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- AboutMy interest in photography started with influence from my dad. Wherever we went, he took pictures of my family and the scenery around us. As I grew up, more and more times, he let me be the camera man. Maybe the habit just stuck. I took up photography in the summer of 2006. I really am not sure what spurred the idea, but since then I have made a hobby of taking photos of what I find to be beautiful. What do I find to be beautiful? Mostly, nature. I find beauty in the subtleties of the Earth. When I take the time to think through the complexity of the Earth and the life within it, I conclude that there must be a reason to existence. However, Earth is only one small piece of the larger puzzle; much more beauty exists in places and shapes we have never imagined. What is that larger puzzle? What other beauty lies out in the Universe? What is the driving force behind life? These are questions that run through my mind when I witness nature. What makes the Earth beautiful to me? I can’t really say. I feel a quiet passion as a crisp…
Just a quick plug that I was featured in the May issue of the online photography magazine, Landscape Photography Magazine. It’s a (paid) monthly publication with inputs from a lot of great artists, including ones I really like: Ian Plant and Guy Tal. Check out the magazine here.
Excerpt from the magazine with my interview follows. Enjoy! I would love to hear your comments:
When did you start photography?
I started photography in 2006 after getting a heavily discounted SLR from my cousin, who worked for Canon. However, it was not until 2009, that I started putting in the time and effort to become a photographer.
How important is photography for you?
Photography is a channel of emotions for me. Becoming a photographer has opened my eyes to a perspective I had never experienced before: of wonder and awe about our universe’s history and hope for the future.
What is your favourite image of all time?
There are several, but I think Marc Adamus’ “Midnight Magic” and Michael Anderson’s “Fire and Ice” were very inspirational for me when I began my journey in photography. They are both fantastic artists to look up to.
Describe your favourite and most inspiring location.
We are lucky that the world affords us many beautiful sights in nearly every nook and cranny. While bouncing from one site to the next is certainly fun and exciting, I also find it more spiritual and meaningful to concentrate on
one locale to really understand what it is all about. That location for me is Great Falls, in Maryland and Virginia. Although a relatively small stretch of waterfalls, the area allows amazing views from several vantage points
of violent rapids, striated bedrock, meadow forests and great blue herons and other avian species.
Who is your favourite past or present photographer?
There are so many photographers that it is hard to choose, but I should say that Floris van Breugel and Marsel van Oosten have to be up there. I was fortunate to shoot with Floris, who really helped my fundamentals in
the artistry of photography. Marsel just has so many moving images that incorporate wildlife as well as the landscape; infinitely harder and something I hope to do in the future.
Besides photography, do you have any other hobbies?
I am a full-time strategy and management consultant in the Washington, D.C. area. I also enjoy playing basketball and the piano as well as travelling.
What are your future photographic plans?
I want to continue to get better as an artist and photographer, and explore those places still unfound within me and the landscape. If people identify with my work, I shall be appreciative, but it is not my main goal. My journey with photography has been a personal one and any opportunities because of it are a blessing.
I just finished up my images covering the cherry blossom bloom of 2013 in Washington DC. It was an intense few days of non-stop photographic action! I woke up 4 days last week at the 4am, shot till 7am, edited till 8:30am and worked the rest of the days. It took a lot but I think it was worth it.
Overall, I thought this year’s bloom was great. The cold stretch we had into March served to delay the bloom, but also I think make it more cohesive as most trees come to their peak near the same times. Last year, trees bloomed a bit more haphazardly, which made it difficult for me to say “THIS is peak bloom”.
While the blooms were really nice, unfortunately the rest of the landscape in Washington, D.C. left something to be desired, photographically. After the earthquake of 2011, the Washington Monument was pretty seriously damaged. In mid-March, contractors begun finally repairing the damage of that day, and started a brace-like scaffold that has built up significantly since then. While I’m all for the Monument getting repaired, I have a hard time understanding why they couldn’t wait ONE MORE MONTH. It has been nearly two years since the quake anyway.
