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turquoise tides at trunk bay…

Trunk Bay

 

Trunk Bay…oh, that water.  I was mesmerized by the intense turquoise color that the curl of the little waves would take on, just before breaking on the sand.  I will admit, I was squatting in the surf for quite some time while attempting to capture the perfect turquoise wave curl and crest in this photo.  So many photos with the timing just off by a bit…one glorious photo with the timing spot on.  Totally worth it.

In the background of the photo, you can see Trunk Cay…and under the sea surface is the snorkeling trail!  Here is a tidbit for those looking to visit Trunk Bay:  this is the beach that cruise ship tours get dropped off at when the ships dock in St. Thomas, so to avoid those insanely crowded days (why would you want your paradise filled with loud strangers?), get a copy of the USVI informational magazine when you arrive in the islands (its easy to find).  It lists the arrival dates/times of the cruise ships, so you can play your beach day for a day when it is just islanders and the few tourists stationed on the island.  Here is the link to the week’s cruises:  USVI Cruise Ship Schedule

Of course, this photo was taken with the Powershot G12…

Stay tuned for more posts!!!

across the bay…

Jumbie Bay with View of Trunk Bay

 

Ahh, the view of lovely and iconic Trunk Bay and Trunk Cay from Jumbie Bay.  Jumbie Bay is a secluded little beach (its amazing how much a short <1/4 mile path deters beach-goers…) that is a bit different.  There is some beach rock, as well as slightly choppier water that is fun to bob in.  To your front is crystal water dotted with rocks.  To your back is scrub brush, seagrape trees, and cacti…an interesting change of scenery.  The beach is flanked by lots of rocks that just beg you to climb along them and when you do, you are suddenly alone, surrounded by sea, vistas, rocks, with the sun gently warming your skin.  Lovely adventure for those, like me, who cannot resist climbing on pretty much anything that can be climbed upon.  Just wear solid shoes–flip-flops would be asking for a nasty foot laceration (come to think of it, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to start traveling with my suture kit…)

Taken with the Canon Powershot G12, mon.  The only camera fit to bring for limin’ in the sun.

Sorry for the delay in posting!  I promise they’ll come a bit more often!!!!  Stay tuned!

seaside swinging…

Gibney Beach and Tire Swing

 

Ah, yes.  Gibney Beach.  I already extolled its wonders in the previous post, so I’ll be brief this time.

 

Gibney = Paradise.

 

Here is a rare shot of the photographer…just swinging on the beach…

Liz on Gibney!

 

As usual, pics were taken with the Canon Powershot G12.

Stay tuned for more St. John, USVI!

 

 

gorgeous Gibney…

Gibney Beach from the Water

While I frequently say that aside from my hometown, St. John is my favorite place on earth, the more accurate statement would be that Gibney Beach on St. John is my favorite place on earth.  This idyllic little stretch of beach on the North Shore is never crowded and even when a few other people are on the beach, they are usually tucked away in the little palm and seagrape tree alcoves so that you barely see them.  Crystal aqua waters, white sugary sands, palms behind you, and shallow waters with a soft sand bottom for frolicking in the sea that leads out to deeper water with excellent snorkeling.  The reefs are decent to look at and there are large sea turtles and many fish to observe, as well!

My favorite thing on this beach is a palm tree that bends over the water and has a tire swing attached (photos to be posted soon).  The swing is fun, especially when high tide is in, but the curve in the tree is perfect for draping a beach towel over the trunk and laying down, with the trunk as your cradle,  and listening to the gentle waves rolling up on the sand just a few feet below you while warm breezes rustle through the palms.  And if you happen to fall asleep, well, that is just fine too because you’re on island time!

Interestingly, the beach is also known as Oppenheimer Beach.  And yes, it is that Oppenheimer…the Manhattan Project/atomic bomb guy.

Stay tuned for more photos…and enjoy a mental vacation while looking at this one!

birdie bath time…

 

Rub a dub dub!!!  Thirteen seagulls in the ocean tub!  This photo was taken on Trunk Bay in the late afternoon.  I was thoroughly enjoying the birds splashing around, in all of their frenzied excitement in the shallow surf.  I love that this pic captures all of that movement and activity!

Of course, the photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G12…my best travel buddy!

Stay tuned for more tropical paradise photos!

all the stars in the sea…

 

I see a sea star!!!!  And a whole school of tiny fishies!!!  I mean, seriously.  Could those fish have swum by at a better time?!?  This lovely (large…approximately 12 inches across!) starfish was spotted at Maho Bay on St. John, USVI.  Super stoked to take this photo because I received an underwater housing for my Canon Powershot G12 for Christmas in preparation for this upcoming trip full of promising underwater photos!  So, photo is courtesy of the Powershot G12, underwater housing, my hands, luck for making me almost step on this thing while wading through the water, and nature with her impeccable timing.

Stay tuned for more shots!

hello hawksnest…

Welcome to Hawksnest Beach!!  I love this silhouetted portal to the sea!  This was one of my first glimpses of the splendor of St. John.  Upon our arrival to the island, it was a torrential downpour, making checking out the beaches a little less than desirable after a full day of traveling.  We settled into our house, Blue Moon Rendezvous, and then went into Cruz Bay to plant ourselves at a cafe to get some beachfront munchies, while watching the rain streaming down through the palms onto the water and sand.  Fortunately, the rain stopped just before sunset, so we raced up to the North Shore and stopped at the first easily accessible beach–Hawksnest!  And, oh how gorgeous it was!  I dipped my toes in the water and then started taking some photos with long exposure since the light was starting to dwindle.  Of course, this one was taken with the  Canon Powershot G12.

Sorry for the long delay between posts!  But stay tuned for more tropical shots!

cruz bay sunset…

 

Its Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI!  Lovely sunset, eh?  Well, here’s the very special part…sunsets over St. John are very often silvery sunsets, rather than flame-hued.  Well, on this evening, the sky was shocking shades of pink and orange…and the entire town took notice!  Everyone was packing the streets and balconies to gaze at the sunset…and I was so happy to be a part of it!

Taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Stay tuned for more snapshots of the USVI!

give me some sugar…

Here we have the Sugar Mill ruins at Annaberg Plantation on St. John, USVI!  The entire plantation was beautiful (more photos to come), but you simply cannot beat the view serving as a backdrop for these plantation ruins.  The plantation overlooks Leinster Bay (photo to come!).  The sun can be quite sweltering up at the plantation, but there are several shady trees to catch a reprieve under, or you could use my tactic and rush by Jeep to one of the nearby beaches and plunge into the crystal waters to cool off!

Taken with the Canon Powershot G12!

Stay tuned for more views of the gorgeous St. John, USVI.

a trunk bay classic…

Trunk Bay Vista

 

Welcome to the beautiful St. John of the US Virgin Islands!!!!!!!!!!!!  Let’s just say that this place is my paradise.  So many wonderful memories, so many amazing experiences, so much serious relaxation.  To kick off the USVI photos, we have THE classic shot of Trunk Bay on St. John.  It was a beautifully sunny and clear day, so the colors in the water were positively mesmerizing!

Enjoy, and I cannot wait to share St. John, USVI from my perspective with everyone!!

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12!

double ducky…

THIS.  IS.  HUGE.  The Rubber Ducky art installation by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman left Hong Kong and landed in…PITTSBURGH!!!!!!!!!!!  Yeah, Pittsburgh!  Needless to say, numerous U.S. cities are quite jealous that we are the first American city to get the Duck, but I like to think that we are just that awesome.  Check out this link for more info:  http://www.pifof.org/performance/the-rubber-duck-project/

It is a part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.

Ducky is “docked” in the Allegheny River by Point State Park and was welcomed with a huge “Launch Party” (that, sadly, I had to work during and missed).  He shall be our big yellow guest until the end of October.

Lets just say that this thing is so *ducking* cute that I purchased the small replica Ducky…and found a prime photo opp!  DOUBLE DUCKS!

Clearly, it was a gorgeous autumn day in Pittsburgh and a perfect day to visit the Duck.

Taken with the Canon Powershot G12!

