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✈️ Chennai born, SF based wanderer 📸 I like to write & take photos 🌎 Living the life I imagined @acanelaexpeditions Ambassador
Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park, CA is more than just a photo stop. If you actually hike through Zabriskie, you will find a number of easy to moderate trails like the Badlands loop, Gower Gulch and Golden Canyon that will take you deeper into the badlands! Depending on when you go, here’s what you will need to pack in terms of hiking gear (SAVE post for later): . ✅Layer up: If you’re going Jan-April, the days can be warm with high winds! I love my wind resistant/water resistant jacket from @thenorthface . I wear dry fit, moisture wicking tops from @outdoorresearch - (try their Echo Collection) that help me stay comfortable in the heat. ✅Rain gear: Thunderstorms are common in the spring so a water resistant jacket and pants are helpful if you plan to be hiking! @columbia1938 has a waterproof omni-tech jacket that keeps me dry in the rain and the Hyvent @thenorthface pants are my go-to for staying dry during a rainy hike. ✅Hiking shoes: I love my @obozfootwear water proof hiking boots - they have excellent ankle support to help avoid injury walking in the rugged landscape. ✅Hats: I take a beanie to wear at night (as it can get chilly), and a day hat to protect yourself from the harsh sun is a must! @llbean has a No Fly Zone Boonie hat that provides a wide brim so better protection from the sun AND bugs. ✅Socks: In the desert heat, your feet will get hot while hiking. I wear @rei Smartwool Light Hiker socks (no itch)to keep my feet from getting sweaty and slipping around in my shoes. This lowers the risk of blisters. ✅Gloves/Down jacket: You may need both for sunrise photography - the early mornings can get chilly and windy! . Who’s heading to Death Valley National park this month?
Growing up as an Asian Indian immigrant in America has been ..complex for me..at times. I’ve lost my way and voice many times along the way.. . ✅In an effort to fit in, and compensate for my brownness (I didn’t consider it an issue but kids in school did because they would make fun of me for being a different skin color) I would not speak up in school and college. I wanted to be invisible. I wanted to FIT IN so I would never be made fun of again. So this is why in class every time the prof would ask a question I would never even make eye contact. I had no desire to voice my opinion. . ✅Many Asian Americans don’t speak up for many different reasons. Some of it is cultural, some of it is the “Model Minority” myth, some of it is survival etc. Many people still don’t believe Asian Americans face racism. Did you know anti-Asian hate crimes increased by nearly 150% in 2020? While crimes overall decreased in 2020, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150%. This analysis was released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California Sate University San Bernardino. . ✅ My Asian American female friends have told me they have been followed, harassed and called all kinds of racial slurs for as long as they can remember. What is so typical of this country is to not really focus on something unless it is sensationalized to the point of a viral video/brutal murder etc. All of us need to take racism against Asian Americans more seriously. While me and my Indian peers are not directly impacted by the recent events we must stand up for our Asian peers. Instead of letting the “Model Minority” myth divide us we must build a cross-cultural bridge between Asians, Black, Latino and Indigenous communities. Would love to hear your thoughts below ...even if you disagree :) . #visitcalifornia #respectcalifornia
