I set out to Preserve by Travis W Keyes

"I wanted to experience forever the people and places before me, because I knew they were about to vanish. I wanted to change history and preserve humanity, but in the process, I changed myself and preserved my own."

Thanksgiving in Cuba by Travis W Keyes

want to go to CUBA with me! ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT!!!! I know it has been on my bucket list and as Cuba opens up, it will be changing, so the time is now to go!! So the trip is sponsored through SVA and if you are like "what am I going to do for thanksgiving this year?" What could be better than mojitos and Cuban sandwiches in Havana?? So besides free access to me to ask a million photo questions, my friend and mentor Jaime Permuth will be guiding us around for the week with Alex Garcia . Jamie is a brilliant published photographer and will act as our guide throughout the trip. Alexander Garcia is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer specializing in lifestyle and documentary imagery and will also guide us... Aside from our main destination of Havana, our group takes a day trip to Viñales, one of the most beautiful regions of Cuba. This province is where the best tobacco in the world is grown. We visit an award-winning estate and learn all about tobacco cultivation and cigar manufacturing.

So if you want to have an incredible photography experience in Cuba for a price that is ridiculously great!!!- you need to hook up with these masters of the craft Alex Garcia and Jaime Permuth #svacuba and me!!

 

The next SVA Destinations trip to Cuba is here, Nov 22-29. Apply and join us for a week-long, memorable journey. And no you don't need to be a student just a passion for traveling and seeking adventure!!!
Live link in profile:

http://destinations.sva.edu/digital-photography-in-havana-cuba/

 

Why the Phantom 3 May be my Last DJI Drone by Travis W Keyes

Why the Phantom 3 will be may last dji drone I purchase. I am a professional photographer and love my cameras and the drone is one of my favorite new tools.  I have been a loyal DJI owner since the dji Phantom 1.. Soon after the phantom 2 was released. Instead of getting upset that I had just purchased the 1.. I bought the phantom 2 as well. I loved the 2 it flew out of the box and there were videos and instructions to be found.. So when the new Phantom 3 was announced I was so excited I pre-ordered it as well.. I waited a month and a half and finally received the phantom 3 in the mail.. It looked amazing but came with the most basic instructions that really said nothing.. I looked on the DJI site and it said video and instructions coming soon…. I installed the software on my ipad mini and it would not work. I looked through may forums finally to find out that the software was not compatible yet.. So the new drone sat on my shelf… I checked a couple times to see if the software had been updated but it had not… Finally I just got busy and another week or two went by. I came back to check and was finally able to update the pilot app for the drone.. It was an exciting and very different interface for the drone.. I look for instructions online about the new software but there was nothing yet posted for the phantom 3 yet in the support section of the dji site.  So I did not want to risk crashing my new drone without instructions so back on the shelf the drone went.. It was then I saw DJI was now packaging the Phantom 3 with a spare battery… I was a Loyal 3 time buyer and early adopter… I felt t slighted and could not even order an extra spare battery. I contacted DJi which was not easy.. the online chat just follows a script and is basically useless.. to get someone on the phone is either “we are to busy please try your call again later” or sit on hold for 30 plus minutes.. I wanted to get my drone up but there was no support to be reached… The drone sat on the shelf. I finally saw I could order a second battery and did. It took several weeks to arrive and once it did I figured now was the time to go out and risk figuring out the drone myself and take it up for its first flight. There are no good instructions on or telling you that you must pair the device. So once I went to the forums and figured that out, the software informed me that I needed to update the firmware… well the instructions for that ware ridiculous.. Saying listen for a “beep-beep-beep” once its done which may be 25minutes you will hear a “beep----beep-beep”  well my drone mad constant different beeping sounds then made some chirping and flat lined… I tried it several times and read the install txt report saying each time it failed.. I tried to reach tech support and phone said try to call us back again to busy….Finally after several days I got someone on the phone and they told me the drone sounded bricked and would need to be sent in for repair. I sent it in the next day.  I waited a week and had not heard anything so wanted to check on the status of my RMA.. well back to the endless hell of trying to reach someone. I was finally told It had not been checked into the system yet and once it was it could be six week till I receive it back. I was told if I had returned it within the first 7 days I would have qualified for an expedited repair service.. Well I could not even get the drone up the first several weeks because they did not have the updated app to fly it. So I ordered this drone on April 4 2015.. today is july 20th and I am told I may not have the drone back for 6 weeks.. I have spent $1,428 dollars on a drone that haven’t been in the air once. The truth is the rushed this drone to market and had no support system in place. With so many new drones hitting the Market you may want to think twice on buying one from DJI.. They only have one service center in America and if you are a loyal buyer and purchased directly from DJI you are subject to terrible repair and customer support… It is a shame I was so excited to fly this drone…

EAT.... JUNI by Travis W Keyes

Chef Shaun Hergatt mixes up food that is a visual feast for the eyes, soul and stomach.

