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    Vegas Baby! We're Scouring Sin City for New Fabrics

    Vegas Baby! We're Scouring Sin City for New Fabrics

    Beth and I just arrived in Las Vegas to find new fabrics for our travel scarves!

    It’s strange to be excited about a fabric sourcing convention, but we are stoked. We’ve learned a lot about textiles in the last three years since launching our first scarf collection, so we’re thrilled at the prospect of having access to the best fabric suppliers in the world. 

    Our goal has always been to expand our secret pocket scarf collection to include varying styles at different price points for whatever adventure awaits. As travelers we know firsthand the importance of having a safe and secure place to stash your valuables while out in the world, which is why we want to put one of our handmade travel scarves in the hands of as many travelers possible. And the first step towards completing that goal starts with this trip to Sin City. 

    Want to follow along on our Las Vegas journey? We’ll be sharing highlights and new fabric ideas all week on Facebook and Instagram.

    Fall 2016 Collection In Stock + Save 10% Now!

    Fall 2016 Collection In Stock + Save 10% Now!

    We’ve always been infatuated with the great American West. There’s an awakening that occurs when you venture from the highway into the empty spaces of the Wild West for the first time. A normally silent wind can sound like a freight train swirling around your head as you look out from a vista towards the horizon. With no noise from the highway, city or even your neighbors, you’re free to be wild again.
     
    For our 2016 Fall Collection—Home on the Range—we set out to capture the restless spirit of the American West.Two-tone and oh so gorgeous, Home on the Range, is our most stunning collection of secret pocket infinity scarves yet. 

    To celebrate our new collection, we're having a Fall Flash Sale.For the next 72 hours, take 10% off of our entire store. (Discount cannot be used with our two and four pack bundles.) Use FALL10 at checkout to take advantage of this special offer.

    Red plaid infinity loop scarf with secret zippered pocket.

    Black Hills

    Blue plaid infinity loop pocket scarf.

    Jackson

    Yellow Plaid Secret Pocket Infinity Loop Scarf with Passport in the Zippered Pocket.

    Yellowstone

    Which scarf is your favorite?

    Come Visit Us At Local Markets in Salem and Boston!

    Come Visit Us At Local Markets in Salem and Boston!

    Speakeasy Travel Supply market booth setup at SOWA in Boston.

    I apologize for being off the blogging radar lately - we've been CRAZY busy the last couple of months prepping for the holidays. 

    One thing we decided to try out this year was fitting in as many markets as we can handle. We just started doing markets this spring and we were surprised at how much fun they were! It is AWESOME watching people discover our products and seeing their faces light up when they try on a scarf and slip items into the pocket only to watch them disappear. Since most of our business takes place online we rarely get to experience that and it is really rewarding. 

    We've been upgrading our booth set up over the past month or so and it's coming along nicely. We have a vision for our booth to be adventurous and inspirational and it will have an Expedition Everest theme to it complete with faux stones walls, corrugated tin roof, mountaineering backpacks as storage for our goods, laterns & Himalayan prayer flags. If i have the room I will also set up a cot and travel writing desk so it feels you are at base camp at Everest! 

    We'd love to meet you so if you happen to be in the Boston/Salem area please come on down to see us and try on some scarves! Plus you get to feel all the different fabrics and I've been stocking up big time on ultra soft, gorgeous prints! AND you get a locals only discount!

    Additionally, our secret pocket scarves are now available at the Pioneer Valley AAA stores in Western, Massachusetts. AAA members can use their card to receive a discount on our scarves at the store.

    Dates: 

    Boston, MA - SOWA Market:

    Oct 23 - Sunday 10am-4pm

    Oct 30 - Sunday 10am-4pm

    Salem, MA - Old Derby Square Market (Part of Haunted Happenings):

    Oct 22 - Saturday 10am-4pm

    Oct 28 - Friday 10am-4pm

    Pop Up Boston - District Hall (Seaport District, free but advanced registry required)

    Nov 29 - Tuesday 6pm-8pm

    Boston - New England Open Market Holiday Festival

    Dec 3 & 4 - Saturday/Sunday 10am-4pm

    Boston - Bust Craftacular Holiday Market

    December 17 & 18 - Saturday/Sunday 11am - 6pm

    Salem - New England Open Market Holiday Festival

    December 17 & 18 - Saturday/Sunday 11am - 6pm

     

    Summer Scarves Available Now + 72 Hour Flash Sale!

    Summer Scarves Available Now + 72 Hour Flash Sale!

