Posts Tagged Puerto Rico

Paradise with Olya

Puerto Rico truly felt like paradise being far away from everyone we know, no plans, no agenda, just exploring together with a tote full of new outfits, few camera lens, and a rental car with no destination. I planned for weeks on outfits and matching accessories and couldn’t wait to put them on the model and photograph her somewhere exotic! Our adventures started at the amazing bed and breakfast in San Juan by the ocean. It was a mini paradise by itself, with open arches and gates, foliage, plenty of natural light, and two adorable golden retrievers. The decor of the bedroom also lent itself to some very sexy photos. We ended the day with an evening shoot at Luquillo beach. What an exciting feeling to be alone in the quiet and calm bay as the sun sets, like a giant bathtub for the model and I to play in.

The next morning would start before the sun came back up as we walked down to the beach waiting for the sky to wake up right behind us. Later in the day while driving to Fajardo for our ferry ride to Vieques, we spotted a pony ranch on the side of the road. I always love random detours that give us unexpected photo opportunities. The owner of the ranch was extremely helpful, making sure we got the ponies to do the poses we want and standing where we want. When we were done, he gave us a phone number for a friend of his in Vieques, just in case we needed anything – this would practically save us later in the day.

Upon taking the last ferry from Fajardo to Vieques, it was already evening when we arrived at the island, and due to low tourist season, there wasn’t a taxi in sight. I had no choice but to call the phone number given to me and see what he could do for us. Amazingly, this friend, Luis, is a driver for tourists and just happened to be a few minutes away and saved our evening by taking us to our B&B. We enjoyed his company and knowledge of the island so much we decided to cancel our rental car and hire him as our driver for the next day on the island while we shoot. He took us to all the best locations we might have never been able to find on our own, so I credit the Vieques photos to Luis. We visited the island’s four hundred year old tree, complete with vicious fire ants, secluded beaches, and access to a fort museum. Our last spot was a black sand beach. It would be a grueling hike to reach this secluded cove. I would have loved to spend more than just the quick forty five minutes we had there. Our amazing three day shoot would end here, as we packed up and took our redeye flight home the next morning. It was a trip I will never forget, and the photos will always remind me of these moments.

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El Bob Revisits Puerto Rico

El Bob finally takes a trip back to his homeland, in Puerto Rico after four years. This trip was a new experience and he really enjoyed it, but there’s definitely so much more to see and hopefully more trips back in the future.

El Bob’s first official meal in Puerto Rico was a delicious empanada.

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Top Drives Around the World

My best vacations require a long scenic drive, whether my own car or a rental car (manual preferred), with lots of random side stops along the undetermined route to explore deeper and get a more authentic experience of the town, state, or country. It’s important to try the local roads over the highways, because you’ll just miss all the architecture, local shops, food and people. The trick is not to have a set itinerary, be flexible with your time and what activities you want to do, this will open up plenty of options when you discover them on the road, with no time restrictions.

What makes a great drive? I am always looking for well paved roads that have a lot of twists and bends with elevation changes, either along the coast line, a cliff, or a mountain side. Being able to scale a mountain and look down 3,000 feet is awe inspiring, while driving along a cliff knowing if you don’t pay attention, you could easily be at the bottom of the cliff in a mangled wreckage, will keep your heart at a high pace. The speed of the drive is relative to the contours of the landscape. It’s more fun to take a slower car and pushing it to the limit, than having to take a fast sports car and idling around a bend. If you really want to experience full control, either drive your own manual car or rent a manual car outside the States.

I will try my best to describe my top favorite drives around the world in order starting from the best. I will be available for hire as an international driver if anyone is interested!

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El Bob’s adventures in Puerto Rico

I adopted El Bob from Ceyey, Puerto Rico. I drove down there from San Juan to have some lechón (suckling pig) at local restaurants, or lechoneras. It only cost $3 to adopt this piggy from being eaten. Don’t worry, I did’t eat in front of him. Unfortunately Bob didn’t get into any other photo opportunities other than Old San Juan. I’ll post the other photos of my Puerto Rico trip next.

I dropped Bob near the water fountain when I was trying to take a picture, and his ear broke off. While doing some window shopping I spotted a butterfly store selling ugly yarn dolls. I met store owner Cirene, a gorgeous woman, who explained all the stories behind each yarn doll. I found her intimate knowledge of about 100 of these dolls extremely attractive, as I am attached to all of my ugly dolls back home. When she heard about Bob’s accident, she was heart broken and immediately offered to help me reattach his ear on the spot. As her gratitude for making her day more interesting, she offered to let me take a picture of Bob with the butterflies, since her store has a “no photography” policy. I can easily say my experience with her was the best 20 minutes of my entire trip.

All photos were taken with my point and shoot, Sony DSC-W170. The trick is to use a tabletop tripod, set your ISO at the lowest possible, and use a timer to take longer exposure shots for the best quality. Of course in daylight, you can just snap away handheld. I also have grid display on my LCD so I can easily apply the rule of thirds. One of the very few advantages this Sony has over my Canon Elph is the wider lens.

Bob stayed at Hotel El Convento.

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