Jamaica | Washington D.C. Travel Photographer

So this time last year I was in Jamaica with my brother thanks to Islands Magazine! I won the 2011 Reader’s Choice Award in a photo contest and this was the prize! How awesome is that! We stayed for one week at the Grand Palladium and had a ton of fun! Here are some photos documenting our trip!

On our way!Jamaica
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We entered our room, and were greeted with this happy message and delicious treat!
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There were cats everywhere! They always hung out by the outdoor tables and waited on guests to throw them scraps. Of course we did our fair share!
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We made our way to Rick’s Cafe, and got to see the sunset and watch the brave souls as they jumped off the cliff.
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Another day we visited YS Falls and I had a lot of fun playing with long exposures.
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Dylan was kind enough to help carry my tripod too! Such a sweet kid ;)
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As we were leaving the falls, I saw this man selling fresh pineapple and just couldn’t resist. He was kind enough to let me photograph him too!
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We made a pit stop on the way back to the hotel for some Red Stripe, a Jamaican beer. Lucky for Dylan the drinking age in Jamaica is 18 :)
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Scuba Diving in Jamaica!
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We went on a Black River Safari Cruise and saw some alligators up close and personal…
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A stop along the way brought us to this man. He was selling corn out of a shopping cart. I took photos, but no corn. I also happened to drop a five dollar bill out of my wallet when I went to grab a dollar to tip him, and it was snatched up faster than I could even react. I decided it was just safer to let it go then try to get it back :(
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We went to the beach too and hung out at Margaritaville….
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And of course you can’t take a trip to Jamaica without trying some of their jerk chicken. It was delish!
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Unfortunately Dylan got an infection and we had to take him to the nurse station at the hotel. The lady told us it was a bug bite and basically just gave him antihistamine and some cream ($300 later!). Luckily our mom took him to the doctor back home and found out it was MRSA! He’s fine now, but was in so much pain, I felt so bad for him! Look how big his elbow was!
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And thanks to my spray sunscreen, he ended up with these nice sunburn marks too! Poor kid!
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And then to make things even worse, the internet was so slow he couldn’t even get on Facebook to talk to his friends!! Can you imagine! lol…
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We still had tons of fun though and I’m so glad he was able to make the trip with me!
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On our way back home!
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Nicole at the Sand Dunes | Washington D.C. Portrait Photographer

I came across these beautiful sand dunes on accident when I was driving to meet my sister for dinner on my first night in Florida. Apparently my GPS took me the “long” way as I forgot it was set to avoid tolls. It worked out though. I only arrived a few minutes after she did, I avoided a toll fee, and I scoped out an awesome location to take her for a mini photoshoot the next night! These sand dunes are located just outside of Destin, FL, a popular vacation and tourist spot known for its white sandy beaches and world-famous fishing. We got there pretty late so we only had a few minutes to photograph before the light started fading. I was without my flash so I became completely dependent on the amazing low light capabilities of my new Canon 5D Mark III and the 50mm 1.2 — an excellent combination for low light! I hope to make it back there sometime, thanks for modeling Nicole!

I think she has a thing for mustaches!

This was all her idea….and her favorite!

For the photo geeks….this was shot with a Canon 5D Mark III at ISO 10000.

Islands Magazine 2012 Photo Contest | Washington D.C. Travel Photographer

The 2012 Islands Magazine Photo Contest has begun! I’ll be starting to look through my images from Venice to see if I have any worth entering. The prices to enter have gone up a bit this year, but it’s not too bad. Take a look at the video describing how the judges chose the 2011 Contest Winners (including mine for Reader’s Choice!) My prize was an all-inclusive trip to Jamaica and I have my reservations for this spring! I can’t wait to go make some new island images! Hopefully I’ll be able to sort through the new images quick enough to enter some this year. And who knows, maybe it will bring another trip for next year! This is the image I entered for 2011 that won Reader’s Choice. Thanks again to everyone who voted for me! The video describes it as a sunset, but I can tell you it was definitely a sunrise! Waking up at 5:00am to drive to Lanikai from Makakilo is not something I do every day ;)

 

Sunbeams in CS5 – Before and After

I’m always looking for easy ways to enhance my images with fun tips and tricks in Photoshop. I’ve wanted to learn how to add sunbeams to images for a while, but never actually sought out a tutorial. I came across this video from The Russell Brown Show, while searching for new ideas and thought I would give it a try. This one is super easy and can really add a lot to an otherwise boring image. This was my first attempt, so I wanted to post the before and after to show the difference.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

It’s very subtle, but just enough to give it a little something extra! I’ll definitely be using this one again!