Breckenridge, Colorado: a guide for outdoorsy types

Colorado, in the southwest of the US, is best known for its high-quality skiing opps and the spectacular views afforded to it by its mountainous landscapes. So no wonder it attracts outdoorsy types who love skiing and climbing. And encouraged by its vistas, it's the perfect place to expand one's horizons. Breckenridge, for example, is part of the Rockies but is also known for its watersports. So with the help of Breckenridge Tourism Office, we've found a few less obvious...

How to take perfect architecture photographs

We've moved on from the ol' point-and-clicks these days. Unless you've a photographer's eye, holiday pics of buildings can turn out as dull as they sound. But with some expert tips, the detail and wonder of the world's best structures can be captured on camera. Thanks to SmugMug, the world’s largest independent photo-sharing platform, we spoke to fine art photographer Julia Anna Gospodarou to find out her tips on top photography. 1/ Think about composition first Composition is the first thing one will notice in your image. It is the skeleton of your imageand it is what can make or break a photograph. Composition is what can give you an award winning image or a so-so one. There are a few things that, if you do them, they can help your image becomes more interesting.  First, stay out of the centre of the image with yyour image more power. Going off centre will give more dynamism to your photo, while creating a story. Have in mind the rule of thirds and know that the best spot to place your subject is the lower right third of the image. Remember that disposing your subjects on a diagonal in the frame is a very good way of drawing the attention to them. Use leading lines, play with patterns, break the patterns, play with shadows and light as main subject, think of the relation you create between positive and negative space in your image (positive space is your buildings, negative space is, for instance, the sky). 2/ Look at the volumes when you shoot architecture In architecture, volumes is what it is all about. Volumes and light, or rather seeing how light falls on the volumes and showing it in your images. The light falling on the volumes will emphasise their shape, colour, texture and materials. This will give you ideas and help you compose your shot. Look for interesting intersections of lines and surfaces, look for overlapping volumes, for volumes that complete one another or that contrast with one another. Try to see your subjects as being composed of simple volumes and search for the angle from which the dominant lines of their structure can create a harmonious composition. It's all about how to translate the three-dimensional world you see into a two-dimensional image while still showing the depth; seeing the volumes is what will help you with that. 3/ Learn to understand how the light helps your architectural photograph Light is not always the same, there are different types of light that will create different looks in your images, showing different aspects of a building. Pic courtesy of Julia...

Summer events in Central America

There's always plenty going on in Central America - but if you needed an extra excuse to throw the backpack on and spend your rainy day savings on a flight, here are some tempting happenings... Sunjam, Honduras, 1 – 8 August 2015 Taking place over eight days on an uninhabited cay off the coast of the island of Utila, part of the Bay Islands a few kilometres off Honduras' Caribbean coast, Sunjam is the biggest techno-house music festival in Central America. This...

Five far-flung places for a digital detox

Our hectic London lifestyle doesn't stop when we go abroad. Latest figures indicate that three in five of us check Twitter every day while on hols, and depressingly, half of us check work e-mails, with a third admitting that they regret it. We're in serious danger of changing the dynamic of holiday - instead of getting away from it all, holidays now equal checking our phone on a beach rather than on a sofa. It's a habit that's hard to...

New research on how we spend annual leave

A study of 2,000 workers found the average person ends up spending over half of their average 26 days annual leave on personal chores which we just cannot get done while working - and only 11 days are spent relaxing. Reasons to use up our holiday include taking time off to look after sickly relatives, looking after the kids during school holidays and waiting at home for a delivery. And when factoring in travel to and from holiday destinations and...

Seductive Scotland: A couples guide to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

 by Beth Roberts They say if love is the treasure, then laughter is the key - which might well be the reason so many couples will head to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August. Starting on the 7th and lasting till the 31st, it’s the largest arts festival in the world, with over 2000 quirky shows and a host of stunning venues to choose from. But there’s plenty on offer in this seductive Scottish city to keep the spark alive...

Seven of the best snorkelling spots

By Beth Roberts You don’t need to be scuba-certified to be seduced by a life aquatic. In fact, all you really need is a mask. If the idea of going underwater has you floundering for your flippers, you’re in luck. From stingray cities to sea lions and even night excursions, we’ve put together a list of the top ten snorkelling spots to satisfy your sub-aqua appetite… 1. Grand Cayman Be mobbed by a flock of friendly stingrays in the crystal...

A Third of Brits ‘in their Room’ when Robbed on Holiday

By Nathan Lee, TLE Correspondent  A third of British holiday makers who have had their hotel room robbed were iu the room when the theft took place, new research has shown. The study showed one in ten of the 2,000 holidaymakers polled had experienced theft from their hotel rooms – and a third of victims were present when it happened. Being asleep, in the bathroom or relaxing on the balcony were all cited as reasons that Brits end up having...

Sandcastle-building butlers are a thing now

What do you get the kid who has it all? If they're heading for a beach holiday, it's a personal beach butler, of course. If you can tear them away from their iPhones and Game Boys (!), your diddums can soon make some amazing-looking sandcastles with these beachy Jeeves-like characters at hand. The concierges, a new idea from travel company Oliver's Travels, are in the process of being specially trained. Once they're officially sandcastle aficiandos, they'll set over-rich parents back...

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