China Instagram Highlights

China Instagram Highlights

with No Comments

As with all my trips I captured a lot of the people, places and moments whilst working in China. There’s nothing I enjoy more than giving others a glimpse into daily life whilst I travel. My chosen platform is always Instagram and with this post I thought I’d round up my favourite posts from my time in China. It was hard to choose a few for this post, so if you want to see more remember to check my Instagram for more! If you’d like to read more about my time in China then read this post on Shanghai and here for Beijing.

The neon lights in East Nanjing make walking around a sightseeing adventure of their own ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป#streetart

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

Amazing views seen from The Bund at night. Need to find somewhere high up for the next shot #shanghaicity

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

Best part of going somewhere new is going off the beaten track. There are so many little alleys, streets and corners of the city to see #localspot

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

Orderly chaos in the backstreets of the city #exploreshanghai #chinagram

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

Sitting, waiting and thinking #peopleofshanghai

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

#templeart #goldenbuddha

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

‘Three’s a crowd’ #shanghai #peopleofshanghai

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

#peopleofbeijing #beijing ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

The Chinese dragon is a symbol of imperial authority and people rub the dragon heads for luck ๐Ÿ‰ #chineseculture #chinesedragon #beijing

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

Hidden places walking through the famous hutongs of the capital ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ #streetshots #chinatravel

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

#streettour #peopleofbeijing ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

Being in a new place allows you to look at things from different angles. Creativity is contagious, pass it on #nightphoto #chinesestyle

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

New post on #Beijing is up on the blog *link in bio* #chinatravel

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

Last full week in #Shanghai and I’m making sure I explore as much as possible #cityviews

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

2 days worth of climbing steps to reach the top was well worth it ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿปfresh air, sunshine and natural beauty #yellowmountains #chinatravel

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on

๐Ÿ—บ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป#landscapehunter #viewsfordays

A post shared by Jack โœˆ๏ธ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ‘Œ (@gunns_travels) on


Facebookย |ย Twitterย |ย Instagramย |ย Youtube

Travel. Create, Be Nice!

SaveSave

SaveSave

Namaste Jack Uncle | Travel Talk

Namaste Jack Uncle | Travel Talk

with No Comments

“Namaste Jack Uncle” is what I would hear all the time on a daily basis. The kids here are among the happiest kids I’ve met and so content with so little. I was expecting it to be at least a week before they opened up to me and talked. Not at all, within the first few hours I had kids hanging from me like monkeys. I’ve gotten to know alot of them and kept findingย myself anxiously waiting all day for the kids to come back from school so we couldย play and do chores!

the school run #nepal #ivhq2014 #chito

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

get to wake up to this everyday #nepal #travels #nature

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

so much red #shrine #nepal #temple #travelling

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

I sought out a tatooist while I was there. I now have arms full of snakes, cats, a house and some mountains. Little rahul is quite the artist. We tookย the kids to the temple and had a picnic one of the days which was more of a mission than it may sound at first. I went into town with our host sister Saroza to stock up on momos (kind of nepali dumplings if you will – a favourite amongst the children and myself!), we then took a taxi up the mountain which sounds impressive but then if you throw in the fact that Nepal has no real ‘roads’ so the path up the mountain was a little rocky – an even more impressive feat for the taxi driver. As well as this we took huge speaker amps up so we could have music to dance too and marched 21 kids up a to the top of a mountain. It was well worth it and I think I was way more excited than the children! Over the duration of my stay we had various volunteers from different countries come stay and the orphanage was as busy as ever. I went to the old city of Bhaktapur and got the chance to see the Gai Jatra festival. Everyone dresses up and its a pretty great atmosphere. It was a hive of dancing and stick clapping. The old city is quite amazing with lots of old temples and architecture. It’s pretty impressive. Overtime I went down to the old city I felt a sense of ancient history and awe at the buildings around me.

Bhakatapur festival #temple #nepal #rammedro #partytime

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

I also witnessed the birth of a baby calf on the farm. Just as we were leaving to go back one evening one of the mothers came shouting saying the gai (cow) was having a baby. We stayed and watched and it was incredible to see so close. We now have baby wally to add to the family. Just a typical day in the life of a volunteer.

