I recently visited Colorado Springs and little did I know, this is where the Star Trek Chapel is located! OK, so I made up the Star Trek name, but can you blame me? This is the chapel at the Air Force Academy and is wonderfully designed building. From any angle, either inside or out, it is breathtaking. The closer you get, the cooler it is. It actually has several separate rooms on different levels to accommodate different religions. Each was beautiful, but the indoor images below are from the main hall.
When you are in the area, make it a point to see this place. As you head in to town, you can’t miss it off to the side of the road set below the majestic Rockies and Pike’s Peak!
This small piece of grassland was sitting atop a secluded hill overlooking the ocean in Hawaii. Besides being beautiful, the winds coming off the ocean enveloped my body which was incredibly refreshing and one of a kind. For a little while, this felt like my own little paradise as hardly anyone drove by. You can read more about the reason hardly anyone drove by and why it was secluded, from my post The Road Less Travelled, Literally.
I am slowly trickling out photos from my Hawaiian trip as I go through and find the ones that mean the most to me. For me, this photo just brings a smile to my face as I place myself back in that grass atop that hill.
From now until 11/15 you can get 25% off any print/product in my Portfolio store! Wall prints, greeting cards, mugs, and many more items are available through the professional printer I work with. This could be a great gift idea for someone who loves pretty things. Below is a small sample of some images. Be sure to check out my portfolio for more!
At checkout, use coupon code: OCTOBERABP25 for an instant 25% off.
If you are following me on Instagram, you would have recently seen an image of me prepping my photo gear for a shoot… well, this is the family I was heading out to hang with! Meet the Capes Family. I fun-loving group who pulled together for mom’s birthday present – these photos! We had a good time and the park that we went to had plenty of beautiful fall colors in action.
Check out the pics below and let me know what you think! Clicking on an image starts the gallery viewer. Happy Fall!
(Click to enlarge)
On my recent trip to Maui, my wife and I “found” a road that unexpectedly turned out to be one of my favorite adventures of the trip. We were looking to get back to a certain part of the island and the GPS kept taking us back through what looked like the long way. Going the ‘short’ way was never shown as an option…I thought “hmmm, well now I just have to see for myself if there is a road this way, because it just looks closer on the map.” That and I like exploring, so this intrigued me. I soon found out why the GPS never gave this route as an option.
This was a fantastically scenic route, but it was also a fantastically SCARY route! The road quickly turned into a two-way road, but with barely enough room for one car… for miles and miles. Luckily, not many people were on this road, either from all the mainlanders blindly following the GPS’ instructions or because they have taken it once before and swore to never voluntarily take it again! However, there were a few cars on the road and these few were enough to really make me sweat. [The video below is a short clip showing the moment where we faced oncoming vehicles on a very narrow road, rocky cliff side on the right and a straight drop on the left.] Luckily I found a small indentation in the mountainside and backed my perfectly pint-sized Nissan Versa into it, allowing for barely enough room for a couple of cars to squeak by. Mind you that the trusty Versa was not my first car choice, nor my second. Or third. In fact, I literally told the rental car attendant when she came back with my keys and told me my choice that “I hate that car.” Little did I know that it would take me almost 800 miles in a week and through the edge of insanity, above the clouds to the top of a volcano, and miles into “4×4 only” country to see a Hawaiian Red Wood forest. By the end of the trip, I had a deep respect for that little car!
But I digress.
When it was all said and done, I would definitely take this wild road again. There was a spot at the top that just seemed magical. Isolated on the top of a Hawaiian cliff with the ocean and valley surrounding each side of me, along with rolling grassy hills and the best tropical winds you can imagine. All at dusk. Does it get any better? I will save you the guessing, it doesn’t. I think the crazy road allowed for this place to stay special and isolated. The shot above (best viewed large) was taken at this spot as my wife took a moment to take in the scenery. This little spot will stay with me for some time for two reason: It felt totally tranquil, serene even. And almost dying for 2 hours straight has had a strange effect of burning the experience deep into my psyche!!
If you get a chance, take the road less travelled. You
might will be glad you did.
This picture below is when we successfully returned from our experimental off-road journey to the Red Wood forest! Notice the sign…but more importantly notice the thumbs-up!
After a good time in Maui recently, I have a few photos I will be sharing. This is a portrait I really liked taken during a beautiful sunset.
The California coast is so pretty, you can be walking down the street and catch a 4 ft wide view of a harbor and it will still be gorgeous! I thought this little peek-a-boo view between these homes was a magical moment during this sunset…not quite as magical as these homes’ views, but hey, still pretty nice!
I love this picture. So peaceful, so beautiful.
I recently took a trip to Cambria, CA for the weekend, just to get away. While there, amidst relaxing and just taking in the relaxing surroundings, there were these large birds playing in the coastal winds (sorry, I don’t know what kind they were – maybe you can tell me!). They are incredible animals and it was awesome to watch them play in their natural habitat!
Mostly a black and white set, but I liked this color version below and wanted to share that one too.
Last post for 2012.
I continue to try to improve my portrait skills, so here is one of a pretty girl and a handsome guy! (my wife and me ).
My wife and I recently visited Kauai, HI. We went there for our honeymoon 2 years ago and loved it so much that we went back. It is so beautiful there, I highly recommend it to anyone who has not been! They call it the “Garden Isle” for a reason – 360 degrees of beautiful, raw nature.
While there I took my camera, of course, and attempted to capture they way I saw the island, the beauty. Below is a collection of those images. I singled out a few below and then put the rest in a gallery below these. I hope it gives you a sense of “Ahhh”
Took a trip down to La Jolla, CA last Saturday for my wife’s B-Day and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day! Since I wanted to give all my attention to her, I didn’t dare bring my camera…. because once I whip that thing out, it’s “bye-bye Andy” and we can’t have that on her B-Day, right? Right. Well, what I wasn’t counting on, nor was she, was that my new phone has a pretty awesome camera on it… This was my first time really digging into it and I was really surprised at how good some of the shots were!
