road trip

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If I had to guess Sue’s favorite part of our 2017 road trip, it would either have been Santa Fe, New Mexico or the Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Saguaro National Park but while we were there, we were in the middle of a huge heat wave. I thought Arizona was hot in previous visits to the state, but it was so HOT when we were there. Even after sunset and the sun went down, it was still so humid and hot. I even remember hearing on the radio that mailboxes were melting. That’s HOT! Holy cow. And how many times can I say hot in a row? LOL

Since it was so humid and hot, we only spent an hour or so around sunset in the national park. The rest of the time was spent in our hotel’s outdoor pool. We wanted to go when the sun was lower and maybe a little bit cooler, but that didn’t make much difference but you better believe there was lots of ice cream afterwards. Out of all the places on our roadtrip, I hope to visit Tucson again sometime soon because I actually enjoyed the time while we were there. It seemed like a super cute city with so much to do and see. We just didn’t get enough time. I just remember waking up the next morning and wanting to get out of the heat wave as soon as possible. The next stop on our trip was Los Angeles and that was nowhere close to being as hot. So we made our way over and spent the rest of our time in California before flying back home.

My camera settings for this image is F3.5 at 1/320th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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In honor of our road trip this past weekend, I thought I would use this week to reflect on all the travel and adventures my friend Sue and I have had together. We have been friends for over 15 years. It’s crazy how long we’ve known each other considering we’re just 16 years old. LOL Just Kidding. But it’s safe to say that we have lots of fun and embarrassing stories about each other. Just because we don’t live within 20 minutes of each other now, doesn’t mean we won’t be friends for life.

So this image is from our very first road trip across the country together. Neither one of us had ever been to New Mexico before so we ended up spending the majority of our trip in the state. We went all over but my absolute favorite place was definietly White Sands National Monument. It had been on my list to visit for forever and this road trip was the perfect opportunity to visit. But we were super lucky. The only night that we had planned on staying in Alamogordo, New Mexico was a night a storm was approaching. It was comin in hot right around sunset and made for the best moody skies. It was like a dream.

I distinctly remember being so excited trying to climb up these white sand hills but being so out of breath because 1. climbing up sand is difficult but also 2. because I was so excited to be there. ESPECIALLY with the storm approaching. I handed my camera off to Sue to ask her to take some pictures of me but I could barely get my sentences out. She looked at me with so much concern like “Are you ok?” And I just screamed, “Yea I’m just excited” and ran to my posing spot. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/10th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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Photographers, tell me if you feel the same way: Sometimes after you travel, you feel like you need to just sit on the images before you can dedicate the time to edit them all. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the excitement of travel or something but I don’t know if I can do my best work right afterward I return home. Sometimes I’ll edit images along the way and be satisfied with them, but for the most part it’s always when I have had time pass where I’m really excited about an image. Am I the only who feels like that?

For example the image above. I have posted images from this same spot here and here and I really like them but I know I still have so many more images to edit and at the time I wasn’t too happy with them. I just needed some time to breath in between time to really remember the intention behind the image. So I ended up editing a whole bunch of images from Norway this past week. Some that I’ve posted before and redid, some that I have never worked on. I’m excited to share them with you  as time goes on:)

For this particular image, I love the mood that it is creating. Not only from the stormy clouds but the overall glow on the mountain sides and the ripples in the water. Norway is such a quiet country and I feel like this really conveys what it was like there. Ugh just looking at this image makes me want to go back. I loved visiting so much.

Just in case you’re planning on going, check out my road trip travel guide here.

My camera setting for this image is F10 at 1/40th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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In a very unexpected turn of events, I ended up going to West Virginia last week! Around 1p, my cousin, Jennie asked if I wanted to go with her on a road trip to Seneca Rocks. We were going to leave that evening, spend the night in an airbnb and wake up in the morning to go on a hike. With nothing much else planned but to prepare for Thanksgiving eating, I was all in! *In a way, this help prepare me further for my Thanksgiving eating LOL* My sister in law, Audrey came too and the three of us had an amazing trip!

It’s been a while since I’ve been to West Virginia. To be honest, I didn’t even know where Seneca Rocks was or what it looked like. So when Jennie told me that we were going to be able to climb on the top of the rocks in less than 1.5 miles, I was very skeptical. The morning was a bit chilli, 30 degrees or so but I learned my lesson from Norway. I knew that as soon as I started hiking for a bit, my body heat was going to warm me up and I wasn’t going to need so many layers. I felt so prepared LOL.

The hike itself wasn’t bad at all. It was a slow ascend up the mountain with nice views along the way. From what I saw on Alltrails.com it looked like it was a busy hike but so I feel lucky that there was barely anyone on the trails! We probably saw 6 people max and for the most part, we were the only ones on top of the rocks. It was awesome and I’d definitely do it again.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/1600sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens

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I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this at least 100 times since we’ve been back from Norway, but my favorite part of our whole trip was our stay in Geiranger. It seriously took my breath away and every time I think of our trip, Dalsnibba pops straight into my head.

I know if I had to do it all over again, I would have wanted to cut out a few things just so we could have stayed in Geiranger an extra night. The cabin, the scenery, the atmosphere was absolutely perfect. I even found myself thinking about Norway the other day and being amazed how a place like this even exists in the world. It was truly breathtaking and I’d highly recommend anyone visiting.

After driving up the long, windy road to the top of the mountain, Andrew and I were greeted by snow and lots of wind. It was an unexpected surprise but in some ways it felt more like “Norway”. I loved it. We got to see the mountain tops in a whole new way. The sky was dramatic so I thought I would take advantage of the textures in the clouds by making them more than half of the image. I love how it’s blue monochromatic and in some ways the clouds are sort of imitating the mountain tops. I don’t have too many images printed of mine that are hanging in our house but I’d definietly consider it for this one. I feel like I could stare at it for hours and it bring back so many great memories of our trip.

Other photographers reading the blog- do you print out your images and hang them in your house?

My camera settings for this image is f4.0 at 1/1000th sec at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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So this is the type of weather I would expect for October. When it’s cool and crisp outside but still indecisive enough so you can get these really moody sunrise/blue hour type images. Not the 80 degree weather we have been getting.

I took this image last year with my friend, Larry. Pretty much ever since we’ve met, we’ve made it an appoint to go to Shenandoah National Park to check out the fall foliage. I think last year was our third year in a row. But I remember this day VERY clearly. It was crazy, crazy foggy. So foggy to the point where we could not see much of the mountains. It was all just fog. It was even difficult to drive at some points. Obviously Larry and I got out of the car to capture a few images here and there but we soon decided that we needed to have a second trip in order to actually capture the type of images we wanted.

This particular image was taken along side of skyline drive. We parked the car and were pretty much the only ones in the park that early in the morning so it was easy to just get out and walk in the middle of the road. It could have been a little dangerous considering how foggy it actually was and the visibility was basically zero. But luckily, I was with Larry and we would look out for each other in case a car was coming. The yellow and red leaves in this image just make me so happy.

Looking forward to the leaves changing this year in the park and hopefully visiting again sometime soon with Larry.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/30th sec at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and my 16-35mm wide angle zoom lens.