You will never believe how I took a still puppy picture.

I know it has been a while since my last post. Last week as well as this coming week is crazy with course work. Thankfully next week is spring break and I can finally see my golden retriever puppy. Her name Sandy Beach Dixon. I love her so much!

I took this picture of Sandy when I had winter break (for a full month). At the time she was only 2 and a half months old and has been living at home for a month. She has been such a joy and has such a warm and loving personality. Sandy thrives for attention from my family and especially from visitors. She always looks forward to visitors and loves to play with them although, she does bite hard which needs to stop, but she is a puppy and is still learning her senses.

Taking pictures of puppies is very difficult, especially for one who cannot stand still for a full second. To get this shot, I had to think of a way to make her stop in her tracks and freeze. I knew already that she loves chasing people, running after her ball, and hearing her name called. Some way I had to use one of those techniques to make her freeze for a split second. So an idea came to me of throwing her ball. My plan was to get her attention with the ball in one hand and my camera in the other so, I could quickly take a picture as she was processing my action before her reaction.  This idea is extremely risky because I potentially could ruin my camera if she pounced on me. I might be too late taking the picture if she reacted quicker than I expected, but it was worth a shot.

As I was about to grab the miniature tennis ball from my pocket, Sandy stopped frozen in her tracks, gazing upon the falling snow around her. Without any hesitation, I instantly gripped my camera, focused on her and shot continuously. I could not believe it, Sandy is always moving around being a crazy energetic puppy and for once, she was in a standstill and watched the snow fall gracefully. It was like she knew that I was giving her the attention as a paparazzi would to a celebrity so she knew to pose for me.

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!

Aloha

I typically enjoy a beautiful beach destination, as I find the water and sand to be the most replenishing. – Elizabeth Berkley.

August 2010,

Not only does this picture remind me of a magnificent trip to Maui Hawaii, it also was a trip celebrating that I was cancer free, as I was 4 months in remission.

I can still remember standing barefoot upon the warm rough rock, with my camera grasped tightly in my hand. The whole time I was hoping that I wouldn’t accidentally drop it in the big royal blue. Luckily, it didn’t slip away since I am able to share my memory with you.

Every time I gaze upon this picture, I think of the moment of when I was taking it. It feels like yesterday that I was trying maintaining my balance on the rounded volcanic rock, as if I was trying to stand up on a surfboard. My goal was to get the perfect shot so I could hold this lifetime experience for the rest of my life, deep inside my heart. Also to remind me of the emotions and memories that it brought to my family and I. Before taking the shot, I spent a good hour just sitting upon the big massive rock that was once formed by lava long ago. Gazing at the deep blue ocean as the waves crashed upon the rocks, sucking up all the leftover shells that laid upon the rocks, as if my old memories were being sucked away from each breaking wave. As the warm fresh ocean breeze gently coasted across my face, I gazed upon the healthy tropical palm trees as they swayed in the breeze. It was as if they were swaying to the rhythm of a mellow beat. That precious experience put me in a mellow and relaxed state of mind. It was a feeling that I never experienced before. Compared to the feeling of, “is this my last breath”, to having an unlimited amount of pure Hawaiian air was an extraordinary shift of my emotions. For once and always I could take deep clean inhales, and long healthy exhales, without the horrid thought of a short exhale that wouldn’t be followed by another breath. This new feeling I had sitting upon the rock, trying to ever so carefully stand up and capture this memory was total bliss. The pure Hawaiian vibes cleansed my mind, my body, and my family.