It was hard not to include the Monument in my shots. For one, because I have an affinity for shooting it. I think it’s the most iconic symbol of the city — it’s dramatically set on a short hill with a nice eastern exposure for photography, it’s tall and made of pure marble. Because of it’s literal stature above the city, it also is hard to avoid when shooting on the Tidal Basin. The Jefferson Memorial just isn’t as dramatic a shape from far away as the Monument.
I rolled with the punches though. Perhaps, people will want to look back to when the Monument was under construction? Maybe a future project will include photoshopping it out (I cringe at the thought).
Regardless, I had a blast shooting those few days and think I came away with some decent and unique looks. I appreciate any and all comments, good or bad!
This first one was April 9, when the blossoms first began to burst. You can see a few shy blossoms on the top of the frame. I used an extreme wide angle to create and accentuate the shapes — this sort of wide angle introduced some interesting distortion as well.
Peak Cherry Blossoms shimmer in the morning sun on the Tidal Basin before the Washington Monument.
The next morning, April 10, I think the blossoms were at full peak. A gorgeous sunrise burst in front of me that morning. I love when there’s just a few high clouds: they catch the morning color so dramatically. I have been obsessed with ripples on water lately, and used a short shutter speed to snap up their texture, and the shape of the Canadian goose crooked up towards the sky:
A radiant sunrise pierces through colorful cherry blossoms at dawn on the Tidal Basin.
I took a day off in between my blossom hunting, to try a spot I like in Virginia. More to come on that shot during my next post.
I had been planning my next image for some time. I really want to get a dramatic capture of the wilting away of the blossoms. It’s a time that not many people photograph since it’s sad, in a way. While I didn’t get the shot I really wanted, I came away with a decent representation.
As Friday came, clouds covered the city. An overnight thunderstorm stripped many of the blossoms of their charm. There were some trees that clung dearly to their remaining flowers as they shook in the wind. The blossoms collected at the edge of the Tidal Basin, and moved interestingly in circles and out of the frame. A beautiful but sad realization that it’s the future of every blossom — unless they can spring new life elsewhere:
Fallen petals act as somber gifts of grace from the Cherry Blossom peak at the Tidal Basin
This last shot was a bit experimental for me. I’m not an avid black and white photography type of guy, but the silhouettes of the scene compelled this look. The shaking trees contrasted nicely with the damp look of the sky:
Darkness accentuates shape at the Tidal Basin during Cherry Blossom season
So goes another year of cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.! I hope you enjoyed these images. Please don’t leave the blog without leaving your thoughts as a comment.
Today I made it down to the Tidal Basin for the Sunrise to see the Cherry Blossoms in peak bloom. 2013 has been a very different year than 2012, when the Cherry Blossoms bloomed on the Tidal basin on March 20. Today, April 9, I would say the blossoms are in full swing! More visits to come this week, but I hope you enjoy this one.
I got my composition set up to frame the Washington Monument. I tried to angle it to not emphasize the scaffolding. I waited until the sun rose in the position I expected, and the blossoms shimmered in the light:
Peak Cherry Blossoms shimmer in the morning sun on the Tidal Basin before the Washington Monument.
REMEMBER. Prints are only 25% off until April 15th!
Till next time.
Yesterday, I hosted another workshop, with the plan to shoot the Cherry Blossoms on the Tidal Basin.
While the Cherry Blossoms at the Tidal Basin have not yet bloomed at all (NPS has shifted their peak Cherry Blossom bloom for Washington D.C. and the Cherry Blossom Festival to 3-6 April), we still got together to capture the sunrise.
The sun was positioned to rise between the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument (which just began its construction and the scaffolding at its base), so I assembled the group on the Southwest corner of the Tidal Basin. Shortly before sunrise, the clouds lit up with color and texture which nicely complemented the ripples on the water:
The Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial surround a brilliant orange and pink sunrise at the Tidal Basin.
