I remember exactly how this moment happened. My friend Sue and I spent our first morning in Oranjestad walking around the city to explore. We’re both earlier risers so we were doing it to kill time until the rest of our friends woke up so we could all go to the beach together.
Walking around the capital city made me realize just how peaceful, colorful and safe Aruba really is. We were walking around so early in the morning that none of the stores had opened and we looked like the only tourist around. No one bothered us or even said a word. I loved how there were so many locals hanging around just sitting on the benches, soaking in the sun. The only place that was open was The Pastechi House which had some amazingly fresh Pastechis. And when I say fresh, I mean they grew the spinach behind the store!
So after a quick breakfest, Sue and I continued to wonder. I had my 70-200mm lens on most of the time while I was shooting the colorful buildings when I saw this green one across the street from us. I was really drawn to it because I noticed how there were little plants growing out of the roof. I don’t think it was supposed to do that but I thought it made for an interesting play on color. I started photographing it when Sue told me there was someone over there waiting for me to finish taking pictures. I brought my camera down and waved my hand in the universal sign of “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you, you may pass.” LOL. But as I was giving him the hand signal I thought about how great it would be to include him in this image. So here he is rushing by so I could continue taking pictures. But I really like how everything lined up. My favorite is the reflection in the car window. It’s so subtle but I think it really adds the image.
After he passed he continued to walk slowly on his way 🙂
My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/1000th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.
I don’t even remember the last time I’ve visited the US Botanic Garden. I know it has to have been at least a couple years and the last couple times I was there, it was purely for the orchid exhibit. I did not go anywhere else or really explore the grounds.
Well last week I had a former photography student and now friend come visit from Sweden. He planned a trip to go to NYC and in the middle of his trip, decided to come down to Washington to see me and another friend he has living in this area, Andrés. It was so great to catch up with Patriq. We talked about everything from photography, American food to Ikea. PS in case you were wondering, swedish fish aren’t really from Sweden.
We met up around the US Capitol and then decided to poke our heads into the US Botanic Garden. For some reason, I had never been in this room and it seems like it’s the main room you go in as soon as you walk into the building. It’s breathtaking with all the plants and vegetation. My favorite part was the ability to walk up the stairs and get a high level view of the room. I found this spot but knew there had to be someone in it to make it complete. I just love the play in perspective with the huge leaf in the foreground and the little Patriq in the background. We were only in the garden for a little bit before we went to our next stop but I can’t wait to go back again. This place has so many great photo opportunities just waiting to happen!
The camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/80th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.
I made this picture last week in between creating this one and this one. There was about a 30 minute window from when the rainbow faded and when the sun was about to go down. At first I was thinking I should just go back to my car and sit in the air conditioning for a little while, then I stumbled upon some flowers and got all distracted. The flowers were right in front of the United States Botanical Gardens which is located very conveniently next to the US Capitol. At that time, it was already closed but it was nice being able to walk around the front area garden for a little while and capture some flowers and plants.
I was particularly drawn to this image. Straight out of the camera it had some beautiful tones that I knew I could bring out more in post processing. All I did was make the darks a little bit darker, I tried making the tips a little more yellow and put a little vignette around the image and called it a day. Pretty simple editing processes but I really like the result. I also love monotone green for some reason. So if you’re interested in learning more about my post processing, you can check out this video tutorial here.
The water droplets add a little bit of extra texture that I enjoy as well. It was at this time that I decided that whenever it rains, I’m going to try to remember to bring my macro lens. It’s perfect for conditions like this and its been a while since I’ve actually used it. This particular image was taken with my 16-35mm wide angle. I envision a much more detailed image with the flowers and droplets in the future, just wait and see 🙂
Man o Man was Arizona hot! That’s what you get when you drive through a heat wave. I think the hottest we experienced was 115 degrees fahrenheit. Luckily, we were just in Tucson. I heard the heat was so hot that it was melting mailboxes in Phoenix! That’s pretty crazy if you ask me. We pretty much arrived in Tucson, went straight for the hotel pool, got out just in time for dinner in air conditioning and sunset in Saguaro National Park. The next morning we woke up and left Arizona, ASAP.
I didn’t expect too much from the park. I like to keep my expectations low so I don’t disappoint myself but it was way better than I had imagined! These Saguaro cactuses were huge. Way taller than me. So much fun to drive through and point at. If you’re planning on visiting anytime soon, I suggest starting out on the east end of the park where they have a paved road to drive through an 8 mile loop. There are a lot of pull over points where you can just stop and enjoy the views.
From a photographer’s standpoint I had a blast in this park but found it a little difficult to shoot. First of all, there are SO MANY saguaros. To single anyone of them out was difficult. Especially since there are so many cactuses around. They all sort of blended in with their surroundings if you wanted to shoot wide angle. So the way that I did it was to use a foreground element to sort of frame a really cool looking saguaro. I think if I had more time there, I’d also try to use the evening or early morning light to try to highlight the outline of the cactuses. I think that’d be pretty cool. Oh well, next time. Hopefully it won’t be as hot that time.
Happy Monday! Can’t believe May is here! Did you guys check out the desktop and cell phone wallpapers? I do them every first of the month and love them. Or if you haven’t yet, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll receive them straight into your inbox. What could be easier? If you use them, send me a screen shot. I have a folder on my desktop that’s called ‘happy’ and I put all of my favorite screenshots in there. If I’m ever feeling down or anything, I always look in that folder and feel uplifted. As you may have noticed I have tons of other folders on my desktop, maybe one day you’ll find out what they all are. Or if you’ve even be interested in that? It’s sort of the method behind all my madness. LOL.
This image was shot in 2013 when I was still using my Canon 5d Mark II. I recently found it on one of my old drives and been having a good time looking through some past images. I love this one with all the greens and different lines. I think my favorite part is the path leading off to the edge of the image. I still remember shooting this. It was on an early morning walk through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was staying in a yert with some of my friends and a few of us decided to explore the surrounding area. I love how that foggy weather just lingers all morning in the mountains. Perfect mood lighting for a great, calm day.
My settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/20th of a second with ISO 200. I shot this with my 17-40mm wide angle lens on a tripod.
Wow that was a lot of links in just one blog post but in case you were wondering, I was a backstreet boys girl allllll the way. Still love you, Nick.