Water

Life Happened

I've been slightly avoiding this initial blog post after my hiatus, as I knew it had been an incredibly long period since I had written on this blog. I went from updating from 4-6 times a week to nothing for two months! What happened?!

Let me tell you--life has happened. Not only did I move across the world during this time, but visited a few places in between and have been more busy than I ever could have anticipated! Between setting up a home, getting used to living in South Asia again (which includes figuring out how to not talk in English!), and trying to get into a routine--everything else has paused whether I've liked it or not. And unfortunately I'm far from finished with the above things.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to post like I was previously for now, but I do hope to post at least a few times a week, as I have many exciting things coming up in the future in regards to photography. I'll explain those more in another blog post (believe me, super exciting)!!

For now, I just wanted to say, "I'm alive and doing well" and post some long overdue photos, which I had planned to post in July (...such as the 4th of July fireworks). Such is life.  Better late than never! :)

Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm f/2.8  |  f/22, 1/80 sec, ISO-640  |  Koh Samui, Thailand

Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm f/2.8  |  f/22, 1/80 sec, ISO-640  |  Koh Samui, Thailand

This picture was taken last year some time on a trip to an island in Thailand. It is a beautiful place and I recommend everyone going, especially if you like to dive! I wouldn't know, because I didn't dive on that trip, but I'm told it's stunning. I'm normally drawn towards color, but I liked the change to black and white for this photo, as it accentuated the texture of the sand and the light on the water. :) 

Happy Friday!

-Ashley 

Never Gets Old

I love the beach.

I love the sand between my toes, the salt in the air, the rhythmic motion of the water, the color of the water and sand, and the sounds. I can sit for hours watching and listening to the water swell. When you look out over the ocean, you realize how small you really are!

Another thing I love about the ocean is that you can photograph it a million times and find another way to portray it.

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.8, 1/400 sec, ISO-400

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.8, 1/400 sec, ISO-400

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.8, 1/640 sec, ISO-400

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.8, 1/640 sec, ISO-400

I love that in both of these I feel like I can reach out my hand and grab the sand or feel the water. God's creation is amazing! Looking at this never gets old!

Hope that your day is awesome and that you find beauty in what you see daily!

-Ashley

Expecting the Unexpected

Do you ever have those moments where you're expecting one thing and something else happens? I feel like this is the case for me a lot--both personally and photographically speaking. 

I am a driven person, normally (I do have my days of laziness!). I have dreams, goals, and aspirations--and ambitions to meet all of them! Obviously, to meet all of those aspirations is impossible, but I think Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) is true: "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Plans are good. And it's good to hold these plans, goals, dreams, etc. loosely for God to move them in a different direction, if need be.

This idea is something I'm currently working on. I'm trying to hold my plans loosely and expect confidently that things will work out, but maybe not in the way I'm expecting. I think there is something to be said about someone who has vision for their life and is willing to let God change things up a bit. I'd really like to be like that...and God is giving me many opportunities to try it out! :) 

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.2, 1/80 sec, ISO-500  |  Portland, OR, USA

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.2, 1/80 sec, ISO-500  |  Portland, OR, USA

Photographically speaking, sometimes I will take pictures expecting one thing, and I get another. Sometimes they're good and other times...they're pretty bad (and you'll never see those!). ;) The picture above is an example of an unexpected outcome. I tried to focus on the building in the water, not the water itself. Even though I didn't envision this image, I ended up really liking it!

Life is the same way. My focus is on one thing and I end up getting something a little different. When I think back over my life, I clearly see how when I received the unexpected, I was always more satisfied in the end. In these moments, sometimes disappointment arises (you can read my thoughts about disappointment here), but to know that God has great plans for me, I can rest assured that my life has purpose and God's not wasting any of my time on this earth. It's really not mine anyways!

So, here's to expecting the unexpected. Whatever happens will be good!

-Ashley

Setting Sun

Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm f/2.8  |  f/10, 1/80 sec, ISO-500  |  Near Austin, Texas, USA

Canon 5D Mark II, 24mm f/2.8  |  f/10, 1/80 sec, ISO-500  |  Near Austin, Texas, USA

When we were driving through Texas visiting our family and friends, we stopped in Austin, Texas and saw Joshua's Uncle and Aunt. They took us to this fun Mexican restaurant that was overlooking what you see above(!!). We got to watch the sun set as we caught up on life and ate a delicious dinner. It was pretty amazing. I felt so thankful in that moment to be with them and to see God's handiwork. 

Currently, we're in Houston spending time with Joshua's grandparents and will soon switch to my parents. I can't believe that it's already June 9th--time is whizzing by so quickly! It reminds me that the time we have in our lives is so limited. It's so important that we do the most excellent things with the time we're given. We don't know when our lives will end. I don't know about you, but I still have a lot to do with my life! :)  

Live today to its fullest!

-Ashley

Black & White Reflection

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO-1250  |  Portland, OR USA

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm f/1.4  |  f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO-1250  |  Portland, OR USA

I typically am drawn towards color, but sometimes when I post process a photo and change it to black and white, I just love the results. Sometimes stripping away the color can really pull out detail and makes the picture less cluttered. 

This picture was taken in Portland, Oregon in January of this year. I can't believe that was five months ago! It's crazy how fast time flies. Before we know it it'll be December again. 

Enjoy your Tuesday!

-Ashley

A Week of Reflections

Canon 5D Mark II; 24mm f/2.8  |  f/7.1, f/5000 sec, ISO-320  |  Anderson Island, WA USA

Canon 5D Mark II; 24mm f/2.8  |  f/7.1, f/5000 sec, ISO-320  |  Anderson Island, WA USA

I was looking through my photos and I saw that I had many photos that had reflections in them, so I'm calling this week, "A Week of Reflections". :) 

This first photo is more reflecting color than it is anything. I love the yellows to the deep blues. I just love the water and how many ways you can capture it. 

Be looking for tomorrows picture! It'll be different than this one. :)

-Ashley

Areas of Improvement

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4|  f/3.5, 1/100 sec, ISO-800  |  Portland, OR, USA

Canon 5D Mark II; 50mm f/1.4|  f/3.5, 1/100 sec, ISO-800  |  Portland, OR, USA

I just love this picture. I love the open, overcast skies, the lines of the architecture, the roads on the second 2/3's of the picture, and the color. There was no filter added to this photo and it was very minimal editing--that's how it looked the day I shot it. 

I just love taking pictures of people, but I'm growing fonder of taking pictures of architecture and inanimate objects. It's something I'm still working on and I'm hoping to continue to improve. 

Another area that I really want to improve on is off-camera lighting. About a year ago I started dabbling in it and it was so much fun! I hope in the coming months to do more with it. You can see my few off-camera lighting posts here.

What would you like to improve in your area of expertise? We all need improvement, even if we're at the top of our field! I hope I never think I'm perfect the way I am. If I do, someone please slap some sense into me. ;)

Hope you're having a great day!

-Ashley