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?

Nathan Sykes Concert in Newcastle, UK

Hey guys! I hope you are all well. Today I wanted to share with you some long overdue concert photography. I had the pleasure of seeing Nathan Sykes in concert earlier in April at Newcastle in England.

For those of you who don’t know, Nathan Sykes was previously a member of the Wanted and is recently pursuing activities as a solo artist now. His new music has snappy brass sounds and immesenyl catchy beats. It was such a pleasure to hear him live because he is SUCH a powerhouse. Shout out to my flatmate Mia who dragged me to the concert in the first place. It really opened my eyes up to a whole new talented artist int he music world.

Since my friend was super busy fangirling at the front of the stage, I set myself up a little farther back. I’d only brought my Nikon 1 J3 with its original 10-30mm and 30-110mm zoom lens since I was afraid they wouldn’t let big DSLR cameras into the show as all the music featured in concert were completely new songs. I shot in shutter speed priority and manual mode, switching between both depending on the song and how quickly the performers were moving. The J3 did surprisingly well but there was still a lot of post-processing work involved with exposure and lighting. For photos that didn’t quite colour well with the settings, I rendered black and white. The grayscale style also goes quite well with the concert atmosphere I think. Overall I’m quite pleased with how the photographs turned out and though I haven’t shot a concert in over three years, I hope you guys enjoy these photos nonetheless.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

Spring Light Outdoors Photo Shoot (Nikon D3100 & Nikon1 J2)

Hi guys, today I wanted to share with you a new and fun little photo shoot I did outdoors. Spring is quickly turning into summer but I wanted to bring out a lovely spring green foliage kind of aesthetic. For this shoot I chose anime figures with colours features that both complimented and offset the bright verdant shades of the outdoors. I brought two cameras with me this time – the Nikon D3100 with a Sigma 17-70mm lens and a Nikon 1 J2 with the 10-30mm lens.

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out if I want to invest in more lenses in the mirrorless series with the J’s and V’s of Nikon so I wanted to see how it compared to the usual DSLR I use. Naturally the DSLR proved to be a lot more versatile in all settings and technical respects however I found that the J2 was able to give me some really nice shots as well. I would highly recommend you take a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with you for light travel photography. For the shots from the J2, I found that I had to edit a bit of lighting in every photograph while the DSLR almost always gets the exact lighting and metering I want. I used a Manual mode for the J2 and continuously swapped aperture and shutter settings according to the lighting in each environment. For a mirrorless, the J2 handled the shooting reasonably well.

Shots from the Nikon D3100 (absolutely no editing done on photoshop; only text was added) There are a lot more shots with the D3100 because when I do any sort of photo shoots I move at a lightning fast pace and only a DSLR can keep up with the lighting conditions and the speed at which I shoot. I really enjoyed a lot of Lacus’ final shots because her pink hair really pops against the green background. As well, her character has one of the most natural poses and expressions which makes her a great model for lazy spring afternoon settings.

Shots from the Nikon 1 J2 (edits include contrast and curves on Photoshop CS4) The hardest photos to edit were the Miku Vocaloid ones because all the green in Miku’s hair and the green around her reflected and bled into the light giving some of the shots a greenish hue which was difficult to edit. However, the greenish hues in the lighting reflected beautifully with Saber’s green eyes creating a pleasing balance to the overall composition. Any sort of mirrorless camera will end up flattening a lot of the colours and shapes – I felt that really challenged me as a photographer to find and create depth by changing the positions of the subject along with the sun.