hike

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Back in 2018, my cousin gifted me with his old film camera. It was unexpected but I am so grateful for it. It brought back many memories of when I first started in photography. At that time, there was no digital photography. Everything was on a negative film. But what had initially sparked my interest in photography was being able to go out with my friends and capturing portraits of them with my SLR camera, point and shoot, and even disposable cameras. It was just something fun for us to do and I used to love seeing pictures I took on my friend’s bedroom walls or lockers. So from that point on, everywhere I went, I had a camera on me.

Obviously with a “new camera” comes new adventures so when I got the film camera, I was excited to start experimenting with it. It’s been a while since I have used film so along the way, I’ve learned to take my time with composition and framing. I learned that each frame is precious and should not be taken for granted, especially since a roll is film is just 24 or 36 frames. Photograph the moments that really speak to you. And practice patience in creating and developing the images.

But omg, that sound of the shutter too! It instantly brought back so many memories.

So I thought it would be fun to go through some images that I’ve taken in the past year or so with my Canon T70 and 35-70mm lens. By the way, none of these images on this post have been edited. I may or may not edit them in the future, but for now, it’s just fun seeing the results of the film.

My first set of images were taken in August 2018. I brought it on a peach picking trip with me and it was really just to see if the camera was working if there were any light leaks and a refresher on how to use film. I’m sorry to say that I forgot what kind of film these were captured on. I tried going through my Amazon orders and I don’t see any film listed. It may have just been some old rolls of film my cousin had in his camera bag. Although it’s a little fuzzy, this roll of film got me excited to start shooting again.

Delaplane, Virginia August 2018

Nowadays, I find myself researching different kinds of film and cameras, just to see what’s out there. I love watching youtube videos of other photographers getting great images with their analog cameras. I have to admit though, it’s a little hard for me to capture film images. I have my digital camera which I love, but it’s hard to balance the time between my digital and film camera. I spend most of my time shooting on my digital camera because I’m so used to it that sometimes I’ll even forget that I have a film camera on me.

It has helped to go on photo outings that are dedicated to just film. I’ll leave my digital camera at home and I love the feeling of roaming with such light equipment. Since I don’t have additional lenses or equipment for my film camera, it has been a nice change of pace to just have one camera with one lens.

Kodak UltraMax 400: San Diego, California January 2019

Kodak UltraMax 400: San Diego, California January 2019

Expired Film

I am extremely grateful for my friend, Jim. He was my photography mentor when I interned at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum while I was in high school. We’ve been able to reconnect through social media which was really cool when we found each other! Last year, he was kind enough to give me a whole bunch of expired Portra film 400 and 800 rolls of film. It has been so fun to try to go through all the rolls. I’m nowhere near completing them, but to see how the expired film develops has been super interesting.

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Along the way, I tried to capture all different kinds of images from the hike. This was my first time in Harper’s Ferry and seeing the viewpoint from Maryland Heights, so I was like a kid in the candy store with all these amazing views. When I saw this house, I couldn’t resist capturing it. It was just so cute sitting on top of a hill like that.

I pulled out my 70-200mm to zoom in on it. I wanted it to feel like it was the only house among the wilderness, even though it’s not really the case. LOL, maybe I still had Falling Waters in my mind. If you look closely enough, you can still see a little house close to the top right-hand corner of the image. Instagram vs. Reality.

My camera settings for this image are F6.3 at 1/1000th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7Ii and 70-200mm zoom.

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This hike was pretty intense. A lot steeper than I had anticipated but I’m so glad we did it. Let me rephrase that, I’m so glad we did it as early in the morning as we did.

Living in the Washington DC area, Harper’s Ferry is only an hour’s drive from us. So I thought that would make it an easy drive to go for sunrise. We arrived at about 6:45 am, 30 minutes before the sunrise so when we got out of the car and we had to use our flashlights to find the trailhead. That was the easy part. Almost immediately you’re climbing up the side of the mountain and I was huffin’ and puffin by 7:15 am. LOL.

