pacific ocean

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Another one from my California sunset photo editing spree. I love the way this one turned out and I remember like yesterday how it happened too.

Andrew had made plans to meet up with one of our friends for dinner and asked if I wanted to join them. I distinctly remember saying, “only if we can go shoot sunset first and then meet up with Sean.” He agreed and we ended up bringing our cousin, Vincent, and the cuddle pup, Frankie along. Since they were going to meet up in the Ocean Beach area, we ended up waiting for sunset around the pier.

All of a sudden the sky exploded! I don’t think any of us were expecting all this color and it was amazing. I remember trying to get more water in the foreground by getting close to the sand but since I wasn’t expecting this awesome sunset, I, unfortunately, did not bring my tripod. Some of those shots turned out well but it was this one that really caught my attention. Sometimes the best shots are when you take a step back.

Seriously, everyone on the beach and pier just stopped. It was like someone hit the pause button cuz everyone was just staring at the sky. This guy on the pier was no exception. I do remember there being a lot more people on the pier, but I tried to zoom in and crop the image so there was just that single silhouette.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/100th sec and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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Just an early morning view of some surfers at La Jolla Shores in San Diego, California. Is it me or if you glance at it real quick, it just looks like some little bits of rice that has fallen down? LOL. This was my only successful attempt of actually getting footage of my cousin, Vincent surfing. All other times he was already in the water and I tried using my drone to find him but with everyone in all black wet suits with white surfboards, it can be really difficult to find the person you’re looking for. It finally worked out that I had my drone ready to go when he was getting into the water and followed him while flying. I told Andrew to also keep a lookout just in case. But I’m so glad I was actually able to find him this time.

While trying to capture him, I had it on video for a majority of the time. But this image was taken in the part of the ocean where it is a bit calmer. You can sit on the board and relax a little bit before swimming out deeper to get the big waves. So while they were taking a break, I took a few pics. I loved the really calm water with the gradient of blues. I purposely waited for a little wave to come up so that it looked more like ocean water and I could highlight Vincent a little more. He’s the guy on the green surfboard kicking up towards the top of the image. The whole time I was editing this image I was channeling my inner Mark Rothko and imagining what he would do. Either way, I love the way it turned out. It just oozes with calmness.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/100th sec and ISO 196 with my DJI Mavic Pro.

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SURVIVEDDDDDDDD! I survived my first ever experience in camping. It was actually better than expected but more about that later.

A few little updates from even before we left for our trip to California:

I originally booked the trip so that I could spend more time with family. I have cousins in Palo Alto and in-laws in Lake Tahoe. But before I met up with them, I wanted to spend a little time in San Francisco just photographing the city. I was going to go by myself when very last minute, Andrew decided to join me on this whole adventure. I was so happy! This trip would not have been the same without him. When I’m talking about last minute, I’m talking we booked his flight 4 days before we left for the trip so I’m glad it all worked out.

Also I received my repaired A7II the day before I left for the trip. But funny enough it was also the same day that I was to receive my Sony A7III from borrowlenses.com. In effort to keep things simple and easy, I decided to just receive the A7III and ship it right back to Borrow Lenses. I didn’t even touch it. I just feel more comfortable with my own camera and I didn’t want to fumble around with a camera for my trip. I wanted it to be as easy and light as possible. Glad to have you back, baby *kissy face*

Last but not least, I got some of the most exciting news ever. Click here if you didn’t read my blog post from Friday. I still can’t believe I have prints and postcards in the bookstores of the National Mall. Please someone come and pinch me to make sure this is real!

This image was taken one more from Baker Beach, San Francisco, California. It’s funny because it was not foggy during the sunrise but as the day went on, it got foggier and foggier. This image was probably taken around 7:30a. We stopped by Baker Beach on our way to the farmers market. Andrew’s obsessed with the fruit in California 🙂 So am I. My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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To be honest my personal life has been busy, espcially in the past week or so. So busy to the point that I almost forgot that we’re leaving on a short getaway tomorrow. Around Thanksgiving time, Andrew and I booked a trip to Orlando with our cousins and I haven’t really thought about it much since then. But at this point, I can’t think of anything better. I can’t wait to soak up the Florida sun and spend a couple days on rides and rollercoasters. I’ll have my camera and drone with me, but I’m not sure how much I’ll be shooting. I hope to get at least one cool shot of the fireworks at the Disney castle, other than that I have no real plans.

So if you have any Orlando, Disney, or Universal Studios recommendations, please let me know! It’s my first time visiting since I was a child. You better believe that I’ll be rocking Minnie Mouse ears though! I can’t wait <3

This image has nothing to do with Florida but it does put me in a relaxing mood which is what I’m looking forward to the most on our trip. I took this one morning in La Jolla, San Diego. There weren’t as many sea lions out but for some reason they were all gathered on this rock. So I sat down and watched them for a good 20 minutes. The sun was just coming up and I loved feeling the wind in my hair. I knew I wanted to place myself in this image some how so I could remember the moment and what it was like to be there. So out came my legs and I took a shoefy. Don’t yell at me, but I never remember to tie my shoes until I really have to. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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If you haven’t checked it out already, I posted a new vlog on my youtube channel last week! Just a few clips of our trip to San Diego plus I added some of footage I captured from the drone. I’m having so much fun flying now and becoming a lot more comfortable with it. Over the weekend I flew a little bit with my cousin, Brian and he taught me how to take off and land from my hand! SOOO COOL! So if you haven’t checked out the video yet, click here to watch our trip to San Diego. Let me know what you think in the comments.

This image was taken on one of the many foggy mornings we had in SoCal. I will admit it was a little difficult to find compositions at times with all the fog and not being able to see too far ahead, but I love the way this one turned out. I think my favorite part is seeing the bird’s reflections in the sand. It’s so simple but I just can’t stop looking at it. The lines in the sand really help draw you in as well. I don’t know about you, but I always associate southern California with sunshine so it was interesting to see the other side of it. However next time I go, I would like some sun. This is the second time in the row when there was a whole bunch of fog. You’d think I was in San Francisco or something!

The settings for this image is F18 at 0.6 seconds with ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.

PS I heard we’re expecting some snow this week in Washington, DC. plus the super moon! I’m really looking forward to going out and shooting this week. Good times ahead!

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On our last day in California I thought about the places that I would miss the most in San Diego. We were able to see and capture a lot in the two weeks that we were there so there were a lot of places to consider. Each of locations were great in their own way but I decided that I’d only go to my absolute favorites on the very last day for sunrise and sunset. Somehow both times ended up being somewhere in La Jolla.

This image was from our very last ‘sunset’. It was so foggy at the Windansea Beach and the visibility was very low. It didn’t matter though. I was just so happy to be there. I love just sitting on the rocks, feeling that ocean breeze in my hair and taking in the whole scene.  It was really cool to see so many surfers out too. The waves were huge and I have no idea what kind of system they have in the water to make sure they don’t run into each other, but it was so fun to watch them ride. It seemed like at any given moment there was a surfer coming in and a surfer going out. But now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever felt the water myself. I just automatically assumed it was going to be cold and didn’t even try. LOL.

I’ll definietly miss San Diego, especially on cold weather days back home in Washington DC but I’m super grateful for the time we got to spend there. I know we’ll definietly be back to California sometime in the near future. I’ll be thinking about you beaches, palm trees and all organic green smoothies. (How did this turn into an eulogy?)

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens on my gitzo tripod.