Portable Rechargeable Chargers for Drones and More (VIDEO)

 

Here are the best portable charges for your DJI drone to stay juiced up for more flying. Most of these portable rechargeable chargers are TSA approved.

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20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Booking cheap flights today is almost like a science. You may see a good rate in the morning, and within a few hours it can quickly double in price. In fact, airlines often fluctuate their prices throughout the day to help fill empty seats.

As a frequent traveler and having handled the corporate travel bookings at my previous job, I’ve picked up a few travel tricks and money-saving hacks along the way.

Here are 23 secrets to booking cheap flights.

 

1. Plan ahead and be patient

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Planning ahead is the first step in finding cheap flights. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find last minute discounts, but you’ll have more options and flexibility to score cheap flights when you plan ahead.

This means that if you wish to travel in spring, you should start checking prices in the fall or winter season.

Tips for planning ahead:

  • Check travel websites for prices first thing every morning (around 9:00am) and in the evening (after 6:00pm).
  • Sign up for email alerts. I like using Skyscanner for this tool as this allows me to see how the price fluctuates (up or down) and know when the cheapest fight is available.
  • Start your search three months before your trip. As a general guideline, the cheapest flights can be found at least 47 days before the departure date.

 

2. Search incognito

Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to get the lowest price.

Sometimes there is no difference in price when searching in incognito mode, however I always recommend comparing rates before booking your flight.

 

3. Search tickets one at a time

Even if you’re traveling with a group, sometimes airlines can sell multiple airfare classes at different prices.

For example, if you’re traveling as a pair and there is only one seat left in the lowest fare class, the website will usually show the highest fare class for both tickets.

However if you search each ticket separately, the website may show a cheaper rate. This can help at least one person – if not both of you – save money on your flights.

 

4. Delete your browser history and cookies

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

You’re not crazy if you’ve seen the price of a flight change after searching it a few times. Travel websites and airlines will remember your search, and this might cause prices to actually increase.

Always delete your browser history and cookies before searching for flights. Your best bet is to search in incognito or private browsing mode (as mentioned in tip #2).

 

5. Check the airline’s direct website

While third party travel websites can be great, sometimes the best unadvertised deals are found directly on the airline’s website.

 

6. Join the email list of your favorite airline and third party travel website

I recommend signing up for email promotions offered through your preferred airline and third party travel website. This allows you to receive special offers as soon as they go live online or exclusive offers for email subscribers.

 

7. Check departures/ arrivals from alternative airports

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Some major cities have multiple airports within close proximity. For example, New York City has three main airports which visitors can choose from: LGA, JFK and EWR.

Prices can vary significantly based on which airport you choose, so it’s important to always compare rates.

One thing to keep in mind though is to determine if flying into an alternative airport is worth the savings.

For example, if you’re traveling to New York City and fly into EWR, you will have to pay for New Jersey transit (or taxi) to get to Manhattan.

The savings that you got from flying into EWR may quickly disappear by the time you factor in the ground transportation costs to get into Manhattan.

 

8. Follow airlines and third party travel websites on Social Media

One of the great features about social media is that airlines can use these platforms to share special travel promotions with their followers.

Sometimes an airline will offer a special promotion code through their Twitter or Facebook page, so it’s important to follow along with them online.

 

9. Bundle your flights, hotel and car rental

Bundling your trip on websites like Expedia can help you save up to $300. These savings can provide more room in your travel budget for sightseeing, entertainment, dining out and shopping.

 

10. Or don’t bundle your flights, hotel and car rental

While great deals can be found when you bundle your trip, sometimes this is not always the case. Always compare prices to determine if bundling or booking separately is more cost effective.

 

11. Mix and match airlines

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Sometimes booking a round trip or multi-city trip with the same airlines can save you money, however this is not always the rule.

Always compare prices to determine if you’re getting the cheapest flight when you book with one airlines vs. multiple airlines.

The easiest method to compare prices is using a third party website, such as Skyscanner, which will list the cheapest flight combination for your chosen dates.

 

12. Fly on the cheapest day of the week

Traveling on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are usually the cheapest days of the week. Also, searching mid-week for flights produces the best deals too.

From my personal experience, I also find that Thursday can sometimes offer a good price as well.

Days that tend to be the most expensive are Mondays, Fridays and sometimes Sundays. Airlines know that most business trips take place between Monday and Friday, which is why it tends to be more expensive to depart Monday and return on Friday.

However, business travelers have started to recently fly out on Sunday, rather than Monday to try and get a better rate on airfare, but this isn’t always the case.

13. Fly during off-peak hours

Sure you may already know that flying after 8:00pm is usually cheaper than flying during the day. But you can also score a deal by taking an early morning flight as well (between 5:00am and 7:00am).

