Some of the best landscape designs I’ve seen


The urban landscape in Canada and US continue to amaze me, even after years of photographing landscapes. Year after year, you will see how the landscape changes along with its people. However, if there’s one thing that continue to impress me, it is the beauty of green landscapes nestled even in the most urban area that you can think of.

It’s easy to be awed by the natural beauty of landscapes in the countryside, but there’s also a different kind of awe for human talent when it comes to beautifully designed and maintained landscapes. Here are some of the best landscape designs I’ve encountered throughout the years.

1) Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park

Located at the heart of New York City, there is no better landscape to remind me of the beauty of green and urban landscape combined than Hunter’s Point. If you are fond of the Manhattan skyline, then it’s also impossible for you to miss this spot in New York. It is a  popular waterfront park that now provides a sense of recreation to the busy working people passing by here. It’s always relaxing to be shooting near Hunter’s Point for me.

2) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus

Sometimes, before actually appreciating the aesthetics of the place, you fall in love with the story of the landscape first. This is exactly the case for me with Bill & Melinda Campus. Before including it to this list, I have been coming back and forth the campus for various photoshoot gigs. And that’s when I learned how the makers of this modern-day sustainable landscape design created such beauty from a mere parking lot at the heart of Seattle. No wonder why this design was recognized and awarded with various architectural awards.

3) Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, Maincy, France

While I’m a huge fan of modern yet humble landscapes, one can’t also resist the persisting beauty of Château Vaux-le-Vicomte. I’ve only been here once, but the landscape has been to meticulously maintained you’d think that it’s actually a product of nature. There’s also some historical background to how this landscape came about, and that makes it even more remarkable.

4) Rousham Park, England

This park seems to have established all the basics in landscaping such as the use of natural, complementing plants, soil maintenance, and use of sustainable material. The result is a timeless landscape that has been providing the beautiful shed both for humans, chirping birds, and other creatures that thrive in its natural beauty.

Capturing the Scenes of Live Salsa Dancing in Mexico

e2cd74dcffa7bff1700cef7277a59109If you think Salsa is solely Cuban, then you might be missing on some other important information. Yes, Salsa originated and was created in Cuba, but there are other influences responsible for the dance itself. There’s the Danzon that was brought by the French from Haiti, which was mixed with African Rhumbas. Then the Son of Cuban people paved its way to some of the best beats and moves to make this dance a hit. And finally, the term “Salsa” was given in New York as a nickname to better distinguish the dance apart from the rest.

Salsa is now a hit in almost every city that loves music and dancing! Mexico will surely be on that list because this place is the best spot for dancing, partying and enjoying the nightlife! Because of the popularity of the dance, people are now taking Salsa lessons in studios like Baza Dance. If you’re a Salsa dancer or enthusiast, this place is for you! This is also a great destination for photographers who want to enhance their skill in capturing dance shots. Here are the top places where you can take great shots of people dancing to the beat of Salsa music. You will definitely capture the heart, skill and talent of the dancers.

1. Mama Rumba
A place for Cuban timba and salsa lovers! This two-floor area plays 100% Latin music with a mix of Cumbia. This is a favorite for those both locals and tourists too!
2. Grand Mambo Café
If you’re looking for the largest Salsa club in Cancun, this is the place to be. The fun and energetic Salsa dancing start at midnight. Here,you’d be amazed at groups and individuals dancing gracefully at the sound of lively Salsa music!
915ed4c4000d58e4820b3709158f7d7b3. Parque Bohemio
This place doesn’t have live music, but some Salsa planners give Salsa classes here every week. Apart from the easy-to-learn and enjoyable lessons, they also have an open dancing session for everyone!
4. Macumba, La Casa De La Salsa features seasoned and talented bands like La Charanga Habanera, Elito Reve y su Charangon. If you want to experience live salsa dancing at its best, make sure to make a stop here.
5. Carlos ‘n Charlie’s
If you’re out on a Friday, this is the best time to go to their Salsa night. The live band starts playing at 10pm so be ready with your best salsa outfit!