     "An intimate affair between the guest and Chef Hergatt, the 50-seat restaurant offers an evolving menu that showcases the bounty of the seasons and ingredients when they are at their freshest and finest. Each element of the unique dining experience is Chef Shaun’s creation, from the restaurant design and tablescape to the composition and presentation of his distinctive dishes." 

There is a new professional digital photo editer in town... by Travis W Keyes

With Adobe Cloud accounts ranging from $9.99 a month to $49.00 a month photoshop and lightroom can be a costly yearly nut.. Well enter Affinity Photo a new professional digital editing software and it is built on all new algorithms and code. This should make the software faster and give the user new options that are not even found in PS yet. The best part is you can get it free HERE right now. The program is in Beta right now and is very stable. The software when released will be in the $50 price point and come with two years of free updates. what are you waiting for? Check it out and let me know what you think.....

A Carry-on to rule them all..... by Travis W Keyes

No one can deny its getting more frustrating to fly. Between what you can carry onto a plane, security and long lines. But for the savvy traveler there is a new bag in town that seems to make travel a bit more enjoyable and secure..  Enter the Blue Smart. A bag with a digital lock, battery charger, location tracing, built in scale, proximity alerts and a trip data app. Oh and it looks cool too. What started with an indiegogo goal to raise 50,000 raised almost 2 million dollars. the suitcase is also TSA, FAA and Dot accepted.

 

 For a very limited time, you can pre-order your Bluesmart carry-on for only $299 (40% off expected retail price). And with my special link you will save $20 on top of that...  Happy Travels!!!!

http://bluesmart.refr.cc/549WSJD

WD My Passport - not ready for prime time by Travis W Keyes

I love playing with new tech but being an earlier adopter can come at a price. I recently picked up the new WD My Passport Wireless 2tb. I had read about it and knew someone that had picked up one before me. A drive that I could connect to wirelessly and had a sd slot to transfer files automatically while I was in the field was something I was very interested in. All its options sound much better than they work in reality. It comes with little documentation and instructions on how to use it. After a bit of tinkering I was able to download the app and figure out its settings. I was out on a shoot and it was time to try it out in a real life setting. I was between shoots and plugged in the SD card for transfer... I waited, waited and waited. The transfer was so slow 25 min later It was still not done and I left it in the car to continue without me. I wish I could say it worked perfectly plugging it in or using it wirelessly. but it just didn't. I decided to give it one more shot and use it just as a backup drive plugged directly into the computer. I transfered 4 days of shoots hard wired into My Macbook and still found it slow. When I returned to my studio and plugged the drive in it was dead. I lost several days of work. Luckily I still had some of the shoots on sd cards. I talked to one of the WD reps at Photo Expo over the weekend and he acknowledged the slow transfer speeds and said it was something they were working on that would be addressed in a future firmware update. Unfortunately this drive is not ready or reliable yet for pro use.

The real "Midnight Express" Billy Hayes by Travis W Keyes

First he wrote the best-selling book, then came the Oscar winning movie. Now Billy Hayes recounts his riveting, epic journey of self-discovery, live on stage. It’s a cautionary, yet uplifting tale of desperation, determination and transformation. In 1970 Billy Hayes was arrested at Istanbul Airport with two kilos of hashish taped to his body. Five years later, he made a brazen escape from prison, rowing 17 miles across a stormy sea in the dead of night. "I’m concentrating on keeping the rhythm, stroking the oars and when I look up I realize I’m past the last of the boats, out of the harbor into the open sea and I’m free!" Billy Hayes

First he wrote the best-selling book, then came the Oscar winning movie. Now Billy Hayes recounts his riveting, epic journey of self-discovery, live on stage. It’s a cautionary, yet uplifting tale of desperation, determination and transformation. In 1970 Billy Hayes was arrested at Istanbul Airport with two kilos of hashish taped to his body. Five years later, he made a brazen escape from prison, rowing 17 miles across a stormy sea in the dead of night.

