Bosphorus Bridge. Istanbul at Night.

Bosphorus bridge istanbul

The view from my room of the Bosphorus Bridge at night at the fabulous Raffles Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Algonquin Hotel in New York City Review

algonquin hotel NYC

Check out my new review of the fabulous Algonquin Hotel in NYC.

The Algonquin Hotel Blue Bar.

Algonquin Hotel Blue Bar NYC Times Square
Algonquin Hotel Blue Bar NYC Times Square

The Blue bar at the Algonquin Hotel in Times Square NYC was packed when we stopped in for a drink last weekend. The hum of a 100 conversations softened by the deep blue glow of the lights. In the shadows, ghosts of literary giants like Sinclair Lewis, Dorothy Parker, and Maya Angelou still lurk after their tenure at the hotel. Established in 1933, this a must drink bar. Very cool, very blue, super fun.

Mexico: Fly and Flop at Iberostar Cancun Star Prestige

Iberostar Cancun Star Prestige.

Check out my story on Fly and Flop at Iberostar Cancun Star Prestige

Bilbao Spain La Ribera Market. The Three Little Pigs

bilbao-spain-la-ribera market pork-pigs heads

Spain is one my favorite food destinations. This is a shot of all things pork at the La Ribera market in Bilbao.

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018 Northampton Mass

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Damariscotta Oyster Celebration

Mook Sea Farm  OysterGro™ cages on the Damariscotta river
Mook Sea Farm. OysterGro™ cages on the Damariscotta river

Check out my new story on the Damariscotta Oyster Celebration on

Think Tank Photo Airport International V2.0 Review

Think Tank Airport International v2.0
Somewhere in Italy with the Think Tank Airport International v2.0

During any given trip that I take for my photography work, I have many thousands of dollars worth of stuff inside the bag.
Whether that is down the road to college graduation, or across the world for a travel piece in Patagonia, my equipment has to remain undamaged from transport.
I write this recommendation after hauling the Think Tank Photo Airport International V2.0 Carry on over 40 flights and through as many countries:
In Airports, small planes on boats, cobblestones, dirt roads, glaciers, up mountains, desert, in cars, trains, in the jungle, and buses this bag has never let me down.
It has fallen down escalators, dropped out of the back of a car, tumbled down many airports stairways and been dragged along in countless storms. Not once did my equipment suffer any damage.

Here is what is in the bag today:
Canon 5dmk2
Canon 5dmk4
Canon 70-200f2.8
Canon 24-105L f4
Tamron 85mm.
Canon 20-35 2.8
Canon 40mm 2.8
Canon 100mm macro.
Two-speed lights
Two-pocket wizards f 2
Battery pack with an extra battery.
Light meter.
Glass filters
Colored gels for flash
Color checker passport
Cords modifiers
Three packs extra aaa batteries
Three extra camera batteries
Five flashcards
Lens cleaner
Multi tool
Size matters:
I always bring my cameras as a carry-on. Always.
At 14″ W x 8″ D x 21″ H (35.5 x 20.5 x 53 cm)s it qualifies as a carry on and will fit overhead on most international and domestic flights.
The wheels are replaceable and are strong run smoothly.

Over all build quality is spectacular. Inside compartment padding is adjustable.
The telescoping pull handle has never buckled.
It has four handles, one on each side, and a tripod carrying pocket.
The included rain cover has never leaked.
It has two locks, one for the main compartment that is TSA compliant, and a cable lock that can wrap around a post or a radiator in your hotel room.
The stretch pocket on the outside is perfect for a laptop and or a jacket.
Most importantly it looks like a normal suitcase and does not scream camera to potential thieves.
I love this bag. My only complaint is that like the lines on a face that give a portrait character, or the patina on furniture that lends beauty from age, the damn thing looks brand new even after all the traveling it has done.

