We traveled to Hawaii on a bit of a whim in Spring of 2013. Our goals were simple: relax, have fun, and see as much of Maui as possible in three days. We ended up driving far more than I ever imagined that we would. Many of the roads around the island's perimeter are winding, treacherous, and a whole lot of fun to drive. A substantial number of the pictures on this page were taken as we drove up to Haleakala National Park or to the remote town of Hana.
Near the end of our trip, we decided that air travel might be a more interesting way to see some of the locations we had missed. We hopped on a helicopter tour around the island, and then headed over to Molokai to grab some shots of the island's towering and waterfalls and imposing cliffs.
Bora Bora is a tropical paradise located in the Society islands of French Polynesia (Tahiti). The travel photos on this page represent some of our earliest attempts at serious photography.
We bought our first DSLR in preparation for our honeymoon trip to Tahiti. However, it quickly became apparent that one camera between two people wasn't going to cut it. In the three months leading up to our departure, we ended up buying so much gear that we had to get a Pelican case to haul it all in.
Tahiti was an incredible place to visit, and we can't wait to go back sometime in the near future. The Le Meridien resort, with its over-water bungalows, is featured in many of these images. An on-site sea turtle sanctuary provided us with the opportunity to see some of these gorgeous creatures up close. One of our favorite shots is featured here.
The UAE is an absolutely surreal place, and Dubai is its crown jewel. This middle-eastern metropolis has all of the grandeur of Las Vegas or Macau, but without a single casino in sight. Only about 10% of the population are Emirati. Most of the 2 million+ living here are expatriate laborers from south Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Somalia.
Dubai spends money like it's going out of style. From the imposing Burj Khalifa to the artificial Palm Jumerieh and World islands, no engineering task seems too outrageous for the UAE. With each new project, Dubai transfroms itself from an oil economy to a premier tourist destination.
Spread throughout this image set are a handful of photos from Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque.
London is (arguably) the center of the Western world, and it is without a doubt one of the most inspiring cities that we've had a chance to visit. As the Capital of England, and the heart of the former British Empire, London has established itself as one of the greatest cultural and financial centers in history.
It's hard to ignore the historical significance of everything that London has played host to over the centuries: Dickens' literature, Shakespeare's plays, Turner's paintings, and Churchill's resolve all come to mind, as does the heroics of fictional cultural icons like James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, and Doctor Who.
Images on the page include Westminster Palace, Big Ben, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The London Eye, The Shard, St. Paul's, Buckingham Palace, and The Natural History Museum.
Scotland is a truly incredible place to visit in August. The weather is nice, the wildlife is flourishing, and the capital city, Edinburgh, is packed with tourists, comedians, musicians, and artists for the annual festival season.
Truth be told, we didn't quite know what we were getting into when we landed in August of 2013. Our parents had invited us to join them for a week, and we accepted. When we arrived, we quickly realized that "The Festival" was really a collection of (what must have been) dozens of individual concurrent festivals all happening at once. We loved every minute of it.
We did take a few days off from the hustle and bustle of the city to visit St. Andrews, as well as some of the Highlands' lochs and castles. Our tour took us to Kilchurn Castle, Inveraray, Dourne Castle, Loch Awe, and Loch Lomond.
Our love of Scotland cannot be understated; Edinburgh in particular is on our short-list of future home cities.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is an annual event held nightly during August on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle in the Scottish Capital. Unusual name aside, the event is a month-long show of military and civilian bands, performers, and demonstration teams from around the world. Drums and bagpipes from across the Commonwealth are featured heavily, as are various performers and regiments from non-English-speaking countries that have never been part of the British domain.
These are photos from the 2013 Tattoo, which included performances from the massed pipes and drums, Mongolian throat singers, a Mexican mariachi band, an enthusiastic group of New Zealanders performing a war haka, and an incredible troupe of English motorcycle daredevils who were all under the age of 15.
