nature

Postcards from Laomei Green Reef, Taiwan

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Hello from Lao Mei, Taiwan.

It’s so nice to be back in Taiwan revisiting old nooks and discovering new places on this island that feels like home every time I am back. I think the beauty of going away is being able to come back and look at things with a new perspective and fresh lens. There are many memories I have from Asia and they grows richer with each trip.

I took the liberty of the Labour Day holiday and drove out to the North coast with friends. Taiwan is small yet I never cease to be amazed by the diverse landscapes and lush beauty the island seems to hold.

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Laomei Green Reef: A seaweed carpet formed by a type of algae that grows on the reef from April to May before the summer heat hits the coast. I have never seen such curious plants and might have taken a photo too many. taiwan_lao_mei_green_stones-12engagement_photography_taiwan_taipei
Chasing the light with Albert and Liz

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My squinty friend
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I have a few more days left here and it is always a fun battle between savouring moments like a local or taking photos like an unapologetic tourist. I leave feeling full from the warmth of the culture here and am excited to head back to Canada with a deeper understanding of Asia.

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And this is where I leave you.

Hello 2017

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Catching the sunset at Varkala Beach, India

Hello 2017!

Oh what a year.

2016  has taught me a lot. It’s good time to look back and celebrate all the achievements like graduating design school, travelling for my first photography project, backpacking to India, getting to work with some dream clients and learning to give myself a pat on the back for all of the above.

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On assignment for Alaska Air in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo by dad

This year has taught me the importance of home, of community, people, trusting my creative intuition and the joy of a home cooked meal.

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Baking lemon cookies for Christmas. Can we all agree nothing smells better than freshly grated lemon zest and hot butter?

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Baked eggs in avocado. Homemade breakfasts with your little sister @nasheedee are the best.

While it is good to set big goals for the new year. Here is to living each day with intention, from the moment you wake up and before you put your feet on the floor. Linger on those moments like talking on the phone with grandma, the smell of fresh lemon on your coconut flour cookies and the fog pouring over the waves of water on your morning run.

Things that never get old.

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Watching Canadian geese flying over the water at English Bay. A favourite place in Vancouver

To the new year!

Allepey: The Backwaters of Kerala, India

india_kerala_allepey-2The calm waters of Allepey, Kerala. It’s so peaceful here.

Hello from Kerala, India!

Besides having a load of unexpected events happen each day or learning the concept of “Indian time”. It has been an amazing time and I am glad to say I’ve met and made a few lovely and warm locals that spent no time in helping us get around or tell us everything we wanted to know about their life in India.

After arriving in Allepey, we spent the day on a houseboat drifting around the canals with short stops between villages and the endless rice patties. 

india_kerala_allepey-5Plantains – a main part of the Indian diet. I’ve tried it fried in batter with cumin, folded into coconut omelettes, tucked into Thaili meals and eaten raw like a normal banana.

india_kerala_allepey-4The tata with the coolest eyebrows who offered to row us around on his tiny boat (200 rupees) and said yes to this photo after we politely declined.

india_kerala_allepey-6Our cook on the houseboat was a marvellous one. We had papped fried in coconut oil, vegetable stir fry with coconut, the best sambar daal, cucumber bean salad and multiple rounds of chai each day. 

It’s been very interesting observing the locals and most of the time I am just blown away by the similarities and differences we have. 

Everyday people work(fish, grow rice or row boats), eat curry, bathe and basically live their lives by the river. It is refreshing to experience such a simple way of life and it makes me very grateful for the conveniences I am so used to on a day to day basis.

india_kerala_allepey-3The rows and rows of endless rice patties. I am certain that most of India is covered in rice fields.

As we travel through Kerala, I feel like I’ve understood a little more of this mysterious country in it’s vastness, beauty, culture, the people and everything in between that leaves me hungering for more.

Next up, Varkala Beach, Munnar and Kochin!

The universe is a beautiful place

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Sometimes in life things fall together in a way that is totally unexpected.

