High sand dune, low lagoon

Huacachina, Peru is a pretty cool place to take photos, though it’s very touristy. I did not ride the sandbuggy nor sandboarding, my husband and I walked (or crawled) to to the top of the sand dune. We were stepping away from the tourist-heavy parts to admire these waves of sand.

Huacachina desert
Continue reading High sand dune, low lagoon

Postcard pastime

Here is my postcard collection. This is only a fraction of it. I get postcards from friends when they go on their vacations and I return the favor. Plus, when I travel I sent postcards to myself. It’s my little souvenir.

I also do this thing called Postcrossing where I would send a postcard to someone in the world and I would get a postcard back. I did this in my early 20s when the thought of travelling somewhere was just a dream. At the time, I was working an entry level job so I was not making a lot of money — just enough to pay for rent, food, gas, student loans, some fun, other debts, and some savings. Receiving postcards kept my dream of travelling somewhere alive — a reason to go on vacation. I guess I did a lot Postcrossing in my early 20s because I felt like I was in a funk.

Continue reading Postcard pastime

Finding blues and greens in the city

The most underrated feature of LA would have to be the nature and finding it is a lot closer than you think. I enjoy going to any green space to clear my mind after a long hard week at work. I know my husband fantasizes about living in the countryside, but to be honest I think he’d be tired of it very fast. If we lived in the countryside, would we seek solace (or fun) in the city if country life got monotonous? For me, I like to think finding a piece of nature in the city is a treat.

Some hiking trail in Chatsworth
Encino Resevoir
Somewhere in Griffith Park. This is one of my favorite photo where you get the downtown LA Skyline and the Griffith Observatory.

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Cool Colors – Blue and Green (host: Tina)

Some green and blues I came across the blogosphere:

John’s Space – featuring the most gorgeous lilacs!

Slow Shutter Speed – A beautiful ocean drive from San Jose to Pacific Grove.

Leya – A beautiful collection of greens and blues.

My Camera and I – Another beautiful collection featuring this lake.

Bulldog travels – shares photos from the Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens. I haven’t been to that place in years. I loved how that city is so bikeable and walkable — although incredibly expensive!

P.A. Moed – Check out that mural! It’s stunning! Very Narnia like!

The Showers of Blessings – A very interesting history of peacocks in the San Gabriel area. Since I live in LA it explains some of the street names.

Bend Branches – beautiful sky shots!

Spots and dots

“A line is a dot that went for a walk.”

Paul Klee

Ann-Christine brought up a fun theme this week and it’s Spots and Dots! Well I certainly have fun with this theme — there’s just something pleasing about looking at a circle. Here are some of mine:

Chinese lanterns 🏮 in Chinatown Milan
Lamps in Descanso Gardens
The largest macaron I’ve ever had. Plus a smaller one in the background. This is from Bouchon Bakery in Beverly Hills (no longer there).
A flight of beers at some Portland bar
Don’t forget–scoops of ice cream!

Here are some Spots and Dots that caught my eye in the blogosphere:

  • Ramya Tantry – that umbrella garden looks dreamy :-).
  • Brenda – a very unique photo. The double exposure effect makes the leaves look like little dots.
  • Amy – stunning macro shots of the rain drops resting on the leaves and the window.
  • Suzy – another beautiful macroshot raindrops on leaves.
  • GERIATRI’X’ FOTOGALLERY – featuring dots in artwork, rooftops, and ceilings.
  • John – captured shots of water in motion.
  • Chris Mosseau – more water shots. I love how the drops rest on the blades of the leaf.
  • Aletta – a great collection of dots on a guineafowl, a mosaic, and a wooden horse.

Find me in a garden…

My favorite place to go are gardens and parks. I like to go there to find calm from a busy week. Also, I like to learn about different plants and grab some inspiration for my own yard someday. Every year during the holiday season I remind my husband we have to go to the garden to enjoy the holiday lights. Forget going to the mall! I’m going to the garden. Plus don’t forget to reserve tickets as early as possible!

Anyways, here are a few gardens I’ve visited in the past. For this week I went through my WordPress media archives to find plenty of garden photos.

Getty Villa in Malibu

getty villa malibu entry tree

A Mediterranean style garden in Malibu.

The Arboretum in Arcadia – Moonlight Forest

I have not gone to the Arcadia Arboretum in the daytime. I only went there a couple years ago for the holiday season where they transformed the place into a garden of lights. These are just a few of the photos I took that day. The original post was from a previous Lens-Artist challenge.

Descanso Gardens — Enchanted Forest

Another garden I visited during the holiday season. I love how the different colored lights are shining on the branches; the blue looks little magical but the gray branch with the green in the background looks little creepy. Here’s the original post with a few more photos from Descanso Garden. I’d like to return for the cherry blossom festival in fall.

