Oct 092013
 

Imagine being surrounded by Grey Reef Sharks while SCUBA diving – it’s all captured in this awesome 5-minute diving video of Grey Reef Sharks in Nassau, Bahamas, at the Ray of Hope shipwreck. I love the ominous music too. Check out the video of SCUBA diving with these “Apex Predators” below:

Grey Reef Sharks, Nassau, Bahamas

Photos and videos of the Grey Reef Sharks were shot by Sarosh Jacob while SCUBA diving with a Panasonic Lumix ZS7 camera.

I just posted the story of my first time entering shark infested waters – surrounded by sharks in Borneo!

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Aug 042013
 
Bako in Borneo1

Malaysian Borneo – The monkey I saw most often on my trip through Asia was the macaque. Long-tailed macaques are not shy (although sometimes aggressive; be careful!) and that made for some wonderful closeup photos like this one (below) from Bako National Park, an island in Malaysian Borneo.

Macaque monkey in Bako in Borneo - some readers suggested this pic as a cover photo for the next Lonely Planet

Cover photo for the next Lonely Planet Malaysian Borneo?

Another travel photographer said this wildlife shot of a long-tailed macaque (the monkey in the above photo) should be the next cover of Lonely Planet Borneo (Travel Guide). Perhaps! I’m really flattered by the compliment, but I need to thank the photogenic monkeys that were so kind to pose for me.

Getting this photo:  Shots like this are challenging, because this monkey didn’t pose for me, and macro shots aren’t compatible with motion and you can’t predict eye contact from wildlife. You need to be in the right focus to have the monkey crisp with the background blurred so it pops. In contrast, I love the composition of the lower photo, but I had to use my zoom so the depth of field is much more flat.

Macaque monkey in Malaysian Borneo on Bako Island

Surprised, or hungry?

Pronunciation - yes, the correct pronunciation for this monkey is actually Muh-kok. [Giggle giggle]

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Jun 122013
 

Introducing Thresher Sharks!  Imagine seeing a shark with a long tail that can be as long as the total body length. Thresher Sharks can only be consistently spotted in a few places in the world, so when was in the Philippines I had to see them up close.

In this post I’ll cover why thresher sharks have such long tails, what thresher sharks eat, how big thresher sharks typically are, and where to find thresher sharks, in addition to showing some videos of threshers in motion.  I’ll also detail my specific experience SCUBA diving to see thresher sharks  at the bottom of this page as well.

Thresher sharks are mostly known for the size of their tail (“upper caudal fin lobe”), which is typically equal to the length of the rest of their body!  Check out this below photo:

Thresher Sharks have huge tails

Thresher Sharks have tails equal to the rest of the size of their body!

Why do Thresher Sharks have large tails?  Thresher sharks are active predators – they use their huge tails not only to swim, but also to swat and stun much smaller prey fish. Whack!   When hunting schooling fish, thresher sharks are known to “slap” the water, herding and stunning prey.

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Jun 082013
 
Hong Kong - photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze's Vertical Horizon on Visit50

Photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captured Hong Kong’s soaring heights in his Vertical Horizon project, which is now an 80-page book of photos from his 2012. The 26-year-old French photographer captures the city’s architecture and vertical angles – all looking up. So cool!

Photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captures Hong Kong’s soaring heights

Photo from Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze Hong Kong photography project

Photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze captures the vertical angles through a wide-angle Sigma lens with a 10 mm focal length. Unlike a fisheye lenses, he says a sigma lens avoids distorting the urban landscape’s straight lines.

Hong Kong - photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze's Vertical Horizon on Visit50

This photo reminds me of the Guggenheim museum in NYC, but it's actually French photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze's photo from Hong Kong in his Vertical Horizon project

This shot reminds me of the Guggenheim museum in NYC, but it’s actually in Hong Kong

Photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze's Vertical Horizon in Hong Kong on Visit50

French photographer Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze shot these in 2011 and 2012 

Hong Kong Vertical Horizon - Visit50

Check out the full 80-page book at the link below -
Vertical Horizon (English and Chinese Edition)


To see more posts on Hong Kong, including some of the best Hong Kong architecture.

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May 302013
 
Halong Bay, Vietnam

Hạ Long Bay was visually one of the highlights of my Vietnam trip. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring  1500-2000 islands and islets in various shapes and sizes, forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Hạ Long Bay (also written as Halong Bay or Ha Long Bay) is located in the Gulf of Tonkin, in Quáng Ninh province, in northeastern Vietnam.

Annika profile - Halong Bay, Vietnam

Annika profile – Halong Bay, Vietnam

Kayaking in Halong Bay, Vietnam

We went kayaking while surrounded by breathtaking views in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay 1024x768 - Visit50

 

Halong Bay, Vietnam panorama

Ha Long Bay's limestone islands - Visit50.com

Lonely PlanetHalong translates as ‘where the dragon descends into the sea’. Legend has it that the islands of Halong Bay were created by a great dragon that lived in the mountains. As it charged towards the coast, its flailing tail gouged out valleys and crevasses. When it finally plunged into the sea, the area filled with water, leaving only the pinnacles visible. 

