Walk in the park – winter photography

Ok so there are people and there are people who like winter. Easy to guess whose side I am on. Not the point, though, I just thought I would put it out there.

Of course winter is not over where I live, and it will be here for a while actually, which is not that big of a deal because it’s been like that forever; we get continuous reminders every few days. Case in point: this past weekend. End of March and white is the new green, guys. I hibernate inside all winter long, but last weekend I decided to actually go to the park – not go, no, let me rephrase, drive to the park, about 20 seconds away from my home 🙂 – so drive to the park and take a few snapshots because I thought the trees looked nice. I am glad I did.

Now why am I saying this? Since I am not a photographer, i am just someone with a camera who would very much like to be a real photographer but for various reasons hasn’t got there (long story), I haven’t invested in super high quality lenses. I have a few, but not that many; the ones I have are not worth thousands either.  I mean I have never paid a thousand dollars on a lens. Never. Plus, I stopped buying lenses when I began thinking of upgrading the body, which has never happened either, see a pattern of setting myself up for failure constantly and quite intentionally? Something I do naturally, in the most effortless fashion you’ve seen, by the way. Just saying.

For a while I haven’t even picked up the camera, why would I buy more lenses? Now that I get to touch it every now and then I got back to the “my photos are not great cause I dont have great lenses” speech and almost decided to try to sell the ones I have. Try because I am not one to sell stuff, but I said I will give it a try and if it works and I can get a few bucks on the lenses I have, I will cover the difference and actually buy one or two serious lenses. I mean, wait till I get those lenses, my photos will be amazing! (sarcasm)

My mindset was set to I hate these lenses, they are not good enough to make me a photographer (sarcasm again 🙂 ) and that’s why I am not able to take good pictures. Until Saturday morning when i went for this walk in the park and snap, snap, snap. Came home, looked at the photos and it turns out I even LIKE some. I am happy with what came out. Sooooo it looks like these lenses are dying with me. Unless I decide to upgrade the camera, in which case I will have no choice but to buy new ones.

I think I shot this scene with a 55-250mm that came with the camera and it looks decent (if I say so). Will I try to avoid practicing because I don’t have the best gear ever produced? Heck, yeah. But at least I will have this to look at when I am holding my lenses above the trash can, ready to let go.

By the way I dropped one prime lens on vacation, it broke into many pieces, so now I have even fewer objects to worry about. I just wanted to end on a positive note hahahaha

M.

Lots of white – winter photography

It’s March. Which around here would translate to “it’s snow storm time”. Around 50cm of it to be precise.

Went out to get some photos of beautiful white snow – I am calling snow beautiful, wow – and came across this tiny icicle. Pretty cute. There is so much white outside, and I’ve been seeing white for so long now, it stood out right away.

While photographing it I remembered how excited we were as kids when we managed to get our hands on icicles. And we had good reasons to feel that way. It was either the end of a long wait, we were kids and not very tall, so we would be waiting for them to fall down for a while or a sign of improving climbing skills – climbing stairs, fences, trees, windows, cars. So it was a definite win for us in either case.

This time the situation is different – instead of hanging from the roof, the icicle was sticking out from a thick layer of snow. Piece of cake. I win!!!!!

American Woman – reflections photography

I love double  and multiple exposure. I just love how two or more totally different things come together in such as mysterious way in a single image. I would stare at them and try to separate them mentally and imagine what every individual picture might look like alone. Still, I have never created a double or multiple exposure myself. Somehow, I just can’t decide what would go well with what.

Since I like the intricacy of the final product but haven’t got around experimenting with double exposures, I have been trying to capture shadows and reflections in ways that would make separate things look interesting in a single image. I might have gone overboard as of late – especially on vacation when I could be seen taking photos of windows around the resort all day long while normal people were taking pictures of the ocean, the beach, themselves or fancy dinner plates.

The nicest thing is when things just happen for you and you’re just there click, click, click. Done. I was trying to photograph this mannequin in a store window in New York. Now, this has nothing to do with my personality or style hahaha, but I liked how American she looked. Full sun on a scorching summer day downtown New York, not ideal for taking photos of windows because all you get is just a blown up image of nothing. And that’s when you either give up and move on or use a friend to strike a pose. And that’s how you get this. Sweet!

So next time you see a nice window, strike a pose and see what you get. It could be beautiful.

M

Mexican Sunset – travel photography

Look who’s back here, peeps! Can I get an amen, because you are witnessing a miracle.

