Monday, April 29, 2013

A Day at the Washington, D.C. Zoo

We just got back from spending a trip in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Even though this was my second time there, it felt like a totally new experience. The first time I visited the city, I was a chaperone with a group of 25 amazing youth, this time I was visiting with Joe.

We did and saw a lot in DC, so I decided to divide the almost 1,000 photos I took into different categories for my posts. This first post is about the zoo, one of the most amazing zoos I've ever visited. I'm not always a fan of zoos, but this is quite fabulous and definitely has the wellbeing of the animals as their top priority! I'm still amazed at the fact that it is free and that you just walk into it, without having to go through any kind of gate, checkpoint, etc. Inside the zoo, we wandered the many trails, seeing animals in some of the habitats and not being so lucky in others. I love that about this zoo, and about the more conservation-oriented zoos: the habitats are so big and so well-designed, animals don't have to always be on display, exposed to people's noise, children's screams, and camera flashes.

Here are some of my favorite shots from our day at the zoo. I hope you enjoy them. For more fun photos, visit my Etsy store at: or my website at:

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Sun and the Sea

At the beginning of this year, I signed up for my first photography class ever, which started about 3 weeks ago. Since then, I've been learning lots about photography, and I have been enjoying discussing my work with other students during our critique sessions. Every week, we are given an assignment that requires we bring 5 photos for the following class showing what we learned the week before. Our main focus so far has been light. We have had to learn more about how to capture light in order to get photos that can capture the images we see with our eyes.  As simple as that sounds, there is a lot that goes into it, especially when using the Manual setting in your camera!

Because I love being a student, I've really been taking my assignments seriously, going out to capture light at different times of the day. Here are some images I took last week. Most of them were shot at the early golden hour during sunrise, and at the late golden hour during sunset. I'm so lucky to live only a few blocks from the water, and only a short drive from a beach, so a lot of my photos take place seaside!

I hope you enjoy these photos! For more fun photos, visit my Etsy store at: or visit my website at

Tomorrow morning we leave for Washington DC until Sunday. I can't wait to photograph the city and to post some images from that trip!

Sunset at the Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Rays covering the boat at Aquatic Park

Cute little boat at Aquatic Park

The sun setting behind the hills of the North Bay

Downtown and Aquatic Park at Twilight 
Windsurfing south of Pigeon Point

The sunlight turning everything orange

The sun shines on some rocks at Pacifica during sunrise


Bay-front apartments get the golden light of sunset

A surfer takes a break at Pacifica early in the morning

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One of the Docks of the Bay

The other day, we were walking around the city and, I don't know how, we ended up in the most touristy part of the city, walking elbow to elbow with people. As we made our way through the crowds (which I totally don't mind!), we saw an empty road that led to a small dock that had no people on it. We felt drawn to it so we walked there. There we saw a row of colorful boats, cool water reflections, old structures, and even Mickey Mouse!

I hope you enjoy this photos. For more fun photos, check out my Etsy store at:


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Big Sur in Bloom - Part 2

Here is the second half of photos from our trip to Big Sur. I saved the photos of the field of poppies for last to not take away from the beauty of each single flower.  Enjoy the photos. I'm starting to think that poppy-blooming season is my favorite time of the year!

For more fun photos, visit my Etsy store at:

Yellow Poppies 

Fields of Poppies

More Fields of Oppies
Yellow Poppies on the cliff

Endless fields of poppies
Orange Poppy in the Sun

Yellow poppies with the Ocean on the Background

Orange Poppies in the Sun

Orange Poppy in the Sun

Orange Poppy on Highway 1

Poppy galore!

Poppy closeup 

Tall Poppies
McWay Falls in Big Sur

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Big Sur in Bloom - Part 1

Last Saturday, we rented a car and we left for Big Sur around 5 p.m. We had no campground reservation and no plans other than finding poppies (fields of them) and photographing them.  The poppies in San Francisco were almost in full bloom and I knew that their full bloom indicated this was the time to go down to Big Sur to try to find these fields of poppies I'd seen once at an art gallery in the area.

The drive down was a bit over 3 hours and, to our luck, the camp host was kind enough to let us set our tent on the edge of a group site. Our good luck was just beginning.

The next day, we woke up really early and we were at the trailhead around 7:30 a.m. We hiked for a while on the side of a mountain overlooking the ocean. Gorgeous. The entire trail was full of flowers in full bloom. There were red flowers, white ones, yellow, purple, orange... you name the color, it was there, on the side of the mountain.  About 2 miles into the hike, we found a glorious patch of poppies on the edge of the mountain. I stopped and started photographing away.

After the hike, we started the drive back. We stopped as soon as we spotted the (elusive and hidden) fields of poppies and spent quite some time trying to capture the vastness of the place. An orange blanket covering the field that stopped at the edge, where the ocean starts. It fills me with such happiness to have seen this!

Mission accomplished. We kept driving back to SF, only to stop at Julia Pfeiffer State Park to look at the waterfall that falls about 80 feet into the ocean. Total perfection.

Here are some shots from this impromptu trip, which I've divided into 2 parts to make it easier to absorb all the beauty of this amazing place. Enjoy!

For more fun photos, visit my Etsy store at:

The arms of the Santa Lucia Mountains coming into the Pacific Ocean 

Flowers blooming along the trail
Beautiful butterfly

Highway 1 in the distance

Fields of Poppies

More flowers. All colors: purple, white, pink, yellow.

Wild yellow poppies on the cliff

Orange poppies at the campground

More poppies
Dramatic purple flowers with the best view