So, its been a month-and-a-half! Oh my goodness! Where has the time gone?!? Here is a much delayed post! From the same hilltop that the previous photo was taken from, there is a white cross located just on the edge of the cliff, overlooking the Pacific. What a lovely and serene spot…there was even a little tree swing up there!
Stay tuned for another view from the top of Avalon on Catalina Island!
So, remember that last post? About the adventuresome trek up and over the mountains on what appeared to be little more than a paved goat path? And remember how Jay is super great about halting the car whenever I would squeal “photo!!”? Well, alas. That goat path winding up and up the mountain afforded beautiful views…like this one! Its sort of like a different type of Sunset Boulevard, a very abstract interpretation of “a sunset boulevard.”
Picture it: You’re up on a mountain, overlooking the wild Southern California coast, with the Pacific waves crashing below and not a sole on the road. You gaze ever-so-slightly northward and your face is gently met with the warm setting rays of the golden sun, dipping below the horizon. The colors are hues you’ve only ever dreamed of and the mountain-scape is silhouetted against the star of the show that is gracefully bowing out for the night. As the fading light touches the foggy haze hanging over the ocean, an other-worldly glow fills the foreground of your sight. Deep blue-purple fades into blazing orange, and you watch as your beacon of the day slips away to give way to a moonlit night. It is just you, the sky, the mountains, and the sea.
Ok…now look at the photo? Decent attempt at trying to summarize a photo and all it embodies in less than a thousand words? Read it again for a brief mental vacation and relaxing “guided imagery” moment!
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.
Ahh, yes. The Pacific Coast Highway. The PCH. Highway 1. Oh, how I love thee. Except when you get occluded by a landslide forcing me to backtrack 10 miles and take a detour over a mountain in a PRIUS. A one-lane, no guardrails sort of road spiraling up the mountainside kind of road. With the occasional car hurtling around a blind bend at you, forcing the little Prius to carefully navigate between the “road” and falling off the edge of the mountain. At dusk. With no GPS. In a Prius, which just isn’t a mountain-climbing sort of vehicle (thank goodness, though, for the ability to take the sucker out of “eco” mode and put it into full-on power-engine mode…an ability that was quite needed in San Francisco as well). Through a military base (Fort Hunter Liggett), which greeted us with warnings of “live fire” and two tanks at the entrance. Driving through the base gave us a lovely view of soldiers practicing their “tactics” at night. Oh…and did I mention that the detour took, oh, 3 HOURS? And we still had to get to LA/Long Beach that evening to check into the Queen Mary??? Awesome hotel, complete with all of the vintage fixings. Too bad we got in at 3am, bleary-eyed, and had to leave 3 hours later to catch the 8am ferry to Catalina Island. Can we say traveling by the seat of our pants? At least it was a fun adventure!!
Alas, misfortune does bring opportunities! Holy good view of the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset, clinging to the edge of, well, the country. Basically, the Prius rounded one corner of the mountain road, I spied this vista, and yelled for Jay to stop the car so I could snap a photo. That was how much of our vacation went :-)
To me, this photo just says “classic America”. I love it. :-)
Canon G12, of course.
EEEEeeeee!!!!!!!!! Its my favorite photo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! McWay Falls at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, California! So gorgeous. It seriously seemed like a dreamscape. I mean, really. A waterfall crashing onto a beach with turquoise waters and crashing waves, with glorious flora all around? PARADISE!! It is a very easy place to get to…a short walk (maybe 0.5 mile?) along a very level trail and…BAM! you are struck with this view. This is the “other side” of the trail view that I mentioned in my previous post.
And now, I will stop typing. Because sometimes a picture truly is worth a thousand words, and no matter how much I write, it just won’t say all that this photo has to tell.
Stay tuned for some upcoming close-ups of the features of McWay Falls!
The Bixby Bridge!!! I just loved the way it spans the mountains and overlooks the coastline! Have I mentioned that I love the Pacific Coast Highway (a.k.a. Highway 1)?!?!
I used the Canon Powershot G12 for this one, with a wide-angle lens attached. Enjoy! Stay tuned for more!