Getting ready for my next road trip, who's coming with me?! . ✅It's been about a month since my last road trip to Death Valley and Joshua Tree National parks and I can’t wait to get back on the road to explore and show you a part of California I've never been to. In fact I bet most of you would not have heard of this area as well! As usual I'm contemplating what to pack and since I'm a minimalist, there is no other option but to take a small carry-on! 𝘽𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙮, 𝙄 𝙐𝙎𝙀𝘿 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙖 𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙘𝙠-𝙞𝙣 𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙙𝙖 𝙜𝙖𝙡 𝙚𝙭𝙘𝙚𝙥𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙮 𝙡𝙪𝙜𝙜𝙖𝙜𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙙𝙪𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙢𝙮 𝙀𝙉𝙏𝙄𝙍𝙀 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙥 - 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙚𝙣𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙩 𝙢𝙚! Many of you know that I've been a remote worker for the past 10 years so I often combine work and leisure, which is why I have to carry my work laptop on most of my trips, unless I’m camping! #Workation. ✅For this trip, I'll be taking my newly acquired @lojeltravel Cubo Small. First of all, after having had a dull dark blue carry-on for the past 15 years, the bright yellow instantly fills me with joy and anticipation!! Secondly, even though it's a small size, it has an expandable body that provides you extra space IF you need it! What I like about it is that there's even a compartment for your laptop! This way I can use my LOJEL Urbo 2 Travelpack backpack for only camera gear! The Travelpack is a stylish backpack that's perfect for my camera gear including my tripod (and a laptop if you need), and has become my go-to for travel! To see how this really looks come visit me on my IG stories where I demo the backpack and show you how the Cubo Small looks once you open it :) What's your favorite suitcase of choice for your travels - and are you a carry on or check-in traveler?! . 𝘕𝘖𝘛𝘌: 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘓𝘖𝘑𝘌𝘓'𝘴 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘶𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘎𝘭𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘭 𝘙𝘦𝘤𝘺𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 (𝘎𝘙𝘚) 𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 . 📸 Thank you @avecnicole for helping me capture this story ❤️
*Save post for later!! . What camera lens I use is one of the most popular questions I get asked often. I use the 70-300 & 16-35 F2.8. Below are some lenses you may want to consider depending on the type of photography you want to do: . ✅70-300: Known as a telephoto or compression lens this lens is useful for landscape, cityscapes (& street shots) and some wildlife (although you may need a 400-600 if you’re a wildlife photographer). This photo seen here was taken with a 70-300 giving the illusion that the mountain was a lot closer than it actually was. This is my go-to lens. ✅16-35 F2.8: A wide angle lens, great for landscape shots. Be careful of distortion at 16mm. In Lightroom if you use Lens Profiles, you can check that box to help correct for distortion in your image. This lens is perfect for sun flare captures, just stop down to F16 or so. With the F2.8 feature you also have the opportunity to dabble in portrait photography and create some nice bokeh. It is also the lens of choice for astro photography :) ✅85mm: While I don’t use this lens its a dream for true portrait photographers! It’s also great for street photography and outdoors. It’s a fixed lens meaning you are always shooting at 85mm focal length. ✅50mm: Another fixed or prime lens your focal length here is 50. F1.8 allows you to capture incredible bokeh, blurring out the background. but again I seldom use this one. This lens will require you to think creatively about your composition as you won’t be able to fit every element of your composition into the image. ✅24-70 F2.8: Probably one of the most versatile lenses around, this one can do portraits, landscapes, street photography! This is a go-to lens for many photographers. There is no distortion issues at 24mm, plus you get the advantage of a 50mm and zoom option at 70mm. If you want to travel with just one lens? Many will argue for this one! 𝗜’𝗺 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝘀𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗹 𝗽𝗵𝗼𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗽𝗵𝘆 𝗧𝘂𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟱𝗽𝗺 𝗽𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 @𝘁𝗵𝗲.𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗰.𝗻𝗲𝘁𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸. 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝗯𝗶𝗼 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿.
