Photography – Trying to capture a perfect sunset

This week I was determined to capture the perfect sunset. You know, the ones with all the pink and orange colors in the sky. It didn’t happen because mother nature doesn’t care what my plans are but I still tried! If you have ever lived by the beach you know that the weather can be very temperamental. This year we have had May grey, June gloom, and now no sky July!! What is going on dang it? The good thing about that is we can come across some amazing sunsets when it’s just the right amount of clouds in the sky (or so I hear… lol!) I am going to keep trying, maybe one of these days I’ll catch that perfect one. But for now I have pictures of 2 very different sky’s that still took my breath away. Isn’t mother nature great in reminding us how beautiful our planet is?

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This photo was taken at Victoria Beach in Laguna. I am in love with the clouds here. Even though they blocked out all the vibrant colors of the sky (as you can see in the small strip at the bottom) they still are pretty beautiful.

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As you can see the next days Sunset was a lot clearer! Beautiful and orangey. These next photos are all at Pearl Street beach in Laguna. I also love the clouds in this pic. And I LOVE when I can catch a good set of waves.

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I was really loving all the clouds that day.

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If you have never been to Pearl Street beach in Laguna, these rocks are what its known for. When the tide is low you can walk through the tunnel looking hole that’s in it. I also heard they have a lot of tide pools as well. This was my first trip to this beach so I will have to check it out again when the tide is low.

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Not the pinkest sunset but I was still loving the colors in this pic. I also love how my camera captured the little rays coming from the sun.

And those are my photos for this week. Hope you all enjoyed! It’s been about 8 months now with my Nikon DSLR and I think I have made some great progress. Below is a picture from one of my first times trying to take pictures at the beach. LOL!!! As you can see there’s not much of a subject. No real good timing on the waves. Also I would suggest this wasn’t the best time of day to go out. Mid-day the daylight can be so harsh and so your limited to what techniques you can try.

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But we all gotta start somewhere!!! Moral of this last bit is to pick up that DSLR that you spent bookoo bucks on, get it off the auto-mode and practice! You have no idea what you are capable of until you try. I think I still have a lot to learn but I continually surprise myself and It’s such a good feeling!

What have you all been taking pictures of this week? Are you newer to photography? Have you been doing this for years? Share your stories and photos, I would LOVE to hear about it and see what you’ve captured! I created a new Instagram specifically to this blog so check it out to follow my daily photos and tag me in any photos you would like to share! (who knows I may just feature some!)

If you love any of my photos on my blog and would like prints, I am working on an online store. So stay tuned! Hope you all have a great day!

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The Chart House, Dana Point

Me and the boyfriend have been living in South Orange County for about 4 years now, and I must say we have been blessed being surrounded by so much great food! At first it was an adjustment not having all of our Applebee’s 2 for $20 deals around us. But we quickly got over that!

Last summer 2 of our best friends held their wedding reception at the Chart House, it was absolutely beautiful! I knew the view would be amazing but O.M.G. was the view Amazing!!! And the food was perf!! Every year on our Anniversary BF always goes out of his way to take us somewhere special. Usually somewhere fancy that we can dress up and eat amazing food. Last year was the Ritz (definitely recommend trying it) and this year since we loved the food we had at the wedding, he decided on the Chart House!

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You know you’re in a nice place when they give you custom menu’s wishing you a happy anniversary! It was a nice touch!

We decided to start the night off with a bottle of wine. We got a cab called “Snap Dragon” it was very good and paired nicely with everything we had.

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For an Appetizer we decided to try the soup sampler which had gazpacho, lobster bisque and clam chowder (Didn’t get a picture of it sorry). The gazpacho was good but if you have never had it, its served cold. It reminds us of salsa lol. So while it was good, we like our soup hot so it was our least favorite of the 3. The lobster bisque was probably my favorite, it was so buttery tasting and had soo much lobster! The clam chowder was also super delicious and they did not skimp on the clams either.

For our main dishes I got the slow roasted free range chicken which is fennel and thyme brined and came with Yukon gold mashed potatoes, asparagus and au jus. BF got the swordfish with lemon shallot butter and came with rice and veggies. We also decided to share a side of mushrooms. YUM!

