It’s A Rat, It’s A Fish… It’s A Ratfish

It has been awhile since my last post. Life has been busy but in a very good way. In addition to my new career path; yes, I finally have a job that I can really feel purposeful from it. It has been a long and winding road with many detours and oftentimes, deep pot holes; somehow, I was able to get myself out and discovered amazing opportunities.

In addition to my new career helping people find hope and motivation, I have the opportunity to continued my underwater photography endeavor. I logged 40 dives and now I’m on my way of becoming a dive-master so I can teach underwater photography. I have been very fortunate to have the support of friends who believe in my creative abilities.

Here is a video I shot last Saturday at Mukilteo T-Dock. On my way to the Geo Dome, I got lost and went deeper than where the dome was located. I was at 78 feet when I saw the Ratfish. It was an amazing sight… and lucky me, the Ratfish gave me a break and flirted for the video. I was able to get a fairly steady video in the strong current. The whole encounter lasted less than a minute and yet the experience will be forever etched in my heart…

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A Different World

A couple of months ago, Pirate John introduced me to the world of sailing and now he has rekindled the love that I have lost years ago –Scuba Diving. I was probably about eight years old the first time I watched Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s undersea exploration shows. I was mesmerized by Cousteau’s beautiful underwater world and his French accent. I remember telling my grandma that I wanted be a scuba diver, undersea scientist like him when I grow up. While I ended up studying art, I never abandoned my desire to explore the ocean. A few years after moving to Seattle, I became a certified scuba diver. What an amazing experience. During my first open water dive, I encountered a huge octopus and that was it… the experience made me want to pursue my dream of being an undersea explorer. However, my undersea world was short-lived. Motherhood took center stage and I had to quit scuba. Over the years, I’ve thought about going back to the scuba world but for one reason or another, the timing and money just didn’t work out… until now. Pirate John gave me a wondrous gift — scuba lessons. Since it has been twenty years since my last certification, I have to start over. I will complete my certificate in a few weeks. It’s truly an amazing gift to combine my passion for photography and scuba diving. While I realized that I no longer wanted to be a great undersea scientist like Cousteau, I am looking forward to being an undersea photographer.

Since I can’t shoot underwater yet, I spend the weekend photographing Pirate John, scuba instructors and students from Evergreen Dive Service; the school where I will get my certification as a scuba diver. It was a fun and challenging shooting experience. The day was gray, the water reflective and the divers were mostly black moving objects. Talk about exposure nightmare. It was very difficult to get both the water and the divers with correct exposure at the same time. I decided to shoot a little under exposed so that the sky and water would not blow out. I find it easier to fix an under exposed dark area in Lightroom than a blow out area. Another challenge I encountered was the low light from the gray sky and the constant movement of the divers. I didn’t want to use high ISO so it was difficult to capture sharp images. But in the end, it was all good. I learned a lot on technique and processing. Mostly, it was great shooting and observing the divers in action… I can’t wait to be one of them in a few weeks.

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Pirate JohnPirate John

Pirate John & Cool Scuba Instructor, Chad.

_DSC1021A student requiring extra help to put on her fins.

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Calm, cool, dive instructor Chad. So patient and understanding.


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_DSC1239Pirate John, Alex, and Paul.

_DSC1356-2Finally, Pirate John noticed the camera.
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Alex, happy like a fish in water. He passed his dive tests. I’m sure he is looking forward to his diving trip he has planned already…

Paul, Alex’s brother. He also passed.
Hernan

And Hernan… the big smile says it all.

OKAY! We are certified divers!! Alex, Hernan and Paul.
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Cloudy Opportunity

It was late in the afternoon when I finished my errands. As I was heading home, I noticed the sunlight burst through the unique looking cloud formations across the sky. There were patches of blue sky covered by tall, ominous looking dark clouds — ready to release the rainstorm — and at the same time; intermingle with fluffy white clouds. I decided to take the furry kids to the beach where they can get rid of their pent-up energy and I was sure with clouds like that, the sunset would be absolutely amazing for a good photo shoot. Lucky me, I live only about five miles from the beach.

