Shih Tzu

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I feel in love with Oregon. I loved every minute we were there. I felt so at peace and calm during our whole road trip across the state, I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s considering visiting the Pacific Northwest.

The real reason we went was to celebrate my birthday and to visit a place we had never been to. Portland was a city that both Andrew and I had heard was a fun place to be but never been. But we also knew it was the place to be if you like good food and weird things. Both did not disappoint!

Since this was our first time visiting Oregon, we didn’t really know what to expect. We’ve been back for less than a month, I already know of somethings that I would do differently. With that said, we will be back again. Both Andrew and I left with the feeling of wanting to see and do more. But I think that’s the sign of an amazing trip. Prior to the trip, I did tons of research on the Oregon coast on Pinterest and asked some friends who I knew had visited before. Through my research, I quickly realized that Oregon is a very dog-friendly state. Minus Crater Lake that doesn’t allow dogs in most areas of the park, Frankie was allowed everywhere else we wanted to go. So we booked 3 plane tickets off we went!

Here is a recap of everything we did and the things I would do differently next time:

Day 1: Fly into Portland

We arrived early in the afternoon, grabbed our rental car and went straight to pick up the essentials: Blue Star Donuts. I know I don’t normally give food recommendations but if you like fancy donuts, then Blue Star is where you want to be. I’ll have another donut recommendation later on our trip that ended up being our favorite.

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While we were photographing the sunrise, Andrew mentioned that he would like to be able to walk on the beach. It was perfect because I had planned a hike for us to do just that. So after I was done capturing the sights from the Ecola State Park viewpoint, we went back to the hotel, packed up all our stuff and picked up Frankie so we could go on our first hike in Oregon.

The Crescent Beach Trail started right back at the Ecola State Park viewpoint. It’s a 2-mile hike that at first didn’t seem too bad but what we quickly learned that a lot of the beach trails that are along the Oregon coast are very steep. What’s beautiful about Oregon is that there are over 300 miles of untouched coastal land meaning you won’t see beach houses or anything like that on the coast. It’s all just natural trees, dunes and gorgeousness. But it also means getting on to the beach is quite strenuous.

This image was taken towards the beginning of the hike before it got to be too bad. We were still getting some of that early morning glow coming through the trees and I asked Andrew to stand in it. It’s funny because at first I didn’t remember which hike this was, but noticed Andrew was wearing jeans so I knew this was the first hike we did. We both made the mistake of wearing jeans. I say it was a mistake because climbing up and down those hills was hot, sweaty and sticky. After this, it was all athletic shorts all the time. Of course, Frankie didn’t notice the hills at all. He had a free ride everywhere he went.

My camera settings for this image are F6.3 at 1/40th sec ISO 1000 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Home from our amazing trip to Oregon. It was Andrew, Frankie and I’s first time visiting the state and in one short week, I feel like we got to see a lot. I was so excited to start looking at my images when I got back that I didn’t really know where to start.

So I started with this one 🙂 I love it and reminds me of all the amazing adventures the three of us got to go on.

This image was taken on the second half of our trip while we were hiking to the Toketee Falls in the Umpqua National Forest. The hike was short, 0.8 miles roundtrip but its heavily trafficked. So much so that it was hard to find parking and there were times where we would have to wait for people to pass on the trail before we could even go further. With so many people, we figured it would be easier to put Frankie in the backpack and go at our own pace instead of his.

We let him out right after I captured this image when we arrived at the waterfall. It was great because there was a little viewing platform for all of us to see the waterfall and Frankie could stretch his legs a bit. After a little rest, Frankie went back into the backpack, we hiked back to the car and drove straight to Bend right after.

I think one of the best parts about this trip is that even though we would have long driving sessions, there would be places where we could park and go on like hikes like this. It was a great way to get a little bit of cardio in while checking out the sights.

My camera settings for this image are F4.5 and 1/2500th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 24-70mm lens.