It can be as simple as meeting a new friend while grocery shopping or complicated like a series of unfortunate events that lead to other beautiful things.

As a kid, I’ve always loved Harry Potter (all seven of them, so sad they’re over). The world of magic where there seems to be unlimited possibility. The feeling that you can live in constant awe like Harry’s first time at the candy shop. I’ve come to realize in a way that magic isn’t limited to waving a wand or wearing a wizard hat. It’s not travelling to the end of the world nor as terrifying as taking a giant step into the unknown.

It is simply finding magic in the most simple and random places and trusting that it all comes together in the end. There’s definitely magic to that.

In some way, it’s like someone is out there orchestrating all these things and all we have to do is to live and to tell them well. It can be anything or anywhere you want. It’s something that keeps me really excited.

The universe is a beautiful place.

Note: This photo was taken on the Amtrak to Seattle, The train broke down on the way back and we were stuck on a platform in the middle of nowhere and there was nothing left to do than to make conversation with the person sitting next to you. That person turned out to be a retired pilot who’s travelled the world. I’ve heard that he’s recently picked up photography and continues to travel the world. That, my friends, is a mysterious and wonderful thing.

China: from my iPhone

“Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are” ― Henry David Thoreau

I thought I’d share some behind the scene snaps of China from the iPhone- which is always great to capture a photo-in-process or when I am in too much of a hurry to dig out my DSLR.

China is weird and wonderful in a way that you simply have to leave your logic behind and enjoy the ride. From fried ants in dishes, children clambering to have their photo taken on the street or guards threatening to take your camera away in tourist areas, it was quite the experience.

Here are some of my most favourite moments 🙂

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Antique tools from a little village in Anhui and the prettiest view from Huangshan

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Ham hanging from walls (lunch?) and a famous bridge in JIngde, Suzhou

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Shanghai fried bao on the streets and a boat crossing in Suzhou

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The cutest chinese puppy + one more from Huangshan

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Children on Jiuhuashan (I gave them peppermints in exchange for photos) and a dog who followed me around while his owner delivered tofu!

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Koi fish in Wujiang and succulents from a tourist area in Mudu

Stay tuned for more pictures from Taiwan!

China: A story in photos

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Dog on my uncles farm and a fishermen on the river in Suzhou

China, oh China.
There is so much to write about this country. Half the time it isn’t all fun but think 50% adventure with 100% culture shock. Moments when you find yourself terrified in over crowded public spaces, lost in the middle of nowhere with no maps no communication, over the top AQI’s and crazy taxi drivers.

And oh, did I mention Chinese food?

There is however, so much beauty in the great land of China and I am glad I got to witness a piece of it on this trip.

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Beautiful layers of mountains on Huangshan, Suzhou.

We spent a week in Suzhou, Anhui, Nanking and three days hiking on Huangshan(Yellow mountain) and Jiuhua mountain- legendary places that wooed poets, film makers and… me 🙂

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The cutest couple from a little village in Anhui- the grandma insisted on posing with watermelon!

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Luzhi- a water town in Suzhou where you can find the cutest antique shops

There is something about the way your eye is caught by smiles of people and the way light catches through old windows in towns so well preserved that you feel like you are travelling back in time.

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Children playing on the streets, Jiuhushan

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Sunset over Huangshan

These were plenty of moments I had to remind myself to put down the camera and take in how beautiful everything was. Travelling is magical in a way that you remember all the good things about being on the road and it always leaves you thirsting for more.

Note: These photos were photographed as an assignment for Getty Images/Instagram Awards for countries underrepresented.

En Route

landspace-sophiahsin-photography-1Hey Earth, you’re beautiful

The best kind of feeling is when you are on a plane headed to photograph beautiful things.

My favourite part is always when the plane is low enough to make out the landscape- the details of the mountains and streaks of light moving through the clouds. It’s a sight that makes me struggle between wanting to click the shutter like mad or pause and take it all in.

There’s nothing quite like it.