Photography and Life

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina USA


It’s been a looong time. I’ll openly admit it…I’ve been MIB. Missing. In. Blogging.

It has been an intensely busy past few months; full of progress, self discovery, and of course, TRAVEL!

Let’s start with the progress. I am officially a business owner! I took the leap of faith, drove to the government office, paid my fee, and Wallah!! Easy as one, two, three. Ok, ok, actually, not even close. Because the most difficult part has been finding clients and freelance work here in Myrtle Beach. This place is not a major US city, nor is it fashionable or hip, it is more of a dirty tourist trap (said with love).

Official Business Owner!
Official Business Owner!

With that being said, I did receive a great honor here in Myrtle Beach during the month of July. I was featured as the ‘Artist of the Month,’ being able to display my work in City Hall for all to see. This was a great accomplishment that allowed me to feel proud of myself thus far.

20180703_085951-02.jpeg
Artist of the Month display

I have been participating in art shows and festivals around the area. I have a few more coming around again this fall, so if you are near, come see me! And, of course, purchase some beautiful photographs, taken by yours truly. 🙂 I was even featured on the local news at one of the Art Walk events. Since displaying and selling my work, I’ve had many customer and passerby’s think my photographs are paintings. I always take this as a great compliment, knowing the colors are captured so vividly.

My photographs have also been displayed in a few art galleries in the area. It is so surreal to walk into a studio and see my work hanging on a gallery wall. I have to say, it feels good, it feels right. I’ve entered a few competitions, I have not won yet, but of course I will keep trying. I thought I had won an award, as I walked into one of the galleries after a competition. I looked towards one of my photographs and saw a winning blue ribbon!! I instantly felt really excited, only to discover it belonged to the art piece next to mine. HA!

20180407_120234.jpg
My photos on the left, the winning photo, on the right.

I was part of a big project for UBEREATS, shooting, obviously, food all across the Grand Strand. I really enjoyed this project and learned a lot from it. Photographing food, lighting techniques, post processing and networking was key to more growth. Not to mention all the free food I either brought home, or ate with the restaurant crews. I even drank a margarita with the owner of a upscale Mexican restaurant, talk about a job perk!

Crave Italian Restaurant

I’ve shot a wedding. Granted it was my mom’s, BIG CONGRATS!, but nevertheless a wedding which gave me a great amount of experience. I have done some portrait photography, and of course, continue to photograph my travels.

Reyes (13 of 92).jpg
Happiness

Speaking of travels, since the last time I was blogging, I’ve traveled to Peru, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, Dominican Republic, and Florida. I have plenty to share with you, so please stay tuned for more travel posts.

Oh, and how could I forget! My Photography Website is up and running! I worked quite hard on this for much longer than expected. In the end it turned out great, and I’m happy to be displaying my work online! Have a peak here. If you would like to order canvas or prints, just email me for more information. I also have my Facebook Photography Page you can access and see my latest updates.

So, this is what’s been happening in the ‘Life of Trish.’ Thanks for listening and thanks for supporting me. Now let’s continue with our regularly scheduled TRAVEL BLOGGING!!! 🙂

The Best Surprises Involve Photography!

February 2018–Conway, South Carolina USA


I’d been waiting for my ‘Saturday Surprise’ since arriving home from China a few weeks ago. Do you know how hard it is to wait that long?  Patience has never been my best virtue.  Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating for us on the weekends, so it continued to be postponed. FINALLY we had some good weather to kick it off!!

If you ask me, what’s the best kind of surprise? A new adventure, of course, involving photography and exploring!

The morning started, as Saturday’s usually do, with a long walk with the dogs and a trip to our favorite breakfast spot, The Bagel Shop. I was finally presented with two options for our ‘Saturday Surprise.’  Since I haven’t lived in Myrtle Beach long, and I’m not from the South, there are so many new places for me to experience, so I get really excited for new opportunities.  My two options that I had been waiting on for weeks were; Conway Riverwalk or Brookgreen Gardens.  We experienced Brookgreen Gardens, during their ‘Festival of Lights’ at Christmas, but seeing it in the day would look completely different.  As beautiful as I know the Gardens are, I chose Conway Riverwalk, purely to get some grungy, high-contrast photo opportunities.  I’d been wanting to challenge myself with some different scenery, so this was the perfect surprise for me.

