skyline

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We spent 2 nights in Portland at the end of our trip. It was definitely necessary because no matter how much Andrew loves me, he’s way more of a city boy than someone who would want to spend the entire trip in nature. Which is completely fine with me. I enjoy both.

This was taken on our last full day of the trip. We decided to head to Pittock Mansion to watch the sunrise but it was so foggy that you could barely see anything. So I quickly shifted the idea from taking landscape images to more people images. For a Monday morning, I was surprised to see at least 10 other people at this location. But I’m glad they were there because it gave me plenty of opportunities to create different kinds of images. I believe these two were checking out the images they had just captured on their camera but they were so close to each other that it looked like it could have been a loving embrace. I love how they are silhouetted and the only color you see is from the city.

Next time I visit Portland, I’m going to have to come here during the day. Not only was the view amazing but Pittock Mansion itself looks like it would have been really cool on the inside. And there will be a next time. I think Andrew and I both agreed that we didn’t have enough time in Portland or Oregon in general. There’s still so much more to explore!

My camera settings for this image are F4.5 at 1/10th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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So to help with my beach withdrawals, I’ve decided to go through some of my San Diego images from earlier this year. I love our annual tradition of going every year to celebrate the new year. I don’t think I could think of a better place for us to hang out for a couple of weeks. Plus Frankie loves running on the beach in the mornings.

This image was taken at sunset in Point Loma. It’s a great place to go to capture the San Diego skyline but what I liked most about this image is that single sailboat just floating by. I tried my best to capture it so it wasn’t hidden behind any palm trees or anything. I wanted it to be seen with so many other sailboats just parked in the harbor. Plus the sunset was just right to add a little bit of pink in the water.

Major shoutouts to Frankie Foto. I’ve never met Frankie in real life but anytime I have any questions about what and where to capture images in San Diego, Frankie’s blog has been an amazing resource. If you ever plan on visiting Southern California, I would definitely recommend reading his blog first.

I’ve also created a blog post about my favorite photo spots in San Diego in case you were interested in checking that out too 🙂 I plan on updating this post every time I visit as I get to know the area better and better.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/400th sec and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Out of all the days we were in Chicago, this was definietly the coldest. It’s crazy how cold that city can get and I wasn’t even there during winter and I was freezing my buns off. Honestly, I don’t know how Chicagoans do it.

It was Saturday morning and the first opportunity we had to capture sunrise. I decided that North Avenue Beach would be best for the early morning based on what I’ve read from travel forums and blogs. HOLY COW I did not account for how windy it was going to be. I remember looking at the weather before we left the hotel and thinking “Ok, low 40s. Not too bad” But it felt like low 20s. So thankful I had gloves and a beanie packed in my backpack just in case.

It was so windy that as soon as we got out of our Lyft, Andrew went straight to the lifeguard building to block himself from the wind. He waited until I was done taking pictures for him to finally emerge and check out the skyline right before we left for breakfast.

I’m sure it was a lot colder since we were by Lake Michigan but man, looking at this image definietly brings me back to the cold air. And let’s talk about these waves! Yes, it has been brought to my attention that I’m starting to get a bad reputation with my camera and large bodies of water… but this was a body of water that I did not want to mess with. I was so nervous taking this picture because I had no idea how big the waves were actually going to get and I was trying my very best not to get splashed. I think I would have had to cancel the rest of the trip had I gotten splashed.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/800th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16035mm wide angle lens.

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A recent find, one of the best views of the Washington DC skyline is in Anacostia! Thanks again to my friend, Austin who came up with the idea of photowalking around the Anacostia neighborhood. I would have never thought to visit Anacostia, but now I won’t even hesitate to go back. The neighborhood has so much history and character, but it is also changing too. Judging by all the construction happening, it could be the next cool hangout spot. So if you’re planning on going, definietly check out Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church to see the best view of the city. It’s outstanding!

From the parking lot, you have an amazing view of the US Capitol, other buildings and then this unrivaled view of the Washington Monument. I think it’s so cool to have been able to capture it with Nationals Park in the foreground. Such a different perspective of the city that I’m totally not used to. I bet the July 4th fireworks would be an amazing show to watch from here.

So after the photowalk was officially over, I offered my friend, Larry a ride back to his car. I live close to a metro that he usually parks at so I asked him if he needed a ride but we had to make a few stops first. The first stop was to the church to capture this image. Luckily, Larry was kind enough to let me use his 100-400mm lens. Like I’ve said before, the compression on these ultra zoom lenses are amazing. I’m always so impressed by them and this would not have come out the same if it weren’t for it. Second stop was to District Donut for their seasonal donuts 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/500th sec and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and Larry’s 100-400mm lens

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Speaking of Aruba….

For some reason when we flew back from Aruba we had a layover in Newark airport. I’m not sure how that happened but either way, I called window seat! This was my first time ever flying into New York or New Jersey. Usually when we go on the weekends, we’ll just drive. It’s so much easier and were not on anyone’s schedule. Were free as birds to come and go as we please.

As we were landing, I looked out the window and I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped. I was NOT expecting this view. It literally took my breath away. I love seeing familiar scenes from different points of views. So I grabbed my camera as fast as I could and started shooting.

It was in the middle of the day so the lighting wasn’t the best. The buildings looked kind of faded from the sunlight so I as I begun editing this image I thought that converting it into a black and white image would be better. What do you think? It totally reminds me of Jason Peterson’s work, who I love. He has definietly been my favorite black and white photographer and artist for the past few years now. So I was super happy with this when it all came together.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/640th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens handheld.

In other news, Andrew and I just got back from Norway last night. I’m spending the day working on my images and I can’t wait to share them with you! Norway has got to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I already want to go back to see more of the country, especially the Lofoten Islands and other places up north.

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Speaking of Tokyo… 🙂 Looking at this image makes me want to go back! I would love to go to Japan again although next time I would want to spend less time in Tokyo and spend more time in other parts of the country like Hokkiaido. One day I was looking at pictures and saw this amazing one of rows and rows of flowers just lining the country side. Man it was beautiful. Japanese people really know how to do it big over there! Lol.

This particular image was taken on my vertigo tour with Eyexplore. I’m a huge fan of signing up for these kind of photo tours while visiting other places. You can’t beat a local photographer’s knowledge of their area. They know all the best spots to take images and when, plus you can ask them about other travel related questions like what’s your favorite kitkat flavor? You know, important questions. LOL.

PS, if you’re ever in the DC area and looking for something similar, let me know!

Roof topping is amazing, but I think it’s especially different in Tokyo. There are so many buildings crammed into this little space. It’s really unbelievable if you think about it. Imagine one person occupying each of those windows. That’s a whole lot of people! And all the buildings look so different. I don’t know I think it’s so cool just to slowly move my eye around the picture. Not one spot looks like the other!

PS about 10 more days til the Cherry Blossom predicted peak and I’m so excited! Thank you again, Japan!

The settings for this image is F4.0 at  .8 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. The A7II was particularly great at this time because it’s so good in low light situations and I was not able to use my tripod because a lot of the time it wouldn’t even fit on those tiny rooftops.