"Coffee should be black as the night, and bitter as life."

Hebrew saying

My friend Noah from Israel taught me this wonderful expression. To say it in Hebrew:

“Cafe tsarikh liot shakhor kmo Halaila vemar kmo Ha’khaim.”

El Penalty

We couldn’t watch the match on the hostel TV so went to the bar down the road.

Día Siesta, Noche Fiesta

Here’s the playlist for El Alquimista that seemed to go down so well…

W x

"Art is about being close to people, celebrity is about being distant."

Leandro Firmino (Brazilian actor)

City of God, 10 years on.

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

Thomas Jefferson

Tone Of Arc – Soundsail (Deniz Kurtel Remix)

This song came up in Hot Since 82′s superb End of the Night Jams playlist on Soundcloud.

Melancholic, but agreeably so.

Playa del Ritmo

I’ve been staying at the most incredible hostel for the last few days and made this timelapse video for them.

The place is called Playa del Ritmo and it’s just outside Santa Marta.

Private beach (so no hassle from hawkers), great people and lots of space to breathe.

$25 000 (£9) for a dorm bed.

www.playadelritmo.com

(In case you were wondering, the song is the wonderful Barker & Baumbecker remix of Elliptic by Vessels)

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4 Steps to Better Photos

Here’s four quick and easy tips that will make a huge difference to your photo albums:

1. Cut the bad photos

Go through all your photos and delete the bad ones. And be ruthless.

It may be difficult to murder your darlings, but focusing on quality rather than quantity makes an immeasurable difference.

Bad photos will dilute the rest of your work. Delete them.

Five photos of the same thing? Delete four.

An example: I took 500 photos at Carnaval, of which only 100 made the final album. This means I took 400 rubbish photos. (It’s OK to admit you’ve taken a crap photo.)

2. Crop average photos

Very few photos will be perfectly cropped as they are captured.

Lots of bad looking photos can be cropped to focus on important elements / remove distracting ones, accentuate a panorama, or even emphasise direction of movement.

It’s an easy trick to pull off and can bring out the best in an average photo.

For help with cropping, check out the Rule of Thirds.

These example photos have been cropped to more panoramic proportions, which removes the unnecessary above/below parts to focus on the subject and accentuate the wideness of the street:

Cumbia dancers at Carnaval in Barranquilla, Colombia

Carnavaaaaaal! 

 3. Turn off the flash

You can often get much more interesting photos using the ambient light of your surroundings (e.g. in a club).

Flashes are, in general, overly harsh and ruin photos, so should be used sparingly and only when necessary.

Plus, in a smoky club, the flash will usually just deflect off the smoke.

Examples shots that would have been ruined by a flash (taken with an iPhone 4):

Mum and Dad in Ibiza.

My favourite DJ, Kristian from Âme, playing in Ibiza.

4. Try black & white

It may seem a little pretentious, but a lot of uninteresting portrait photos can be improved simply by converting them to black & white.

This makes the viewer primarily focus on form, rather than content, and can sometimes produce a compelling chiaroscuro effect.

Examples:

My friend Henry in Paris

 

My brother Tom in Ibiza.

That’s it – feel free to ask me any questions!

 

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Carnival in Barranquilla

If you can’t afford Carnaval in Rio, get yourself to Barranquilla in Colombia, because it hosts the largest one outside of Brazil.

Five days of relentless carnage with foam shot out of spray cans, corn starch rubbed in your face, and a surfeit of aguardiente.

The best dancing I have ever seen and a city flooded with happiness.

Essentially: a crash course in how to be a Colombian.

As the pictures illustrate, the GoPro also came into its own once again.


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