Jumping off the boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Jumping off the boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam – so much fun! (more of these to come)

Vietnam - Halong Bay - view from the boatSeveral of the islands in Halong Bay are hollow, with enormous caves, other support floating villages of fishermen, who ply the shallow waters for 200 species of fish.

sunset in Halong Bay, Vietnam

sunset in Halong Bay, Vietnam

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May 262013
 
Caveat emptor! Shopping in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand — After using my little backpack traveling around Asia for 3+ months, my day bag started to fall apart. Fortunately I was in Bangkok, which can be an excellent spot to shop for discounts, since nearly everything is cheap.  A few blocks from my hotel was a place advertising “authentic travel bags,” which pretty comically tells you that they’re not. Caveat emptor!

My friend and I were laughing about it, apparently loud enough that the salesperson overheard and challenged us. The guy selling these bags explained that you know it’s quality because it’s strong; he then pulled on the material to show that it’s strong, and because there’s a website. Apparently those are the 2 criteria he was told that makes an item legit. I found a Lowe Alpine bag that I liked, and to his credit, the material did appear strong, and did in fact have what looks like a website embroidered on the bag.

In this case they actually made a bunch of bags that say www. com. That’s right, the actually mass-produced bags with “www. com” embroidered on it. See below photo: 

Caveat emptor! Shopping in Bangkok

I’m pretty sure Lowe Alpine’s website is not www. com . Caveat emptor!

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Apr 192013
 

The sunsets were gorgeous in  BoracayPhilippines, and made a great setting for an impromptu photo shoot of sunset silhouette jumping pics!

Just before a sunset silhouette jumping pic in Boracay, Philippines

Just before a sunset silhouette jumping pic…

The sky was beautiful and gradually changed colors as the sun set

The sky was beautiful and gradually changed colors as the sunset

Air Todd - I'm flying!

Air Todd – I’m flying!

Jumping in the Philippines

Jumping pics - Boracay sunset

Jumping sunset silhouette pics in Boracay, Philippines, with kids jumping in the background

Notice the kids in the background joining in as I jump

The Boracay sunset was such an interesting mix of colors

The Boracay sunset was such an interesting mix of vibrant colors

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Mar 152013
 

I took “jumping pics” in nearly every country I visited, and after taking jumping pics as the sun was setting with my friends in the Philippines, some kids started jumping along with us. Below are 9 jumping travel photos I took  of and with these Filipino kids.

This was one of my many photo shoots of jumping pics

This was one of my many photo shoots of jumping pics

Jumping pics - jumping with kids in the Philippines

Muhammed couldn't jump anywhere close to as high as the other kids and was getting frustrated so I helped him

Muhammed couldn’t jump anywhere close to as high as the other kids and was getting frustrated so I helped him

Jumping pics in Boracay

It was as fun as it looks!

Jumping pics in the Philippines - we had a contest to see who could jump the highest, and suddenly they got competitive

We had a contest to see who could jump the highest, and suddenly the kids got competitive

Jumping pics in Boracay, Philippines - 014

Air Muhammed! We had just taught him how to jump. I never thought that would be something I'd ever teach a child but he learned quickly!

Air Muhammed! We had just taught him how to jump. I never thought that would be something I’d ever teach a child but he learned quickly! 

Jumping pics in Boracay, Philippines

 

Jumping pics in Boracay -013

 

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Jan 312013
 

The crystal clear water in Boracay, Philippines, is a great setting for an impromptu photo shoot of jumping pics!  Here’s a few of the photos we took on White Beach (at Station Two) – enjoy!

Gabbi jumping in beautiful Boracay, Philippines

Gabbi jumping in beautiful Boracay, Philippines

Jumping pics in Boracay -003

The clear water reminded me of the clear water in some islands in the Caribbean and some islands in Thailand.

Sarah jumping in beautiful Boracay, Philippines

Sarah jumping in beautiful Boracay, Philippines

Jumping pics in Boracay, PhilippinesI took fun jumping pics in nearly every country I visited – check out the ones I’ve posted so far.

 

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Jan 252013
 

There’s nothing quite like experiencing a breathtaking sunset, and it makes for some awesome sunset silhouettes.

We saw some of the most amazing sunsets in Boracay in the Philippines – below are the first 8 of Visit50.com‘s 50 Sunset Silhouettes!

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beaches

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach Kodak Moment

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach -006

Frisbee Silhouettes

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach Paradise!

I want to go back!

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach -008

These kids were adorable!

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach -007

Julian captures the Boracay sunset with his SLR

Julian captures the Boracay sunset with his SLR

Sunset Silhouettes - Boracay Beach -Julian enjoys the sunset

 You counted correctly - these photos were just the first 8 of Visit50.com‘s 50 Sunset Silhouettes. The rest are coming soon!

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