Category Archives: Tips And Guides

How To Shoot Great Photos With Just Your Smarthphone

I admit I love sharing pictures when I’m on a trip, and I honestly can say I got pretty good at shooting. That might be the reason why the thing I’m asked the most every time I get back from a travel is “how did you manage to take those pictures?!”, followed by a great deal of compliments.

They’re really good pictures. But I’m not a photographer at all. I don’t even have a reflex camera so I’m guessing they won’t pass an exam of a professional eye. Still, the result I’ve learned to achieve is pretty awesome. And I want you to know what you could do with just a good smartphone and a couple of cheap tools.

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#london #uk #trafalgarsquare

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Some of them I’m really proud of. I usually respond to that frequent question with a “it’s professional secret”, but I’m not that jealous so I thought it might be cool writing an article about how to do it and give you some suggestions.

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#lagrange #texas

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Well, everything started when I got back to solo travels after a couple of years traveling with my ex. I got tired of asking people to shoot pictures of me in front of the landmarks around the world, and even more frustrated by the results. I got something good from time to time putting my smartphone on every place I could think of, and turning on the self-timer. But that was too laborious. Too much time wasted trying to get the smartphone balanced over a rock or something.

Then I came up with this idea, which isn’t revolutionary at all, yet I don’t see many people around equipped like me getting pictures like I do. So here’s what you’re gonna need.

1-A little tripod for smartphones (not a professional and big one, just a very small and possibly flexible one)

2-A bluetooth remote control for smartphone

3-My tricks

The two tools are pretty cheap, I got the following on Amazon for a few euros.

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#atlanta #georgia #peachtreestreet

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Once you got these two essential tools, it’s all in your hand. You just need to find a good spot to place the tripod, possibly in front of a breathtaking landscape, and then it all begins. Begins what?! Well, it begins the part where you may or may not be mistaken for nuts if it happens that someone is seeing you. Because the trick is, you have to walk around or stand in front of the background you want to take the picture of, pretending you’re admiring the landscape, or just moving unaware, or whatever, while with your hand you keep on pushing the button of the remote control, taking something like 20 shots, very very randomly. Afterward, you’re going to check them all, and with your surprise you’re gonna find a couple or more of impressive shots, apparently taken by someone who was shooting pictures of you while you weren’t aware. You delete all the rest and you’re good to go for a new place to visit. Seriously, this is gonna blow your mind. I had friends of mine who thought I had someone following me to take those pictures.

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#magazinestreet #neworleans #louisiana

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#us #nyc #newyork #brooklyn #coneyisland

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So that’s the trick. As for other general advices, being the tripod very small I put it on the ground very often and I came to appreciate the angle that kind of shot can give you. Like the ones below.

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#nyc #westvillage #bleeckerstreet #us

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#sanantonio #spanishgovernorspalace

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Last but not least, the only two apps I use to improve my already good pictures. One of course is Instagram. Everybody knows it and it’s not too complicated to use its filters and little adjustments. The second one is Snapseed, an app I found sometime ago and find very interesting to use since it got a couple of filters I like you can’t find on Instagram.

This is pretty much it guys. So if you’re tired of the usual shots you come back from a travel with, I suggest you give my tricks a try and let me know how it goes. Specially if you travel alone, it might be very gratifying. As long as nobody mistakes you for nuts…But then again, if you got excelent results, who cares?!

Oh yeah, while you do this, keep an eye on your smartphone. I don’t want you to blame me if somebody passes and steals it while you’re looking somwhere else!


Rome At Night (According To My New Smartphone)


Well, I gotta say I’ve been a little busy lately. I’m getting ready for my next vacation so I had things to do and less time to write. One of the those things was changing my smartphone. Which in my case, like any other purchase, means days of studying on the Internet, about any aspect of it. I wouldn’t say I’m a geek, not even close. But when it comes to technology, I can tell I have some knowledge and I like it very much.

