The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘WD-H58 Wide Converter

Rounding out the Philippines

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Adventurer Jo!

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been back in Korea for two weeks! Time really flies when you’re working 12-hour days during the summer intensive season. That being said, I’ve been spending a lot of my downtime working on the Philippine Travel videos. Today, I present the last in the series: Corregidor: Day Two.

As I noted in another post, this was by far the best day. Hiring the driver and getting a more personalized tour really made the experience for us. In this video, you can also see Jo ziplining down to the beach, which was so much fun.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my travel videos. It really means a lot. I simply enjoy making them and look forward to making more and more travel-vlogs and travel-shows in the future.

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Corregidor at Night

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The evening adventure package was amazing. Starting off with a walk through the historic Army Post hospital, the tour then takes you to Top Side and an unimpeded view of Manila Bay for one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen. Then we were off to explore Malinta Tunnel. Walking through its network of tunnels was amazing!

Corregidor: Day One Video

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Jo, Little T, and I ventured out from Manila to the island fortress of Corregidor. We spent two days exploring this incredible destination, filled with history, here are a few of the day one highlights.

The Bataan Death March

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For the United States, World War II started on December 7th, 1941 with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. What many don’t realize that the Japanese launched simultaneous attacks around the Pacific in near unison.
The Philippines, a territory of the United States since 1898, were under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. He was tasked with preparing the islands should Japan attack. As much as he did, Japanese forces quickly overran defenses and US and Filipino armies retreated to the Bataan Peninsula.

Here, the combined might of the US and Filipino armies held off the Imperial forces of Japan until April 1942. Once General King surrendered, those that remained alive were forced to march more than 100km in what is known as the Bataan Death March.

My Great Uncle was stationed here prior to World War II and survived the march. Join me in this special QiRanger Adventure as Jo and I travel to Bataan. We start off at Mariveles, the sight of the first of two 00km Death March markers and make our way through the peninsula all the way to Tarlac and Camp O’Donnell.

Wongudan: Korea’s Temple of Heaven

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Wongudan Altar

The World Cup is over and Spain has claimed victory. I know it seems like a strange way to introduce this entry, but the World Cup played a major part in me discovering this hidden gem in the center of Seoul.

It was late in the afternoon, and after spending a few hours on the lawn of Seoul Plaza, I needed to empty my bladder. Seeing that most of the port-o-johns were occupied, I opted to cross the busy street. Upon doing so, something caught my eye: a large temple gate. I quickly debated on whether or not to continue my current mission, or take a side trip. Since I knew the gate wasn’t going anywhere, I decided to move forward with the public restroom.

Once my business was done, I inspected the gate and learned a little bit of history. As someone who’s traveled around Seoul quite a bit, I’ve never seen anything describing this, especially since it’s located directly across from Deoksugung.

What’s even more amazing, is that this treasure is on the grounds of the Westin Chosun Hotel. That makes it a nice and quiet alternative to some of the other sights in Seoul.

Wongudan is Korea’s Temple of Heaven. An altar used for ritual rights to ensure a bountiful harvest. The practice of these sacrifices dates back to the Joseon Dynasty, but ceased as China and Korea developed close ties. When King Gojong declared independence from China and set himself up as Emperor of the Daehan Empire, he created this altar in the image of Beijing’s Temple.

The grounds of the altar are a stark contrast to the highrise buildings that surround the quiet garden. That being said, visitors are treated to a fantastic experience. You can enter from Seoul Plaza or the Westin Chosun Hotel. What I fond interesting, was that the main entrance to the actual Temple was a small side gate, while the main, ceremonial gate, can no longer be used to gain access. (You can still step down and walk through and photograph this area though.)

The base and grounds of Wongudan are guarded by mythical haetae. Unfortunately, these fire-eating beasts weren’t able to protect the structure when Japan annexed Korea in the early 20th Century. However, the present three-story sanctuary is beautiful and well worth the few extra minutes for a visit. If you’re a photographer, you’ll have many chances to get some fantastic shots of the plethora of haetae that cover the grounds.

I think that this is probably one of the more memorable sights in Seoul, because so few people know about it. You can literally have the entire place to yourself. It made the experience, that much more special, since I could take my time and not have to worry about blocking someone’s view or getting in the way of a picture. It does present a problem though… no one to take your picture!

For the travel documentary, check out my video on YouTube!

Little Travellers’ Seoul Scavenger Hunt

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Founded in 2005, Little Travellers assists the Hillcrest HIV/AIDS Center in South Africa. The Korean chapter held an exciting scavenger hunt in Seoul on July 10th to help raise funds. I teamed up with “Chris in South Korea” to tackle from of the more difficult tasks. It was an amazing day and we met some great people along the way.

Travel Videos: The Camera

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The Canon HFS11

Back in the US, there’s a little thing taking place this weekend called VidCon. It’s a conference, unlike any other YouTube gathering in the past, because it isn’t a gathering. It’s a professional development conference designed to help YouTubers make it big online. While I’m not big by any means, I do get a lot of questions regarding how I make my travel videos. So I thought I’d begin a new weekly series explaining the process.

The first in the series, as you can no doubt tell by the title, is about cameras.

I think of of the pitfalls people get into when they decide to make travel blogs or travel videos, is that they go out and spend a lot of money on a camera. I cannot more strongly disagree with that line of thinking. Sure, the better the camera, the more features and better the images will be. However, that doesn’t translate to having better content.

Really spend the time getting to know your camera. Changing the white balance, shooting settings, and other features may take time to learn, but in the long run, can make a huge difference in the product you produce. I’ve shot videos with my Canon HFS11 and my point-and-shoot camera. Both produce great videos. Only invest in a high-end camera when you want to take your production “to the next level.” That means, you want to be semi-pro. If you’re shooting videos to chronicle your trip, there’s no need for a $1500 camera. A regular camera will do.

Probably one of the most important thing to keep in mind when selecting a camera to shoot with is the filming rate. HD is all the rage these days, but isn’t a necessity. Choose a resolution that’s at least 640×480 and at least 30 frames per second (fps). This is key, since less than 30fps makes things a little hard to see when you’re moving the camera around. (Note: PAL is 25fps and Cinema is 24fps.)

If you do buy a regular camcorder, you may want to invest in a wide angle lens down the road. While these new HD cameras are great, sometimes shooting up close is quite difficult. for example, even with my long arms, it’s tough getting my face in-frame without a wide angle lens adapter.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comment section below and I’ll be happy to address them. I will not comment on brand recommendations, however. Most cameras will do the trick for everyday travel videos, and if you have specific questions about a model you’re interested in, I’m sure you this has the answer you’re looking for! That being said, if you have specific questions about the Canon HFS11, I’d be happy to discuss my experiences with it.

Next Week: Music

Written by Steve Miller

July 10, 2010 at 7:33 am