{Travel Tuesday} Nice: Beautiful French Riviera




The French Riviera though!!! The closest I’ve see to the gorgeous city of Nice in the USA is Santa Barbara, CA. You’ll just fall in love with walks along the beach, sunsets below the city, or in the hills above it, coastal views that wrap around harbors and marinas, up, down, in the city, or along the water, the beauty of the French Riviera, and today’s Travel Tuesday post in Nice will have your mouth watering.

I only spent three days there, but as a single female, traveling by myself that winter break in 2018, I felt comfortable walking and exploring both with the sun up and down. The city was pretty easy to navigate with a cell phone, but honestly the best was when I didn’t use a map and walked taking photos everywhere I went. If you have a camera you’ll hardly want to put it down, the quaint buildings, European architecture, and beach made for some of the prettiest photos. And if nothing else, I spend my time popping in and out of the cute shops after getting my fill of hills that line the coast and beach runs.




The hills were easy to climb and DEFINITELY worth the trek up. Stairs led the way, and at one point on the beach I looked up at the hills and saw an amazing waterfall with people milling about. Once finding my way, I realized the waterfall was man made, but only added to the unique appeal of city + coast + mountains.


Nice was a TAD expensive. I did the Air BnB thing which included breakfast, and I only bought food once a day outside of the morning toast and coffee provided, so I kept my costs down. That and I traveled after the holidays (a few days after New Years) and I think that helped me get around the tourist prices of traveling to the area. However, I treated myself to one “nice” meal (haha get it?) and though my host who recommended the restaurant said it would be okay for one person, I remember paying about 60 euros for just the food. Yikes! And the shops weren’t that far off as far as expense either… though I admit I spent most of my time in the touristy areas of Nice. Perhaps deeper into the city it would be cheaper? To me buying things wasn’t the point of my visit. My photos were enough of a souvenir and even now after going through them for months, I have too many to choose from to get printed and framed!

In all I recommend Nice 100%. Go here before Paris, please.


Hidden Shoes and Why I Love Production

Photo 2

A 1600 Dutch flower painting inspired shoe campaign features ballet shoes covered in rose petals with roses tossed all around, as if a dancer finished her finale dance with success. Using Photoshop to get the painted look, the photo was shot on a Sony FS700 with a 70-300mm lens.

This conceptual shoe campaign was an assignment for my masters program at IE University in Madrid and I won an award out of 20 other students (21 in my class including myself) for the photos. Really happy with how my photography is improving. Especially considering  the makeshift studio set up that I came up with to pull off the look (last two pics my roommate snapped when he saw what I was up to).

Taking a black bed sheet, I hung it from my little wardrobe with containers and boxes to hold it in place. Setting up the shoes and flowers on a beat up chest in front I was able to pull in close enough with the lens and eliminate most of the chest. One light was all I needed for the warm light look. Using Photoshop and Lightroom I was able to almost get rid of the grey bench. Played with the color some in Lightroom I finally exported a cooler looking image and three warm images which in Photoshop I gave a painted look.

The final images, pulled out of thin air considering my set up, reminded me why I love photography and video production. You don’t see the behind the scenes, the work put in, the post production process, the ideation, and the execution of photography, film, movies, shows. My little, makeshift studio was perfect for reminding me of the beauty of a final product that proves you don’t need “the best” to pull off something great. With technique and talent, anything can look good in the end.









Dilapidated Mansion

Country living means you might stumble upon eerie but timeless places like this. This mansion is for sale not far from the home I recently moved from, though I just discovered it a few weeks ago. The mansion is tucked away behind foliage and pine trees older than the history of the people that might have lived here. It’s so creepy looking, straight out of a horror flick. Then again I have a pretty active imagination that took me places like a woman in a thread bare dress, awaiting her dead child, staring at me from one of the many windows.

Yikes and it’s not even Halloween yet!

I don’t do scary, so I didn’t spend a ton of time here. But oh man this place would be just perfect for some type of film!!


A little somethin’ somethin’

The countryside has stuff to offer- despite the year and a half that it took me to realize it since moving home to PA from southern California! Good ole Happy Valley has been boasting its #PennsylvaniaPretty and here are some of my favorite photos this summer!





Some of these are on Insta! Follow me @jewels_durkin if you want more photos of #woods #fields #barns #cows #sunrise #sunset and #countryside livin’!