Born without arms and legs due to tetra-amelia syndrome, Nick Vujicic lives a life richer and fuller than most. Here are some of his most amazing moments:
1) Santorini Island, Greece
Photo Credit: www.chrismanstudios.com
If you want to add some Mediterranean “spice” to your wedding experience, then how about exchanging your “I Dos” in the Santorini Island in Greece? The perfect marriage of natural and man-made beauty the island exudes is ideal for an intimate romantic setting. Whether you want to celebrate it in an exclusive villa, on the shore of the Aegean Sea, in a charming little village, or at the top of its majestic cliff, the venue choices are infinite. To keep the Greek tradition alive, go for a white and blue motif!
2) Angsana Velavaru, Maldives
Photo Credit: www.vacationidea.com
Boasting an ingeniously-designed, coconut leaf thatched-roofed wedding chapel that floats on the water, Angsana Velavaru provides couples with a venue conducive to a solemn ceremony. But that’s not all there is, for you have two other choices to celebrate your love: under the water in a house reef or at a secluded island. Situated in the South Nilandhe Atoll in the island of Maldives, Angsana commits to ensuring its guests a luxurious, well-pampered stay and the most scrumptious wedding feast.
3) Bali, Indonesia
Photo Credit: http://www.holidayspackages.com.au
If you want to have a view of the timeless depths of the Indian Ocean as you exchange vows with your partner, then Bali is your place to be. The crown jewel of Indonesia, Bali offers a wide variety of choices for that wedding of a lifetime, and at the same time, a chance to get mesmerized in its natural beauty, and the inherent grace and warm hospitality of its people.
4) Ravello, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Photo Credit: www.wagnertours.it
Picture your wedding on this gorgeous coastal region, on top of a terrace overlooking the beautiful hillside buildings, rustic towns and a spectacular view of the Mediterranean. Ravello, a romantic town perched on top of the Amalfi Coast, is Italy’s most glamorous seaside wedding getaway that’s known for its centuries-old church, relaxing scenery, authentic restaurants, and great music, which sets the mood for merry drinking and laughter. If you’re planning to have the ultimate Italian wedding, better have it here.
5) Maui, Hawaii
Photo Credit: www.randykepple.com
Five-star resorts, world-famous surf, white sandy beaches, and fancy island activities are just a few reasons why Maui is one of the world’s exotic wedding and honeymoon destinations. You can have your wedding on a beautiful landscaped garden that overlooks the vast blue waters of the Pacific. With so many things that this island getaway has to offer, who needs to spend their honeymoon elsewhere? If you plan to tie the knot here, you might as well make it a weeklong affair.
6) Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Photo Credit: http://www.worldfortravel.com
Rio de Janeiro offers a gamut of spectacular wedding venues that you may find it difficult to pick one over another. Whether it’s a fabulous hotel, a scenic seaside chapel, or a trendy eco-resort, there is definitely something for every discerning couple. For a truly memorable post-wedding affair, check out the carnival parade schedule all year round. Grab your spouse’s hand and invite your guests to enjoy the beautiful city afterwards!
7) Nairobi, Kenya
Photo Credit: www.marogardens.com
The weather in Nairobi is just perfect for a matrimonial ceremony on a luxurious, exclusive tent camp. Because weddings here are open occasions, they are always festive and enticing. It’s a norm in this place in the world to have many tents for weddings: one for the bride, three for the wedding guests, one for the cake, and one for foods and gifts, where the space for each tent is big enough for a dance floor!
8) Ras Nungwi, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Photo Credit: Rasnungwi.com
Ras Nungwi is the ultimate beach wedding venue that turns a small, simple ceremony into a unique lifetime memory. Located 25 to 50 kilometers off the coast of East Africa, this serene resort is complemented by the surrounding turquoise ocean and white sands. The wedding is usually held in a wood-framed marquee decorated by brightly colored flowers that turn this intimate occasion into a paradisiacal event. The hotel’s Ubora Restaurant and Bar offers a wide range of sumptuous canapés and cocktails that suit any beach reception, while the Ocean Suite provides a glamorous and private retreat for the couple’s honeymoon.
9) Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
Photo Credit: theweddingcompany.co.nz
You can never get a wedding as one-of-a-kind as a heli-wedding, and there’s no better place to do it than Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand. Couples who venture into Aoraki can surely appreciate the beauty of New Zealand’s highest peak, which is 7,600 feet above sea level. This is a truly one-of-a-kind opportunity to have your intimate ceremony and pictures taken amid the majestic scenery of the Southern Alps. It’s a huge effort going here: it stands to reason why a wedding photograph taken in this mountain peak is a priceless souvenir.
10) Zoetry Agua, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: www.zoetryresorts.com
A quintessential desert-island resort located at Playa de Uvero Alto, on the striking northeastern part of the Dominican Republic, Zoetry Agua Resort in Punta Cana offers a wide range of al-fresco wedding places, lavish suites, and a luxurious spa all to make that wedding of your dreams a reality. Feel free to wander barefoot along its white-sand, palm-fringed beach, as you build memories of love to last till eternity.
If matches are really in made in heaven, then there’s no reason why you won’t make your wedding an exquisite everlasting affair. Make your wedding the getaway of a lifetime and shake up your guests’ expectations with the best exotic wedding destinations listed above. If you can afford it, why not? After all, you only get married once (hopefully).
by Francesco Gola
One of my favorite quotes ever is from Marcel Proust: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Long exposures have exactly that; an incredible power to let you see a place that you think you know well with new eyes. A long exposure photo is a parallel universe where I can escape from the frenzy of modern life.
