Something Red: HDR Tonka Truck

My sweet lil red pick up from when I was a kid.  Not sure why I still have it all these years later.  It could be due to the fact that I have a hard time letting go of things.  It used to get in everybody’s way when I was a kid, and I got threatened quite a bit that they’d toss it out if I didn’t take care of it.  Little did I know back then that they sucked at keeping such promises. 😉


HDR #1: The Annhilator vs The Bug

*squeals with delight* Yup, my very first HDR.  I know it should have been some super inspirational shot of beautiful fields and amazing clouds. But we’ll save that for another time.

The Newest Member of the Family

On the first day of photography class the teacher told us we would need a tripod.  Since he stated it would be necessary after spring break, I waited until spring break.  Or a week after spring break.  Of course.  First we went to Frys, and got a tripod that was super disappointing.  It was so weak that when I screwed the head into the camera, the screw broke.  Uh, yea. That got returned very fast.  Before that I had seen tripods that were said to be very good online that cost $150, and I really did not want to pay that much for it.  To be perfectly honest, no my photographs are not really worth that much.  Hoping for the best, we went to Best Buy, and got pretty lucky to land a tripod that cost $60 and feels pretty sturdy.

Looking at these pictures large, rather than the thumbnail is muuch better. I seem to find pink/red flower pictures a bit fussy, it gotta be just right in order to appreciate their beauty.

Something Red: Don Juan Climbing Rose

I don’t typically go out and get the roses in time.  What usually happens is that my mother reminds me repeatedly, until one day I finally go out.  By then I find that all the petals had fallen off and they’ve turned into rose hips.  Which is okay enough, since you can make jam from rose hips.  And tea, if I recall correctly.  But anyway, this time I got to enjoy the multitudes of red, healthy roses, happily welcoming me into their side of the garden. *pats myself on the back*  And then I clipped ’em.  *ouch* And pulled their petals off. *double ouch*  And then we made rose petal jam out of it. *drool* Of course.  At least they were once happy.

The Cream Rose

I haven’t taken pictures of roses in a while, firstly because our awesome mulberry tree was sucking up most of the nutrients and the roses bushes have been neglected.  The other reason is because I was stuck in the rut of taking pretty average shots, and then look back going why did I even take that picture?  I guess because I have a digital camera, and if I’m not wasting film it doesn’t matter how lame pictures I take, right?  By no means was this an inspiring shot, but hey, it was worth a try.  I processed it quite a bit using a LightRoom HDR preset called Wizels, and then tweaked that a bit to make it brighter and all that good stuff.  [The preset is downloadable here for anybody who uses LightRoom.]

This was just black and white and then softened to give a dreamy effect.  [The soft and dreamy preset is downloadable here.]

Japanese Garden in CSULB

When I was a kid, I’d often tag along as my father would drop my sister off at university.  One day he noticed there was a Japanese Garden, and decided to check it out.  I didn’t really remember much of it, I only remember the bridge and that it was pretty.  I do remember that we had finished pretty quickly, and going back there I realized how small it is.  Pretty surprising given how much open space there is around the garden.  What else is surprising is that there are no names near the plants, and I really hate not knowing the names.  They do realize the garden is within the university, and hence a little bit of free knowledge for the passerby would be nice, right? Second gripe is the lack of cherry blossom trees.  Maybe they’re tired of Japanese Gardens and cherry blossom trees being synonymous, but I’m not tired of it…yet.  Third gripe…ok, nah, there is no third gripe.  😉

I did have a good time though.  The day was bright, the flowers were pretty, the koi were lively.  There was this cute little girl in a red kimono, and I really wanted to take her picture but felt way too nervous asking the parents if I could take a picture.  The memory is in my head at least. 🙂

This was a lucky shot in the parking lot. Lucky because the battery was depleted and I almost didn't get it.


Victoria Beach: Time to say bye-bye

Yup, we were in and out pretty quick.  Long enough to enjoy the beauty, quick enough to miss the waves start crashing with more force.

We made the mistake going home along the PCH. It was insanely busy, and this was the bit where you actually saw water while driving. Lol.

Victoria Beach: Searching For The Treasure

So we walked down the steep pathways and loads of stairs, and lo and behold the beach is in sight.  We get to the water, and look around.  Wait.  This is Victoria Beach, right?  So, um, where’s the tower?  Ok, oh well, some other time we’ll get it, for now let’s just enjoy the water.  Nah, instead my sister ever so persistently decides to trek through the rocky path, and then comes back to triumphantly tell me she found it.  So I nervously follow…  I just realized she had to make that trek twice just cuz she had to come back to get me.  Oops.  Sorry sis.