Night/Long Exposure

Since Vegas is so close to Salt Lake, it has become quite a frequent travel destination for many people that live here…Kyle and myself included. (Interestingly, we were obsessed with the place before we were even old enough to “enjoy” it fully…now, we couldn’t care less about it).

One of the newer trademark sights along the Strip’s skyline is Paris Hotel and Casino’s Eiffel Tower replica. It stands only half the height of the original in France, but still serves for a great view of the bustling, sinful city. I have been up there twice – the second time was Kyle’s insistence (and while we were up there he gave me a promise ring 🙂 …I knew he was acting strange before we went up!).

North view of the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard)

The tower is right in front of the Bellagio fountain, thus providing a great view for a show.

Behind the tower you can see Paris’ hotel.

South view of the Strip.

Do you like going to the tops of towers? What’s your favorite part about it?


Apparently, I do…

We were hours into our drive home from Reno when I realized that half a Clif Bar, a few cheddar flavored Sun Chips, and a small piece of black pepper jerky were no longer going to sustain me. We conveniently pulled off i-80 in Elko, NV and pulled right into the drive-thru of a KFC (yeah, yeah – I can hear your “ew!”s and “gross!”es…whatever). After ordering “the usual” (not that I eat there that often), we proceeded back onto the freeway. I lifted the lid off the 8 oz. container which held the beloved mashed potatoes and discovered a nice trove of gravy on the inside of the lid. Without thinking twice about my instincts to satisfy my starvation, I stuck the tip of my tongue into the amassment of creamy goodness, and that’s when it happened.

Normally I would’ve relied on my eyesight for any clues that my food was boiling hot, but by this time, it was already pitch black outside (despite it only being 5:30 pm in Nevada) so I was challenged to eating the so-called “artificial” meal (KFC conspiracies) according to my four other senses. As a result, not only did I have to suffer through the rest of my meal with a numb tongue-tip that failed to provide me the 5% of taste-ability that the rest of my tongue could, but for about a week, I suffered additionally from the aftermath; a painful canker had prohibited me from appropriately eating like a normal person. Imagine a semi-open-mouthed attempt to chew. Yep, I pretty much looked like a dog trying to eat a giant hunk of microwaved leftover steak. (It’s not funny, please stop laughing).

Prior to this horrific happenstance, I had spent a majority of the car ride reminiscing our vacation in San Francisco. I imagined how amazing it would be to live there. I imagined how amazing it would be to live in a one-of-a-kind, pastel pink or yellow Victorian; how amazing it would be to walk anywhere within a reasonable distance to shop or dine, or to simply board a highly-accessible form of public transportation to go a little farther; how amazing it would be to explore the redwood forests or spend your whole weekend at Golden Gate Park; how amazing it would be to grow the inner-foodie in me with the mass variety of food available to indulge in (what’s “KFC”?).

When I now express to Kyle and my parents my desire to move to San Francisco, they mock me by saying that I said the same thing about Long Beach and Vancouver, B.C. Let me explain something to you: while it might be true that I literally said “I could live here” when I was physically in said cities, I was oblivious to the idea that “I could definitely see myself living there.” I mean, technically, anyone can live here (wherever “here” is), but the fact that I could see myself living there (wherever “there” is) is a completely different level of conscious thought. And, to reassure my desire, I recently read this Huffington Post article about how the quality of life in San Francisco is among the best in the world. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I knew it was great just driving through the hilly city the day we arrived.

But what do you care? I’m going to live there someday, and that’s all that matters. In the meantime, I’ll just have to resort to sharing my favorite photos that I took of/in the city with you all. 🙂

View of "the top" from Pier 39, San Francisco. Does anyone know which "hill" this is? (I think it might be Russia Hill) Taken November 24, 2011.

The infamous Lombard Street, the "windiest street in the world." Taken from the staircase-of-a-sidewalk parallel to the street on November 26, 2011.

The Transamerica Pyramid as seen from Chinatown, San Francisco. Taken November 25, 2011.

Close-up of the top of the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. Taken November 25, 2011 at 70mm.

Just a neat shot of a street and buildings from Chinatown, San Francisco. November 25, 2011.

A trolley strolls up toward Nob Hill in San Francisco. November 25, 2011.

Taken from atop Twin Peaks in San Francisco on November 25, 2011. Does anyone know what street this is?

Taken from atop Twin Peaks in San Francisco on November 25, 2011. Does anyone know which bridge this is?

And I quote, “Round two, baby.” Less than 24 hours later, Salt Lake City experiences yet another summer thunderstorm.

I couldn’t quite make it to higher ground for this one, but my balcony proved to be a great viewing spot, nonetheless.

