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Banff, Photo Diary

This year I visited Banff in Canada! Banff is famous for it’s national park in the tail end of the Rocky Mountains. It is really beautiful out there. It is famous for its neon blue lakes.

“The silt is created when rocks underneath the surface of the ice are grinding from the movement of the glacier. The rock flour is very light and stays suspended in the lake water for a long time. The sunlight that reflects off this rock flour is what gives the lakes their spectacular turquoise blue or green colour.”

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We stayed in a residential area in Banff town. Magic!

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Banff town was fabulous!

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Thanks for reading x

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Summer Road Trip to the Lakes

Is there anything better than jumping into a lake on a hot summer’s day? Well Collinstown Lakes is one of my favourite spots to go to in the summer.

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For me growing up it wasn’t known as Lough Lene, it was ‘the lakes’. If Mam said we were going to ‘the lakes’, you could be sure we would be high as kites getting ready to go. It was a big occasion for us when we were sprogs. Going to the lakes meant  jumping off the jetty (which we thought was massive at the time) and getting a 99 ice cream, A rare treat.

The water is great! It is rather warm at the lakes. It is very still. It’s a perfect place to bring children. There’s no salt water obvs so your hair doesn’t feel as gross after.

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There is a nice big area for kids and families. Always throw an eye on your children though. As safe as Lough Lene is, we want the kids to go there and come back in one piece.

When I was 5, I went there with my mam and my brothers and sisters. After swimming and having my bun, I went for a bit of a wander. I took a particular interest in an old shed that were bathrooms at the time. I sauntered around that part of the lake for a bit until my Mam found me. She was near Cardiac arrest at this point so it was good she found me when she did.

There are changing areas and bathrooms on site. There are rubbish facilities and life saving rings on site also.

The lakes are accessible by car. Search for the Lake Rd.on Google maps. You will spot a car park on your right (free parking) and the lakes are a short walk to the left.

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I highly recommend this as a day out 🙂

Rebecca.

How To Make Your Backgrounds Fabulously White…!

Bright photos grab are attention more than blurry dark photos, so it’s important to keep your photos sharp and full of light to get the best exposure for your content (pun unintended). I noticed a big difference in my Instagram theme (when I was on Instagram) when I changed to a ‘white theme’ and brightened my photos. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your blog photos gleaming white and bright, keep reading.

You don’t need Photoshop or a DSLR. You don’t even need foamboard. You need just one app. It is called ‘Snapseed‘.

This first photo was taken on my phone. It is an LGG4 Phone. The flash is set to on so the object received a lot of light when captured. There is a soft white wall behind the subject. I took the photo in my kitchen. You can see it comes up yellowish in the photo. It is not very aesthetically pleasing and not bound to catch the reader’s attention in a good way. Nevertheless, I liked the subject and the soft white wall could be manipulated to look like a pure white background.

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Here is the photo after editing with Snapseed. I use the tool called ‘brush’ on crank the exposure up to 1.0 the maximum. I brush the parts of the photo I want to be lighter and safe the image. I repeat the process on the new image to make it even brighter again. Repeat until you reach the desired result.

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Here is a before and after of the two photos

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To download Snapseed onto your device, please follow the links below

iOS https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/snapseed/id439438619?mt=8
Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.niksoftware.snapseed&hl=en

Buying a camera for YouTube

If you are starting a YouTube channel or thinking of upgrading your camera, have a read of some of my picks for the best YouTube Cameras.

 

Mobile Phones
We don’t give mobile phone cameras enough credit. Part of the reason for this is that selfie cameras generally suck. But most modern mobile phones can record video in 1080p and have great recording properties. I would never recommend webcams for YouTube unless you’re certain your personality is going to come out of the screen and hit them in the face! Check out the movie mode specs for your phone and get recording. To buy a phone straight up like this brand new will set you back €450 or so but you get them online or pre owned for about €250.

Canon 700D

Honestly there are a lot of YouTubers out there racking up hits using their rebel t5i aka 700D. Kathleen Lights is one YouTuber that had used this camera for years. It boasts continuous autofocus unlike the 60D and is a perfect camera to start YouTube on.

Sony A5100
This is a price drop below a good DSLR so this might be one to consider if you’re on a budget. This is a popular YouTuber camera. Inglot MUA Keilidh Cashell uses this for her tutorials. Chloe Morton also uses this for vlogging. It has stunning definition and beautiful contrast. This is priced at just under €700 which is whopping however you can buy them second hand for much less. Apart from this model, you may have a digital camera in the drawer at home. Rig it up and get recording!