This week, it’s off to Niagara Falls for a day before my friend’s wedding, then next week the focus shifts back to peak bloom of the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC.
TILL NEXT TIME!
Yesterday, I went scouting at the U.S. Capitol for some shots I plan to take this spring.
I was looking for some blooming flowers and after a while of searching, found none. One of the fundamentals of successful photography (in my opinion and that I teach during my workshops), is to come with a plan, but be flexible.
Since I didn’t find the flowers I was looking for, I shifted to plan B. Upon arrival on the scene, I could see some pretty intense cloud formations brewing above me. The forecast was for a cold front and showers for later in the evening, so I knew there was a possibility of some texture in the clouds. I decided to shift gears and try to get some dramatic looks of the U.S. Capitol with these clouds looming above.
I observed clouds collecting and moving feircely just to the left of the U.S. Capitol. As the building is rather symmetrical, I I decided on a center composition and got into place. The clouds were racing across the sky, and I decided to use a longer shutter speed to accentuate their motion while retaining their texture (too long of shutter speed and the clouds would look milky smooth, without texture):
Dark storm clouds race over the U.S. Capitol just after sunset.
Almost like clockwork, after sunset the city lights of Washington, D.C. turn any low clouds into a stark pink color before orange later in the evening. I waited for after the sun had set for this color to take hold, and take hold it did. I also observed the moon peeking through the clouds: still be visible to the Eastern horizon as it continued its ascent. I waited for a gap in clouds to emphasize the moon against the deep blue sky, and used a wide angle to show the scene over the U.S. Capitol building:
The moon rises through pink clouds, illuminated by the setting sun and city lights of Washington, D.C.
Remember that all of my prints are 25% off until April 15th, 2013
While I didn’t achieve my objective in scouting the U.S. Capitol grounds for blooming flowers, I did come away with some images I enjoyed, and even more, some ideas for next time’s outing.
TILL NEXT TIME!
I conducted another Intro to Nature and Landscape Photography course this past Sunday at Great Falls National Park, on the Maryland side.The weather was looking promising, with high clouds in the forecast and a window to the horizon. I was hoping for a colorful burst at sunset, given the recent more muted sunsets I’ve seen at the park.
Unfortunately, the clouds dissipated and a blue, cloudless sky remained. Not the most colorful.
But, lately I have found myself drawn to closeup abstracts of violently rushing water. A great place to find this is Great Falls, with it’s dramatic rapids always proving to have interesting action. And given the uninteresting sky, it was the only way to go for me.
The rapids of Great Falls weave water in and out, and into interesting shapes.
Oh and if you’re interested, Another class is scheduled for this Sunday, still with some open slots:
Till next time!
Wow, it’s been nearly two full months since my last post. My apologies to any who frequent my blog looking for updates.
Unfortunately, my other career has taken most of my time – business trips, training classes, and just a lot to do. It certainly is hard to keep up two “professional” lives and often I have found success in one comes with sacrifice of the other. At some point, I might meet a fork in the road where I will have to decide more definitively where my end path will lead.
Regardless of what my “job” is, I have never felt more fulfilled and vivacious as I have felt through this gift of photography. It’s funny how something ubiquitous as a camera can allow one to explore channels within the self that were otherwise unknown. If nothing else, simply the self-searching has been worth all the effort I’ve put into the craft.
Onto today’s post. A frequent subject around this (and many) areas is the weather. Of course, we experience it every day so it’s natural to be a major discussion topic. One discussion that often intrigues me is the argument against the cold, winter weather we see here in the mid-Atlantic.
So many people hate the cold so much! The idea of wearing a coat and hat, a blustery wind, ice/sleet/snow you name it, and they are up in arms. They swear they can move to Southern California today and not have a care in the world.
