island

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This is a good story. Or at least I think it is.

So at any given moment you can catch one of these brown pelicans hanging out on a rock in the ocean. They’re pretty cool to look at since we have nothing like them in the DC metro area. So my friend Sue and I decided to just sit down, watch the pelican and relax for a little bit. We actually copied this idea from another couple who were sitting fairly close to the pelican. But once they got up to leave, the pelican started acting funny.

At first Sue and I did not know what was going on, but then saw that he was actually spitting up something on to the rock. He had stored a whole bunch of little fish in his lower bill. So I guess when he thought the coast was clear he felt freedom to start eating them.

That’s when the seagull came.

And it was literally a fight for the fish. It was hilarious. Especially with Sue’s commentary in the background while I was taking the pics. She would be like “uh oh, get your own fish” “oh no, it’s a battle!” “*gasp* he fell into the water”. HAHAHA I actually got some of it on video because I was recording parts of it for my youtube video (coming soon) and that’s the only reason why I remember what she said. But I could not stop laughing in the moment and watching it back on video. It was literally like watching the nature channel in real life.

I don’t remember exactly what happened afterwards, but I do know the seagull ended up flying away after a while.

End story. HAHAHA

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1600the of a second at ISO 160 with my Sony a7II and 70-200mm lens.

 

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I remember exactly how this moment happened. My friend Sue and I spent our first morning in Oranjestad walking around the city to explore. We’re both earlier risers so we were doing it to kill time until the rest of our friends woke up so we could all go to the beach together.

Walking around the capital city made me realize just how peaceful, colorful and safe Aruba really is. We were walking around so early in the morning that none of the stores had opened and we looked like the only tourist around. No one bothered us or even said a word. I loved how there were so many locals hanging around just sitting on the benches, soaking in the sun. The only place that was open was The Pastechi House which had some amazingly fresh Pastechis. And when I say fresh, I mean they grew the spinach behind the store!

So after a quick breakfest, Sue and I continued to wonder. I had my 70-200mm lens on most of the time while I was shooting the colorful buildings when I saw this green one across the street from us. I was really drawn to it because I noticed how there were little plants growing out of the roof. I don’t think it was supposed to do that but I thought it made for an interesting play on color. I started photographing it when Sue told me there was someone over there waiting for me to finish taking pictures. I brought my camera down and waved my hand in the universal sign of “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you, you may pass.” LOL. But as I was giving him the hand signal I thought about how great it would be to include him in this image. So here he is rushing by so I could continue taking pictures. But I really like how everything lined up. My favorite is the reflection in the car window. It’s so subtle but I think it really adds the image.

After he passed he continued to walk slowly on his way 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/1000th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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About a week or two after Snap DC came out, I cut my hair short. It hasn’t been this short since high school. Andrew has never even seen my hair short before. I’ve always had it long, way past my shoulders, almost to the middle of my back. But I felt like I needed a drastic change. I don’t know, I felt like I was a point in my life where I needed to shake things up a bit and cutting my hair was the answer.

What I didn’t expect is how much I would look like my mom in the process. OMG it’s kinda scary. This picture looks EXACTLY like her except her hair is even shorter than mine. Either way, I’m still undecided about it. I definietly will keep it for the summer but after that, I may just grow it out long again. What do you think?

This image was taken on our last day in Aruba. My friends Sue, Neena and I were walking around Oranjestad trying to get last minute gifts for people back home when we came across this amazing yellow wall. I think it’s the side of someone’s house. Whatever the case is, I love how vibrant the color is. The palm tree made for a nice frame as well. Now that I think of it, my mom’s favorite color is yellow. LOLOL.

So shoutout to Sue for creating a picture that’s meant for my mom.