Death Valley National Park might be remote, intimidating and the hottest place on Earth (in summer). But it’s also one of the most unique places I’ve ever been to. These rainbow colored mountains or the Artists Palette will bring out the child in anyone!! You can’t help but walk around in awe, run up and down in delight and clap your hands in glee as you wander around this area. Here’s what you need to know about getting here (save post for later) - my first time I went to the wrong area :) . 1. The Artists Palette is located along a one way 9 mile road called the Artists Drive Scenic Loop. 2. The start of the drive is located off Badwater Road and clearly marked. Artists Palette is about 5 miles from the start and there is a parking lot you can park in right in front of these dunes. 3. Vehicles longer than 25 ft are not allowed to go on this road. The drive also has lots of dips which are fun! 4. You can park in the parking lot (entrance has a sign) and walk into the dunes. Be sure to walk around and climb the small hills to get different perspectives! 5. Sunsets and sunrises are the best time if you want to experiment with photography because the light can bring out the colors! . If you haven’t already entered my National Pass giveaway, tomorrow is the last day so enter (details in my previous post) to win 2 passes and some cool gear! ;) . #visitcalifornia #deathvalleynps #deathvalleylove #findyourpark #visitusa #adventurelife #cascadiaexplored #deathvalleynationalpark #briskoutdoors #whyihike #earth_shotz #bns_nature #cntraveler #cntgiveitashot #afarmag #afarmedia #tlpicks #stademagazine #condenasttraveller #ig_color #solarcollective #nationalparkgeek #somewheremagazine #hikingadventures #californiacaptures #californiathroughmylens #californiaphotography #wildcalifornia #californiablogger #californiaadventures
GIVEAWAY CLOSED! Winner is @litaofthepack_ Do you have a National Parks Pass? This pass was the best thing I invested in last year! The ROI on it is a no brainer. And now that spring is here, it’s time to get that pass out and explore some of our beautiful national parks! If you need some motivation to get outside, I’ve teamed up with my friends to giveaway TWO National Parks Passes to a winner! We are also including an @outdoormaster.official hydro backpack, @inacolorcloud hammock, @thru.pack fanny pack and @nosopatches puffy patches for when you rip your puffy, backpack etc! We hope this will encourage you to get out and explore. . Here’s how to Enter: 1️⃣Follow these accounts below (they all have awesome travel & photography tips!)👇🏽 @brown.eyed.flower.child @rouxroamer @paulinadao @eagertravele @goanniewhere . 2️⃣Tag the friend(s) you would take along to a national park in the comments below, each comment is another entry, so tag ALL the friends you know!!! BONUS ENTRY if you repost this to your story or feed and tell us which National park you want to visit (don’t forget to tag us so we can see you)! . Giveaway ends Friday March 19th at 11pm pst. Winner will be announced via dm March 20th! This Giveaway is not sponsored by Instagram.
Death Valley is such an intimidating name don’t you think!? Just thinking about going there gives me the shivers. I’m very impressionable that way - even a name can have an impact on me! 😅 Honestly DV National Park is no joke. It’s vast and desolate. Many roads require a 4wd. Many also don’t. Don’t let the roads and logistics intimidate you. I recently went on a girls trip to this national park, 8.5 hours away from San Francisco and had the most amazing time hiking and taking photographs!Here are 5 things to keep in mind when planning for DV: . 1. Wildflowers: Death Valley does have life! In March and April if you’re lucky you can see wildflowers. Check with the park ranger before you plan your trip. 2. Rocks move in DV: Yup! If you go to Racetrack Playa you’ll see rocks that have traveled over 1,500ft! Cold winter nights > freeze the water into ice > breaks into floating panels of ice > winds during the day drive the rocks forward, leaving trails in the soft mud. You need a 4wd to get here. 3. The sands sing: no joke. At the very top of the sand dunes (Eureka goes up to 680ft), when the sand slides down the steep face, you can hear a sound like the bass note of a pipe organ. 4. Devils Golf Course: you can GOLF at DV! J/k! But it is a colorful landscape of beautiful jagged spires. 5. Flooding: You want the rain so you can capture Badwater Basin with water! On the other hand if you’re in the park when it’s raining, beware. Since the water isn’t easily absorbed in the soil at DV, even moderate rainfall can cause flooding! So..when are you going!? Link in bio to my hiking/photography guide to Death Valley :) *Please remember to leave no trace. . #visitcalifornia #respectcalifornia #deathvalley #deathvalleynationalpark #nationalpark #nationalparkgeek #nationalparkservice #nationalparkweek #ig_color #traveloneworld #nationalparkusa #instagood #bns_earth #earthshotz #solarcollective #stademagazine #somewheremagazine #roamfeels #diversifyoutdoors #moods_in_frame #wonderfulwestcoast #californialovers #yournationalparks #shooters #rawcalifornia #california4fun #wildcalifornia_ #californiathroughmylens
