Indiana, Naturally Exhibit at Indianapolis International Airport

The Indiana, Naturally exhibition was installed July 12th, at the Indianapolis International Airport and features three of my works thanks to the Arts Council of Indianapolis and The Nature Conservancy. These photos were sent to me of the exhibit from Lindsey Lord and I wanted to share! Please look for my framed prints if you are going to be at the airport between now and November.


Berlin Blue Art (BBA) Gallery Exhibit

My black and white photo of this orchid was selected to be Digitally showcased in the "Centered" exhibition at the Berlin Blue Art (BBA) , a gallery located in Berlin, Germany. The exhibition takes place on April 18, 2019.

You can see the event for more details here.


Owls Will Always Excite Me

I spotted this magnificent barred owl yesterday morning in 18° weather. I woke at around 7:45 a.m. with park withdrawal thanks to the sudden chilly temperatures we have been experiencing. For some reason, I pushed myself to go despite the weather report. I  traveled to a few of my favorite spots and got out the car for very brief hikes to look in the trees for owls and around the edges of the woods for a fox. No luck and it was very cold. I was on my way out when I decided to stop at one last place and get out and take a look. My hands were frozen because I forgot to bring gloves but after spotting the owl, I decided to get out and snap a few photos.

This was a barred owl and it was also my first sight of one in the wild. He appeared to be sleeping. I didn't stay too long or try to encroach. I took the photo at a comfortable distance thanks to my Tamron 150-600mm lens. I left feeling grateful that I was able to get my butt up and go birding that morning.

I have felt fortunate every time I have spotted an owl. There is something really magical about spotting one of these beautiful and elusive creatures. This year alone allowed me to tick off seeing a great horned owl and her owlets in the spring. An experience I was able to share with my husband who now has an even more profound love of the owl.

That sighting, thanks to my good friend Rich Miko's navigation, led me to purchase the Tamron 150-600mm lens. I had wanted that lens for travel and exploration but felt that the Sigma 85mm was more practical since shooting portraits could actually help pay the bills. After visiting the owlets with my 85mm in tow, I was sorely disappointed. Such a beautiful, once in a lifetime experience, rendered me without anything worth sharing. Steve convinced me to get the Tamron so I ordered it on Amazon and the next day when it arrived I went right back to take more photos of the owlets. This time I was not disappointed.

great horned owlets in nest

In November when all but a few rose gold leaves remained, I waited for the sun to start to rise in the parking lot and then got out and decided to take a long hike through the woods. It was in the 30s that day but I wore a couple of layers and had my coat, hat, and gloves. I had just entered the woods on a familiar path and walked about a quarter of a mile when for some reason I stopped and turned around. I saw an eastern screech owl staring at me with his head almost sideways and his eyes eerily wide. That was by far the best experience yet. This was an owl caught off guard and completely aware of my presence before I detected hers. The woods were quiet and not another soul was around. I tried to back up slowly to not scare the owl. I was within arm's reach. I backed up to what I thought was a safe distance and raised my lens and immediately she took off but I was blessed with a sight I have never seen in the wild either. An owl navigating through bare trees in the woods. I could see it cross over quite a distance before landing in a tree far from where I was on the path. I followed the path but never spotted it again.

I have had other magical experiences with owls too. For example in 2016, on our way to Disney World, I told my husband that the only thing I was really hoping for was to experience spotting an owl on our drive down. Sadly, I never spotted one. When we arrived at Epcot the very first thing we saw to our left was a tent with some sort of bird show going on. I asked Steve and my daughter if they wanted to go inside and they both said yes. We walked in and sat near the back. There were so many people already in there. As we were sitting down we heard the man ask if anyone in the audience had a camera and if so to raise our hands. My hand shot up immediately. I had my old Canon Rebel with a 50mm lens at the time. He pointed at me and said, "You, come on up here." I turned around and then heard him say, "Yes, you, in the black t-shirt." We had just arrived and this was our first experience. As I am walking up there, I hear them say that the owls are going to fly over my head and the head of another volunteer and we would have the opportunity to snap a photograph. I could not believe this was happening. The best part of it was that the owl was released behind Steve and V and they felt the air move just as I did when the owl passed over their heads. That is honestly the only thing I truly remember about Disney World. Sadly, I lost the photo in a hard drive crash a couple of years ago.