Lightning strikes in West Valley City, Utah. August 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm.

A lightning strike as captured looking up into the sky. West Valley City, Utah, August 28, 2011 at 10:54 pm.

This was a crazy (and scary) storm because it was closer to us than the previous one. In fact, I’m pretty sure lightning struck no more than a mile away from us a few times because (very) loud, cracking thunder would sound immediately after. I would also like to disclose that I dared not stand at all near my camera, which was placed on the balcony, because I didn’t want my metal tripod to assist in my death. And, oddly, Chloe (my dog) did not show any signs of fear towards the thunder.

Let’s see if tonight brings round three.

P.S. I like how all these lightning photos have dressed my blog in purple 🙂

Thunderstorms are probably one of my favorite things in the world, even if I do get anxious at the thought of being electrocuted to death by lightning.
Last night, one of the best lightning shows I’ve ever seen in Salt Lake performed in southern Salt Lake/northern Utah counties.
Bored with nothing to do on a Saturday night, Kyle, Chloe, Camera, and I headed south to get front-row seats.

They (they meaning I) say photographing lightning requires just as much patience as fishing. I had set my camera up for high-speed continuous exposure, at first for 10″, then for 6″, then for 3.2″, then for 2.5″. Since longer-exposed photos take longer to process than well-lit ones, each photo’s processing time took about the same time as it did to expose for the photo in the first place. For a 10-second exposure, I was waiting another 10 seconds to be able to expose again. The flashing “busy” indication in the viewfinder was almost as annoying as the continuous beeping your car makes when you don’t put your seat belt on. My 50/50 chance of capturing lightning played against me, for lightning seemed to only strike when my photos were processing. Grr.

Nonetheless, I did manage to capture some great shots, but not without the virtue of patience. In total, we spent about two hours at the Point of the Mountain, changing position/location every-so-often. Yet, I only got three “better” shots. Here they are:

Aug 28, 2011, 12:02 am.

Aug 28, 2011, 12:11 am.

Aug 27, 2011, 11:35 pm. Boom! How would you like to be struck by that bad boy?

So yeah. I know I promised posting Vancouver photos the week after I got back.
Apparently, that didn’t happen. Instead, here we are, a month after my trip, and ya’ll haven’t seen but one lousy picture.
To be quite truthful, I haven’t been enthusiastic about photography as of late. In fact, I haven’t been enthusiastic about technology at all. I’m not trying to say I hate my job or anything, but do you know how miserable it is to stare at a computer all day, editing wildly boring images of commercial sports apparel? I do. That’s why I have become fond of getting off work and coming home and doing something active. Anything to keep me off my butt. Anything to keep my eyes from further sizzling away.

Fortunately for my readers, today is the day I start posting my photos, in series.
I know it’s been a long wait, and I commend those of you who have been checking back every so often.
Now, where to start?
Capilano Bridge? Lions Gate Bridge? Seattle Skyline?
It shall be…captures from a public market 🙂

I, personally, am enticed by food. I love food. You might not believe it, but I do.
I’m not talking about the world’s biggest hamburger or juiciest steaks – I’m talking about food.
Fresh food. Natural food. Spices. Herbs. Aromas. Cheese, my goodness, cheese.
If only I were a little more experimental with food, I would classify myself as a “foodie”…(is that a trend?)

To begin, here is an establishing shot of Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver, B.C.

The market closed before we got there, so I got some shots of its solitude.

Fear not. We went back the next day and took a nice stroll around the market and tiny island. We even made our own lunch out of French rolls, Canadian brie, salami, and fresh lychee – each ingredient bought from different vendors within the market.
Here is actually a shot of a shellfish tank inside the Sandbar Restaurant on the island, which we dined at during our first visit to the island. I enjoyed myself a scrumptious pot of drunken clams while Kyle had himself a salmon burger. It was amazing, to say the least.

In the morning, we went back to experience the market.
Here are some shots of that:

Moving on.

You’ve seen it before in movies and magazines. And although the place is probably 95% tourists, it is less than the epitome of a tourist attraction.
I’m talking about Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA. You know, that place where everyone goes to see the Fish Market guys holler and throw around 20 lb. salmon.
It’s real, and it’s awesome.

Now, Pike Place isn’t just about the guys that play with their food.
It’s also about people who are eager to devour it.

Let’s say you hate food (I don’t know how that is possible, and yes, I’m judging you).
It would be physically and mentally impossible to maintain hatred towards food if you walked through this market.
There are definitely way too many mouthwatering sights, sounds, and smells to do it.

Well, I guess you could say that about any market, but considering how Utah lacks these wonderful places, Pike Place was just too captivating.

Keep an eye out for my next post 🙂

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