Huntington Library

Huntington Library is one of my favorite places to go. I’ve had a couple of posts featuring a picture or two — but that’s nothing, it deserves a solo post. Many years ago, I entertained the idea of having our wedding at the Huntington, but we did not have $100,000 for the venue fee. If you are wondering, the fee does NOT include food and beverage, photography, music and entertainment, flowers, rentals, tents, supplemental security, and cost of event planner or producer. I understand they are an estate first, not an event center.

https://japanesegarden.org/Portland Japanese Garden

When we were in Portland, we rented a bike to explore the city. We went far enough and ended up at this Japanese Garden. It was not in our itinerary, but it we thought “let’s check it out.” It’s a small garden but there’s lots to see!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #147: Gardens (Host: Amy)

Pick a pastry

Sugar brings happiness. Eating it once or twice a week in a dessert, that’s what life is about. There is nothing wrong with it.

Adriano Zumbo

One of my favorite things about travelling is eating pastries and desserts — it’s always on my travel itinerary. This is from a pastry shop in Rome. Feel free to pick one — or pick them all!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #142 – You Pick It!

Harpa Concert Hall

The unusual shapes and the way the walls and ceilings capture light makes the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik a fun building to take photos. One of my biggest regrets was not watching a show at the Harpa — I don’t care what show. It could have been a concert, a comedy act, play, or a ballet — I wanted to watch something at this concert hall. We went to Reykjavik in November of 2017. I told my husband I would like to return here in the spring or summer when is greener. Maybe we’ll even watch a show at the Harpa.

Harpa on a sunny day. Around 11 am.

Elongated hexagons
Hexagon on hexagons
Rectangles, parallelogram
Cubes

The Harpa when it’s dark at eight in the morning. Yes, we made a second visit to the Harpa the following morning. See how it transforms in the dark. It looks like the building transformed from clear crystals and silver to smoke and rose gold.

Rectangles

November in Iceland is short. The mornings are dark and the sun stays up for a few hours before setting around 4 PM. That is why I wanted to avoid saying morning and night.

Do you prefer the Harpa in the light hours or the dark hours? Comment below!

Lens-Artist Challenge: Geometry

CMMC – Bright Rectangles

Life in Color: Green

My favorite color is green. To me I find it relaxing, yet refreshing. It is a marriage of a calm color (blue) and bright, happy color (yellow). Since I live in a city, finding patches of green makes me happy. I’m not saying I’d live in a rural area. I enjoy the conveniences of city life too much. To me, a trip to the park is enough to boost my mood and give me respite.

These are closeup shots of leaves from a trip in Japan many years ago — 2007 to be exact.

Natural Light

I don’t remember the last time I’ve used a filter on social media. Maybe when I first got my dog, Teddy? I thought, “why would I filter my dog? He’s great just the way he is.” That was about six years ago.. Since then I have not bothered with filters and presets and it’s been incredibly liberating.

Teddy does not require a filter.
Neither does Koda

Anyways, here are some photos with no filters. I enjoy playing with light when I use my camera whether it is an SLR or my phone. I like to let nature be the painter.

Hiking trail in Hollywood
Iceland
Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest
Chau Doc, Vietnam
Amalfi Coast, Italy
Joshua Tree, California
Salton Sea, California
Lake Tahoe, California
A road trip from many years ago. Somewhere in the USA.
Downtown Los Angeles from my work place

One year ago today…

Saumur, France

Last February, we went on a multi-city trip around Europe. Who knew this was going to be the last time we’d travel like this for a while. Nowadays, we don’t even travel outside of the county to visit my in-laws. I tell myself we will travel again.

Oh yeah…I was pregnant and did not even know it at the time.

The weather in LA today looks and feels like the weather when we visited Saumur last year. Just as cold, just as gray.

Life according to my first digital camera

The first digital camera I ever bought with money I earn from my first job was a Canon point-and-shoot camera. Before that I would buy a series of cheap point-and-shoot 35 mm cameras and one-time-use cameras with money I earned through meager allowances and babysitting gigs. The Canon camera was my first big purchase in my life — it was the first items I bought in my life that was more than $50 — actually I remembered it was around the ballpark of $250+ in the early 2000s. At the time, my Canon point-and-shoot was the most expensive thing I owned and I was devoted to taking care of it, hoping it would last me a long time. From my senior year in high school at 17 years to 23 years old, it had a pretty good lifespan. Here is where it took me according to my Canon:

Lens Artists #133– My Photography Journey

Striped and Checked

This week’s photo challenge was a little tough and then I found this little gem. This was from my Zion trip back in 2016. I went to Zion many years ago before, but I did not recall this unusual checker-pattern rock formation.

Striped and Checked