This past summer my wife and I were able to squeeze in a trip to Toronto and Chicago after shooting a wedding in Jacksonville, Florida. I had some extra days to burn, so we managed to fit this trip into our plans. Toronto and Chicago have been two cities I’ve wanted to visit since I’ve gotten into Instagram. I follow some awesome photographers who were from these two awesome cities and because of them, I had to fit these cities into our travel plans for 2016.
For Toronto, the main attraction for me was Niagara Falls. We were able to see Niagara Falls in the daytime and during the evening, which was amazing. While in Toronto, we visited the CN tower, Centre Island, Kensington Market, etc. I was amazed by the amount of skyscrapers in Toronto. One thing I like about Toronto is how diverse it is. We always enjoy sampling new food so when we got here, our eyes lit up. Hopefully we’ll be able to return some time in the future.
After Toronto, we visited Chicago for three days. We took the train from the airport to our hotel. Our first steps on the Chicago streets made us realize how small we are in this world. The buildings in Chicago are MASSIVE. We took the architecture tour and loved it! We were lucky to have our hotel next to Millennium Park. It was one of our favorite places we saw in Chicago. Millennium Park is known for The Bean, but my favorite part of the park was the fountains. The pictures I took there were my favorite pics I took on this trip.
Between the two cities, Chicago will be the first city we’d return to. We loved Toronto, but Chicago was awesome. We felt that our stay was too short and there’s still so much more to see. We always try to maximize our trips, squeeze in as many cities as we can in a small amount of time. Hopefully Chicago will be on our itinerary for our next trip.
Early this year, My wife and I traveled to Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand. This was my first time flying over to Asia. I never had a desire to travel to Vietnam, until I got into street photography. Street photography makes me want to travel and see the world. Our first stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City.
My first morning walking around Ho Chi Minh City, I knew that motorcycles will be the recurring theme in the photos I take on this trip. It’s the most convenient form of transportation for these congested streets.
The traffic in Ho Chi Minh City is crazy. Never have I seen so many motorcycles. It was scary crossing the street. The traffic won’t stop for you. If you decide to cross the street, you have to commit to it and not hesitate.
Walking around Ho Chi Minh City, we saw so many random scenes. Almost every corner we saw something we’ll never see back in the states. After a while, we weren’t surprised by what we saw.
With the amount of traffic in Ho Chi Minh City, I thought it would be awesome to get some panning shots. This is probably my favorite technique I’ve learned in photography.
Ho Chi Minh City was one of our favorite cities we’ve visited on this trip. We had a good time enjoying the street food, exploring the city, and taking photos. I’ll end it with one of my favorite photos I’ve taken on this trip. Of course it’s a panning shot, but the eye contact with the passenger on the motorcycle just topped it off for me.
Last weekend, I did a shoot with Tara Caldwell, out in Locke, California. It’s about 30 minutes away from Downtown Sacramento. This is the third time I’ve shot with Tara. This is probably my favorite shoot.
I chose this location because I knew there was going to be a lot of different looks we can get from location. It’s a very small little town but with lots of character. I knew of this town because my wedding photos were taken some time ago. I knew this town was very small so we tried to make the most out of it.
For portraits, I mainly use my Nikon D750. The lenses I normally use for portraits are the Sigma Art 35mm, Sigma Art 50mm, Nikkor 85mm f1.8, and Tamron 70-200mm f2.8. My favorite lenses are the two Sigma Art lenses. For this shoot it was a mix of the 35mm and 85mm. The 35mm was used for tight shots or to include the environment and show off the contrast between Tara and the background.
The 85mm was used to blow out the background and isolate Tara and the background. I’ve also been wanting to use this lens a lot more for portraits.
I prefer to do shoot urban portraits rather than nature. I like to incorporate a lot of lines and angles into my shots. Stairs are a must!! These are my “go-to” shots.
If you’re ever in the area, you should check out Locke, California. It’s right in between Sacramento and Stockton. I’m going to end it with one of my favorite shots from this shoot. This picture is exactly why I wanted to shoot here.