–click the photo to open in a new window–
Ladies and gentlemen: Lake Sonoma! It was an afterthought of a trip, but so glad we went! We were heading down to San Francisco from Santa Rosa and had heard talk of a glorious lake atop the mountains in Sonoma. Of course we were game! After a beautiful drive through Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma (see previous post!) we ascended into the hills and mountains and were greeted by a breathtaking view. There were several wooden structures that you could climb up into to get an even better vantage point on the surroundings, but I found a great spot to capture a panoramic shot of the landscape. It was just so lovely up there! And there’s more lake than would even fit in the photo!
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Stay tuned for more Calfornia! And after California…on to St. John, USVI!
I found it! I really did! The hills from the famed Windows XP “Bliss” background!!! As we were driving up the Pacific Coast towards Santa Rosa on Highway 1, I decided to snap some photos from the car. As the highway curved inland a bit, I remember saying how it looked like we were driving through a Windows XP desktop! Well, when I looked at my photos later on, this one in particular looked a lot like the “Bliss” wallpaper. Upon taking my query to trusty Google, I was directed to the all-knowing Wikipedia…which informed me that I had, in fact, been in general vicinity of where the photograph for XP’s “Bliss” was taken!! Score one for awesome chance photography!!!!!!
Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12, and edited in Adobe Photoshop CS5 to remove one stray cow in the photo that looked more like a spot of schmutz on the computer screen than an actual cow.
Stay tuned for more photos from my time in California!
So, after leaving sunny Sausalito and a lovely lunch behind, we hopped in our Prius and took the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) all the way up to Santa Rosa. Let me just say, this was one of the best things I have EVER done. The winding road (very, very, very sharply winding road) clinging to the cliffside, wind in my hair, great music blasting on the radio…what more could a girl ask for? A cute guy in the driver’s seat? Check! Suffice it to say that around nearly every curve I would squeak with joy and say how gorgeous the view was! Fortunately, Jay was quite amenable to stopping as soon as I would yell, “I have to take a picture!”…how lucky am I? So, there are lots and lots of photographs heading north on the PCH (and later, lots and lots of photos going south on the PCH). So many wonderful memories created in that 4 hour drive!
This portion of the trip checked several things off of my bucket list: drive Highway 1, see the Pacific, dip toes in the Pacific, and take in a rocky coastline.
This photo was taken somewhere between San Fran and Santa Rosa…and is of the aptly named “Hole Rock.” Beautiful, eh? I would just like to mention how insanely windy it was from atop that cliff and that this was one of the few shots that was not blurred by a blowing camera! Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.
Stay tuned for more snapshots from my California escapades!
So this photo was taken in Canaan, West Virginia during a horseback ride through the mountains. Jay and I planned a lovely day of horseback riding followed by waterfall hunting and hiking in Blackwater Falls State Park. The ride was lovely–it was a cool day, but the sun was warm on our backs as our trusty steeds followed along on well-worn trails in the mountains and meadows. As I was riding, I saw this tree all by itself and knew I just had to take a photo…even if I was on a moving horse. I one-handedly wrangled my camera out of the saddle-bag, pointed, and shot…and fortunately was able to get a nice photo, stay on the horse, and have the horse stay on the trail. Hooray for multitasking!
Anyhoo, when I looked at the photo later on, I decided that it was just entirely too brown…leafless tree with a backdrop of brown grass and brown mountains. So, I changed the photo to black and white and hand-colorized it in Photoshop CS5. I added in a vignette blur and desaturated the tree by hand to really make it pop. All in all, after spending entirely too much time fiddling with a photo, I’m pretty happy with the results. It still has that slightly cool, forlorn feel of approaching winter, but a little added interest.
Taken with the Canon Powershot G12!! ) Stay tuned for more West Virginia trip photos!
So, here is another shot from my trip to Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia last October. If you look closely at the bottom of the valley, you can see the river meandering through the mountains. As you can probably tell from how tiny the river looks, this lookout point (Lindy Point) is quite high up. Now, I’m not afraid of heights, but stepping out to the edge of these rocks to take a picture in the ferocious wind was a bit unnerving, even for me! But, a good photograph is totally worth a bit of risk, right? One of my favorite things in this photo is the intensity of the autumn leaves still clinging to the trees on the mountainside more protected from the wind.
