Friday, July 30, 2021


One of the other places I was able to visit was Two Lights State Park. Unfortunately, there was just enough of a drizzle for me to ground the drone, but I'm not sure if I can fly in a state park, so maybe the rain was a good thing. While walking along the coast, I noticed how the waves crashed only on this rock. I took my ND filter and closed my aperture to lengthen the time the shutter was open. It took multiple attempts before I found the perfect wave, but the wait was well worth it. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Mackworth Island

As I was searching Google Maps for nearby photo opportunities, I found Mackworth Island. Arthur Mackworth was given the island in 1631, and the name has stayed since. It now has a 1.5-mile trail that meanders along the outside of the island. The direction of this image is of the road that leads into and out of the island. I chose this direction to highlight the New England-style houses and used the road as a leading line to direct you towards them. 

Monday, July 26, 2021



Welcome to Maine! Straight from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic. I luckily was able to swim in both oceans, each with its benefits and drawbacks. The Pacific was warm but with no islands, and the Atlantic was cold with islands. The swimmer part of me chooses the Pacific, but the photographer part of me chooses the Atlantic. Both oceans have their benefits, but I like the Atlantic more as it has better views. When I first arrived where I would be staying, I immediately knew I needed a picture of this house. It seemed almost too perfect. The lone house perched on the open bay. To capture the vastness of the bay, I took a panorama. It is not as wide as others I have taken in the past, but it is wide enough to capture the bay while focusing on the house. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021



For my final image of the adventure, I wanted to show something that captured both the city and the ocean. As I mentioned a few posts ago, due to the full moon, high tide was higher than average. This meant that the waves crashed further inland. I positioned my tripod on the beach and waited for a wave to crash. The water made the sand shift, which made the image blurry, but my foot is a good stabilizer. Then, after a few tries, I was able to capture this image. 

Monday, July 19, 2021



During one of the few clear sunsets, I sent the drone up thirty minutes into the nighttime. I was greeted with bright street lights and dim stars. One of the reasons why the light spread so much into the sky was due to the fog. Right after sunset, a thick fog rolled through. I believe this is from the temperature difference between the ocean and air, but I have not done enough research to know exactly why. This fog reflects the light which causes this glow above the city. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021



Even after using this feature multiple times with the drone, I'm still impressed by it. Somehow a flying object that is subject to wind can take crisp long exposure images. Of course, if there is any gust of wind, it will ruin the image. But most of the time, this style of photography is successful. This style works best when there is a moving object, and the long exposure captures the motion, but it also works for capturing subjects in dark light. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021



During one of our final nights on this adventure, I tried to photograph the full moon. I waited and waited, then waited some more, then I decided to check when it rose. 10:43 pm and it was 9:15. I packed my gear and started walking around town when I found these palm trees. I positioned my tripod as low to the ground as I could, then shot upwards. As you can tell by the blur of the trees and clouds, it was windy that night. I was discouraged by the blurriness at first but changed my mind once I realized that the stars could be the subject and not the trees.

Friday, July 16, 2021



After taking a few drone images, I ended the timelapse on my camera and positioned it to face the road. I added my neutral density filter to increase the shutter speed then took the image. One trick I used in this image is covering an object with another. In my case, a few construction vehicles ruined the mood. I used a flower bush to block them, hoping to make a more impactful image. If I were to change one thing it would be making the flowers more in focus. It would be nice to see some definition on them, but regardless, the image turned out great. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021



Near the spot of yesterday's image comes this one. North of Torrey Pines State Park is a public beach. As I was looking around, I noticed all of the lines from this angle: the lagoon, highway, parked cars, and ocean. The sun had set by now, which meant the only way to take a properly exposed image would be with a longer shutter speed. This was both good and bad. The good being smooth waves, the bad being blurry cars if they were moving. But, I think the waves are more important than the cars, and the image turned out quite well.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021


Some days I like to plan my sunset spots, and others I find on Google five minutes before leaving. We had just finished dinner, and I hadn't decided on a sunset spot for the night. I opened Google Maps and found a place called Sunset Seat, appropriately named. There was a line of cars parked along the highway, and that's how I knew the spot was a good one. There is a little trail system that leads to some cliffs overlooking the beach, I randomly took one then put down my bag. I sent the drone up, took a panorama, edited it up, and am now posting it. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


High Tide

When I think back on my California trip, this is the image that comes to mind. After some incredible food at Del Mar Pizza, I walked down to the beach to watch the sunset. I found a path above the beach and continued south. Eventually, I found this lifeguard stand that was closed for the night. There happened to be a full moon that night, and it was high tide. These two made the waves higher than average, causing them to reach the stand. I had the drone take a long exposure image and snapped the shutter.

