“Nature's beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude”
“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
Had just arrived at Playa Tamarindo, about mid-day. The playa was vacant with no people in sight. Golden sands and clear blue waters captivated my eyes as I gazed into the scenery.
With an ever so gentle calm voice, the sea spoke with its waves crashing and pulling into the sand like a rocking chair. Back and forth, its warm waters washed and hugged the shoreline. The winds behaved with a sweet-tempered breeze which brought comfort to my soul.
Wandering around the horseshoe bend of the beach. I came across to an uneven terrain. Not knowing what I may find, my determination was to climb and find what was in the other side. Even if I had to stumble through a narrow beaten path covered with thorny beach flowers that were withered and gray but could snip like a paper cut if you got to close for comfort while escalating up the terrain.
Almost coming to the end of the trail, I started to notice the foliage of the beach flowers started to morph from a grey withered to vibrant green with a hint of yellow and safe to be admired.
Reaching the top became a surprise; the end of my small adventure became the beginning of another great one.
As the narrow path became wider and vastly open. It welcomed me with bright blue majestic skies and robust ridgelines where the sea crashed and came to a halt. And a golden orange wider terrain that I could easily walk and not stumble and continue to explore with ease.
I knew then and I know now that I'm never alone in my adventures.
I just have to have trust and count in my Lord Jesus.
Where does your journey end and start again in your life, are you making sure to pray and ask for guidance even though you don’t know where you are going?
Ask Jesus to help you, to find assurance and courage in your narrow beaten path. For he can give you determination and guidance to reach a wider path and not stumble.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you don’t know..- Jeremiah 33:3
"Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera."― Henri Cartier-Bresson
Good Composition combines the artistic with the technical to create, produce and grab attention with your photographs. There is never been a case where two people with identical camera have had the same approach to snap the same photograph, sure you learn the basics but everyone interprets a subject in a photograph very differently.
Today, we cover some key elements that will help you improve your composition in your photography. (FYI this will also help your cinematography)...
Clarity and simplicity are the very important keys to good composition. It is most important to be aware of your surroundings, walk a couple of times around the same place and at different times of the day. See what captures and inspires you to make a photograph. So before you press-on that shutter release concentrate on the composition as a whole not just on the subject.
Make sure ask yourself, Have I really looked outside of my viewfinder?, what is this scene telling me?, If I snap this photo how will it take away from my subject?
The primary visual elements in composition that is quickly over looked is geometry, color, light and shadows. Everywhere you look there is lines and shapes. There is also color, texture, contrast, and hues. Light and shadows will help you paint your photos. Shadows create contrast and dramatic scenes, while light illuminates and highlights subjects or objects.
On the photo above we have rectangles, squares, circles, vertical and horizontal lines. We also have colors, contrast, texture and hues. Then finally we have light, on the upper corners of the photo you see that the sky is diffused because its a cloudy day, but to the down right corner where our subjects are buying snacks, we can see that they have sunlight coming from the right of the photo highlighting them in a very subtle way, which creates a really nice shadow and contrast on her and his coats.
When placing and arranging these elements together we want to create and produce a three-dimensional reality or perception in a two dimensional photo. Secondary elements, like sharpness, perspectives, and timing (especially with moving subjects), and visual balance will also partake in the composition on the photographs that you make.
Lastly go out there and take it all in, see it first with your eyes, see the patterns, and forms of your scenes and subjects. Once that you have the perspective of your elements, Then look through the viewfinder or the back of the lcd and snap that photo.
With practice your personal composition in photographs will determine how effectively your photographs communicate with your audience . Keep shooting and have fun and enjoy the good times.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
On today's post we talk about this awesome place called St. Augustine, FL. I’m sure most of you have gone to visit but have you really visited St.Augustine and its hot spots? Well stay tune after a quick history lesson and we will talk about some of the many awesome places to see and visit and eat in St. Augustine.
Attraction Spot Numero 1: Castillo de San Marcos
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is a city on the northeast coast of Florida. It lays claim to being the oldest city in the U.S., and is known for its Spanish colonial architecture as well as Atlantic Ocean beaches like sandy St. Augustine Beach and tranquil Crescent Beach. Anastasia State Park is a protected wildlife sanctuary. The Castillo de San Marcos is a 17th-century Spanish stone fortress with views of the St. Augustine Inlet.
Did you know? that you can use one tank of Gas to go to St.Agustine.
Yes, believe it or not, you will only use on tank of gas going and coming back from St. Augustine. These are the estimated travel times from 2 of the many popular cities in Florida. (other cites that are further from these cites might need some extra gas)
From Orlando: 2 hours, 5 minutes and From Tampa: 3 hours, 15 minutes
We can go all day talking about this fortress and it will not end how much grim history is in this place, this one of the most sought out attractions in St. Agustine. Make sure you get there early to grab parking, also parking is about $10.00, they do take credit and debit cards. The Admission fee to the park is $10.00 for anyone above the age of 16 and up, 15 years old and younger is free. The admission ticket is good for 7 days. On national park day is free all day. At night there are ghost tours in the castle be sure not to miss that attraction.
Attraction Spot Number 2 : Ripley's Believe it or Not
This is the most weirdest attraction yet but its really fun! We actually got a good groupon it was $20 dollars for 2 people! Their website also has great online vouchers, and it combines the Red Trains and The Ghost Train in the voucher packages. Be there early because it gets packed, best time to visit is during the week. We went on a Friday during the day and it was awesome! You will see shrunken heads, weird disease stories, space robots, weird cases and near death survival stories and a giant. Trust me you will not be bored.
