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The American West

This is one of those places that is easy to overlook, yet offers amazing beauty. I don't frequently look into domestic travel because, well - that's something I can do anytime. But this is a vast country, with many beautiful sights to see. I can no longer put off visiting them all.

Monument Valley has been home to movies taking place in the American West for nearly a century now. If you've never heard of Monument Valley, you probably recognize the landscapes from the numerous films they appeared in. Anytime you're traveling in a place as developed as the US, you're bound to vie for the best spots to take a photo and struggle to cope with the numerous tourists that are always in your shot.

What better way to avoid the crowds than to see the landscape in the golden blue light at the crack of dawn? Quiet and without the noisy cacophony of tourists. Not that it ever gets as crowded as Times Square, but it's all relative when you're in the land of nature. With rugged scenery, Monument Valley is likely to continue to find favor in American cinema for decades to come.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/9/9/the-american-west

#MonumentValley #Sunrise #Landscape #Travel #Photography #Mittens #NavajoNation #Arizona #USA #UnitedStates #AmericanWest #Reflection #Canon1124 #MerrickButte #IndianReservation #Navajoland #Scenic #RoadTrip #TheMittens #LandscapePhotography #TravelPhotography #미국 #애리조나 #나바호
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Slowly We Crumble

This story has played out over and over again, all over the world. A prospectors discovers a resource of value, and in the ensuing rush, small towns pop up and people flock to them to have their chance at making it rich. Some succeed, but many vanish almost as quickly as they have appeared.

Such was the case in Rhyolite, Nevada. Within a span of six short years, the town rose from nothing to support a few thousand settlers before seeing is mineral resources exhausted and quickly returning to nothing. Today it's easily visitable by car, and makes for a nice way to break up a road trip in the area, but hardly a place you'll spend hours at. It's not that big, but still a fun stop to check out this ghost town.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/8/18/slowly-we-crumble

#rhyolite #nevada #GhostTown #abandoned #canon1124 #ruins #travel #photography #eerie #roadtrip #travelphotography #네바다 #미국
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Donnell Lake

On a recent road trip to the Eastern Sierra region of California, I tried taking the Sonora Pass through the mountains. There's a few different passes from Yosemite on north, but this was my first time taking the Sonora Pass (State Route 108). Most of the passes are closed in the winter due to snow, so it's nice to take a different, scenic route across the Sierra Nevada mountains.

One of the stops I wasn't aware of until I saw the sign for a vista point, was Donnell Vista. A short walk down the path and you get a great view of Donnell Lake being held back by the dam. It's sometimes amazing how just a couple minutes walk can reveal such splendid beauty.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/6/6/donnell-lake

#DonnellLake #DonnellDam #california #USA #US #landscape #travel #photography #sonya7rii #sonorapass #donnellvista #scenic #tuolumnecounty #stanislausriver #stanislausnationalforest #landscapephotography #travelphotography #visa #미국 #캘리포니아
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Land Of The Navajo

A morning photographic tour excursion through the Navajo Nation's Monument Valley Tribal Park. Filled with landscapes both familiar and foreign. Various American Westerns were filmed in the area, and it continues to be the backdrop for Hollywood films every now and again.

Getting to the park is pretty straightforward. Near the Arizona-Utah border, good paved roads bordered by stunning scenery bring you to the park. Hotels are not exactly numerous, and if you want the best view, you have to book in advance at The View hotel. The website can be a little confusing to navigate, and I realized they had individual cabins for booking, which were surprisingly available last minute - probably because people didn't realize they existed even though the hotel was fully booked. Great place to stay with amazing views and access to the park at your door. Do, book a tour to drive you through the park unless you have a high-clearance vehicle and aren't worried about potential rock damage. Not a great idea for rental passenger cars.

Blogged: http://www.aisleseatplease.com/blog/2016/3/25/land-of-the-navajo

#navajonation   #navajo   #monumentvalley   #arizona   #landscape   #travel   #photography   #USA   #unitedstates   #reflectio   #nature   #navajoland   #picturesque   #rocks   #scenic   #water   #sony   #a7rII   #landscapephotography   #travelphotography   #미국   #애리조나  
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Top of the Rock

For my first trip to New York, I definitely wanted to get a great view of the city from above. I heard you have to wait in long lines if you want to go up to the top of the Empire State Building so I chose to go to the Rockefeller Center instead.

I took this photo just before noon, but lucky for me, the sky was filled with these interesting clouds that still let pockets of blue sky through, giving some added character to a time of day when it's usually really difficult to get a shot like this.
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Byodo-In Temple

Situated in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, the Byodo-In Buddhist Temple is a replica of the 900 year-old Byōdō-in located in Kyoto, Japan. It was the location for Sun & Jin's wedding in the Lost TV episode, "House of the Rising Sun," as well as appearing in several episodes of Hawaii Five-O.

As you might expect from a Japanese Garden, the grounds are beautifully kept and filled with lush greenery providing a serene setting. Definitely worth a visit if you're in O'ahu.
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Nu‘uanu Pali Sunset

There's a sorta funny story behind this photo, but first let me give you a few of the basic details. Whenever possible, when I'm traveling I try to plan around finding a nice photogenic spot for sunset. Nu'uanu Pali State Wayside made the list and as I hope you would agree, it was a good choice. The lookout there has a great view of the windward (northeast) coast of O'ahu. Honestly, Hawaii is so beautiful it's really hard to go wrong at sunset with a little planning.

The magic hour, blue hour, golden hour are all names for that one hour or so time period around sunrise and sunset when the light in the sky produces beautifully hued skies and is really ideal for taking photos. Sometimes this doesn't work out if there's a low cloud ceiling and it's really gray and overcast, but other times, like when I took this photo, it pans out and I get really into taking photos while the light is good.

Back to the story behind the photo. So I made it to the lookout, and eventually kind of settled in to what I deemed the best spot to take photos with a good panoramic view. I'm not sure how long I was in my spot, but I did notice some people coming and going and looking on. Eventually, after much time had passed, I moved out of the way to take some photos from another vantage point when I noticed a group of people quickly move into the spot. Turned out, they were waiting for me for some time so that this guy could make his proposal/marriage to his lady with a beautiful backdrop. Ooops? I'm not a 100% certain, but it seems like it was both a proposal and an actual marriage in just a span of a couple minutes. Rings were involved. After they left, I took some more photos, naturally.
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Sea Nettles

So many jellies! They are so beautiful as their 24 undulating tentacles propel them through the water. Of course, it would probably suck to be stung by these, but the Sea nettle's sting is rarely deadly to humans.
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Castle Rock State Park

If you like hiking, the San Francisco Bay Area is a great place to be. There are tons of trails of varying difficulty. Being along the coast, there's not really a massive amount of elevation gain from sea level, but there's still decent trails to be found.

In what is arguably just outside of South Bay, Castle Rock State Park in Los Gatos offers sprawling green forests along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains. A small tip about hiking in the bay area - go early to avoid both the mid-day heat as well as to nab a parking spot, which can be challenging at more popular trails.
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Belltown Morning

Ended up going to Seattle two weeks in a row for business. Took this photo last week from the 33rd floor of the north tower at the West Seattle. Rather enjoy when you can see the somewhat golden sky from sunrise peaking through the clouds.

I'm not quite sure what it is about Seattle, but the people there seem to love their doughnuts. I think I've eaten more doughnuts in Seattle than I have in the past several years combined. I did enjoy the Tom Douglas restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, and their amazing made-to-order doughnuts. Those things are ridiculously good. Ok Seattle, you can have your weird doughnut obsession thing as long as there are plenty of made-to-order doughnuts to go around.
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