Seashore by Brian Daley in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Steeped in beauty, history, and prestige, visitors flock to Cape Cod for its sandy beaches, delicious seafood, and maritime character.  If you need any more convincing than that you should check out Brian Daley’s beautiful photographs of his hometown. Check out his vibrant portraits and be sure to follow him on Instagram here: @brianjdaley.

Name:Brian Daley

Place you live: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Occupation: Student

Preoccupation: Space

Place your Instagrams were taken:  Cape Cod, MA

Can you sum up the place you live? Cape Cod has two distinct personalities. The arm-shaped peninsula off of Massachusetts’ coast is best described as beautiful desolation followed by the busiest tourist season you’ll ever see. The winters bring blankets of snow which drape the sand dunes. The streets are empty while the beaches are illuminated by a clear and colorful Milky Way. The summers bring traffic and tourists from all over the East Coast. They also bring hot beach days with thousands of boats lining the shore. It’s, hands down, the best place to live.

What is a perfect day in your spot? The absolute perfect day on Cape Cod is waking up to the sound of unrelenting wind and gigantic waves crashing on the beach. I’ll throw on my sailing gear and toss my lifejacket and harness in the car. The rest of the day is spent sailing in violent ocean conditions with my best buddy, followed by watching hundreds of kiteboarders off of West Dennis Beach in awe. The two of us will catch up with other friends, driving around to the best ice cream spots in a doorless red Jeep Wrangler, racing the sunset. The night is followed by beach bonfires under the stars with early morning grill sessions ending the day.

If your city was a person or character who would it be and why? John Fitzgerald Kennedy. If you know Cape Cod for any reason it’s most likely thanks to our 35th President of the United States. The President was famous for spending time with his family sailing off the shores of their compound in Hyannis Port, racing his Wianno Senior in Nantucket Bay, and going to mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? I generally stick to my older Canon 60D but since I’ve upgraded to an iPhone 7 it’s been fun messing around with that (don’t even get me started on the slowmo videos). I also picked up a Pentax 35mm from the 1970’s that’s been super fun to learn and mess around with!

What is your editing process? I generally go through each photo in Lightroom and make sure it’s a sharp image. I check the composition, what’s in and out of focus, and if I’m playing around with new techniques I need to be observant of what I can save with editing; some areas are too over or underexposed, etc. The next thing I
do is mess around with basic controls and make sure I have highlight priority on (press J to see over and underexposed areas). I’ll look at exposure, blacks, whites, and save as much detail in the shadows as I can while maintaining a pretty evident contrast. The next step is adjust the curves, then finish off with increasing the sharpness and detail. Overall it’s a liberal and creative process. Each photographer has their individual presets and series of steps in editing photos- this is generally my workflow.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Do something new. Nobody wants to see the same sunset photo everyday. Make photos that interest you and you’re proud of sharing.

Who are your three favorite photographers? Jimmy Chin, Chris Burkard, Ben Brown

What is the most amazing travel experience you’ve ever had? I’ve been fortunate enough to travel through fifteen countries and have amazing experiences with unique people. The one experience that always sticks out to me is the sixteen hour car ride from Port Salut to Cap-Haitian, Haiti. After leaving a foggy Port Salut, a small village in southern Haiti, my brother Will and I dropped off our three friends in Port au Prince to fly home. Without any cash and very little gas, Will and I continued to Haiti’s northern city. Along the coast we passed the Obama Hotel (yes, we stopped and took a photo), drove underneath dried treeless mountains, and above acres of rice paddies. We stopped in a town to take out cash for the last leg of our journey. There, we were stopped by the UN as soldiers in body armor with shotguns and machine guns strapped to their chests unloaded from armored trucks. Needless to say we quickly left the town. The sun set as we ascended through clouds into the northern mountain range. Our phones died restricting us to occasional road signs (very rare) and an old fashioned small printed map to guide us through the Haitian countryside. We eventually made it into the city and after the third hostel found a couple of open beds to sleep. Between driving the full length of Haiti, dodging pedestrians in the capital, driving through earthquake rubble, running out of money, almost witnessing an international conflict, running around a dangerous city at night, and spending time with my brother, that drive was the best thing I have ever experienced abroad.

Want more Instagram tips and inspiration? Check out all of our Best of Instagram features and learn from the masters.

Want to be featured on our best of Instagram series and bask in the glory? Follow Global Yodel on Instagram and tag your best local shots with #GlobalYodel!


Name:Brian Daley

City:Harwich Port, MA

Best place to eat:

The Mason Jar

Best place to drink:

Sand Dollar

Best outdoor activity:


Must do (for the traveler):

Get a shirt from Cuffy’s

Local tip:

Best ice cream spots: Sundae School (absolute best), Cape Cod Creamery, Four Seas Ice