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Play Safe at Home With a Fun-Filled Family Staycation



Staying at home and practicing social distancing can feel more challenging as the weather warms and the itch for family fun at the beach becomes stronger. However, being socially responsible does not mean you need to put the fun on hold.

Consider these ideas from the experts at Intex to create a fun and safe backyard beach day of your own:

• Create a “View”: Recreate the feeling of being at the beach by designing your own tropical “view.” With a couple of inflatable palm trees and some umbrellas, you can feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. All that’s left is to lay out some beach towels and break out the SPF.

• Play Games: No beach day is complete without your favorite beach games. Keep it casual with Frisbee and paddle ball or set up a volleyball net for a little bit of family competition.

• Cool Off: You don’t need the lake or ocean to enjoy hours in the water. With a pool, you can keep the family busy all day long right in your own backyard. The Ultra XTR Rectangular Above Ground Frame Swimming Pool from Intex has an easy set-up and sizes to fit almost any backyard. Along with its selection of pools, the brand also offers play centers, including the Rainbow Ring Play Center with waterslide, wading pool, water sprayer and ring toss game.

• Get Comfortable: With a unique style for everyone in the family, inflatable floats can transform your backyard into a vacation getaway. The Intex Palm Leaf and Pink Seashell designs can help you extend the tropical feel of your staycation and provide some fun options for the family. For those who like to enjoy a nice cold drink, be sure your lounger includes a cup holder.

• Fire Up the Grill: Fire up the grill for a cookout or make a picnic style lunch with sandwiches and snacks. Either way, you’ll be recreating delicious beach fare.

• Crank Up the Tunes: Make a relaxing beach playlist, grab the speakers and crank up the tunes.

Use your time at home to build lasting memories with family. With a few fun backyard ideas, you can make the time spent social distancing less stressful and a lot more fun. (StatePoint)

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Travel Lifestyle

Top Tips for Those Interested in Starting Travel Photography



Traveling the world is the only way to truly know the world. Sadly, not everyone is able to travel the world. As a travel photographer, you can document landscapes, peoples, cultures, customs and history to share with those at home. You’ll also be helping other travelers know what to expect when they visit the places you’ve been. If you are looking to get started in travel photography, consider the following.

Picking Your Gear

The first thing you are going to need is obviously a camera. In fact, you probably want multiple. Your smartphone camera isn’t going to cut it. Smartphones can take nice pictures, but they lack the depth and clarity of a high-quality camera. If you’re going to make a profession out of this, you need to invest. You want a camera that can handle different lighting, focus points, and shutter speeds. If you really want to stand out, you may even consider getting a photography drone.

Aside from cameras, you’re also going to want a quality assortment of lenses. If you want to have really sharp images, according to Photography Talk, then you should use prime lenses. You’re also going to need something to carry it all in. Normally, it’s best to keep your camera gear in a hard case. And you might want to do that when you’re traveling to your destination. But when you’re out and about exploring, you’ll want easy access, so get a photography bag with plenty of padding.

Protect Your Gear

Whatever equipment you choose to get, it won’t come cheap. As such, you really want to protect it. That means more than just getting a good carrying case. You need to make sure that you are cleaning your equipment regularly. Check your owner’s manual for any recommended routine maintenance.

It’s usually a good idea to insure your equipment. You can often buy an insurance package for an additional fee when you purchase your equipment. This will provide you with a quick repair or replacement if your camera is broken or stolen. That isn’t the only type of insurance travel photographers use. According to Athos Insurance Solutions, rental houses will always require the renters to have inland marine equipment insurance, and almost all of them will also require general liability insurance.

Finding Your Destination

If you want to stand out, you need to have quality work that engages people. So, as The Wandering Lens suggests, you need to put a lot of thought into the destinations you choose to document. People are intrigued by the unknown and mysterious. Not many people are amazed by another travel blog about a trip to New York City. That is a place that has been photographed and blogged about by millions. More intriguing would be a trip to Western New York to visit an Amish community. There you could document a culture that is vastly different from what modern society experiences. The curiosity of the unknown would drive interest in your work.

Staging Your Shots

There is a lot more to photography and videography than a simple point and shoot. If you’re going to be making a vlog, you should plan out your video ahead of time. If you are posing for pictures, you should practice your poses in front of a mirror so that you know what they look like. You want to pick the right time for photography. The best lighting is usually at sunrise and sunset. However, if it is a cloudy day, you may want to go a bit earlier or later since it will get darker sooner. If you choose to include drone videos and photography, make sure that you plan your flights ahead of time so that you don’t waste battery. Be sure that you check with local regulations before flying.

Reaching Your Audience

Success as a travel photographer depends on your ability to reach and connect with your audience. As such, you need to know who your audience is. What demographic are you shooting for? Travel interests will vary between age groups. You should pick something and stick to it. The subjects of your photographs should connect with the interests of your target audience. If your audience is interested in history, then photographing ancient ruins will be more productive than beaches. When you post your images, cater your wording towards your audience.

There is a beautiful world out there waiting to be discovered. It is your job as a travel photographer to go out there and find it, capture it in photographs and video, and bring it back for the rest of the world to see. Your work will add to the wonder and awe that people have for this life.

Here’s another article you might like: Play Safe at Home With a Fun-Filled Family Staycation

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