Monday, February 24, 2014

Germany + France (2012)

I was going through some folders on my laptop last night and found a folder I made and then completely forgot about . . . our France trip! My friend took all of these photos and I guess I put them on my laptop and then totally forgot about it? Anyway, they made me smile. 

I feel like I seem well-traveled and what not, but the truth is I barely scrape by when I do stuff like this (like, I literally just spent my tax return paying off half my debt from the UK trip. Sigh. Where is my rich benefactor?). This was another "fuck it trip" in 2011/2012 where me + friends and my friend's family stayed in France and visited Paris and Germany during the new year!


Our whole gang :)


Wandering down the streets of Paris on a cold January afternoon.


The friend who took all of these is a photographer. He's so good!  


When in Paris, eat cheese! Mmm.


Lovely at night.


I can't remember if this was in France or Germany (we explored the border of Germany a bit)


Inside a church in France. Holy gorgeous architecture! 


More nighttime wanderings in Germany


Trains, planes, and automobiles 


More gorgeous churches


And more candid shots


The friend on my left is from France and therefore was also our awesome translator! 


This is an astronomical clock in Strasbourg. It took the man who built this 30 years to complete this detailed beauty, and when he was done it was commanded that his eyes were gauged out so "he could never build anything like it again." Um, harsh? Like if I spent 30 years of my life building a clock I wouldn't want to spend 30 more replicating it.


Food goodies in Paris


The Eiffel Tower, as if you needed and explanation. 


It was really cool to see the outskirts of Paris, which is where we were staying. We explored a bit of the forest behind us which we kept saying "was very Twilight." 


I think this was the only picture my friend edited. But holy crap, I want this framed somewhere in my apartment! The vibe is so cool. 

Anyway, thanks for walking down memory lane with me. :) This was a very fun trip! 


Friday, February 21, 2014

Photojojo iPhone Camera Lens Set Review: The Perfect Travel Companion

After posting my travel pictures, a few people asked me about my "fisheye lens". So I thought I'd let you in on a secret that is the magic of Photojojo.

Y'all. These are so perfect if you're going on vacation, traveling, or are camera-challenged yet still want awesome looking pictures.

photo cred: photojojo.com
Unlike my boyfriend and his spectacular Canon 60D, I am no fancy photographer. I mostly prefer taking photos with my iPhone 5. But I happened to stumble upon these tiny little lenses around Christmas time and thought it would be a perfect Christmas gift for my bf.

I read SO many reviews on this lens set. I wanted to be sure that they were worth the money. Answer: they totally were.

Here's how they work.

Each lens comes with a TON of those magnetic rings, as seen in the first gif below. You stick that ring around your phone's lens. Then the photo lenses magnetically stick to that ring.

photo cred: photojojo.com
Does it hold up? Yes. Did the lenses fall off or break while in use? Nope. That was my main concern when I bought them. But after traveling through 3 countries and 2 states, these babies were sturdy when we were snapping shots.

Photojojo iPhone Camera Lens Set Review

Here are the 4 lenses! (The wide/macro screws on and off the last one)


 They come with protective lens covers and magnets to protect the back. 

photojojo wide lens for iphone review

Macro/wide


Fish eye


Telephoto

Photojojo iPhone Camera Lens Review

Here's what they look like on my iPhone

Photojojo iPhone camera lens

The "downside," if you even want to call it that, is that you have to take your phone case off in order to put the lenses on to take pictures. I know that all phone cases differ so I won't say that 100% of phone cases need to be removed, but both my bf and I had to take off our iPhone 5 cases to use these lenses. It really wasn't a big deal to us.

To show you the magic of these lenses and how they differ from the normal iPhone lens, I took a few sample photos!

Normal iPhone
We're going to use my tea as the object being photographed. This, obviously, is with the iPhone's normal lens.



Fisheye Lens
This is the fisheye lens, which was our favorite to use on the trip. I'm standing in the exact same spot as the picture above. As you can see, it gets more of the background in the shot (so you can see how messy our kitchen is) The black in the corners are photographed like that, but it's super easy to crop on your phone if you aren't a fan.

photojojo fish eye lens


Telephoto Lens
The telephoto lens is able to zoom in a little more that the iPhone's normal lens WITHOUT losing quality. Still standing in the same exact spot (I may have tipped the angle a bit, oops) but as you can see, it looks more zoomed in and you don't lose any of the detail. It's great if you're far away from, say, Big Ben, and you want a more zoomed in shot without losing the quality (and the iPhone does drop quality the more you zoom)

photojojo telephoto lens

Wide Lens

Here is the wide lens, which is similar to the fish eye but you don't get as much of that rounded background. It's still pretty cool if you're wanting to capture a lot of room in one image!

photojojo wide lens

Normal iPhone

For the macro lens, I had to use another object to photograph. (The white mug doesn't have the detail I need for this.) Anyway, I'm now using a dollar bill for this example.