I did a survey recently and 90% of you said you didn’t know many Indian female landscape photographers in the US. And when I went to capture Firefall this year at Yosemite National Park, I was surrounded by male photographers & maybe met only a handful of female photographers (only one Indian). It got me thinking. Even when I go to shoot around San Francisco, a majority of the photographers are male. I don’t see many female photographers let alone Indian ones. I hadn’t realized just how male-dominated the photography industry is. In terms of commissioning, exhibition, and publication of work, there is a lack of equality in the industry. . ✅Data collected by Women Photograph (an initiative to promote and support female photographers) shows that 8 of the world’s leading newspapers printed far fewer photographs by women than by men. The numbers vary. Just 3 photos out of 72 published were by women in Le Monde and 44/92 in the @thesanfranciscochronicle. . ✅In the latest global report on the State Of News Photography, 69% of women photographers said that they faced discrimination in the workplace. 54% of them cited sexism, 53% cited industry stereotypes and 49% cited a lack of opportunities for women. Men and women experience life differently and therefore bring different perspectives to the table ..yet “the view of what constitutes good photography has largely been defined by the work of men”. . ✅Diversity is so important in photography because photos are so powerful in shaping how we see the world! And I don’t want to see a skewed perspective do you!? So let’s #choosetochallenge and call out gender bias and inequality when you see it. The industry is changing but we have miles to go.... . #internationalwomensday #diversityandinclusion #diversitymatters #localadventurer #bayareaphotographer #indianwomen #indiangirlstravel #sheswanderful #wearetravelgirls #sheisnotlost #dametraveler #darlingescapes #damestravel #asianamerican #browngirl #browngirlswhoblog #browngirlbloggers #zion #zionnps #unlikelyhikers #diversifyoutdoors #womenwhohike #womenwhoexplore #melaninbasecamp #womenwhotravel #outsidemagazine #afarmag #tlpicks #southasian
*Save post for planning :) . So you can’t travel to Egypt, Morocco or Dubai yet to see some sand dunes!? No worries we have epic dunes right here in California :) The easy to access Mesquite dunes are found in Death Valley National Park. Best time to visit is December through April. If you haven’t yet gone to DV, this is the month to go ;) It was already kind of hot by the time I went end of Jan so don’t underestimate the heat - it can be pretty unbearable especially for a hike. Mesquite sand dunes are honestly the easiest to get to if you don’t have a 4wd which I don’t have. I liked the play of light and shadows here at sunset but get here at least 2 hours before sunset because it can take a while to hike into the dunes to scout, especially if you want to hike up one of the taller ones. Once you get into the dunes and the sun sets, the light fades pretty fast, so keep a gps/compass on you so you know how to get back to the parking lot. Three hikes that make a great stop before you visit the dunes are: . 1. Mosaic Canyon: good hike for families. The short stunning narrows are the highlight. 2. Darwin Falls: imagine a lush canyon alive with willows, cottonwoods and birdsong. Darwin falls cascades 25ft down some like green algae rock. 3. Ubehebe Craters: 600ft deep, this is the largest series of craters in the area. Walk along the loop trail at the rim of the crater OR take the shorter but steep trail to the bottom of the crater. Hiking up the steep loose cinder can make this hike longer. Who’s going to DV!? .
The lure of an open road. The promise of adventure. Ah the excitement that comes with a road trip. Priceless. Here I’m driving towards a little known gem just 15 minutes outside of Las Vegas called Red Rock Canyon. A rock climber’s paradise, this park has some very cool formations and hiking trails! 5 tips for exploring Red Rock: . 1. Road trip from SF is about 8.5 hours or you can fly to Vegas 2. Stay at an Airbnb near the park in the outskirts of Vegas or there are hotel properties like La Quinta Summerlin 3. Apply for a timed reservation on the park’s website. Required for visits between 8-5pm. Tip: go before 8am if you forget to get the reservation. 4. It’s a one way scenic drive through the park with numerous options to stop. Make sure you download the map of hiking trails and overlook points so you can plan where you want to stop. If you miss a spot you will need to go through the entire 13mi loop before you can get back :) 5. This park can get snow storms in winter so check weather, take tons of water it’s really dry, turn back from a trail if it’s too much, wear a mask when you come across others on a trail, AND leave no trace. Help keep the park pristine and beautiful for everyone to enjoy :) Have you been here? .
If ever there was a city to be stuck in during a pandemic, it’s San Francisco. If ever there was a state to be stuck in, it’s California. Forever grateful and constantly amazed and surprised by how beautiful California is ;) Hope you enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed shooting it :) DM for prints! . 📸 @sonyalpha 1/200, f25, iso 100, 136mm .
