The Best Portrait Shots of 2016

Photographs

2016 has been an amazing year. Since my working hours was modified, what I did in my free time is to explore more places, which improves my creativity. I created a team with buddies who like photography. We assisted each other with camera equipment and improved the photographs by trying to learn various techniques.

Look at Portrait 2015, the photographs of 2016 are big improvements! I can’t believe how much I learned. I was frustrated with my DSLR camera at times because of ISO settings. It’s not good enough for the low light. However, the camera has been successfully upgraded in the end of the year. I can shoot in low light situations. I’m happy with that!

Here are my favourite portrait shots from 2016.

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Las Vegas

Travel

I took a 5-day trip to Las Vegas. Deaf Nation World Expo was hosted from July 5-8. Since my companion couldn’t make it, I planned to sleep over my good friend, Zachary’s place instead. The temperature was around 40C during Summer. It was so hot as hell unlike Vancouver which it was 20C. My head had been in a little pain for the first two days. haha!

Other than I thought Las Vegas was only full of casinos, it was obviously magnificent. There are 24-hour casinos and endless entertainment options. The Strip is over 4 miles long and lined with elaborate theme hotels such as the pyramid-shaped Luxor and the Venetian — more huge entertainment palaces! Especially, the strip is impressive at night when the city is illuminated by glittering neon signs. I wanted to thank to Zachary and my dear cousin Cherrie for spending the time to show me around the city. It was really wonderful.

In the future, I will explore more places as soon as the temperature is perfectly good. Summer is not for me. haha!

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Toronto Trip – Part 1 of 3

Travel

Toronto was my next trip after a half year passed by. My stay was 9 days. I actually booked a flight in the last minute because I didn’t think of taking a vacation. I, of course, needed to give myself a break. I talked with my friends via Skype about sleeping over their houses. They live in Toronto and they were my tour guides. It was my first time to travel alone and sleep over a friend’s house. I used to stay in my family’s house and relatives’ whenever I was out of the town.

1st day

Flying from Vancouver to Toronto takes 4 hours and 30 minutes. I had some boring time after reading all of anime books in iPad. There is a small screen on the back of seat. I could watch any movies; however, the subtitles are not available. Therefore, watching Tomorrowland without the subtitle was pretty boring, but it killed my time for good. haha

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Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport is much similar to Vancouver International Airport. But the interior design is really nice.

I finally met Keri and Kaede in person for the first time. They drove me to Kaede’s house on the outskirt of Toronto. They live in Richmond Hills. But we headed to Kipling station first as I needed a day pass for the next day. It costs $11.50 CAD. I found it a bit surprised that there are the huge highways and plenty of restaurants and cafes open 24 hours. Eventually, I was hungry because of my clock body and I have even eaten dinner I ordered in the airplane. We went to Tim Horton to eat and to have a conversation.

2nd day

I started my travelling day with my friend Keri who guided me to Toronto from Richmond Hills. We walked down to Richmond Hill Centre that is the bus loop. I got VIVA ticket for $4 CAD. It is only used for the outskirt of Toronto. The VIVA bus is very interesting. There are small tables at the back.

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Arriving Finch Bus Terminal in Toronto before we went to the subway. I felt being a bit irked when some Asians constantly stared at me. Because I have man bun hairstyle many men don’t have in Toronto. Their hairstyles are more like 2013 trends and business casual. They are really elegant, nevertheless.

The subway astonished me as there are no signals on cellphones, but they are available at a few stations. Some stations have WiFi. And, the subway cars are connected together by the open corridor. I couldn’t believe my eyes that those are very long!

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Reaching King Station from Finch Station takes up to 20 minutes. I felt different without signal and the view through the windows. Once we got out of the subway station, I was totally overwhelmed by the tall buildings. I almost had dizziness. I observed the buildings while walking to St. Lawrence Market. Plenty of the buildings are almost full of the bricks and I have a fond of the old-fashioned bricks!

St. Lawrence Market is a public marketplace which they sells produce, livestock and many more. The building was the first official City Hall in 1899. It was then relocated to “Old City Hall” at Queen and Bay Streets.

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I finally met my friend Jami after we met in the Philippines 2 years ago. They guided me to The Cathedral Church of St. James and George Brown College where Jami studies at. GBC has many campuses. But I just visited some.