These are just some examples of the places that have a great love for Salsa. As a photographer, it is important to bring a proper equipment for the type of shots you want to take. To capture dance moves better, it is advised to use a “fast” lens and be sure to bring focus lenses in case there’s low lighting in the place of your choice.

So when you plan to visit Mexico for their sights and sceneries, don’t forget to try have a taste of their Salsa dancing experience. It is guaranteed to be different from all those Salsa lessons that you’ve taken, this one is definitely going to be a step or a notch higher than what you’re used to. This is truly a place where you can enjoy the sights, culture, people, food and lots of dancing!

Tips for Underwater Photography

New adventures are always exciting and looking at the world through a camera lens never misses its excitement.  It is within every photographer’s dream to try new things, underwater photography being one of them.  Nothing compares to submerging into the waters with your camera and take a snapshot of the world from a totally different point of view.

Either if you are a professional underwater photographer, a beginner, or still dream of diving into the adventure (pun totally intended!), there are some tips that might benefit you next time you plunge in.

Get the best camera you can

Underwater cameras are not really that expensive.  You can get  yourself a pretty good one at a rather affordable price.  Make sure this camera can get wet and depending on how deep you are planning on going, what type of pressure it can withstand.  Think of the type of pictures you want to take once you are in.  If you are able to take pictures close to the subject a camera with no macro will do.  However, if the subject cannot by approached (a shark or a large fish) then try to get a camera that offers you macro.

Use the correct lighting

Light does not travel underwater the way it does above ground.  This is something that you must consider when bringing your camera to the deep.  Pictures that are taken on a shallow area can prove fun and they allow the most amount of light from the surface.  You could even play with the water line and create stunning images.

Keep in mind that the deeper you go, the less light waves will get there.  This will cause your pictures to have an unwanted greenish or bluish haze.  In order to capture the real essence of coloration of a frame, use the camera´s flash, or even a flashlight.   Your camera´s underwater mode filters out the blue in order to give you a more real coloration to your underwater images.

Come closer

The distance between  you and your subject is also a determinant factor to the quality of your photos.  The closer you can get, the better lighting you get from the camera to the subject and back to the camera.  Consider that if you photograph a far-away object in a darker environment, you will not get the desired effect, even if you use flash.  If the object is far and you cannot get any closer, try to fill in the frame with many features.

If your subject is very tiny, get close using a wide-angle lens or a macro mode (some cameras have either of these features or both).

Add some scale to you pictures

To add to the artistry, design, and sense of your photograph, provide some scale to your pictures.  If you take a picture of a jellyfish, for instance, at a very close distance with very little background, the viewer will not be able to perceive the size of your subject.  Add an object next to your subject to add scale.   Photographer´s all-favorite is adding a diver next to, say, a large fish.  This helps the viewer appreciate the size of the fish.

Underwater pictures can typically be taken on a river, lake, ocean, swimming pool, etc.  When taking pictures very close to the surface, you might want to bring in the best snorkeling set for your adventure.


Ocean Photography with SUP as a Vehicle

When it comes to photography, there are many things that you need to consider. What your camera can capture depends on several factors that may be only inborn photographers know.  With ocean photography for instance, you need to know some basic yet effective ideas how you can capture the best subjects and create amazing photos.

Many aspiring and experienced photographers would choose beaches as a venue to take very good pictures for several reasons. Beaches have unique and natural lighting. It can be a perfect nature backdrop for whatever subject you have. In order for you to find the perfect location and angle when taking photos, have you tried using a stand-up paddleboard as a mode of transportation around the ocean?

