The end is a new beginning…

a collage of the photos I took at the schuylkill river. many flowes and the river in the distance. beautiful and warm spring day.
Schuylkill River, warm day, trees with flower buds, sun shining bright, three angle statues under the tree. clear day. beautiful day
Photo 1
flower bloomed on the left side with a branch directing eyes to crew boats on the schuylkill river. warm and beautiful day. grass and trees are green and bloomed.
Photo 2
sun shining upon the tree with flowers on the left. a bike on the right bottom corner on green grass. schuylkill river and green trees in the distance
Photo 3
a beautiful pink flower bloomed. schuykill river in the distance on the right blurred. flowers surrounding the main one are blurred.
Photo 4
focused on a branch with pink flowers. many couds in the distance as sun sets. reflection of the sun on the schuylkill river
Photo 5
focused on many pink flowers. a rower below the pink flowers on the schuylkill river. sunset reflection on the river.
Photo 6
a sunset over the schuylkill river, the railing guides your eyes to the sunset. the sky is beautiful, very blue with pink and orange.
Photo 7

 

Kelly Drive, Philadelphia

At Last, the time of year that we have all been waiting on the edge of our seats irritably for, is finally here. SPRING!

Fortunately, St. Josephs is very close to Kelly Drive so getting there is very easy. For those who do not know how to get there, just head north on City Ave for 3 miles.

As I walked out the door from Spanish on Wednesday I told myself, “this is a perfect day to take pictures along Kelly Drive”. Something about this day had me smiling and feeling alive. Maybe because of the warm 76 degree air that whipped gently across my face opposed to -1 degree air. Maybe it was the vitamin D that the sun gave off that eased my anxiety. Or maybe it was the fact that summer is less than 2 weeks away. All I knew was that I could not waste a beautiful evening.

From the time I unzipped my camera bag to the time I zipped it closed, the experience made me realize how close summer is and how freshman year flew by my eyes. It feels like yesterday when I was sitting in Chili’s after decorating my dorm with my mom, dad, and brother. Discussing my new journey that was about to begin in college. New people, new environment, opportunities, and new discoveries. I still remember waving goodbye to my family as they drove off into the distance. Leaving me at St. Joseph’s University to start my new adventure.

I have learned so much for my first year. I’m excited to keep growing and learning in my upcoming years at St. Joseph’s. I will still post on my blog, but it might be more spread out at times. Thus, I apologize about my consistency. I will definitely be pursuing photography in my upcoming years of school and beyond. It is something that calms me and makes me appreciate how beautiful the world can really be.

Being at school for a long period makes me irritable when I’m stressed out. This week is finals so it will be tough for many of us to stay content. When you are feeling like you are about to explode, go take a walk outside or go for a nice jog on Kelly Drive’s running path that runs along the Schuylkill river. This is the time we have waited for, temperate weather, longer days, vitamin D “thanks sun”, and everything becoming alive! If we survived this cold brutal winter, we can survive through finals.

Camera Settings

Photo 1

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 21mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/22

Shutter Speed: 1/125

Photo 2

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/11

Shutter Speed: 1/125

Photo 3

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/3.5

Shutter Speed: 1/2,000

Photo 4

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 39mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/5

Shutter Speed: 1/640

Photo 5

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/5.6

Shutter Speed: 1/500

Photo 6

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: 1EV

Aperture: f/9

Shutter Speed: 1/40

Photo 7

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 24mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/11

Shutter Speed: 1/250

How to overcome embarrassment.

night landscape in Candem New Jersey. Reflection of Philadelphia skyline and the Ben Franklin Bridge on the Delaware River. Moon is visible above the skyline
Photo 1
Night Landscape close up of the Philadelphia Skyline in Camden New Jersey. Reflection of skyline and Ben Franklin bridge on the Delaware River
Photo 2
Sunset over Philadelphia Skyline and Ben Franklin Bridge. Sunset from top down, black dark blue, lighter to light blue, yellow orange, orange.  In Candem New Jersey. Reflections of Philadelphia skyline and bridge on the Delaware River.
Photo 3
Sunset over Philadelphia skyline and Ben Franklin Bridge. Sunset is blue and orange with the moon visible above the skyline. Reflections of the bridge and skyline on the Delaware River. Taken in Candem New Jersey
Photo 4

In Candem, New Jersey. Looking Over Philadelphia Skyline Sunset

Have you ever felt so confident about something you are good at and enjoy doing? Then suddenly, blank out entirely and forget everything? Well, that happened to me when I went out shooting 3 nights ago.. I guess I have a little excuse since I am still a beginner photographer. Indeed, it is discouraging since I have learned so much and thought I was getting the hang of it. Not to mention I have shot many night landscapes this semester. I have felt more confident about navigating the setting on my camera. So that I was having such a difficult time was embarrassing, upsetting, and stressful!

