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Home / Europe / Switzerland / Inspire Instagram with pics of Bern’s best viewpoints

Inspire Instagram with pics of Bern’s best viewpoints

Updated: August 5, 2015
By: Ian Yacobucci
Nydeggbrucke bridge

View from Nydeggbrucke bridge Bern, Switzerland (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels

If you’re travelling in Europe there’s little doubt that your friends tired of drunk Instagram selfies, 101 medieval churches, cobble stoned streets, and the exact same pictures as every other tourist who tagged #europe2015.

Be original, make your way to the Swiss capital Bern and take some pictures that will inspire your Instagram followers to travel to Europe too.

Since the early 1400’s Bern’s medieval architecture has remained virtually unchanged.  Since the early 1400’s!  That’s more than 2000 years older than Canada.  It’s so old you can eat at 500-year-old restaurant; with WIFI.

Founded in 1191, Bern is recognized as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site.  The Old City is virtually surrounded by the sapphire Aare river, and in the distance you can see the Swiss Alps.  Yes, there are some viewpoints that will make your friends at home wish they too took a vacation to the Swiss capital.  Oh, and these places are free!

Bern Rose Gardens

The easiest was to visit the Rose Gardens is to take the #10 (Ostermundigen) bus from Kornhausplatz (between Kramgasse and Rathausgasse).  You get picked up at Waldeck and dropped off two stops later at Rosengarten.

At the Rose Gardens there’s a small restaurant where you can grab a coffee or some food after snapping the perfect picture of Bern.  Afterwards you can take the small footpath in front of the restaurant back to Nydeggbrucke bridge.

Bern Rose Gardens

View from atop the Bern Rose Garden (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Nydeggbrücke Bridge, Bern

This bridge is one of the earliest bridges to cross the Aare River.  From the middle of the bridge you get a great view facing back towards the old city of Bern.  It’s also right next to the Bear pits and Altes Tramdepot Bern’s first microbrewery with good food and great beer (the place gets packed on the weekends to make a reservation).

Behind the Bern Bundeshaus (Swiss Parliament)

From behind the Swiss parliament buildings you get one of the best views in Bern.  On a clear day you can see the Swiss Alps in the background with a view of the Bern History Museum as the Aare snakes through the foreground.  After snapping a great picture you can go for a tour of parliament, play chess on one of the giant chessboards, or relax a bench as you take in the best view in Bern.

Bundeshaus view

View from behind Bern Bundeshaus (Swiss Parliament) (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

So save your money.  Don’t go spending 5 CHF to climb to the top of the Cathedral tower.  Go on a little adventure and explore the best viewpoints in Bern.   Take your time, stop off at coffee shops along the way, eat some lunch, and capture some incredible Instagram posts  that will inspire your friends to visit Europe!

Happy Travels!






Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| India’s election day picture louder than words

Travel Photo| India’s election day picture louder than words

Updated: December 5, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
India Train

AGRA, INDIA – FEBRUARY 2012 – Student holds onto a train seat as he travels home on a four hour train ride from Agra to Delhi for India’s national elections in 2012 (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

India’s future:

Back in 2012 when I was training as a mountaineer with the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute I decided to visit Agra and the Taj Mahal before heading East to West Bengal.  To make a long story short, the Indian airline I was planning to fly with went bankrupt and the day I planned to head back to Delhi was the day everyone was returning to their home cities to vote.

Luckily, with the help from the manager at my hotel, I was able to secure a seat on the overpacked train to Delhi.  Elections are extremely important in the world’s second most populated country with more than 1.2 billion people.  Religious, cultural, historical, economic and ethnic diversity make governing India a huge challenge for any politician and extremely important to the wellbeing of its populace.

Sitting on the train absorbing the chaotic atmosphere, watching people deep in discussion, people sleeping, eating and drinking as the chaiwala called out to the masses.  I captured this quiet thought provoking image in the eye of the human cyclone.  For me it represents the many hands of the country.  It represents men, women, and children who make up a country in transition a country that wants change; that needs change.