Monday, July 12, 2021


While it may look like all of the sunsets were clear, that is because the few sunset pictures I post are the ones when it isn't cloudy. Right after this sunset, a low fog rolled in and blocked a starry night. But for this image, I utilized the ND filter trick I mentioned a few posts ago and slowed the motion of the scene. It may seem weird that the drone was able to stay still long enough to take the image, but if you start the exposure right as a gust ends, you should be able to capture the image without any blur.

Sunday, July 11, 2021



Panoramas are something I have seen many photographers do recently. I have done a few in the past, but nothing where I was purposefully trying to take one. But, when the sun was to the west, and the people were to the north, I knew there was only one option for this image. The trick to a panorama is to have the horizon line perfectly level. It took me a few minutes to realize this, but once I did, I immediately realized how incredible the image looked.

Saturday, July 10, 2021



This image is something that is not the most interesting, but its simplicity is well needed. As I was taking panoramic shots and flying the drone (both pictures that I am posting later), I noticed this ship to the west. I believe it was a military ship, either Coast Guard or Navy. Regardless, I like how the sky is bright all around it, and the ocean is rough and dark. Then, in the middle, is the one ship.

Friday, July 09, 2021



Since most of the days were cloudy and the sunsets were not optimal, I had to find other objects to be the subject of my images. I use this technique often with my camera but had only experimented with it once on the drone. The idea is you put a neutral density (ND) filter on the lens, and it darkens the image. It allows the shutter to remain open longer, and it creates a blur in the moving objects. I utilized this to smooth the waves and to add more depth to the seemingly calm city. 

Thursday, July 08, 2021


Beach Side

On one of the few sunny days we had, I was lucky enough to see the Pacific Ocean and the Palomar Mountain Range. The timing of this image was very unexpected. We decided to check out a new clothing brand, and since I wasn't interested, I decided to fly the drone. I only had time to fly for five minutes, but that was plenty of time to take this shot. Then right after I landed, I had THE BEST burrito ever. Yes, I said it. The place is called The Taco Stand, in Encinitas, California. Steak, avocado, cheese, and fries in a burrito? Yes, and churros and condensed milk to wash it all down.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021



On another adventure, we drove in then hiked around the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Unfortunately, they prohibit drones from taking off and landing within the reserve, but that didn't stop me from finding a few compositions. About thirty minutes into our hike, I noticed this overlook, Yucca Point. The point offered incredible views of the ocean to those on it, and from my perspective, it created an entirely different image. I saw dramatic formations on the rock contrasted by the smooth clouds. And between those parts are a group of people looking off into the ocean. 

Monday, July 05, 2021


Free Flowing

After a few days in California, I was ready to pedal again. Luckily, the hotel we stayed at had bikes to rent. I opened up Google Maps and found this location, San Dieguito Lagoon State Marine Conservation Area, right next to the Del Mar Fair Grounds. It looked promising from the satellite pictures, so I biked on down there. At this area was a river of seawater that created a unique ecosystem of birds, fish, and plants. I sent the drone up to capture a larger perspective of the land, then took this image. 

Sunday, July 04, 2021


Coastal Highway

Next to the beach was a (slightly annoying) train track. It allowed for both passenger and cargo trains to go through. We happened to stay near a railroad crossing, and every time a train went through, you could hear it rumble. It wasn't much a problem during the day, and at night the trains would generally stop, but at 5 am, it was a little unpleasant. But during the day, the tracks provided the perfect leading line in an image. For this picture, I was flying the drone when a train went by. It might seem like I was lucky to be in the right spot at the right time, but with the frequency of the train, I had many chances to take the image. 

Saturday, July 03, 2021


Del Mar

My next adventure takes us to Del Mar, California. It is about 90 miles south of Los Angeles and is situated right on the water. Unfortunately for us, we arrived during June gloom, a time when most days have cloudy skies. For our first sunset, the clouds created a slight gap long between the Earth and sky. This trend continued for the rest of our stay, with most sunsets blocked by the clouds. Regardless, I was able to take some incredible images and some even without clouds.