This Duck is huge!!  Jay and I with Rubber Ducky.

chihuly creations…

Another “oldie but goodie” before we move on to St. John, USVI photos!  I have always loved Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, but no show there was more spectacular than when famed glass artist Dale Chihuly created unique pieces for display throughout the conservatory from 2007-2008.  My absolute favorite was this “dreamscape” of multicolored glass orbs floating in a boat on one of Phipps’ water features.  Take a peek below for a close-up of the glass orbs!

orchids…an oldie but goodie

Oh my goodness!!!  This one’s a throwback to 2010!!  But then again, orchids are a classic flower and just never go out of style 😉  I’m not sure how I managed to miss posting this one earlier, as it is one of my favorite macro flower shots.

This photo of these beautifully patterned orchids was taken in the Orchid Room at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.  Oh, how I love that place.  Its the perfect place to get lost for a few hours surrounded by surreal flowers, landscaping, and warm sweet air.   Its also the perfect place to get married (or will be in 1.5 years, anyhow!!!!!).  Its also a veritable buffet for photographers looking for flowers as fodder for photos.  Wow!!  Say that 5 times fast!

Taken with my old Olympus camera that was stolen years ago (I can’t even remember the model!).

Stay tuned…photos of St. John, USVI are coming up SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

among the hemlocks…

—click image for lager view (its much better that way!)—

Its a two-fer!!!  Swallow Falls Canyon in  Garrett County, Maryland has one of the oldest hemlock stands in the state, with some trees up to 300 years old.  Just think…some of these trees were “born” in the century that we won our independence!  The forest itself is very unique.  Very cool, damp, and quiet with a canopy of pine.  It is a tranquil place with sunlight filtering in through the canopy.  A hike along the trails provides glimpses of river and waterfalls through the hemlocks and, if you’re adventurous, a bit of off-trail hiking brings you right to the water’s edge.

For these forest shots, I applied a dreamy-looking filter in Photoshop CS5 to help strengthen that “mystic forest” look.  And, of course, the photos were taken with the Canon Powershot G12.

And now, for a rare shot of the photographer.  Oh, yes, I dared to do it…its now a three-fer!!  I enjoy rock-climbing, so, naturally, I took to the rocks that I found in the forest.  And yes, that is a MASSIVE boulder held up by piles of rubble.  I like to live life on the edge.  I mean, its not fun unless someone is in danger of being squished like a bug  😉

Liz Rocking Out

free fallin’

“And I’m free, free fallin’

Yeah I’m free, free fallin’.”

~Tom Petty

Well, I may not be free fallin’, but the water sure is!  This is Swallow Falls at Swallow Falls Canyon in Garrett County, Maryland.  Lovely, isn’t it?  53 feet of crashing, rushing water and the best part is that there are small stones at the top that you can walk along and peer over the edge of the falls, as the water rushes around you (WARNING;  these rocks are wet and this is obviously not the *safest* thing to do, but if you’re adventurous with a solid pair of shoes and a lack of a fear of heights, GO FOR IT!)

The view can be seen below.  I can hear my mom’s voice in my head as I’m posting this photo…”WHY?!?!?  You could have fallen to your DEATH!!!!”   🙂  Love you Mom!!  Thanks for putting me on this earth so I can go do crazy stuff like this!!!!  🙂

Apparently 22 years of schooling and seeing the aftermath of sheer stupidity daily in the ER has taught me nothing.

Anyhoo, the main photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  I used f/5.6, 1/5sec exposure with exposure bias of -1, ISO 80 and a neutral density filter to get the perfect combo of flowing water and non-overexposure.  Stay tuned for a few more Swallow Falls Canyon photos!

swallow falls canyon…

Next up in Maryland:  Swallow Falls Canyon in Garrett County!!  If you haven’t noticed by now, Jay and I like to hunt down waterfalls.  I don’t care if TLC warned “don’t go chasing waterfalls” in 1995…its FUN!!!  So, whenever we travel, if there’s a waterfall that can be found, we will usually try to find it!

Swallow Falls Canyon has a fair number of small cataracts downstream from where this photo was taken.  Each of these is perfectly lovely and you can catch glimpses of them through the hemlock forest.  I thoroughly recommend hiking down to the water’s edge and climbing out on the rocks (as shown above!) for incomparable views.  There is also the highest waterfall in Maryland (53 feet),  Muddy Creek Falls, which will be featured in photos to come!

Luckily, for this photographer, it was a gorgeous sunny day and the trees were just starting to turn.  Such a feast for the eyes!

Of course, this photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  And a quick note for anyone who wants to get out there to shoot waterfalls with a long exposure:  sometimes, your better shots come on slightly cloudy days, so the water doesn’t come out as over-exposed.  If it is sunny, try using a neutral density filter…it works wonders!

dock at dusk…

It’s a dock!  At dusk!  Another snapshot from the infamous Deep Creek, Maryland weekend!  For this shot, I left the shutter open for 15 seconds with ISO 100 and f/2.8.  I love the placid look that those settings gave to the water!

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12!

tree of light…

So, a short break from Deep Creek, Maryland and *poof* we’re now in Milton, PA.  Yes, the motherland of my dear Jay.  We stopped in Milton on our way to New York City this past October during a much needed vacation week.  Roadtrip!!!  Anyhoo, there are some photo op gems in Milton, if you hunt around for them.  Luckily for me, the sun decided to line up beautifully with this oak tree.

I’d also like to say that I rediscovered one of my favorite childhood candies, SqueezePops, in Milton at the CVS.  Who would have guessed that they carried that candy?  I haven’t seen it in ages.  So, in between my squeals of delight and giddy pleadings, Jay purchased one for me.   Here’s a reminder in case you don’t remember this candy:

Yes, folks, its liquid sugar.  In a tube.  Ingredients:  corn syrup and food coloring (and a few other very artificial components).  Yes, my doctor-ly voice in my head was screaming, “Nooooooooooo!”, but my inner 5-year-old won out with an even more emphatic, “Yessssssssssssssssssssssss!”

BIG MISTAKE.  Those who know me know that I get more or less uncontrollably hyper and chatty with large amounts of sugar (or caffeine, for that matter).  Jay, bless his soul, knows this fact and still was kind enough to let me eat the SqueezePop on the way to NYC…while locked in a car with him for hours…with nowhere to go…and no other outlet for my new-found energy except singing, talking, and fidgeting.

Let’s just say, Jay regretted indulging me with the candy.  I think his eyes were ready to bug out of his head by the time we drove into Manhattan around 4pm.

——————————

I was still up (and going strong) at 4am.  Whee!

on the verge of autumn…

I found it!  The exact place and time where Summer meets Autumn!  Apparently, its in Deep Creek, Maryland in late September!  I love how green  the trees on the land in the background are, yet the maple leaves in front are at the peak of colorful autumn perfection!  Two seasons, separated by the blue hue of the lake.

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Stay tuned for more photos!

simply stumped…

Another shot near the Intern Weekend 2012 Lake House in Deep Creek, Maryland!  I decided to go with black and white for this shot because I was just loving what it did for the pattern on the stump and the shadows on the rocks!

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Stay tuned, folks!

through the trees…

You can hear the lake water lapping at the floating dock.  The gentle breeze rustles the tree leaves as it curls around your face.  You shiver slightly and wrap your cardigan tighter around your shoulders.  Autumn is in the air and approaching its arrival date.  You take the hand of your sweetheart and head out to the Adirondack chairs awaiting you.  Once perched upon the chair, you sip warm cider from mugs and gaze out upon the water reflecting the quickly-coming nightfall.

Taken with the Canon Powershot G12 at Deep Creek  in Maryland.  For our illustrious  “intern weekend”, we rented out a fabulous lake house and, for lack of a better term, partied hard.  But, Jay and I definitely found some quiet time to enjoy the simpler things…

angeles aerial…

-click on image for larger view-

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls:  this is it!!!!  The end of the California series!!!  Its been an awesome journey, but as all wonderful journeys must, this one has come to a close.  This last image is a an aerial view of  Los Angeles (obviously snapped from the plane shortly after take-off).  Can we say crowded????  And that highway!!  I can safely say that this view made me appreciate my hometown a bit more.  Now, if only dear Pittsburgh had the Pacific coast nearby…

So, adiós California.  It was grand exploring you and hopefully we shall meet again soon for a whole new set of adventures!

adieu, avalon…

Ah, yes.  Our tour of California is drawing to a close.  Here we have the view of the Avalon Harbor, hillside, and mountains.

Taken with the Powershot G12.

1 California photo left.   One.  As in the name of the Highway that I am wholeheartedly convinced is the best drive in the country.