While I can appreciate the sentiment, and the apparent luxury of not dealing with uncomfortable temperatures, I personally love the winter. Actually, I take that back. I love the SEASONS. What is the point of monotony in anything in life, especially something so impactful as the weather? As a sentient and sentimental person, I like seeing the change that slowly and constantly engulfs our environment as seasons change. Green turns orange, orange turns bare and back again. Weather patterns change – wind and cloud formations. The whole mood of the scene is drastically different from one season to another. I find that lately, a reliable group of people who share my views are meteorologists. No surprise there though: their whole profession is based on the environmental conditions.
What’s not to like about winter? OK, I don’t like being cold either. But I know no better peace than what I feel when I walk outside at night after a fresh snowfall — the silence is nearly sacred. But even other winter weather — icicles, sleet, frozen lakes/ponds/rivers… I could go on.
To the joy of most and the dismay of me, our winters of late have been pretty warm and dull. Granted, I haven’t had the chance to venture much out West during these times – into the areas of NW Maryland and West Virginia. Fortunately, this year I headed up that way, AND we had a few good days of cold to get some photographic opportunities closer to the city. Maybe this compilation will get your juices flowing about the winter? No? Ok, I tried.
The first image is from here at the familiar stomping grounds of Great Falls, Maryland. A few weeks ago, we got some pretty cold weather that stuck around for about 5 days. After about 4 days, I figured the waters were cold enough to start at least some parts of Great Falls to ice over. Given the lack of rainfall at the time, some of the formations on the Maryland side revealed themselves and allowed me to take a closer look.
The clouds fizzled out just about immediately after I arrived at the scene, slightly contrary to what was forecasted. But, I found a really cool set of broken trees crossed upon each other right in front of a significant “step” in the falls. The icicles were really compelling here – and we don’t get freezes often so I had to take the opportunity:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24, f/13, .3 sec, ISO 50
I took a panorama of the same scene for those of you who are interested in larger sizes. This particular image is a mosaic of 20 exposures to achieve both extreme scale and focus:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24, f/13, 20 exposures blended for depth of field and scale, 1/5 sec, ISO 200
As I mentioned, this year, I had the opportunity to venture up north to the mountains of Western Maryland. This wasn’t a photography trip, but I tried to take advantage nonetheless. The whole weekend we were in the area, we were treated to beautiful winter weather. A constant light snow and very calm winds. A real treat for me given our lackluster winters of late.
Out of one sunset outing, I came away with 4 keepers! That’s an extreme amount for me nowadays. I thought each image was unique enough to warrant inclusion on this post.
This first image is a wide angle of Muddy Creek Falls, the highest waterfall in Maryland at 53 feet. Maryland’s geology is not all that dramatic (especially compared to the relics out in the Western USA), but each natural site, however small, has its history and beauty to be respected. The site was affected by Sandy to the point that the park closed the area from which this was shot. I had to be very prudent not to step on the ice and through to (potentially deep) water.
I just missed some really nice warm light, so I decided to B&W to emphasize the shapes and contrasts:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24, f/13, .4 sec, ISO 50
As I continued to observe the scene from a rock not far from the shore, I paid more careful attention to the falls, and the contrasts in shapes and textures between the sandstone rock, dramatically long and sharp icicles, and the rushing water. The way I decided to depict these contrasts was not in one, but two images that I think serve different purposes:
Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200/2.8, f/8, 1/4 sec, ISO 400
Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200/2.8, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO 3200
I continued to wait and watch the scene. As you may have noticed from the last image, the light snow began to pick up as I continued shooting, and the white flakes contrasted very well with the darker background that were appearing as the sun sank behind the horizon. I turned my attention to the tree captured in the right hand corner of the first image with its shape and stance standing starkly in front of a shallow cave dripping with long icicles. I played with a few exposures of varying shutter speeds when I decided I wanted to freeze the diagonal motion of the flakes falling down on the scene. The light had dissipated so much that I had to crank the ISO (light sensitivity) on the camera to maximum. It’s times like these where I am thankful to have a low-light champion like the Nikon D800:
Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200/2.8, f/9, 1/125 sec, ISO 6400
Two months have passed since my last post, but I promise it won’t be two months again until my next one. I hope to capture more of winter before it turns away from us for another year and my thoughts move to the next beautiful transition of our world’s seasons.
