mm f/1.8)

To this day I still use this same exact setup.

My most recent purchase was the Yongnuo 35mm f/2.0 lens ($90) which, for me, is a preferable focal length for on-the-go travel photography. I brought this combo with me to the Azores, South America, and New England. It’s perfect for what I like to do.

Canon 6D & Yongnuo 35mm f/2.0

What I’ve learned in the past four years

In total I’ve spent somewhere around $1,900 dollars on photography gear these past four years. Considering how expensive equipment is, let alone new equipment, that price isn’t bad.

The truth is, after everything, I didn’t need to spend that much money. I wanted to.

If you’re just getting into photography, you don’t need to make a huge purchase right off the bat. Even the Canon Rebel I bought was steep to begin with.

I easily could’ve found a cheaper camera, in fact my nana gave me her old point-and-shoot that she had stored away in a closet. It introduced me to film and the fact that I can make meaningful images with whatever you put in my hands.

That’s the moral here. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, or any at all to get your first camera. There’s a good chance someone in your family has one tucked away in their closet. If not, theres plenty of affordable cameras online.

Do your due research, but don’t feel pressured into spending a month’s pay check. There’s actually a lot of influential photographers on Youtube that talk about this same thing: Gear doesn’t matter, practice does.

With the camera you have, go out and take photos. Practice until you like the images you make. Practice until you get a firm understanding about how your camera works. Practice until you think to yourself, “how could’ve I made this photo better?” Naturally, the creative direction you choose to pursue will be clearer. At a certain point, you’ll know what you’re interested in photographing and what setup best supports that.

Even when you feel the only way to get better is to buy a new, expensive camera keep practicing with what you have.

With that said, buying a camera is an important investment in yourself. It means you want to pursue creativity and grow as a photographer. However, that shouldn’t be confused with thinking,

“the more money I spend the better my photos will be.”

That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you’re ready, make the investment. But not a moment before.

As a photographer the quality of your images is not defined by low aperture lenses or a high number of megapixels.

As a photographer your unique vision and perspective, your experience and technique is what creates better, more meaningful photos.

Don’t forget that.


Hey guys, If you have any questions about this article, camera equipment or photography in general, please let me know in the comments below!

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Memories Within Photographs from this Past Winter

Time: Photos taken between February & early April

Place: Massachusetts & Rhode Island

Gear: Canon 6d w/ Yongnuo 35mm f.2


Winter in New England passed seamlessly into Spring and Summer. Now in the heart of August, I reflect back on some of my favourite photographs during those colder months. Down below I compiled 10 photos that bring me right back.

The photos here are part of larger collections. If you like what you see, follow the link to view the full set!


Mt Hope Bridge connects Bristol and Portsmouth.

Though for me, crossing over this bridge symbolises reuniting with family.

I took this photo on a photography walk, a creative exercise I like to do anytime I’m feeling uninspired.

The Ten Mile River Greenway is a scenic route that goes right through Slater Park and a few other recreational spaces. I remember looking through my camera roll and feeling re-inspired to get out and create more!

This photo is part of a double exposure collection that merged my summer photos in the Azores with winter photos around New England.

Pictured here is my cousin Amelia outside our family home in Pawtucket, RI. At the bottom you can see a palm tree and a building both taken from scenes in Lajes do Pico.

  • photo taken with my point and shoot Nikon one-touch 100

This is my cousin little Kailee.

Kailee is this little brown eyed, dark haired, mischief-in-her-voice girl who calls out my name and says, “I’m gonna getchyu Ryaan”

She’s utterly adorable.

Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is about waking yourself up and enriching your everyday experiences. It’s about living with excitement and genuine curiosity.”

Views from the shoreline

Mt. Hope Farm back in late February.

In all my years of coming to Bristol, I never explored the walking trails of Mt Hope Farm. I came to this pictured point and stayed for awhile.

clearing in the woods, Mt. Hope in the distance.