By the way, the freshness of the air in this wild and wonderful was simply incredible. Maybe I only noticed it because of my city-girl lungs, but holy cow. It was gooooooood. I think you can appreciate a little of the clean air in the clarity of photo. I seriously couldn’t stop taking super deep breaths just so I could enjoy the pure, clean air! Did I mention that this park is literally in The Middle of Nowhere, WV?
Of course…get ready for it…taken with the Canon Powershot G12 (and contrast fixed in Adobe Photoshop CS5)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, folks, I upgraded (both things!)! That little puppy is INCREDIBLE (and by puppy, I mean camera, not a reference to my family’s dog Lexie, a white Siberian Husky-German Shepherd mix, who at 3 years of age is still a giant puppy). Amazing image quality, HD video, swiveling LCD screen, fun effects, and so many dedicated wheels for manual photography (including a front thumb wheel that you can dedicate to whatever function you’d like) that the camera literally turns into an SLR if you want it to! Stay tuned for more G12 photos, including some more at Blackwater using some of the SLR magic of the G12!!!
My thoughts and prayers go out to those in Japan devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.
I’m baaaaaack!!! Oh my gosh…I can’t believe its been 1.5 months since I’ve posted!! Rotations and other things have just kept me so busy lately that my photoblog got shoved to the back burner. But, its officially Winter Break now, so here I am!!!
To help ward off the winter chills, here a warm and glowing sunset shot taken from Presque Isle on Lake Erie during the warmest days of summer! I shot this one during a much-needed daytrip with my mom. We stayed for sunset (both to see the sights and to justify another round of fudge milkshakes at Sara’s Camground, as our previous round happened only a few hours prior) and the seagulls were extremely active. They kept rising up in flocks off of the breakwaters offshore and streaking across the sunset as silhouettes. Gorgeous.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many photos I snapped of the seagulls at sunset. The number is a bit obscene. But it was just so pretty! With such vibrant colors!! I couldn’t help myself!!! Luckily, its not like I’m wasting film!
So, enjoy the photo and warm yourselves up a bit! And if you’re ever on Presque Isle, visit the diner at Sara’s Campground right at the park entrance: Best. Milkshakes. Ever.
(Of course, taken with the Canon G7. Contrast improved in Adobe Photoshop CS3.)
Its an itty-bitty Stonehenge! A small, sandy stonescape!
Over the summer, my mom and I took a girls’ Saturday day-trip up to Erie to chill out on the beach at Presque Isle. What a lovely day! Towards the end of the day, my overly-relaxed brain apparently regressed to that of a 3-year-old and I built a tiny Stonehenge in the sand. Then my brain snapped back to photog-mode and I realized that, heck, my small and sandy Stonehenge looked pretty neat up close! Thus, this picture was born.
Of course, it was taken with the Canon G7. Slight sepia tone and contrast fiddling were done in Adobe Photoshop CS5 (yes, you read that correctly…I now have the immense pleasure of using CS5!!).
Stayed tuned for the second part of this itty-bitty Stonehenge series!
P.S.A. Time (and, no, I don’t mean “prostate-specific antigen”): TIME TO GET YOUR FLU SHOT, PEOPLE! I GOT MINE TODAY…NOW GO GET YOURS!
And the computer is up and running!! I can officially add Tech Master to my skills. Many thanks to Jay for all his help. Pharmacist and doctor-to-be saved a (computer) life!!
Anyhoo, lets get to some photography! This lovely panorama of the Manhattan skyline at dusk was taken from Hoboken, NJ. Click on the image to see it larger. Not much to say about the picture except that it was the grand finale to a weekend in NYC.
Of course, I used the fabulous Canon Powershot G7. I think the image was originally 6 or 7 frames that I then digitally stitched together, adjusted for contrast in Photoshop CS3, and finally, to top off the sundae with a cherry, I transformed the photo into an HDR image. Enjoy!!!
The grand finale in the “People Series”!!! Once again, a shot of my lovely sister. Everything just sort of lined up perfectly in this shot…her pushing out of the water, the sunset, the sliver of sunlight highlighting the edges of her silhouette, and (my favorite) the sun glinting in the small drops of water falling from her arm. This was taken about 200 feet out in the water at Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico (see previous Isla posts for me going on and on and on about the gorgeous water there and how you can walk out about 300 feet…uh oh…I’m going on and on again…).