Another year, another look back.
This year was another one of growth for me. While it has been over 6 years since I picked up my first SLR, I feel like I only began “growth” as a photographic artist in 2010. I have learned so much over the past few years about photographic techniques, artistic tendencies, and probably more important than all, my own self.
That gets to what I find most valuable about my journey in photography. It has given me a tangible medium for me to look at myself. Each photograph says something about me in ways that even I don’t fully understand. But the introspection itself is worth the time and effort I put into the work.
Anyways, on to the shots. Here is what I think is my best of 2012, in no particular order. I would love to hear your comments on my choices, and if you think any others belong or dont:
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 F4L IS @75mm, f/11, ISO 50, 2.5 sec
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, polarizer, f/16, ISO 50, 2 images for dynamic range (HDR) and focus.
Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon 14-24
Canon 5d Mark II, Canon 70-200/F4L @ 144mm, f/16, .6 sec, ISO 50, Tripod
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 70-200 F4L IS @75mm, f/11, ISO 50, 2.5 sec
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24, two exposures at f/11 blended for dynamic range (HDR)
Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8G, 10 shots stitched together
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm @14mm, Fotodiox Filter Holder, 4 stop ND filter; two shot blend at f/22
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, f/22, 1/15 sec, ISO 50
The fountains of Lower Senate Park at night at the U.S. Capitol.
Nikon D800, 14-24 @ 22mm, f/14, 30 sec, ISO 100, tripod
I hope you enjoyed my shots this year. Here’s to another healthy, happy, and productive year to you and all of your loved ones!
As this year winds down, I look back on what was one of the busiest and most important times in my life so far. No doubt the biggest thing that happened to me is that I got married to the love of my life! We were able to plan and hold our wedding just 6 months after getting engaged. Despite the craziness of the wedding time and subsequent move to our new home, we thought it would be best to go immediately after our wedding to our honeymoon destination.
We decided on Bali for a number of reasons. We wanted somewhere that was out of the country, warm, had a good mix of relaxation and adventure, and was somewhere neither of us had been to. It also helped that Bali was featured in Yaminee’s favorite book, “Eat, Pray, Love”. So, we quickly decided that Bali was the place to go.
Just two days after our wedding, we were at the airport. After a fiasco at the ticket counter (a combo of inclement weather and limited alternative flights) that nearly entirely canceled our trip, we were on our 24+ hour journey.
We spent our first few days in the southern part of the island, where we could just relax and soak up the sun. After months of wedding planning and running around, this was exactly what we needed. Our hotel, the Conrad Bali, also had easy access to many ocean activities, including parasailing and jetskiing. For just $8 USD, they quickly harnessed us in and whisked us away into the sky and onto the water. The view from above and on the water was great — but unfortunately not safe for a dSLR:
One of the draws of Bali is its rich marine life. Yaminee has always loved dolphins, so one of the first outings I had planned for us was to see them up close. After taking a boat just 5 minutes off of the coast, we stopped at a small wooden station that the company set up to attract wild dolphins. Using regular food as bait, the dolphins come back every day to interact with guests, learn and perform tricks, and then get on their merry way. It was a pretty cool experience meeting and petting our dolphin, Feta. His skin felt like smooth rubber:
The island of Bali is also legendary for its unique Hindu culture. It is unlike anywhere else in Indonesia or anywhere in the “capital” of Hinduism, India. While the gods that many Hindus know are the same, the images and stories are slightly different.
