Sandbox Photography

One Travel Photo — Two Looks

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Featured, Prague Sandbox, Sandbox Photography, Uncategorized | 10 comments

Okay some people looking at these two photos might say these are flower photos, not travel. Well, yes and no. I took the shots when I was in Prague (you’ll have to take my word on this), so I think maybe they are traveling flowers. Now I’m just being silly. Whatever they are, I did take the original shot in Prague.

What I want to show you is how a little bit of Photoshop can noticeably change a photo. I recently bought Photoshop Elements 10, which is a huge leap from my Elements 6. Now, I don’t do a huge amount of post processing, usually just cropping and bumping up the color if needed. However, sometimes it is fun to fool around.

The original shot from the camera…NO PROCESSING. 

Day Lilly -- Original Photo


The shot — post processing

Day Lilly 2 ---Edited


I like both versions, but do prefer one over the other. Do you have a preference?


What did I do you ask?

Well, in Photoshop Elements 10 you can do quick/processing editing directly from the organizer, and with the click of a few buttons. The nice thing is, you see the changes immediately, and if you don’t like what you see you can revert your photo back to the original. I edited this shot in under one minute.

Which buttons did I press, you ask? First…Auto Smart Fix; Second…Auto Color; Third…Improved Tonal Range ; Fourth… Auto Contras; Fifth…Enhance Details

For me this a quick, fun way to see what a photo will look like with a bit of post processing.

Do you edit your photos, or publish straight from the camera?


If you are ever in Prague in the spring or summer, don’t miss all the lovely flowers in bloom around the Prague Castle area. The Royal Gardens (free to enter) are particularly nice.


This is my 6th post of my personal challenge “Publish a post every second day in August”.

For those who missed the previous post…In Celebration of World Elephant Day.


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Capture the Color: Travel Photo Contest

Posted by on Aug 3, 2012 in Sandbox Photography, Uncategorized | 17 comments

The photo contest, Capture the Color, currently being run by Travel Supermarkets, is a fun opportunity for travel bloggers to show off their use of color; red, green, blue, white, yellow. Of course, there is also the lure of the great prizes being offered, including Ipads and some serious travel cash; YES CASH! A big thank you to Mary from The World Is a Book for nominating Budget Travelers Sandbox.

I’ve had a fun few days browsing through thousands of my travel photos and none of my final selections were easy decisions. I wanted each photo to not only represent the color, but to tell a story. Here are my choices… (Click on any of the photos to view a larger version.)


Lady in Red

I waffled for a long time on this one, and finally decided on this Cambodian lady with her red Khymer scarf. Cambodia is a hot, dusty country and these scarves are a part of every Cambodian’s wardrobe. Her red scarf set her a part from the rest of the road crew on this blistering, dusty day in downtown Siem Reep. Look at the weariness on her face. Probably etched there from so many years of back breaking work; how many I wondered? and for what small amount of money to help her family survive? Those questions ran through my mind that day, and once again I realized how LUCKY I am…

Female Road Worker wearing Khymer Scarf (PTD Dec. 19/06)


Chili Madness (Myung Mai Market, Chiang Mai)

A traveler in Thailand can spend their time enjoying the fantastic food offerings, complete with famous Thai Chilies, or trying to avoid their heat. Me? I say bring them on!; the spicier the better. I have “cried” my way through many a plate of Thai food one green (or sometimes) red chili at a time, savoring every bite…

Chili Madness in the Market -- Chiang Mai, Thailand


Mabul Island’s “Blues”

Lying off the coastal town of Semporna, in Maylaysia’s Borneo, the island of Mabul is only moments away from some of the worlds best diving and snorkeling. The island itself is home to several five star resorts, but there is also its ordinary side…populated by ordinary folk trying to make a living. The boat surrounded by the beautiful blue in this photo is ordinary; nothing flashy about it. To me, it looks like it could be used to take tourists out for the day, or maybe fishing. I wonder….



