Yap is quite the cool place!

In the nation of Micronesia, you find an island known as Yap. It is like the rest of Micronesia, a freely associated state of the United States but that is about as American as it get to be honest. Read more

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Flying out of El Nido Airport!

I found myself in El Nido, Palawan and needing to fly back to Manila right away. The airport that is close by is privately owned and used by an airline owned by one of the resorts. The only other option that I had was a seven hour journey back to Puerto Princesa (which I didn’t have the time). Read more


Yasawa or not to Yasawa

Many people want to go to the Yasawa Islands in Fiji and it is totally understandable. I have been there and and have no issue with people going. My only question is if on a budget, is going to the Yasawas the smartest move. It could seriously shorten your Fiji Holidays. Read more

Kansas City Art Institute for Photographers?

I am originally from Kansas City, Missouri. I have grown up always dreaming of going to the Kansas City Art Institute. I did not go there because of finances (and a scholarship to Missouri) but it is amazing school and I can not think of a better school for photographers. Read more

Photomatix Pro 5 Review


I started using Photomatix many years ago, and it’s a big part of the free HDR Tutorial here on the site. HDR is an acronym for High Dynamic Range, and it basically lets you see all the range of color and light in the final photo that the human retina can see on the scene. Naturally, Photomatix allows you to create a “subtle” or “extreme” photo using these techniques, and that’s the fun part about it. You can use Photomatix to make your photos look totally unique!


Yes, I think i is certainly worth the upgrade. Having the latest tools that are reasonably priced has always been important to me. There’s nothing wrong with the older versions, of course, but generally this kind of software in general tends to get better with time. There are hundreds of minor little changes that you will notice, but here are some of the bigger ones (at least, to me).

First, the new Tone Mapping method called Contrast Optimizer is really good at balancing realism and keeping that cool “HDR Look”. Everyone has their own balance, and this new way is much better at helping you find your own line of comfort.

Second, the Automatic deghosting is much better. I had hit-and-miss success before with de-ghosting, and now am consistently getting better results. It’s not always perfect of course if you have a massive amount of chaos, but it’s pretty dang good.

Third, the Real-Time slider Rocks!! If your computer is fast enough, be sure to pop into preferences to turn this on! In the “olden” days, you’d have to click and wait. Seeing what the slider actually does while you slide it is bizarrely satisfying!

Fourth, the auto-aligning is even better!

Fifth, there are a bunch of other little things that I have not had the occasion to use yet, but I am glad they are there. Things like the batching of photos and more options for creating a tonemapped image from a single RAW.

This is an aesthetic thing, but I much prefer the new “Unified Workspace” option on the Mac rather than having little windows floating all over the place. That always bothered me and made things feel clutter-y !

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Smoky Mountains and the way of life!

One thing I love about the Smoky Mountains in the farm cabin that people in this part of the country have lived in for hundreds of years. They have passed the tradition from one generation to the next. Read more


Surf Fiji: Where to head for surf

Let say out the gate that I am not a surfer. I did have the opportunity to meet and chill with some amazing guys that were. I also was able to help them get around the country as I know the way things work here. I also know the lesser known ways to travel like taking ferries and private boats. Read more

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Fiji Barbecue – How the Fijian people eat!

I do not understand it but Fijians are obsessed with these $5 Fijian plates of Fiji Barbecue every evening. I understand they are cheap, easy and you don’t have to cook at home. Maybe, that is why they love them so much. I just didn’t think the street food was that good, personally. Read more


Post Fiji : mail while in the Fiji Islands

One of the things you might need while in Fiji is the postal service known as Post Fiji. It is pretty basic and it operates on Fiji time (very slow). However, for mail within Fiji and sending postcards home, it is pretty cheap. Read more