Attraction Spot Numero Tres : Florida Water Tours
"Based in St. Augustine, Florida Water Tours offers amazing ecotourism cruises for vacationers year-round. Offering private and public services, Florida Water tours encourages you to explore the fun side of learning about nature and history through our travel packages." - Florida Water Tours
Groupon does wonders when you are traveling to the next attraction, I advise you to save some money grab the Groupon off the water tours Groupon site and go and sail to the sea. We did the sunset boat tour for $25. On get there 15 minutes early before your boat leaves. By the way, you do travel in style the boat that you sail in is called The ‘Osprey’ it is certified to hold 49 passengers with comfortable seats all around. There is also life jackets above your seat. The boat is fully enclosed and shaded except for the bow, with windows that can roll up or down and a restroom on board for your convenience. When you are sailing in the Matanzas river you will or might see Dolphins and Manatees, trust me is a sight to see. You will pass under the bridge of lions, which is beautiful architecture, and the beautiful sunset will have you at awww, so if you have a wife, girlfriend or a girl you like then take her on the sunset tour, its also great to experience with family and loved ones too.
Attraction Spot Number 4: St.Augustine Lighthouse
"The St. Augustine Light Station is an active lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida. The current lighthouse stands at the north end of Anastasia Island and was built in 1874; it is the most recent of a number of towers built in the area." - Wikipedia
The lighthouse is subject of numerous ghost stories and supernatural legends. But is it all really real? You will have to find out yourself by going on one of the lunar ghost walks or tour.
The Museum keeps the light burning as a private aid-to-navigation. In 2016 the museum changed its name to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum.
Ready for a great work out? The lighthouse stands 165 feet above sea level, it has no elevators since it was build it 1874. So there is a total of 219 steps until you reach the observation deck. If you do take the challenge just pace yourself, some people have been known to get lightheaded and winded.
Admission is $12.95 and $10.95 for seniors and kids. There is a shop to buy souvenirs and a snack stand to buy some light snacks and park food. Parking is free but it is first come first serve.
Attraction Spot Numero Cinco: Lightner Meuseum
Lighter Museum is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888 by Henry Flagler. Today it is home to one of the best collections of fine and decorative 19th century art in the country.
Did you know? that the 1st floor inside museum it used to be an olympic sized pool, the pool is nestled in the center of building so that everyone from all the quadrants of the hotel could see the pool. Now a days the first floor is reserved and rented out to do weddings and receptions, very romantic sight to see.
Groupon will save the day once again! If you are looking to go the Lightner Museum, you can snag a Groupon that pays $20 for 2 people instead of the $20 each for adults. The Groupon is available usually after the holiday seasons. Outside and Inside the museum, plan to bring a camera or your phone camera, and travel light cause they make you leave your belongings at the front desk.
One of the many cool things at the museum is the The Silhouette lady, she is usually sitting by the entrance before entering the front desk to redeem your vouchers. Jeanie Owen does amazing work, and she is very quick too! She is a certified master in making Silhouettes. The photo below does not give it justice, is an experience to witness and live.
Next stop...Food!! After all that exploring and walking you must be hungry, well you are in luck. Below we will be recommending our top 3 spots in St.Augustine to eat some delicious grub!! Our recommendations are based on cheap, quality, wholesome food!
Food Spot #1: Pizza time
Our first eating spot is Pizza Time, St.Augustine's legendary pizza restaurant, where the line goes out the door and outside around the corner. The pizza is handmade with fresh ingredients every day! Make sure you go there when its not peak time, cause you will have to wait, but words of reasoning says that this is the best New York Style pizza in town, believe me I have been there.
Pizza Time located on St. George Street in historic downtown St. Augustine serves great New York style pizza! This Italian restaurant creates pizza with fresh ingredients and a true New York style crust. They also serve calzones, cannolis and other Italian dishes but pizza is the most popular choice. They do not take credit cards so bring cash with you and you can have your own great slice of Pizza Time pie.
Food Spot #2: Burrito Works Taco Shop
Burrito Works Taco Shop was founded in 2006 by Nicolas Kimball and his wife Robin. Today, they make all the the salsas, sauces, meats and beans with organic and sustainable products everyday, Everything is made fresh daily, all of their UFO's, Tacos, and Burritos are delicious and fulfilling. Their best thing in their menu that really pairs up with any of their featured food items is their guacamole! Its finger licking good and addictive.
I advice to visit them on a time that is not in peak season or that there is no major events going on in St. Augustine because its a tiny food shop. So the line will go out the door. Burrito Works Taco Shop is best place to grab some grub and it does not make a hole in your pocket. Its Cheap, Quality and Fulfilling food!
Food Spot #3: Mojos Tacos-Taco Vida
We are leaving the Historic Downtown District of St. Augustine and heading over to Mojos Tacos, another awesome and delicious food shop on Anastasia Blvd. Literally just drive over the Bridge of lions and once across the bridge like heading towards the St. Augustine's Light house, Mojos Taco Shop will be on your right hand side you can't miss it.
Mojos Tacos is a small stop that offers some amazing tacos, taco salads, and burritos, they also offer fresh vegan-friendly options . The place is clean and it has wonderful customer service. It's always busy any time you go, but like other restaurants it has its peak times and slow times, we got lucky cause it was right before dinner time and it was calm. The service and food is just very great. Finally, Mojos Tacos grub it's just wholesome delicious food.
Well we hope you enjoy your trip to St. Augustine, now there is many other options to go and explore. From Castillo de San Marcos, to the Lighthouse, then Mojos Taco shop, that could be a day of Fun, just saying. Its a wonderful city and on its festive time is just wonderful, it will be crowded but enjoy it and have patience with others.
If you have any suggestions or ideas on a place you would like for us to do a post about let us know and we will be happy to talk about and recommend more places to see, and places to eat and make memories that will last forever.