west coast

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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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I was in a photo editing mood so I went back to earlier this year and found some images from San Diego, California that I’ve never looked at. Somehow I ended up editing all sunset images. I suppose sunsets are a bit better on the west coast than sunrises. LOL

This image was taken during a visit to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. It’s definitely on my must-photograph list when visiting America’s Finest City. Trust me, the place is mind-blowing and on this trip to Salk, I planned to be there to watch the sunset. I did not expect to see some gliders riding by. It was so cool because I did not realize just how close Torrey Pines Gliderport is. I kinda saw them out of the corner of my eye (cuz there was more than one glider out at this time) and then when I finally turned around to see what was really going on, I was mesmerized.

How cool would it be to be on one of those at sunset? I bet the view must be amazing. Perfect for a little GoPro video.

I love how simple this image turned out. I think my favorite part is that you can see a little peek of the sun as it’s going down behind the clouds but I purposely left a little bit of the ground showing in the image just to give it some context. Also, that may or may not be a ship in the background.

My camera settings for this image is F5 at 1/2000th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom.

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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

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THE FINAL COUNTDOWN 

It’s the last day of 2018 and I thought it would be fun to look back on the past year and relive some of my favorite travel moments from the year. It’s interesting because I do something similar to this every year and every year my favorite images are almost always different from others. I try not to let emotions play into the selection but it can be difficult. You’ll see what I mean 🙂

I had a fantastic year of travel and so blessed to be able to experience everything that I did. I’m lucky enough to have visited the Europe, Caribbean and of course different parts of America. So let me know what you think. Click on each image to read the original blog post:

drone, mavic pro, california, san diego, fiesta island, birds, selfie, fly, dji, bird, seagulls, practice, socal, water, beach, island, dog island

One of my very first drone images from San Diego. Taken around this time last year, I loved being in Southern California in the winter time. I got my drone at the end of 2017 so I was just practicing flying when I took this image. I really didn’t think much of it until I saw that bird fly below close to the water. With the placement of where I’m sitting and that bird, I love how everything lines up. Definitely expect more drone images from me in 2019. I’m hooked!

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About 20 minutes before I took this image, I was fortunate enough to capture this image. They were pretty much right across the Romsdalsfjorden from each other. But I say that I was fortunate because I felt like I was in the right place at the right time with the right lens. One of the great things about Norway was that I didn’t see very many birds. LOL not even kidding. If you know me, then you know I have a slight fear of them. It’s a long story but it’s a fear that I’ve had since I was little. But I think that they can make interesting subjects in pictures (as long as they stay further back).

To be honest, these were the only 3 birds I remember seeing the entire trip. I saw them flying from far away so I brought my camera to my eye and just started shooting. I was hoping I could capture them in some type of way that would be interesting. I think I accomplished that when they were flying over this mountain peak. I love how they are lined up similar to the shape of the mountain.

I still haven’t gone through all my images from Norway yet, but you may have noticed that I’ve already gone through so many from Ă…ndalsnes. I loved it. The entire place is so photogenic. I remember feeling so small because you’re basically surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks like this one. You can see why we wanted to stay here for two nights instead of one. So I highly recommend staying here for at least 2 days if you really want to make the most out of your trip to Ă…ndalsnes.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 1/500th ISO 640 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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Just got home from an amazing trip to Norway. It was honestly one of the best trips I have ever taken! The scenery, the culture, the experience was something I will treasure for a long time. But it took a lot of time and research to plan the whole trip. So I thought I would take some time out and lay out everything I did to prepare for the trip to help future travelers.

Side note: This trip was Andrew and I’s big trip for the year but he didn’t plan any of it. He was so great that he let me plan whatever I wanted to do and he was going to be ok about it 🙂 So obviously I planned this trip all around taking pictures. 

To be honest, I didn’t know much about Norway before I booked this trip. Obviously I have seen some stunning images of the country on Instagram but it wasn’t until I was saw this one old episode of the Amazing Race that really got me interested in going. I know, cheesy but true. The very next day I received an email from TravelZoo with a promotion to travel to Norway. I figured that if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is!

Prior to booking, I read that the best landscapes were along the west coast so Andrew and I booked round trip tickets to Bergen for a week. From then on I was all over pinterest and tripadvisor looking for recommendations of what to do in Norway but in the end it was the advice of my friend, Frithjov who helped out the most.

The Goal:

  1. To drive as much of the Norwegian coast as possible without being in a car all day
  2. Not have to drive past the same sights when traveling back to Bergen
  3. Some short hikes here and there would be great

Frithjov asked one of his friends for recommendations and laid out an ambitious itinerary for us including Kristiansund, Dombås and Odda.  But I did not want to have to be on a very strict time table. So after a lot more research and several changes, here’s what our more relaxed schedule finally ended up being

Side note: Booking a ticket on the Hurtigruten was key! It’s a cruise ship that stops at many ports along the west coast of Norway. Luckily you can customize your travel with shorter segments. I’m so thankful for that ship and the ability to bring back the car with us back to Bergen. So booking this ship was the first thing I did and the rest of our travel based on the fact that we were going to take it from Ă…lesund to Bergen at the end of our trip. Consider goal #2 accomplished.

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