Tag Archives: photography

Photography Fridays

So on Wednesday I saw that the mountains looked really nice, and so did the sky during sunset. Why is that? The gross inversion that envelops the city every year. Let’s admit it. It looks pretty but it’s a killer. Since I couldn’t leave campus after 5PM due to work, I snagged my camera and took pictures of the mountain ranges to the west and to the south. I’m glad I did. I found out that I wasn’t the only one wanting to take pictures- a few other people were doing it, too!

Please do not repost this image. Copyright belongs to me.

Dreams of Travel

You know the whole nature vs. nurture thing? I wonder about it sometimes. In a post from about two weeks ago, when I talk about swimming, I said I was “born to be a water girl.” Honestly, I love the stuff. It’s still a goal to swim in a lake and a river. But that’s a tangent. Do I love the water so much because I grew up in two states that was surrounded by water on at least three sides? Was it because I was on the swim team for a bit and grew to love that? It was likely caused by my environment, not who I am.

What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, I ask because I’m also a traveler. I love to travel, and I get restless if I sit in one place too long without a change of scenery. I can only change my scenery so much without a car. In this situation, my desire to travel was caused by my dad. He took the family places all the times. Canada, Mexico, Japan, the Bahamas, a ton of states. Lots of national parks. And road trips. Those are a blast. I’ve been traveling since I was a few months old. Now that I’m in college, I don’t get to do it often. Poor college kid and all.

First Google image if you type in “poor college student.” We get shirts?!

There’s something refreshing about hopping in a car and traveling somewhere you’ve never been. The view outside of the car changes. You blast music- or, in my family’s case, Dad picks something to listen to and moves it up to the front of the car so the kids can blast their music with headphones in. You talk and laugh and maybe have a hard time hearing what’s being said at the front, and then there’s a lot of yelling. You have a map to know where you’re going, but maybe something looks interesting so you go there for a bit. Hello, 18-something’s town. Then you lose cell service and if you don’t have a map, you better hope the one driving wants to stop for directions instead of driving aimlessly.

But that’s life, right?

This is what my family does during road trips.

I talked with a friend last night, and we got onto the topic of traveling. I think we both agreed a road trip is a cool thing. I don’t actually remember, because I’m running on 4 1/2 hours of sleep and quite a few things have slipped my mind, despite my attention to details. I just remember I said road trips are cool. I recall saying something about how I wanted to road trip somewhere I had never been, to somewhere radically different from where I’d grown up, and take pictures of everything. Document the journey.

I’ve grown up in suburbia. I can tell you I’ve seen a lot of concrete and a heck of a lot of water and desert. To me, anything with more than a few trees is green. When my family went on a cross country road trip last year, I stared out the windows a good portion of the trip because there were trees everywhere. We joked, “What is this green stuff at the side of the road?” Then we were up north and there were all those fields, I found it interesting. For a bit. Then I became tired of seeing corn. But plants! Green! Not neon lights and metal and concrete!


Of course, my friend laughed when I said certain places were green to me. He grew up in a place where there was green everywhere. The concept of someplace really green is foreign to me. Maybe, one day, when I have a car and money and can road trip, I’ll visit green places like his hometown. I’ll visit places with forests and rivers. I won’t do urban landscape, oh no. I can do natural landscapes. I’ve told one of my closest friends that we should do a road trip. It’s been a topic half of my friends have been going on about during summer. We keep thinking, “You know what? A road trip would be way fun.” We have different destinations in mind, though. One wants to go to San Diego. Another wants to go to another place in California. I want to go northwest- so Washington, Oregon, Idaho. (“Spokane’s a nice place,” is what my close friend said when I mentioned Washington.) I’d also like to go to the East Coast, but that’s more for history interests. Plus, I’ve been to the East Coast a lot. I want to spend a bit more time exploring the West Coast.

This ties in with something else my friend and I had talked about. Dreams. He had a lot of really cool dreams, but “none of them will come true.” That’s better than me, I told him. I didn’t really have dreams. Then it occurred to me that no, I do have a dream. A dream that’ll likely never come true because it’s 1) expensive and 2) kind of an all-or-nothing thing.

