island life

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So this ends the week long look back at my adventures with my friend, Sue. If you haven’t been following along, she has been one of my best friends for forever and is moving to Austin, Texas this week. I’m grateful she asked me to take the long drive down to Texas with her so we can spend a little more time together but also I get to check out Austin since I’ve never really been to Texas before.

It’s crazy because looking back at our first cross country road trip, Spain, Maine, and now this image from St John, I’ve realized we’ve done so much together. And this doesn’t even scratch the surface. We’ve been on plenty of girls trips and have spent so much time just adventuring around the Washington DC metro area. I’ll miss her lots but I also know it won’t be for too long before I see her again.

This image is of St John Virgin Island. It’s funny because this was our first ever vacation together and probably one of my favorites. I mean how can it not be? I’m all about that island life. LOL. I remember the exact moment I took this too. We were actually staying on St Thomas, took a ferry to St John and then a bus took us to the local beaches from there. Fortunately the bus stopped at some beautiful places along the way for us to take pictures. I leaned over Sue to take this image but I’m pretty sure that she’s used to me doing stuff like that by now. Not much longer after I took this pic, we were down on that beach laying out 🙂 Sounds perfect right about now.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/640th sec at ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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The first morning we were in Oranjestad, my friend Sue and I walked around the city. It was so cute and every turn had something new and unexpected. I loved all the colorful buildings and homes and this house was no different. It was the pink flowers that originally drew me in but then it was all the cracks and tears all along the facade that really made me want to photograph the house. I just loved all the details and really wished that I was able to walk onto the porch but there was a gate blocking us from doing that.

So I captured this image with my 16-35mm wide angle lens. As we were walking around more I felt like I wanted to capture more detailed shots of the house. I opened up my backpack, trying to dig out the 70-200mm when I noticed a cat was sitting on the porch! I had no idea it was there when I first took the picture so I tried to remain calm and quickly put my 16-35mm wide angle back on the camera before I went any further. I’m not sure what happened but the cat quickly got up and ran away 🙁 I was kind of disappointed that I wasn’t able to capture the cat like I wanted to but went back to review my images and I’m so glad I was able to capture this. It’s so funny because I didn’t even know he was there in the first place. He was a tiny little guy so I wouldn’t be surprised if you missed him the first time you looked at this image too. LOL.

My camera settings for the image is F8 at 1/800th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I think my new favorite camera is this GoPro Hero 5. It’s just so small and compact but you can literally take video or pictures anywhere you go. I think the best part is all the accessories you can buy with it. You know how females love accessorizing 🙂

So for this image, I just had the AmazonBasics Floating Hand Grip with extra grip attached the camera. It’s great because the camera itself is waterproof so you don’t need an extra casing for it. The handgrip was great because if you dropped it by accident, it would just float right next to you.

Let me know if you want to know what other accessories I got for the GoPro because there are just so many it can be a little overwhelming.

Anyways, I was trying to go for that underwater/over the water look and feel for this image. I don’t think the lens on the GoPro is wide enough to do it with just the camera by itself, so this was as close as I got. I still think it’s pretty cool because you see some pretty cool reflection of the flamingo’s neck. But I think my favorite part of the image is the little water explosion you can see by his head. I think it’s just such an interesting detail that could easily be passed over.

My favorite part about seeing the flamingos was watching what they could do with its neck. It can bend and curve in so many different odd shapes. It was interesting to watch. I’m pretty sure I saw a flamingo able to make two humps in their neck. So interesting! But so weird at the same time. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F2.8 at 1/3539th of a second (woah!) and ISO 100 with my GoPro Hero5 Black.

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Ok a little break from the moody weather pics in Washington DC and onto a moody weather pic in Aruba. LOL.

While in Aruba, if we wanted to go anywhere, we’d most likely be traveling by foot or taxi. I love taking taxis because you’re able to talk to the driver and get some local information that only they know. For example, one of our taxi drivers told us that they don’t have weathermen in Aruba. Isn’t that crazy? It’s because the weather is pretty much the same everyday and there would really be no need for him or her. It’s consistently 85 degrees with no humidity and a slight breeze all the time. It’s like a dream. If it does rain, it will only rain for a 20 minutes and it’s back to sunny skies. The really nice part about Aruba is that it’s right outside of hurricane belt so that’s not even really a concern either.

But then why did it rain on our trip? LOL 2 out of the 3 full days that we were there, there was some crazy down pour. It was sunny at some points in the day but overall, it was pretty overcast like it is in this image. Oh well, you can’t win them all…

I love looking at this image. It totally reminds me of what it’s like in Aruba. Palm trees everywhere and I can just imagine them flowing in the wind with that amazing breeze. It’s like I have been transported back. Which reminds me, I’ve been working on the Aruba vlog. Expect that to be coming out very soon! At least before the end of the month. Pinky promise!

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/500th of a second at ISO 64 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

 

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This is a good story. Or at least I think it is.

So at any given moment you can catch one of these brown pelicans hanging out on a rock in the ocean. They’re pretty cool to look at since we have nothing like them in the DC metro area. So my friend Sue and I decided to just sit down, watch the pelican and relax for a little bit. We actually copied this idea from another couple who were sitting fairly close to the pelican. But once they got up to leave, the pelican started acting funny.

At first Sue and I did not know what was going on, but then saw that he was actually spitting up something on to the rock. He had stored a whole bunch of little fish in his lower bill. So I guess when he thought the coast was clear he felt freedom to start eating them.

That’s when the seagull came.

And it was literally a fight for the fish. It was hilarious. Especially with Sue’s commentary in the background while I was taking the pics. She would be like “uh oh, get your own fish” “oh no, it’s a battle!” “*gasp* he fell into the water”. HAHAHA I actually got some of it on video because I was recording parts of it for my youtube video (coming soon) and that’s the only reason why I remember what she said. But I could not stop laughing in the moment and watching it back on video. It was literally like watching the nature channel in real life.

I don’t remember exactly what happened afterwards, but I do know the seagull ended up flying away after a while.

End story. HAHAHA

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1600the of a second at ISO 160 with my Sony a7II and 70-200mm lens.

 

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About a week or two after Snap DC came out, I cut my hair short. It hasn’t been this short since high school. Andrew has never even seen my hair short before. I’ve always had it long, way past my shoulders, almost to the middle of my back. But I felt like I needed a drastic change. I don’t know, I felt like I was a point in my life where I needed to shake things up a bit and cutting my hair was the answer.

What I didn’t expect is how much I would look like my mom in the process. OMG it’s kinda scary. This picture looks EXACTLY like her except her hair is even shorter than mine. Either way, I’m still undecided about it. I definietly will keep it for the summer but after that, I may just grow it out long again. What do you think?

This image was taken on our last day in Aruba. My friends Sue, Neena and I were walking around Oranjestad trying to get last minute gifts for people back home when we came across this amazing yellow wall. I think it’s the side of someone’s house. Whatever the case is, I love how vibrant the color is. The palm tree made for a nice frame as well. Now that I think of it, my mom’s favorite color is yellow. LOLOL.

So shoutout to Sue for creating a picture that’s meant for my mom.

Don’t forget, a week from today I’ll be cohosting a photo workshop with my friends, Geoff Livingston Photography and Focus on the Story International Photo Festival on night photography. We’ll be walking the National Mall and talking about long exposure, street photography at night and so much more! Its going to be a really fun event with a lot more photo instruction than the regular photowalks we’ve been doing this summer. Plus there will be 3 instructors instead of one. So if you’re interested, check out all the info here.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1000th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.