After a good hour of me furiously fiddling around with the settings, trying to figure out what was going on. I came to conclusion that when your set on M (manual mode), your exposure sets itself as you choose the aperture and shutter speed. A long sigh of relief escaped my lips as I finally figured out what was wrong.

Well, I learned something new that is very important for any photographer. On your Canon, remember that Manual mode allows you to pick the shutter speed and aperture, but your exposure is set based on them. Remember that this can potentially ruin a picture if they are not set properly, but this can be fixed very easily. If you use Manual mode to remember that, the smaller the aperture (f-stop) and the slower the shutter speed, the lighter the picture will be. I came up with a little technique called the balance rule that means setting my shutter speed and aperture the same. For my second photo I set my shutter speed for 5 seconds and my aperture at f/5.0. The reason why I set my shutter speed for 5 seconds is because it’s not too fast, but not too slow which allows me to take in any movement and slightly blur it. Look at how the water looks like it is moving, but has reflections from the buildings. If I set my shutter speed any longer, it could make the water look like ice. Therefore, with my aperture and shutter speed set evenly, my exposure was set between -1.5 and 0.

Even though my night was hectic and frustrating at first, I taught myself a new technique for night landscapes. Remember that lighting changes and my balance rule may not always be the answer to a great photo. But if you see yourself struggling next time you go shooting, try seeing if my technique helps at all!

We all have our moments when we struggle at something we are good at. We are not perfect, but there is no excuse for giving up. There is always room for new discoveries and improving. 🙂

Camera Settings Photo 1

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/10

Shutter Speed 25.0

Camera Settings Photo 2

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 41mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/5

Shutter Speed: 5.0

Camera Settings Photo 3

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/11

Shutter Speed: 13.0

Camera Settings Photo 4

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18m

Exposure Compensation: 0EV

Aperture: f/22

Shutter Speed: 20.0

Traveling to Peace

Philadelphia, City lights, 27 second shutter speed, overcast, sunset, traffic, I76 highway. Spring Garden St Bridge.
Photo 1
Philadelphia, City lights, 1 second shutter speed, traffic, I76 highway. Spring Garden St Bridge. Skyline
Photo 2
Philadelphia, City lights, 25 second  shutter speed, Spring Garden St Bridge. Schuykill River, Skyline, 676 highway in the distance, reflection of building lights on the river
Photo 3

Spring Garden St Bridge

Imagine, standing on a high bridge, feeling the cool wind whipping across your face as you take in the sights that surround you. Putting your mind at ease. Admiring the magnificent skyline of the city, that twinkles brightly in the distance ,of speeding cars racing on the highway. The blaring sounds of car horns and inbound trains as if, they are yelling amongst each other over who will arrive home first. Everyone, making their way through the city, traveling to their home and peace.

My peace is when I am with my camera and tripod. We all have a way of coping with stress and anxiety. If you don’t know your way yet, think about something you love doing and that you are good at. Have that answer? Great! Now, go out and do it! Keep these questions in mind as you take part in your desire. Are you feeling rushes of adrenalin? Is your mind at peace, not worrying about what will happen in the next hour, minute or day? Do you feel a strong connection with a sense of love and passion?

When I ask myself these questions about photography or running, that answer is always yes. The way you cope with stress should not only be something you feel confident and good about, it should be something that comes easy to you. Something that is difficult and makes you stressed is a BIG no when it comes to peace.

Photography can be challenging at times, especially when none of my pictures turn out the way I hoped. You live and you learn. One thing that I learned is that, it’s very hard for lights on buildings to not look blurry with a long shutter speed. It will take practice, but I am not going to let it stress me out. The only way I can get better is if I keep practicing and look online at other sources to get more tips. I really like  reading this page. This blog has very great tips on how to be a good photographer. As always, I am open for any comments and feedback as well!

Please comment below 🙂

Photo 1 Camera Settings

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 28mm

Exposure Compensation: 0

Aperture: f/14

Shutter Speed: 27.0

Photo 2 Camera Settings

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 24mm

Exposure Compensation: -1.7

Aperture: f/5

Shutter Speed: 1/1

Photo 3 Camera Settings

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 24mm

Exposure Compensation: -2

Aperture: f/16

Shutter Speed: 25.0

How to take a night landscape of city traffic!