Stay tuned!

once on this island…

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!!

striking shutter…

Its a pretty blue shutter!

That is all.

———————————————————————————

Ok, ok.  Just kidding.  I’ll at least tell you where this pretty blue shutter is located.  No joke, this is a small electrical “out house” sort of thing on Catalina Island.  I’ve never seen one so pretty out this neck of the woods.  Must be something about that sweet California air…it just makes everything a bit prettier and sunnier 😉  I just love the stark contrast between the intricate blue shutter and the cracked white stucco!

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.

Stay tuned!  Only 3 California photos left!  At least, I think.  At the very least, only 3 more that will be posted for now so we can finally move on to something else!!!

shades of blue…

Shades of Blue

Oh, how I love this photo!  Just let the mesmerizing shades of blue draw you in…and just try to imagine the sounds of the ocean mixing with the steady breeze.  Sea & sky.  **sigh**  And, if you look very closely at the horizon, you can see the California coast (Los Angeles area).  Click on the photo for a larger view.  Taken from Catalina Island, California…looking across the channel to the mainland.

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.

And now, for some very fitting lyrics from a great song:

So keep your eyes set on the horizon
On the line where blue meets blue
And I’d bet that silver lining,
Well I know it’d find you soon

‘Cause I have sailed a 1000 ships to you,
But my messages don’t seem to make it through…

~Rachel Platten, 1000 Ships

yacht yearning…

Avalon Harbor

Here we have *yet another* shot from gorgeous and oh-so-photogenic Avalon, Catalina Island.  The yachts in the harbor!!  Don’t you wish you could chase down the Pacific horizon in one of these?  🙂

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Slight sepia tone added in Photoshop CS5…I love how the filter enhances the vibe of the photo!

Stay tuned for more!

something i stumbled a-cross…

Catalina Cross in Black and White

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!

🙂

atop avalon…

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!

palm perfection…

Classic California Palm

Ahhhh…the California sun setting behind a palm tree.   With a lens flare.  Does it get more quintessential than this?

Taken at the Descanso Beach Club on Catalina Island, CA (and yes, for you Bachelor/Bachelorette fans, the show did a date here a few seasons back).

A little relaxation after zip lining between mountains and landing on the beach!!!!!   Click here to see photos of the zip line!

All I have to say is, good Lord, that was the single most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done in my life.  During the longest zip, that spans the two mountains, you are 300 feet above the valley below.  Lets just say, taking the step off of the deck into nothing so that the “zip” could begin was the most difficult step I’ve ever taken in my life.  You literally just walk off the deck into the thin air and…whooosh!…are whisked off over the valley at 45mph!  This photo gives a good representation of that step.

Hehe…and here’s me in my “zip” gear:

Zipline

Note the expanse of ocean in the background.  Needless to say, the tour gave the best view of the island itself, valley flora & fauna, and the ocean from high above.  Great facts and tidbits about the island and its animals/plants from the tour guides.  Did you know that while the school on the island does not have Snow Days, they do have Bison Days, for when the buffalo randomly venture out of the mountains/island interior and roam the town?  And that they were left there after a 1924 movie and now have a full-on colony on the island?  Note for ladies:  do not zip line in tiny shorts.  Trust me, you’re gonna want full-coverage walking shorts or capris with that harness at those speeds.

Ahhhh…California.  I cannot wait to go back.

cruising to catalina…

Catalina Island Approach

Click to see the town better (but please don’t steal the image)!

And now we are approaching the final leg of our California adventure…Catalina Island!  This is the view of the town of Avalon on Catalina Island, as seen from the ferry that hails from Long Beach, California.  And the excitement of exploring a Channel Island starts to build…

Of course taken with the Canon G12!  From atop the ferry!  Crossing the Pacific!  Stay tuned for more Catalina Island!

a different kind of sunset boulevard…

Sunset Over Highway 1

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.

the pacific coast highway…

Highway 1, California

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.

southbound…

Lime Kiln State Park Near Fort Hunter Liggett

Moving away from Big Sur along Highway 1 South brings us to Lime Kiln State Park near Fort Hunter Liggett.  Majestic, deserted coastline…absolutely stunning.  I love how the almost-sunset light gives an illuminated quality to the water and waves.

And…about 5 miles later, our trip down the coast abruptly stopped due to a landslide that closed down the highway.  Stay tuned for the ensuing adventure and photos from atop the mountains!

McWay Falls…

McWay Falls:  Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Grand View, Big Sur, California

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!

big sur…

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.

bixby bridge…

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!

crusin’ california…

 Goodness!  Its been almost a month since I’ve posted!!!!  Why does October, my favorite month, always slip by so quickly?  Birthdays and residency and crisp sunny weather and residency and warm chai lattes and residency and a trip to NYC (before the storm, luckily!) and residency and much needed vacation week…and residency.  Well, today is the last day of my rotation this month and I have the day off!  Woohoo!!!  Hence, I be postin’.  I figure I should seize the opportunity before I start the ICU  and a research project in November.  Adios, light of day.

Anyhoo, NYC was AMAZING.  Awesome Manhattan hotel, got to see the Naked Cowboy in Times Square, found the spot of the last scene (favorite scene ever) of my favorite movie ever (You’ve Got Mail), got to play out the last scene and take a pic (! dream come true!), and got to see ANNE!!!!!!!!!!  BEST PART OF THE TRIP!!!  Aaaand got to go to Coney Island Beach on the way home just so I could see a beach before retreating back to the ‘burgh (seriously, how did I get so lucky to have a man who not only accepts my beach obsession but wholeheartedly encourages it????).  Some photos of NYC/beach will be coming but not too many of the city as the weather was just NOT good for shutterbuggin’.

On that note, NYC, you will pull through this disaster beautifully, just as you’ve conquered every obstacle in the past!  You weathered the storm and will shine even brighter than before.  And, Anne, so glad you’re safe and sound!

Now.  On to the posted photo!  Its about time, eh?  Took this one from our little red Prius while driving down Highway 1.  Lovely coast in the foreground (can you find the rock arch?) with the Bixby Bridge spanning the mountains in the background!  🙂  Yes, we came around the corner of the mountain, I squeaked about the bridge, subsequently missed the shot, so Jay promptly turned our eco-mobile around, I took the photo, and we then continued on our journey (towards great memories and hundreds of more photos).  Oh, Jay.  Beaches and photography.  A girl should be so lucky.

And, a quick shot of one of the views out of the Prius…

Hehe...I had fun on photoshop with this one!!!

mountains and lake and sky…oh my!

–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!

viva il vino…

Wine Country!!!  I actually meant to post this towards the beginning of my California series (as we traveled from Santa Rosa to San Francisco via Sonoma), but totally forgot!  This is a shot of a vineyard that we passed while driving through Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma.  Simply gorgeous.  It felt like driving through Italy (or at least what I imagine that would be like!)

And the wine was pretty darn good, too!!  Stay tuned for a Special Sonoma Shot coming soon!

And we all know what camera this photo was taken with.  I refuse to actually say it this time.  It was The-Camera-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

colorful chinatown clothing…

Chinatown Laundry!!!  So, if you go slightly off the main drag in Chinatown, you come upon the buildings that people live in…and a you get a much better feel of the essence of Chinatown.  I loved all of the colorful laundry that was hanging out to dry.  And so many of the pieces were very ethnic!  It may be odd…I’ve taken lots of “laundry out to dry” photos in my travels…but I feel like these photos tend to capture a culture  in some of the best ways.  They show everyday life.  Regardless of how different people and cultures may seem to be, we are all so similar at a fundamental level.  We all do laundry.  We all laugh when we’re happy.  We all smile.  We all fall in love.  We all feel an astounding array of emotions and incorporate our experiences into our very being.

Alright.  Enough of the waxing philosophical.  I found the most amazing little restaurant in Chinatown.  Hole in the wall kind of place, really, but with the best food ever.  It was down a side street.  I’m now convinced that the further you go away from the “touristy” places and the worse the restaurant looks from the outside, the better the food is.  I had the beef with scallions and eggs.  Oh.  My.  God.  The beef was pan-fried most of the way and then coated in the egg and all tossed into a pan so that the beef was coated in egg and there were also delicious bits of  scrambled egg.  All of this was mixed with very fresh scallions that were just waved over the heat and piled on top of delicious brown rice.  I’ve tried to replicate it and am slowly getting closer, but I just can’t wait for the day that I can return to San Francisco and eat to my heart’s content.  Mmmmm.  By the way, the key to well-seasoned, crispy beef is a bit of soy sauce and coat the beef in a corn starch slurry before pan-frying.  Mmmmmm.

