As a little girl, I’ve always been fascinated by the stars and moon. My nose pointed up at the night sky soon became my nose in books- reading about and memorizing planets and constellations.
Flash forward a few years and I’m sitting in a college Astronomy class, wide-eyed at the plethora of information being presented before me. I fell in love. My professor, Dr. Mike D. Reynolds happens to be just as passionate as myself, if not more. I formed an immediate appreciation of his passion and took it upon myself to email him some of my Lunar photographs. He instantaneously responded, discussing how much he admired my work- even sent the photographs to the President of the college.
After much thought, my Professor decided to launch an Astrophotography class for the following semester- and here I am. Once a week we come together with an army of DSLR cameras, tripods and telescopes. Us nerdy Astro-folk find ourselves getting chills by the views that we witness and are fortunate enough to photograph.
Prior to this class, I used a telephoto lens (300 mm) to photograph the moon. However, I have recently discovered that you can literally mount a telescope onto a DSLR camera to counteract as the lens. This allows for crazy details and incredible deep space photographs.
While this is just the beginning, I am quite proud of the photographs that I’ve achieved. I hope to do another update by the end of this course to showcase further work.
Filled with stallagmites and stalactites, these underground caverns were a true work of art. At about 200 feet into the earth, the air that filled my lungs was a cool 60 degrees, setting a true cave-like tone. I’m still completely blown away by the magnificent creations that lie below the earths surface.
Shenandoah National Park
This was my first time at a National Park and I can’t even begin to describe how alive I felt. Between the vast horizons, fresh air and lack of civilization, I can definitely say I was high on life. I was surrounded by mountains and tree tops. Butterflies played around my hair as the sun kissed my skin. This experience allowed me to feel renewed. It allowed me to reconnect with myself and become one with the earth. If you’ve never been to a National Park before, I would highly recommend it.
With my birthday being the first day of August, the day always seems to pop up abruptly and surprise me. However, that didn’t stop my family from planning a weeks worth of fun and adventures.
It started on the 31st of July with a lovely dinner party at my house. Some of my closest friends came over to eat, laugh and make memories. We didn’t take many pictures, because we were all too busy living in the moment, but I did manage to find this gem. It truly captures how full of joy I was that night. I think those are the best types of photographs- ones that capture rare moments and raw emotions. They speak for themselves.
I took the whole week off from work to relax and find my inner zen. We all deserve to find a peace of mind and make time for yourself, so I considered this a little birthday present to myself. It felt nice having time to focus on me again, doing the things that I love and the things I never get a chance to do.
The next thing on the birthday week list was traveling to Orlando, FL! We stayed in a hotel that was a walk away from Disney Springs (AKA the newest part of Downtown Disney). I must say, Disney really outdid themselves. I’ve always loved the atmosphere of Downtown Disney, but this new portion carries you away to another world. Sometimes I questioned if I was still in Florida.
The next day we had an early start and headed to Discovery Cove! We were greeted at the entrance by a friendly sloth. I was honestly freaking out because how often do you get to pet a sloth??We all geared up in our wet suits and set off for a day of adventures. We snorkeled with fish, sharks and stingrays and we relaxed in lazy rivers. It was absolute bliss.
Here’s the squad geared up for our SeaVenture. We put on a huge helmet/tank over our heads; they kept our faces completely dry and provided us with lots of oxygen. We walked around on the sandy floor as fish and stingrays swam above us, under us and right by our sides. Our last stop was Sea World! We got rained out towards the end, but still saw lots of awesome fish and rode crazy rides.
Overall, I had a lovely birthday. It was filled with so many surprises, from trying new things to spending time with the people I love dearly. Heres to 19!
While it is quite rare for me to have the afternoon to myself these days, I found myself alone at home feeling inspired by the grey clouds that surrounded me. It was as if the soft mist in the sky was whispering to me, telling me to take advantage of the resources within my home. I read, I painted, I snuggled up with my cat; sometimes all it takes is bad weather to remind yourself of the things you love to do.