Looking Towards 2019

Happy New Year's Eve!  We round out another year in our lives and on this blog.  The year of 2018 was a lot of ups and downs.  I got my PhD, moved across state lines, rented an apartment of my own, and started working in Seattle.  I'm a long distance from family, friends I met from graduate school, and there's definitely a lot more to be considered on my plate.  However, I made a lot of new, wonderful friendships in Seattle, too, and came to more deeply appreciate the relationships I have.

As we look towards 2019, towards a new year on the horizon, I want to strive to be better.  Every year, I make resolutions, and like the rest of the world, I'm sort of "meh" about keeping them.  However, I was most successful in 2018 with my fitness resolution: I now work out 5 to 6X a week when I'm in town!  For this year, I want to hang on to that and make other improvements.  I think most people make similar ones each year, but new year, new me?

Here goes . . .

1.  Be more mindful.  I want to live more mindfully whether it comes to how I eat, how I speak, and how I spend my money.  Rather than GO. GO. GO., I want to slow down and think more before I do things, to be more cognizant of actions and effects, and to be present in every moment.  Less impulse, more meditation on decisions.

2.  Cultivate positivity.  I want to also focus on actionable ways to address the negatives in my life.  I may not be able to control situations, but I can choose how I respond to them.  I've started a Diary of Positivity in my new bullet journal for the year to document positive highlights from each day.  Cultivating means more than responding to negative situations.  I want to be more mindful and appreciate my blessings.

3.  Work smarter, not longer.  I want to be more efficient in my tasks and at work.  Longer hours don't necessarily correlate to greater productivity.  I want to improve on working better with the time I have available.

4.  Harness my creativity.  I want to photograph, draw, and blog more.  This means reaching out and pitching myself more for photoshoots or opening this space up more frequently to get into the habit of creating regularly.  Also, pick up my dusty guitar and play more.

5.  Read more, both academically and for leisure.  Self-explanatory.

6.  Be kinder.  To others and, most importantly, to myself.

Looking forward to a new year and creating on this space.  What are changes that you would like to make in 2019?


The Girl In The Rain

Hello, friends!  Long time no speak.  My friend, W, looked at my blog and said, "Last post in September.  You better update."  Well, here I am!  My apologies for the long absence.  I haven't been feeling inspired or creative in the past few months.  Y'all know me.  I won't post if it feels forced or inauthentic.  One of my resolutions for the coming new year is to push myself to be more creative.  What better time to start than this year?  In November, I completed a total of four photoshoots in a two weeks span.  It's slowed down since, but here's one of the finished shoots!

My friend and I decided to spend Thanksgiving together and one of the activities we squeezed into the day was this photoshoot.  It went from drizzling to pouring pretty fast so we were trying to snap images as quickly as possible!  If only you guys could've seen what happened behind the scenes!  I had a sweatshirt thrown over my head and the camera with my umbrella dripping water down the back of my jeans.  If you look closely, you can see some of the raindrops captured in the photos.  

I kept the editing as natural as possible.  I love the light in the Pacific Northwest!  It's a little dark right now, but the light is always diffused.  Very different from the golden tones I caught in Los Angeles.  As usual, I only edited light, dark, shadows, and obstructions such as lampposts.  Facial features and bodies are NEVER altered in any way.  True and authentic representation, you know?

For those of you who have stuck around . . . let me know what you think in the comments! What is your personal philosophy on photoediting?  Are you for more natural or "glossy" editing?  


Discovery Park

West Point Lighthouse, Discovery Park, Seattle, things to do in Seattle, Lumiére and Lens

As a scientist and lab rat, I don't really get out much.  Some of my labmates are good about exploring places on the weekend, but I've neither a car nor the fortitude to withstand the crippling motion sickness of traveling in one. No, I'm serious -- my motion sickness is pretty bad.  However, my partner recently visited and I was determined to do something different from zoo/aquarium/museums/city sights.  I've long heard about how amazing Discovery Park is so planned an afternoon outing for us there!

Discovery Park is situated on the western side of a Seattle and a public park with 534 acres of "wilderness."  I don't really consider it that wild, but it's as "wild" as you'll get in a city.  The park has about 12 miles of walking trails which are either paved of really well maintained.  If you're looking for a serious hiking experience, this is not the place, but the views are worth the trip.

One of the most famous sites is the West Point Lighthouse on the edge of Shilshore Bay at the park (see above!).  It's situated on a tiny tip of land and you get to it by walking along the beach.  You'll have seen some pictures I posted on Instagram of the mossy rocks on the beach, but the shores were lined with more rocks worn smooth by the water.  It's against the law to remove anything from the park, but I would've loved to have one of these in my home!  It had also been so long since I've been near a big body of water that it was incredibly soothing just to hear the crashing of waves and surf.

Discovery Park, Seattle, things to do in Seattle, Lumiére and Lens
Discovery Park, Seattle, things to do in Seattle, Lumiére and Lens

The beach was also lined with driftwood -- large, gray branches that decorated the sand -- that provided spots for one to sit and admire the waves.  I really wish this park was closer to where I lived because I could've sat out there forever.  I wish I'd had a model out with me because the visual setting was the stuff of photographic dreams.   Further down the beach was the South Bluff, or a tall rocky natural rock formation facing the water.  The short trail towards the bluff was lined with blackberry bushes.  Apparently, these are common all over the park. 

Discovery Park, Seattle, things to do in Seattle, Lumiére and Lens
Discovery Park, Seattle, things to do in Seattle, Lumiére and Lens
Discovery Park, Seattle, things to do in Seattle, Lumiére and Lens

We went on the walking trails to close out our visit of the park.  We didn't pick any one route, but rather, wandered and followed signs to go higher and higher in elevation.  Eventually, we found ourselves on top fo the bluff to be greeted with views of Shilshore Bay in Puget Sound (early post on Instagram).  The air was still smoky from all the fires in the area lately, but the sea breeze was refreshing.

And to end this post, a picture of yours truly, stepping through the driftwood to head back on to higher shores.  Exercise clothes, no makeup, and a belly full of lunch.  We ended up walking 12,000+ steps that day so it was a nice way to close out the weekend.

Have you been up to the Pacific Northwest?  What are some places you'd really want to visit?  Recommendations welcome!