"I’m concentrating on keeping the rhythm, stroking the oars and when I look up I realize I’m past the last of the boats, out of the harbor into the open sea and I’m free!" Billy Hayes

I have never shared this photo online before...... by Travis W Keyes

I have never shared this photo before online. I have only shown it to a select few. But as I sit here and contemplate this somber day in history..9/11 I have decided to post it... I was in NYC the day the planes hit the towers. Just like everyone, my first reaction was pure disbelief.. My second reaction was I am a New Yorker..Always have been... always will be..no matter where I am, that is who i am. I knew there was no way I could be asked the question "where were you on that day?” and not answer...”helping”. I didn't know how or what I could do...just that I had to be there. I had on a US Federal Agent shirt that A friend on the job had given me. I walked out onto the street on the upper east side. It was still early in the morning and I saw masses of people walking all in one direction..Uptown. I headed like a salmon against the stream downtown.. A police officer noticed me and stopped me. "are you going down?" he asked.. I nodded my head yes. He told me to wait and flagged down a squad car. He looked at me and said "Jump in, let's go." Now I know at this point he was looking at my shirt and assumed I was an agent. I said thank you and jumped in the car. They never asked me if I was an agent. I remember flying down the streets and noticing it had looked like a concert had just gotten out and everyone was just looking for the exit. We arrived down in tribeca, that was as far down as the squad car could make it . I jumped out and the Officer said your guys are over there. I looked over and saw a small group of Federal agents with Machine guns all suited up. My heart sank in a bit of fear now. I said thank you and started to walk in that direction. I grouped with a couple ems medics and walk with them past the Agents to a makeshift triage center. I thought this is where I will stay and help the Injured as they are received..I waited... and waited. No one was being brought to us. People just stood and waited. Not one injured person in 30 min. I decided to venture further in towards the towers. It got more apocalyptic looking by the block. I walked by a statue of a man sitting on a bench covered in grey ash. I was seeing broken windows and debris. I had grown up and spent my life in NY. I was getting disorient and lost. I could not place the familiar that I always looked for while navigating my way around the streets. I kept looking up for the towers but they were not to be seen. I was standing on heaps of twisted metal and ash. It was then I realized I was were the north tower should be. Was this really happening. I grew up in and around those towers. My stepfather had worked on the 100th floor. It was just so surreal. I wanted to let my brother and mother know I was ok and call them. For some strange reason I was able to complete calls. My mother instinctual knew I would be there helping. My brother said he had gone down to help as well. I told him I was on Church street and he said he was too... I replied “I am looking at all of Church street and I don’t see you anywhere” It was not till later I realized I did not see my brother was because the two buildings had com down and engulfed Church st. I stood on the west side and my brother stood on the east side. We were both down there almost 30 hours and never saw each other. I remember a fireman approaching me and asking if he could borrow my phone...his was not working. “ Hello Mom? Its Johnny...mike... hes gone...hes gone mom...” I stood shocked as he handed me back the phone and thanked me.. He had lost a brother and was thanking me.....He didn’t skip a beat and headed straight back to work. I quickly set out to help these Emergency workers in any way I could. The picture I posted, I did not see till a week after the attack. I was in grand central and had bought US Weekly and stumbled across the picture. A reporter there saw me and must of noticed my reaction because she came right over to ask me about it. We talked for a bit and I showed her the picture. She interviewed me and I remember telling her how amazing all the people in New York were. How strong and resilient. How they pulled together. For a brief time everyone stopped seeing color or social status..They would just look each other in the eye and ask “are you OK?” I remember saying I hope at the very least we remember that..and it does not take a horrific event for us to always treat each other with such compassion and grace. I still struggle with the moments from that day and all I saw. I could not believe that these two massive buildings had come down and not once did I ever see a desk.. a phone..a toilet.. it had all been reduced to metal.. rubble... ash. I remember uncovering a body. It looked like the pictures I saw as a child of the bodies found in Pompeii. He was strangely peaceful.. covered in gray ash. I remember seeing his perfect black eyelashes and eyebrows.. These are just a few of my memories from that day.. A day that has forever affected my life and outlook. My heart goes out to anyone and everyone that lost so dearly on that day. But remember how strong we are together and what we can accomplish together. Now look at the picture.. The man circled is me....

 

Travis W Keyes

Goodbye Summer... by Travis W Keyes

Photography by Travis W Keyes Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean the end of summer and lead us to the autumnal equinox on September 22 (EDT). Latin for equal night, the equinox occurs twice a year when the sun crosses the equator, creating roughly twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of night.  

Photography by Travis W Keyes

Shorter days and cooler temperatures mean the end of summer and lead us to the autumnal equinox on September 22 (EDT). Latin for equal night, the equinox occurs twice a year when the sun crosses the equator, creating roughly twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of night.