What do you see in this image?

Happy travels,



Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Iconic Tokyo city landscape

Travel Photo| Iconic Tokyo city landscape

Updated: December 2, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Tokyo Sepia

TOKYO, JAPAN – DECEMBER 2008 – Shinjuku is one of busiest places in Tokyo. From the main train station bridges, like the one this picture is taken from, features the iconic city scape Tokyo is known for (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Shinjuku Tokyo:

When I first started working overseas iPhones had just come out but were too expensive for a traveler budget, DSLR camera’s were only used by professionals, and I was twenty-four and just out of university.  Armed with my Cannon Powershot I spent three months working in Tokyo, Japan.  It was an exciting time to explore photography and get to know my surroundings.

This picture was taken near the end of my first teaching stint in the city on a December walk to see the Christmas lights and do some shopping in Shinjuku.  I chose to shoot it in sepia because it encapsulates the city as a warm and joyful memory.  Spending those cold autumn and winter evenings getting lost in one of the worlds biggest cities yet feeling at home; I loved it.

Japan is still one of my favourite countries in the world and I think it’s a place everyone should visit if given the chance!

Happy Travels,



Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Incredible view of Prague

Travel Photo| Incredible view of Prague

Updated: November 12, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Prague hike

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC – SEPTEMBER 2013 – Looking out over Prague with fellow Couchsurfers on a hike meet up (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Couchsurfing in Prague:

While backpacking through Europe with my sister we decided to see if we could find a couch to crash on in Prague.  Reluctantly, we ended up having to book a hostel but discovered that the Prague Couchsurfing community was hosting a series of events during the weekend we visited the city.  Luckily we joined up with a hiking group who took us on a fantastic hike just outside the city, and got the chance to learn a bit about the cities more contemporary history.

After the hike we joined some of the group for a traditional meal at a local brewery, but before heading down we all stopped to take in the view from its surrounding hillsides.  It was a great way to meet some new people, check out a part of the area that most tourists wouldn’t get a chance to explore, and snap a unique photo.

What I used: ISO 200 – 50mm – F/4.8 – Sec 1/2500

Happy shooting,


Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Most beautiful lake in Canada

Travel Photo| Most beautiful lake in Canada

Updated: October 27, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Moraine Lake

BANFF, AB – Tourists on Moraine Lake in Banff National Park Canada (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Moraine Lake:

Arguably the most beautiful lake in Canada, Moraine lake is a natural Canadian icon that has filled traveler’s photo albums for decades.  Located in Banff National Park the bright cerulean blue waters reflect the natural wonders of valley of the 10 peaks that watch over it.

The incredible iridescent blue-green colour is a result of the sun’s reflection on rock flour (fine-grained rock particles created by glacial grinding  and brought into the lake via glacial melt water).   In the light of the day the majesty of the lake, its colour, and the enormous mountains that surround it are irresistible and hard to leave.

During the summer months Moraine Lake is one of the most popular tourists destinations in the Banff/Lake Louise region so get there early and enjoy a short hike around the main entrance or a more epic journey into the Canadian wilderness.

What I used: ISO 100 – 28mm – F/11 – Sec 1/650

Learn how to hike in Lake Louise and experience Banff, Alberta

Happy shooting,



Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Horse riding in Mongolia

Travel Photo| Horse riding in Mongolia

Updated: October 24, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Gobi desert family

MINI GOBI, MONGOLIA – APRIL 6, 2012  Father and son prepare a horse saddle for a ride near the Mini Gobi Desert, Mongolia (Ian Yacobucci/Borderless Travels)

Like father like son:

The relationship between family and nature are deeply connected in Mongolia.  Mongolia might be the last country with truly wild horses, the horse population four times the size of their human counterparts.

With roughly four million horses and one million people it seems natural that the relationship between horses and humans would be so close. Mongolia’s weather extremes that reach 30 degrees Celsius in the summer can get as cold as -30 when winter comes, which creates a unique environment where families are reliant on the natural world around them.

