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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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For me, Thanksgiving is really about family and friends being together and celebrating all the blessings we have in life. In no particular order here are a few things that I’m grateful for:

  • Family, friends, Andrew and Frankie
  • My health
  • My warm bed
  • The kindness of people I’ve never met before
  • The internet for connecting people all over the world.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful day however you are celebrating and I’m so grateful for you.
<3 Angela

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Ok enough with the puddles in the sidewalk, here’s one in the road. LOL. We won’t make any comments about DC potholes.

I knew the Tidal Basin was going to be a madhouse over the weekend, so to avoid the crowd a bit I spent Saturday morning at Haines Point. It is just west of the Tidal Basin but they have beautiful cherry blossoms all along the way. This image was actually taken while I was walking back to my car.

I found this puddle by accident. I loved the way that the cherry blossoms were lined up along the other side of the road and the reflection was perfect. So I just patiently waited for something to pass by to add a little foreground interest. At first, a person walked by on the sidewalk and they were way too small to even notice. Then a car drove by and it was way too big, covering most of the cherry blossom trees. I knew it had to be a bicycle to complete this image.

So I just stood there and waited. It was a good 5 minutes before I saw one coming. He was on the road closest to me and I snapped a few pictures but thought he was too big. So I knew I had to wait for someone to come on the other side. Turns out that bicycle made a U-turn and went back the other direction.

In my head I screamed “Now that’s a 2-for-1 special” LOL. This one bike gave me so many different angles, it was awesome! Then I went on my way back to my car with a smile on my face.

My camera settings for this image is F9 at 1/200th of a sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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One really cool thing that Norway does is that they build these skywalks at really cool places. For example they had one in Flåm at Sognefjord, Dalsnibba in Geiranger, and a few other spots that we got to visit. It’s cool because sometimes they’re built so that there is just glass underneath you and when you look down it looks like you’re floating above a valley. If I had a fear of heights, this would  not work for me. Luckily I don’t so I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

This image was taken along the walkway to the Trollstigen skywalk. I was so excited to see the views from the skywalk but I got stopped in my tracks when I saw these orange/yellow wearing people. They’re jackets are so bright and colorful, I loved the way they stood out from the mountain behind them. Also the perspective here is kind of crazy.

PS this is the view.

After I took this picture I showed Andrew what it looked like on my camera. He thought it was really cool, especially since the jackets were so bright. I immediately told him that’s why I wanted him to wear bright colors so that when I photographed him, he would stand out more in the landscape. But to be honest, neither one of us are bright color wearing people. You can mostly find either one of us in a dark black tee shirt and be totally comfortable. I tend to take it a step further and wear all black… all the time. Blah, I dunno. I’m posting this in hopes that it will change my mind about colors. Or at least influence others to wear color so that if I see on you the street wearing something that stands out, I’ll want to take your pic 🙂

My settings for this image is F10 at 1/80 sec ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

 

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I remember exactly how this moment happened. My friend Sue and I spent our first morning in Oranjestad walking around the city to explore. We’re both earlier risers so we were doing it to kill time until the rest of our friends woke up so we could all go to the beach together.

Walking around the capital city made me realize just how peaceful, colorful and safe Aruba really is. We were walking around so early in the morning that none of the stores had opened and we looked like the only tourist around. No one bothered us or even said a word. I loved how there were so many locals hanging around just sitting on the benches, soaking in the sun. The only place that was open was The Pastechi House which had some amazingly fresh Pastechis. And when I say fresh, I mean they grew the spinach behind the store!

So after a quick breakfest, Sue and I continued to wonder. I had my 70-200mm lens on most of the time while I was shooting the colorful buildings when I saw this green one across the street from us. I was really drawn to it because I noticed how there were little plants growing out of the roof. I don’t think it was supposed to do that but I thought it made for an interesting play on color. I started photographing it when Sue told me there was someone over there waiting for me to finish taking pictures. I brought my camera down and waved my hand in the universal sign of “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you, you may pass.” LOL. But as I was giving him the hand signal I thought about how great it would be to include him in this image. So here he is rushing by so I could continue taking pictures. But I really like how everything lined up. My favorite is the reflection in the car window. It’s so subtle but I think it really adds the image.

After he passed he continued to walk slowly on his way 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/1000th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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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.