Photo taken with a Nikon one touch-100. Recently I’ve been using this camera way more than usual. I love the pictures I get from it and the fact I have to wait for the rolls to be processed builds alot of excitement that I get to experience when I see them for the first time.
Colt State Park

see full collections here & here


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Finding Forgotten Memories: My Phone’s Camera Roll Photos #1

Hey guys, I hope all is well.

For this photo article I scrolled through my phone’s camera roll and selected 10 random photos I wanted to show and give context to. These photos aren’t necessarily my favourite, or best capture, but they’re meaningful to me.

I thought this would be a cool opportunity to tell you a few stories using images lost on my phone. I’m sure you scroll through your camera roll from time to time and find images that jog back a collection of clear memories.

It would be really cool for this article to receive comments with your guys’ own photos and stories, wouldn’t it?

That’s our goal for this article today. I’ll share 10 of mine and you share one of yours!

Deal?

Let’s do it.


This photo was taken back in late 2019 when my family moved from Florida to the Azores. We had just cleared out a 40 foot container filled with our stuff lugged into boxes. We didn’t want everything scattered about our living space so we stored them in the basement, and brought things up as we needed them. Needless to say it was chaotic for awhile trying to fully move in. The first morning we couldn’t find our coffee maker so we opted to use this percolator left behind by the owner of the house. Let me tell you, I made a strong, robust, delicious cup of coffee that morning. I sat out on the patio listening to the ocean with a satisfying morning brew. It was the first time using a percolator and has been my preferred method since.
“What am I trying to communicate?”
I started journaling after I graduated high school back in 2015. Before then I always felt mentally cluttered and one of my health teachers recommended I try it out to see if it helped. And it did. Not at first, but around the one month mark I had more than 30 of my thoughts written down. Each entry was my mind projected onto paper, that’s how I thought of it anyway. I could then analyse myself and reflect on how and why I wrote certain things down. It became a sort of meditation I didn’t have access to beforehand. Nowadays I ask the question, “What am I trying to communicate?” prior to putting pen to pad because I know the importance of clear, articulated thoughts for an uncluttered mind.
This is my Mom and Dad sitting together towards the end of the day at my Avó’s.(Portuguese for “Grandma”)
I don’t know the exact reason why I like this photo, but I have a feeling that years from now I’ll look at it with intense emotion. Maybe it’s the basic-ness of the photo, or maybe the lack of light on both of them, or the cigarette In my dad’s hand and the wine to my mom’s left. I took this photo and thought nothing of it. Now it seems significant. Is that strange?
Pictured here are sunspots on the sea that I took a photo of on my backpacking trip to São Jorge. I followed a farming trail to a clearing on the edge of this huge vegetated rock in the town of Velas. It was just me up there with no plans for the rest of the day. The sun-spots disappeared and reappeared with the shifting clouds above. There was a light show on the Atlantic Ocean and I had the best seat.
This is Mount Pico on the island of Pico in the Azores. The connection I have to this place is both ancestral and spiritual. I always heard my dad’s stories about climbing Pico when I was younger. It wasn’t until I finally visited that I fully understood what he was talking about. And when I stood at the peak and looked out theres no better way to put the feeling I had than I embodied my dad’s stories. For a few moments I felt what he must’ve felt. And then I imagined telling my kids one day how I climbed Pico.
Laguna De La Cocha, Pasto, Colombia (Summer 2018)
Pasto was the second to last town I visited before crossing the border into Ecuador. I was ecstatic to meet up with a friend I met In Bogota to explore the nearby lake. We took a day trip to a few different places but spend a lot of time at this fishing town where their known for their smoked trout. We took one of these boats around the lake to a few different view points. There was actually an island we hiked through before going back for a late lunch. I don’t know what they used to season the trout but however they did it was remarkable.
Ahhh, Cartagena. I love this place. I took this photo the first day of my last week in Colombia. It’s symbolic to me. I had already spent a week here before traveling to the other cities. When I arrived at the airport I knew where I was. I followed the coastal road outside the neighborhoods because I knew it would lead me to the beaches and then the old, walled city. By the time my feet hit the sand the sky was lit up in colors. It was so hot and humid that night but I felt so relaxed and chill.
The best sunsets I’ve ever seen I saw from Sarasota shorelines. I believe this photo was taken at Bird Key park in downtown. I picked this one for its representation of peaceful solitude. In general, solitude was a common theme I noticed in my photography regardless of the exact subject.
I have a few photos stored away on my phone from this three day hike to lake Quilotoa. I regret to tell you however, that I lost the majority of them a few months after getting back from South America. Regardless, I love this photograph. It reminds me to be adventurous, perseverant, and passionate about the world we live in. I snapped this one on the morning of our last dayhike before reaching our destination: Latacunga.
My sister Ray took this photo of me when I got back to my home in Florida. I posted it to instagram with this caption: In the summertime I used pesos instead of dollars, gracias instead of thank you, and I rolled my R’s instead of growling them. In the summertime my purpose was to live like we all do, nothing special except for the feeling it gave me. I was actually alive.
My heartbeat told me by how fast it drummed dealing with everyday situations. Buying bread, jumping on a bus, walking into a city, saying “ola, como estas?” to the pretty brown haired barrista. There were times of heartache too in those foreign city streets. I went a few days without talking to anyone including myself. Tears fell, the sun fell too and at night I looked out the hotel window at the sparkling lights reminding me I was here.
Summertime was both a dream and reality. I walked out the door every morning 6 inches above the ground with my mind firmly planted in my surroundings. Everything was something to see and observe, to experiment and know. When I didn’t know I was okay with that. I’d been here before in this unfamiliar state of mind which seems more recognizable each time I find myself here.

