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The East African : Jan 14th 2017
II MAGAZINE FREQUENT FLYER VACATION SCENES How to take photos worthy of the trip You could lose the souveniors you buy when you go on vacation, but the pictures you take from your trips will last forever, says travel photographer Natalie Amrossi. A brand ambassador for the camera company Canon, Amrossi has a portfolio of travel shots from more than 50 countries. “Travel pictures instantly transport you back to those destinations and evoke the good times you had,” she said. Fear not, inexperienced photographers — you can take great pictures even if you’re not a pro. Here, Amrossi tells you how: — No fancy camera required: You don’t need highpriced equipment to get memorable shots. Though the one on your smartphone is perfectly acceptable, a good camera that costs as little as $100 is a worthwhile investment because the images will be sharper and of better quality. Look for a camera that’s compact and easy to travel with, that can zoom in and out and that has Wi-Fi capability, a feature that lets you transfer your shots to your mobile device and instantly share with friends and family. — Keep a shot list: Before you go, make a list of the images that you’d like to capture on your trip and include the time of day — such as the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, at sunrise. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed by everything you’re seeing, and a list helps you make sure that you don’t miss any pictures you want,” Amrossi said. But don’t include only popular sites on it — aiming for less touristy pictures such as some from a residential neighbourhood in a big city is a creative way to capture a sense of place. — Go for sunrise and sunset shots: Show off your destination in opposite ways — sunrise images usually mean limited crowds and capturing the solace of where you are; sunset shots, on the other hand, present an opportunity to reflect the pulse of your destination. — Be spontaneous: While some planning is a good idea when it comes to vacation pictures, don’t script all of your images — shooting anything that appeals to you while you’re exploring, whether it’s a pretty flower or local residents conversing at a sidewalk cafe, can also lead to album-worthy photography. — Experiment with angles: Viewing popular attractions from aerial and low perspectives, said Amrossi, can make for unique images. If shooting the Eiffel Tower, for example, consider taking the pictures from a rooftop nearby or the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Angle shots, she said, “are fun ways to interpret touristy sites. - New York Times The EastAfrican JANUARY 14ò20,2017 SIDE EFFECTS: While the eating habits of flyers remains a mixed basket, it is not until the duty-free trolley comes rolling down the aisle that the full extent of the motives behind inflight buying behaviour are revealed Michael Otieno, Special Correspondent I ended my 2016 flying activities just 4,000 miles shy of the 200,000 frequent flyer miles mark. That’s an average of 3,700 miles a week. At this rate, I am well on the way to achieving the coveted “Million Miler” status that rewards members of certain airline alliances for their extraordinary long-term loyalty. When you fly so frequently, tucking away all those flyer miles week on week, there is no excitement in flying anymore except for the possibilities that await at your destination. You can only toy with the inflight enter- tainment, sleep, flip through a book or pretend to be busy at your computer. At some point, you drop the act and open your eyes to the exciting surroundings of the cabin and fellow passengers. Rather than delve into other people’s frightful inflight habits, I took to observing and profiling fellow passengers as a way of passing time. What they read, how they dressed, how much they ate, what they bought, the size of their carry-on luggage among other indicators all told a story about each individual flyer. For instance, you can always tell a newbie on board by how tightly they grip the armrest during takeoff or landing. But even more interesting is how quickly some passengers toss aside the wine or beer and immerse themselves into some sort of prayer at the first sign of turbulence. While the eating habits of flyers remain a mixed basket, it is not until the dutyfree trolley comes rolling down the aisle that the full extent of the motives behind inflight buying behaviour are revealed. My attention gravitates towards the activity around this trolley because there are so many schools of thought on the benefits of inflight duty free offerings. There is always the heavy spender who gets you worried they will buy the entire duty-free offering as they pick different fragrances that end up being packed in different bags — which is no big deal — but you can always tell the cabin crew have been tested to their limits by the time they close the sale. Then there is the whisky connoisseur who cannot seem to make up his mind between a choice of two basic scotch whiskys, which he ends up buying anyway as there is never a very wide variety. God forbid if he opens one of them and starts drinking on board — which is not allowed but which some passengers do anyway, perhaps where the particular drink is not part of the inflight refreshment offering. And as if not to miss the party, there is always that passenger who wants just about anything and everything except what’s contained in the duty-free catalogue. But is inflight duty free shopping worth all the fuss? Most airports, particularly key hubs such as Schiphol, Heathrow, Dubai or O.R Tambo have so much in the way duty-free offerings, wonder what excitement is TO SHOP OR NOT TO SHOP INFLIGHT attached to buying inflight. Besides there are also many cities that- offer commodities discounted way below airline and airport duty free rates. On the flip side, however, it is difficult to overlook the fact that not everyone arrives at the airport with ample time to visit the duty-free shops, and so they resort to inflight buying. And yet some prices on select commodi- ties at certail airport duty-free outlets are more expensive compared with those at retail outlets. A good example is Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport, whose duty-free shops lack variety and often have over-priced items. There is also the point that some inflight duty free items are exclusively available for onboard retail and every now and then you come across irresistible promotions and offers on specific flights. Unfortunately, in this region, airports and airlines are all caught up a in tasteless copy and paste routines with the contents of the catalogues not having evolved much over time. While it is worth noting that most regional airlines now allow the browsing of their duty-free catalogues online and online payments in advance, they all seem to stock from the same supplier. It may be worth inquiring with your air- line of choice to see if you could purchase or book your duty-free wish list and have the items delivered on board. This has the added benefit of having a wider variety to choose from, and perhaps even discounts to boot. Space on an aircraft comes at a pre- mium, and the operators are not afforded the luxury of stocking such a big variety of products, as a normal duty-free shop in the terminal building would. Michael Otieno is an aviation consultant based in Nairobi. Twitter: @pmykee143, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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