vik

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Now that our Caribbean vacation is just a few days away, I thought it’d be appropriate to post about Iceland. LOL. I don’t know what it is about Iceland that makes me want to keep going back. But I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels this way. Everyone who I know who’s been there has been more than once. I’ve been twice but I would like to go back asap.

  1. because I still haven’t seen a great display of northern lights
  2. because I still haven’t gone to the northern part of the island
  3. Last time I was there, we tried to go into an ice cave but it got cancelled because of rain and I would LOVEEEEE to photograph one.
  4. because every single corner of the island is amazing and so photogenic
  5. I had the best smoked salmon of my life on my last trip and can’t wait to eat even more

The list goes on and on. Plus I didn’t even mention the horses! And you know me and fluffy cute animals. So hopefully I can make that happen asap. Or at least when I return from the beach 🙂

But this image was from my last trip to Iceland in the beginning of last year. I remember we weren’t planning on stopping here but ended up getting out of the car because it was so beautiful. It was pretty cool too because we were the only ones on this side of the beach. Everyone else was on the other side of the cliffs. I brought my tripod out with me so that I could get those silky smooth water with my neutral density filter. I loved the way it turned. This image was originally a horizontal image that I cropped to vertical. I think it’s much more dynamic this way.

My camera settings for this image is at F6.3 at 2 seconds and ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Happy Happy New Year!!! YAYAYAYAY!!!! 2018!

In 2017, I set a goal to travel for photo at least once a season. Mission accomplished. Here are my favorite travel images from 2017 in chronological order.

Click on the pictures to read my original blog post.

hofn, beach, sunrise, water, black sand, iceland, south east, town, Höfn í Hornafirði, fishing town, mountains, fog, clouds,

Iceland, you beautiful country. I love you. I’ll see you again soon, k?

black sand beach, reynisfjara, vik, iceland, travel, europe, western europe, nordic, socks, waterproof, waves, how to dress, cold, beach,

Captured in the middle of the day with my 10-stop neutral density filter. I love that thing. I keep it in my camera bag at all times.

iceland, vik, south iceland, black sand beach, sea stacks, birds, waves, water, cold, europe, travel, blue, mood, rocks, nordic, island, viking,

Took this one just a few hours after the previous image but on the other side of the sea stacks. Crazy how the different point of view changes so much.

iceland, travel, horses, icelandic, island, travel, wind, winter, rain, airplane, golden circle, Reykjavik, fences, road trip, driving, short, hairy, 16-35mm, wide angle, 70-200mm, zoom, sony

One of my favorite parts about Iceland, the horses! They’re so sweet.

I’m not sure if you noticed or not but once I got back from Iceland, I decided to work on my blog even more. Yes, I still post new images every weekday, but I’m taking the time out to write longer and more thoughtful blog posts. I just thought that an interesting change from this trip that I wanted to note.

meadowlark botanical gardens, nova parks, northern virginia, vienna, va, koi fish, gazebo, pond, blossoms, spring, flowers, cherry blossoms, koi, japanese fish, swim, bread, feed, food, outdoors, afternoon, walk, stroll, visit, see, camera settings, motion,

I captured this image in Virginia at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. That counts as travel, right? My favorite part of this image is that little ripple the fish on top is making with his tail.

utah, moab, arches national park, devils garden, trail, trail head, rock formations, sunrise, shrubs, nature, landscape, mighty 5, hikes, research, plan, travel, vacation, southwest, america, usa, national park,

Arches National Park in Utah. This was one of the first images I captured at sunrise. I just love how the sun burst balances out the red rocks on the right hand side.

colorado, co, visit, travel, rocky mountain national park, antonios pizza, estes park, sunset, dinner, pizza, hike, trail, lake, sprague, tripod, camera settings, neutral density, nd, filter, tripod, reflection, mountains

I fell in love in the spring and it was with Colorado. Man o man, I gotta go back in 2018.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, co, travel, visit, sprague lake, sunset, mountains, trees, national park, trails, hike,

Rocky National Park is one of my favorites. It’s so hard to take a bad picture.