Rohan and ‘wally’; the new addition to the fam #nepal #ivhq2014 #neckhug #baby #cow

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Time is flying! I have really settled into the nepali way of life and home now. The more comfortable im getting in my placement the more the days seem to be passing by quicker.ย I recently went to chitwan on safari where I met with the other volunteers from orientation, which was a great chance to catch up and see how everyones placements were going. The resort was really nice and we got to shower on top of an elephant! Then went on a canoe down the flooded river and an elephant safari. The weather held out for us and we only had one delay from a landslide on the way so pretty successful. More to come on my chitin safari adventure experience in another blog post!

Pdidi grass cutting #nepal #travels #farmlife #instavillagemission #vscocam

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

We threw a birthday party for all the kids as it was two of their birthdays. Myself and the other volunteers bought mangos, rice pudding, a cake and new school bags for all 20 kids which was great! We danced alot and at one point got taken to a random party in the village as they were celebrating a festival as well. I had no idea what we were doing at a villagers house to begin with. Then music came on and everyone started dancing, ย it was me and two other volunteers who were the only foreign people and the rest were nepali villagers. No one really spoke good english but everyone was so excited to have us there. They laughed at my questionable dance moves which I don’t blame them for because they were terrible! They offered us some delicious foods and then we went back to carry on partying with the kids and other volunteers. It was so fun and random to party with the locals and a truly unique moment.ย Life in the village was pretty sweet and lovedย being with the kids.

Jdidi Roti machine #nepal #ivhq2014 #food #vscocam

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

The Nepali fam #nepal #homefromhome #ivhq2014 #vscocam

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

The kids love mangos just a little bit #nepal #ivhq2014 #smile #vscocam

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

pre-roti rolling with pdidi #nepal #food #culture #vscocam

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

One man and his goats #IVHQ #nepal #goatherder #instagood

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

I also had the cool opportunity of experiencing theย womens festival a day where women dress up, dance and fast for the whole day to pray for a good husband. In support of the females in the house I also fasted. It was a long day. The girls all looked grown up in thier best outfits and saris and we went to the temple to dance/me take photos. At one point jamona and bdidi pulled me in to dance. I felt like I was gonna be eaten alive by the women ‘praying for good husbands’ at the sight of a giant white man.

the girls getting ready for the womens #festival with #henna #nepal #ivhq2014

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

today was all about the ladies #womens #festival #nepal #culture #dancing #demsaris

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

We got the paints out one ofย days which was great to see kids getting creative. The younger boys ishan, rahul and ashok decided to put paint all over their hands and then ran through the home to the bathroom. They dropped dollops of paint everywhere and tried to wash in the bathroom, which just resulted in blue stains and streaks. It was funny to watch until ashok filled a bucket of water to throw at the paint and got half of it over me. We all laughed as we cleaned up the blue mess. The whole time ishan telling me not to tell anyone.

no tell saroza, no riya, no rupak #nepal #ivhq #oops #blue #instavillagemission

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

we unleashed arts & crafts today #nepal #ivhq2014 #instavillagemission #topstudent #moneyshot

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Nepal is pretty awesome. Made even sweeter by my little bro rahul who pinky promisedย me with both hands everyday. Then kissedย them both and says “friends forever uncle, yes”.

before the painting got out of control #nepal #ivhq #painting #art

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

There were so many incredible moments during my stay with the Thapa family from aamaย (the grandmother/mother) cooking us delicious rice dishes every morning and evening but not being able to speak any english; which was interesting when she would keep piling more rice on our plates even if we were full up. I impressed everyone by learning the days of the week and numbers in nepali along with a few other nepali words and phrases which got me bonus points with the house mothers and aama. Going with Ashis one of the older boys every morning to sell the milk. Helping them all with their homework everyday and walking them to the bus stop for school; sometimes we’d get on the ‘smiley bus’ with them if were headed into town. Getting to know the house mothers, who on the most part don’t get as much attention as everyone else, so it was really great getting to know Jamuna, Maiya and Parabati; even if we had to act out most of our conversations due to language barriers – this made it all the more worthwhile!

