Wednesday 26 December 2012

California Part 5: The End

Read these first :)
Part 1: San Francisco | Part 2: Yosemite National Park
Part 3: Palo Alto  | Part 4: Salinas, Monterey County & the PCH 

Exams are finally done! Sorry for abandoning the blog for a couple of months. I become a hermit once it is midterm and exam season. Since I have time now, I might as well finish blogging. Once school starts again, I probably won't have any time. If you didn't notice, I changed my blog description because I turned twenty (sad face). Goodbye teenage years, you were good to me :( I also got a new lens! The Sigma 30mm 1.4 is the newest member of the family. So far I'm loving it, it's the perfect walk around lens.

I also shot my very first wedding in October and if I am given permission, I will blog the results here :)

On this last leg of the trip, we headed to Solvang, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Anaheim, San Diego and Long Beach. I didn't want to break up the post into two parts, so this will be pretty long. You should read the previous parts before this one if you haven't already!

Wednesday 3 October 2012

California Part 4: Salinas, Monterey County & the Pacific Coast Highway

Read these first :)
Part 1: San Francisco | Part 2: Yosemite National Park | Part 3: Palo Alto 
Again, sorry for the delay in updating. I've been bombarded with tests left, right and centre. I swear, the life of a student is having no life. 
This is one of my favourite legs of the trip. We make a quick stop at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway, then we head to Monterey County and beautiful Pebble Beach. Then we head on the Pacific Coast Highway to head further south. I fell in love with the Pacific Coast Highway. It was a beautiful road. 

 Mazda Raceway in Salinas. This was my big brother's must see destinations. The racetrack is also featured in the game Gran Turismo. Pretty cool. 
 On the day we went, there were some BMWs racing around the track. 
 Their famous corkscrew portion of the track. 
That's about it for the raceway. 
We arrived at Monterey and found out that it's pretty cold there for this time of year. It was very cloudy and windy--reminded me of San Francisco. It was cold for California standards. 
 The admission price was quite expensive. My parents chose not to come in with us. 
 You jelly? 

 I've been to the Boston aquarium as well. So far Monterey has the neatest collection of jellyfish. 

In the end, I was a little disappointed by the aquarium. There was nothing too special about it and it definitely wasn't worth the price ($32 for students).
 Y'all know what this is. 
 Lamborghini Aventador (and Gallardo in the back)!! The first time I've seen an Aventador in real life. They were conveniently parked in front of a hotel and a lot of people took pictures with them. 
 17-mile drive at Pebble Beach. If you're a golf fan, they have the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links golf course. Wikipedia says that it's one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world and I believe every word of it. 
 The coastal area across the golf course. On a sunny day, the scenery would be even better. 
 I was fascinated with the little flowers growing in the sand. They carpeted the coast and were so pretty. 

The famous "Lone Cypress Tree" in 17-Mile Drive. I'm not sure why it's famous. This picture is also crooked, but if I fixed it, it'll cut off parts of the tree. Sometimes life isn't fair. 
 Succulents thriving in the sand and rocks. I found them pretty interesting. They also turn red and were very pretty. 

Now we go on the Pacific Coast Highway
Taken from inside the car. Man, I miss this place. 
You can pretty much stop anywhere along the highway--there are lots where you can park and stop at vista points. There were also beaches that you can stop at. 
 One of the many vista points. 
 You have to drive on this road before you die. Put it on your bucketlist--you will not regret it. Of course the drive is challenging here, but so worth it. 

Cows on the side of PCH. These cows are living a pretty nice life, even I'm jealous that they get to see this everyday. 
 Super strong sunlight + dirty GND filter equals this picture. 
 Prettiest golden hour ever.
 Photocred to my big brother for this one. Note my super chubby cheeks (thank you fast-food). This was on the side of the PCH and there were a bunch of these shrubs everywhere and I scratched up my leg trying to find the best place for the sunset. 
 One of my absolute favourites from the trip. Look at how pretty this place is. 
The best picture I could take of the sunset. I wasn't too satisfied with it in the beginning but then again, I got to see the best of it with my own eyes. In the end, that's what really matters. Kudos to my dad for stopping a lot to accommodate for my photo needs, you're the best! 