Don’t forget, a week from today I’ll be cohosting a photo workshop with my friends, Geoff Livingston Photography and Focus on the Story International Photo Festival on night photography. We’ll be walking the National Mall and talking about long exposure, street photography at night and so much more! Its going to be a really fun event with a lot more photo instruction than the regular photowalks we’ve been doing this summer. Plus there will be 3 instructors instead of one. So if you’re interested, check out all the info here.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1000th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Home from Aruba and I had a great time. I mean I really, really enjoyed my visit there. Not only is the weather amazing (consistently 85 degrees, no humidity, and there’s always a slight breeze) but island itself is absolutely beautiful. The people are very nice and accommodating and one of the best parts- no mosquitos! I could totally see myself going back again.

We spent most of our days by the water. Either at the beach or our hotel’s pool. Both were super relaxing and so much fun considering I went to the Caribbean island with 7 girlfriends. Everyday was a new adventure and tons of laughs. This image was captured on one our beach days at Eagle Beach. We asked our taxi driver to take us to the famous Divi Divi tree and ended up here. I was a little disappointed because the tree was taped off and there would have been no way of capturing the tree without it.

So we ended up just flying the drone instead. To be honest, it was a little scary. With the constant breeze, the drone was a little shaky in the air. Even when the drone was supposed to be still, it was constantly rocking back and forth with the wind. It was especially scary when the drone would fly way off into the deep waters. Not only was my drone was shaking, my hands were shaking too. LOL.

But thankfully my friend, Hannah, brought and blew up this watermelon floaty. It made for such a cute prop for a photoshoot. I asked my friend, Ariana to lay in it and just wait for a little while so I could compose my image. I love the way it turned out. I feel like it totally describes a beachy-island vibe.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/8000th of a second ISO 200 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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After doing a little bit of research, I found that one of the best places to practice flying your drone is in Fiesta Island in San Diego. It’s a wide open area with plenty of room to fly with not a lot of trees or anything to get in your way. It’s perfect. So one beautiful afternoon last week, I headed down there by myself to get some fly time in.

Overall, it was an awesome experience. It was my first time flying over water and the views were beautiful! However there are a few more things here that I have to look out for than I do flying back home. First of all, there are so many more birds here. It’s a little nerve wracking when a whole flock of them fly by. But I did get a pretty cool shot of them flying below the drone… youtube video coming soon 🙂

Second, the wind here is a huge factor. At one point my drone went a little bit too high in the sky and I honestly thought it was a goner. I hit the ‘return home’ function on the remote but it just went higher and further away. OH MAN were my hands shaking. I was so nervous about it drifting to the other side of the island or even hitting a bird or something and going straight down. Luckily, I was able to get it back and it’s all safe and sound.

So here’s one of the images I was able to capture while practicing. It’s a simple one of me sitting on the beach as a bird is flying by but I really enjoy the lines in the sand and the color of the water. Hopefully I’ll be able to fly more asap.

The settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/1100 of a second and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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Be sure to hit the “purchase print” button when you hover over the image. Check out the sky and you see’ll all these little dots. At first I thought they were dust spots (knowing me and my camera) but upon further inspection, they’re all birds!!! How crazy is that! I attempted to try to get rid of them, but eventually I realized there were just way too many of them. Also, I thought it was pretty cool how you can barely see them but if you look deeper, you’ll realize the insane amount of birds that were circling these rocks. For someone who has a slight fear of birds, this whole situation was a little terrifying. Not only were there millions of birds who could have swooped down, lifted you up from off the ground and flown away with you, BUT these waves were extremely huge. I was trying my best to capture just how big they were with the person as scale, but it was pretty difficult. I think you have to be there to really see what I mean. It was like being on another planet with the the beautiful sea stacks, humongous waves and black sand beach.  This image makes me want to go back!

The settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/80th of a second at ISO 80. My main intention was to capture the large waves, but it was also to capture movement. The movement of the water in the foreground and the waves crashing but also the woman who unknowingly became my model. It was funny to watch her because she kept on walking towards the water but would run as fast as she could as soon as the wave crashed down. Its as if she was playing a game of chicken with the cold water.