All posts filed under “hike

Long Ridge Open Space Preserve-3
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Happier at your own

It has been quite a few weeks since last time I edited my own photos. Lately I had the chance to do some aggressive editing taken with the 5D Mark ii and D800, I cannot help but marvel at the image quality and the depth that these two bodies creates when paired with good lenses.  Now go back to my good old friend camera, I started to generate a love/hate relationship with it. I have a FujiFilm S100fs (google it) and believe it or not most of the pictures on this blog were taken by it. This is… a very …unique… camera, neither a snapshot toy nor an entry-level DSLR, but it has everything a beginner could learn photography about. Even now, this camera still surprises me when I discover something about it that I never know it is capable of. When I got it in 2007 roughly when it first came out, I never see me going into photography at all, and I never touched the wheels and buttons except the scenery shooting mode or the AUTO mode. I was very proud of me getting this camera (I was no photographer and yet have a nice pro looking CAMERA) regardless what people around me saying oh it was good but far from a DSLR. For me, my understanding of DSLR at that time was a camera that can change lenses. And I thought why would I need to change lens when this little thing has a 28mm – 400mm zoom range! What could possibly be better than this camera?! (I start to get a little sarcastic, but don’t get me wrong.) I assure you that I never regret I had this camera and if I had to choose a camera to start with based on what I know now, I would still probably pick this one. Because it is such a versatile camera who does everything okay (for a beginner) and makes you struggle and think. It also saved us some financial disaster since I didn’t even bother to get crazy with all the lense and gears at an early learning stage. Instead, I work with it or make it work, or live with the fact that it is not going to work. It was about 2 years ago, I started taking pictures using this camera the way any beginner uses a DSLR. I don’t remember how many times I was amazed by its capability. For things I learned, I tried on this camera. Aside from its zoom range, it shoots RAW, it does AE bracketing, it has a shutter speed as fast as 1/4000s, it does macros and super macros(0.4 inch), its lens can be overridden by manual focus. There’s almost nothing that could be found on an entry-level DSLR you couldn’t find on this one. I joke that this camera is a beginner DSLR with a kit super zoom lens weld on it.

With that said, anything will eventually hit its limitations. This camera has helped me made some beautiful images. However, there were definitely times that I wish some of the images were taken with a better sensor; I wish I could shoot wide open when I need; I demand more sharpness and controls…simply put. When I really started to push this camera to the limit, then I realize what it is not capable of. It’s time and I know it from heart.

For sentimental reasons, I will never put it away. Also, sometimes it’s just not about how sharp or how superior you camera and lenses are, it’s about whether you get the shots or not, it’s about recording those special moments into timeless memories.

So, I said to my precious little camera: I have pushed a bit far on your capabilities, so instead of me whining about what you can’t do, I am going to let you do what you do the best. I hope I will make you happier at your own.

BTW, these shots were taken by my hubby… applause

Long Ridge Open Space Preserve Hike

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Half Dome Conquered

Yosemite Valley, Tunnel View

Let’s first get the things out. We started from the Yosemite Valley floor at 7:16AM and finished at 9:42 PM to hike the round trip to the summit of Yosemite Half Dome, in a total of 14 hours 26 minutes, 19.6 miles and 4902 feet elevation gain.

It was one of those things you can’t die without doing and the one you are most likely feel like dying while doing… It was AMAZING, but also BRUTAL, I am not going to lie. However, it was worth every piece of sore muscle I am suffering right now. It was a spectacular Yosemite day hike that is full of water falls, quiet forests, and breath taking panorama views. Our limits were challenged, our courage, strength, and even the tread of our shoes were all tested.

Also check out the sunset views of the Half Dome at Glacier Point we visited just in this April.