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We took a long walk to Toronto Eaton Centre, instead of subway train. We didn’t expect that there was an event called “Busker Festival” at Yonge-Dundas Square. I was lucky to be there at the event. Then, we met Kaede after her work. After Jami went home, we had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. I had relaxing time at a patio and then we went to see ‘TORONTO’ at Nathan Phillips Square.
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Jami and I were on Skype and have been organizing a list of places until we slept around 2AM. It was crazy!

3rd day

We got up around 6:30AM. Kaede drove us to Sheppard Centre where she works at. We waited for Jami to meet us at York subway station and then we headed to High Park by train. There is another line called “Bloor-Danforth Line” that the old subway trains run. They are smaller than the ones from Youge-University Line.

Heading to High Park. It reminded me of strolling around a park in Vancouver. We went to see a garden — a large maple is full of red blooming flowers. After that, we went a cafe for lunch. It was a very long way to walk as the park is large. For the first time, I took a streetcar. It is old-fashioned and smoother. I like it so much! haha

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Getting down at Museum subway station, we went to visit Royal Ontario Museum as it has unique architectural design like Transformers. Then, going to Brookfield place through the station. The ceiling blew my mind already. The place is with Bay Wellington Tower which is a 49-storey office tower.
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The streets were crowded already. We found out that they were on their way to Rogers Centre for hockey. According to my friends, if the seats in Rogers Centre are full, they will be watching the big screen at Air Canada Centre instead.
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I came to see Toronto Railway Museum for a short while. Then, going to CN Tower. The ticket price is quite expensive. I wanted to see the sea of houses and buildings, though. I found it frustrated because of the fingerprints on the windows I hardly see through and the crowd.
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So, this day seemed very long and tiring to travel. And though it was so much fun!

Nikon EM

Life, Photographs

It seems like I am a camera hoarder. haha! Nope, photography is just my hobby. The photos intend to be great moments!

The history of photography on Youtube is very interesting! I checked Craigslist website. I found Canon AE-1. I heard it’s good and popular; however, I am considered about it. It won’t work without a battery. The battery will drain fast during the cold temperature (winter). Then, Nikon EM was found! It also has a couple of batteries, yet it still works without them! I met a seller and finally bought the camera!

I tried the first roll of 800 ISO film. I realized I didn’t properly load the film in the camera before the pictures got exposed. It means I shot all in one frame. My mistake. haha! I tried the second roll. It worked!

I was a bit nervous about 800 ISO as it gets exposed quickly. But at least, I have already set up “auto” mode with the camera. After developing the film, I learned a few pictures are blank and dark because of the lower brightness (not exposed enough). I was lucky! I did take many photos in the dark places. I didn’t get the first film developed yet. Whew~ See the pictures.

Fort Worth, Texas

Travel

Stockyard Street is a historic district that is located in Fort Worth, Texas. There are the mainly entertainments and shopping venues. Some people have cool cowboy outfits. This place is like the “Cowtown” in Fort Worth. I like how the buildings look old-fashioned. I am a fond of the red bricks and woods.

I found Mechanical rodeo bull near Stockyards Station. I surely wanted to try it. It was harder than I thought! I almost lost my balance due to my arm. Did I fall? Yes, I did. After this, I stood up and walked. My upper legs cramped. I should warm up first before riding. But at least, it was fun.

 

Dallas, Texas

Travel

Howdy! I got up after a few hours of sleep. It’s because my flight was delayed. We had hard time to land in Austin through the storm. We had to stay in Houston for about an hour so the storm was almost clear. Then, we flew to there. Oh again, it was hard until we finally landed! This was my first-time experience.

What first things did I see when I arrive? The roads are huge and a lot of vehicles are larger than the ones in Vancouver. Of course, I am small. haha!

My sister’s family and I were going to stay in Dallas for 2 nights. Driving from Austin to Dallas takes 3~4 hours. I never knew there are no mountains. The land is flat. And, I found it interesting to see some houses which look like barn houses.

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Next day, we went back to the hotel to visit “ICE”. Inside ICE is -12 degree. I couldn’t feel my face. It was hard to smile in the photos after a few minutes. I came up with my mind. I covered my cheeks with my hands until my face became warm. I could smile perfectly! haha!

There are 3 areas of snow tubing. They said I can slide 3 times per one mark. My wristband had 4 marks. It means I should slide 12 times?! OMG! In fact, I got only 2 marks as my back hurt. haha! It was so much fun.

Last day, heading to Reunion Tower to overlook..

Going back to Austin. I’ll post another blog about Forth Worth, Texas. (visiting there after ICE at Gaylord Texas Resort)