The macro lens is capable of HIGHLY zooming in to capture the finest of detail. The picture below shows the iPhone's limit when it comes to zooming into detail. (Not much, obvs) When I tried to get closer, but it just blurred it out because it couldn't focus that closely.


Macro

BAM. With the macro lens, you get high quality detail when you focus in on Mr. Washington's coat. We didn't use this much while traveling, but I'd imagine it'd be good if you were blogging about fabrics or clothes or anything that needed to capture fine details. 

photojojo macro lens

Price and Payment


I bought the Photojojo starter sampler set (fisheye, macro/wide, and telephone lenses) for $50. Compared to the $600 fisheye lens for the Canon 60D, I thought this was a niftier, cuter deal.

You can also purchase the individual lenses for $20-$30, but the best deal you'll get is the sampler set since it's basically 4 lenses for $50.

Because it's your lucky day, I'm going to give you $5 off on anything at the Photojojo store! When you click this link (http://photojojo.com/r/be1k) you get $5 automatically in your cart. If you buy something, I get $5 off my next purchase. It's a win-win situation here, people. So if you purchase anything, try it out and out and let me know! I'd honestly love to hear what you think. 

Oh, also, shipping is free with orders $50+. Free is good. I like free. 

If you're curious as to what photos on my trip used these lenses, scroll below!


This is a photo my boyfriend took with the fisheye. As you can see I cropped out the back shade along the edges simply using the iPhone cropping tool. 

I like this lens most for traveling because you get a really great shot of background images, like this one below...


Emily was standing a few feet away and was able to capture us + all of Big Ben. You can see how crowded it is there, and it would have been nearly impossible (in my opinion) to get a good shot farther away with all those people walking by. 

With a regular lens, you totally could kneel down and get an upward shot of us + Big Ben--but I HATE that angle. It makes my face look bloated. (I know, how vain of me). So the fisheye is perfect for these situations. 

Happy photographing! :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stonehenge

Since we were in England, we decided to take a bus to go see Stonehenge, which is roughly 2 hours outside of London.


We'd always seen really amazing pictures of Stonehenge, but we thought it'd be so much cooler to see it in real life.

Fact: it was REALLY cool. 


The bus tour included entrance to Stonehenge as well as entrance to a walk-through museum, which was also fun. It was supposed to rain all day, but we got lucky. It didn't start raining until we made it back to the bus to leave!


Here is a side view of Stonehenge.

We met a couple from Michigan who took our picture. On the bus ride back, my boyfriend and him nerded out about Canon lenses. 

Do we look like we're freezing? It was like 30 degrees, which isn't even that bad considering it was like 9 degrees in NJ at the time. The desert has ruined us, haha. 





If you have time, I definitely recommend going! We left at 8 AM and got back at 2 PM, so it's only a half-day trip. We had the whole rest of the evening to spare :)

To give you an idea of how popular it is, here's the crowd! Luckily we walked up there before it got this insane, haha. 

Stonehenge isn't one of the 7 Wonders of the World, but it IS one of the most famous sites in the world and believed to be a sacred burial ground. It was definitely a fun once-in-a-lifetime thing to do while we were there!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Doing London the Local Way - (Part 2)

The rest of our time in London was spent hanging out with new friends, who have awesome accents and awesome hair and are just overall awesome.

After spending a day and a half doing touristy things, my boyfriend and I were down to roll with the punches and hit up the local spots with friends. 


Which meant hanging out at Emily and Daryl's apartment eating pizza, watching British television, going to local bars, eating at Nandos (which I have dedicated an ENTIRE post to) and hitting up the pubs.


We headed out to Face Down, but not before having a quick dance party in the living room...


Which involved some fantastic moonwalking.

Tube rides to our destination! I don't even know what was happening in this moment, but my boyfriend's looking at me like I'm a giant weirdo. He's not wrong.


Selfies needed to happen, of course.


Love them!


We had many exciting times together here, even the times we just stayed in and hung out. Emily introduced us to the British (and original) version of "The Inbetweeners," which I think they tried to American-ize on MTV in the states (I just looked it up and it got canceled after 3 months. *I* thought it was terrible, so I guess I wasn't the only one haha). The British version is WAY better, and it got us in a conversation on how censored American TV is. I'm not easily offended, but it was crazy to realize what words they censor in America that they don't in the UK. 

We also explored a pub that was nicknamed "the pirate bar," and some other bar across the street from E + D's apartment that had fantastically cheap alcohol. 

It was really fun being submersed in another culture, especially hanging out with local friends and getting together for conversation and drinks. :)