Thanks for reading you guys

Make sure to comment your camera roll photo story down below. I can’t wait to read them!

Theres plenty more here to read, check out my other blog posts.

Thoughts On the Canon AE-1 Program so far…

My thoughts on the Canon Ae-1 Program I picked up the other week! This article isn’t a review, or guide. It’s just some initial observations I had as I took this camera out for the first few times.

Why We Travel

Hiking the Quilotoa Loop in Cotopaxi Province, Ecuador (summer 2018)

Why We Travel

You and I have come a long way. We truly have.

Think about it.

Think about the decisions that led us here, to this point in our personal history where the cost of entry amounts to all the other choices left behind- every choice we ever had.

If where you are at this moment is where you’ve always been, two things: First, consider a road trip out of town for the weekend. It’ll help you get out of your own way.

Second: I know that you know, that you aren’t the same person you were just a few short years ago. Maybe you haven’t gotten out much, but I bet you know your way around the internal landscape that is your mind like a seasoned mountain guide.

It’s true some people never leave their coddled home towns. Other people never explore their labyrinth- like psyche.

Travel is not merely some privileged tourist’s vacation getaway, nor is it solely a mental trip.

It is the process in which we map uncharted landscapes, both geographical and psychological, not for trivial gain, but for evolutionary gain.

To travel is to think and act naturally. It is to do what humans have done since the dawn of time.

We travel with aim and desire, with vision and faith. We have a will and a way to our existential curiosity and inevitable evolution.

We travel because it is fundamental to the growth our species.


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5 Days at Lake George, New York

Photos taken on our family vacation trip to Lake George, New York July, 2020 Thank you for stopping by and scrolling through. Leave a comment and share with your friends! Make sure to check out my other blog posts

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call: The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct

5 Days at Lake George, New York

Photos taken on our family vacation trip to Lake George, New York

July, 2020

Thank you for stopping by and scrolling through.



Leave a comment and share with your friends!

Make sure to check out my other blog posts

6 Principles For Life and Travel

If you love traveling and your enthusiasm for foreign cultures prompts you to buy a one-way ticket, chances are you follow a certain set of unspoken rules that I call: The Avid Traveler’s Code of Conduct

May Memories on Cape Cod’s Canal

In the month of May I spent two weeks in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts with family & friends. During this time we made it a priority to walk along the canal at least once a day, although usually it ended up being two or three thanks to how scenic it was during the spring. As of […]