I don’t think there’s much to say about this photo, except that I think my sister should scrap her career and become a model. Perk of this: she could visit locales such as Isla Mujeres more often. Perk of this for me: perhaps I’d be able to tag along for a vacation when my brain is totally fried from my clinical rotations!!
I hope everyone enjoyed the People Series. I’ll post more shots of people as they come along, but until then, back to random photo posting!
Oh, yes. I almost forgot. The picture was taken with the amazing Canon G7. Contrast fixed in Photoshop CS3. That’s it. No airbrushing needed on this model!
He’s a man with a mission: to catch his fill of fish! And second to last photo in the “People Series”!! I took this shot down in Puerto Morelos, Mexico while admiring the view from the dock. It was quite a site to see. It was a bit after lunch and many of the fishermen were headed back out to sea for the afternoon catch. One minute all the boats were lined up along the shore, the next, they were zooming off into the distance. I like this photo because its very tranquil with the gradations of blue in the water, but also because I think it shows off just how small people are compared with the vast sea. Whenever I look at this photo, I get a sense of serene isolation and a refreshing dose of perspective.
Of course, the photo was taken with the Canon G7. I adjusted the contrast in Photoshop and also converted the image to an HDR image. Enjoy!!
So, this photo is the first in a series I will be posting featuring people as subjects. I’m excited, as I usually do landscapes/macro/anything-but-people!
I took this photo while at the Jersey Shore over the summer with my boyfriend (see previous post for more another product of that trip). Avalon Beach was lovely, fairly empty with lovely water. I love to body surf, so I was quite content. Some areas had larger waves that surfers were taking full advantage of. I was lucky enough to snap this shot, right as the surfer hit the top of the wave. It wasn’t until I looked at the larger image of the photo on my computer that I realized he was also touching the top of the wave. Cool stuff.
So, anyhoo, this shot was taken with the Canon Powershot G7. Contrast was fixed with Adobe Photoshop CS3.
Well, here’s a change of pace. I usually photograph things, places, and my cats…but….omigosh! Its a person!!! My sister and I were having a bit of fun in Playa del Carmen, Mexico a couple of years ago by staging a teensy “America’s Next Top Model”-esque photo shoot out in the water. Naturally, she looked gorgeous. And she’s ready for her close-up now…or at least to have her photo on my blog! You go, pretty sister!
Taken with an Olympus Stylus 820. The photo was played with a bit in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to add a glow, fix contrast, and create a sepia tone. It was then converted into an HDR photo. Enjoy!!!!
Well, I do believe that this is the last photo I’ll be posting from Mexico…time to move on (until it is the dark, cold, middle of winter and I find it imperative to post something warm and sunny). This photo is a shot of Playa Norte’s crystal clear water at sunset (hence the yummy pink cast on the sand!). Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres, Mexico is such a gorgeous place–truly what comes to my mind when I picture a tropical paradise. I hope you have enjoyed traveling to Mexico with me through my photos. Stay tuned!
Why, of course it was taken with the Canon Powershot G7. Contrast was fixed using Adobe Photoshop CS3.
So this little slice of heaven was taken at Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Have I mentioned how much I loooooove Isla?? I did? Oh, yes. That’s right. I found it impossible to drink in all of the serene shades of blue so I snapped tons of photos to help me in that quest at a later time.
I love the blue gradient in this photo…from the turquoise of the water all the way up to the sky’s blue hue, with an interspersing of fluffy white clouds!
To help you slip into this tranquil moment, picture the breeze gently blowing, waves softly crashing on the soft white sand, and the bathtub-temperature water enveloping your increasingly relaxed body. Ah, there you go. Now you’re there.
Yup. Taken with the trusty Canon Powershot G7.
“Twelve little boats, sitting in a row
Each colorful one with a rope in tow.
Docked for the day and dark starry night
Ready to depart at dawn’s first golden light.”
Okay, okay, perhaps its a cheesy little poem, but whatever. I’m in an artsy mood. I even arranged “Streets of Philadelphia” for SATB a cappella on Sunday with the boyfriend. Photos and poems and songs, oh my!!