Birding was something that happened accidentally. I have always enjoyed birds. From the homing pigeons, we had to the various cockatiels I hand-raised and a little bit in between. I have always enjoyed sighting hawks, a talent I am exceptionally skilled at. But this year has brought owls into my life in a more concrete way than I have ever experienced before. I imagine I will only see more with each day that passes. And I am grateful for rediscovering what was always a natural love and curiosity for me.


Featured in THE DORE COLLECTIVE Issue No. 6

I am so excited to be a part of this online exhibit alongside five other amazing photographers. Go check out THE DORE COLLECTIVE today!


Shortlisted for Geoweek 2018

I was informed that my photograph of Ka'a'awa Beach Park in Ka'a'awa, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, was shortlisted for Geoweek 2018 in Pune, India! The selected photo will be on exhibit October 8-10th. Geoweek is made possible by the Centre for Education and Research in Geosciences, a volunteer organization of professional geologists. I am so honored to have been selected for this exhibit and am sad I will be unable to attend.

Folks enjoying their day at Kaaawa Beach Park, clothing optional.                                                                                      - March 2018

Calm over the horizon

Many years ago, I worked for my parents who own a video production company. Because it is a family business, you inevitably end up wearing many hats and being the czar of many different jobs. I mainly managed projects and worked as a video editor. On production, there were times that I was called on to work as an audio tech and was made to wear headphones on long production days. In those days, having a really good set of headphones that picked up every nuance of sound was essential to making sure the client got what they needed.

First impressions.

Naturally, my first impression of these headphones is based off of the look of them. They have a classic over-the-ear style that is highlighted by a blue LED light that indicates the power for the noise canceling. The padding on the ear pieces seems adequate for extended usage periods.

They are wired headphones, but the 3.5mm stereo mini-plug cable is detachable. Something else I noticed right of the bat was the very nice carrying case that comes with them. It has a hard plastic exterior with a soft cloth interior that helps to protect the surface of the headphones from scratches. I never truly appreciated cases for headphones until I started carrying them from place-to-place. Now I can’t imagine not having a case.

A perfect fit.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

Quality.

Now that I had the headphones on my head, I was finally ready to plug and play some music. I plugged the provided cable into the jack on the headphones and then the one on my iPhone 6. Then I called up Pandora. I tend to have a very eclectic music purview and have many stations set up for different moods. From John Williams to Fallout Boy, the sound quality of these headphones was remarkable. There is an amazing depth of sound and incredible highs and lows that make listening to music a truly breathtaking experience.

It’s safe to say that because of my unique professional experiences, I’ve tested out a lot of headphones.

In order to test how voices sounded, and the overall art of sound mixing, I pulled up Netflix on my iPad Air 2 and watched a few minutes of a movie to hear all the nuances of the film. None of them were lost. In fact, I ended up hearing sounds that I hadn’t heard before. Echoes…birds chirping…wind blowing through trees…breathing of the characters…it was very impressive what the headphones ended up bringing out for me.

I would highly recommend these to any sound mixing specialist.


Inspired by clouds

Take your time.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger.

When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

— Rabindranath Tagore

Breathe the world.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms. The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.

— Christopher Morley

Enjoy the morning.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever. I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300.

It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds and this is real.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Free your mind.

The best way to get better at photography is start by taking your camera everywhere. If you leave your house, your camera leaves with you. The only exception is if you’re planning for a weekend bender — then probably leave it at home. Other than that, always have it slung over your shoulder. It would probably help to get an extra battery to carry in your pocket. I’ve got three batteries. One in my camera, one in my pocket, one in the charger. When it dies, swap them all.

I’ve got a Fujifilm X100s. It runs about $1300. It’s easily the best camera I’ve ever owned. I take care of it as best as I can, but I don’t let taking care of it impact the photography. Let me elaborate on that a bit better. You’ll get better at each section of what we talked about slowly. And while you do, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it all is and how the habit forms.

For me, the most important part of improving at photography has been sharing it. Sign up for an Exposure account, or post regularly to Tumblr, or both. Tell people you’re trying to get better at photography. Talk about it. When you talk about it, other people get excited about it. They’ll come on photo walks with you. They’ll pose for portraits. They’ll buy your prints, zines, whatever.

Photography is better shared.


Make it clean and simple

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Just the other day I happened to wake up early. That is unusual for an engineering student. After a long time I could witness the sunrise. I could feel the sun rays falling on my body. Usual morning is followed by hustle to make it to college on time. This morning was just another morning yet seemed different.