Canon 70D
Autofocus. This is so incredibly important for your camera. I bought a Canon 60D as my first camera. I felt too silly to ask in a camera store which camera had all the aspects I wanted so I did independent research. I ended up buying a DSLR off a guy on Adverts. I thought that it would be the right one. You see, I wanted a blurry background like you see the bigger YouTubers featuring. I also wanted the camera to shift focus when I held things up to the camera. You know? Like all them pretty beautiful makeup tutorials. Anyway, long story short -my camera cost €600 (second hand) and it had NO autofocus in movie mode. Sadly when I found this out it was too late and I have been saving up ever since for a 70D or 80D. The 70D new is still just under €1,000 but you can get them second hand for €400+.

Canon 50mm Lens
So I know this is not a camera but this is possibly the most used camera lens and accessory out there for YouTubers. The 50mm lens has an aperture of 1.8 which gives you that beautifully blurred background whilst keeping you in pristine focus. However! Remember this lens is a prime lens which means it is permanently zoomed in. I did not know this when I bought it and now I have to sit 10ft back from the camera. You can pick this lens up for approximately €150.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post and please let me know if you have any questions…

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

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After

Snapseed is my favourite photo editing app of 2016! You can over and under expose photos, use the healing brush and mess around with general editing tools such as brightness, contrast and saturation.

Here are some photos I took in natural lighting that I really wanted to brighten up.

To apply this effect, I used the ‘Brush’.

  • Click ‘Brush’
  • Apply Exposure + 0.7 to brighten up the background.
  • Save image
  • Apply exposure +1.0 to brighten up the background.

It’s a life saver when you have to take photos in dimly lit situations. I highly recommend this app.

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My Traveling Photography Kit

Hey folks! On my recent trip to Lanzarote I decided to go mad and bring whatever gear I had to test it out. I am still learning the ins and outs of photography and I thought it would be fun to share these bits and pieces with you.

Before travelling, I knew that I would be taking the majority of my shots on my camera phone. A couple of weeks ago I purchased the LGG4 smartphone. It was dubbed to be the best camera phone of 2015, in particularly sporting an 8 mega-pixel front facing camera. I picked it up online and it is like a phone with a built in DSLR. No more sore arms!

Amazing video on the LGG4 showing the full specs here.

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Waterproof Smartphone Case:
Lanzarote is a stunning island surrounded by beautiful beaches and vast amounts of ocean. We stayed in Puerto Del Carmen which is a location renowned for its water sports. I knew I would be spending my time jumping in swimming pools, paddling in the ocean and coasting around on a jet ski so I decided to invest in a waterproof case. I picked up the Frieq Waterproof Case in Hot Pink for Amazon.Com. It is not amazing, it’s pretty average. The top is air tight but I am not confident about the seal. It is a plastic and clips over the transparent bag. So I would be similarly happy using a freezer food bag!71Na+FKnoUL._SL1500_ (1).jpg

 

Olixar 3-in-1 Lens
A detachable lens for your smart phone, what will they think of next? I purchased the Olixar Photography Kit. I made a video which you can watch here.IMG_3016.JPG

Selfie Stick
There is nothing new about the selfie stick! They are pretty handy. I got on with the Olixar Photography Kit. We got amazing shots while hiking in Barcelona last year. I didn’t use the selfie stick very much. There were not many opportunities to.

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Tripod for Smartphone
This was part of the kit too and was a last minute idea. Timelapse is the latest photography craze for me. I didn’t use the tripod with the Olixar kit. It was far too risky and my phone fell out three or four times setting up.

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Goose Tripod for Smartphone
This turned out to be pretty crap. I bought it in Dealz and thought it was the bomb.com. It kept moving when I tried attaching it to my bike and I didn’t feel like any of it was secure. I left it behind as I didn’t see the purpose of having it.

Canon EOS 60D
Ah. My trusty camera. Granted, I still don’t know how to use 70% of the functions it sure makes me feel like I know what I am doing! I used my Canon 60D for a lot of my portrait close-ups which you can see on my Instagram page. I use a Canon STM 50mm f\1.8 Lens

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If you have questions, comment below 🙂
Rebecca xo