DREAMY VENICE

Venice is probably one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever visited. It’s like being in a dream, like you’re in a fantasy world. And it gets better at twilight when most of the tourists have returned to the mainland for the evening. Suddenly it seems like you have the city all to yourself with the sounds of life becoming softer and a stronger connection with everything around you is felt. You also start noticing the many things you failed to notice earlier in the day: the Renaissance-inspired architecture, the rich earthy tones of the city, the cobblestone streets leading to neighborhood squares, the narrow canals and the stone bridges that crosses them and the multiple arches and columns that line the many narrow alleyways turning the city into one giant maze. Venice is such a magical place and it surely is every photographers paradise. I was like a child in a candy store the first time I visited the city. Here are a few of the many photographs I took the day I fell in love with the City of Love.

VENICE NIGHT AND DAY

I took these night and day photos of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore from my hotel suite window at the Baglioni Hotel Luna in Venice, Italy. The belltower of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore has been an iconic landmark of the Venetian lagoon and a focal point of view from the Piazetta. The first photo below was taken right before sunset while the second one was taken at night. Torn on which photo to use as my primary feature for this post, I decided to play with both by merging them together. I thought it amusing to see different times of the day on the same photo. By the way, I took these with my camera handheld so it’s just pure luck that I captured the same spot at almost the same angle. I used a Canon Rebel T6s for these photographs and the app Pixelmator to combine both photos.

COZUMEL BLUE

The island of Cozumel on the east coast of Mexico is a piece of paradise with the most beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. The endless coastlines of white powdery sand also contibute in enhancing the blueness of the waters. I have been to this island about three times all via cruise ships but never bothered to swim on the beach. Oh well! I live in Florida where the beach is just five minutes walk from my condo and yet I still haven’t swam in the ocean to this day. Let’s just say I prefer enjoying bodies of water from a distance or sailing on it. These photos of Cozumel were all taken far from the water (on the cruise ship for the first photo and the pier for the rest) but it does give you a nice perspective of the beauty that awaits you there. All these photos were taken using an iPhone.

THE RESIDENTS OF MAGDALENA ISLAND

The Magdalena Island near Punta Arenas, Chile has probably the cutest of residents in the entire planet. This tiny island located in the Strait of Magellan is home to almost 50,000 Magellanic penguins and a few other species of seabirds. I visited this island back in December of 2018 and was initially hesitant to go due to stories of unpredictable weather producing very rough seas…and I easily get seasick. In fact, 50% of the trips to this island are cancelled last minute due to inclement weather. I guess luck was on my side that day as we had the most ideal weather the entire duration of the trip. As soon as we stepped out of the boat we were immediately surrounded by hundreds of penguins like a huge welcome party. To protect the penguins, petting and feeding is prohibited but photography isn’t so I took as many shots as my memory card could accomodate. The island is small and treeless so you have unobstructed views of the rolling hills dotted with thousands of penguin nests. A cordoned pathway around a section of the island was also built so tourists can stroll around without interfering with the penguins. I took hundreds of photographs during my visit and these are just a few of my personal favorites.

WATERFALL IN THE CITY

Before I decided to become a full time clinician I was working as an executive for a healthcare company. When the office stresses became overwhelming, I would take short walks around the building’s neighborhood to relax, although, I wish there was a green space for me to sit and refocus. The only green space available for me back then was in the logo of the neighborhood Stabucks. So when I visited Hong Kong last year, I was excited to know that my hotel was right beside the Hong Kong Park, a green landscape in the middle of a busy commercial center. It was constructed so people can commune with nature to relax from the stresses of work. In the middle of the park was a man-made waterfall where one can sit and listen to the wonderful sounds of the cascading water. This was where I spent most of my time in the park…to enjoy the sight and sound of water crashing into the pool. Although I didn’t visit Hong Kong for work, it was still nice to have found a spot where I could sit and just enjoy nature right in the middle of a bustling city. How I wish there was a space like this where I used to work. I probably would be sitting there more often than inside my office. 😬 Here are some of the photos I took of that man-made waterfall in the middle of Hong Kong Park. I took these photos using a much longer exposure to create the cotton candy effect on the water.
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