clear water

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HAPPY 2020! We made it!

I hope you all had a happy and safe night last night. 2019 was a great year for me and my travel bucket list. I am so lucky to have been able to travel to new places, destinations to see family I hadn’t seen in years and revisit some places I’ve been to in the past and relive some beautiful memories. I’m already thinking about all the places I want to go to in the new year. HAHA

Similar to yesterday’s post about my favorite images from Washington DC, these are my personal favorite images I’ve taken on my travels. They are in no special order but chronological. And I added a few more comments about each of the images now. Feel free to click on each of the images to see my original blog post.

san diego, socal, la jolla, la jolla shores, early morning, drone, flying, surfing, surf, pacific ocean

For the past two years, Andrew and I had celebrated the New Year in San Diego, California. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen this year but I really hope to visit Southern California sometime later this year. One of my favorite parts about visiting is being able to fly my drone whenever I want. By the end of this trip, I was flying my drone so much more than taking pictures with my actual camera. One of the best parts is being able to fly over places that would be difficult to see. For example, this image is of my cousin getting ready to get some morning surf in.

Bellagio Las Vegas, hotel and casino, travel, visit, reflection, las vegas, red lanterns, architecture, water show, fountains of bellagio

When I was young, my mom would take me to visit Las Vegas every summer. I always loved visiting because I always thought that her sister, my aunt, lived in the coolest city in the world. At that time, Las Vegas was a lot more family-friendly, but it’s just as fun visiting now as an adult. So when we visited in February it was around the time of Chinese New Year. It was pretty cool to see how each of the casinos celebrated the holiday. This was taken outside the Bellagio hotel. I don’t remember if this was a water fixture, fountain or what, but it was just an open area of water that had a perfect reflection of the red lanterns. Another highlight of that trip? Visiting the Neon Museum for the first time.

cloud gate, the bean, chicago, illinois, sunrise, photographer, glow, the loop, millennium park, park, michigan avenue,

I mentioned this before, but I thought our trip to Chicago was very successful from a photography standpoint (and pizza standpoint too). I came back from that trip with so many images I loved. So many more than what I’ve included in this travel photography post because I wanted to limit myself and only put my absolute favorites. But this image of Cloud Gate is definitely on the top. I absolutely love that glow that’s coming from the sun rising and hitting the bottom of the sculpture. Plus that lady standing in the middle is perfect.

clark street, loop, chicago, windy city, downtown chicago, self parking, garage, street photography, lights, travel,

As far as Chicago city photography, I went on the trip knowing that parking garages are a great place to go to get some nice vantage points. For this particular spot, people are usually facing to the right to photograph some L trains from above. But I thought the view on the left was really interesting as well. I really liked how all the light posts lined up. So I made it a point to look in both directions while I was taking pictures from this garage. Luckily, I turned my head at the right moment to see these pedestrians walking almost in the same pattern as the light posts, all wearing dark colors. This moment could have not been planned more perfectly.

dji mavic pro, from above, turks and caicos, caribbean, island, beach, blue water, weekend getaway, white sand beach, beach umbrellas, pink umbrellas, shadows, beach, flying

3 days in Turks and Caicos was not enough. I spent most of the days relaxing under a beach umbrella and it was amazing. I love the calming sounds of the water and ocean breeze. UGH thinking about it now makes me really miss it since it’s so cold here on the east coast right now. At least I have these images to remind me just how beautiful the world is. I captured this image in the morning time. I try to be considerate of other people’s feelings towards drones so I knew if I had it out later in the day, there would be more chances of people not liking it on the beach. So in crowded places, I try to fly as early in the day as possible. But I just love the contrast of the blue water and pink umbrellas in this image. The shadows of the palm trees and people walking past were not expected but I think really adds to the image.

turks and caicos, grace bay, providenciales, clear water, blue water, white sand, carribean island, gopro, hero5, polarpro, fiftyfifty

I still can’t believe how many cameras I had with me on this trip. For such a short trip, I had 5 cameras, if you include my iPhone. At any given moment, I had at least two cameras with me. So this image was taken with my GoPro. I love that little camera, especially for underwater photography. You can get so creative with all the different mounts. So I bought this FiftyFifty Dome specifically for this trip but the secret for me for capturing this image was putting the camera on timelapse mode and selecting the best one from the entire series. I’d love to do more images like this next time I’m at a beach.

someguy, presidents heads, andy feliciotti, presidents park, williamsburg, virginia, va, croaker, night photography, flashlight, light pollution