Home / Travel Tips / Travel photography tips for incredible photos

Travel photography tips for incredible photos

Updated: October 15, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Sample freeze frame photo shot with an SLR camera.

Sample freeze frame photo shot with an SLR camera.

Travelling with an SLR? This travel photography guide will guarantee you come home with the best travel pics.

In today’s digital age anyone can become an expert with a digital camera. Automatic settings make it easy for any user to create great pictures. But for the traveling photographer who wants control of their camera, and come home with travel pictures that are sure to impress their friends and family, manual is the only way to go.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you capture the best travel photos. If you’re tired of letting the camera control your pictures it’s time to take action so you can capture that perfect sunset, portrait or action shot. Whether its surfing costal South Africa, taking in a sunset or trekking in the Philippines, with these simple tips you’ll be ready to capture the perfect images you’ve always wanted.

Shutter Speed and Aperture

These five tips will help you capture the images you want by controlling the aperture and shutter speed. Remember, in order to meter properly you are going to have to adjust both the aperture and shutter speed. These tips will help you get the pictures you want letting you control the shutter speed an aperture. Regarless of whether you’re using manual, shutter speed priority, or aperture priority using these presets will get the results you’ve been longing for.

Freeze action – Shutter Speed 1/500 – 1/1000

To get that perfect image surfing, cliff jumping, or cruising along a busy street on a scooter a fast shutter speed is what you need. In order to freeze an action shot try to use the above shutter speeds. Remember to adjust the aperture in order to meter correctly preventing under or over exposure. You can also use a fast shutter speed to capture a clear picture of a crashing wave or freeze frame a waterfall. With this setting your action shot options are limitless.

A misty waterfall shot in Rain mode.

A misty waterfall shot in Rain mode.

Rain – Shutter Speed 1/60

Forget rain, how about a misty waterfall or a crashing wave. If you’ve ever wondered how professionals get those flowing images of a river, waterfall or crashing wave, blurring the rushing water to create a whispy effect try using a slower shutter speed. If you want to capture water droplets falling on an object this shutter speed will do it. Have some fun practicing and see what you get.

Use the 'f-stops' to focus on your subjects.

Use the ‘f-stops’ to focus on your subjects.

Close up – f4-5.6

Wondering how to get that perfect close up shot try using the f-stops above. These settings will allow you to capture the image clearly while slightly blurring the background. The larger the f-stop or aperture the more clear the background will be.

The 'who cares' aperture is great for landscapes or architecture.

The ‘who cares’ aperture is great for landscapes or architecture.

Who cares – f8-11

To capture those landscapes or architectural gems try using a “who cares” aperture. If you’re not trying to show depth use an f-stop between 8-11 to get that group shot or mountain shot. Using a “who cares” aperture is also good to keep as a preset. After taking a picture you should always go back to your preset. Using a shutter speed of 125 and aperture of f10 you will guarantee that if you need to take a quick image your camera will be ready and you won’t be stuck fiddling around.

Show Depth – f22

If you want to show depth in your image capturing something in fore, middle and background than an aperture of f22 will do the trick.


  • Fill the Frame – Stop trying to get all that background in the picture. If you want a great image zoom in and fill the frame. Show your audience what you’re seeing don’t distract them with all the background stuff.
  • Minimize Distractions – Check your background for distractions. If you’re taking a portrait shot an there’re telephone wires in the background you’re going to take away from the person in the picture. Minimize those distractions and I’ll guarantee you’ll make that person look really good.


Metering takes practice, in order to meter properly you need to let the perfect amount of light into the camera. Adjusting your aperture and shutter speed will allow you to control this. But where do you point your camera to meter correctly. These five rules will help you meter correctly for the five most popular landscape shots.