For a complete spec list and more info on all of their fine products go to : ThinkTank

Victorinox Swiss Too Spirit XC Plus Ratchet

SwissTool Spirit Plus Ratchet Multi-Tool from Victorinox
SwissTool Spirit Plus Ratchet Multi-Tool from Victorinox. Photo: ©Paul Shoul

When I am on the road working as a travel photographer, every piece of equipment I bring must be balanced between weight and functionality for the different situations I will encounter.
One piece of my kit that always travels with me is the Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit Plus Ratchet Multi-Tool.
It has earned a place not only in my camera bag, in my car and home it is often my go-to tool.
Here is what you get:
Combination tool with pliers, cable cover cutter, wire bender, hard wire cutter, and a wire cutter for thin and soft wire up to 40 HRc
2mm slotted screwdriver
6mm slotted screwdriver
Crate opener
Metal file
Combination tool with a slotted screwdriver and can opener
Combination tool with 3mm slotted screwdriver, cap lifter, and wire stripper
Wood saw
Combination tool with a reamer and multi-purpose hook
Serrated edge combi blade
Phillips screwdriver
Chisel/scraper 30Nm ratchet is also included, along with a bit holder and the following bits:
Hex #3
Hex #4
Phillips #0
Phillips #3
Torx #10
Torx #15
The finish and construction are beautiful. It is no toy. You can apply pressure and torque, and the locking system has never failed me.
For more information go to:

New U.S. Citizen. Northampton,MA.

Entisar Alnasar-iraq-northampton-new-citizen-immagrant

Entisar Al Nasr of Iraq pledges allegiance before accepting her new certificate of U.S. citizenship at a July 4, 2018, naturalization ceremony in Northampton, MA. “58 immigrants were sworn in on Wednesday in a ceremony organized by the Center for New Americans

The Russell House Bed and Breakfast. Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

russell-house-breakfast russell-house-room

During my recent trip to Maine while covering the Damariscotta Oyster Celebration, I stayed for three nights at the Russell House Bed & Breakfast, located just minutes from all the action in downtown Boothbay Harbor. Bed and breakfasts have only three things to accomplish well: A comfortable bed, an excellent breakfast, and a fantastic staff. The Russell house excelled in all categories.
I stayed in guest room three on the second floor. It had a gas fireplace that added a nice touch, a flat screen TV, great shower and bathroom and a super comfortable bed that I had trouble leaving in the morning.

The breakfasts in the morning were fantastic and changed each day varying from homemade waffles to bacon and eggs, always accompanied by yogurt, fresh fruit, juice, and toast. Coffee and tea was available day and night, and there was a cookie jar on the counter if you wanted a quick snack
Finally, as is always the case, no matter how beautiful the accommodations are, it is the staff that makes the difference. Nancy Long and Linsey Grover made my stay there an extraordinary experience.

Russell House Bed & Breakfast

350 Townsend Ave.
Boothbay Harbor, ME, 04538

Northhampton MA. Fog in the Morning.

northhampton,ma-fog int he morning,dogwalk.

The more I travel, the more I love my home town. This image was from the first day the weather broke in spring. It was cold the night before and a dramatic warm weather front was predicted for the next day. I knew there would be fog in the morning, so I went out out early to see what I could find.

Damariscotta Oyster Celebration, Maine.

otter-cove-oyster damariscotta-river

Great to pull up along side the Otter Cove Oyster Farm during the Tour de Source river cruise at the Damariscotta Oyster Celebration in Maine.

Damariscotta Oysters Maine

On the Damariscotta River in Maine, Jude Alamo cleans, sorts and sizes oysters at the Norumbega oyster sea farm.

Jude Alamo cleans, sorts and sizes oysters at the Norumbega oyster sea farm on the Damariscotta River in Maine,

Can- AM Shuck Star competition Damariscotta Maine.

James Geoghan (right)of the West Robins Oyster Co., Southampton NY was the winner of the  Can- AM Shuck Star competition at the Damariscotta Oyster celebration. 12 oysters perfectly shucked in 56. 92 seconds. A totally cool party with great music and fantastic local oysters. I lost count of how many I ate!

United Way 2018 Kay Sheehan Spirit of the Community Award

United Way 2018 Kay Sheehan Spirit of the Community Award

Very honored to have received the United Way 2018 Kay Sheehan Spirit of the Community Award yesterday at the Mullins Center.

The Jane Hotel Review

The Jane Hotel

Here is a link to my review of The Jane Hotel in NYC on  Love the Jane!



Single Room Occupancy

Single Room Occupancy:
​Portraits and Stories of Northampton Lodging, 1976-2016
March 9 – June 10, 2018 at Historic Northampton
by Cassandra Holden and Paul Shoul
​For the past two years, Cassandra Holden has been interviewing former residents of Northampton Lodging, a single room occupancy boarding house located on Pleasant Street in Northampton, and members of the community about what it was like to live and work there.  The stories of camaraderie and mutual support stand in stark contrast to some of those seen in the police blotter.
​Photographer Paul Shoul came to know many of the former residents and captured thoughtful portraits of them just before they relocated to other housing.
​The exhibition, which will run from March 9th – June 10th, features 20 photographs of residents, staff, and the building; excerpts from oral histories about their lives; construction documents, and a re-creation of a resident’s room at the Lodging. 