    Update: To celebrate our first year in Boston, we're throwing a good ole' fashion Summer Flash Sale. For the next 72 hours, we're offering 15% off of our entire store. (Discount cannot be used with our two and four pack bundles.) To take advantage of this special offer, use SUMMERFLASH at checkout.

    Headed for some fun in the sun this summer? Our lightweight scarves make the perfect companion for all of your adventures.

    Shop the summer collection now. 

    Made from rayon jersey blends these cool to the touch scarves were all created to cool you down instead of warm you up.

    Beautiful and soft - our summer scarves are perfect for days spent riding beach cruisers down the boardwalk, hiking in National Parks, watching the sun set on a Caribbean cruise or dining al fresco on a warm summer evening with friends. Besides fitting a phone and passport in the roomy pocket you can also stash your sunblock, sunglasses and any other little odds and ends you might need for your day out in the sun.

    These scarves are also great for anyone going through hot flashes due to age or chemotherapy - simply pop a freezer ice pack in the pocket and position it at the back of your neck for a constant cooling feeling.

    Remember, use SUMMERFLASH at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order for the next 72 hours.

     

    How To Photograph Fireworks

    How To Photograph Fireworks

    I decided with the 4th of July holiday upon us I would provide our readers with some great tips on how to photograph fireworks!

    This is actually an article I published originally on our travel website Beers & Beans but it's a great article with step by step tips on how to take fantastic firework photos so I wanted to share it here as well. 

    So if you’re planning on watching the fireworks this year be sure to bring your camera!

    Although shooting fireworks may seem complicated (burst of bright light in a pitch black environment) and intimidating, it really isn’t. In fact, it can be downright easy. And with some experimentation, you’ll be able to create some unique images that you will be dying to share with your friends & family! 

    Of course I should also mention that our summer hidden pocket scarves are the perfect place to stash your camera accessories - lens caps, filters, batteries, memory cards and more! 

       

    Above: Both photos were shot with an aperture of f/22 and at an ISO of 1250. The first photo has a shutter speed of 30 seconds, the second photo is 20 seconds.

    Here are Speakeasy Travel Supply's simple tips for shooting fireworks:

    The Basics

    1. Pick A Great Vantage Point

    This is an often overlooked tip but it makes a huge difference in the creation of your images. If you want to get some truly great shots, try scouting out the area before hand. They’ll likely be a crowd on the big night so keep that in mind when you pick your location and if you can choose an elevated spot it will give you a definite advantage. On the night of the fireworks, be sure to get there early to lock in your position.

    2. Tripod Up or Find A Stable Surface

    I’ll admit I like to shoot sans tripod whenever possible. I hate carrying around a tripod if I don’t have to, and I prefer handheld shooting whenever possible BUT shooting fireworks is one situation where a tripod is a must have. You’ll be shooting in the dark capturing beautiful streams of light – trying to do this while hand holding your camera is a recipe for blur. And I’m not talking about the good kind of blur. By using multi-second shutter speeds, you’ll ruin the firework light trails with camera shake so be sure to use a tripod. Don’t have a tripod? You’re not out of luck! This is a great way to get creative and use any stable surface you have available to you – lawn chair, cooler, large rock, fence post or even the roof of your car (make sure the car is not running). Look around and see what you can use, just remember it has to be a solid, non-moving surface that can support the weight of your camera. Keep in mind the crowd around you but remember that sometimes using a tripod alternative can yield an entirely new perspective for your shots and that’s a good thing.

    3. The Self Timer Is Your BEST Friend.

    Because you’ll be using a slow shutter speed to achieve beautiful light trails, you need to keep in mind that any little motion felt by the camera is going to be recorded and ruin your image. Even with the aid of a tripod or other stable surface you’ll need to help your camera along a little further to ensure complete stability. A lot of people don’t know this but when you push the button to release the shutter you are causing a tiny amount of camera shake. It’s so minute that you may not realize it at the time but your camera most certainly will. The result will be photos that are always slightly blurry. Not to worry! There is a simple solution to this: YOUR SELF TIMER. Simply set the self timer on your camera and press the shutter. The delay of a few seconds will ensure that the shake from pressing the button with your hands is long gone when the camera works it magic. Alternately, if you have a remote trigger you can use that, but the self timer is a free solution that already comes with your camera and will do the same thing. This little step is an important one so be sure to remember it when you head out for the evening.

    4. Manual, Manual, Manual – Exposure & Focus!

    When I wrote the Ebook, Getting Out Of Auto, I created it as a resource for photographers that wanted to learn how to shoot in manual mode instead of shooting on auto. Shooting Fireworks is a perfect real life example on how shooting in manual will help you achieve shots you that would be impossible to create if you were using the Auto setting. In addition to manual exposure, manual focus will help you focus correctly on your subject while in a dark situation without tearing your hair out.