We feel ashamed that we don't have more pictures of Austin, but unfortunately we didn't really get into photography until after we moved away. Austin was our home for five years while we attended school at The University of Texas. Austin is where we met; it's where we got engaged, and it's where we got married. Even though we weren't born there, and we don't live there anymore, Austin will always be home.
We'll add more photos soon, we promise.
Around here, peoples just call it "The City." San Francisco is a fun, weird, and crazy expensive place to live. Thankfully, our day jobs keep us away from the city limits of San Francisco proper; we spend our time in the eastern and southern parts of the Bay.
We do frequently head into the City for weekend excursions or for a special dinner. When friends visit, we always make a point of showing them all of the unique attractions that San Francisco has to offer. The photos here come from a number of "touristy" locations around the Bay: Alcatraz, Coit Tower, Pier 39, Union Square, the Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Park, and Napa Valley.
The California Academy of Sciences is one of our absolute favorite places to visit in San Francisco. Located in the heart of Golden Gate Park, "The Cal Academy" is home to a world-class natural history museum, planetarium, aquarium, and indoor rainforest.
Many of the photos on this page are taken from the indoor rainforest or aquarium portions of the institution; while technically they are two separate areas of the museum, they are seamlessly blended together into one experience. Once inside the four-story biodome, you ascend up to the top of the tree canopy to observe birds and butterflies, all the while passing individual exhibits of reptiles, insects, and amphibians. At the top, you hop in an elevator and descend below ground level into the massive aquarium complex hidden below the rainforest.
Elsewhere, the Academy has an indoor earthquake simulator, a digital dome planetarium, a naturalism center, and a lush, green living roof. Additional exhibits rotate throughout the year.
Muir Woods is a testament to the power and beauty of nature. The National Monument is only a short drive north of San Francisco, but it feels like it's worlds away. Giant 800 year-old redwoods tower 250 feet overhead, while a babbling creek and the occasional bird add the soundtrack to an otherwise still forest.
One of the most striking things about Muir Woods is how quiet it can really be. A special area called Cathedral Grove encourages visitors to not talk, and just listen to the forest around them. There are relatively few birds and insects here, and an almost perpetual layer of fog drapes the forest in mystery.
Muir Beach is nearby, and accessible via a short drive or a long hike. It's not a particularly large beach, and the Pacific Ocean is unbearably cold this far north. Nevertheless, it's a fun place to visit to feel the sand between your toes during the warmer months.
These pictures are from the Dubai Aquarium and Atlantis. Both are relatively recent additions to the Middle-Eastern metropolis' tourist map. The Dubai Aquarium is located within the Dubai Mall near the Burj Khalifa. Meanwhile, Atlantis is located at the very tip of the artificial Palm Jumeriah island.
Both aquariums are magnificent in their own right. The Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo features a main tank that towers 27+ feet over the mall interior. The tank is so large that they offer glass-bottom boat tours and SCUBA diving excursions. Hidden away from view, the aquarium also features an imposing Austrailian Crocodile named "King Croc."
The "Lost Chambers Aquarium" at Atlantis evokes the ruins of a long-lost civilization buried under the crystal clear waters of the Persian Gulf. The aquarium hosts over 65,000 fish and sea creatures, and the main tank visible throughout the resort holds over 3,000,000 gallons of saltwater.
Jordan here- my work takes me to Taipei once or twice a year, and just about every time I go I end up working straight through from touchdown to takeoff.
One of these days I plan to schedule some extra time off, take a full camera kit, and really do my best to capture Taiwanese culture. Until then, this handful of images from one of my first visits will have to suffice.
The giant yellow ball that you see here is actually a massive 660 ton wind damper located near the top of Taipei 101. During typhoons and earthquakes (which are both quite frequent in Taipei), the damper absorbs shocks and movement in the upper tower using a combination of steel cables and hydraulic shock absorbers. A museum just a few floors above this houses a priceless collection of carved gemstone coral.