The Presidents Heads in Croaker, Virginia has been on my list to visit forever. I actually have been wanting to go to this abandoned field for some time that this was actually my second attempt ongoing. The first time didn’t work out. But it’s ok because this second trip made it all worth it. I loved going there with my photography friends and capturing the Presidents Heads at sunset and night time. It made the whole experience so much more memorable. PS. I also heard they’re filming an episode of Walking Dead here soon. I’ve stopped watching the series but I will definitely be on the lookout for that episode. That’s going to be so cool.

ecola state park, early morning, cannon beach, oregon, haystack rock, tree, branches, seaside, ecola state park photos, ecola state park crescent trail, oregon, travel, visit

My very first time visiting Oregon was amazing. I loved, loved, loved the coast and I can’t wait to go back again. And I was super happy when I found this framing. It was taken at Ecola State Park around sunrise time. I had to step back a little bit to find it and I believe this was one of the last images I captured from this viewpoint. I also think that the memory of showing this image to my mom and her saying that she liked this image because it reminded her of a Chinese watercolor painting also makes me like this image even more.

cape kiwanda, pacific city, oregon, oregon coast, drone, view from above, sand, beach, shadows, lines, travel, dji, drone, mavic pro,

On our third morning along the coast, Andrew, Frankie and I woke up and went for a walk on the beach. This was actually taken on my birthday, so it makes it even more special. But I decided to take my drone out and fly it for a bit. I had every intention of capturing the haystack and ocean but wasn’t really happy with what I was getting. When I was about to land the drone, I flew it above us and saw all the long shadows the sun was creating. I loved the way it turned out, especially with the lines on the beach and how simple everything is. Its one of those images that is probably more sentimental than anything else. And if you’re wondering about the 4th shadow, that’s my camera bag. LOL.

fog, mill run, southwest, ohioplye state park, cucumber falls, waterfall, hills, trese, fall, autumn,

On a last-minute road trip, my friend Sue and I decided to visit Falling Water in Pennsylvania. We booked an Airbnb in a town that was close by and had a great time visiting the surrounding areas. If you know me, I’m an early bird. My internal alarm clock woke me up super early. Like 30 minutes before my alarm went off, so I decided to take advantage of the early morning and tried to find somewhere to take pictures. I had planned to go to a waterfall, but I didn’t make it because this morning fog was distracting me. I found myself pulling over every 10-15 minutes taking pictures. Unfortunately, I left my drone in the Airbnb or else that would have made for some EPIC foggy shots.

rainy day, cinematic, moody, images, photography, travel, new york city, nyc, umbrellas, punch buggy, volkswagen, red car, umbrellas, street photography

Since we’re about a 4-hour drive to New York, I try to make it a point to visit at least once a year. This time we visited, I went to my very first photo expo, PhotoPlus. The expo was very impressive and a little overwhelming. Regardless, being in the city is always a good time. On our last day in New York, it rained a lot. But that didn’t stop us from getting our last meal in the city, soup dumplings. Luckily, Chinatown was amazing for these rainy day vibes. I loved how everyone was carrying around an umbrella and didn’t seem to mind the bad weather.

central park, new york, nyc, fall, autumn, fall foliage, canadian geese, gapstow bridge, orange leaf, travel, weekend in new york

Is it me or is Central Park hard to photograph? Whenever I think of the park, I always think of how big and crowded it is. It’s a little overwhelming and intimidating if you ask me. So I was really happy with the way this image turned out. A little moment of peace with some Candian Geese. That rhymed. But my favorite part about the image is the framing and the yellow leaves around the bottom of the image. It just creates so much more depth that I think is needed in this image. I also think of Home Alone 2 when I think of Central Park, but that’s a different story. LOL.

taipei, taiwan, rain, forecast, weather, typhoon, scooters, street photography, umbrella, zhongxiao dunhua, taxi

The streets of Taipei are crowded! Even waking up before sunrise, you’ll always find people on the streets. It’s pretty crazy how noisy it can get, not necessarily from cars honking but just all the different types of cars engines on the road. From trucks to cars to scooters, you really gotta watch out while walking the streets. But I took full advantage of a busy street in Taipei and waited for this moment to happen. I saw this lady standing on the corner of a crosswalk, right by the taxis. I knew if I waited long enough, some taxis would cross in front of me and create this intersection of yellow. What I didn’t notice while I was capturing the moment was all the yellow in the signs too. I love it when things like this just work out!

tamsui, zhuwei, taipei, new taipei, taiwan, mrt, scooter, street photography, midday light,