When we got to the beach, I let the furry kids play and do their usual stuff. Evie likes to run around and dig in the sand like a mad dog. She also enjoys chasing seagulls.

Max… he only has one thing mind — he runs straight into the frigid water ready to play fetch. Speaking of frigid, the bay water is very cold. It doesn’t get past 50 degrees even in the summer. Last month, I had to wade into the freezing sea, up to my chest to rescue Max because I thought he was snare by the giant sea kelp forest. But that’s another story…

As the sun began to set, the sky and clouds morphed into spectacular colors and shapes.

Everything took on a reddish, golden hue.

Even though the temperature was cold, it warmed my heart and soul to enjoy such an amazing cloudy opportunity. ūüôā

Another Day In Paradise

 

Fire In The Sky

The weather was absolutely beautiful yesterday. And what better way to end the day than a fiery sunset. By the time I got to the park, I had only about 10 minutes of sunset left. Quickly, I set up the tripod and was able to get some shots before the good light disappear. The¬†brilliant reddish-orange glow of the clouds were mesmerizing. It looked as if the entire sky was on fire. The last time I’ve seen anything like it was in Hawaii. Fortunately, this park is only a few miles from my home.

Sun, Surf, and Feathers

The sun came out and the sky —¬†bright blue. Quickly, I grabbed the camera, the restless fury kids, and some day old bread.¬†We drove down to the Mukilteo ferry terminal for some fun… and entertainment.

It’s impossible to¬†keep a golden out of the water. The water was freezing cold but Max didn’t care. He was ready to play.

After putting the furry kids back in the car. I got out the day old bread and set off to shoot some birds. With the bread, I had the birds practically eating¬† it out of my hand. I spent the next hour throwing out little crumbs and watching them fight for it. I know… not very nice. But hey, I got some good shots. ūüėČ

Very Berry Crepes

I went to the farmer’s market yesterday and looks like the berries are finally in season. They looked so good, I knew just the right recipe for them; my famous Very Berry Crepes. I used to served them at the cafe I owned long ago… ahh… what a great little place it was. Okay, back from memory lane… more on that chapter of my life later.

Bon Appetit!

Very Berry Crepes Recipe

Ingredients:

For the crepes:
1/2 Cup Unbleached Flour
1/2 Cup Milk (non-fat optional)
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Combined all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until batter is smooth and mostly lump free. Use a non-stick medium size (10 inch) frying pan to cook the crepes. Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter into the heated pan; swirl the batter around until the bottom of the pan is evenly coated with a tin layer of the batter. Unlike pancakes, the crepe cooks quickly. When the bottom is lightly golden brown; flip the crepe over and cooked for a couple of minutes more. The batter makes about 5 crepes.

Crepe Filling:
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Raspberries
1/2 Cup Sliced Strawberries
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Tablespoon Sour Cream

Combined all the berries and sugar together; set aside. Gently combine sour cream and the berries just before serving. Fill the crepe with desire amount of filling and serve with maple syrup. Enjoy!

Land, Sea, and Air

Lately, the weather pattern for Seattle seems to be¬†alternating between two days of rain and¬†one day of partly sunny. Yesterday was the sunny day… I took advantage¬†of it and went down to the Mukilteo¬†Farmer’s Market for inspiration and maybe some photos of flowers and veggies. While waiting for the vendors to finish setting up, I heard the loud horn of the ferry. I almost forgot the market¬†is located¬†next to the Mukilteo¬†Ferry. Quickly, I ran towards the terminal… climbed over some big rocks and got there just in time to see the ferry pulling out. I was able to get some good shots… and then through the lens, I saw what looks like an airplane flying towards the ferry and me. Yes! It was a Boeing Dreamlifter.¬†The Dreamlifter is¬†a cargo¬†plane and looks like a beluga whale. I’ve seen it many times in the hanger area of the Boeing facility but never seen one in the air. Just my luck… they were doing a test flight.

I guess yesterday was one of those days where you get more than you bargain for … in this case, I’m glad I got more than flowers and veggies.