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Contrast fixed a smidge in Photoshop CS5 because that alley had some seriously funky light going on.s

rusty and resting…

So, here we have a very rusty ship resting in the San Francisco Bay.  Not much to say about it, except that it had a slightly eerie quality at sunset.  You can almost picture it in its hey-day, sailing on the open Pacific, sails billowing and sailors rushing about their on-deck duties…but now it just bobs in the bay, completely abandoned.

Taken with the Canon Powershot G12.

bye bye bridge…

As the sun set on our last day in San Francisco, I snapped a last shot of the Golden Gate Bridge with the Marin Headlands in the backdrop and a wave heading for the Presidio in the foreground.  Oh, how I didn’t want to leave San Francisco!!!  Such an amazing city with so much more to explore!  I truly cannot wait to return!

Although, as we left the Presidio and the bridge behind, we returned to In-n-Out for a delicious wharf-side burger dinner!  Yes, in a city with myriad dining possibilities, we had both of our dinners at In-N-Out.  It was just so good!!!!  Its all about the “hidden menu”.  That’s where “animal style” lives.  And, all that walking and hill-climbing definitely cancels out a double animal-style burger with a side of animal-style fries and a large lemonade, right?  Right?!?!?  🙂  Oh well.  Happy tummy, happy girl.

Top two San Francisco foods:  In-N-Out burgers/fries and the delicious beef/scallion/egg dish from Chinatown!  OMG…that was sooooo good.  I keep trying to find a replica here at home, but so far have been unsuccessful  😦  But, my attempt at making was probably the closest to the original that I’ve yet encountered!  Huzzah!

Alright.  Enough the food talk.  Its making me hungry.  I’m on my Trauma Surgery rotation right now so food is a precious commodity.  I covered 90 patients last night.  That leaves no time for grub.  But it was fun!

That said, postings might be few and far between for the month of August.  I have 14 hour days and average 1 day off for every 7.  But, I promise to post when I get a chance!!!

One final note:  GO TEAM USA!!!!!!!!!!!!  OLYMPICS 2012!  I think it is amazing that even with the amount of international turmoil these days, the entire world can come together and play nicely for 2 weeks.  And it is an honor to watch it and the level of sportsmanship displayed every day.  I love the Olympics and everything they respresent.  USA!  USA!  USA!!

((Yes, it was taken with the G12.  And yes, I promised that  a previous post contained the last Golden Gate Bridge shot.  I lied.  Sorry.  But this is the last!  I think!  ))

flowering friday…

Setting:  Alamo Square, San Francisco.

Time:  An impossibly clear and sunny, crisp afternoon in May.

Players:  Liz, Jay, the Canon Powershot G12, and a very patient flowering tree subject.

Off to the ER in a few hours, so I’m keeping it short and sweet today!  Also, my computer has slowed to a snail’s pace & is running ungodly hot and thus needs an emergency virus scan.  So, quick post and on to saving the computer!

scenic san francisco…

So, here we have a shot of the building-clad hills of San Francisco with a tiny glimpse of the Bay Bridge in the background!  This photo was taken from a street that Lombard Street intersects with.  Those are some seriously exact directions, eh?  And, have I mentioned that it was an absolute hoot to drive down the curvy portion of Lombard Street???  So much fun!!!!  What’s not so fun:  attempting to ascend Lombard Street in a Prius.  When a street is so steep that steps need to be cut into the sidewalk, it should serve as a warning sign that someone driving a Prius may not wish to attempt the hill.  Ah, yes, many fun adventures that truly tested the limits of our little red Prius were had on this California trip.  And you know its always good when a bus coming at your stop-sign-intersection that technically has the right-of-way waves you frantically to just go through the stop sign without stopping.  Kinda sad, really, that it looked like the little automobile was having such obvious difficulties.  Note to anyone attempting a big hill in a Prius:  TAKE IT OUT OF ECO MODE…PUT IT INTO POWER MODE.  You don’t have a prayer if  you’re still driving in the hybrid mode!!!!!  Good times.

So, anyhoo, Lombard Street was great fun.  And exploring it led us to some great vantage points of the city.  Sadly, upon returning to our little red Prius after taking this photo, we found that someone had stolen our GPS (which we needed for our drive down the coast!)  in the whole 8-minute span that we were away from the car.  Oh well.  S**t happens.  Turns out we didn’t need the GPS and got many great photos down the coast to prove it!  So, thief, if you are reading this post:  you may have taken our GPS, but you didn’t steal our fun!!  🙂

Of course, this shot was taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Stay tuned for more California photos and eventually shots of the scenic Virgin Islands!!!!!!!!!

Adios, y’all.  I’m getting back to my lovely day off from the ER!  🙂

wonderful windows of alamo square…

Aaaaand….I’m back!  I’m going to apologize now for the delays that may happen between posts in the future.  I have officially started my emergency medicine residency now and free time (to be used for things other than sleeping and eating) will be a bit more difficult to come by.  🙂

So, today we have another photo taken from Alamo Square in San Francisco!  42 windows in all, categorized into three distinct groupings.  I thought the black and white tones brought out the visual interest in the photo waaaaaay better than in color (which was basically gray).  I hope you think so too!

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.

Stay tuned for yet more California photos…and soon some photos from the US Virgin Islands!

the wonderful women of alamo square…

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!  🙂  Hello again, world!  Now that I’m back, I can tell everyone where I was:  PARADISE!, also known as St. John, USVI.  Didn’t exactly want to previously announce to world that I was leaving on vacation, but I’m happy to say I’m back with a camera full of photos!  But, everyone will have to wait for those since we’ve still got a lot of California to see!  Oh, maybe I’ll throw everyone a bone and stick one St. John photo in at some point, but I promise Paradise Pics will my next series.

Now, on to this photo!  Its the lovely Painted Ladies of San Francisco.  Alamo Square is surrounded by lots of beautifully painted Victorian houses, but this stretch is obviously the most famous.  Alamo Square is also a wonderful little park set up on a hill to relax in for a spell and provides a great view of the houses of San Fran and the city buildings below.

Taken with the Canon G12.  And, I have to admit, a teeny bit of Photoshop CS5 happened here.  Some dude was seriously sleeping in the grass between me and my subject and despite my best efforts at waiting for him to wake up and move his tushie, he never did wake up (hopefully he woke up at some point!).  Thus, I removed him from my photo.  That’ll show him what happens when you get in the way of my photography…I erase you!  Mwahahahahaha!  🙂

On another note, I’d like to announce that after 6 years, Jay is no longer my boyfriend…HE’S MY FIANCE NOW!!!  WOOHOO!  Now we’re gonna be super-nerd MARRIED couple.  🙂  The proposal took place on top of the Castle on St. John at sunset with the Virgin Islands in the background!  🙂

And, now for the artsy-fartsy ring photo, complete with shallow depth-of-field:

Yippee!  Love you Jay!  Now you’re stuck with the Shutterbug FOREVER!  🙂

It’s a blob, it’s a lump…IT’S A SEA LION!!!!

Tons of them!!!  Pier 39 near Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is home to a very happy clan of sea lions that get to while their days away in the California sun (and fog).  Apparently, the sea lions had left for several years but recently returned and re-took over the pier.  Welcome home, pinniped fishermen, welcome home.

Of course, this photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Stay tuned for more!  Fair warning:  I’m super busy right now enjoying post-graduation life, so it will probably be a couple of weeks until my next post.

That said, I would like to officially introduce you to “Elizabeth Iannone, M.D.”!!!!!  Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Graduated medical school on May 11th!  Finally, after only 22  years of school (hehe).  Watch out world, because here comes Dr. Shutterbug.

the rock…

Alcatraz, in Black and White.  Captures the haunting aspect of the island prison.

Alcatraz, in color.  With a seagull!

Alrighty, folks.  If you don’t like this post, I’m going to be forced to send you to Alcatraz and throw away the key!  Just kidding, just kidding.  These photos are pretty self-explanatory.  I unfortunately did not get a chance to visit the prison in my 2-day stay (although I did manage to visit In-n-Out Burger twice…priorities, my friends.  “Animal Style” burger and fries is seriously like crack.  Crack that you can’t get on the East Coast).  But, hey!  I have to leave something to do on my return trip (hmmm…lunch at In-n-Out on the way to Alcatraz?  The burger joint is close to from where the tours leave!)