Falling Springs, Covington, VA, virginia, road trip, cross country, waterfall, landscape, blue water, rest stop, rest area, water, trees, leaves, branches, east coast, america, hike, rope swing, summer

The beginning of our epic cross country road trip. That was one adventure that I’ll never forget.

covington, va, virginia, road trip, travel, visit, waterfall, views, summer, swim, hot, alleghany county,

Taken on a tripod and a 10 second timer. I must have looked crazy constantly running back and forth in my flip flops. LOL oh well. Wasn’t the first time.

Saguaro, cactus, national park, tucson, arizona, mountain district, signal hill trail, east end, mountain district, cactus forest drive, desert, landscape, foreground, green, heat wave, photographer, photography, sunset

My first time seeing saguaro cactuses in real life. They are amazingly beautiful and so big. Now that I think of it, I should of taken another self portrait like I did in the previous image here.

Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park, sunrise, maine, bar harbor, north atlantic, east coast, highest point, october, chilly, wind, weather, temperature, clouds, clear sky, photographer, photo, photography, visit, national park

Visited Maine for the first time in October. I love how spacious and airy this image is.

Bass Harbor Head Light, acadia national park, maine, east coast, sunrise, neutral density filter, long exposure, climb, tripod, sony, a7ii, southwest, blue hill bay, mount desert island,

It was hard to find this perspective but once I did, it was totally worth the early morning wake up call and the climb down slippery rocks.

That’s it. Those were my favorite travel images of 2017. Can’t wait to capture even more in the new year.
In case you missed it, I did the same thing with just Washington DC photos. Click here to check them out.

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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.

 

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I thought it we were going to have an early spring? Like starting now. The weather in the DC area was so beautiful and warm last week. I was so ready to start pulling out my cute summer dresses and light jackets. Then it all turned over the weekend. I try my best not to complain in my personal life, but this is not good for many reasons. First of all, you’re messin’ with the flowers! The beautiful saucer magnolias blooms that I photographed last week, waiting for the peak, are all gone now. I’m pretty sure this cold weather will have a bad effect on the cherry blossoms as well but I hope not. Secondly, I think my body is confused. First it’s hot, then it’s cold then its hot again. I’m starting to feel the effects of the temperature change in my throat and head. Not fun.

So instead of going outside, I decided to sit in front of the computer and find an image that depicts how I feel. This one from Iceland describes it perfectly. It was along the main (and only) road from our drive in Reykjavík to Höfn. Along one of our million and one stops for horses, I came across this scene. The horses were the things that first attracted me to this image but then my favorite part is the huge cloud behind them. The road signs adds to my confusion of the weather but either way, I’m not liking the snow. Something so clean and neat perfectly shows what it’s really like on a road trip in Iceland.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I’m not a big fan of being cold. Being in Iceland is different because it’s what’s expected, but not this see-saw rollercoaster of temperatures. End complaint. For now, mother nature.

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If you plan on visiting Iceland, you gotta do a road trip. Reykjavik is cool and all but the best part of Iceland is the country side and being at one with nature. So if you’re really into the outdoors than you gotta go. We rented our car from Lagoon Car Rental and they were amazing. They picked you up from the airport and everything was so easy-peasy.

This is a basic break down of how we spent our 4 days in south Iceland:
Slept on plane so we could hit the ground running.
Day 1: Fly into Keflavik International Airport at 5a. Drive the golden circle. Stopped at Laugarvatn Fontana for a quick geothermal bath dip and then ended at Gullfoss, this AMAZING waterfall.
Day 2: Drive to Höfn but make an exceptionally long stop in Vik for the black sand beach and waterfalls along the way.
Day 3: Spent the morning in Höfn and Jökulsárlón then drove to spend the night in Vik.
Day 4: Early to rise so we could drive back to Keflavik but made one last stop at the waterfall, Skógafoss

But if I had to do it all over again, I’d spend a couple more days in each of these cities and made sure I:
-preordered tickets to the Blue Lagoon (they book up at least 3 months in advance)
-researched more of the hidden/off-the-beaten path waterfalls
-checked out the abandoned DC plane on Sólheimasandur
-cleared the cloudy/rainy skies so I could see some of the northern lights
-cleared the weather so we could finally go on an ice tunnel tour
-maybe see what’s in the northern part of Iceland?

Obviously, I have no regrets from this trip. It was one of the best trips ever. But I know there is just so much more to see. I can already feel the itch.