El Capitan, Yosemite

[ Up: El Capitan, Yosemite Valley ]

Yosemite Valley, Merced River

[Up: Yosemite Valley, Merced River]

Yosemite Fall, Yosemite National Park

[ Up: Yosemite Falls, the tallest fall in North America ]

Upper Yosemite Fall

[ Up: Upper Yosemite Fall ]

Little Yosemite Valley

[ Up: Little Yosemite Valley ]

Nevada Falls

[ Up: Nevada Fall ]

[Up:  Gazing at half dome cables at the sub dome ]

Ascending Half Dome Cables

[ Up: Ascending the Half Dome Cables ]

On the other side of the Half Dome Cables

[ Up: Summit view on the Half Dome, taken by iPhone ]

Descending Half Dome Cables

[ Up: Descending the Half Dome Cables ]

Explore half dome | (lien direct)

versatile blogger award
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The versatile blogger award and seven things about me

This morning, I found a nice little surprise in my comments box. I was once and first being nominated for something.

Thanks to Stephen Zawodzinski, author of An Inspired Line, who has nominated me for “The Versatile Blogger” award. I also want to take this chance passing my appreciation to all my audience who have been incredible readers and followers.

To continue the nomination tradition, the seven things about me:

  1. I cook everyday and I have been learning to cook global cuisines, Spanish, Italian, French, African, Scandinavian, Southeast Asian, Japanese, Chinese, Californian, etc.
  2. I don’t use synthetic chemical facial or body care products, I don’t use make-ups.
  3. I have extraordinary sense of smell, taste, hearing and balance.
  4. I want to live on a farm if possible.
  5. I believe it’s only through doing something good to people to society and to the earth, do I experience the fullness of life, whether it is through sharing, giving, or even creating an organization to make a positive impact.
  6. Words of joy, happiness, peace, love, gratitude, courage, belonging, wholehearted, and enough inspire me and empower me.
  7. I am not afraid of being vulnerable and imperfect. I am not afraid to put myself out there even there’s no guarantee. I rather focus on who I am and what I could bring to the people and the world.

I would like to nominated the following bloggers for the “The Versatile Blogger” award:

  • “The world needs better men. This blog is simply about my journey to become a better man and the things I run into along the way.” – The Better Man Project
  • “We both love the outdoors and enjoy camping, hiking and biking. We love to get out and explore new places.” – cravesadventure
  • “An Inspired Line is a chronicle of inspirations, dreams and goals, and interests.” – An Inspired Line, Stephen Zawodzinski
  • “Don’t ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don’t change to please others.” – Talinorfali, Talin
  • “He began taking photos during the summer of 2009 … and immediately fell in love with photography as a way of telling a story…”- Andrew Dickinson Photo, Andrew Dickinson
  • “I love to capture people and their interactions and I do not want to hurt anybody by taking their picture.” – Klara’s Street, Klara
  • “How to self-publish and why you should.” – Let’s get digital, David Gaughran
  • “I’ve been shooting, directing and telling stories for more than 25 years. My philosophy: Technique is important, but It’s really about people.” – blogradstone, Richard

Have fun being nominated!

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Post Oregon Adventure, Part III – Redwood National State Parks

This is the not-so-Oregon part of our adventure crossing the state line on our way back along the wild coastline, the home of the tallest trees and vast prairies.

[Up] Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail

Even nowadays, I still believe that trees are witches and spiritual. They are always watching people on the earth; they move their branches at night and whisper about things happened around them. They are our ancestors and they’ve watched and gone through so many things that we don’t know. They have so much to give to the earth and yet they complain and request. They are just standing tall and tall. While walking through the woods, I almost felt being watched and protected. I lightened the footsteps and lowered the voice, because the ancient forest are listening quietly.

[Up] a fallen redwood in the middle of Nuewton B. Drunry Scienic Pkwy

[Down] Broken redwood falling apart

Our story with the redwood got more interesting when we actually saw a tree falling and completely blocking the road in front of us. This huge guy hit the road like in slow motion and the red trunk pieces fallen apart everywhere. We were shocked and amazed.

On the other hand, fallen redwoods are part of the circle of life in the ancient forest. By falling down, they created space, light and nutrient for the new comers.

[Up] The founders tree on Avenue of the Giants

 In the end, we also had lots of fun driving through the redwoods.

[Up] three redwood trees we drove through

 [Up] A little hawk I spoted in the forest