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Chicken

Swordfish

Swordfish

Side of Mushrooms

Side of Mushrooms

Let me just tell you, these pictures do not do justice to how amazing it all tasted! And those mushrooms…. wow! I am tempted to go back right now just writing about it! The chicken dish was paired so lovely. The sauce, the brine, the potatoes omg! And the mushrooms were so buttery and garlicy… are you drooling? you should be. Every flavor of each dish paired so nicely.

For dessert they only have 1 signature dessert which was the Hot Chocolate Lava Cake. “Rich, warm cake with molten center, made with Godiva® liqueur. Topped with chocolate sauce, Heath® bar crunch and vanilla ice cream.” That was taken straight from the menu. yeah, it was as good as it sounds..

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This desert takes 30 mins to make, so we had to order it in advance. We were already pretty full by the time we got it but that did NOT stop us from devouring it all! (guilty face) haha.

And that was our meal at the Chart House in Dana Point. They have lots of locations all over the U.S. so if you have the opportunity to eat there near you I definitely recommend it! At the wedding we tried a bunch of their appetizers; the coconut crunchy shrimp, Chilled lobster and shrimp spring rolls, and the wicked tuna. All of them were absolutely delicious!!

Here is a little snap of us at the wedding with the amazing view of the Dana Point Harbor

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Have you been to any of the Chart House locations before? What did you get? I would love to hear all about it!

Cheers! ♥

Photo Updates – New Techniques

This last week I was struggling a lot again with feeling inspired to go out and take my daily photos. But they say this challenge is our challenge and to not beat ourselves up over it! So while I didn’t go out everyday, I did practice some new techniques when I did. And that’s what I would like to share with you all!

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This is one of my favorite photos from the Maternity session I did for one of my best friends. I don’t have much experience yet with portraits or maternity but I was very happy with the outcome! Do you take portraits? What is your favorite way of posing people? My favorite is to get them to naturally laugh. Do you have a favorite lens? time of day? One tip I have is to not take photos of people mid-day, the light is too harsh and your subjects are often squinting (not good for pictures).

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Photo taken in Laguna Beach. Was loving the rocks!

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Sunset in Laguna Beach, CA. Was practicing using filters for the first time. Was pretty happy about being able to aim my lens at the sun. And I really like the reflection on the ground. Do you use lens filters? I definitely want to practice with them more after this!

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This photo is what I was most excited about! I have been trying to achieve this type of photo for a long time now and couldn’t figure out the right lighting/settings etc. They say it everywhere but its true, lighting is EVERYTHING when it comes to photography. Have you tried taking pictures of the water moving like this? How difficult was it for you to achieve? I’ll tell you it took me 4 months to figure this out! Yeah, now you can see why I was so excited lol!

Well hope you all enjoyed this last weeks photos! I am going to move the photo-a-day challenge to my Instagram so be sure to check it out. But if you aren’t on Instagram don’t worry I will be continuing to post my favorite highlights here! If you are doing the challenge, or just excited about your photos be sure to tag me/ or share them here!! I would LOVE to see them!

Hope you all have a great week!

The Riders Club Cafe – San Clemente, California

What better way to start off this blog than to start off at one of my FAVORITE local spots! I moved to South Orange County 4 years ago and its never disappointed on great places to eat. But this spot is the top place I recommend people as it is home to the BEST Burger I have EVER HAD!
Yep, that’s right. BEST. BURGER. EVER!
The Riders Club Cafe is a small local spot in San Clemente, California. They use quality ingredients (which is proven in every bite) and is made fresh there. The Burgers are big, the buns are soft, the toppings are exquisite. Everything about this burger is just plain delicious. If you don’t eat beef they do offer other options such as chicken, veggie patty, and my other favorite… the Portobello mushroom burger. Each item comes with your choice of kettle chips or house pickled beets. For the Beer lovers… they keep a small collection of craft beers on tap that are always changing. Burgers and Beer for lunch? YES PLEASE!!
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As awesome as this picture looks, it does no justice to the taste!
Have you been to the Riders Club Cafe? If so, how did you like it?
What are some places that you consider to be the best burger you’ve ever had? Let me know in the comments!
Cheers!