So, which of these photos do you prefer?  I think I’m leaning towards the black and white version…kind of a throwback to when the prison was in use and accentuates the eeriness of the place.  And if you’re thinking that the photo was taken with the tilt-shift technique…it wasn’t!  I know, it looks like it was, but its just a plain ol’ shot from Pier 39 across the bay.  Guess I lucked out for the bonus effect.  As for the color image, c’mon…that seagull could not have been in a better spot if I could have glued him to the sky!  🙂

So, please vote in my little poll:

Oh!  I almost forgot to state the obvious:  all photos taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Forget that newfangled G1X that just came out…I love my G12 (and my lenses/underwater housing won’t fit the new version…a very expensive reason to stick with the G12!).  Stay tuned for more of California!

And yes, I mentioned an underwater housing for the G12.  A gracious Christmas present from my family for use in my upcoming trip to St. John, USVI!!!  Eeeeeek!!!!  SO EXCITED!!!!  Can’t wait to share those photos…but first, I need to get there 😉

glowing golden…

Ok, ok.  I promise.  This is the last shot of the Golden Gate Bridge that I’ll post.  However, I’m not going to make any solid promises as I certainly hope to get some more shots in the future since I absolutely loved California and am dying to go back!  Not to mention, I am still utterly flabbergasted at how the beach bum in me did not know that on the other side of the Presidio lies a beautiful beach where the bay meets the Pacific with a gorgeous view of the bridge.  HOW DID I MISS THIS????????  GAAAHHHH!!!!!  Oh well.  Live and learn, as they say.  To salvage my beach bum rep, I’ll have you know that I mapped out all of the best beaches to stop at on our drive towards Long Beach from San Francisco  🙂

So enough of the I-can’t-believe-I-missed-this-beach ranting and back to the photo.  This one was fun to take.  Jay and I hiked up the hill by the bridge and I used one of the wooden poles along the footpath as a makeshift tripod so that I could get a true HDR shot of the bridge.  I set up the exposure bracketing in my G12 and let ‘er rip (or snap, as the case may be).  It took a couple of tries since the wind kept rocking the camera, but this one turned out pretty darn clear.  I love how the “Golden” in the bridge is really accentuated and there is even a golden cast thrown down onto the bay below.  🙂

Stay tuned for more San Francisco shots and photos from my journey down the coast!

And, a little teaser for everyone:  I have an upcoming trip to St. John, USVI, so keep your eyes peeled for what I expect to be fabulous shots!  I mean, how can one take a bad photo in such an idyllic location?  Woohoo!!!!!!  BEACH!!!!!

chillin’ at crissy…

Well, here’s another Golden Gate Bridge photo!  This time, we are pulling back a bit from the bridge to capture the full bridge span, some of the Marin headlands, San Francisco Bay, and the beach flora at Crissy Field/Park.  Wow!  That’s a lot of stuff!  I love how the beach flora unexpectedly takes center stage in a Bridge shot.  🙂  Why be ordinary?  😉  Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy the rich beach colors and brilliant blue sky as much as I did in person!

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12 with a wide-angle lens attached (it seriously was the only way to get that whole darn bridge in a picture!).  Contrast touched-up in Photoshop CS5.

Stay tuned for more of California through my eyes and lens!

sailin’ off the dock of the bay…

 Ok, folks!  It is Match Day, the day in a medical student’s life where the big magic computer in the sky matches us with a residency program and we find out where we will spend the next 3+ years of our lives honing our skills as “real” doctors!  And….I MATCHED AT MY TOP CHOICE PROGRAM!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will be one of the newest Emergency Medicine residents at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center!  I am beyond excited right now and so thrilled to start on this next leg of my journey.  🙂  WOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!  And congratulations to all my med school buddies on their respective matches…we’ve all worked so hard for this and we rocked it!  Special shout-out to Dr. Dan and Dr. Heather…your programs are lucky to have you guys and the world is lucky that it is going to have such an amazing ER doc and pediatrician!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Ok, with that said, on to the photo.  Golden Gate Bridge (mostly silhouetted) at sunset with a sailboat on the Bay (presumably headed out to sea, if I’m judging correctly from the direction of its sail).  And that’s about it for the photo!  Today is all about Match Day joy (the culmination of 8 years of hard work) with a nifty photo thrown in.

Of course, taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  Enjoy and stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!

bridge bolsters…

 

So, in keeping with the Golden Gate Bridge theme, here’s another (and I’m sure there’ll be a couple more as well…)!  Pretty self-explanatory.  This is a shot of the infrastructure of the Bridge, specifically the beginning of the bridge over the Presidio.  It was nicely silhouetted against the sky, so of course I couldn’t resist some taking a few snapshots  🙂

Taken with the Canon Powershot G7 and cropped to give a neat square feel.  C’mon…I gotta change up the shapes every now and then!  Enjoy and stay tuned!

golden gate in the golden light…

Sorry it has been so long since my last post!  Residency interviews are all over now, just waiting to learn my fate on Match Day!  I must say, interviewing for residency is one of the most exhausting experiences ever…a different city every week, sometimes multiple ones in a week…its like a 2-month long business trip!  Funny how quickly it was over, though.  Just like the licensing exams, it was one of the big med school milestones that you see off in the distance and think, “Gosh, I will never be able to do that!” and before you know it, BOOM!, not only did you make it, but you survived, enjoyed it, and kicked some serious interview butt in the process!  So, now that it is smooth-sailing until, well, residency starts, here is a post!  Oh, and fingers crossed for Match Day!

Well, a lot of explanation is definitely not needed for this one:  The Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory, bathed in the golden light of sunset!  This shot was basically the product of Jay and I walking a very long way along the beach to the bridge, trying to get there before sunset and eek out every photo possible (which, incidentally, is particularly difficult when I realize that every 100 ft closer I get to the bridge makes the photos 100% better and I stop 100 times in 100 different spots to take 100 photos).  🙂

So, this photo was captured with my glorious Canon Powershot G12, with a wide-angle lens attached.  Let me just say…if you go to California, bring a wide-angle lens because you will want to capture every possible inch of the stunning vistas there!

Apparently, WordPress has added a “poll” feature since I last posted, so why not take it for a spin?  HAVE AT IT, FOLKS…and stay tuned for more posts!

we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming…

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming…for a quick trip from the West Coast over to the East Coast.  West Virginia, to be exact.  “Wild and Wonderful,” as they say.  So, I realized that I forgot to post a couple of photos from my Blackwater Falls State Park last year (and I can’t believe this photo is one of them, as it’s one of my favorite photos!).  So, ladies and gents, here you have it:  a snap-shot of the Upper Elakala Falls.  Absolutely beautiful location.  You walk across the falls on the bridge in the picture, then follow the trail.  If you’re daring like Jay and I, you then off-road yourselves and climb down the slippery dirt and wet rocks to get to a place closer to the falls to take a picture and then prop up your tripod with rocks, jam one of the legs deep in the soil, and use the camera timer so as not to disturb the shot but then slip and fall as you back away from the camera too quickly (again, so as not to disturb the shot).  🙂  I used a wide-open shutter and neutral density filter to get this one.  It was crazy-tricky, as the sun was just starting to fade for the day and it was hard to find a balance between the shutter time and the use of the filter.  But…I got it!   Taken with the Canon Powershot G12 with the built-in neutral density filter.  Specs (just because it took so stinkin’ long to get them right!):  f/5.6, exposure 10secs, ISO 80.   Enjoy!  I do believe I have one or two more from WV, but stay tuned to find out if they get posted next or if we jet back to the California coast!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

happy cows come from california…

 

The skinny on this post:  Happy Cows Come from California.  ‘Nuff said.  Eat cheese, drink milk, and be merry.

Taken with the Canon Powershot G12 on our way up to Santa Rosa, CA via Highway 1.  Indeed, the hills are alive, with the sound of…cows.

I don’t know about you, but I think that these cows look like some of the happiest cows I have ever seen.  How could you not be happy when you live in such beautiful sun-drenched scenery?  This reminds me of a mildly related, brief poem by a dear friend of mine:

I wish I were a glowworm

For they are never glum.