    Why use manual focus instead of auto focus? Digital cameras have a notoriously hard time focusing in dark situations and if set in auto focus the camera simply won’t take a photo if the lens can’t focus. Even the best cameras can struggle finding a point of focus when shooting in dark conditions and this struggle will cause a delay in shooting which ultimately will lead to you missing the shot and getting irritated. Instead of getting frustrated simply switch the auto focus feature to manual focus, look through the viewfinder while focusing with your lens and pick the  perfect point of focus for your shot. I sometimes prefer to manually focus in other situations as well because it is so simple and easy and it allows me shoot quickly without any camera focusing delays. Keep in mind that if you move your camera or want to focus on something else in the scene you will need to refocus for each shot because your camera won’t do it for you.

    Why use manual exposure? Manual exposure is going to enable you to slow your shutter speed (create great light streams), fiddle with your ISO (keep noise in check) and use a greater depth of field (help achieve a sharp photo). See the points below for tips on manual settings that will help you photograph fireworks.

    The Technical Details

    Keep in mind that your shutter speed, aperture & ISO settings will be affected by the situation you are shooting in. If you are in an area that has a large firework budget and has several fireworks going off at the same time you will have more light to work with than someone else who is shooting a smaller firework display. Use these tips as starting suggestions and then play around with your settings until you find what works best for you.

    6. Shutter Speed

    Fireworks are some of the best subjects to shoot if you want to see how slowing down your shutter speed will create a different look in your image. I like abstract images and I think that fireworks look best when the shutter speed is slowed down enough so that it can record the trails of light as they fade away. You can play with the shutter speed to create different results and I recommend starting around 4 seconds and then going all the way to 30 seconds. Try out different settings and see which one you like best. If your camera has a B (Bulb) setting you can even try using that to capture several different sets of firework displays.

    7. Aperture

    Depending on your choice of shutter speed you will want to compensate for the exposure with your aperture. Love the look of the 4 second shutter speed but need more light? Be sure to open up the aperture on your lens to let more light into the camera. Remember ‘opening up’ means that you’ll need to choose a smaller aperture number on your lens – for example, f/5.6 is going to let in more light than f/16. The smaller the f-stop the larger the aperture (aka lens opening). However, there is one other thing to keep in mind when setting your aperture – your depth of field. A larger opening lets in more light however, it also creates a shallow depth of field. A shallow depth of field simply means that not everything in your scene will be sharp. It does not affect your focusing ability it simply affects the range of sharpness in the image from the foreground to the background. Depending on your shooting style this may or may not be that important to you but it’s worth noting and keeping in the back of your mind as you shoot. Because fireworks are large and spread out you’ll want a decent depth of field to keep them sharp. Try out aperture f/8 or f/11 as great all purpose settings to begin with. Start with one and either decrease or increase your aperture to balance the light coming into your lens and camera with the light coming through with your shutter.

    8. ISO

    ISO is the last setting on your camera that will help you control light but it also controls the noise in your photo as well so try to keep your ISO as low as possible. Start at around 400 ISO and then raise it (to get more light) or lower it depending on your needs. Keep in mind that a higher ISO generates more noise so try to keep it as low as you can.

    Above: For a more in-depth look at how Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO & Depth of Field work be sure to check out my ebook, Getting Out Of Auto, which has clear, easy to understand descriptions of each setting.

    The Extras

    9. Turn Off Your Flash

    If you are using your manual settings, then your flash shouldn’t automatically fire; however, if it does be sure you shut it off. The built in flash on your camera won’t do any good while trying to get a good shot of fireworks. The atmosphere is too dark and the fireworks are too large and far away to be illuminated by a flash. If you use the built in flash, all you’ll end up with is a bright white foreground and a very boring background.

    10. Consider Your Composition

    When setting up your shots remember to consider your composition. Be sure to pay attention to the horizon line and keep it in the top third or the bottom third of your frame instead of dead center. If possible include landscape or figural elements in your shot to add interest and to give a sense of place.

    11. Experiment And Have Fun!

    Photography is meant to be enjoyed so try not to get too caught up in the technical details and just have fun with it. Play with the settings on your camera until you achieve a look you like and then shoot away.

    Photo taken at f/22, ISO 1000 and a 30 second shutter speed.

    Feel free to print this article out or stash it on your phone then you can follow each step while out watching the fireworks and snag perfect photos of your night!

    Happy Fourth of July everyone!