[29] Image of the Week

“39 Weeks”

My niece’s first birthday is on Wednesday and it’s so crazy to think that a year ago my sister looked like this!  In my opinion, pregnancy photos can turn cheesy and awkward really quickly if they aren’t done correctly so I was hesitant to take Lizzy’s portrait in this state.  But she and I were on the same page as far as keeping the images cheese-free, and I’m really happy with how they turned out.

[28] Image of the Week

“Miraflores Sunset”

My first day in Peru was spent just like all subsequent days would be spent: walking.  Katie and I had a day in Lima before heading to Cusco and we spent it in the affluent area that surround our hostel, Miraflores.  We meandered through the streets, admired the lovely waterfront, ate lunch at a quaint cafe and relaxed in the park.  In the late afternoon we found ourselves at an outdoor shopping mall, right along the water.  Between the fancy designer stores and the salty ocean breeze we were reminded of southern California.  We watched the sun set on our first day in Peru as we sipped foamy cappuccinos overlooking the ocean.

[27] Image of the Week

“Exploring Q’enqo”

Emily, Katie and I were the first of our group to arrive in Peru.  While waiting for our fellow trekkers we opted to take a day hike near Cusco to warm up our hiking muscles and acclimatize our sea level lungs.  The three of us along with Danelle, our new friend, loaded into a taxi and had the driver take us to Tambomachay, about 7 miles away from our hotel in Cusco.  We then each purchased a Boleto Turistico del Cusco and made our way back to town, stopping at four Incan ruins along the way.  This is a photograph I tookq’ of Katie and Emily exploring the third of the four sites, Q’enqo.  It was full of tunnels and passageways and I loved how the light would filter into the various openings enough to reveal the carved out steps, seats and crevices all built into the stone by the Incas.

[26] Image of the Week

“Katie in the Clouds”

When I think of adventure, I think of Katie.  Together we have summited mountains, trekked to wonders of the world, spoken in airport code, recovered lost luggage, deduced Holmes, smuggled apples and translated bus schedules.  When in South America we spoke in tandem Spanish – I am better at understanding and translating and she is better at speaking, thus creating a three way conversation with our Spanish speaking counterpart.  On the trail, Katie leads the way, the keeper of the map, the Kindle and enough stamina for the two of us.  Traveling with a good friend either forges a powerful bond or threatens to destroy the friendship.  Katie and I have been friends since freshman year of high school and adventure travel has done nothing but bring us closer together.  Traveling with Katie is like traveling with a sister.  Today is Katie’s birthday, and I wish for her many more adventures.

This is a portrait I took of Katie at the end of our hike through Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia.  The clouds begged to be photographed and as we said our goodbyes to the beautiful landscape I did just that, silhouetting Katie against the big, blue Patagonian sky.

[25] Image of the Week

“Acacia at Sunset”

What with my story being featured on Bucket List Publications and my revamping of the VICDA website, I’ve been missing Kenya a lot lately.  This photograph was taken during my first trip to Kenya in 2006.  I was on safari at Amboseli National Park and became obsessed with this gorgeous acacia tree that was at our campsite.  I have dozens of photographs of this tree, taken from different angles and at different times of day.  This was taken with my trusty old Nikon D50 which I sold last week for a mere $100.  It was hard to let that camera go, it was my trusty sidekick on that first trip and was the camera that helped me to become the photographer that I am today.  But it had been gathering dust on my shelf for several years and I saw no reason, other than sentimentality, to keep it.  I hope that its next owner will find it as inspiring as I did.

[24] Image of the Week

“Fire Thrower”

One of the nights in Mexico there was a Fire and Water show on the beach at the resort.  We were late in arriving to the show and were seated way in the back of the crowd but that didn’t stop me from attempting to capture a few images.  The show was very impressive and has a surprise twist at the end that I will write about next week (are you intrigued?)  The shooting conditions were less than ideal seeing as I was seated pretty far away and was yelled at by an old woman when I tried to stand in the back to take photos.  (My brother’s response to her calling me out: “I wish it were legal to hit old people.”)  Despite these hiccups, I did the best with the camera and lens I had in tow.  I wish I had read this article from Jim Richardson about shooting with available light before the show, but I think I was able to hit most of the points on his list.

Nikon D300 body and Nikkor 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 VR lens : ISO 1600 – f/5.3 – 1/100

[23] Image of the Week

“A New Day”

I have a bunch of sunrise photos from my recent trip to Mexico, but, for whatever reason, this one keeps catching my eye.  It was a windy morning and I repeatedly wiped the salty spray off of my lens as I tinkered around with the exposure and composition of my shot.  I find sunrises and sunsets great learning experiences in my on going photography training.  They are beautiful subjects that, while sticking around for a while, are always changing, thus creating new pictures every few minutes.  With this sunrise, I was at first frustrated at the lack of color in the sky.  As far as sunrises go, this one wasn’t very dramatic: no bursts of pink or purple or orange.  Just a little yellow glow in an otherwise bluish sky that slowly grew brighter.  But there is something peaceful about its simplicity.  The wavy ocean is contrasted by the smooth surface of a tide pool, framed by a lone palm tree, bent toward the wind.  I am a night owl and I’m not normally up before the rest of the world.  But, on those days when I do get up early, this image incapsulates the peaceful feeling of a new day.