Witnessing calm and quiet atmosphere, clear and fresh air seemed like a miracle to me. I wanted this time to last longer since I was not sure if I would be able to witness it again, knowing my habit of succumbing to schedule. There was this unusual serenity that comforted my mind. It dawned on me, how distant I had been from nature. Standing near the compound’s gate, feeling the moistness that the air carried, I thought about my life so far.

This is what has happened to us. We want the things we have been doing forcefully to fail. And then maybe people around us would let us try something else or our dreams. We are accustomed to live by everyone else’s definition of success. We punish people for the things they are passionate about, just because we were unable to do the same at some point in our life.

I was good at academics, so decisions of my life had been pretty simple and straight. Being pretty confident I would make it to the best junior college of my town in the first round itself, never made me consider any other option. I loved psychology since childhood, but engineering was the safest option. Being born in a middle class family, thinking of risking your career to make it to medical field was not sane. I grew up hearing ‘Only doctor’s children can afford that field’ and finally ended up believing it. No one around me believed in taking risks. Everyone worshiped security. I grew up doing the same.

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‘Being in the top will only grant you a good life’ has been the mantra of my life. But at times, I wish I was an average student. I wish decisions would have not been so straightforward. Maybe I would have played cricket- the only thing I feel passionate about. Or maybe I would have studied literature (literature drives me crazy). Isn’t that disappointing- me wishing to be bad at academics. It’s like at times I hate myself for the stuff I am good at.

I feel like these concrete buildings have sucked our desires and our dreams. We are so used to comfort that compromise seems like a taboo. We have lost faith in ourselves. If we can make through it right now, we can do the same in the days to come. You only need a desire to survive and nothing more- not money or cars or designer clothes.

Staying locked up in four walls have restricted our thinking. I feel like our limited thinking echoes through this wall. We are so used to schedules and predictable life that we have successfully suppressed our creative side.

When you step out of these four walls on a peaceful morning, you realize how much nature has to offer to you. Its boundless. Your thoughts, worries, deadlines won’t resonate here. Everything will flow away along with the wind. And you will realize every answer you had been looking for, was always known to you.

It would mean a lot to me if you recommend this article and help me improve. I would love to know your thoughts!


When you are alone

You will remember the people more than the place.

Talking to randos is the norm. I’ll never forget the conversation with the aquarium fisherman, forest ranger, and women at the Thai market. It’s refreshing to compare notes on life with people from vastly different backgrounds. When you are alone for days or weeks at a time, you eventually become drawn to people.

When you meet fellow travelers, you’ll find they are also filled with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity about the world. Five days of friendship on the road is like five months of friendship at home. It’s the experiences that bond you together, not the place. A rule I followed that worked well: be the first to initiate conversation. I met some incredible people by simply being the first to talk.

Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

Travel can be affordable.

Long term travel is different than a luxury vacation. The point is to see the world, not stay in a 5-star hotel. During the trip, I stayed on a strict budget. The goal was to spend no more than $33 per day on accommodations. After a year, I was able to spend only $26.15 per day by booking through HostelWorld and Airbnb. When I wanted to meet people, I’d stay in a shared room at a hostel. When I wanted to be alone, I’d book a private room with Airbnb.

Take the cost of your rent or mortgage + food per month and divide it by 30. This is how much it costs per day to live at home. You will find that it’s possible to travel the world for roughly the same amount. Or, if you live in an expensive city like San Francisco, far less.

English is a universal language.

I was surprised how many people spoke English (apparently 1.8 billion people worldwide). Places where English was less prevalent, I made an effort to learn a handful of words and phrases in the local language. Even though it’s passable, I do desire to learn another language fluently. You can only take the conversation so far when all you can say is: “¿Esto contiene gluten?”

It’s possible to communicate a lot without saying a word. For instance, I left my phone at a restaurant in Chile. I pointed at the table where I was sitting, put my hand to my ear like a phone, then shrugged — 2 minutes later, my phone had been retrieved.

Trust your intuition.

I learned to trust that tiny voice in my head a bit more. When you are alone in a foreign country and your phone is dead, you are forced to trust your intuition. Is this neighborhood safe to walk around? Is this person someone I should interact with? Am I heading the right direction? Intuition is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. It’s feels like a sixth sense when you’re able to read between the lines of a situation.

The world is endless. The world’s a tiny neighborhood. My fav people are the ones who can hold two impossible ideas in their heads.