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The best part about fall colors is that they are everywhere. You don’t really have to go far to enjoy them. Often times taking pictures around your neighborhood is just as good as going to Shenandoah National Park or anything like that. For example, Andrew and I spent some time in Manassas, VA over the weekend. Obviously Frankie had to come with us so we had a little mini photoshoot in the woods.

Now when most people think Manassas, they naturally think of the battlefields. But this was across the street from there. It was a great place to go with a whole bunch of trees. Plus Frankie is so photogenic, how could you go wrong 😉 In order to capture this, I had to take the stick he was chewing on out of his mouth and dangled it in front of my camera for him to look like he was looking at it. I was shooting on continuous and sort of hoped for the best. So when I first saw this image on my computer, I couldn’t help but smile.

Immediately all the captions started running through my head. For example…

  • ‘When they ask you if you want fries with that’
  • ‘When someone brings pizza to the party’
  • ‘When you’re sharing an ice cream cone and can’t wait for your next turn’

You get the idea. LOL.

Besides my furry model, I really enjoy looking at the shadows of this image. It was taken around noon so the shadows were extra long as the sun was right above us. I purposely had Frankie stand in the middle of two trees to help frame him and to make the image just a little more interesting to look at.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/640th sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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A few weeks ago my cousin, Vincent gave me his old film camera. It came as a total surprise and I was really excited about it. It’s been forever since I shot with film but then I started getting all these questions in my head. Like, would I still remember how to use it? Where do I buy film? Where do you even get it developed? When would I even use it? Questions that I had never even thought about for at least 10 years.

In the past year or so, I’ve realized that film has kinda been making a come back. I see more and more people uploading film images onto their instagram and I never really thought anything of it. I’m not really into instagram fads so I never really considered it for myself but since I was gifted with a camera, I might as well as take advantage of it. We popped some fresh double “A” batteries in it and I opened the back to see if there was film in the camera. Oops, there was. Oh well, I figured a light leak here or there could be cool. HAHA.

I started taking pictures around their house just to test it out. After my first click, I lowered my camera to look at the back of it and immediately laughed. It was a habit that I had obviously created and never really realized. Even my nephew, Axl, asked to look at it after I took the picture. The 3 year old was confused about the fact that “it wasn’t that kind of camera”. LOL.

So I brought it peach picking with us and here are the results. Hope you enjoy.

Also, let me know if you’d be interested in seeing more film images. This was kinda fun and it definietly made me slow down and really think about what I was shooting. Considering the fact that I was limited to 24 frames (when I’m used to 1,000+), it was so different. OHHH and that film shutter sound 🙂

Its funny though. I got the roll of film developed and put onto a flashdrive. I pulled them up on my computer when I got home and the first thing that came out of Andrew’s mouth was “it looks like an instagram filter”. HAHAHA!

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Happy Friday! Yay It’s here!

Lately I have not been getting excited for the weekend. Mostly because I have so much fun during the week that the weekend is kind of an afterthought to me. It is so weird. But it is true. I get excited for Mondays! But this weekend is an exception. I’m really looking forward to it.

Reason #1: It’s Frankenstein’s Birthday! My baby boy is going to be 8 years old. Seriously, where does the time go? I remember the day we brought him home. Currently, he is right next to me sleeping and snoring in his dog bed. But it is so cute! We plan on having a little birthday party for him on Sunday. Yes, we are those dog parents. But its our way of celebrating our favorite little pup. This was him two years ago.

Reason #2: I’m heading to Maine next week! I can’t wait. It will be my first time there and I’m guessing it’s going to be a great time. From what I hear, we should be visiting at the perfect time for fall foliage too. So if you’ve been to Bar Harbor or Acadia National park and have some good photo or food recommendations, let me know! I’ll make sure to add them on the to-do list.

Lobster Rolls, I’m comin’ for yaaaa!

So that means by the time I get back, DC weather needs to cool down. It’s been way too hot lately. Time for your leaves to start changing and your air to get crisper. I’ll be practicing in Maine but the real test will be when I get back home.  It’s FALL Y’ALL!

This image was taken in 2014 during the autumn season in Great Falls Park. The camera settings are 15 seconds F/22 ISO 50 shot on a tripod at sunset.