Topanga Canyon Perfection

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Yesterday, Marly and I went to Topanga Canyon to scout for engagement photos settings. We found elements we loved around every twist and turn, of which there were many.

There was so much texture: from the leaves, bushes, trees and rocks to Marly’s hair. And the colors were gorgeous.

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Pockets of fog created soft lighting effects which turn out to be great for people pics.

The bends in the path, some filled with patches of sunlight, created nostalgic and moody scenes.

I practiced some more with different aperture settings. Marly, not expecting to have a photo shoot that morning, posed patiently for me and was sweet to help me out as I practice.

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I’ve signed up for a half day photo class in December which will help me get to know my camera better… just in time for the engagement photos.

What I especially loved about this place, were the spectacular backgrounds: sky, sea, city, and the wild greens and rusts of Southern California. So many options on a single hike. Wide open vistas for those long shots and then gorgeous lighting and background textures for portraits. Topanga Canyon has it all.

And the final element?

Lots of fun!

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Dresses: A Day to Remember

Marly in a Hi Lo

Wednesday was a lot of fun: 8 hours, 26 dresses, 3 boutiques, 2 meals, 1 happy hour, and 4 very happy ladies. These are a couple of shots I took. The top is halfway through the adventure. The bottom is Marly’s dream dress at Vera Wang.

We learned you want to allow 8 months of time before the wedding for alterations and dress fittings.

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Across Windows

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Window reflection at Temescal Canyon.

Presence of Deserted Places

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A First Date with N

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I took the new camera out for the first time today.  Initially, I had planned to photograph dogs at the dog pound (because I knew I wouldn’t be allowed at California Highway Border Patrol which would make for a great photo essay); but when I asked for permission, they said no.  So after visiting the dogs, I headed over to a white temple I happened to see from Oceanside Blvd.  It turned out to be the Rosicrucian Fellowship.  What a beautiful, wild, and serene place. I stayed for over two hours and practiced different settings with my camera.  This building–the brick, metal and rust, stairs and angles, abandoned chairs and tires, the golden light–held my attention for some time.

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And then there was this chair, full of personality and backed up by all that texture.

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I practiced setting the aperture.  I’ve always wanted to do this!

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I admired this tree and the wild grass and plants around it.

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It felt fantastic to be walking around with a camera again, vigilant to details and unexpected beauty. It was like meeting up with a favorite friend and wondering why it had taken so long to see one another again.

2 Years in the Redwoods

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Everyone should spend two years in the Redwoods living in a cabin and offering service from the heart.  I’m so grateful for the past two years.  They’ve been restorative and integrative.