Balinese Offerings

The Balinese live their culture. Rarely a day goes by that offerings are not being made to the gods. In fact, you will Canang Sari everywhere. Owners bless their businesses and place to these offerings to the gods everyday before they open their doors. Many find their way into temples, as in this photo. I think the yellow of the Canang Sari gives a nice warmth to this shot.

Bali Offerings


Beating the Heat in Budapest

I trolled the streets of Budapest last month in 40 degree heat (Celsius). I stumbled upon this fountain flowing with jets of white, cool, refreshing water. The kids were having a blast, and the adults looked relaxed too!

Beating the heat in Budapest

Thanks for dropping by. If you have a moment, please leave a comment. Which is your favorite of the five?

Opps…I almost forgot. I have to nominate five other travel bloggers. My nominations are…

More Kids Than Suitcases

The Travel Gal

In A Cents

Beyond My Front Door


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(This is also the second post of my own personal challenge “Publish a Post Every Second Day in August.)

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Travel Photo Thursday, March 17, 2011–The Great Torii, Miyajima Island, Japan

Posted by on Mar 17, 2011 in Sandbox Photography, Travel Photo Thursday, Uncategorized | 20 comments

Thursday has arrived, and it’s time for TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY. Since last week most of us have been caught up in the tragic earthquake in Japan. I actually learned about the quake on Saturday morning. I opened my email and had a message from my niece in Canada saying that they had heard about the quake, and was I okay. My immediate reaction was what quake, and I went searching on the Internet. My satellite TV was still out, so I couldn’t check BBC or CNN. You could have blown me over with a feather. Of course, now here in Korea a lot of us are wondering how the nuclear disaster will affect us here. I was talking to a Korean friend, and he says that the government is saying there is no need to worry. Time will tell. My thoughts are with the people of Japan during this tragic time.

To join in the fun simply post a photo on your blog. Return here and place your link in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post. Please remember to leave a comment after you link. Finally, if you have a few moments, visit the others who have linked. Perhaps you can give them a tweet, a stumble, or a comment on their TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY.

If you do tweet a shot, please use the hashtag #TPThursday.

I traveled in Japan last summer and loved every moment. One of my favorite places was Miyajima Island, an easy day trip from Hiroshima. My photo this is week is The Great Torii (Shinto gate, the sea entrance to Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima. The Torii is a symbol that the entire island is sacred. You won’t find any maternity wards, or cemeteries here. Giving birth or dieing is not permitted on the island. A Torii has looked over the island since the 12th century. The current 50 foot (16m) Torii was built in 1875.

(Click on the photo to view a larger version)

The Great Torii...Miyajima Island, Japan

A train from Hiroshima Station and a short ferry ride will deposit you on this gem of an island in a little over an hour. Getting there will not break your budget. I bought an all inclusive ticket for well under 1000yen. There is nothing else to buy, except lunch. Of course, if you’re a shopper you might find a trinket or two in the souvenir shops. This is a great day trip for any budget traveler.

You can check out this site to learn more about this beautiful island.

Miyajima Island


Things To Do on raveable

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Penang’s Georgetown– A Budget Travelers Dream Town

Posted by on Jan 25, 2011 in Malaysia Sandbox, Sandbox Photography, StumbleUpon Sandbox, Uncategorized | 7 comments

Good memories of a previous visit to historic Penang prompted me to stop there on my way to Bangkok. After thirteen hours of chugging along on a train I was ready to find my street legs again.

I had a great nights sleep at the historic Red Inn on Georgetown’s Love Lane. Their breakfast of delicious local food gave me the energy to do one of my favorite things….walk. I grabbed an excellent brochure from the lobby… “Traditional Trades & Foods of George Town” (Self-Guided Walks).

Red Inn

My first stop was at Mr. Lee’s joss stick making shop. He hand makes several hundred of these a day. They are purchased by Taoists to use for worship at home and at the temple.

Joss Stick Maker

Before stopping to see the flower garland weavers I dropped into the Kuan Yin Temple next door. Commonly known as the Temple of the Goddess of Mercy, it’s believed to be the oldest temple in Penang. Being the 15th of the month, the temple was extremely busy with worshipers lighting incense and praying to the gods. I love the huge pink joss sticks that they burn at the entrance.

