birds

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If you haven’t checked it out already, I posted a new vlog on my youtube channel last week! Just a few clips of our trip to San Diego plus I added some of footage I captured from the drone. I’m having so much fun flying now and becoming a lot more comfortable with it. Over the weekend I flew a little bit with my cousin, Brian and he taught me how to take off and land from my hand! SOOO COOL! So if you haven’t checked out the video yet, click here to watch our trip to San Diego.¬†Let me know what you think in the comments.

This image was taken on one of the many foggy mornings we had in SoCal. I will admit it was a little difficult to find compositions at times with all the fog and not being able to see too far ahead, but I love the way this one turned out. I think my favorite part is seeing the bird’s reflections in the sand. It’s so simple but I just can’t stop looking at it. The lines in the sand really help draw you in as well. I don’t know about you, but I always associate southern California with sunshine so it was interesting to see the other side of it. However next time I go, I would like some sun. This is the second time in the row when there was a whole bunch of fog. You’d think I was in San Francisco or something!

The settings for this image is F18 at 0.6 seconds with ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

PS I heard we’re expecting some snow this week in Washington, DC. plus the super moon! I’m really looking forward to going out and shooting this week. Good times ahead!

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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 ūüôā

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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On the same day that I was looking down at times square, I was also looking up. I took this image about 30 minutes before that other one from the rooftop bar and I was actually on solid ground for this one. HAHA.

I’ve always wanted an image like this from times square. The buildings are just so massive all around you that I knew there was a way. For some reason, I’ve found it really difficult¬†to capture in the past. I guess all I needed were just some dark cloudy skies and birds flying above me¬†all at the right moment. Patiences is obviously key in photography. But I really like this image because it just feels like a big hug from the buildings. Everyone all at once, “awwwww”.

Without my 16-35mm wide angle lens, I would not have been able to capture all of it. But now that I’m looking at the image again, I wish I would have gotten lower to capture it. If I was kneeling down on the ground, I think I would have been able to capture much more of the buildings on the edges¬†and maybe would have been able to fill in some of the spaces in between? Who knows. Either way, I’m happy with the way this one turned out. There was a fair amount of lens correcting that went into this. I also like how the cloudy skies give the buildings a mood of darkness. Usually when you visit times square, all you see are the lights. It’s like a totally different view.

Which makes me think, if I didn’t tell you that this was times square, would you have been able to guess the location?

My camera settings for this image are F/8 at 1/60th of a second ISO 400.

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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 know its wrong but whenever I travel and check the hours for a national park, I kinda just assume it’s more like a guideline as opposed to an actual rule. I think it’s because there have been so many times at so many different parks that the gates are left open and I just drive right through. Well this is definietly not the case at White Sands National Monument. They closed the gate! I was so disappointed that we woke up early just to go take some sunrise shots and it was closed.

But since we were already up, dressed and ready to take some pictures, we decided to pull over at this camp site spot near the entrance of the park. It had really pretty cactuses and a lake that maybe we could get a few shots in. I didn’t really expect much but then I saw these three birds just hanging out in the water. I knew they were going to fly away as soon as they saw me so I did my best to slowly approach them. I only had my 28-70mm so I wasn’t able to zoom super close to them like I would have wanted to. Regardless, I’m really happy that I was able to capture them taking off. My favorite part of the image is that one little water drop in the middle¬†of the second and third bird. Such small details like that can really make an image. For me, my eye keeps on going straight to that spot and I love it!

So listen to me now. If you’re going to White Sands National Monument,¬†definietly get your beauty sleep in so you can be ready to shoot sunset. Sunset is where it’s at at White Sands!¬†

Settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/200th of a second ISO 500.

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They always say birds of a feather flock together but this is just a little scary. These birds circled me about 5 times before landing on the ground. Then about 30 seconds later they were up in the air again. I don’t know what that means other than to grab my photo gear and run!