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Photography

8 Tips For Traveling Abroad With Your Drone

Being obsessed with nature, I adore taking my camera and hitting the road, be it for a road trip in the UK or jetting off to Nordic countries which have stolen my heart, I love travel and being outdoors. I am always intrigued to see places in new seasons, different light and from a new perspective. Whenever I explore new destinations, I always hit satellite maps and pour over the detail of the landscape, so it was only a matter of time before I took to the sky myself and created images of the bird’s eye view myself.

Flying a drone is one of the most liberating experiences, I feel a level of solace as I launch my drone and it climbs in altitude, revealing awe-inspiring scenes the higher and higher it goes! There are lots of drones on the market and I have one that I fly commercially in the UK that is a more substantial but less portable drone and another that I bought as my travel buddy! It is compact, easy to transport and packs the punches when it comes to image quality.

Top Tips For Traveling With Your Drone Abroad

  • Always carry your drone and batteries in your hand luggage – check with your airline about their regulations around the Lipo batteries (check their limits on max Watt-hours and number of batteries) and carry your batteries in Lipo Bags. If one were to malfunction it contains the fire within it!
  • Check what the rules are for flying a drone in the country you are visiting. Every country has a different set of rules on this, so search with terms like ‘Country’ ‘Aviation Authority’ ‘Drone Rules’ and take note of these.
  • Carry a plug convertor so you can charge your drone batteries in your accommodation.
  • If you’re road tripping, get an in car inverter for the cigarette lighter so you can charge your batteries on the move.
  • Use common sense and pre-plan where you’re going to fly based on the countries rules about drone flying.
  • Check the weather forecast and buy a small anemometer so you can measure wind speed to check you’re not flying in conditions beyond what your drone can cope with.
  • Get insurance and check with your insurer that you’re covered in the countries you’re traveling in.
  • Buy spare memory cards, if conditions are on your side and you’re capturing lots of shots and footage, you’ll certainly want to make sure you have enough memory to lay down the memories!

Now that the admin side is done and you’ve got yourself to your destination, conditions are awesome and you’re ready to go, it is time to take to the skies and enjoy every sweet minute of your flight!

I am an advocate of flying drones respectfully, no matter where I am or how epic it would be to fly and shoot some where… if there are signs up that do not permit drone flights, I adhere to them.

I always think that, the more we respect boundaries that are set, the more likely rules are to stay flexible for everyone. We’ve all got a responsibility when we fly to be mindful of others and the nature that we are all enjoying, so I hit it from a place of kindness and community and honoring rules that are laid down.

Once you’ve shot, it is always important if you can to backup your images and footage, the memory cards in most drones are tiny and it would be so devastating to lose a once in a lifetime moment where the stars aligned for the most epic of flights. I travel with my laptop and multiple hard drives, so I can sleep easy and know everything is safe!

So far, I have flown in Iceland, Norway and Sweden which are all away from home destinations for me and extensively along the coastline in Kent in the UK. I have some destinations on my radar this year that I am super excited to be talking my ‘eye in the sky’ to and hope that the weather is on my side to fly and grow that list!

Guides Instagrammer's Guides Middle East Photography

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

It’s a feast for the senses. The most insane mix of modern luxury, dappled with ancient trading history within its historic neighborhoods. Dubai – this young city’s skyline seemingly changes every day. As a photographer, this evolving completely captivated me (and my camera!). Between the city’s architecture, beach-front views, traditional mosques and every quirk in between – Dubai is a quilt of curiosities… perfect for the modern photographer. Today, I’m sharing what I believe are Dubai’s most picturesque sights.

What To See

The Burj Khalifa’s Observation Deck

The world’s tallest building (as of right now, at least!) is housed in Dubai’s bustling Downtown neighborhood. And besides being a sparkling gem in the city skyline, the Burj Khalifa’s indoor and outdoor observation deck is incredible! We think it’s definitely worth it to hike to the top for to the 125th and 148th floors for different perspective of Dubai’s sprawling skyline. It’ll totally blow you away. Be sure to book in advance, especially if you want to see the sunset on the expansive city below!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Al Fahidi

The Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood reflects the traditional look and lifestyle of the city up until the 1970’s. It’s like walking into Dubai’s past! The high stone towers, winding alleys, pathways and public squares feel like a maze of diversity. Many visitors overlook this historic neighborhood, as it definitely as an old world feel in a very modernist, forward thinking city. But I happen to think it’s a must-see! Plus, the sandy, warm tones are a dream to photograph, too!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Dubai Mall 

The Dubai Mall could pretty much be a city on its own! Typically, photographers wouldn’t consider bringing along their gear to do some window shopping – but let me tell you, this place is a gold mind of picturesque locations!