But the views during that early morning light was so nice. Once we finally arrived to this viewpoint along the Maryland Heights Hike, we were so happy we were the only ones there. We were free to roam and take as many pictures as we wanted and didn’t have to worry about being in other people’s way. I had previously read online that this view can get crowded. So I think we were really lucky we got there so early. But on the way down, I could see there were a lot of people going up.

So if you’re planning on going on the hike, I’d highly recommend going as early as you can. In case you were wondering, we only did the red trail. The blue trail was even higher up and a little more than I wanted to do so early in the morning. So the red trail was good enough to see the amazing views 🙂

My camera settings for this image are F6.3 at 1/400th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7Ii and 16-35mm wide-angle lens.

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One place that I’d love to be in the fall time would be Oregon. Gah, I seriously loved visiting the state. It was amazing in the late summer. I can’t even imagine what it would be like in the fall or even spring.

This image was taken along the Drift Creek Falls Hike. Towards the end of the hike, you have to cross this suspension bridge in order to see the waterfall. It actually flows right underneath so the views start when you’re on the bridge. It was a little shakey which made me a bit nervous, but Andrew seemed to have no problems with it. He had no hesitation when I asked him to go back to the center of the bridge and walk back.

I think my favorite part of this image (besides Andrew) is the framing of the leaves. If I didn’t look at it through my camera lens, I probably would have not noticed how perfectly they frame the bridge. I especially like how the leaves in the front are glowing yellow while the trees in the back are so dark green. It makes it look like a really long bridge, which it was! And I actually kinda like the bright lens flare on the top left. I think it adds even more direction in the image that leads your eye to Andrew.

My camera settings for this image are F9 at 1/125th sec and ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 24-70mm lens.

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I feel in love with Oregon. I loved every minute we were there. I felt so at peace and calm during our whole road trip across the state, I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s considering visiting the Pacific Northwest.

The real reason we went was to celebrate my birthday and to visit a place we had never been to. Portland was a city that both Andrew and I had heard was a fun place to be but never been. But we also knew it was the place to be if you like good food and weird things. Both did not disappoint!

Since this was our first time visiting Oregon, we didn’t really know what to expect. We’ve been back for less than a month, I already know of somethings that I would do differently. With that said, we will be back again. Both Andrew and I left with the feeling of wanting to see and do more. But I think that’s the sign of an amazing trip. Prior to the trip, I did tons of research on the Oregon coast on Pinterest and asked some friends who I knew had visited before. Through my research, I quickly realized that Oregon is a very dog-friendly state. Minus Crater Lake that doesn’t allow dogs in most areas of the park, Frankie was allowed everywhere else we wanted to go. So we booked 3 plane tickets off we went!

Here is a recap of everything we did and the things I would do differently next time:

Day 1: Fly into Portland

We arrived early in the afternoon, grabbed our rental car and went straight to pick up the essentials: Blue Star Donuts. I know I don’t normally give food recommendations but if you like fancy donuts, then Blue Star is where you want to be. I’ll have another donut recommendation later on our trip that ended up being our favorite.

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While planning for our trip to Oregon, Toketee Falls was high on my list of things to do. It looked so beautiful from all the pictures I saw and the best part about it is that the hike wasn’t too far. It was the perfect stop on our way to Bend, Oregon to get out and stretch our legs for a bit.

What you don’t see from all the Instagram and Pinterest posts is that this place is PACKED! Out of all the places we went to, this was by far the hardest place to find parking and the busiest trail. There were several times where we had to wait for people to pass in order to continue on to the trail. Regardless of how many people were there, it was still very cool to see and I’d recommend if you are in the area.

Although this was technically not on the trail, it looked like it could have been a short detour. There were a lot of people who were climbing around these rocks that Andrew and I decided to go down to see what it looked like. As Andrew was exploring, I captured this of him and Frankie. Yep, that’s Frank in the red backpack. He’s just not looking at the camera. LOL.

My camera settings for this image are F9 at 1/20th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 24-70mm.