The Balinese use a type of performance called Kecak to portray Hindu mythology. I was first introduced to this when I watched the amazing, graphic documentary, Baraka. The performance includes men chanting (in a way that sounds like the name, “Ke-Chuck”) while dancers act out the story. During one of our first evenings, we watched this unique illustration of the familiar Hindu story, Ramayana:
As a landscape photographer, I constantly plan my whereabouts and actions on the conditions and subjects I hope to photograph. Much of this went out the window on our trip to Bali, for obvious reasons. I knew this was not a “photography” trip and therefore didn’t expect to get all the shots, but instead experience the island with my new life partner. It’s a win either way. However, I did want to shoot some scenes and Yaminee was more than supportive in urging me to bring back some quality shots.
Our first location to find those shots was Uluwatu Temple, on the southwest coast of the island. A massive cliffside of limestone, this location offered a stunning view due west right where the sun sets. This grand vista showed expansive waves stretching horizontally in the length of a half mile or more. As the waves approached the rocky shore, they began rolling up against the shallows in beautiful shapes. The sun began to touch the horizon and shined pink light just above the level of the sea, and onto each roll and smash of the sea:
Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200mm/2.8 at 140mm, f/11, .3 sec, ISO 50.
One thing I always try to do when photographing (and something I recommend you do too), is to look behind you. You might think that you have a stellar composition and the right shot, but then right behind you is a light show you would only see in dreams. While it is important to stay true to your “planned shot”, it’s also very effective to stay flexible and capture the most interesting, unique, and fleeting mix of elements you can.
That said, while I was shooting the coast and expecting nothing but a drab, blue sunset, I turned around and what an amazing sight. As the sun peeked through the horizon and its wavelengths of light bent towards the high clouds, the entire sky lit with orange and pink. I first tried a horizontal composition to capture the marching cumulus clouds in the distance and their juxtaposition to the limestone cliffs:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, f/22, ISO 50, two exposures for dynamic range (HDR)
At times like sunrise and sunset, the light is so dynamic that it can look starkly different from moment to moment. As the orange in the sky pulled back, the highest parts of sky showed more blue and revealed a shape that mimicked the water, and accentuated the circular cliff that lined the way up to the temple. This is probably my favorite of the two images:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, f/22, 8 sec, ISO 50.
After such an inspiring sunset, I decided to try to keep it up for the next morning. Earlier in the week, Yaminee and I had visited a beach in Nusa Dua that I thought had some pretty good potential for sunrise. The only question was how to get there. With no method of transport, I thought for a second to rent a motorcycle (as we had already done to that point). Though riding the bike was a lot of fun, it seemed a little risky for me to speed on a 150cc bike, taking a side road in a foreign country, in the pitch dark (before sunrise), with a huge camerabag and tripod on my back — Whoa. So, I decided to get a driver to take me in the early mornings to the spots where I needed to go.
When I arrived at the beach, the first thing I noticed was the craggy limestone formations right above the water. I pushed my way through some brush and found an amazing view over these formations — right over a shallow aquamarine lagoon and the rising sun. The climb over the stone was painful to say the least. I was wearing flimsier shoes and light shorts and the spiny limestone I couldn’t see very deep into the lagoon, but given the angle of light, I knew a polarizer would do the trick. The contrast of the lagoon with the amazing shape of the rock was a challenge for me to compose in a photograph. But I used the shape of the rock as a cradle into the lagoon, eventually leading the eye to the far distant clouds and sun peeking through:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, polarizer, f/16, ISO 50, 2 images for dynamic range (HDR) and focus.