In between shopping and eyeing up some of the priciest stores in the world, make sure to stop at the iconic Indoor Fountain sculptural piece. The scale of it is astounding! And get snap happy at the next-level Fountain Show at night (shows are on the half hour from 6:00 – 11:00 pm Saturday – Thursdays). Or, if you’re there on a rainy day, the beautiful Aquarium is a great spot to snap some exotic underwater beauty!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Iranian Mosque

Truly a sight to behold. Photographers will be delighted to see the incredible detail outside of the Mosque’s doors. The tile work and splashes of color will bring you to your knees (…and we mean that metaphorically and realistically – gotta get that perspective!). I could have spent hours photographing the architectural beauty of this place. Every square inch is a serious delight.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Madinat Jumeirah Abra Ride and Souk

A ride through the waters of Madinat Jumeirah on its magical abra is a treat for the eyes… plus, its a great way to access what I believe to be the best view of the Burj Al Arab! Weaving through the waterways is so relaxing, especially after all the walking you do while exploring Dubai. And it totally allows you to view the city from a new perspective. Afterward, enjoy a stroll through the old meets new souk to shop for some incredible souvenirs or for a cup of coffee.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Miracle Garden

The beautiful arches of the brightest and boldest umbrellas and hanging greenery? A dream come true for the lens! Besides being a fantastical display of botany and foliage, the Miracle Garden is a fantastic place for people watching. The colors of the Miracle Garden burst into life, both in person and in frame. It’s a total must-do while in Dubai!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Palm Jumeriah

Is this tree-shaped island the glitziest part of Dubai? Heck yes it is! From above, Palm Jumeriah’s famous fan-like shape has become quite notorious for its opulence… and it’s just like that on the ground too! Home to the poshest, sleeked apartments, spas, hotels, and nightclubs you could only dream of… Palm Jumeriah is an excellent photogenic location to witness the higher end of Dubai’s city life.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Souk Al Bahaar

This Arabic-style shopping mall in the city has a ton of textures for the camera (and shopper) to admire. From antiques, carpets, home goods and waterfront restaurants – Souk Al Bahaar is definitely worth adding to your Dubai itinerary. But, one of my favorite secrets is that it’s home to a unique framed view of the Burj many overlook!

Water Canal

Take in the sun set or sun rise from the Water Canal and you’ll see the skyscrapers of Dubai beam with golden shades galore.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Where To Eat & Drink

Maiden Terrace On Palm Jumeriah

This outdoor terrace gives guests a simply stunning view of the Dubai Marina skyline and the Arabian Gulf! Drinks here at sunset are an absolute must!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

One Life Cafe

This cafe’s attention to homemade, freshly cooked meals is apparent! It’s also a great spot to sit down and do some editing or catch up on work while exploring the rest of Dubai!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Sikka Cafe

Named “Dubai’s original cafe,” Sikka has been open since the 1800s and the Al Maktoum Dynasty. Pretty dang impressive! As Dubai began its trading and cultural exchanges with other worlds, it also began to pick up the culinary delicacies it traded with. Sikka does a masterful job at incorporating local treats with Indian and Persian flavors. It’s an amazing homage to Dubai’s growth, development and its delicious cuisine!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Parker’s

Located in the famous Dubai Mall, Parker’s began as a “concept restaurant” that quickly got to be very popular with tourists and locals. The original quirk was that guests would need to recover a special key hidden somewhere within the sprawling Dubai Mall in order to get a seat… and only clues given on its Instagram would help them track it down. This place got a buzz going ever since! And for good reason. It’s delightful with a fantastic menu!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

The Sum Of Us

This charmer has some of Dubai’s most delicious, house roasted coffee and gourmet treats. It’s a great spot to grab something healthy in a super friendly location. This is also a great spot for anyone with specific food allergies or dietary restrictions!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Where To Stay

Nikki Beach

Nikki Beach is a little slice of Miami smack dab in the Middle East! If you’re looking for a beach-y, free spirited vibe, right beside the beach… this hotel is totally for you. Enjoy the relaxing cabanas, chic rooms and nearly perfect shoreline. Nikki Beach is a minimalist, bright, clean and an all around lovely resort!

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Palace Hotel Downtown

This five star luxury hotel exemplifies all that Dubai strives to be – modern, attentive, incredibly well designed, tasteful, stocked with amenities and an excellent location.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Shangri La Hotel

The Shangri La Hotel is perfectly situated on Sheikh Zayed Road, a quick walk away from the Dubai Mall and City Walk. Plus, it has some of the best views of the skyline, the Arabian Sea and unobstructed perspective of the Burj Khalifa in the pool and dining areas.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Steigenberger

The Steigenberger is perfect for city lovers with its awesome views of the Burj and excellent service. This modern hotel is the perfect home away from home.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

XVA Hotel

Right in the heart of the Al Fahidi neighborhood – the XVA Hotel is bedazzled with so many beautiful twists on traditional details. Enjoy the outdoor dining area when needing a break from exploring Dubai’s every nook and cranny.

Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs
Dubai’s Most Picturesque Sights: Our Favorite Locations For Stunning Photographs

Dubai pleases the senses. From the visual feasts of its souks and modernist skyscrapers, to the scents of the authentic and delicious meals cooked by friendly locals. It’s incredibly hard not to be overwhelmed by its beauty!

We hope you enjoyed our picks of photogenic locations scattered around this awe-inspiring city of the future!

Europe Instagrammer's Guides Photography

An Photogenic Guide To Paris

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Paris, the City Of Light, has been my home away from home for about a half of a year now. Learning the ins and outs of this romantic city has been a joy of mine in these past few months. I’ve started collecting my favorite coffee shops, hidden locations to see its world famous sites far from the crowds, and boutiques and cafes with unique beauty all their own. Today, I’m sharing my Instagrammable Guide to Paris with you all!

Stay

In between my adventures around the globe, I’m constantly booking my favorite Parisian hotels last minute using Hotel Tonight. It’s my favorite little trick to finding gorgeous lodgings when I’m flying in and out of Paris for a day or two. The ease of booking with their website and app is incredible! And I always find some absolute stunners! You can get $25 off your stay by using my promo code: nyakoub too! 

Grand Pigalle Hotel

Pigalle is sort of like the Brooklyn of Paris. It’s stacked with street art, bustling bars and a lively night life scene. Plus, it’s within walking distance to  Notre Dame Cathedral and Arc de Triomphe. The Grand Pigalle’s design is a perfect combination of classic French architecture and Brisih design. I love it’s quirky details – from the pineapple shaped door knockers, metallic wall papers and martini-patterned carpets. The Grand Pigalle also has some of the best views of Montemartre, making it the perfect place to start your days of photo adventure from!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Hotel Bachaumont

Hotel Bachaumont is centrally located in the chicest area of Paris, in my opinion! Sentier is filled with endless restaurants, shops and is super close to the Louvre and my favorite pedestrian only rue – Rue Montorgueil. Art deco lovers will absolutely love this space!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

The Hoxton

It honestly doesn’t get more Instagrammable than this hotel! The Hoxton’s spiral staircase, vintage vibes and perfect mash up of old and new has made this hotel one of the most picturesque in Paris!

An Instagrammable Guide To ParisAn Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Eat / Drink

Pink Mamma

Right down the street from Grand Pigalle Hotel is one of the most picturesque restaurants from the Big Mamma Group. Every corner and detail is photo worthy! And the food is just as good as the aesthetic!

20bis Rue de Douai, 75009 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Au Rocher de Cancale

Closely situated near the Hotel Bachaumont is another one of my favorite cafes in Paris! I could easily spend hours working here (in between snapping ‘grams every second).

78 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Le Train Bleu

Who knew that this breathtakingly gorgeous restaurant was tucked away in the Gare de Lyon train station?! Le Train Blue has a pricey menu, but it has a  super friendly staff. If you don’t plan on staying for lunch or dinner, at least take a peak inside the next time you’re waiting for your train at Gare de Lyon!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Cafe Kitsune

For the chic fashionistas, this coffee shop is a staple in Paris and is within walking distance from Hotel Bachaumont! Right in the heart of one of the most picturesque parks in the city, Palais-Royal.

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Merci Cafe 

Books, coffee, vintage vibes, a carefully curated department store and a red vintage Fiat that greets you at the entrance. This place couldn’t be more Instagrammable if it tried. Merci cafe is located in the Marais, another trendy and totally beautiful neighborhood of Paris.

111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Ob-La-Di

This might be the most Instagrammed cafe in Paris – and for good reason! The design here is so adorable and cool at the same time… and it’s also a great place for coffee and brunch!

54 Rue de Saintonge, 75003, Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Cafe de Flore 

This iconic cafe is a must when visiting the St. Germain area. So many beautiful details to see!

172 boulevard Saint-Germain 75006 Paris France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

See

Pigalle Basketball

I love this super colorful basketball court in Pigalle, right down the street from Grand Pigalle Hotel. Watch locals and spectors alike hang out in this unexpected colorful corner of Paris.

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Rue Montorgueil

One of my favorite rues in Paris, this pedestrian street is lined with restaurants, cafés, bakeries, cheese, flower shops and more. You can easily spend an entire afternoon walking and window shopping down this street, taking in the picturesque store fronts.