How can you be unhappy

When the sun shines out your bum?

bliss…

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!

onward, northward…

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!

sunny sausalito…

Wow…I can’t believe its been a month and a half since my last post!!!!  So much going on!  I’m officially in the thick of my fourth (and last!) year of med school.  Rotations have been keeping me super-busy, as well as studying for the USMLE Step 2….and working on residency applications!  So, its 11:30 on a Saturday night and I’m missing my photoblog and I actually have a few spare minutes to post a post!

So, back to the California trip series of photos!  This shot was taken from our lunch table at Bar Bocce in Sausalito (right across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco) the day we arrived in California.  Not a bad view to enjoy with a bite, eh?  A nice leisurely lunch to fortify ourselves for what would become an amazing (and mildly frightening) drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Rosa!!!

By the way, did I mention that I didn’t realize we were driving across the Golden Gate Bridge until we were halfway across in our rented red Prius (what else would we drive in California?  A Corvette convertible?  Yup, had that booked for our trip until we realized that the trunk would hold ONE carry-on suitcase…so not-compatible with a week-long trip encompassing about  three climates.)…at which point I started squealing with glee (which I did quite a lot on this trip).  Sorry, Jay.  You didn’t need to hear out of your right ear, did you?  Nah…you can be a great pharmacist with one ear.

So, obviously the photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G12.  I officially was on vacation with my two loves:  el boyfriendo and the camera (shall I name it Cameron?).

Stay tuned for more (hopefully more frequent) posts…I have so much to share!!!

check it out…

My photo/micrograph of crystallized glutamine made it into a science web-video!  Its the first picture after the introduction!   Check out the link –>   Science in Seconds  (will open in a new tab)

Click here for my original post of this photograph –>  Original Glutamine Post!  (will open in a new tab)

http://www.scienceinseconds.com/episodes/Life-in-Space

rockin’ rockies…

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.

If you’re going to San Francisco…

The view from the Golden Gate Bridge

Well, world…I finally did it!  I crossed the USA to the other coast!!!  Think of it as East meets West…coast, that is.  My friend from med school was getting married in Santa Rosa (shout-out to the happy couple!), so Jay and I figured, heck, if we’re going that far away, we might as well make a vacation out of it!!!  Thus ensued a week of fun in the sun!

Our amazing itinerary was as follows:

Land in San Francisco (got to see the Rockies & Yosemite from the plane!)–> eat lunch in Sausalito–> drive up the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) to Santa Rosa–> Wedding!–>Trek to Sonoma Lake in Napa Valley plus some wine tasting in the Napa Valley 🙂 –>Drive to San Francisco–> Sight-see!!!  Take Photos!!!  Quality BF-GF time!!!–> Drive to Pillar Point Beach to collect sea glass–> Drive south on Hwy 1 to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur (stay tuned for the amazing views from here)–>  Continue on Hwy 1 until encounter massive landslide–> take 4 hour detour through a military base at the top of a mountain range (via a one lane road clinging to the edge of the mountain…without a guardrail)–> finally arrive in Long Beach, CA and stay on the Queen Mary for the night (!)–>Ferry to Avalon, Catalina Island!!–> ZIPLINE 500 feet above ground between mountain summits (!)–> beach–>  LAX–> Home (got to see the Grand Canyon from the plane!)

Soooooo much fun!!  I’ll try to post photos in the approximate order that I took them so I can slowly tell the story of my travels 🙂  This one is out of order, though, as I will be posting a photo of the Rockies (so excited to finally see real “rocky” mountains, not the worn (but pretty) tree-covered mountains of the East).

Can’t wait to share my trip and photos with you!  I truly believe it is impossible to take a bad photo in California!

Quick story behind this photo:  En route to Sausalito, I realized that we were driving across the Golden Gate Bridge.  After many squeals of excitement that may have left Jay partially deaf in the right ear, I started snapping photos like a mad woman.  Luckily I got a nice skyline shot.  The Bay Bridge is at the left-most edge of the photo.  Naturally, there was a ton of fog in the Bay, so I adjusted the contrast in Photoshop CS5 to sharpen up the photo.  Taken with the Canon Powershot G12!

ENJOY AND STAY TUNED!!!!

New name, same old game…

Well, folks, we all grow and change over time…and it was about time that my photoblog name grew up as well!  Fear not, nothing else has changed.  Just the name.  And what’s in a name?  Isn’t that which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet?

🙂

lonely tree…

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!!  :o)  Stay tuned for more West Virginia trip photos!

wild and wonderful…

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.

windmills of your mind…

…a great song by Sting.  😛  So, this photo.  Modernized Holland?  Nope!  Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie!  Who would’ve thunk it?  🙂  So, I was relaxing in the sand when I noticed the windmill (wind direction/speed monitoring thingie?) behind me.  Naturally, I grabbed my camera.  Thus began my mission to get a stinkin’ photo of the thing without the blades blurring!  I can’t even begin to express how many photos of this darn windmill I took!!!  Luckily, I was satisfied with the minimal blur in this one and fortunately, it also had what I felt to be the most pleasing angle for the windmill jutting into the photo.

Taken with the G7.  Obviously.  Contrast fixed in Photoshop.

Enjoy.  I hope it…”blows”…you away.

“…Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind…”

small sandy stonehenge…part 2

Ok, ok…I know:  its about time I posted Part 2 of Small Sandy Stonehenge!  So, here it is.  Taken at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, PA.  Gorgeous beach.  Lovely daytrip with my mom.  Enjoy the photo.  Short & sweet.

Taken with the Canon G7.  Contrast fixed in Photoshop CS3.

new look for a new year…

Here’s my new look for 2011!  Hope you like it as much as I do!  And check out my new page of photography quotes, which will slowly grow as the year wears on.

P.S.  Shout-out to the boyfriend for snapping the photo that was cropped into the header of the page.  Great shot, Jay!  And yes, that is me wearing my camera bag in the photo.  And that cliff was very high up.  And there was no “guardrail”…we hiked outside of the guardrail to climb onto the ledge.  Smart?  Probably not.  Exhilarating?  Definitely.  Windy?  Like all get-out.

Taken at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia!  What a wonderful day of extreme hiking and waterfall hunting!  More photos to follow!

Uncropped version, to give Jay credit for great composition:

happy holidays…

–Click images for larger versions–

Well, it may be a bit after the holidays, but I completely forgot to post this in a more timely manner!!

A few weeks ago, I got an email from my PI at my old lab that I worked at in undergrad saying that one of the images I took on the scanning electron microscope (SEM) was being used for one of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) holiday cards!  Obviously, I was floored!  So, here it is:  the holiday card featuring my SEM image of “Dog Vomit Mold.”  No joke.  That’s the name of it.  Scientific name:  Fuligo septica.  I scraped it off the mulch in front of my brother’s house years ago, processed it for SEM, and took pictures!  Mmmmm….nothing says happy holidays quite like dog vomit mold.  At least the image is colored blue so they sort of look like snowflakes!

Hope everyone is starting 2011 on the right foot!  Happy New Year!

P.S.  Stay tuned for a few more relics from my undergrad research days…and more photography!

sunset seagulls…

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.)

 

Happy Holidays!!!

midsummer’s midnight blooms…

So, I know I promised “Sandy Stonehenge Part 2,” but I’ve been so antsy to post this photo for quite a while.  Why not build a little anticipation for the second stonehenge with this picture?

I took this shot back in Philadelphia during one of my riverside jogs-turned-photo-excursion.  These little white flowers were blooming everywhere on the ground by the Schuylkill River.  They were lovely on their own, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to add in a “midnight filter” in Photoshop to really make them into something special.  I love the bit of a fairy-tale glow that they now have!

Taken with the Canon G7 and “made extra-special” with Photoshop CS3 & the Midnight Filter.

Stay tuned to for Part 2 of Stonehenge!

small sandy stonehenge…part 1

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!

gliding grace…

Ok!  All together now:  “I believe I can fly.  I believe I can touch the sky!!!”  🙂

So, here we have a seagull gliding above the Jersey Shore.  Avalon, to be exact.  Snapped during a lovely day at the beach.  Of course, taken with the Canon G7.

