This is a walkway at the Catalonia Royal Tulum resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. My family and I stayed here for our vacation and we loved it. The weather here is a lot like Southern California, and the beaches are a lot like the ones filmed in Corona’s commercial. I even had trouble bringing my camera out to take photos because I had a hard time keeping myself out of the water! Anyway, after the first two days of crisscrossing this walkway and making up excuses to not take photos, I had to give in when I came across this scene.
P.S. I finally upgraded to the Canon 5D Mark II. This was shot at f4 at 400ISO; noise control is amazing! I have officially retired my Canon T1i, it had served me well!
My second shot of Tokyo International Forum. This is a multi-purpose building where businesses host events in Japan. Kind of cool don’t you think? I would be totally impressed if Los Angeles has architecture like this for meetings!
This is the Dubuji Boardwalk at Cape Tribulation. We came here during the wet season, a time when rivers would usually flood after heavy rainstorms. We would hide under big leaves whenever we get sporadic rainstorms during the hike. It was fun but semi-miserable. I liked the whole part of taking in the environment and the setting, but knowing that my gears are vulnerable to moisture environments put off my confidence in capturing the essence of the scene.
The Webb Bridge is near the Docklands Park in Melbourne. This was my final stop in Melbourne before flying up to Sydney. Getting here was trouble. I got lost so many times even with a GPS. I didn’t know better though. Webb Bridge wasn’t a point of interest in my GPS, so I had to pinpoint nearby landmarks and make my way there. Eventually I got here, took this shot, and restored my peace.
After visiting Bath, I returned to London for an overnight bus ride to Edinburgh. I arrived at London a lot earlier than I anticipated, so I made another trip to visit Big Ben. It’s very pretty there at night, but for some odd reason the building next to the tower does not light up; so it feels like there is a disconnect between the buildings. Anyway, processing this HDR in color cannot really justify its beauty. After I converted this to a black and white, my inspirations start to boil up!
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the newest resort on the Vegas Strip. We visited the resort a little after its grand opening in mid-December of 2010. The entrance to this resort is well designed with windows that reflect the city lights all around the area.
Climbing Mount Fuji was an intense experience! But since we started quite early, around 3pm or so, we got to take our time and rest at every station. We even got to the 8th station so early that we were stuck outside freezing our buns off because we didn’t reserve beds at the station (those beds run out quick!). At some point, we considered descending down to the 7th station and return after a couple of hours, but we ended up not doing that because we couldn’t justify the effort to climb back up. We resumed our climb shortly after seeing a trail of flashlights making its way up to the mountain. I took this shot at the 9th station, at a time when this trail was flooded with climbers. It was a beautiful moment. All the climbers had a common goal; to climb to the summit in time to watch the perfect sunrise from that glowing horizon.
This is the front yard of the resort we stayed at in Kuranda, Australia. It is a wonderful resort and it was the best lodging experience we had in this vacation. There was a lot of surprising encounters during our stay. Two of the more remarkable ones were petting a people-friendly Kangaroo that the resort keeps as a pet, and watching an incredible sunset from the resort’s pond. As I was composing for this HDR, I envisioned this to be my life in paradise.
The High Line Park is cool! It is a mile long elevated walking platform that cuts through buildings in Manhattan. I enjoyed walking through the park when I was there; it’s like a quick escape from the busy city life! I was happy to find this vantage point because I think this is a good illustration of how pleasant this place is! Plus, that IAC building on the left really pops!
The Toys”R”Us at Time Square is probably the coolest Toys”R”Us ever made! My cousin’s children always brag about how awesome their Toys”R”Us is and how I should see it for myself. I didn’t quite believe them, so I started to brag about how awesome the Toys”R”Us is in California and how THEY should visit me instead. Turns out they are right. Now I am ashamed…
These monkeys live a good life! When they are hungry, they go to the cage and ask for food from tourists; and when they are not, they nap under trees or play with others. Just as I was about to leave the monkey park, I found this monkey deep in his thoughts. I didn’t want to intrude, so I snapped a couple of shots without giving him any food.
The lakefront tori gate welcomes visitors into the Hakone Shrine, a sacred shrine that is hidden in the dense forest. The shrine is populous! Visitors seem to enjoy sitting around the tori gate, which made capturing this scene a little difficult. Interesting though, people just hid behind the trees when I set up for this shot; it’s like they knew what I wanted to do and didn’t want to photo bomb my work! I appreciate that, a lot!!