Wow, it’s been over a year. Memory would be something I could almost brag about in the old days, but something must have happened to my brain in the meantime, I think I forgot I had a blog. But I’m here. Now, I am hearing voices reminding me we’ve been here before. Been here, heard that. Can’t argue with that. I have been on and off, I mean actually mostly off if I’m being honest, but never away for over a year. I even think I said I was back for real a couple of times; it obviously did not materialize. I was joking. (Yeah right)

This is actually both funny and sad. I remembered I had a blog when I wanted to show someone a certain photo and this was the only place I had published it. So I remembered the photo, I remembered I had it up on the blog, but could not remember the name of the blog. Sad state to find myself in. Back in the day when I was an early adopter, I actually started a blog, many, many years ago. Then years later, I started this one for fun. Long story short, I totally ignored both and I got mixed up and didn’t remember which platform I used for which blog. I mean this says a lot about the present state of mind of an otherwise formerly intelligent person.

Now that I found my blog, I will really try to nurture it. I hope to get around to typing words in this space more often, I still don’t dare say the r word (as in regularly), but I am taking baby steps.

What’s been happening in the meantime? Nothing really notable, been to a few places, done a few things, learned a few thing along the way (hopefully) and went to work every morning, like the good kid I try to be.

I say let’s get this party (re)started, too much talk and not enough action. Since vacations are my favorite non human thing, let’s revisit a place I really, really love – Caribbean vibes, anyone? This has got to be one of my favorite photos from my latest trip to the beautiful city of Cancun. The first time I stayed on the Strip, I was a bit sad we didn’t get ocean view. And then something like this happened and I loved the world again. Couldn’t wait to go back last month, I knew this is what my evenings would look like. Forget sunrises on the ocean, enjoy sunsets on the lagoon, they’re at least as good, if not better. I have proof 🙂

Enjoy and hope to cross paths here again sooner than later,

M.

Undercover – wedding photography

Oh yeah, that time I went on vacation to enjoy the beach and ended up shooting other people’s weddings? It totally happened. And it happened fast, before I could regain control of myself 🙂

I researched the hotel online before buying the tickets and knew it is quite a popular destination for weddings, so I was kind of hoping to see a couple or two getting married from a distance, or so I thought, because I was curious to observe the wedding photographers and how they go about shooting a wedding. I got to the beach on the first day and noticed the wedding gazebo or whatever they call it was located in a very accessible place, right next to the beach chairs. It also just happens that we sat right next to them the whole time we were there. I thought at least some of the area will be sort of cordoned off somehow on wedding days. Who wouldn’t want a bit of privacy for such a special event? You know, a little bit of space to share with family and friends but not sunbathing crowds, who by the way, seem to be attracted to weddings like bears to honey. I even expected to find “our” chairs removed so as not to interfere with the event/landscape. See, I like to think that I am beginning to look at things with a photographer’s eye (wannabe photographer, obviously) and I wouldn’t have liked to see beach chairs in the frame had I been a real photographer.

Anyway, long story short, here I was on the beach one day when I noticed movement around us. I thought this is it, they are decorating the place and then will probably bring in some screen or something to kind of define the wedding space a little better and create a bit of separation for the event. Tables, glasses, DJ equipment, everything was brought out but the screens never made it to the beach. People wearing actual clothes (as opposed to the rest of us) made their appearance. Music starts, people stand up, here comes the broom, here comes the bride, wait, the wedding is happening right now.

I used the second chair from the gazebo the entire week, so I felt like I was really part of these weddings. And how can you be indifferent when you’re right there in the middle of the action and also happen to have your camera on hand? And so this is how I got to actually photograph other people’s weddings without ever being invited to them and without them even knowing. For the record, I was not intrusive and I was not the only one 🙂

M.

Social is fun, solitude is better – beach photography

Just tell someone you don’t have Facebook and they will probably think you are a bit of a weirdo. Who doesn’t have Facebook in this day and age, right? That’s where we get our news, declare love for one another, document our daily calories intake, keep up with gossip and encourage people to get out and vote. Fair enough. Nothing wrong with any of this.I do this all the time and I am still sane.

While on vacation recently I realized that FOMO (fear of missing out) is real and I am one of the many people suffering from it. In spite of the fact I am generally not that interested in what other people do with their lives, you know, how they go about their daily routine and stuff like that, I confess I found it very difficult to stay away from my phone’s screen even though the scenery was picture perfect and everything around me was basically everything I think I want from life – ocean sounds, blue skies, no pollution, cocktails miraculously finding their way to my chair, loved person by my side, no deadlines and plenty of light (I hate darkness). Perfection. Wifi on the beach? The cherry on the cake.

Being a fan of beach walking, I walked for hours everyday and I eventually reached no wifi land. NO wifi? Does that even exist for real? Not in my world. Panic. I need to focus on nature. I need to take my fingers away from the screen. Close to impossible. Why and how did I get here? Will I ever survive?

