scooters

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I don’t think I could have planned this scene better myself. I love all the layers of yellow that the taxis in Taipei created. There’s even yellow in the signage in the background that makes me even happier. But this was not planned at all. I was actually just following people with umbrellas to see if I could create an interesting image. As soon as I saw this woman stop at the corner, I knew I had to just wait for that right moment for something to happen. I noticed one taxi drive-by and saw all the yellow in the frame, so I patiently just waited for another one. Luckily, when you’re in a busy city like Taipei, it doesn’t take very long.

I think that’s what’s so exciting about street photography to me. It’s that feeling of a chase that you’re always on the hunt. An unexpected composition that you’ve never imagined but turned out way better than you could have come up within your head. I know I haven’t gone through all my images from Taiwan yet, I’ve really only looked at the first few days, but I’m so excited to see how the rest have turned out!

My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/400th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Prior to leaving for Taiwan, I would keep on checking the weather because it literally said rain every single day that I was going to be there. Even though it was forecasted, luckily it did not rain every day. We somehow managed to arrive at the island at the very beginning of a typhoon. Which is crazy because I thought they only happened in the summer months but this one was coming in the middle of November. We were lucky because it wasn’t going to hit Taipei. It was forecasted to hit some other part of the country and Taipei was only going to get a little of the residual.

But that didn’t stop me from taking my camera everywhere I went. This image was captured while I was wandering around in the streets one day around lunchtime. I was trying to capture all the scooters lined up at the red light when a woman and her umbrella walked passed my camera. I love the way that it turned out and the accident framing. One thing that I loved about this forecasted weather was that even if there was a slight drop of rain from the sky, everyone had an umbrella out. It made for AMAZING street photography!

My camera settings for this image are F7.1 at 1/1250th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Most of my time in Taiwan was actually spent in a suburb of Taipei called Tamsui. It’s about a 45 minute MRT (metro) ride from the capital city but it still gives you the big city feelings. It’s bustling with people at all hours of the day which was good for me because I usually woke up every morning around 4 am. It was so nice because I really enjoyed photographing Tamsui as the city was waking up. I never really had a real plan during my morning walks, I would just wander the streets and see where each corner would take me. Some of the streets would be so small that I’d get so lost. Luckily, I had internet service on my phone or else, I’d probably still be wandering the streets not knowing where I was going right now.

This image was captured on the main road close to our hotel. I loved it because it was one of the only sunny mornings we had while we were there and I just love seeing those palm trees glow in the sun. Scooters and pedestrians were everywhere, on their way to work and school. Looking at this image, I can still hear all the scooters racing by. At some points, it seriously was like a game of chance because they would pop out of nowhere. LOL.

My camera settings for this image are F4.5 at 1/3200th sec and ISO 2500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Home from California and it honestly feels a little different being back.

Why? Because I was so used to the beautiful California weather and as soon as I stepped off the plane, all I saw was snow. So sad to have missed the first real snow we got in the Washington DC area but not sad because I had a blast on our trip.

Even though a majority of our time was spent in San Diego and we had a trip similar to this around the same time last year, it was still like our first time there. It was a different experience because this time we went with our cousins and we stayed directly on the beach. Living that beach life was so great. Sometimes instead of driving the rental car, we would just take scooters to get around. We took Frankie on walks on the beach which he loved because he had so much open space to run around and overall just looking outside the windows of our airbnb at sunset was a view that stopped you in your tracks. I loved it.

It also allowed me to spend more time practicing and capturing the city from above with my drone. By the end of the trip, I tended to reach for my drone more times than my actual camera. I love just standing on the beach and seeing different points of view with just a slight movement of my finger. It made taking pictures a little more relaxing.

This image was taken just a few steps away from our airbnb in Mission Beach one morning just after sunrise. It was cool because our view was of the ocean but right behind us was Mission Bay. It was so nice to be surrounded by water.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/280th sec at ISO 100 with my DJI Mavic Pro