Should viewing firefall at Yosemite National Park be further restricted!? . 📍This was my first time going to see the natural phenomenon that may or may not occur each Feb for a short time, given the right conditions. Many of the blogs I read online prior to me going talked about how this started with a small group of photographers and now has turned into crowds of people that gather at the park to see/photograph this magical 10-12 minutes. The crowds at one point became so much that people trampled all over the fragile ecosystem and stood wherever they could to try and capture their shots. They also endangered themselves. So the park banned all those viewing points and restricted access in the recent years. . 📍In spite of that, this time, I saw photographers who still went to those restricted areas and took their photos, posted online, and people applauded them for having such a unique composition. Once you post something people will see it and want to go to that same spot. So where does our responsibility lie as humans? If we are unable to adhere to these restrictions ...and we continue to do things that might possibly hurt the environment and ourselves ...I wonder what the national park will do next to further restrict access. They will probably not ban the viewing since it’s on public lands but I’m curious about your thoughts: while everyone must have access to our public lands, 𝙞𝙛 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙢𝙞𝙩 𝙧𝙚𝙦𝙪𝙞𝙧𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨, 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣?
I went wilderness camping at Joshua Tree National Park and couldn’t find my tent one night! 😅 So learn from me, here’s what you need to know before you run off into the wild (link to blog in bio): . 1. JTNP is amazing for camping Feb, March and April! The days are pretty warm although the nights especially in Feb are really really really cold. So you need the right gear. Unlike me, please take GLOVES! I forgot mine. Rookie mistake. Once the sun sets the temperature drops and your hands are the first to feel it! . 2. Get a GPS!!! No if’s buts ands. GET it. I had gone to see the Cholla Cactus at sunset and was returning in the dark. I had headlamps and though I had landmarks for my tent location, in the dark the trees and rocks all looked the same. I couldn’t make out the shape of the rocks (my tent was somewhere behind a rock) clearly anymore. I kept going in circles. It was a scary feeling but thankfully some other hikers came through and told me they spotted a few tents so we took off in that direction and found home ;) I’ve never been happier to see our tents! . 3. There is no water in the park. Whatever water there is is for wildlife. So you need to bring ALL the water you need for your camping. Plan for at least one gallon per day per person. Do NOT underestimate the desert heat. . The best part about JTNP and wilderness camping is the freedom. The freedom to camp anywhere, dance under the billion stars, watch that blue/pink sunset and sunrise and just feel alive again. Check out my blog which details what you need to know when visiting this park, camping guide, what to do etc! Have you ever camped in the wilderness at JT? Would you want to!? .
The good news is that you do NOT need to book a permit or a reservation to camp in the wilderness at Joshua Tree National Park! I chose the Twin Tanks board because it’s right across from the Arch Rock area which I wanted to explore. Once you leave your parking lot you need to hike at least one mile away from the parking lot and at least 100ft away from a trail or water source before setting up your tent. The Arch Rock Nature Trail begins here and the Arch Rock itself is towards the right.
*GIVEAWAY CLOSED - WINNER IS @naomimiller6 . GLAMPING GIVEAWAY TIME! . I glamped at @wander.camp’s Zion location last year and was blown away by the untouched wilderness, the night skies and the epic sunrises! . The 2021 season opens up this March & in celebration.... we are GIVING you another FREE stay at ANY of the 6 Wander Camp Locations (Zion, Moab, Lake Powell/Escalante, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, or Glacier)! We did this same giveaway back in December for the Holidays and wanted to give everyone another shot at winning an amazing outdoor experience. . Here’s how to Enter: 1️⃣Follow these adventure travel accounts below!👇🏽 @theloverspassport @eagertravele @wander.camp @acanelaexpeditions @kytrisha . 2️⃣Tag the friend(s) you would bring along in the comments below, each comment is another entry, so tag ALL the friends you know!!! . BONUS ENTRY if you repost this to your story or feed and tell us which camp you want to visit (don’t forget to tag us @wander.camp so we can see you)! . Giveaway ends Sun Feb 28th and your stay is redeemable anytime in 2021. 🙌🏼 We can't wait to bring you another epic Glamping Adventure Next Year! . This Giveaway is not sponsored by Instagram