Beach

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So this ends the week long look back at my adventures with my friend, Sue. If you haven’t been following along, she has been one of my best friends for forever and is moving to Austin, Texas this week. I’m grateful she asked me to take the long drive down to Texas with her so we can spend a little more time together but also I get to check out Austin since I’ve never really been to Texas before.

It’s crazy because looking back at our first cross country road trip, Spain, Maine, and now this image from St John, I’ve realized we’ve done so much together. And this doesn’t even scratch the surface. We’ve been on plenty of girls trips and have spent so much time just adventuring around the Washington DC metro area. I’ll miss her lots but I also know it won’t be for too long before I see her again.

This image is of St John Virgin Island. It’s funny because this was our first ever vacation together and probably one of my favorites. I mean how can it not be? I’m all about that island life. LOL. I remember the exact moment I took this too. We were actually staying on St Thomas, took a ferry to St John and then a bus took us to the local beaches from there. Fortunately the bus stopped at some beautiful places along the way for us to take pictures. I leaned over Sue to take this image but I’m pretty sure that she’s used to me doing stuff like that by now. Not much longer after I took this pic, we were down on that beach laying out 🙂 Sounds perfect right about now.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/640th sec at ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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The other day a friend of mine emailed me asking me if I had Iceland recommendations because they just booked a trip for the summertime. Oh definitely yes I do and basically wrote a book with everything I knew about traveling to the nordic country. All the pros, cons and everything I would do differently. To be honest though, there weren’t that many cons. Way more pros and exciting things to do 🙂

So after that long email, it made me want to go back and revisit some of my older Iceland images. It’s been 2 years since last time I was there but still have great memories of the visit. I’ve never been in the summertime so I definitely noted that it would be interesting to see what it would be like with almost 24 hrs of sunlight. It makes me wonder if sleeping would be difficult .

This image was taken on my last trip there. Vík was one of my favorite places we visited and it’s always on the top of my to-see places whenever people tell me they’re going to Iceland. This was an early morning shot and by early morning I mean around 11:30a in Iceland because we were there in January and the sunrise was around 10:30. It was amazing to get to sleep in for so long but so weird when daylight was only 4 or 5 hours.

An early morning fog had rolled in and seriously illuminated the mountains like I had never seen before. PS Is it me or do you feel like eating a piece of steak now? LOL.

Iceland is definitely one of those places that I could go back to time and time again and not get bored.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/50th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7ii and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Home from California and it honestly feels a little different being back.

Why? Because I was so used to the beautiful California weather and as soon as I stepped off the plane, all I saw was snow. So sad to have missed the first real snow we got in the Washington DC area but not sad because I had a blast on our trip.

Even though a majority of our time was spent in San Diego and we had a trip similar to this around the same time last year, it was still like our first time there. It was a different experience because this time we went with our cousins and we stayed directly on the beach. Living that beach life was so great. Sometimes instead of driving the rental car, we would just take scooters to get around. We took Frankie on walks on the beach which he loved because he had so much open space to run around and overall just looking outside the windows of our airbnb at sunset was a view that stopped you in your tracks. I loved it.

It also allowed me to spend more time practicing and capturing the city from above with my drone. By the end of the trip, I tended to reach for my drone more times than my actual camera. I love just standing on the beach and seeing different points of view with just a slight movement of my finger. It made taking pictures a little more relaxing.

This image was taken just a few steps away from our airbnb in Mission Beach one morning just after sunrise. It was cool because our view was of the ocean but right behind us was Mission Bay. It was so nice to be surrounded by water.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/280th sec at ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro

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SURVIVEDDDDDDDD! I survived my first ever experience in camping. It was actually better than expected but more about that later.

A few little updates from even before we left for our trip to California:

I originally booked the trip so that I could spend more time with family. I have cousins in Palo Alto and in-laws in Lake Tahoe. But before I met up with them, I wanted to spend a little time in San Francisco just photographing the city. I was going to go by myself when very last minute, Andrew decided to join me on this whole adventure. I was so happy! This trip would not have been the same without him. When I’m talking about last minute, I’m talking we booked his flight 4 days before we left for the trip so I’m glad it all worked out.

Also I received my repaired A7II the day before I left for the trip. But funny enough it was also the same day that I was to receive my Sony A7III from borrowlenses.com. In effort to keep things simple and easy, I decided to just receive the A7III and ship it right back to Borrow Lenses. I didn’t even touch it. I just feel more comfortable with my own camera and I didn’t want to fumble around with a camera for my trip. I wanted it to be as easy and light as possible. Glad to have you back, baby *kissy face*

Last but not least, I got some of the most exciting news ever. Click here if you didn’t read my blog post from Friday. I still can’t believe I have prints and postcards in the bookstores of the National Mall. Please someone come and pinch me to make sure this is real!

This image was taken one more from Baker Beach, San Francisco, California. It’s funny because it was not foggy during the sunrise but as the day went on, it got foggier and foggier. This image was probably taken around 7:30a. We stopped by Baker Beach on our way to the farmers market. Andrew’s obsessed with the fruit in California 🙂 So am I. My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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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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Before I left to Aruba, I mentioned the fact that I was really looking forward to seeing the flamingos on Flamingo Beach. And I’m so glad we had the opportunity to see them. To be honest, they were a little smaller than I thought they would be and there wasn’t as many but that didn’t stop me from following them around everywhere to capture their every move. LOL.

They were so fun to watch. Their little habits like stomping on the ground to get food and even biting themselves even while walking was so interesting to see. I think the funniest part was when they would get in the outdoor shower and wait for someone to pull the chain down so they can get fresh water. These flamingos are definietly not wild. There was even a little gum ball machine that had flamingo food that you could pay and feed them, but I was not trying to do that. I think that would be getting a little too close to the birds. My friend was trying to pose for a picture with one and she probably got a little too close. The flamingo actually bit her! She laughed about it while she was backing away and said that it felt like a little pinch but nuh-uh. No way would you ever find me that close to a bird. Even if they’re pretty and pink. Birds are birds. 

You can see in the background there are a few rain clouds. It did rain for a bit while we were in Aruba. It went away in about 20 minutes but it gave us a nice break from the constant sun. I think it worked out well though because I love the tones that it created in this image. 

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/6400th of a second ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens. PS you’re going to be seeing a lot of the 70-200mm in my Aruba images. It had way too much fun with that lens.