Kuan Yin Temple


Kuan Yin Temple

Then, it was next door to watch the flower garland weavers create their magic from beautiful fresh flowers. I was amazed at the speed that this weaver worked. In the ten minutes or so that I watched he easily finished three garlands.

Flower Weaver


Flower Garlands


Flower Garlands

Have you ever wondered about those “funny” black hats worn by Muslim men. Well, they’re called Songkok and Haja Mchidin is a second generation songkok maker. He can complete one songkok in about two hours.

Songkok Maker


Songkok Maker



At 165 Lebuh Chulia the bertram blind weaver was busy varnishing a newly completed blind. Like the songkok maker, he is the second generation of his family to produce these blinds. They are handwoven from the stem of the bertram palm, and protect store fronts from the sun and rain. You will see them everywhere in Penang.

Bertram Blind Maker

My next to last stop was the “Cotton Bedding Maker”. Mr. Ong has been making bedding from his store front for the past 60 years. His bedding is stuffed with kapok (Java cotton), which is the local secret for a good nights sleep in the local tropics. I wonder if this is the secret to his longevity?

Penang Blanket Maker

Finally, I headed over to see Auntie Sim the local fortune teller. She is easy to find at stall 20 on the corner of Lebuh Chulia and Jalan Masjid Kaptan Keling. She’s advertised as one of the last “sidewalk fortune tellers” in Penang. For 20 MYR (Malaysian Ringatts; roughly $6US)) she read my palms and my face. Like most good fortune tellers she didn’t tell me anything to worry about. Apparently, I have a lot of years left in me, and I am going to be prosperous (hope that happens soon!). Of course, as Auntie Sim mentioned several times…”It’s all up to you (me).”

Auntie Sim

A walk around Georgetown wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the local street food. I have to say it was a scorcher of a day, and my appetite had vanished with the heat. However, I couldn’t resist sampling an onion baji (the one in the front). OUTSTANDING! ……

Onion Baji

All of these crafts people have their shops in or around Little India, and with a map are very easy to find. This is an economical and fun day for any budget traveler. I spent less than $7US, and most of that went to Auntie Sim.

I booked the Red Inn through Hostel World , and highly recommend it. My room was clean and comfortable. I really enjoyed the breakfast of local food. Finally, you can’t beat the location.

Love Lane


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Travel Photo Thursday — December 17, 2010

Posted by on Dec 16, 2010 in Sandbox Photography, Travel Photo Thursday, Uncategorized | 17 comments

Last week saw the introduction of a new weekly feature here at Budget Travelers Sandbox; TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY. If you haven’t seen last week photos, you can check them out here.

Like last week, simply add a TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY post to your blog. Then, add your  link to the Mr Linky box at the end of this post. After you post do remember to leave a comment. Also, be sure to visit and comment on the photos from the other TRAVEL PHOTO THURSDAY bloggers.

When you are tweeting any of  the entries please use the hashtag #TPThursday.

Since I am hitting the road tomorrow, I think this is the perfect shot for this week.

In this shot my buddy Rudolph is bidding me Merry Christmas and farewell as I take off on my winter travels.  Rudolph will be  63 years old this Christmas. He was purchased for my oldest brother’s first Christmas. The last time I was home my Dad gave him to me, and he’s been living with me here in Korea ever since. Believe it or not, he still plays that famous song. Come on, sing it! I can hear you all HUMMING.………………………

(Click on the shot to view a larger version.)


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Through the Sandbox Lens #20 — Nighttime Ginza

Posted by on Dec 5, 2010 in Sandbox Photography, Through the Sandbox Lens, Uncategorized | 15 comments

Tokyo’s Ginza may not be a shopping mecca for budget travelers. However, it costs absolutely squat to go there and take some great photos. One of the best times of the day for photography is in the early evening. The lighting makes the all ready fantastic architecture even more outstanding. The Ginza is easily accessible by Tokyo’s excellent subway system.

(To view a larger version click on the photo.)

Tokyo's Ginza at Night

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