A slightly different vantage point from high above Avalon on Catalina Island, California! Love it! I do have one small problem, though. I just can’t decide if I like it better in black and white or in vivid color! Which do you prefer? Vote below!
Of course, taken with the Canon G12!!
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!
Short n’ sweet post today! The view of Avalon on Catalina Island from atop the hillside! Such a quaint little town.
Sorry for the long delay between posts! Residency has been keeping me quite busy lately!
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.
So, from this point forward in our journey down the California coast, we start into some of my favorite photos EVER. The coastline became just stunning around Monterrey/Big Sur areas on Highway 1. Especially Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur. Seriously. Go there. Its incredible. I rather like the view shown in this post’s photo…but wait until the next post. Its like a dreamscape. OMIGOSH. I’m so excited for the next post. I’ve seriously been just waiting to post it since I started this California series and ITS ALMOST TIME!!!!
So, this photo was taken from the walking trail that takes you out to McWay Falls in the Park. This is the view from the “other side”. Not to be taken lightly. I would have been satisfied with just this view!!! But just you wait…
And the little specks on the beach is a flock of seagulls. Oh, and if you’d like to imagine the soundtrack that went along with this wondrous nature view, it went something like this: “CRAZY LOUD OCEAN WAVES. INSANE WIND NOISE. SEA LION HOWLING.” Ah, yes. Nature.
Taken with the Canon Powershot G12. Minor exposure fixes in Photoshop CS5.
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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!
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!
I almost forgot to post this one first!!! Obviously, we had to fly over the Rocky Mountains to get to California, but I was beyond excited about this. See, getting to see a “rocky” mountain (as opposed to the “softer” Appalachians out East) was one of the things on my “Must Eventually Accomplish/See In Life” list. What better way to start a trip than to tick off an item on that bucket list?? Little did I know that it would be the first of many tick-marks made on this trip!
A little info on the photo: Taken at 37,000 feet with the maximum zoom on the Canon G12. I used Adobe Photoshop CS5 to make the photo black and white to bring out all of the detail in the mountains. A very excellent few hours of flying: sandwiched between a view of the Rockies and a boyfriend who thought my continuous excited squeals about seeing them were endearing and not annoying.
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.
Alright. I’m not going to say much about this photo, except that it is one of my favorite shots from my trip to Mexico this summer. It was sunrise at our hotel (Ocean Coral and Turquesa) and the sheer serenity of the world in front of me was breathtaking. Luckily, the (amazing) Canon G7 has a fun little feature that lets you select only one color in your photo to show through the black and white. Well, I found the perfect shade of sunrise and photographed away!!! This shot is pretty much straight from the camera!!! Only needed a smidge of contrast fixing. I recommend using this picture for a 5 minute mental vacation…it definitely works for me!! Enjoy and bon voyage!!
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?
Well, if this photo doesn’t convince you, then let me have a try: SUNSETS FROM PRESQUE ISLE ON LAKE ERIE ARE GORGEOUS. If you live in Pennsylvania (or not!), you simply must venture up to Erie for the solar show of your life. Grab that special someone and settle into one of the numerous jumbo lifeguard chairs on one of the many beaches to watch a dazzling display of colorful light dance across the rippling water.
Photo was taken with an Olympus Stylus 820 and the contrast was fixed in Photoshop (because it seems that basic point-and-shoot cameras can never properly capture sunset colors and dynamics…but that little bugger of a camera was water resistant and quite nice for a day at the beach). Enjoy!
This photograph was taken during a lovely trip to Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania last May. The slight glow of early sunset was truly gorgeous as it cast a rosy hue across the island…and I just had to capture it! I used an Olympus Stylus 820 digital camera and color balanced the photo in Adobe Photoshop CS3. Additionally, the image is an HDR (high dynamic range) image. If you have a free summer day, get thee to Erie!!
This picture was taken at Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie. The sunsets viewed from Lake Erie’s shore are rather well-known for being nothing short of stunning. The photograph was taken using an Olympus Stylus 820 digital camera.
This photo was taken near Milton, PA on the way to a wonderful surprise from my boyfriend…a horseback ride in the foothills of the mountains. I was shocked this picture even came out, considering I took it from the window of a car moving at approximately 45mph. Pure luck, I suppose!
Anyhow, the photo was taken with an Olympus Stylus 820 digital camera. Take a moment from your cold, dreary winter day to enjoy the sunny sky, green grass, and other lovely things that are non-existent right now!
This shot was taken on a beach of Lake Erie in Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania. Can you find the sailboat (hint: look at the horizon and zoom in)? It was taken using an Olympus Stylus 820 digital camera. The digital image was then processed in Photoshop to adjust color and contrast levels, apply a slight “glow” to the edges, and finally processed with Dynamic HDR software into an HDR image. Isn’t Erie simply gorgeous?