What’s with Paddleboarding

Many people are now hooked to this amazing water sport, even celebrities. They find it a perfect and an amazing way to enjoy the beach while achieving the fitness they need. With the use of a good paddleboard, you can paddle your way through the water and enjoy the view and the heat of the sun. In order to start with paddleboarding, you just have to learn the basics such as keeping your balance on top of the board while standing and how to paddle it right without turning the paddleboard upside down.


Ocean Photography

With ocean photography, there are several factors to think about. One is how to protect your equipment. There are some elements that might probably cause some damage to your equipment such as the too much heat of the sun, the beach sand and the sea water. A good suggestion is to use a zip lock to cover. For your camera, make sure to use a secure strap, though you can always use a waterproof camera when taking beach photos. You also have to choose the right camera settings, for you know that too much amount of outdoor beach light can sometimes overwhelming. For beginners, make sure to know more about ocean photography to get the best photos ever.

taking photos

Paddleboarding and Photography

You probably wonder, how do paddleboarding and photography relate each other? Think about this, you’re holding a camera while touring around the beach, riding the best stand-up paddleboard. That’s pretty cool, right? Since paddleboarding is also used as the one of the best island touring equipment, you can definitely use it as a great vehicle to take great pictures around the ocean. When you do that, you’ll have an amazing experience, paddleboarding and photography in one.

The experience of using SUP as a vehicle when taking amazing ocean photos is one of a kind. It also requires a lot of practice and courage for photographers to get into the paddleboard, maintain a good balance while finding a good angle when taking pictures. Yet, that is something very fulfilling for those who love the art of photography. Start learning the skill of stand-up paddleboarding as early as today. Then make use of it. Start working your craft for an amazing ocean photography and consider it as one of the best experience of a lifetime.

How Staging The Right Photos Can Help You Sell Your House

If you are planning to sell your house, you know that the first move is to leverage it out there.   This will certainly guarantee that your house is sold in very little time.  Now, when it comes to taking pictures of your real estate investment, there are some things that need to be considered.  We photographers like to say that we do not take pictures, but we instead tell stories.  In this particular case, the story you want to tell is:  “this is the house you have always wanted”.  There, plain and simple.  The rest are details that you should take care of when you present your house to the world.  Make you house enticing, make it for people to think: “how have I not lived in this house!”.

Your pictures must include interior and exterior, of course.  Follow these tips when taking pictures of your house:

Look for the best time of the day

Depending on the mood you want to portray about your property, you should look for the best natural lighting.  If you want your leads to thinking of your house as a happy place where all the fun takes place, you might take a better photo when the sun is out and shiny.  If, on the other hand, you want people to think as their future house as a place of rest and peace, you might be better off taking the snapshot several hours after sunset.  You will get this nice and mellow sensation.

Should you use wide-angle lenses?

This is some sort of debate between real estate photographers and professional artistic photographers.  The decision on using or not will depend on what you are aiming for.  Consider the pros and cons of using either.  If you decide not to use wide-angle lens, you will get a more natural shot but it will cover a smaller space of a room.  This is not advantageous if you want to show most space of a room.   If you want to achieve taking a pic of the whole room, then using a 10-mm lens is the way to go.  Consider, though, that this will make objects closer to the camera appear bigger than those on the background.  If you decide to use an 8-mm lens, you might end up with a fish-eye effect, which will make the photo look a bit distorted. This can be fixed with photo editing, though.

Keep the balance

Make sure the pictures you take have an equal spacing.  When taking the snapshot of the front of the house,  allow the spaces on either side of the house be the same.  Do not cut off the roof and do not cut down the soil.  These pictures can be taken at a distance and a little below eye level.

Use a tripod

To get a perfect frame of your picture, a tripod comes in very useful.  You  might need to make some minor adjustments in order to attain the desired equilibrium.  This is more easily done with a tripod.

No flash

The camera´s flash feels unnatural and creates shadows.  Besides this, when taking pictures of a house, it is actually difficult for the flash to reach the whole extent of the house.  Make use of the house´s natural lighting instead.  It provides a more real view of your home.