Happy New Year! 2014 was a exciting year for me both personally and professionally. Travelled to many places, made new friends, experienced many new adventures, tasted all kind of foods and captured a lot of exciting images during my journey to Asia. On this post today I’d like take you back to one of my favorite journeys in 2014… Alishan in Taiwan.
Up in the mountain of Alishan, grass is green and air is crisp. Mountains of tea plants everywhere. But the most amazing thing of all in Alishan is the sunrise. Like any amazing thing in life, they don’t come by easy. And due to the rapid changing of weather up in mountain, seeing the sunrise is no guarantee. However, for a small piece of heaven on earth, I supposed one can say the journey up to the Alishan mountain is nothing.
From the foot to the top of the Alishan mountain by coach was about 3 hours. We stayed in Alishan for a night. Sun was estimated to rise around 5.20am the next morning. We woke up 3am to get ready to catch a train to Zhu San (another mountain) where it has the best spot for viewing the sunrise. Everyone on that train was tired and sleepy. Train ride was about 30-40 min long.
At destination, I quickly looked for a spot where I can have a shot of the magical sunrise. No idea where exactly the sun was going to be behind the giant mountain range was challenging. Just had to follow the crowd. The sky was clear, and clouds were a little scarce. Good news was we will see the sunrise for sure. Not so great news was the missing fluffy clouds. You see… part of the magic was the sea of clouds sitting below the horizon as the sun rises behind the mountain range. It’s not just about the sunrise alone, it’s about how all natures come together in harmony bringing you a short moment of heavenly perfection.
Finally a golden ray of light shot across the horizon. The sun came up and started moving very quickly. It was breathtaking. As the sun fully emerged from the horizon, in a short minute, where it was once dark now covered with warm bright light. Despite the missing sea of clouds, I thought the sunrise was truly amazing. I could only imagine the grandeur of it with the clouds… which makes me want to go back even more.
People started walking away as the sun became impossible to stare at anymore. Feeling accomplished and amazed, we left for the train station and onto the next adventure for the day… into the famous Alishan forest. Stay tuned for the next post.
Sighting of little crab crawling along the shoreline definitely adds an interesting flavor to the Brunei beaches. These little crab dug holes and left little balls of sand art all over the beach. But trying to catch one in action requires a pair of good eyes and lots of patience. These little sideways moving critters were super fast. Guess it was my lucky day to find one scrambling its way out of its hole on the sand.
By the time we finally made it to the beach in Kuala Belait, Brunei, the sun was going down. I was already being under attack by sand flies so I wasn’t planning to stay long. However during the short period of time, not only I spotted a crab, I also caught a glimpse of the beautiful sunset against the ocean. I left the beach feeling like a winner!
Location, location and location is everything in business. But comes to photography, timing is everything! After Angie and Yan looked through their gallery, they said to me “can’t believe you got so many shots of my son smiling and laughing. All I can remember was he constantly crying and throwing tantrums the whole time!” To me, this is someone telling me they noticed and appreciate my work.
Session with a toddler is always challenging, but it’s worth it when they love their pictures, print it, frame it and hang it up on their walls. We all may remember how hard it is to get the toddler to just sit still for at least 80% of the photo shoot, but I only need 20% of great moments, no matter how small each window is, to make great pictures. Be patient and wait for the right moment to click. But of course, there is no way you are going to get any toddlers to pay attention to you, let alone smile at you and your silly camera, without some form of bribing and lots of treats.
So finally I had chance to attend one of the most popular summer events – Nebraska Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival. I missed it almost every year in the last 5 years, I’m glad I made it this year. I love watching hot air balloons sailing in the sky. Have you ever wondered what’s it’s like to float in the air and touch the sky? That mystery feeling.
Although I went, drank some Nebraska wine and enjoyed some great live music, I didn’t sail away into the summer sky and touch the cotton candy looking cloud. I, however, came home with a lot of great pictures, which I love to do. While I was editing away one of the pictures, my sweet little girl asked “why is the rainbow round?” I looked her as she pointed at the picture in my screen and I replied “hmm… because that’s how I dream it.” Then I remember, yes… that’s why I love photography, it allows me to capture what I see and create what I feel. Just like what Vincent Van Gogh said “I dream my painting and then I paint my dream.”
Instead of sharing individual pictures like I normally would for a regular session, I feel a slideshow video would do a better job at showing all the laughters, fun, beautiful decorations, food and activities that were being captured. Please sit back and enjoy! For better video quality, select to watch 720HD on the player. Wordpress set to the lowest resolution by default.
I have been waiting all week to share this gorgeous family lifestyle session on the blog! Eek… I am so excited that I’m finally done with the editing part. In this session we wanted to do Alex’s (that little doll) ONE year portrait session too. I am so glad when Beth chose to do a lifestyle session for Alex’s one year portrait. I also want to mention not only Beth is a very dedicated mom, she is also a very talented artist; I have seen her works and I love them. Working with Beth has been amazing… she is like me, a planner!!! We exchanged emails, texts and FB messages for several weeks… from planning the outfits all the way to making our visions work together. I love how she coordinated all the colors of their outfits and even up to the picnic blanket.
“A woman has two smiles that an angel might envy, the smile that accepts a lover before words are uttered, and the smile that lights on the first born babe, and assures it of a mother’s love” – Thomas Chandler Haliburton
If you would like to check out this talented artist’s works, click here to go to her FB page. Tell her May send you ;o)