And that’s all folks.  Short and sweet this time.  Check back soon for more posts!

manhattan from the brooklyn…

Manhattan.  Such a small little island.  So many big buildings!  🙂  This is one of the views of Manhattan from the approximate middle of the Brooklyn Bridge that I snapped during the much-longer-than-I-expected-a-bridge-could-ever-possibly-be walk.  I went with the black and white version of this shot because it just seemed so much more…New York City.  I’m also totally excited that you can see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building all in one shot!  Whoopee!

I took this shot last summer during my trip to NYC with the boyfriend, the  future Dr. Heather, and her future hubby (congrats, guys!).  Lets play guess the camera!  Yup!  Canon Powershot G7!  Stay tuned for more posts!

P.S.  Sorry for the few and far between postings lately…rotations have just been eating up my time.  And my precious free time is usually not spent on the computer posting pics (sadly, most of it is spent studying, eating, or sleeping).  Ah, the life of a med student.  Essentially paying to work everyday with borrowed money.  Gotta love it.

meet Adorable Anika…

This lovely lady is Anika, one of my family’s “fuzzies.”  She is quite fond of being photographed–to the point of pushing other cats out of the way when she sees the camera come out (no joke!).  For those of you wondering, she is a purebred Siberian cat and has such a lovely disposition!

This photo was taken, of course, with the Canon Powershot G7.  When I looked at the picture on my computer, I noticed that the screen door she is behind gave a canvas-like quality to the photo, so I just played with the contrast a smidge in Adobe Photoshop CS3 and added a sepia filter to give it more of a “painted” feel.  Then I had a bit more fun and tried a blue filter on her:

And I just couldn’t decide which to post, so here are both!  Feel free to vote in the comments section for the one you like best!

P.S.  Sorry for the delays between posts!  Third year just keeps me so stinkin’ busy!

footprints in the sand…

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you.”

“Footprints in the Sand”, by Mary Stevenson

I took this picture up at Lake Erie during the Great Mom/Daughter Saturday Trip of 2010.  We were walking along the water’s edge when I saw these 2 lone footprints in the sand.  No prints leading up to them, no prints extending from them.  It instantly reminded me of the poem above.  The prints looked oh-so-human, but their isolation on the sand had a slightly divine quality.  Besides, the setting sun had cast the loveliest light upon them, so I simply couldn’t resist snapping the shot.  Obviously, taken with the Canon G7.  Small contrast adjustments made with Photoshop CS3 to bring out the depth of the prints.

Enjoy…and stay tuned!

come under my umbrella…

I’m back!  And I survived my surgery rotation!  Onwards and upwards…to internal medicine!  As a woohoo-surgery-is-finito-and-I-officially-have-time-to-myself confirmation moment, my mom and I took a girls’ day-trip to Presque Isle State Park up in Erie to enjoy the beach.  Well, the combination of the beautifully clear, cloudless day combined with the fact that I haven’t taken a single photo since surgery began turned me into a Saturday Shutterbug.  So, kind folks, here we have what I like to call “Colors of Summer.”  Let’s just say that I pretty much think I have the prettiest beach umbrella ever…and I’m a total sucker for rainbow-colored anything.  Enjoy…and stay tuned for more Erie pictures!

Of course, it was taken with the fabulous Canon Powershot G7.

P.S.  Thanks for waiting out the photography dry-spell with me!  Check back often, as I’ll certainly be more diligent with my posts now!

finally back…

Hello again, world!  So, I’ve emerged from the depths of boards studying, sat for the 8-hour exam, and am now in the midst of my surgery rotation.  Yeah…I’m up at 4am to round on my patients by 5am and I usually get home around 7pm.  So, posts may be a bit sporadic (and have short blurbs) for the next 7 weeks, as I typically have 1-2 hours each evening to do all my stuff and still get a decent night sleep.  That said, how cool is it that I get to help with surgeries and get to have my own patients?  Third year of med school is definitely living up to what I had hoped it would be.  Its also amazing to be back on home-turf in Pittsburgh.  Close to family, friends, boyfriend, and a hospital stuck in a slightly safer section of town than Temple  😉

So, what would a bleary-eyed med student on a surgical rotation need, second only to air and water?  FUZZ!  So, world, here is the family cat, Sadie.  One lovely lady in a group of 5 (!) sweet kitties.  Oh, and I honestly can’t remember which camera I took this photo with, but I’m going to guess my now-stolen Olympus Stylus 820.

Alright.  That’s all.  Its 9:53 and that means it is 53 minutes past my bedtime.  By the way, this officially means that I am 24 years old and going to bed earlier than I did in middle school.  Sad.  So, so sad.

We’ll be right back after the break…

(Cue Mrs. Doubtfire voice) Heeellooooooo!  Just a quick post so that no one thought I perhaps fell off the face of the earth.  Well, I suppose that I have in a way…studying for 8-10 hours per day for the boards has turned me into a recluse.  A recluse who has been spending an ungodly number of hours with her cats.  Med-student-with-a-brain-that-is-quickly-reaching-its-exploding-point?  Check.  Crazy-cat-lady-in-the-making?  Check.  Kitties very happy to have a stay-at-home mommy for 3 weeks?  Check (don’t get used to it, my darling fuzzballs…once rotations start, I’m just going to be the seld0m-seen character that feeds you and seems to be warm to sleep by at night…and if I’m not warm at night, please call for help…I presume I will have been worked to death).

Help!  I’m trapped in my apartment and can’t get out…until May 7th!  Well, I have been patronizing Borders quite a bit.  And I’d really rather not attempt to tally up the number of sugar-free raspberry iced black teas that I’ve consumed in the past few weeks…mmmmmm…..

That said, May 7th from 9am-5pm (!) is the big day!  USMLE Step 1, better watch out, ‘cuz I’m gonna kick your tushie.  And 8pm to who-knows-when is going to be one fantastic night out in Center City with me and med school peeps who have all been cooped up for way longer than can possibly be deemed healthy by the medical profession.

So, I’ll be back with some photos after the most important test of my life…see you then!

colorful cardinal…

Story behind this photo:  I was talking to my mom one afternoon when I looked out my window and saw a lovely red cardinal sitting the tree of my courtyard.  I yelped to my mom that I’d be right back because I needed to take a picture.  The funny thing was that it didn’t phase her a single bit and she just patiently waited for me to capture my perfect shot.  Can you tell I come from a shutterbug?

Anyhoo, this little red fellow was taken with the awesome Canon G7.  I desaturated everything but the bird in Photoshop CS3 and just tinkered with the contrast a bit.  Enjoy!!

city of bridges…

“Pennsylvania’s Watersheds and You”

Check it out!!  I was contacted a while ago by a Pittsburgh engineering firm–they wanted to use my photography on a conservation poster that they were creating!  Well, just click on the photo above (or the link underneath it) and have a look!  I’m so excited that my photograph is on a real publication that will be hanging in real places!  🙂

The photo is of the Pittsburgh skyline in May, as seen from the banks of the Allegheny River (directly across from Point State Park).  It was a river-fest with free kayaking…hence all of the little banana-like things in the picture.  And yes, I did kayak.  And yes, it was great fun.

The image was taken with the (now stolen) Olympus Stylus 820.  Post-processed in Photoshop CS3 for contrast.

DON’T POLLUTE YOUR WATER SUPPLIES!!!  Keep them fresh and safe for yourself and generations to come.

miles of manhattan…

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!!!

technical difficulties…

“To err is human.  To really screw up, you need a computer.”

Yup.  The computer has been diagnosed with intractable Blue Screen of Death disease complete with symptomatology of random crashes and error messages.  Thank goodness for regular hard drive back-ups.

It’ll take me a week or so to rebuild this puppy…in the mean time I’m stuck using my new little netbook (which just can’t handle all my photos).  Sooooo, it will be a little while until a new post gets put up (sorry to anyone who is regularly following me!).  On the bright side, as med school is now more or less entirely digitized (as is most of my boards studying), I’m at least not overly stressed because I do have a fully-functional, albeit teensy weensy, computer-like-netbook-thingy.

See you all soon!

through the drinking glass…again…

So, once again, I was a thirsty med student trying to diligently study…but succeeding at getting distracted.  If it wasn’t the cats trying to play with me (Izzie always brings me toys so she can play fetch!), then it was my favorite blue-and-clear glass full of water.  I know, I know, you’re wondering why the heck I was spending so much time staring at my water glass.  Well, try studying gastrointestinal pathology and drugs for constipation and diarrhea and then let me know what percentage of your time was spent trying to picture anything but the inside of someone’s colon.  🙂

So, I whipped out the Canon G7 and shot away.  It was quite fun playing with the coloration of the glass and the water level.  And here we have it!  Contrast enhanced in Photoshop CS3.