Just a short drive into Conway led us to a Riverwalk, which was nice, but not exactly what I was looking for.  With a quick glace to the right, we both discovered an abandoned railroad track.  Perfect!  This is what I wanted to see, shoot and explore.

 

The railway was rickety, grungy, and dangerously crossed over the river.  Following it just brought a heightened level of excitement!  Myself and my camera were completely enjoying the day.  After following the tracks for a bit, it led us to an abandoned Railway Station.  There were signs everywhere claiming, ‘NO TRESPASSING’ and a few cameras monitoring the spot.  We weren’t there to tag up the abandoned building, equipment, or cars, we were harmless, simply on a quest for photos and new experiences. So we went with it, and walked around, staying far enough away as to not over step our boundaries.  It was completely worth the risk, capturing some great photos along the way.

Feb_10_Railway (7 of 49)

Take a look through my photos and enjoy my version of a perfect ‘Saturday Surprise.’

Enter into the ‘Rose City’

July 2017–Petra, Jordan


I have to be honest, I wasn’t overly excited for my visit to Petra while in Jordan.  Since everyone claimed it was a must-see destination, and since I had previously put the goal into place to visit ALL of the new seven World Wonders, it also became a must-see for me.  So here I was on a trip to Jordan, being escorted and shown around by my Jordanian friend I knew from Abu Dhabi.  The timing was perfect, as he was currently visiting his homeland for a few weeks.  He truly was the perfect guide around Jordan, spending most of his life there, and having the same excitement as me to visit all of the spots he use to frequent as a child.

Petra was the underestimation of the century!  From the moment we entered the gates the red sandstone landscape was breathtaking! The way the sandstone had taken shape looked like a piece of creative art. As we were walking the path, my eyes gazed wide-eyed, taking in the colorful ‘art’ surrounding me.  At the end of the sandstone guided pathway, there it was, the most famous part of Petra, the Treasury Building.  Stunning, beautiful, grand, delightful; all words that could describe this carved landmark, but none that would do it justice!

Under the impression Petra mainly consisted of the Treasury Building and beautiful sandstone, I had no idea there was so much to discover!  Every way my eyes looked, I encountered a new piece of carved architecture and design. Petra, also known as the ‘Rose City,’ is actually 102 square miles, half built and half carved into the rocks.  It is filled with elaborate tombs and temples, beautifully carved into the pink/red sandstone cliffs.  This architecture is truly a must see!  There are so many times when people state, ‘you need to see it with your own eyes,’ and this is most definitely one of those times.

The Rose City dates all the way back to 300 B.C., as the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.  It is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most richest and largest archaeological sites. It is surrounded by mountains filled with passages and gorges.

We walked, we climbed, we picked the highest peaks, for the best views.  We spent around seven hours taking it all in, and let me tell you, seven hours in 100 degree heat is no joke!  We managed to laugh, explore, chat with the locals, and not kill each other in our times of exhaustion. Throughout the course of the day, we rode on a horse, a donkey and a camel, in between all of our long treks around the Rose City.

We had a lot of fun walking into the ‘houses’ built into the stone.  Eyad and I gave each other proper tours around the houses, showing off the glamorous kitchens, powder rooms, and wall art.  We mastered the art of real estate convincing each to purchase a few carved one and two bedroom properties.


Go see it, experience it for yourself!  Enjoy chatting with the local Jordanians.  Some of who actually dress and wear black eyeliner like a pirate.  They are there own culture and embrace the true Bedouin lifestyle.

Chichen Iza: A Mayan Mystery

November 2017–Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula


After my tequila-filled, cultural tour of Mexico City for the Day of the Dead celebrations, I jetted over to Cancun, Mexico for the sole purpose of exploring the massive architectural complex of Mayan ruins that is Chichen Itza!

In my mind, Chichen Itza consisted of one major step pyramid, with a few other buildings surrounding it.  I was VERY wrong. To be honest, I LOVE to be wrong on my travels.  It always proves to be an enlightening experience and opens my mind to learning strictly from the locals. So do I research my travels?  Somewhat, but I much prefer to learn as I go along, directly from the people who know it best!