After our time in the southern shore of the island, we headed inward to Ubud, the cultural center, nearby the rolling rice fields commonly seen in southeast Asia. First things first, though. Check into our honeymoon villa with it’s private pool (and occasional visits from the monkeys of Monkey Forest). I think this choice got me a few brownie points with the missus:
Speaking of those pesky monkeys, some did steal our water from our outdoor kitchen. Another stole water right out of Yaminee’s hand when we were touring Monkey Forest. Though these guys look cute, they are NOT shy in getting what they want:
Another quest to get brownie points was to take Yaminee to see Ketut Liyer. Now anyone who has read or seen “Eat, Pray, Love” knows Ketut, the friendly old Balinese medicine man who accurately predicted Elizabeth Gilbert’s (or Julia Roberts’) future, including her return to Bali and resurgence into love. Ketut still lives in the same traditional Balinese house, but with noticeably more notoriety and most likely, resources. We hoped to get a little more substance out of the nice old man than we did, but it was still an enjoyable and memorable experience. Besides, who could forget a smile like this:
Speaking of traditional Balinese houses, one of the sights that our tour guide/driver had us see was such a house. Owned by a large family, these houses contained just the essentials, but all in one place: a kitchen, sleeping quarters, pig and chicken stys, a temple, and a garden amongst more. All of this in a small stone mini-village. Definitely an amazing cultural sight. On our way out, we gave a few rupiah to the patriarch of the household, a weathered, grateful, and humble person it seemed:
The next couple of mornings, I had our driver take me before sunrise to the rice fields, in the hope to capture them with a view to the large volcanic mountains in the background (Agung and Batur). Both mornings were a fail for my overall goal, but I still tried to come back with a bit of the personality of those serene places.
The first morning, clouds quickly covered the view to the mountains I mentioned. But, as they continued their slow journey across the sky, I found an opportunity to capture a slightly more graphic image than I had in mind:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, f/22, 123 sec, ISO 50
As we left the rice fields back for the hotel, I was struck by a small rice field valley shrouded by the morning mist. The layers of the landscaping and the greens catching light on the horizon both grabbed my attention:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, f/16, 1/25 sec, ISO 50
The next morning, I went back out to the rice fields, this time in search of an expansive flooded plain that could reflect the mountain and sunrise. Again finding a shrouded sunrise, I was not able to achieve my goal. I stayed around though, and kept looking around for some inspiration. Going back to my initial thought, I directed my attention to the flooded fields and found a small opening of color reflected nicely against a few exposed rice grasses. Though I didn’t get what I really wanted, witnessing this gave me peace and calm — feelings I actively seek when doing photography:
Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200mm/2.8, f/14, 1/40 sec, ISO 50
My last photo adventure on our honeymoon was a visit to Tanah Lot temple. This temple is situated IN not NEXT TO a violent shore on the western part of the island. Hugging the top of a limestone formation, this temple definitely looks like it could get swept away at any time. We descended onto the beach and I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot — right in the thick of things. As most visitors watched from the shorelines, I ran right into the water, constantly pushing further out as the waves fought me back.
And really, those waves did fight me back. What started out as a small trickle on my feet ended up being a forceful smash on my quads. I figured I was already wet so what the hell, let’s go all the way. Waves continued pounding up to my stomach, when I then decided to start swinging my system (camera, tripod and all) into the air to avoid any water damage. Every so often, a monster wave would come and I would have to retreat slightly so I wouldn’t get smacked in the chin. This wouldn’t have been so bad if the rock face I was scaling wasn’t covered with moss.
After about 150 exposures, many shaking because of the moving sand beneath the tripod and others covered with droplets of water, I found one I was pretty happy with. As the sun set, it slinked behind Tanah Lot. I moved slightly to the left to position the sun right in the crevice of the rock where it would look best. While the scene lacked color (also because it lacked clouds), the sun illuminated the crashing waves brilliantly in this nicely shaped swell headed for me:
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24mm/2.8, f/22, 1/15 sec, ISO 50
I hope you have enjoyed this view into our trip. As you can see, we had a great time exploring the island of Bali, and I had a great time capturing it in my camera. But, in the end this was a trip for us — to celebrate our love and our new lives together. While neither of us really knows what this means and where we will end up, we do know that we will explore our world together, as we did on our honeymoon in Bali.
I made a quick trip to Shenandoah with my brother in law to catch what remains of the foliage there. The sunrise did not disappoint!:
Fall foliage is abound during a glorious and classic Shenandoah National Park sunrise, with the diffused sun filling orange in the hazy blue rolling hills.
Nikon D800, Nikon 14-24, two exposures at f/11 blended for dynamic range (HDR).
More to come!