Where the road trip has taken us so far. Distance traveled: approximately 700 miles!

Most people go to California and tell me about how great the food and the shopping is. They recommend  shopping centres and the most famous beaches. After seeing the PCH, I can't believe that nobody has recommended this place. When I go on trips, I want to see the places that people don't generally explore. I want to see the untouched, pristine and beautiful coastlines and beaches and that's what I got when we drove through the PCH. 

Some of you may think "it's just a road," but it's so much more to me. The winding roads remind me of how difficult life can be but along the way you get to see the most beautiful scenery. We could take the easy way out but look at how much we're missing--the sunsets will never be as beautiful and the waters will never be as clear. The simple fact that I'm alive to witness the beauty is also something I realized.

Appreciate your life no matter the circumstance. Every day is a blessing :)

Next stop: Solvang, Santa Barbara, Malibu. 


Sunday 16 September 2012

California Part 3: Palo Alto

Read these first :)
Part 1: San Francisco | Part 2: Yosemite National Park
Sorry for the long delay in updating; been busy with moving into my off-campus house and school stuff. I also didn't want to use up the bandwidth at my house (there's 12 people sharing the internet :/), so yeah.

On this leg of the trip, we left Yosemite and we are continuing to head south to Palo Alto.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Saturday 1 September 2012

California Part 1: San Francisco

So my family decided to go to California for a family trip. I haven't gone on any major vacation since 3-5 years ago? It's about time. We drove to Buffalo and boarded the plane from there. It took about 1.5 hours to go to Chicago for a stopover and then 4.5 hours from Chicago to San Francisco. The trip was 10 days long and it was fantastic. The plan was to start off at San Francisco and head south to San Diego, making stops along the way.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Sunday 29 July 2012

Monday 23 July 2012

Rudy & Elen's Engagement Session

Location: Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area -- Milton, Ontario, Canada and the areas surrounding it.
Equipment used: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 50mm f1.8II, Sigma 10-20mm f4.0-5.6

UPDATED FEB 4, 2013: more photos added! 
Rudy & Elen are a wonderful couple that I've known for many years. They've been a couple for a very long time (8 years if I'm not mistaken?) and they are getting married in August 2012. I'm thrilled for their newest chapter in life :)
I volunteered to do a casual engagement photoshoot for them--it was really on a "just for fun" basis. I chose this location because of it's beautiful lookout points. Unbeknownst to me, this was actually the same place that Rudy proposed to Elen (what a co-inkydinky eh?)

We had a blast during the shoot, even though the lighting conditions were challenging. Rudy was also having some allergies :/ but as he is a trooper, he made it through the session. Here are some of my favourite shots from the session, I hope you enjoy them. 
On the trail, searching for lookout points. 

This picture was actually really challenging to take. The lookout points were beautiful, but there was dense forest around it. The sunlight was also coming from behind the forest, which made it really difficult to get the right exposure.
One of  my favourite shots of the day!
This was take on someone else's property :$ it was a risk worth taking though! 
After leaving Rattlesnake Point, we took pictures on the sideroads. The light was truly perfect and the colors of sky were gorgeous. We got lucky! 

We also had fun dodging oncoming traffic. Don't worry, we survived. 
I loved their matching outfits--down to the sandals, haha. So cute :x
We then moved on to a playground close to Rudy's house. I was instantly drawn to the yellow lines on the pavement where school kiddies would play in at recess. The playground atmosphere suits their personality quite well :)

They're an active, athletic, and outgoing couple. The love and faithfulness they have for each other is truly something to be in awe of. I am so, so, so happy for them. May God bless them in their new chapter ahead.