Well, after this discovery and wading knee-deep into the oncoming rising tide taking photos, I caught myself and waded back out of the water before I got cold from the water and the cold shoulder from the wife ;). I only kid about that part though, she has no problem with these little mini excursions – she was taking pictures of me out in the water trying to get the shot below.
Happy 4th of July!
Taken with HTC One X phone
Me as my sanctuary rock is quickly getting swallowed up…
While out in Colorado, I came across this random dirt off the main highway. I turned down just out of curiosity and I am sure glad I did. I felt like I was out in the middle of nowhere with a fantastic view of the mountain line at sunset. It was a gorgeous sight!
This is the follow-up color photo relating to my post below.
I love this photo for a few reasons. First, the setting this took place and how it came about. This picture was shot on my apartment patio in a quick fit of creativity as me and my wife were heading out to run errands. The green backdrop is a table-cloth that I had forgotten on the patio from the previous week. I saw it and realized it was an opportunity to ‘spice up’ the photo and threw it over the laundry compartment door. I think this came out looking so interesting for how quick and ‘by-chance’ it all came together.
The second reason, is the hat. I bought this hat for my wife about 2 or 3 years ago, thinking it was cute…she thought it was cute too! But, alas, living in Southern CA does not give too many opportunities to wear Eskimo hats…She finally got to wear it for a purpose and now I have a great lasting memory of it in case she never wears it again ! The third, but not last, reason I love this photo is obvious, it captures my beautiful wife in such a lovely light. It is a memory I will have for the rest of my life.
I love my wife and I think she is beautiful. That is the point behind this post (she hasn’t seen this photo and she doesn’t know I am posting this… hehe).
I captured this photo of her the other day and I really liked how it came out; it was such an intimate moment caught in time. I have a color photo from the same session coming soon, stay tuned.
This last week I was honored when a good friend asked if I would photograph his family portrait. Of course I said YES, that was a no brainer. But, with that answer, this was no longer a fun hobby to take “meaningless” pictures…I had to deliver for a family’s memories! So, needless to say, nervousness set in. I was pretty calm until the day of the shoot – the importance of not screwing up really set in!
However, this family is one of the nicest you could ever meet and made me feel like one of them. The atmosphere was very casual, calm, and playful as you can see in the photos. The time of day in these shots was a little later than preferred, making the light a bit harsh, but I think they turned out good considering that fact. After the “official” family shots, we all kinda just hung out on the beach during that beautiful CA morning. This gave way to the kids playing and the other family members getting involved. I was able to capture a few candid shots of a family just enjoying each other. It was awesome.
I think the family thought I was doing them a favor, but in reality they were doing me a favor by helping me to really focus on delivering something worthwhile. And for that, I say “Thank You!” Below is a sample of some of the shots. Click for bigger versions.
This last Friday it rained most of the day. As the rain stopped and the clouds began to clear, my wife and I decided to take the dogs out for a brief walk. Now I live on the 3rd floor of my building so when I went outside I was able to see that the ensuing sunset would probably be awesome (I could only see enough sky to be teased at what might be)! So, at that moment I decided that I had to see what the full sunset turned out looking like – I went back for my camera and car keys and decided to bolt up to a high ground I know to see if there was a view. I invited my wife and dogs, but they wanted to stay and pee on things (primarily the dogs, that is).
After I was at the spot for about 15 minutes, shooting pics, it hit me that on my dash out of the apartment I locked the door because I fully expected my wife to join me! Mind you it was pretty chilly this time of day and my wife, who needs a blanket when it is 75 outside, was in a T-Shirt and pajama pants with the dogs… and now locked outside. So after it finally hit me that my wife was locked out, probably freezing and without a phone, I [took a few more photos] bolted back home. When I arrived it had been about 30 minutes since I left and she was out on the sidewalk giving me a look that seemed to say “well, what do you have to say for yourself?” I just rolled the window down and said “SORRY”… Turns out she was very understanding and didn’t care. Whew!
I reached my spot and had a pretty nice view for such short notice. The sunset/sky/clouds were amazing. The natural grandeur of a “simple” sunset after a rain is breathtaking. I wish I could have spent a bit longer out there, but I was happy with what I was able to see and the few photos I shot.
Sign out where I was shooting
This was my first attempt a portraits. I definitely enjoyed the process, but have a ways to go. I can tell that this is a genre of photography that I can see myself really getting into! To start off with, I have easy access to a beautiful lady…my wife ;).
We had the idea for me to practice photos, so we jumped in the car one evening and just drove. We were looking for anywhere appealing outdoors just as an excuse to get out and shoot. Luckily we came across an undeveloped lot of land that looked out over the city, letting the sunset in perfectly. I think I got there a little too late because I did not have as much time as I would have liked to photograph. However, with that being the case, I am pretty happy with the way these turned out.
For Labor Day I visited my family. They live down in the desert of CA where a typical summer day is 115 - almost just as typical are 120 degree days. So after visiting I drove back up to Orange County and after the three hour drive, I arrived. The beautiful weather got me thinking how I do not appreciate the beauty of where I live enough. It was this thought that made me take a spontaneous left to Laguna Beach instead of the right turn that lead home. I drove down to the beach with my wife and two dogs and we walked along the beach. It was perfect timing – I drove straight to the closest parking and found a parking spot open – that alone is a miracle during the summer time! We arrived just in time to catch a beautiful sunset; I was able to snap a few photos – What a confirmation of thoughts!