 

14. Fly indirect

While nonstop flights are usually preferred, sometimes you can save a significant amount by choosing a 1-stop flight.

A 1-stop flight may also give you more options.

For example, I just recently booked flights to Victoria, BC and the only direct flight from Toronto arrives late at night. Instead, I picked a 1-stop flight that arrives in Victoria by noon, which also saved me over $100.

You may also decide to choose a flight with a long layover, which can allow you to explore the city as an added bonus.

 

15. Fly during the shoulder or off-season

Flying during the shoulder or off-season can lead to significant savings.

I was able to score a great 7-day vacation package to Paris in February for only $1,000 CAD (which included flights, hotel and taxes).

This was a lot more affordable than traveling during the summer months and traveling during the off-season tends to be less busy too—which is a win-win for me.

The take-home point is to be flexible with your travel dates, as prices can fluctuate significantly throughout the seasons.

 

16. Save money on checked baggage

Most airlines now charge you $25 each way to check your luggage, and they will also charge you extra if it’s over the weight limit.

You can avoid this by packing lightly and wearing your heavier items on the plane.

If you’re traveling with a close friend or significant other, consider sharing a suitcase with them. This can save you $50 together on baggage costs ($25 each way).

Another option is to bring carry-on luggage only if you’re going on a short trip, such as a weekend getaway. Most hotels offer basic toiletries, and you can bring travel-sized items with you on the plane (provided they meet the TSA liquid guidelines).

 

17. Bring your own food

20 Secrets To Booking Cheap Flights in 2017

Many airlines now charge for food on board. Save money by bringing your own snacks from home instead of buying them on the plane. I promise that your own food will taste a lot better too.

 

18. Shop around for travel & health insurance

I always recommend having travel or (extra) health insurance for your trip, however the one offered when you book your flights isn’t always the best rate.

Sometimes your work place might offer travel or health coverage, which is included in your benefits package.

You can also purchase insurance through your bank for the year — which is what I currently do.

Since I travel multiple times per year, an annual insurance plan is more cost effective for me (instead of having to pay separately for each trip).

If you are over 40 years old (or have a history of health issues), I recommend purchasing extra health coverage (even if you’re already covered through work).

Unfortunately we can never predict what might happen while we’re traveling, which is why it’s always important to be prepared.

 

19. Avoid paying for seat selection (if possible)

While advanced seat selection is sometimes included in your airfare, some airlines charge a fee to select your seats.

Unless you’re particular about where you sit on the plane, I recommend skipping this step when booking your flights.

Instead, check-in 24 hours before your flight, which allows you to make your seat selection for free.

 

20. Sign up for a frequent flier program

Frequent flier programs are great for scoring free flights and upgrades.

Even if you’re not a frequent flier I recommend signing up for an airline rewards program. You can earn points by shopping at partner stores, taking advantage of special email offers (sign up for their newsletter) and by flying of course.

GoPro HERO 5 Black vs Session vs YI 4K Review – (VIDEO)

This in my in-depth review and comparison of the new GoPro HERO 5 Black vs the HERO 5 Session vs the YI 4K action cameras.

Be sure you watch my video ALL THE WAY THROUGH until the end, as there are surprising results throughout all the tests.

If you’re looking for a TL;DR:
-In overview and conclusion, all cameras are pretty amazing! The features, resolution shooting specs, image quality and clarity; all are amazing! You can’t really go wrong with any of them.
-If BUDGET is important to you, looking for the cheapest option, then I’d recommend the YI 4K. It (currently) is the most affordable, plus has a great touchscreen, and shoots fantastic footage. (Even winning over the GoPro’s in low light tests and stabilization.)
-If you need the BEST OF THE BEST looking shots, packed with a TON of extra features (like Protune, flat shooting profile, built-in waterproof, GPS, HDMI port, exposure controls, RAW + HDR still photos, voice control, and a ton more), then definitely go with this new HERO5 BLACK – it’s amazing!
-If built-in durability, waterproof, and SUPER TINY/SMALL form factor is important, then go with the HERO5 SESSION.

*Disclaimers:
1. I received ZERO dollars from YI and GoPro. This is an unbiased review.
2. It’s impossible for me to cover ALL topics and features that I wanted to, so be sure to leave any questions you have in the comments below.
3. All camera firmwares were updated at the time of filming this video

Drone Operator Will Pay $200,000 Fine for Violating FAA Regulations

In case you were wondering, the answer is “Yes,” the FAA means business when it comes to drone operators violating airspace regulations. This unfortunate lesson comes at the hefty cost of $200,000 for one Chicago-based company.

The FAA originally came after Chicago-based SkyPan International in October of 2015, proposing a mammoth fine of $1.9 million—the highest civil penalty ever proposed—for endangering airspace safety. According to the FAA, SkyPan embarked on 65 unauthorized drone photography flights between March of 2012 and December of 2014 in some of the country’s most congested airspace… and they would have to pay for these transgressions.