And this is exactly what I did at Chichen Itza.  I learned the history first hand from a local archaeologist who proudly shared knowledge of his culture. Chichen Itza is actually an area of land that was once known as one of the largest Mayan cities at around 740 acres.  It dates back to 600 AD-1200 AD, giving it the well earned title as a new seven world wonder.

First and foremost, I was fascinated by the acoustics!  I came to Chichen Itza knowing about the bird-like echos produced by clapping your hands at the base of the Step Pyramid, but I wasn’t aware there was more!

IMG_0843

Let’s start with the Step Pyramid, also known as El Castillo (the castle).  91 steps make up the layered echo sound you hear as you clap your hands while standing at the base of any one of the four staircases.  The locals call this the ‘singing of the bird,’ but it’s said to have warned the Mayans of intruders coming into the city.

Now if that sound wasn’t amazing enough, moving over to the Great Ball Court took the cake.  Imagine this: You are sitting at the end of a 500 foot long open stadium and you are holding an effective conversation with a Royal family at the other end of the court, 500 feet way!  I couldn’t believe this was even possible, so of course my curiosity got the best of me, and I had to try it. With a few of our group at one end, and some on the other end, we spoke messages back and forth.  Even though we couldn’t sneak into the raised royal seating where the Mayans spoke in a whisper to converse on the opposite end, we still maintained conversation.   And surprisingly, for the most part, IT WORKED!  These unexplainable acoustics brought me a lot of laughs and pleasure!

IMG_0890
Stone carvings to honor the winner

Another fun fact I learned while at the Great Ball Court, was the game the Mayans played and their ‘reward’ for winning.  Pitz, an ancient Mayan ball game, was a one and done sort of game. It consisted of one rubber ball being bounced into a stone hoop without using hands.  One basket was considered a game win.  The winning captain then brought himself and his precious head to the losing captain to be decapitated.  HUGE WIN!  Why would anyone win a game and then lose their head?!?  In the Mayan culture this was considered the highest honor.  Not only did they receive a stone carving memorializing them on the wall of the Great Ball Court, they also got a direct ticket to heaven.  Pretty steep stakes in that game!

 

As I walked around Chichen Itza another stone temple that really attracted me was the Temple of a Thousand Warriors.  On the top of this temple sits the Mayan Rain God, Chacmool.  Chacmool is a male, life-size figure who sits in a reclined position with his stomach horizontal and his head up and turned 90 degrees. The Chacmool’s didn’t appear to be worshiped by the Mayans, but instead they used his stomach to hold sacrificial offerings to the Maize or Corn God. There were many Chacmool statues in Chichen Itza, but this one really stood out due to its placement on the top of the temple. The Temple of a Thousand Warriors also was surrounded by hundreds of columns that continued well into the jungle.  Shaped tall and massive, much like a warrior stance, from a distanced eye you may mistake them for warriors surrounding and guarding the temple.

One of my last fascinations while discovering Chichen Itza was the Wall of Skulls.  Most of you know, I have a passion for Halloween and all that it entails, so I really peaked an interest in the Wall of Skulls.  This wall had an eerie, but intriguing look to it, and  I couldn’t help but to take loads of photos and spend my time wondering why it was carved. Unfortunately is not much known behind the meaning of the wall, but because it is located right outside the Great Ball Court, it is believed that humans were sacrificed on the wall, and their heads were left to be displayed.

Chichen Itza checked off my third visit to a world wonder from my discover journey in began in June.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend an entire day to explore the ruins, and learn about the history that is this phenomenon!

Into the artistic side of Mexico City

November 2, 2017–Mexico City, Mexico


A walk into the streets of Mexico City, Mexico filled with artistic creations.

Enter into Mexico City’s fascinating street art culture, from vibrant paintings filing building walls, to Dia de los Muertos skull displays along the strip, Mexico city did NOT disappoint!  Flooded with art deco, I was lost in the in the streets of the city; my eyes enjoying the liveliness that is Mexico City!

 

First, a walk into the art that is graffiti; colorful, spray-painted street art.  We walked for blocks along the city streets taking in the beauty and dynamic colors each building held.

On a Uber ride home thru Paseo de la Reforma, we began passing large skull, after colorful skull.  It wasn’t even a second thought to get out of the car and view the beauty in the streets!  Not only did we peruse the decorated skulls, there were also ‘creatures’ created and designed for Dia de los Muertos made from paper mache.