European Discovery!!

InnisbrookHey guys, how are you all? Today I wanted to share with you guys tons of pictures of my trip across Europe. I took a trip with Contiki tours which is an organized tour for individuals between the ages of eighteen or thirty-five. The trip was really spectacular. I went from London to Amsterdam, Rhine Valley, Munich, Innisbrook, Hopfgarten, Venice, Rome, Florence, Paris and back to London again… ALL IN TEN DAYS. Really this was one of the most life changing trips I’ve ever taken. I really didn’t take any pictures in London because I’ve been to the city so many times but here are some highlights from my trip.

My favourite city of the entire trip is definitely Venice with Florence being a close second. I just love how the cities are so warm and exciting. Venice was a dream, really. And we really didn’t get to spend enough time in Florence because we were literally there for less than a day and then quickly hopped back onto the coach bus for France. Rome had been one of my most looked-forward-to destinations but in general the city didn’t live up to the dreamy expectations I had had in my Latin and ancient history studies. The highlight of Amsterdam was the Anne Frank Museum and later in Germany, we took a detour into a concentration camp in Dachau which was a really eye-opening and humbling visit for me. Innisbrook and Hopfgarten were the coziest and sleepiest towns I’d ever been in. We were literally whispering on the streets because of how tight-knit the community was. My favourite part of Rhine Valley was the wine tasting because their white wines and ice wine was just absolutely A-MA-ZING.

On the bus >v<France though was probably one of the most hectic days for me. The night we arrived in Paris, we headed to the Eiffel Tower, went all the way to the top, checked off my bucket list and then ran down EVERY SINGLE STEP back to the coach bus cause we thought we wouldn’t make it in time hahaha. The next morning, my travel buddies and I woke up extra early to get into the city by seven. Since the Metro is so convenient, we got into the Notre Dame on Easter Sunday which was really wonderful. Next stop, I headed to the Louvre while my friends headed shopping. Then over to Angelina’s for some delicious brunch and (famous) hot chocolate of course. Finally, we walked down the Champs-Elysees and hiked up to the Arc de Triomphe. The entire trip ended with a fabulous night at Moulin Rouge with singing, dancing, good food and good wine. All in all, it was an absolutely magical and fantastic trip. If you guys get the chance you should definitely take a tour with Contiki cause it’s a great way to meet new and diverse people from all over the world.

These are just some of my main highlights from the memories on my trip. Hopefully in the next week or so I can skim through my travel video clips and put together one or two vlogs to share on my channel. Till then, I hope you guys enjoy some of these pictures =)

Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Munich in Germany, Innisbrook and Hopfgarten Austria…

Venice, Rome and Florence in Italy…

Paris, France…

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Ice & Green (A Winter to Spring Photoshoot)

Hey guys how are you all? Today I’m back with another photoshoot… it snowed and hailed in the UK this week and because the snow is so scarce in the UK, there was still so much green in the grass and trees after the mini snow episodes. I loved the contrast in textures, colours and shapes captured in the gardens and walls around my residence.

I definitely think I pushed my DSLR to the max this time and the closeness of the composition made it painfully obvious that I was reaching the limitations of my basic Nikon D3100. But alas, the prices for full frame DSLR cameras are out of this world and I don’t see myself getting a new camera any time soon… The sigma 17-70mm macro lens did a great job capturing all the finite details of the webs but focusing was a challenge because I actually used an extra macro x10 filter to get in REAL CLOSE with my subjects. The few pictures of the squirrel were last minute decisions because it took quite a bit of creeping up to my fuzzy friend before I got the shots I wanted. My photos with the squirrel made me really want to try wildlife photography one day…

Here are my best and favourite pictures from the shoot. The shoot itself was unplanned but as I shot more and more, a coherent theme for the pictures emerged through the artistic composition. The pictures feature sharply defined subjects and splashes of colour over the UK’s grey  landscape. I shot each subject at least two or three times to get different angles and lines as well as different sources of lighting. I’ve only edited brightness and contrast for some pictures. Others are raw ones just watermarked for artistic copyright purposes. There’s an overall sense of transition in these photos; from winter to spring, wet to dry, light to dark, empty to full. I hope you enjoy.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Time & Fashion~ (A Fall Photoshoot in Manchester)

Hey guys how are you all?

I haven’t done an actual photo shoot in a long while… this was mostly due to summer review schedules, lack of inspiration and a lot of traveling over the summer. Recently I’ve decided to do a year abroad in the UK and where I’m staying, many of the old landscapes and greenery in certain areas of Manchester have inspired me to develop a new creative project using fashion photography as a medium to express visually, through textures and colours, the different periods of time throughout the day.

Our photo shoot spanned around six to seven hours and as you scroll down the post you will probably see the mood of the photographs shift from white-washed vibrant and clean lighting to grungier, darker and sometimes angrier atmospheres. The change of lighting and mood was one intention I had in mind at the start of the shoot but seeing as this was a fashion shoot through and through, I’ve fiddlled with lighting and ISO in the last seven photographs (refer to end of post) to create compositions inspired on the spot by circumstances and setting.

Everything here was taken with my basic Nikon D3100 and Sigma 17-70 mm f/2.8-4 DC macro, a combination of my most familiar pieces of equipment. Though I brought an Sb-400 flash along with me, changing ISO and manually adjusting settings was sufficient for the shots I wanted. Only a handful of photographs (mostly in the evening shots) that lacked sufficient lighting or vibrancy have been modified with curves and brightness on Adobe Photoshop CS4. Most of these are raw shots taken straight from my SD card.

Morning…

Noon…

Early Afternoon…

Evening…

With natural light fading quickly in the early evening, I decided to blend the various sources of light from my camera, surrounding city lights and what remained of the cloudy daylight. The results of the combination of artificial and natural here are the different palettes of colour veiled over each of the photographs. While some photographs can clearly be distinguished as morning or evening shots, others have become somewhat ambiguous. These seven compositions also break away from the initially polished styles of the earlier photographs going for much more artistic and even edgy flair.

I do think these are some of the best pictures I’ve taken to date so a special shout out goes out to my beautiful friend Kenzie for helping me out with these shots. For a first time model, she was one of my most versatile and cooperative subjects I’ve ever worked with. Thank you so much for all your hard work!! 🙂

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

K-On! Movie Review

It’s a really cute series about friendship, music and the laughs of life. That’s what I love the most about K-On! It’s a really light-hearted and sweet anime. The music is catchy and the characters are really fun to watch. … Continue reading