So it was time for a change and for my old pal, a white pearl Samsung Galaxy S4, to retire. Being a traveler, a photo camera is something I would never renounce to bring with me. I like taking pictures. But I’m not a photographer then I do not have a professional camera. I guess I have to many other interests to include also this one. Besides, I like traveling light. I don’t even use to bring an umbrella when it rains. I couldn’t imagine bringing with me a bag with a professional camera and all the tools, while hanging out in the places I visit. Way more convenient a smartphone for me. And I adore convenience.

The S4 was the first smartphone I used to replace a real photo camera during my trips. Before that I went around with a compact Nikon coolpix S1, which I have to say was nothing compared to the S4. That phone gave me great satisfaction. Basically every picture that is on this blog was taken with it. The only flaw I could tell it has, is the complete lack of capacity to take pictures at night.

But as you know, technology is always evolving, so when it came to choose my new phone, I went for the best. Then I got the new Samsung Note 5. I’m not reviewing this phone because this isn’t a technology blog and I don’t have the skills to do it, but I wanted to show the first pictures I took here in Rome, around the city.


I mean, I knew it was good but I was really surprised by the results. Needless to say I’m very happy about my new toy. I didn’t think a simple smartphone, as good as it was, was capable to capture those kind of pictures.


Bottom line here, now I’m very excited and looking forward to the next month when I’ll be in New York, ready to capture all its lights, through the lense of my Note 5.

In the meanwhile, I’m having fun trying my phone here. It got tons of options, but like I read in the reviews on the Internet, the auto setting is just perfect. You just have to aim and shoot. I already had a great deal of pictures of my city, but not even a decent one at night. Time to begin to shoot something different then. And you know, Rome is beautiful, but it’s at night that she really amazes you.




John Reese

City Bike Deal – How To Best Live Your City

2015-07-09 16.57.20

The first thing I wanna say is, I hate pedaling. And I hate bikers. I guess it’s because I’m a city guy and I don’t particularly like the country. Plus, I got a bunch of colleagues whose fondness of bicycles and the rides they take and speak of all the time, makes me sick. That’s why it’s so surprising I got a bike now. Even more, that I love it. Continue reading

Street Art In Rome – Quadraro Edition

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I admit I’m not an expert when it comes to street art. Nor good judge. I don’t have the expertise to tell if a painting on a wall of a run down building is well done, excellent or simply a sketch by a not talented wannabe street artist. I’ll just say one simple thing. I like it. Continue reading

Best 7 Hostels I’ve Ever Seen


I’ve been traveling for quite a while, and during my trips I got to stay in a lot of hostels. I really like them. I’d say is mandatory staying at hostels if you’re traveling alone. It’s the cheapest accommodation you can find. Besides, there isn’t a better place to meet people when you’re traveling. Sharing a room in a dormitory, is the easiest way to get to know other travelers, who usually travel alone like you. Meaning a lot of interests in common, a lot to share, and the chance to make friends. Continue reading

Rome Panoramic Views (Zodiaco vs Gianicolo)

2015-07-09 16.59.49

It’s finally coming the moment I’ll be traveling again. But in the meanwhile, I’m enjoying my city like I’ve never done. And not because there are still things I’ve never seen or visited yet, but because for the first time in my life I’m seeing them all from a different perspective. From the saddle of my new city bike. It’s been already a month that I got it, and I have to say, I’m filling my soul with joy and marvel while riding along this wonderful city among such a beauty. Continue reading

Travels And Movies


Here’s a thing about myself you probably know already if you follow my blog. I like movies. I’m a kind of professional movie and TV series watcher. I mean I’m a machine. During the regular season, which is basically when I’m not abroad, which is the major part of my time having to attend a regular daytime job, which ins’t fun, I can watch on average 3/4 movies and decades of TV series episodes a week.

How does this fit in with travels?! I say it does. Let’s see. Continue reading


Non tornare come sei partito. Torna diverso.


by Elenalucia

viviana vialetto

travel . learn . share


Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry. -Jack Kerouak

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