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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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I hope you all had a very Happy Holiday. I had a great time with family and will probably be spending the rest of the week with some out of town family visiting. But I felt like the day after the holidays, people need some relaxation. For me, that place is always at the beach.

I love the sound of the waves crashing and the wind blowing through my hair. Unfortunately, Andrew and I will not be going to San Diego around this time of year as we have done in the previous two years, but hopefully, sometime in 2020, we’ll be able to make our way over there.

This image was captured with my drone. I love capturing beach scenes from above because it just gives you a totally different perspective. In particular, I think it’s pretty cool how the whitewater form triangles in this image. It creates shapes that I never knew was there and sort of leads you to the surfer on the red board.

My camera settings for this image are F2.2 at 1/140th sec and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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Less than 20 minutes before I had to leave for the airport to go back home, my friend Taz came out in this amazingly beautiful red dress. At first, we had plans of her trying to go into the ocean water and I would try to capture images from above with my drone, but with the short amount of time and how cold the water was in Destin, Florida, it just wasn’t going to work out. But it did allow me just enough time for me to capture this image.

Taz and her husband Fahim stood there as I was circling them with the drone and it seriously felt like I was photographing a dream. I only wish I had more time to get capture more images but one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to capture this dress with the water. It was the perfect pop of color and the flowy dress was the perfect complement to the waves in the water.

In case you were wondering, Taz said she got this dress from Etsy.

My camera settings for this image are F2.2 at 1/4000th sec and ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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So after taking a few pictures of the coast, I thought it would be a perfect time to fly the drone for a bit. I prefer flying in the early morning because there are fewer people out who may be bothered by the drone. So I got the drone up in the air and began to fly around the water.

It’s always an interesting perspective from up above. You never really know what you’re going to see until you’re up there. I was able to capture some cool images but I ended up really liking these “self-portraits”. I had no idea how clean looking the sand was until I saw it from above. I thought the lines that cars created in the sand were cool but my favorite of them are these long shadows Andrew, Frankie and I created.

So from left to right is Frankie, Andrew, my black camera bag, and then me 🙂 LOL I had no idea my camera bag would create such a long shadow and so when I looked at these images on my computer, I was a little confused as to what that 4th shadow was. When I zoomed in and figured out it was my camera bag, it made me like this image even more. My camera was definitely like the 4th person on this trip. LOL.

My camera settings for this image are F2.2 at 1/800th sec ISO 400 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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Ok, enough chit chat. This was my FAVORITE part of the night. It was the “segment” when Waldnilso brought out his drone, attached some lume cubes to the bottom of it and started flying when it was crazy dark outside. This was the first time I’ve ever witnessed anyone flying at night and it was so cool. To be honest, I didn’t even know you could do it.

But the lights were surprisingly bright. The kind of bright that if you stared at them too long, you’ll start seeing stars. Even hovering over a president’s head for a little bit of time was enough to light them up for an exposure and it created some very interesting/creepy images.

But the best was when Waldnilso would circle around the presidents’ heads. At first, he did these circles which were really cool. He told us to hit our shutter when the drone was behind the head and then release it when it came back around for a very clean looking circle. Those images turned out cool but then he suggested spiraling around the heads. OMG! I moved my camera and tripod over to the side so I wouldn’t get a similar-looking image and I love the way that it turned out. I can’t even imagine what it takes to fly a drone at night but it was the coolest thing ever.

PS that light coming from the right-hand side of the image is the moonlight.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 83 seconds and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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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