Aruba

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The first morning we were in Oranjestad, my friend Sue and I walked around the city. It was so cute and every turn had something new and unexpected. I loved all the colorful buildings and homes and this house was no different. It was the pink flowers that originally drew me in but then it was all the cracks and tears all along the facade that really made me want to photograph the house. I just loved all the details and really wished that I was able to walk onto the porch but there was a gate blocking us from doing that.

So I captured this image with my 16-35mm wide angle lens. As we were walking around more I felt like I wanted to capture more detailed shots of the house. I opened up my backpack, trying to dig out the 70-200mm when I noticed a cat was sitting on the porch! I had no idea it was there when I first took the picture so I tried to remain calm and quickly put my 16-35mm wide angle back on the camera before I went any further. I’m not sure what happened but the cat quickly got up and ran away 🙁 I was kind of disappointed that I wasn’t able to capture the cat like I wanted to but went back to review my images and I’m so glad I was able to capture this. It’s so funny because I didn’t even know he was there in the first place. He was a tiny little guy so I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed him the first time you looked at this image too. LOL.

My camera settings for the image is F8 at 1/800th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Always looking for new framing ideas, this one was taken right after I finished eating breakfast on the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino’s private island. Luckily my camera goes everywhere I go while traveling. But the private island is great. It’s just a quick boat ride from our hotel and you could literally spend the whole day here. Theres a great restaurant where they serve you wayyy too much bread and on the other side of the island you can play and interact with flamingos.

Almost immediately after we got off the boat onto the private island, it started to downpour rain. We ran to shelter and figured we would wait it out by eating breakfest. Thank goodness for Caribbean weather because the rain did not last long at all. By the time we ordered our food, the rain had basically stopped. I walked closer to the edge of the restaurant to capture this view. You would never have known that it was raining just by looking at it.

And that hammock looks so inviting.

My girlfriends and I ended up spending all morning here taking a million and one pictures. Sad to see another summer go but summer 2018 was a BLAST. I’m so glad I was able to spend some time out in the sun and on the beach. I feel like it’s been a while since I had taken such a relaxing vacation where most of the day was spent not doing anything at all. So if you’re looking for a great place to visit with great weather, I’d highly recommend Aruba.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/5000th of a second and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens handheld. Shhhh… I didn’t even bring a tripod on this trip 🙂 That’s just how relaxing it was.

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I think my new favorite camera is this GoPro Hero 5. It’s just so small and compact but you can literally take video or pictures anywhere you go. I think the best part is all the accessories you can buy with it. You know how females love accessorizing 🙂

So for this image, I just had the AmazonBasics Floating Hand Grip with extra grip attached the camera. It’s great because the camera itself is waterproof so you don’t need an extra casing for it. The handgrip was great because if you dropped it by accident, it would just float right next to you.

Let me know if you want to know what other accessories I got for the GoPro because there are just so many it can be a little overwhelming.

Anyways, I was trying to go for that underwater/over the water look and feel for this image. I don’t think the lens on the GoPro is wide enough to do it with just the camera by itself, so this was as close as I got. I still think it’s pretty cool because you see some pretty cool reflection of the flamingo’s neck. But I think my favorite part of the image is the little water explosion you can see by his head. I think it’s just such an interesting detail that could easily be passed over.

My favorite part about seeing the flamingos was watching what they could do with its neck. It can bend and curve in so many different odd shapes. It was interesting to watch. I’m pretty sure I saw a flamingo able to make two humps in their neck. So interesting! But so weird at the same time. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F2.8 at 1/3539th of a second (woah!) and ISO 100 with my GoPro Hero5 Black.

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Ok a little break from the moody weather pics in Washington DC and onto a moody weather pic in Aruba. LOL.

While in Aruba, if we wanted to go anywhere, we’d most likely be traveling by foot or taxi. I love taking taxis because you’re able to talk to the driver and get some local information that only they know. For example, one of our taxi drivers told us that they don’t have weathermen in Aruba. Isn’t that crazy? It’s because the weather is pretty much the same everyday and there would really be no need for him or her. It’s consistently 85 degrees with no humidity and a slight breeze all the time. It’s like a dream. If it does rain, it will only rain for a 20 minutes and it’s back to sunny skies. The really nice part about Aruba is that it’s right outside of hurricane belt so that’s not even really a concern either.

But then why did it rain on our trip? LOL 2 out of the 3 full days that we were there, there was some crazy down pour. It was sunny at some points in the day but overall, it was pretty overcast like it is in this image. Oh well, you can’t win them all…

I love looking at this image. It totally reminds me of what it’s like in Aruba. Palm trees everywhere and I can just imagine them flowing in the wind with that amazing breeze. It’s like I have been transported back. Which reminds me, I’ve been working on the Aruba vlog. Expect that to be coming out very soon! At least before the end of the month. Pinky promise!

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 64 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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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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While in Aruba, we stayed at the Renaissance Resort and Casino. I’d recommend it if you really want to go to Flamingo Beach and stay in Oranjestad. I liked it because the location was really convient to a lot of shopping, restaurants and bars. It made life so much easier when you could just walk across the street and get the best dutch pancakes on the island.

This image was taken on our first morning in Oranjestad, just like this one. Apparently Sue and I had a great photowalk because I got so many images that I am happy with including this one. This building is right by our hotel. We could actually see it from our balcony everyday. If I remember correctly, it was a church. But I just loved the vibrant yellow color with the black trimming on the windows. It made it a very unique looking building. The red sign was just the focal pointed need to make this even more interesting. It took a couple of frames for me to get it just right but I love the way it turned out.

I hope you’re liking these Aruba images because I still have a ton more to go through. I’ve literally just scratched the surface. I’ve been pretty busy lately working on a couple of projects here and there but hopefully I’ll have some time to work on those images soon as well as an Aruba vlog! I can’t wait to check out the gopro footage of when we went snorkeling in the ocean 🙂

One last reminder, if you’re not busy tonight, come join me, my friends Geoff and Focus on the Story International Photo Festival for an Evening with the Monuments. Click here for the details.

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