Rue Montorgueil Paris

Le Mur des Je t’aime

This translates to “The Wall Of Love” in English. This work of art is a must see for couples visiting Paris. See the wall covered in “I love you’s” 311 times in 250 languages. It’s a touching reminder of how beautiful love is. 

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

29 Avenue Rapp

For the Art Nouveau fans out there, this door is as good as it gets!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

La Maison Rose

This infamously pink chateaux is worth the hike! I love the surrounding neighborhood alleyways and overgrown ivy!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Rue Crémieux

This is the epitome of Paris charming visitors. This cobblestoned back alley is so Instagrammable, it’s insane! Hidden in the 12th arrondissement, this “secret” alley is colorful and features shutters and quaint details unlike the opulent French architecture Paris is known for.

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Coulée verte René-Dumont

Paris has their own version of New York City’s famous Highline in Bercy and the linear elevated park just as s beautiful as NYC’s. This part is super peaceful with tons of greenery, Paris street views and art along its 4.5 km walk.

1 Coulée verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

You’re probably wondering why a mall is on our list… but hear us out! The Galeries Lafayette is not only stunning on the inside, with its stained glass ceiling, but what most people miss is their rooftop view on the 7th floor with spectacular views! It’s a great place to snap sunset photos and avoid the long line that you’d be waiting in if you went up to the top of the uber touristy Arc de Triomphe.

40 boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

The Abbey Bookshop

Hidden in a little alleyway in the Latin Quarter, walk through the maze of books and be greeted by the friendliest owner from Canada.

29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

View of Eiffel Tower from Paris Métro Line 6

Prepare for the shot one station before approaching the Passy – Bir-Hakeim station to catch a unique frame of the Eiffel Tower through the Paris Metro windows.

Paris Metro France

 


Paris is already such a beautiful city, but I hope these hidden gems add another layer of charm to your visit in The City Of Light!

Sponsored by Hotel Tonight. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. All opinions are my own.

Africa Journal

Embracing Travel Through #DameTraveler

I’ve always loved to travel, which is part of the reason I chose a high mobility career in international humanitarian work. But ironically, as my travel for work has increased over the past few years, I stopped making time to explore the places to which I traveled – both new and familiar. Part of this can be chalked up to workloads and jetlag, but laziness was definitely a factor. In an effort to re-engage with my sense of place while traveling, I set myself the goal of posting at least one photo to Instagram from every location I visited in 2017.


As someone who suffers from social media illiteracy, this was a bit of an odd choice. It wasn’t always easy to make time (full disclosure, there are a few missing) but my resolution did help me to rediscover the fun of being a “dame traveler”. Instead of settling into my computer screen during my down-time, I would make the effort to trek to a scenic park after work or plan weekend hiking and riding adventures.

People often say that you have to put your camera down in order to fully enjoy a moment, but for me (someone who rarely remembers to take photos at all), I’ve found the opposite to be true. Pulling out my phone to capture moments of fairy-tale scenery or good food with friends made me pause to think about how lucky I was to have these experiences to commit to memory in the first place.

Although the public nature of Instagram kept me accountable to my goal, it ultimately turned out to be a very personal pursuit. I found a lot of inspiration from the #dametraveler movement along the way. I love the focus on images that capture a feeling of connection between people and their environment – not just a stock landscape or a well-rehearsed pose against a backdrop. By restricting the individual to a diminished scale, the photos keep the existential experience of global travel in perspective – we are all small souls in an incomprehensibly huge universe!

In one of my last trips of the year, I took time to enjoy the summertime winds (and wine!) after a horse ride at Boschendal winery in Franschhoek Valley outside of Cape Town, which is pictured here. With the year almost over, I’ve decided to extend at least some aspects of this project into the coming year. Throughout 2017, I’ve been inspired to explore new places that I’ve always wanted to go, outside of my usual work trajectories. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2018 will bring!

 

 

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Journal Photography

On The Other Side

Cracks on the road under the scorching sun. My vision could span for miles ahead without encountering any obstacle. That apparently sterile landscape felt so friendly to me. Like a land of endless opportunities, ready to get caught on camera – on the other side of the lens.

Over the course of my journey, I got to experience the contrasts of nature: the humidity of the jungle in Iguazo, cloaking my skin in moisture, the rugged and silent beauty of the glaciers of Santa Cruz, the silky texture of the sand in Ecuador and the placid majesty of British Columbia and its lakes.

Taking in all these new, exciting subjects, forms and colors always gives me a jolt of enthusiasm and a thrill of eagerness that reminds me why I am there and why I do this. It’s about my absolute life passion at its best and liveliest: traveling, exploring, collecting experiences in a digital box of crystallized memories. All that reminds me of a dual-purpose mission on a daily basis: being aligned with the very essence of what I truly and wholeheartedly love and who I really am: a photographer, a traveler and a free spirit.

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