Posts Tagged Milan

Vacation Photography: Switzerland

Imagine you’re on a vacation of a life time, you spend a large amount of time researching what camera and lens you need only to find out it’ll cost you more than you imagined just to snap some mediocre photos on your trip because you don’t even have time to learn how to use it. Not to mention, you will have to carry a few pounds of equipment every where you go. Or perhaps the only photos you will take during your vacation are a few mobile phone snapshots, which is not worth looking at again. So how do you solve this dilemma? Hire a vacation photographer!

I was hired by my friend Jennie for a snowboarding vacation to Zermatt, Switzerland early this year, and my job was to document the trip and scenery. I flew to Zurich, rented an eco-car Ford Ka, and proceeded to setup my iPad navigation to route to Zermatt. I found out the hard way that the Wi-Fi only iPad can only activate GPS when it’s connected to Wi-Fi, what a waste of a GPS feature! My iPhone had GPS signal but no data service, so I could only use a cached map of Switzerland on Google Maps to guide me through the major highways. The rest of the local roads and all German signs I had to learn on the way. What would’ve taken 3 hours on the major highways ended up taking me 7+ hours on local scenic routes. Every minute of it was exhilarating and beautiful, I would’ve missed all the sights had I used the highways. I was able to experience endless tunnels through mountains, windy dangerous roads, and car trains.

I explored the resort in Zermatt, and took a lift all the way up the mountain to 9,000 feet where they built a restaurant complete with free Wi-Fi. You can see the famous Matterhorn mountain which is the logo used for Toblerone chocolates. From there, I took another lift higher up the mountain followed by a short elevator ride and two flights of stairs to finally reach 12,736 feet on top of the Swiss Alps, “Europe’s highest mountain lift” so the sign says. Those crazy Swiss had also decided to build another full restaurant/gift shop on top!

I had once seen a travel show on Lake Como, labeled as one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Star Wars and James Bond were both filmed there, and Clooney, Versace, and Madonna have all had homes on the lake. After watching the show I knew I wanted to visit there someday. While looking at the map, I noticed Lake Como was only a short drive away, I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit. Jennie and I were so excited we planned a one day trip to Lake Como, and we can now say “Yeah, we drove to Lake Como, Italy just for lunch and gelato.”

I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. My ideal vacation is to be spontaneous and adventurous. Rent a car, and explore local sights and good-eats, with an occasional tourist stop. I have enough driving experience in different countries to get me around without much issue, and getting lost is half the fun. Jennie was able to enjoy her vacation fully without having to buy and learn a new camera, carry the equipment, stop to take photos, learn how to drive stick, navigate alone in a different country, come home and download/edit/upload tons of photos. All the things I take care of as a hired vacation photographer.

Where do you want to take me next?

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El Bob goes to Italy

El Bob traveled with me to Italy the week before Memorial Day weekend for an engagement assignment I booked. We landed in Milan, and made our way to Pisa, Venice, Florence and Rome. His favorite part was playing with the pigeons in San Marco Square in Venice.

Can you guess what this is? (Hint: It’s moving very fast)

Taking the Trenitalia train to Pisa

El Bob likes to stay informed.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

El Bob can be elusive.

El Bob on Ponte Solferino, Pisa, looking at the Santa Maria della Spina to the right.

This car looks just right for El Bob.

El Bob is such a tourist. Can’t you be more creative?

Should El Bob climb up the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

El Bob admiring Duomo di Pisa.

El Bob can see all of Pisa here.

El Bob makes friends everywhere he goes. He is in a calm submissive state.

A very calm and submissive state.

El Bob waiting for another train. Safety is number one for El Bob.

El Bob loves the Eurostar trains.

El Bob loves speed.

El Bob welcomes you to Venice.

Home of the most aggressive pigeons ever.

El Bob is also a hopeless romantic.

El Bob wonders why the water smell so bad.

El Bob finds graffiti in Venice.

El Bob looks over the Grand Canal.

El Bob hitches a ride on a gondola.

El Bob sighs.

Taxi ride to the Murano Glass showroom in Venice.

El Bob at Hotel Danieli.

El Bob looking thoughtful.

El Bob at Saint Marcus Square.

Side view of El Bob.

El Bob always shares his food with friends.

El Bob admiring Bisilica di San Marco

El Bob by the parked gondolas.

El Bob likes looking into your eyes.

El Bob at Florence.

El Bob window shopping at night.

El Bob looks over Florence at the Piazzale Michelangiolo.

A closeup of Santa Maria del Fiore.

El Bob sizes up the Colosseum in Rome, his final destination.