Benjamin Franklin Bridge Pedestrian Walkway

Standing on Ben Franklin Bridge. Railing of Ben Franklin Bridge leading to a light. Philadelphia skyline to the left. On the bottom left corner are cars racing down a side street. There is a sunset with a pink blue and purple sky.
Photo 1
Night landscape of Schuylkill River. Two bridges in the distance. Railing is leading towards the Peco building in Philadelphia. 30th Street staion to the left of the river.
Photo 2
I95 highway of speeding cars in motion. Sunset with a dark blue sky on the top right corner. Bright lights of the city in the distance.
Photo 3

I am so happy that you took the time to watch my first tutorial! I really have enjoyed taking night portraits and landscapes. I have also been learning a whole lot of how to navigate the settings on my camera. For this specific photo in my tutorial, I used Aperture Priority Autoexposure (Av) exposure mode. This means that the user selects the f-stop (aperture setting) and the camera selects the shutter speed (the length of time a shutter is open to either freeze action or blur motion).

What I learned from last night was that I should have used the Shutter-Priority Autoexposure (Tv). This specific exposure mode allows the user to set the shutter speed and the camera selects the f-stop. Large aperture (f/1.4) has a fast shutter speed to freeze motion and is mainly used for focusing on a subject and blurring out any distractions around the subject. Large aperture is mainly used for portraits or closeups, like a picture of a flower or of a human. Small aperture (f/22) is a perfect for landscapes since it focuses on everything rather than a main subject. Small aperture also has a slow shutter speed which is great to use if you want to show motion like cars speeding on a highway (what I used).

If I used the Tv exposure mode, I think that I could have allowed more blurred motion of the cars passing by. There were a few complications though. First off there was very little traffic on I-95 which interfered with the length of my shutter speed. Instead of 15 seconds it should have been set for a minute. That could have been accomplished if the security guard wasn’t telling Chris and I that the foot walk was closed and that we had to get off.

One huge tip I advise is that you use a TRIPOD! One thing about using slow shutter speeds especially for night landscapes is that, slightest movement can ruin a picture causing it to become completely blurry. So I strongly suggest getting a Tripod if you want to take some sweet night shots! I have a Ravelli 50-inch that works very well, but is relatively short and was not taller than the railing. I would go for at least a 60-inch or 70-inch. You can get them on Amazon and are fairly cheap and work very well. I got mine for $14.00, the 60 and 70 inch are no higher than $30.

Lastly another tip for slow shutter speeds is to get a remote like I showed in my video. They are also fairly cheap ranging from $5 to $10 on Amazon. It works like a charm and all you have to do is, set your camera on continues/remote then press the S on your remote to open the shutter. This will allow you to capture the picture without pressing any button and causing movement that can potentially ruin your picture and make it blurry. The one I have is only for Canon, but you can find a remote for you camera by typing on Google.

What I hope you take away is that shutter speed, is mainly good for night landscapes. Especially for the kind of pictures I took. Make sure you have a tripod and remote to illuminate any movement since that can totally ruin your picture! Lastly set your exposure mode to Tv not Av! Even though I only spent 15 minutes on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge before being ask to leave, I had a really great time learning more about the settings and sharing how I take night landscapes.

I am still learning as well so if you have any additional comments I am definitely willing to hear!

Camera Settings

Photo 1

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: -2 EV

Aperture: F/22

Shutter Speed: 30.0

Photo 2

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: -2 EV

Aperture: f/22

Shutter Speed: 25.0

Photo 3

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: -2 EV

Aperture: f/22

Shutter Speed: 15.0

Where to buy a remote for your camera:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=vello+ir+remote&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Avello+ir+remote

Where to buy a tripod for your camera:   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=tripod&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Atripod

Some more info about setting on Canon’s:   http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/canon-eos-rebel-t3i600d-for-dummies.html

“All You Need is Love”

Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you. Loretta Young

Race Street Pier, Philadelphia

Again I am sorry for the delay of my posts. Last week was spring break and this week were midterms. It has been a hectic week on campus because of the snow day we had the day before spring break. School work got pushed back as well as midterms that got canceled. Thankfully they are over! To celebrate this achievement, my boyfriend took me out shooting.

It was a beautiful night with temperatures around 45. I arrived at Race Street Pier around 6:30pm with the sun still out. I am still getting used to-day light savings, it would have been dark if I went out 2 weeks ago.

We found perfect parking, right in front of the pier. The only down side is that it costs $1.50 an hour and it only takes quarters.

After I stepped out of the car, I took my camera and tripod out and scoped out the place. It was a beautiful spot and well maintained. There wasn’t a single piece of trash or vandalism on the pier. Guess what, they even have outdoor outlets! How cool?! I assume that is why parking is so expensive, but it was worth the money.

As I was taking some pictures, I noticed on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge has lights that would light up after the sun fully set. Sunset was at 7:11 but, I knew that this would be a perfect place to get night portraits. My boyfriend Chris had just finished working and was tired. He did not think that I wanted to stay for 2 hours. I did not think I was either but I love night portraits, and thought this would be a great opportunity for me and a great experience for us. He agreed with my opinion and stayed with me until sunset.