That dream is to travel the world and take photographs of all of the gorgeous places that exist on our planet.

This is the photo that I claim started it all. An accidental good shot.

I love photography. I’d love to be able to do something with it. But if it doesn’t work out, what do I do? Go back to being a linguistics major with no idea what to do with her life? Admittedly, I can probably get to traveling by being an ESL teacher. People want ESL teachers, right? Plus, if I improve my Japanese and learn Chinese and Korean, I can be a translator in those countries. Companies love multi-lingual people, right?

That’s probably the one dream I’ve had for a while, with slight changes. I just wanted to travel the world when I was little. Now, I want to travel the world, see the amazing sights, take photos of those amazing sights. Walk, bike, ride a train, bus, or taxis. I miss trains. That’s how I got around in Japan. Good memories. Also one of the only vehicles I can fall asleep in. Taste the food. Soak in the culture. Explore. Get lost. Go on adventures.

People in Motion

Today, I went to go take pictures of a family friend’s daughter. She’s an ice skater, and I’ve always loved watching ice skaters because what they do seems incredible. They’re so graceful, too. It’s really, really neat to watch them. She was only practicing, but I wanted to take pictures of her anyway. The mom asked me if there was any particular theme to my assignment, and almost without thinking I said, “I enjoy people in motion.”

And really, I think taking photographs of people moving are one of the better things I do. I take photos of the frisbee group I’m a part of. Some of those photos are funny, others look awesome, and others are complete duds (out of focus shots suck). But they’re interesting subjects because they’re so dynamic. They move, all the time. And this fascination with people in motion explains why I like watching certain sports so much. I love watching swimmers. Really, that one is because I’m a swimmer myself. But I love watching swimmers swim, because all the strokes are so different, requiring different skills. I’m fascinated by butterfly swimmers. That’s the hardest stroke for me, but it’s so cool to watch.
I like watching the guys I play frisbee with, because they’re so different. Some get good verticals, others dive, others run. If you can take a picture fast enough, they’re in the best poses. Sometimes it looks like people are flying, or they’re levitating the frisbee. Or you catch the funny moments where people barely miss catching the frisbee.
I like watching dancers because they move so much. They look graceful, and I’m always trying to figure out how people do moves. I love watching pirouettes. I’m horrible at them. Funny how I love watching what I’m so bad. Can’t do butterfly, but love watching it. Can’t do more than a single pirouette, but I love watching dancers do pirouettes. With dancers, if you catch the right moment, everything looks put together so wonderfully.
So when I took pictures of the girl skating, I hoped to catch moments where she looked graceful and looked absolutely stunning. And I did. Sometimes it’s a shame I’ve occasionally got to watch things through a lens, when I’m so in love with the way people move.

Go Utes!

My friend is somewhere down there in the band…

We beat UC Berkley, 47-29. Very satisfying game, and the first PAC-12 game we’ve won this season. It was important (at least to me), considering how we’ve lost all the PAC-12 games thus far. It was really cold though, and because we’re smart, a friend and I brought blankets to huddle in during half-time and whenever we sat down. The third friend never brings a blanket, and just took from us. Somehow, we stayed the whole game instead of leaving at the start of the 4th quarter, because Cal scored almost immediately in the 4th quarter and we were worried. But in the end, we won, and that’s what counts.

With seven seconds left in the 4th. Cal gave up at twenty seconds.

I’m surprised I made it to free food at the tailgate. Mariko (the one with no blanket) did laundry and we didn’t leave until 6:30 or something. By the time we got there, the burgers were lukewarm, but they were food and I accepted it. Anything to avoid having to pay $6 for a burger in the stadium.

First snowy day!