Technically, it is just a matter of shutter speed, but I believe it is also a matter of mood and feeling. Taking a long exposure shot is easier than you could expect. Just put your camera in Bulb mode, and open the shutter for the required time.
1. Take your time to visualize the shot in your mind. When shooting long exposures, what you see with your eyes will turn out different than what you’ll capture on camera.
2. On clouds. To create a well-balanced composition, figure out the direction where the clouds are moving towards. Also try to evaluate how fast they are moving. If you’re taking a seascape shot, check how wild is the sea. This will help you in choosing a correct shutter speed to get a really dramatic sky and a silky sea without making everything flat and dull.
3. Wind is your enemy. Use a sturdy tripod, and once set firmly on the ground, hang on it your backpack to increase the stability with weight. Keep in mind that few seconds of wind gust can compromise a two minute exposure, and above a cliff strong winds are quite common. If possible, use your body as a wind shield for your camera.
4. Focus on the subject before adding the filters. As ND filters can be really dense, it would be difficult to get your subject in focus using autofocus, or even manually focusing through the viewfinder. The best solution is to always compose and manually focus the scene before adding filters. Remember that there is nothing worse than having a magnificently-composed 4-minute exposure that is out of focus.
5. Use a remote shutter. Your camera is extremely sensitive to vibrations. Using a remote shutter will prevent you from touching the camera. If possible, use a programmable remote shutter—you’ll be able to get several minutes of exposure without constantly checking your watch!
6. Predict the sun’s position. Unlike “still photography”, in a long exposure shot, you should avoid having the sun in the frame. This is because after two minutes of exposure, the sun will not be around anymore. The sun itself, plus every surface in which it will reflect, will be so overexposed that it would be almost impossible to recover it in post-production. To predict the position of the sun, there are apps you can download on your mobile device.
7. Clouds and storms are your friends. If you think that the current weather condition prohibits you from taking a photo now, it won’t be the same in an hour. Use images from satellite to predict where the storm is moving to, and remember that the best clouds are at the end of a perturbation.
8. Calculate, don’t improvise. The perfect light can last only few minutes or even seconds. If you are taking a 3-minute long exposure, you have only one chance to get your shoot. The best strategy here is not to improvise how long should the exposure be after mounting a 10-stop filter. Take a test shot without filters with the desired ISO and aperture first. Once you’re happy with the exposure, stack on the desired ND filters and compensate for the stop introduced by the filters in the shutter speed. Using an app for your mobile or a printed chart may be a good idea, but if the light conditions are changing (like sunsets, sun being covered by clouds), just add (or subtract, if you expect the light to increase like in a sunrise shoot) an extra 15-20% to the resulting time. Remember, taking a test shot is also recommended for checking the composition and focus.
9. Use your histogram instead of your LCD. Don’t trust the LCD. The LCD display of your camera is extremely luminous, and is no good for reviewing the image you just took. Use the histogram instead. By checking the histogram, you can quickly visualize if the calculations you made for the shutter speed is correct or not. In case they are wrong, looking at the histogram will allow you to calculate the correction needed. To improve the experience with LCD in strong daylight condition, you can use a Loupe.
10. Be aware of light leakages. In a long exposure shot, every infiltration of light in your camera will compromise your work with banding and color casts. The solution is incredibly easy and cheap: use black tape. Before taking an exposure, remember to cover your viewfinder and the edges installed in the filter holder with black tape.
11. Wait a minute between an exposure to another. Every time the shutter opens, the electricity flows through the sensor of your camera, resulting in the sensor warming up. This is not a problem in still photography, because the exposure time is a fraction of a second, but as soon as you reach one minute or more, the heat will form hot pixels in your photo. Waiting a minute from an exposure to another will allow the sensor to cool down.
A Gear Guide For Long Exposure Photography
Camera Body: You can shoot long exposures with almost every camera. The essential function is the Bulb mode that will allow you to get exposures longer than 30”. My go-to body is Canon EOS 5D Mark III.
Lens: A wide angle lens is the perfect choice. You will use a tripod anyway, so you don’t need an image stabilizer. A fast lens is not required, as you’ll be shooting almost every photo between f/8 and f/16. My recommended lenses are Zeiss Distagon T* 2,8/21 andCanon EF 16-35 f/2.8L II.
Tripod: A sturdy tripod is your best friend. If you are going to travel a lot, a carbon fiber tripod is a great choice.
Filters: A good set of filters is required to get long exposures right in your camera. My go-to travel set includes Lee 6 stop and 10 stop ND filters, a Heliopan Polarizer, and many Graduated ND filters.
Batteries: Always have spare batteries with you. Shooting minutes of exposure can dramatically reduce the battery life.
Memory Card: Long exposures don’t require fast and large memory. Invest in reliable brands, and always have a spare memory card in your pocket.
Torches: Remember, safety first.
Loupe: It’s difficult to review images on your LCD display when it’s sunny, so I always use a Loupe.
Apps: There are lots of apps for your smartphone or tablet that will calculate the correct exposure time after stacking in your camera ND filters, or apps that tell you where the sun will set. My favorite app is, without a doubt, PhotoPills.
Multi-tool knife and duck tape: They should be in every photographer backpack!
Professional photographer specialize in wedding.