  • Sunny – meter the sky
  • Sunrise/Sunset – meter side of the sun
  • Dusk – Meter the dusky sky
  • Costal/Lake – Meter reflection (water surface)
  • Green (forest) – expose -2/3

Depth of Field

All in focus – focus 1/3 into the picture (5ft)

If you have an old camera like me sometimes getting things into focus can be a bit of a challenge. Often I find myself flipping on the manual focus and working from there. If you’re stuck, and the automatic focus isn’t giving you what you want, try to use manual focus. I’m always taking classroom shots and the automatic focus sometimes zones in on one student and blurs the others. When trying to get everyone or everything within your image in focus concentrate on making 1/3 of the image clear or 5ft into the picture.

Have fun!


Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Stunning view of Beijing’s Forbidden City

Travel Photo| Stunning view of Beijing’s Forbidden City

Updated: October 9, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Jingshan Park

Man reflects as he looks out towards Beijing’s Forbidden City from the hilltop top of Jingshan Park – Beijing China

Reflections in Jingshan Park Beijing:

Once the imperial gardens for the 500 year old Forbidden City (the world’s largest palace complex according to UNESCO) Jingshan Park is the best place to get a view of central Beijing and offers the best view of the Forbidden City.

Located just north of the Forbidden City you can easily walk there or take a taxi if you’re not up for exploring.  Like me, arriving at Jingshan Park just before sunset allows for time to enjoy a walk through the gardens before heading up the hill in it’s centre.

Lost in thought as I looked out towards the ancient palace complex, before long, I soon realized that it was dark.  Since my camera is always in my bag I decided to take a crack at some night photography.  I never travel with a tri-pod which makes it difficult to get the perfect picture, but on this night I succeeded in capturing this gentleman as he sat listening to the radio.

The sights and sounds of the city, reflecting on it’s ancient past and modern future, and trying to capture that moment in time was one of my most memorable moments in Beijing.  It took me almost an hour to get this photograph but in the end I didn’t have to edit it at all; it was perfect.

What I used: ISO 100 – 28mm – F/5.0 – 10.0 Sec

Learn essential travel photography tips 

Happy shooting!



Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| China’s tropical paradise?

Travel Photo| China’s tropical paradise?

Updated: October 7, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Wanning Shimei Bay Hainan

Girl posing Wanning Shimei Bay,Hainan, China

Wanning Shimei Bay – Hainan, China:

This is does not look like the typical China we’re used to seeing in the media.  This photograph was taken on shores of the countries only tropical island Hainan.  Visiting a friend of mine from University his sister looks out towards Jiajing Island, located off shore of Hainan’s most luxurious resorts.

Le Meridien has hosted many famous tourists including the Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev.  Visiting the still pristine but rapidly developing island of Hainan I wonder what it’s future beholds.

With massive resort development projects filling the islands coast these beaches will certainly not be as beautiful or empty years from now.  When we arrived at Le Meridien, we showed up and walked right onto the beach after exploring the quiet 5 star hotel.

With the potential to house thousands of tourists combined with rapid wealth and development in China places like Wanning Shimei Bay will not look like this for long so get there soon if you can!

Home / Travel Photography / Beyond the lens / Travel Photo| Pro surfing Montanita, Ecuador

Travel Photo| Pro surfing Montanita, Ecuador

Updated: May 23, 2014
By: Ian Yacobucci
Professional Surf

Professional surfer in Montanita, Ecuador

Professional surf training:

Surfing is life for these professional surfers living in Montanita, Ecuador.  Preparing for a competition in Venezuela, the beach break and blustery onshore conditions were perfect for the unpredictable waves they were preparing for.

Standing on the beach their coach watched as the three pros carved through the waves like a spoon through a bowl of cream.  Standing on the beach admiring the skill that it takes to master the waves like this I had to run for my camera.

Using my 18-200mm lens I stood knee deep in the water waiting for the perfect moment.  Without the luxury of a professional lens I think this image captures the talent of a professional surfer, although it misses all the preparation, timing, and patience it takes to get to this point on the wave.

Happy Travels,