​Until it closed in 2016, Northampton Lodging, located at 129 Pleasant Street, occupied an awkward place in town. Positioned just past Hampton Court, it marked the transition from the brightly lit storefronts, galleries, and restaurants of Main and upper Pleasant Streets to the less pedestrian friendly stretch of road that connects the city to the highway.
Initially constructed in 1967 as a dormitory for the now-closed Northampton Commercial College, the property, since 1976, offered 58 single-room rentals with common kitchens and baths.
​In October of 2016, the building was demolished. Today, the newly constructed, yellow brick, “Live 155” stands in its place. The building boasts 70 affordable and market rate units, all studio and one-bedroom apartments, and will see its first tenants move in later this spring.
​In the larger context, the exhibit traces the waning years of boarding house living in Northampton and raises questions about the availability of affordable housing in our community.

The photographs and the oral histories will become part of the collection at Historic Northampton. 


This project was made possible with the generous support of Way FindersNorthampton Arts Council, and Historic Northampton with additional assistance from Jim Gipe at Pivot Media, Jean-Pierre Pasche of Big Red Frame, and photographer Stan Sherer.

During the course of the exhibit, Historic Northampton will host programs to explore issues of transitional and temporary housing in Northampton and the variety of groups these properties serve.
​Historic Northampton is located at 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10-4 and Sunday from Sunday 12-5.  There is no admission fee.  Donations are welcome. 

Women’s March 2018 Northampton,MA.

woman's-march-2018-northampton, Mass.

Fantastic turnout today at 2018 women’s march in Northampton MA.

Portrait of a Spanish Shepherd.


shepherd-extremadura-spainExtremadura Spain. A portrait of a Spainish shepherd. I love Extremadura, Often over looked by travelers, this region on the boarder with Portugal has spectacular landscapes, amazing food, and some of the  most well preserved Roman ruins in the world. For more info on travel to Spain and Extremadua check out,

Portugal: Ria Formosa Salt Harvesting

Harvesting Flor de Sal at the Ria Formosa Salt Pans In the Algarve, Portugal.

Harvesting Flor de Sal at the Ria Formosa Salt pans In the Algarve, Portugal.

Spain: Tenerife Carnival Vixens

spain-tenerife-carnival-vixens-girls-hot girls-

An image from my story “Tenerife’s Wild Carnival“.  “Historically, Carnival is the last chance to party for Catholics before 40 days of Lent, a time of penance, sacrifice, and reflection. There will be no abstinence tonight and much to atone for……” Come on, you have to go to this party. Check out


Nuno’s Grill & Pizza. Good and cheap food in the Algarve, Portugal

portugal, algarve-faro-grilled sardines at nunos grill and pizza

Love it when I find a place that has great food at a reasonable price. Nuno’s is simple, casual and fantastic. The fish is as fresh as you can get.

R. Gen. Humberto Delgado C, 8700-011 Fuseta, Portugal

TIvoli Carveoiro Algarve Resort

Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort

The TIvoli Carveoiro Algarve Resort in Portugal is a great example of a 5 star hotel done right. Great food, dance parties by the pool and spacious rooms. It is a  happening place and the staff are exemplary. Check it out at Tivoli

Algarve Horse, Portugal.


A simple scenario. A horse in a field in the Algarve region of Portugal.

A Fishing Boat in Salema. Algarve, Portugal.

Fishing boat on the beach cleanig nets salema algarve portugal

A fishing boat crew cleans their nets on the Algarve coast, Salema, Portugal.


Portugal, Algarve,Faro, Stork Nest.

stork-nest-faro, Portugal,Algarve

Portugal, Algarve,Faro, Stork Nest.

Eating Algarve. Grilled Sardines.


Wonderful grilled sardines. Eating Algarve Food Tours, Faro, Portugal.

The Birdman of Lisbon, Portugal.

feeding birds, bird man of lisbon, Portugal

The Birdman of Lisbon. Waterfront Praca Do Comercio, Quay Pillars.

Octopus pots, Salema, Algarve, Portugal.

Octopus pots, Salema, Algarve, Portugal.

Octopus pots, Salema, Algarve, Portugal.