Right before my trip to Taiwan, I got my first prime lens! I almost immediately fell in love and probably had that lens on my camera about 70% of the time I was traveling. I can’t even describe how it simplifies street photography and finding moments like this is so much easier to capture. There were a lot of images that I captured with that lens, but this one is probably one that sticks out the most because I just love that slice of light coming from the corner of the image.

taipei, taiwan, restaurant, kitchen, mirror, reflection, travel, self portrait, tamshui

I grew up visiting Taiwan. As I’ve gotten older, the visits have become less frequent but each time I go, I am reminded of so many memories while visiting in the past that I think I grow a greater appreciation for it. This time was even more special because it was going to be the last time I saw my grandfather on my mom’s side. He was 103 years old! I’m so grateful for the time we went because I got to see him while he was still healthy. I hadn’t mentioned it in the past, but he had a stroke during our visit and passed away soon after I came home. I’m grateful to have the last memories of him while he was healthy and to have been able to help him in the hospital. I was considering sharing some images I captured of him during the beginning of our trip, but not sure if I really will on my blog…

But with all that said, I created so many amazing memories this past year. A lot of them came from my travels and I could not be more grateful for the opportunities. There were moments that made me laugh hysterically and moments that made me cry. 2019 will be hard to forget. But it makes me so excited to see what’s in store for 2020 and all the images that still need to be created. Thank you all so much for following along on my journey.

What’s on your travel list for 2020? and HAPPIEST NEW YEAR!!!

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Guess what? Another drone shot. I’m obsessed with my drone. It is exciting to fly and to capture such different perspectives. Its almost like a whole other world that I’ve never seen before. I just wish there were more places around the Washington DC area where I could fly or else I would do it a lot more often.

This image was captured around 6 am at Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos. It seemed like Andrew and I were the only ones who were up at that time which was awesome because we had the whole beach to ourselves. Can you spot us in this image?

My favorite part about this image is obviously the color of the water but I also think the little details are so interesting too. Like the lines in the sand created by the beach chairs. I also love how the beach chairs look so little in this image. If you saw us at all on our trip, we spent most of the time in that exact location just sunbathing. It was amazing.

I don’t know if you can tell but I’ve definitely been having some beach withdrawals.

And yes, that is an overhead shot of the pier I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/290th sec and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro

 

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This was our 4th time in Turks and Caicos as a couple.

Andrew is originally from the Bahamas and because of that, he is very particular about the beaches he visits. And I don’t consider that a bad thing! That only means we visit the nicest beaches together. One of his favorites of all time is Turks and Caicos. It’s so beautiful with the white sand and crystal clear water. You can be standing at waist deep water and still see your feet! Plus it’s a pretty short flight considering the travel time to other beaches like this.

I love it because the vibes are super chill. I’ve never felt threaten or scared even with leaving my camera equipment on the beach, nothing has ever happened to it. The water is so calm. You can wade in the water and never even move from your spot. Sometimes big waves can be fun, but if you’re just trying to relax, I LOVE the peaceful waters.

So being the water-loving guy he is, I think this image perfectly shows him in his element. If you zoom in, you’ll see that he’s smiling 🙂 He looks free as a bird… or fish. The only way to really get him out of the water is by yelling “SHARK!” Then you won’t see anyone run faster. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/1900th sec and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

 

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In a crazy turn of events, Andrew and I spent the weekend in Turks and Caicos. At first, I didn’t think we were going to make it considering I had emergency surgery two weeks ago but in the end, we made it happen! I tried my best to try to postpone the trip. Going through all the paperwork and things to get a date change but it just wasn’t working in our favor. So we decided to just take it slow and still go to the Caribbean island. Why waste the money we already put down for it?  The purpose of the trip was to celebrate a huge milestone for Andrew, so that is exactly what we did 🙂

It turned out to be an amazing trip. Yes, we took it slow. But that’s what a beach vacation is all about. At least for me. What better way to recover and just lay around all day than under a beach umbrella. But there were definitely times when we were walking around in the airport or on the beach where I just couldn’t go anymore. I had to sit down and take a break and Andrew was very patient with me.

Prior to leaving for the trip, I thought it would be fun to get a new toy. So I bought a PolarPro FiftyFifty Dome for my GoPro. I love the GoPro as an underwater camera and I wanted to step it up a notch and try out the dome. Since Andrew and I have been to Turks and Caicos a few times before, I knew there wasn’t going to be much to photograph above water. So I envisioned him doing a handstand in the water so I could really see what it was going to be like shooting above and below the water line.