At 7:14 the sun fully set and the fluorescent lights grew brighter giving off a luminous shimmer. As I was shooting around, I caught sight of Chris standing in front of the railing. Leaning against the wooden plank and gazing out at the Delaware River, as if he was in a deep thought. After I gazed at him for about 10 seconds, I called his name and waved my arm, directing him towards me. I told him to sit on the bench when and do the same thing he was doing.

After I finished taking pictures around 8PM, I folded my tripod and zipped my camera shut in its case. As I walked back to the car, my back felt like a weight has been removed. This made me relaxed, loved, and confident. Last night was a lovely way to end the night not only because I believed that I got great shots, I spend it with a very special person.

Camera Information

ISO:100

Exposure compensation: -2.3 EV

Aperture: f/10

Shutter Speed: 13.0

 

Why I love the arctic air…

“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”
Charles Dickens

Boat House Row, Philadelphia Pa.

February 2015

Finally, I had the opportunity to get off campus with my boyfriend and go shooting with my camera. I left around 6:15pm, when the sun was fully set and the sky was full of darkness with city lights. I knew that this would be a perfect opportunity to learn and work with the light, using different exposures, apertures, and shutter speeds. The first place I went to was Belmont Plateau, which is about 2 miles away from St. Joseph’s University. The Plateau is a beautiful park and the city skyline in the distance, along with a large hill with a tree to lay under with a significant other one is a very romantic spot. Unfortunately, my pictures did not turn out as I hoped they would. Since I am still a beginner, my exposure was off as well as my aperture. Well now I can use this unfortunate turnout as an excuse, to go back over and shoot again. I was off to my next and last destination of the night, boathouse row. I had a good feeling that I would get a great shot there since I knew what I did wrong at the Plateau.

I will never forget standing outside of boathouse row in the stinging arctic air, with howling winds beating upon my face and numbing my fingers. The longer I stood, the more difficult it became for my frozen fingers to press the small buttons and rotate different nozzles, as wearing gloves would restrict me from adjusting different settings. An hour later, with my fingers immobilized and my body starting to cringe from the arctic air, I had to finally call it a night before my whole body would become an ice-cube. As I climbed in the warm cozy car, my hand felt as if, burning hot needles where ripping through my skin from the radical temperature shift. The pain I felt was like I had just run my hands under steaming hot water after soaking them in a freezing ice bucket for a long period of time. Over some time the pain subsided and I could see how my pictures turned out. By far this is my favorite picture, not only because I am in favor of the exposure and aperture along with the captured setting of Boathouse Row, the city skyline, and the Art Museum; standing there was when I felt a sigh of relaxation and peace. It has been a couple of months since I last went out shooting, so being able to pursue my passion gave me a natural high along with love and happiness. Even though I was freezing, I finally got to experience the incredible rush from doing what I truly love. It was totally worth the pain.

Escape from reality

Close your eyes and think for a minute. If you were at the airport this very moment and could escape to any place of your choice, where would you go?

April 2014,

It was an early April morning at the Philadelphia airport. The sun was just rising and getting ready to shine upon my family and I, with new adventures and memories. Finally we were able to escape from the harsh and bitter winter weather, to the warm temperate air of Tampa Florida. Escaping from reality and living in paradise for a whole week, the perfect medicine to relieve our stress. I couldn’t resist but to tap my foot, as I waited for the lady to come on the loud-speaker and say that our plane was ready to board. The thought of dipping my feet in the warm Gulf of Mexico was just three hours away from me. Just a few days before, I was making a life changing decision on what college I wanted to attend, St. Joseph’s University!

I caught myself gazing upon this photo this afternoon, as I was taking a break from my heavy load of homework. Today on campus, the temperature is in the teens with blustering winds, which makes the teens feel like it’s below zero (brrrr). Personally I am not a fan of powerful gusts of wind, whipping against my naked face and slowly sneaking in through my jacket, making me feel as if I am slowly becoming paralyzed. I don’t think many people like the feeling of slowly becoming a frozen block of ice just from being outside for a short amount of time.

Coming across this picture filled me with a warm tropical sensation. I will be honest, part of the warm sensation I was experiencing was from my warm fuzzy blanket, which was covering me from head to toe, along with some creamy hot cocoa. The memory of my rapidly tapping foot waiting to board, wearing warm fuzzy socks and UGG boots. Then visualizing me casually walking off of the plane with my flip-flops on to tropical stress free environment, gives me hope that one-day, I’ll be walking off a plane to paradise again. Stress free and worry free!