One of the benefits of living in the DC area is being able to do quick little weekend getaways to New York. It’s only 4 hours away but a totally different atmosphere and vibe than living in the Capital City.
A few weeks ago, Andrew and I spent a nice weekend in New York City. It was one weekend where we didn’t have any plans and just wanted to spend some time to ourselves. It was so great. But this trip was no different than any other place we go to. Meaning, I planned all our activities while Andrew planned all the food we eat.
Since neither one of us had ever been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I figured this was the perfect time to go. We don’t go to museums often as a couple so since I was the person planning, we were going to go to an art museum 🙂
We spent a good 3 hours in the museum, taking our time to go through all the exhibits. It was beautiful, a little overwhelming and kind of confusing. The museum is huge! And to get from one wing to the other, there can be a lot of backtracking. Or at least we had to. Maybe we just weren’t doing it right. But we both agreed that our favorite exhibit was the Egyptian ones. It was so cool seeing the hieroglyphics in real life. I mean you learn about them in school all the time, but it’s just so much more impressive when you actually see it carved in these massive temples and coffins.
My camera settings for this image are F2.2 at 1/500th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 35mm prime lens.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!!
While walking around New York City, I made sure to look for any signs of fall foliage. I was so happy to see that there were trees that were already turning yellow and orange that it made me curious to see what the trees looked like in Central Park. So when Andrew and I had some spare time, we ended up taking an afternoon walk around the park.
I don’t know how it happened, but we ended up on a side of the park that neither one of us had been to before. Actually, I do know how it happened, this park is HUGE! There’s so much going on everywhere. There was even an ice skating rink open! But as we were exiting the park, we stumbled onto this bridge. I was happy to see some sort of a moment in silence right underneath where these Candian geese were just wading in the water and cleaning themselves off. In such a busy park and even busier city, it’s unusual to find such quietness. So I had to capture it.
My favorite part of this image are the out of focus yellow leaves in the foreground. It reminds me of falling leaves in the fall. But you see what I’m saying about fall colors in New York City? They were everywhere and I loved every second of it 🙂
My camera settings for this image are F8 at 1/320th sec and ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.
I know a lot of people may concentrate on photographing the interior and what that looks like, but I thought the outside of the Vessel looked really cool too. This was taken along the side that was closer to the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Some chairs and a few tables had been put out. I’m not sure if it was for dining or letting people sit and relax a bit, but I loved the way the orange popped against the grey cement. This image sort of reminds me of a drone shot and I like looking at the different people and seeing how they are interacting with the space.
Now that I think of it, Andrew and I were sitting around here for a little bit before we entered the Vessel ourselves. So if someone took a similar shot of this while we were sitting there, you would have seen Andrew and I look at our phones for a place to eat dinner after we were done with the Vessel and eating the chocolates we bought on our walk over. LOL. Dessert before dinner, am I right? And then more dessert after dinner 🙂
My camera settings for this image are F5.6 at 1/25th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.
After a weekend in New York, the newly constructed Vessel in Hudson Yards was a highlight of the entire trip.
This was my first visit to the Big Apple since it has been constructed and I knew that I had to visit. I have seen many images of the Vessel on instagram that I kind of had an idea what to expect but believe me when I say it’s much better in person than in the pictures. So if you haven’t been, I highly suggest booking a trip to New York now. You can click here to get free tickets.
But for some reason, I had the impression that some of these staircases were escalators. That was wrong. LOL. But if you take your time climbing each story at a time, it’s not so bad. Andrew and I circled the whole structure as we were climbing to the top which provided new views all along the way. Luckily we were able to get our tickets for around sunset so we stayed a little bit after the sun had gone down to see what the Vessel looked like at night. It’s pretty cool at blue hour if you asked me. Luckily, they regulate how many people come into the Vessel at one time but they won’t kick you out. You get to stay for as long as you would like.
My camera settings for this image are F5.6 at 1/5th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.
I’ve been noticing a trend lately. A trend just between Andrew and I that we’ll agree that we’ll travel somewhere or go somewhere fun and then I have to do all the work. Like pick the travel itinerary, hotel, etc etc etc. But I’m not even mad about it because that means I have full control over everything. LOL. So when we decided we were going to go to New York for his birthday, I was on the hunt for a great hotel.
We used to only stay in Starwood hotels. At one point of time I had so many points on our SPG Preferred Member account that we used to stay in hotels for free all the time. Unfortunately, all those points have gone away so we were debating whether or not we wanted to stay with them this time. We figured staying in a new neighborhood and change of scenery would be nice and let us get to know a different part of New York. So I found this great place in Chinatown for us to stay.
The room was nice and everything but the best part was the rooftop. As soon as we put our stuff down in the room, I grabbed my camera and I was ready to go all the way up. Since the sunset is earlier in the day for winter and it was a cloudy day overall, I knew I had to get up there as soon as possible if I wanted to get a “day time shot”. The lighting was a bit difficult to work with. I actually re-edited this image 6 or 7 times before I finally came up with something I liked.