Oh, and don’t worry.  I finished my studying.

a rose by any other name…

This pretty little bud made its debut in my mom’s garden this past summer.  It just looked so lovely after a sunshower that I simply couldn’t resist taking a few snapshots!  Aren’t rainy roses just wonderful?

Sorry for the few and far between posts!  Med school is a bit demanding right now, especially with my boards just a few months away, so keep checking back for a new post!

As usual, taken with the Canon Powershot G7.  Post-processed for contrast in Photoshop CS3.  Enjoy!

For Grammy, 11/10/1918 – 2/12/2010.  You are loved and missed.

surfacing at sunset…

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!

gone fishing…

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!!

contemplative in kensington…

Hello, world!  It has been so long since I last posted an installment in my “People” series!  A little thing called exams decided to crop up in med school…and then I was outta Philly so fast for break!  Hence, no pics.  Oh well.  I enjoyed all of the sleeping and holiday eating.

So, this photo was taken at the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby, which I attended with the wonderful Dr. Heather.  This guy was just leaning against an abandoned building for quite a while, looking rather deep in his thoughts.  He was quite fascinating to photograph, as I could only imagine what inner workings were keeping him so occupied for so long.

As usual, taken with the amazing Canon Powershot G7.  Contrast and hues were adjusted using Adobe Photoshop CS3.  Also, the ugly garbage can was cropped off.  🙂

On another note, the photoblog has passed the 50,000 hits mark!!  Yay!

On yet another note,  HAPPY 2010, PEOPLE!!!  Let’s make this year the best yet!!!

solo soccer…

Fourth photo in the people series!  Este niño jugó fútbol en la arena del campo de juegos, acerca la playa del Puerto Morelos.

Okay, sometimes I just feel the urge to write descriptions of the photos I’ve taken in Mexico in Spanish.  C’mon!  Its fun!!  Anyhoo, for those who think that previous sentence is all Greek to them:  “This young boy was playing soccer in the sand of the playground near Puerto Morelos’ beach.”

No, I wasn’t being creepy and watching this kid playing soccer and taking photos.  In fact, my sister and I were enjoying the seesaw that was more or less right behind where I was standing to take the picture.  Has anyone tried, as an adult, to get on a seesaw?  We couldn’t do it!  We’d try to keep the thing at a height so we could both get on, but, wow!  A lot harder when you’re 3 feet and an undisclosed number of pounds larger than when you first learned to mount that contraption.  Anyways,  I was taking photos of the brightly painted playground and the kid got in my way.  Then I figured, heck, he might be the superstar of the FIFA World Cup in a decade or so, so I’ll take his picture now!  Actually, I wish that was what I was thinking.  The fact of the matter is, the kid got in my way when I was taking pictures and when I finally looked at them on the computer, they looked nice with a live human in them.  Thus, Niño Boy was not cropped into oblivion.  Kind of creepy that you can just make people disappear *poof* with the modern photography.  Gotta love it, especially when you’re taking a great group shot of your friends at a restaurant and there is inevitably the jerk that has to crash the photo behind the group.  Be gone, Photo Dude.  *Poof*  You’re no longer in existence.

The photo was taken with my Canon Powershot G7.  Processed in Adobe Photoshop CS3 to fix the contrast that so easily gets out of whack in bright Mexican sun and to mute the colors a little for the feeling that I seem to apparently be trying to evoke with this photo series.  What is that feeling?  Emotion.  Nostalgia.  Innocence.  Slight surreality.  Take your pick.

strolling down the street…

The next installment in my series on people!  I visited the Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia this past spring and was taken for quite a wild ride!  The sculptures were absolutely crazy and the whole derby had a cool bohemian vibe to it.  Luckily, I brought my camera!  Granted, I brought it so that I could better show my mom exactly what this “thing” was, but I got some cool shots as well.  As the crowd was beginning to line up at the finish line, I noticed this little curly-haired girl enjoying a solitary stroll down the street with her balloon and little stuffed puppy.  Fortunately, she wasn’t walking down the lane for too long, as that was the exact street that served as the final leg of the derby.

Of course, this photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G7!  🙂  I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 to remove the company logo that was splashed across the balloon (it was so distracting!).  I also enhanced the contrast and lighting in the photo for a slightly more dramatic “solitary” feel.  Enjoy!  Stay tuned for more in my “People Series”!

playing on the “playa”…

Second in my series of people photography!!  Now, I know I said that the Mexico series was done with, but, surprise!  More Puerto Morelos pics!  Were these strategically saved for this series or did I just forget to put them with the other series?  You’ll never know.  Anyhoo, its fun to photograph kids doing their kid-ly things.  They always seem so completely absorbed in what they are doing and bring such a fun, carefree-because-they-don’t-have-bills-to-pay  feeling to the photo.  I find that looking at pictures like this always makes me remember how much I liked to do (blank) when I was (blank) years old, long before medical school sort of owned my soul.    🙂

So, this boy and girl were playing in the sand on the shore by the Puerto Morelos pier in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.  They are in front of the original lighthouse that was transformed into the Leaning Lighthouse of Puerto by Hurricane Wilma.  Since it’s more or less non-functional now, there is a new lighthouse a bit further back from the shore.  It is much taller and, personally, if I were a sailor, I’d be glad Wilma killed the old short lighthouse so that I could guide myself home with the more modern upgraded model.

The photo was taken with the Canon Powershot G7.  I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 to adjust the contrast a bit and to bring out the slightly sepia tones in the picture to help create a more nostalgic feel and to highlight the angle of the sun.

surf’s up…

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.

Surf’s up!!

X Adobe X Avalon X Beach X Blue X board X boyfriend X Canon X Canon Powershot X computer X CS3 X foam X G7 X gray X Horizon X human X Jersey Shore X man X New Jersey X Ocean X people X photography X photoshop X sea X series X sky X summer X surf X surfer X travel X water X wave X White X whitecap

the wild side of central park…

Interspecies sunbathing?  YES!!  This lovely heron seemed to know that it was posing for the camera as it gracefully posed to fully show off its figure.  And the turtles?  Well, I’m loving the little guy in the middle who seems to be trying to replicate  the heron’s moves, complete with outstretched neck and head.  He’s (she?) just trying so hard.  I think he achieved the overall effect, albeit by replacing a bit of the grace with comedy.  The other turtle, well, I just don’t think he got the memo about the sunbathing photo-op.  That, or he’s just not quite as proficient as his cronies at “finding the light”.  Or perhaps he feels his backside is his best angle…

Taken, of course, with the Canon Powershot G7.  The location:  Central Park, NYC.  The post processing:  a quick crop and contrast fix.

Enjoy.  I found  few more photos from my NYC trip that I forgot to add into the NYC series.  They’ll slowly make their appearances!

a stroll down memory lane…

Autumn Path

Autumn is my favorite time of the year.  It makes me want to study for hours on end in coffee shops.  I love pulling out my cozy sweaters.  The crunching of the leaves on the ground makes me feel like a little kid without a care in the world.  And yes, at the age of 24, if presented with a pile of leaves, I will still jump in and play.

There’s a certain ‘feeling’ in the fall and it just makes me feel happy inside.  Whenever I need that feeling at other times during the year, I’ll take a look at this photo.  My boyfriend and I embarked on a fall photo shoot in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, and this was one of my favorites.  Looking at it evokes that happy autumn feeling and the feeling of contentment that comes with strolling down a colorful leaf-laden path with someone you love…

Taken with an Olympus Stylus 82o and processed as an HDR image to help bring out the vibrancy in the leaves.  Enjoy the fall!  Get a nice mug of cider, step outside, and breathe in the sweet brisk air that will slowly bring in the winter!

mermaid…

Mermaid Model

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!!!!

hasta luego, mexico…

Playa Norte, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

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.

tempting tranquility…

Tranquility

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.

radiance…

Golden Sunrise

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!!

bunches of boats…

Boats on Puerto Morelos' Shoreline

“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:

Puerto Morelos 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!!!!!!

Who can? PELI-CAN!!!…

Pelican on a Pole

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!!