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The case was finally settled yesterday, and strange as it might sound, the $200,000 fine SkyPan agreed to pay must be music to the drone operator’s ears (and wallets). In a statement, the FAA outlined the terms of the settlement: SkyPan will pay a $200,000 civil fine, an additional $150,000 if they violate FAA regulations in the next year, and $150,000 more if it fails to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement.

SkyPan will also work with the FAA to release three public service announcements over the next year, “to support the FAA’s public outreach campaigns that encourage drone operators to learn and comply with UAS regulations.”

In their own statement, SkyPan is quick to point out that the settlement includes no admission or denial of wrongdoing on their end, and no official violation in the FAA’s books.

“While neither admitting nor contesting the allegations that these commercial operations were contrary to FAA regulations, SkyPan wishes to resolve this matter without any further expense or delay of business,” writes the company. “In exchange [for the penalties SkyPan has agreed to pay], the FAA makes no finding of violation.”

SkyPan goes on to praise the FAA’s new “Rule 107” that regulates drone operation, calling it “a flexible and forward-leaning regulatory framework that balances access, innovation, and safety.” Looks like they’re already working on those PSAs…

Icon Photographer Bill Cunningham Dies at 87

Bill Cunningham, the legendary fashion photographer who shot street-style portraits for the New York Times for nearly 4 decades, died in New York on Saturday, just days after suffering a stroke. He was 87.

Cunningham, whose life and work were featured in the 2010 documentary Bill Cunningham New York, documented fashion on the streets of New York City with his camera, blue jacket, and bicycle.

39th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show - August 31, 2014

His photos became a staple of the Times’ Sunday Styles section and made Cunningham incredibly influential in the world of fashion. He regularly rubbed shoulders with industry giants while remaining modest in his own personal life.

Icon Photographer Bill Cunningham Dies at 87

Cunningham is a fixture on the streets of New York; he’s been capturing great style for years. Yet it turns out that when the camera is flipped, the photos are equally as exciting. From that blue coat he’s been wearing for years to the precise way he’s able to get a shot, watching him can be just as — if not more — fun than watching what’s happening inside the tents.

photography will never be the same.”

How to Photograph Water Splash – Photography 101

Dive into the world of high-speed photography as we show you how you can capture a fruity splash with your flash.

High-speed photography is a fantastic way to capture some spectacular effects. Freezing the moment an object breaks the water’s surface makes for stunning splash photography.

The setup may look complex, but all that’s required is a bit of preparation beforehand, some photography and flash know-how, and a great deal of patience! We used a macro lens but a standard zoom will do the job.

We’ll show you how to create your own tabletop studio and set up your camera and flash to capture some high-speed action. Our aim is to capture the cherry just after it’s broken the surface of the water, but before it sinks to the bottom of the container.

In order to freeze the action at the exact moment the cherry splashes into the water we’ll be using off-camera flash. By lighting the splash from the side we’ll get more depth and avoid capturing nasty looking shadows.

This isn’t an exact science, so getting the timing right is a bit of an experiment. So what are you waiting for? Grab some fruit and let’s get started.

1 Manual for full control
In manual mode, set shutter speed to the maximum flash sync speed (1/180-1/250 sec, depending on your EOS). Set a narrow aperture (eg f/8) for a good depth of field and set ISO low for noise-free shots.

2 Master flash
To set the pop-up flash as Master, go to Flash Control Settings and enable Flash Firing. Select Built-in Flash Func, scroll down to Wireless Func, press Set. Select the option to trigger the off-camera flash only.

3 Set the Slave
Set your flashgun to the Slave wireless setting and the same channel as camera. Select Manual flash power and you can adjust the output via the camera’s Flash Settings menu. We started off with 1/4 power.

4 Pre-focus
Grab a spoon and submerge it in the water, roughly where your subject will fall, and pre-focus, then switch your lens to MF to lock the focus. It may take a couple of attempts to achieve accurate results.

Final Tips

Diffuse the light
Clear surfaces, like glass, can be a challenge to shoot as they’re so reflective. If you fire a burst of flash in the direction of the glass container, you’ll capture lots of imperfections in the glass – and plenty of fingerprints and dust, despite cleaning it before you started. Position your reflector’s translucent diffuser panel between the setup and off-camera flash to soften the light.

Flash and exposure
To capture splash photography without motion blur we need to use flash as this can capture much faster movement than your camera’s fastest shutter speed. For best results you’ll need to shoot in a fairly dark room, so turn off the lights and close the curtains. Manually set your flashgun to 1/4 power, take some test shots, then fine-tune the exposure by adjusting the aperture to darken or brighten the image.