Hajur baii #nepal #ivhq2014 #aseko #instavillagemission #laugh

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Bumpy bus ride – nepali style #bus #nepal #travelling #asia #vscocam

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

The end of my trip was bitter sweet. I was super glad to get home and eat some home cooking but this was outweighed and overshadowed by the fact that I was leaving my new family behind. Half of me was now entwined with this small nepali village. I never expected to fall in love with an entire village and the kids. The kids I had been with everyday for 2 whole months, who I walked to the bus stop and stayed up with to help with their homework. The kids I had bonded with, I had to say goodbye too. I’d never felt such a heavy pull on my heart as I did the day I had to leave and get in the taxi to the airport. I was leaving behind new friends, a home and a new family.

As soon as I landed back in England I was happy but sad that it had come to an end. I lasted four months being back before I booked another flight back there. I’m heading back to my nepali family and I couldn’t be happier!

this view though #nepal #travelling #instavillagemission #incredible #colourspopping #mountains

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

big and small #nepal #ivhq #bestbuds #instavillagemission #hands

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

If youโ€™d like to keep up with my adventures and get social;

Facebookย |ย Twitterย |ย Instagramย |ย Youtube

Travel. Create, Be Nice!

 

Nikon D7000 | Camera Review

Nikon D7000 | Camera Review

with No Comments

Over the last 6 years or so photography has become, like many, a strong passion of mine. I’m obsessed with taking, editing and uploading photographs and have 1000’s of photos stored away. I started out with a Nikon D40 camera which was a great introduction into the digital SLR world. I took photography at A-level and couldn’t wait to test and explore all the things I had learnt out with my D40. Then came my trip to Kenya and further ignited the spark for taking photos whilst on safari. My 365 project further encouraged that growth. Mostly self-taught through endless hours of re-taking and fiddling with different settings, I began to outgrow my camera and so after a lot of hours of overtime and a strict savings scheme; I began the search for my current piece of equipment: The Nikon D7000.

Nikon-D7000-Digital-SLR-Camera-32-2

nikond7000-rearback-2

It’s my baby. I worked hard, saved and it paid off. I am so happy with my investment in this camera! I paid around ยฃ660 ($1000) on amazon, although shop around for better discounts and prices. If your thinking of upgrading or becoming more serious about photography I would consider this an option. If your looking to take candid snaps on holiday or with friends at events then I’d just go with one of the more basic DSLR’s (D40 or even the nikon coolpix range seem to be getting fairly good reviews at reasonable prices) that are more than capable of delivering the results you desire. For the serious ‘artists’ or up-coming professionals, investing in good equipment can only increase the successfulness of taking awesome photos. I am in no way an expert at all in this field, anything I recommend or review is just my personal opinion based on the equipment I have used or researched. I hope to continue to learn new things and test out new products!

The reoccurring frustration I had with my old D40 was it’s capability in poor or darkย lit scenarios. The ISO capability just wasn’t working out for the kinds of photos I was wanting to take. The D7000 has a maximum ISO of 6400 as well as H 2.0.

This gives it a way better performance in low lighting with reduced noise quality.

It’s much better at getting the night-time shots or inside snaps, like some of my own photos below.

Saber-Tooth

ISO 200 f/1.8 1/100

Rainbow Fish

ISO 320 f/1.8 f/320

South Bank At Night

ISO 640 f/11 25.0

It’s ability to adapt and perform well under low light conditions without loss of quality to the photo, has been one of the main benefits of upgrading. I’m still pushing the ISO to it’s maximum setting to get the best out of it as possible. Another highlight has been the 39 central point field focusing system; adaptable in combinations of 9,21 or a 39 point ring. This allows for fast tracking focus for moving objects; so great when your trying to get a shot of something speedy in a one time take. The AF in-built motor system is great as well, especially when I team it with my 50mm f/1.8 lens, helping to get the maximum aperture shot in focus. Overall i’m more than happy with this upgrade and it’s perfect for the kind of creative/semi-professional work I want to create, I still have a lot more exploring to do with the camera but couldn’t rate it more!

I’d give the Nikon D7000, 4.5/5 (It’s my most used piece of equipment, I love it!)