Anyhoo, this photo was taken with the amazing Canon G7 next to the fishing pier in Puerto Morelos, Mexico (right in front of the old lighthouse). All of the boats were moored for the night and I was stunned by how much colorful character they all had. That translated to a boat photoshoot! To help you create a better mental image of the Puerto Morelos fishing pier, if you faced the pier (looking out to the ocean), these boats were to the left and the previously-posted pelican was to the right! Alright, here’s the pier:
The boat photo was cropped to remove the gargantuan dead fish that was on the beach and was then post-processed to an HDR photo! Enjoy!!!!!!
This little photo was taken from the Puerto Morelos (Mexico) pier. Apparently there is ALWAYS a pelican on that specific pole. Seriously. I’ve heard this mentioned on numerous travel blogs…he (she?) even shows up in lots of pictures in Google!! My theory is that he’s (she’s?) just a bird trying to catch his (her?) big beak…er…break… in these hard times. You know, just trying to get his (her?) picture out there and hopefully be scouted by a top bird modeling agency. I mean, look at those wings!! And that arch in his (her?) neck! So perfect!
Now, in all seriousness…oh, heck. How can one be serious when making a post devoted to pelicans? Is it just me, or do you find yourself a bit giggly when you think about those birds? Okay, maybe its just me. Anyhoo, I played around with the tint in Photoshop and decided that sepia (rather than color) suited the photo quite well. Precisely the feel I was aiming for. And I think it brings out his (her?) features wonderfully and thus increases his (her?) chances of getting that big break. C’mon America’s Next Top Pelican, this is your bird. Oh…yes…of course it was taken with the trusty Canon Powershot G7!!
This seaside sunrise panoramic was the fruit of my efforts to arise before sunrise after a week of fun in the sun in Mexico (no small feat, especially when bedtime was 2am!!! Darn DeGrassi reruns in Mexico that hooked my entire family!!). I can’t truly convey with words how tranquil and silent the sunrise was…no vacationers on the beach yet, no playing in the pool…just the sun, sea, and the lapping waves. Simply stunning.
This photo was taken at the beach of the Ocean Coral and Turquesa Resort in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. I merged two sequential photos into one panoramic image using Adobe Photoshop CS3. The panel was originally 7 photos long, but that caused a large curvature in the image…plus one of the images contained a gentleman strolling the beach in a Speedo, with all his glory bathed in morning rays. Yup. The panorama was reduced to the two panels that I thought came the closest to doing the sunrise justice. Obviously, taken with the Canon Powershot G7. Contrast and color saturation enhanced in Photoshop to make the photos look as much like the original sunrise as possible!! Enjoy!!
Ahhh…yes. You can almost hear the gentle waves lapping on the sand. The beach in front of our resort (Ocean Coral and Turquesa) was simply gorgeous. The only bad thing about the beach was that the red flag was flying everyday…i.e. swim at your own risk. I came, I swam, I learned why the flag was red. There was…stuff…in the water. The bits of seaweed? Nah, I could look past those. The biting, stinging things in the seaweed? OUCH. Lets just say that I don’t particularly enjoy the simultaneous feelings of fire and tiny knives in my legs. Naturally, this was a very unfortunate situation for this self-proclaimed beach bum/water baby. This was precisely the reason for repeat treks to the idyllic waters of Isla Mujeres. No problems there, other than it being so gorgeous that I never wanted to leave.
Water complaints aside, the beach was still beautiful. The palapas provided ample shade and the chaise lounges were oh-so-comfy. It pays to upgrade to VIP status at this place. Did I mention that this stretch of beach was completely reserved for VIP guests only? Oh, I didn’t? It was heaven. The beach was the perfect setting for water-gazing, people watching, and sunrise photography. So, stay tuned for more photos of my trip to Mexico!
Almost forgot! Taken with the handy-dandy Canon Powershot G7. But you already guessed that, didn’t you? I used the awesome color-select setting on the camera to capture a bit of the sand color to add some interest to the black and white. Contrast fixed and enhanced using a touch of pseudo-HDR in the Dynamic-Photo HDR program.
Now for a brief mental vacation!! This stately palm tree (complete with coconuts!!) was gently swaying in the breeze on one of Playa del Carmen’s beaches. Now for a little news update: I will be visiting Mexico once more this August, so stay tuned for new photos! WOOHOO!!!
The photo was taken with an Olympus Stylus 820 and was turned into a high dynamic range photograph when I got back to Pittsburgh . Can’t you just feel that Caribbean tradewind by looking at this picture?