Four Walls

When I travel to cities, I become a geek for architectural details. This is true for both interior and exterior.  Sometimes, I feel that it’s kind of tough getting a unique perspective of architecture, though, because everyone else with a camera has, had, and will take very similar photos.  One of my favorite tricks is just to point the camera straight up (or almost straight up) and see what I can get.

These two photos below are two of my favorites.  You may have seen them before.  The first is Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and the second is La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Wendy Ng Photography: Architecture &emdash; Rear of Sainte-Chapelle

Wendy Ng Photography: Architecture &emdash; Stained Glass and Columns

This Spring

This was my first spring in the Pacific Northwest, and I did not anticipate the beauty that came along with it.  Even though this past winter wasn’t as dreary and rainy as it could have been (or so they say), the spring colors were definitely welcomed.

There are numerous of public and private gardens here.  (I’m also getting my hands dirty in planting my own garden, but there isn’t a lot to show for yet.)  In addition to visiting Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in early April, I also visited another tulip farm, a lilac garden, an iris garden, and a peony garden.  Last week, I also visited Portland’s famous International Rose Test Garden, but I’m still in the process of editing those photos.

Unfortunately, I am unable to capture the scent of these flowers through my photos.  I wish there was a way to bottle up the scents and let it permeate through my home.  You will just have to take my word for it.  Or, better yet, visit a garden near you.

Wendy Ng Photography: Nature &emdash; DSC_0141

Wendy Ng Photography: Nature &emdash; DSC_0199

Wendy Ng Photography: Nature &emdash; DSC_0211

Wendy Ng Photography: Nature &emdash; DSC_0237

The Book of Places, Vol. 1

Most people enjoy their photos digitally, either on the computer or online, but I still love the sight and feel of actual prints and photo books. I have a number of photo books lying around the house, mostly from trips that I’ve taken. I actually enjoy the process of designing the books and arranging the photos the way I like them. I also have random prints sitting around, waiting for the right frames and/or mats.

More recently, I decided to create a coffee table photo book of my travel photos over the last several years. I’ve used many different companies in the past, mostly obtained with vouchers from Groupon or Living Social or a similar website. One of my favorites is Blurb. Sure, Blurb isn’t the cheapest one around, but I really like the quality of their products. I definitely prefer using them to make a book that’s more artsy, but I do choose cheaper services for travel books.

To create a book, you can use BookWright, Adobe Lightroom, or Adobe InDesign. BookWright is their own software; I have used the previous version of their software for another photo book, but I decided to go with Lightroom this time as it is my primary photo editing software. Using Lightroom to make this book was extremely simple as it’s already integrated into their “Book” module. To start, I chose my size (small square), cover (hardcover image wrap), and paper type (premium luster). There are a few page templates to choose from, depending on the number of pictures you want on a page. For the most part, I stuck with one photo on each page. There are rarely two photos on one page. The other layout that I used a few times throughout the book was one photo on a two-page spread (this was actually my favorite and I had try hard not to overuse it). As you add pages, it changed the estimated price that was shown, which was useful.

One criticism that I had was that I had to purchase the book on premium paper, which added to the cost of the book. (I believe that this was something that could be changed if you use Lightroom 5, but I’m currently using Lightroom 4, so I can’t verify that.)

Anyway, for this book, I sized it at 7×7″, which I think is a good size for our coffee table. It contains 182 pages printed on premium luster paper. I am very happy with the end result of the book and love browsing through it. I plan on doing this again in a few years when I accumulate another batch of images from my travels.

If you would like to make your own book with Blurb, you can use the code INTRO for 25% off your first book or 4ALL for 15% off of $50+ purchase.  Both codes are valid through June 23, 2014.

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Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and I just love the product. However, if you click on the above link, I do get a small commission if you buy something.

Wild, Wild West

I didn’t plan on this, but I have another post brought to you (unofficially, of course) by the state of Utah. Although I have never want to live in Utah, it’s one of my favorite states to visit.

A few years ago, I traveled through parts of southern Utah, including Bryce Canyon and Monument Valley. The red earth at this part of the country is amazing. There are multitudes of different rock formations that protrude out of the otherwise flat landscape.  All of it is so surreal and makes you feel so small when you are standing in the middle of it.

On my next trips to Utah, I would love to visit Zion National Park and the Moab area.

Wendy Ng Photography: Landscape &emdash; Rays

Wendy Ng Photography: Landscape &emdash; Sunrise over Monuments

Wendy Ng Photography: Landscape &emdash; Life on Mars

Wendy Ng Photography: Landscape &emdash; The Red Planet

The Great Salt Lake

One of the many places on my bucket list is Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. I am mesmerized by the forced perspective photographs. I also love the textures of the dried salt and the reflection of sky on water when it floods. While I still wish to visit for the first two reasons, I was pleasantly surprise to witness the still reflection of sky on water while at the Great Salt Lake this past summer.

On our way out of Salt Lake City to Idaho, we stopped by Antelope Island State Park. The island is located on the eastern edge of the Great Salt Lake, connected to the remainder of Utah by a land bridge. The stench of the dead salty water was overwhelming and difficult to get used to, but the scene took my breath away. At certain points, it was hard to tell where the water ended and the sky began. The absolute still reflection of sky and land was picturesque, interrupted at times by low-flying birds or dead tree stumps. This side trip to the Great Salt Lake was very much one of the most pleasant surprises that we encountered on our road trip across the country.

Wendy Ng Photography: Nature &emdash; Above and Below

Wendy Ng Photography: Travel Others &emdash; Through the Great Salt Lake