Close up

Jamaica beach, Texas 

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few. -Anne Morrow Lindbergh 


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Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder. -Mason Cooley

One word, FINALS! Contemplating whether I should take a cute Instagram of my flashy sunglasses or if I should study for my chemistry final… Hmmmm.. Lets consider this a nice study break photo.

During finals it is important to study relentlessly, but it is just as important to have time to yourself and do what makes you happy so you don’t go completely INSANE! I love to go for runs or take unique photos. It is a stress reliever and makes me happy when I am on the verge of a mental breakdown!!

It has been awhile since I have posted on my blog, but I am going to start posting more frequently. I am finally finished finals so I have a whole lot of free time to go shooting and write on my blog!



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

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.