I discovered St. Thomas Church whilst on my way to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I thought… why not? The Church had to be interesting! The Altar and the Reredos were so bright that everywhere else seemed extra dark in the church. To compensate the difference in light levels, I had to take an extra step of exposure to make sure all the details are covered!
This was shot at the City of Caves in Nottingham. Wiki has sourced that hundreds of these caves are beneath the city streets of Nottingham, and not that many people are aware of this. I got to see a couple of different caves while visiting the area, and out of the majority of the ones I saw, this one is the prettiest!
We made our first stop at the Split Point Lighthouse while driving on the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostle. This is a rather crowded place, with tourists around the lighthouse all the time. I was happy to find this angle without the need to struggle with other tourists in capturing the essence of the scene.
Ervine, my brother, and I climbed Mt. Fuji towards the end of my study abroad program. Hiking up Mt. Fuji wasn’t that difficult, maybe part of the reason is that we took a lot of break since I wanted to stop every now and then to take pictures. By the time we got here we have already hiked two hours in. I turned around and saw the most beautiful sunset in my life. It’s kind of like watching a sunset when you are in an airplane, except you get to feel every bit of the warmth from the sun and the breeze from high altitude.
This is the Botanical Garden at Balboa Park, San Diego. There are so many interesting subjects in this garden that shooting the place with a wide angle lens becomes difficult! I did manage to capture this shot after circling the garden several times though. I thought… If I had to define this place in one shot, this would be it! On another note, this would be the perfect place for macro photography! I remember seeing a baby pineapple there while I was exploring the garden. I really wanted to pick it but people were watching! No, I wouldn’t do that. Really.
Mohonk Mountain House is a HDR gem. The resort is well kept and is tastefully decorated. When my uncle and I were exploring the resort, we came out with all sorts of interesting angles. This shot would not have been possible without my Ultra-Wide Angle lens; I was incredibly close to the stairs! After taking this shot, I climbed up the stairs and continued to look for more interesting angles, which will come later when I get a chance to process them.
Coming here wasn’t easy. My friends and I climbed from the bottom on beat up bicycles. The climbing was an intense workout! I can’t remember how many times we stopped to catch our breath, but the effort was well paid off once we got to the very top. This is the view at the top of the Zamami Island. When I saw this lonely tree, I thought it would add interestingness to this breathtaking scene!
Hands down to the most unique dining experience ever! This restaurant is secluded and is right in the middle of the rainforest! My family and I had to drive through a beaten road to get to the resort. Along the road, there are signs to reassure us that we are not lost. Once we got to the resort, the owner there gave us a tour. There were kangaroos and peacocks roaming around the resort as we tour through, and the animals would come to the restaurant for food occasionally. Once we got to the restaurant, I had to set up for this shot!
Wow! I’ve been busy! I haven’t gotten the chance to process my photos till now. Anyway, my family and I spent a day exploring Lincoln. It was fun! I’m so thankful that my fam there took a day off their busy schedule and showed me around! The city is rich in history and it is one of the older towns in England. The Lincoln Cathedral is huge! So big that walking around and taking in its history would take hours! I tried to capture as much as I could to show you the depth of the Cathedral. Even though the photo has heavy distortion, it really does not bother me all that much!
Melbourne is a beautiful city! I hope to return someday for another photo shoot… Staying here for a month to observe and photo shoot would be a dream come true, as there are so many beautiful architecture around the city! Finding an angle at Fed Square was pretty tough. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a normal shot or a panorama shot; but when I took a few steps back, the scene just came into perspective.
I’ve seen so many pretty photos of the Rotunda at Mission Inn; I had to put it on my HDR to-take list! By the time I got here, the sun had already set. At night, the lights around the Rotunda really give definition to the structure and the depth of the scene. I walked around the Rotunda several times before finding my desired angle and fired away.
I stumbled across this place while I was walking around the Tower Bridge trying to get a shot. I couldn’t remember what these pianos represent despite spending the past hour researching. If you have any idea, would you drop me a note? It’s bothering me!
Sunsets at London always seem to be perfect as the city gets intermittent rain throughout the day. I hope I brought this back to you in its full glory.