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 

Can’t take a perfect picture of your dog in the snow? Think again!

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Hey you Instagram/social media users!

Yes you.. especially you dog lovers and owners!

We can all relate how hard it can be to take the perfect shot of your adorable fluff ball, especially in the snow right??

Well, it may not be as hard as you think…

All you need is something that your dog thrives for. It can be treats, toys, or even a snowball, whatever can catch your dogs attention and make them fully in tuned to you! I used a snowball since Sandy loves eating snow and thinks it’s a toy!

Ready for the big secret?? This can be done by using an iPhone! So don’t think that you have to bring your fancy camera out in the cold weather! With the right lighting and editing APP, you can make your photos look as if a professional photographer took them! I love using VOSCO editing app for my photos. Not only is it easy to navigate, it has so many effects and editing features. Just be aware that some effects may cost $1.00 but there are many you can get for FREE (which I use)!

Here are some tips that can help you when you are taking the photos. First, sprinkle some snow on your pup, if they don’t have any snow on them from playing or rolling around. My favorite places to sprinkle is the nose, back, chest, and head. I especially like to sprinkle some around their chest to give a framing effect of their body.

While I took the photos with one hand, in the other was my distraction hand. Once they know you have their possession, they will do anything for it. This makes you totally in charge! It makes it easy for us photographers because this gives us great opportunities to capture many shots from different angles. One technique I used was having Sandy sit, stand or just getting her full attention and then waving my distraction hand(the snowball) in all different directions; left, right, up, down. As I was waving my distraction hand, my camera hand continuously  captured photos from every angle. Remember, dogs have a short attention span.. Don’t tease your pup for too long or else they will get very impatient and try to lunge towards the toy. Wave it around for a good 5 or 10 seconds. This is the best way I believe to capture photos of your pup. They become completely in tuned to you!

Don’t be discouraged if your pictures didn’t turn out as you wished. You may have to do this for a bit of time, depending on what exactly you want to capture. My goal was to get a photo of her with snow perfectly on her nose with her puppy eyes twinkling.

In VOSCO editing app, I used a high exposure, low contrast, and a bit of shadowing to help me bring out the twinkle in her eyes.  I also used some saturation and a cool temperature(blue) to give the cool effect. In some pictures I gave a pink tint to give off a warm feeling to my viewers.

So enough of the “ughhh this is impossible” Because this mission impossible, became a mission possible!!!

Check out my Instagram for more!

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Procrastination

Check out my Instagram for more photos!

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!

STAY INTUNED!! 🙂

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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

Welcome to Hawk Hill!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset“Snow falling soundlessly will always fill my heart with sweet clarity” Novala Takemoto

St. Joseph’s University

Top 10 reasons why I love St. Joseph’s

1. Gorgeous campus

2. In a perfect location (easy transportation, in the city but away from the chaos).

3. Professors and staff are friendly and outstanding. Always willing to help you.

4. So many opportunities are offered ranging from jobs to being involved in clubs and activities.

5. Meet many new people.

6. Many resources are offered to help you, for example the writing center and the tutor center.

7. There is a Starbucks on campus :)!

8. You can see the Philadelphia skyline, which is beautiful.

9. The library is gorgeous and has a lot of space for studying. It even has a snack bar area that even has the news displayed on the TV (I am so behind on the news).

10. Although I do not like the cafeteria named Campion, there is a food court down the hall that sells much better food including subway, hawk wraps, grill works, and sushi!

This is my first year at St. Joseph’s. I have not fully experienced what else is has to offer. So far I have been really enjoying my first year meeting new friends, adapting to the crazy work load, balancing my time, and exercising at the gym. Sophomore year is coming fast. I just completed my housing for next year and I am about to pick my courses next week. Spring is right around the corner, what I have heard is that the campus is stunning once flowers bloom and the grass and trees turn green. I am very excited to take more pictures of campus and share the beauty of my school with you!

Check out Mary’s helpful site about St. Joseph’s http://maryvmellor.com/hawkward/

Also, check out St. Joseph’s site for further information

http://www.sju.edu

Beach over snow. The power of imagination.

“I’m definitely much more of a beach bunny. I prefer the sun over the snow.” Gillian Zinser


Today St. Joseph decided to give us the day off since we have about 12 inches of snow. I think the snow is beautiful and its beauty is unique… For the first 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I am ready for the beach and warm weather!

I was on my Snapchat this morning and came across a post from good friend I went to elementary school and middle school with. She is currently in Miami soaking up the warm tropical weather. Her pictures are all of palm trees, tropical drinks, and the light crystal blue ocean. I am so jealous. I had to do something to relive my envy and sadness. Therefore, I looked this tropical picture of the beach and imagined I was there, taking the picture right now.

I closed my eyes and let my mind and imagination take over me.

Standing barefoot with my toes hidden beneath the sand, gazing out at the light blue ocean from my Tiki hut. With my camera around my neck and water in my hand, I gradually made my way through the palm trees to a large rock, that was planted firmly in the water along the shore line. Eager to arrive and capture an everlasting memory.

As I arrived at the tall rock, I gradually bent my knee, lifted my foot and softly placed my foot on the warm bumpy rock. With all my might, I extended my knee and rose above the rock, as if I was King Kong standing on top of the Empire State Building. Gently, I bent my knees and lowered myself on the rock and let my legs rest easy, hanging over as if they were immobilized.

Gracefully toke in deep inhales and long exhale and as I sat upon the rock. Taking in the beauty that surrounded me and the floral scent that soothed my mind. Watching the gentle light blue rippling waves that calmly approach the shore. The white and blue striped hammock that hung motionless from the tropical palm tree. Each palm swaying gently to the warm ocean breeze, relaxing over the calm ocean water.

Letting my mind take over me and imagining that I in beauty, warm weather, and peace. It made me think that this snow not all so bad. All I need is a picture of a beach, a silent room, and my imagination.