Actually, I did. And this is what I saw. Is it better than super photoshopped pics making it hard to recognize “friends” in? By far. Is this healthier than staring at a screen all day long? Sure thing. Does it allow me to simply exist and think of important/pleasant/funny/serious stuff that matters to me alone and not anyone else? Oh yes.

This place, that exists for real, allowed me to exist. It allowed me to simply be. It was finally just me with myself and that was enough. I was enough.

M.

PS I am not quitting Facebook anytime soon, but I realized that sometimes although social is good, solitude is better. And I will try to revisit it more often.

Mushrooms – Halloween photography

I often say I would move to a hot place in a heart beat and never look back, but I have to admit that since I’ve started taking pictures on a more regular basis – yeah right, three times a year can qualify as regular – the constant change of seasons has grown on me. I still hate winter and that will NEVER change.

The different colors, textures, smells are indeed interesting, but I have started noticing something that would probably,most likely, go unnoticed  before. Light. I love how different seasons have an impact on light. And although summer is still my favourite season of them all, light on a sunny, warm fall day is my favourite kind of light. Not only because it looks good in pictures, but also because it makes the sky look amazing. And I am a BIG sky lover.

Every year, around September my yard is taken over by a mushroom invasion, which is so cool because I don’t really have time to go places to take photos. Having them in the yard gives me so many opportunities to practise and play with different camera settings. I have a growing collection of mushroom photos taken these last years, I am even thinking about maybe gathering them together and doing something like a mushroom series because I find they look better together. They are the same mushrooms each year, yet look so different every time. Although there is nothing amazing about them in the sense they are the boring, common type growing all over the place, I still think they look so pretty.

So in the meantime, very likely to be something like a few years based on how much time I put into photography, here’s one I took this year. Halloween is coming up, too. What would be a more appropriate image to start the Halloween 2015 season than a spooky mushroom photo?

I am a bit late, I know, supermarkets have already started getting out the Halloween stuff in July, but I will eventually catch up 🙂

M

Paradise Found – beach photography

I am someone who is known to be a bit intense when it comes to stuff I like or hate; if I love something, I tend to make sure people around me know it, if I hate something, people around me end up knowing it too. I tend to immediately know what I love and what I hate, but the thing is I sometimes find it just too difficult to know what I like. Sweet souls having experienced immediate love for a pair of shoes in the store only to have second thoughts right after bringing them home certainly understand. Just like they will probably understand why that yellow Italian leather bag has to come home with us the moment we spot it in the store in spite of the $400 price tag. That sweet “OMG we need to be together and nothing can keep us apart” feeling
You know, that feeling that can get quite intense in spite of our efforts to keep calm and breathe. Recently my heart skipped a few beats the first time I saw the place pictured above. I am not much of a drinker, but I do enjoy a good wine or a funky looking cocktail, so every now and then a bar makes its way on my “favourite places to be” list. Pair those cocktails with a beautiful, beautiful beach, AMAZING music playing in the background, the best (human) company I could ask for and you get the image of the place that made my heat stop for a second. Love at first sight.

This time around, I think I found paradise.

The most wonderful time of the year is not what you thought – travel photography

The most wonderful time of the year might be Christmas for the rest of you, but let me disagree and declare vacation time the most wonderful time of the year for me.  And vacation, vacation, vacation does rhyme with location, location, location right? Well there’s a reason for it – vacation location is important. Especially when the first glimpse of your vacation destination gets you so excited you wish your plane landed only to take off again and then land again, take off again. Imagine the photo opportunities?

This is a country which knows how to make an entry, so to speak. It was my first visit and right there, right then, on that plane I realized I was going to have the chance to get close and personal with the sexiest country I have seen so far. There might be others and we just haven’t met yet, but the Dominican Republic stole the show and revealed itself with such grace I instantly fell for its charm.

If this place does not scream sexy at you, I don’t know what other non human thing does. I mean a non human thing captured on a cell phone screen, to be more exact.

M

Spring Photography Overload. Was to be expected, really.

I love surprises, but no surprise here. To build on my last post, and based on my shooting habits that rarely take shape elsewhere except around my home, you’d think I am not able to manipulate this darn camera elsewhere, I am afraid the blog is about to become the digital (trash)can lol where all spring photos go (to die maybe?). But hey, what the heck? They have to go somewhere after all, don’t they?

I have a few hundred of them, which makes it a bit hard to choose, hence the overload that’s expected to hit this space for a while. Then I’ll try to move on to a different theme.

So, without much ado, let’s get down to business! Photography business.

M.