The Huntsman Center in all its snow-covered glory!
This is kind of a big deal for me. Having lived in Florida, Hawaii, and Nevada, I’ve only seen snow when I visited Mt. Charleston (when the snow is hard and packed), when I went to Park City for winter break (but it wasn’t the first snow), and the one freak time in Nevada that resulted in a snow day but it didn’t snow since. The other few times it snowed in Nevada, I was in California. So those days don’t count for me.
When I woke up this morning, I looked out my window. It’s a habit. Usually gives me an idea of how to dress up. And I saw snow. Actual, honest snow with snowflakes (hail, some people called it, because it wasn’t flaky, but it turned into snow later) outside my window. I took my camera with me while I walked around. It’s not every day you get to see beautiful snow like this, and I think there’s something to be said about the first snow of the year.
I’m the only ‘foreigner’ in my room, meaning I’m the only one who lived somewhere else prior to coming to college. One of my roommates looked disappointed because she couldn’t wear what she wanted to that day. Another said, “Oh, it’s going to be one of those years.”
…’Those years’????
The TRAX station
I had a moment to myself to evaluate some of my thinking, while I was doing an assignment for my IT class. I realized how important it is to carry around a camera with you in your daily life, because you never know when you’ll see something beautiful. Sure, if you don’t have a camera, you’ll take a picture with your mind. But do you know how faulty the mind can be? It’ll start putting in details that weren’t originally there or you’ll forget things. In pictures, everything is exactly as it was when the picture was taken. Nothing’s changed. I should start carrying my camera around more often. I don’t give a crap what the other students think. I like taking pictures. So I’ll keep taking pictures while I still can, because those are important to me.
I will leave off with some more pictures! Enjoy.

Miller Bird Refuge

For a class, a group of friends and I hopped on a bus and went to the Harvard Yale neighborhood. We got lost trying to find it (and then as we came out of the Refuge we found out that the spot where we got off was the true entrance of the park). However, it was a beautiful place! Especially since it was all decked out in fall colors and the leaves blanketed the paths.

We were right next to Red Butte Creek, and the stream gurgled very happily the entire time.
You know, despite being called the Miller Bird Refuge, we only heard birds the last fourth of our walk. A friend speculated it was because the birds had all gone south, if they knew what was good for them.
I took a ton of pictures. My mind was actively working the entire time we were there. I’m writing a story, and this seems like a perfect place to draw inspiration from. I think I’ll come back here at one point and take some time to write. This is an absolutely gorgeous place in the fall. I want to see it in winter, spring, and summer. I also want to go back with my boyfriend, N. It seems like the perfect little retreat, and, because I know that he enjoys nature as much as I do, he will appreciate the beauty of this place.
A place I’d like to sit and write.
There were very few animals. Only in the last half or so of the walk did we hear birds chirping or see a snake. A snake! My roommate screamed and ran forward, but when we saw the snake, it was this little thing, not a cobra. He was such a cutie, but the only guy in the group went to grab it (probably to see what kind of snake it was), and the poor thing freaked out and tumbled down the hill. I’ve never seen a snake tumble down a hill. It was a little sad.
Near the actual ‘entrance’, there was a random lamp post. I immediately yelled “NARNIA!” and decided I should come back in winter (after it snows) to see how the lamp post looks. I’ll definitely take a picture of it then.
The Harvard Yale neighborhood is actually on the class list for the next walkabout, and I really want to go to this neighborhood. It has gorgeous architecture, and I’m honestly in love with the style. I’ve always imagined my future to be in a house of a similar design. Brick, quaint, and cute, with ivy on the sides and a nice enough yard to have a garden. Some of the houses were one story, some were two. They all had the same style, but the design was just different enough from house to house that it didn’t seem cookie cutter at all! Much different from my neighborhood in Nevada.
Aren’t they beautiful? Someone did bring up a good point, though. She loves these houses, but she probably wouldn’t be able to live in them because they’re so small. In my opinion, I’d stay in the smaller houses initially, but when my family grows, a slightly larger house (like the first two) would be best. But having to clean a two story house sounds like a lot of work… Let’s see, shall we? These is the kind of house I see myself in, living with my husband, two dogs, and my kids, while gardening and being very peaceful. I’m idealizing my life, I know. But what a life that would be.