Since the camera is so small, I thought it would be easier to just set it to timelapse and just concentrate on getting the composition right. My camera settings for this image is F2.8 at 1/1900sec and ISO 100 with my GoPro Hero Black 5

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One of my new years goals this year was to take a photo trip at least once I quarter. I’m telling you all this so you can help keep me accountable. So winter photo trip- check. Iceland was amazing. I don’t know how much more wintery photo experience you could get.

I have a few more places where I’d like to go this year. Nothing is booked or anything yet, so they’re all just ideas right now but I’ve noticed a common theme. They’re all cold weather places!! If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know that the beach is one of my favorite places to be. As soon as I figured out all the layers I’ll be needing this year, I started questioning all the places that I was excited for. My mind immediately went to Caribbean islands, piña coladas, and flamingos. I had to go back and look at some of my sunny beach photos to make myself feel better.

So this was taken at Cinnamon Bay in St John, USVI. The water is particularly calm in this bay so I felt comfortable going into the water with my camera. I was probably in chest high water when photographing this inflatable raft when I decided it was time to hide the camera in a spare towel I brought. Then this bird flew onto the boat and was posing, waiting for me to take his picture. So back out of the water I went to get my camera and into chest high water for this shot. I think my favorite part of this image is the clarity of the water. You can see all the little lines in the sand on the very bottom. It just looks so peaceful and WARM! Now I gotta make sure that there is some kind of beach trip in 2017.

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This is going to be a 3 part series that will be going on my blog for the next 3 days. Why 3 days? Because I shot so many images this year and I love them all but I can’t choose one absolute favorite. I think I ended up with at least 30 absolute favorites. It’s like how do you choose your favorite pizza delivery place? Who knows! They’re all so great, delicious and you like them all for different reasons. That’s the same thing with this!

Part 1: Travel

So here are my 10 favorite images from travel in 2016. I am SO lucky that I was able to travel to Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean this past year. Like is this really my life?

In order of when I visited these amazing places, here are my favorite travel images of 2016. Woop Woop!
Click the image to find the original blog post and the story behind it.

electronic megastore, japan, akihabara, escalators, electronics, camera, electric town, shopping district, manga, computer goods,

The electronic Super Store in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan. You could spend hours in this one place and I think I did. Obviously, most of my time was spent on the photography floor. Yes, that’s right. A whole floor devoted to photography!

shinjuku, gyoen, national garden, asia, tokyo, japan, garden, park, shibuya, green, water, pond, monochrom, popular parks, walk

One of my favorite places in the city of Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen. I love all the variations of green in this image.

Fushimi Inari Shrine, kyoto, vermilion torii gates, shinto, japan, kimono, girls, walking, light, Senbon Torii, gate, shrine, girls

This image definietly took a lot of patience. It was that decisive moment that Henri Cartier-Bresson talks about.

motorcycle, bike, hello kitty, bicycle, japan, asia, black, street, pink, garage,

The contrast of these two bikes in Tokyo cracks me up. I can imagine these two riding down the road together having the best time.

st john, cinnamon bay, trunk bay, beach, palm tree, rocks, white sand, clear water, virgin islands, usvi, caribbean, travel, beach bum

OMG Can we please go back? St John was like heaven on earth.

st thomas, virgin islands, margaritaville, jimmy buffet, sunrise, morning, beach, umbrella, chairs, ocean, caribbean, usvi

This was taken at the resort we were staying at, Margaritaville. I didn’t have any margaritas but I had plenty of vodka. They should change the name to Vodkaville 🙂

st john, virgin islands, usvi, caribbean, territory, travel, beach, clear water, blue water, island, clouds, boat, visit, visit, cinnamon bay

YES to all the above

ft lauderdale, south florida, beach, seaweed, ocean, atlantic, america, florida, fl, seagulls, sunrise, walk, shore, peace, calm, water, sand

In August, Andrew and I spent a long weekend in Ft Lauderdale. It was a great end of summer get away.

london, england, parliment, sunset, thames river, united kingdom, palace of westminster, house of lords, house of commons, meeting place, sunset, central london, british polictics, royal palace, night, car trails,

Oh Snap! Don’t you love it when big buses pass you by while taking a long exposure. They always create the coolest lines with their lights.

la sagrada familia, BasĂ­lica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada FamĂ­lia, gaudi, roman catholic church, barcelona, spain, interior, architecture, holy family, Antoni GaudĂ­,

La Sagrada Familia: The most awe-inspiring interior I’ve ever seen. My girlfriends and I made a pact to come back to Barcelona in 10 years when to see this place when  it’s all complete.

 

So there it is. My top 10 travel images for 2016. What did you guys think? Come back to the blog for the next two days for more of my favorites.