Rockets Red Glare over Dodger Stadium

There’s nothing more American than fireworks on the 4th of July while at a baseball game. And I would bet this is one of the best views you will get in Los Angeles for a fireworks show. This park overlooking Dodger Stadium is not that well known with Angelenos. Everyone, including me, prefers nearby Griffith Park for it’s trails and views. But Elysian Fields has pretty good hiking trails of its own and is not as crowded. Unless you are coming to enjoy the fireworks show. Then all of LA decides to show up.

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Here is another shot from last night. I had never photographed fireworks before so I took hundreds of pictures and hoped for the best. I was actually pretty happy with the results. I’ll upload a few more at a future date. Good thing the Dodgers have multiple fireworks shows throughout the season. They can count on me to be up at Elysian Fields shooting away.

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Clarice DaFonJuly 6, 2012 - 7:08 am

Wow! These pictures are amazing! You definitely need to go to Copacabana for the New Year’s eve!
I’m glad you didn’t go to San Diego for the fireworks… LOL

Rafael BautistaJuly 6, 2012 - 11:05 am

I would love to go back to Rio! Right now, I’m planning on being there for the World Cup. I might leave my camera at home for that trip. I’ll be too busy partying to take any photos. And yea, I saw what happened in San Diego. That was messed up.

Step into Paradise

Imagine stepping out of your back yard and this is your view? I would just throw up a hammock between these two palm trees, pop open a bottle of vino, and call it a day. Up and down the Mayan Riviera you can find numerous little towns with views just like this one. This happens to be in Akumal which means “place of the turtles” in Mayan. This beach is a popular nesting ground for endangered Green sea turtles. You can actually swim out to where the boats are, peek into the water, and witness these beautiful creatures swimming right below the surface. After a nice swim, it’s back to the hammock to finish off the bottle of vino and enjoy the view. Now that’s what I call paradise.

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Blue Night at Hotel Inglaterra

I could walk the streets of Havana all day long. The sights, sounds, and colors are unlike any other place I have been to. If you are a music lover, you can’t go wrong with going for a stroll in the city. Wherever you go, you are bound to hear some great music emanating from every corner. And the live music in the bars and cafes is spectacular. Cubans are highly accomplished musicians. It’s as if the Buena Vista Social Club are playing everywhere. A great place to stop and listen to the music while enjoying a mojito is the street-side bar at the Hotel Inglaterra. After a long day’s walk, nothing beats a cold drink and some good music while you take in all the chaotic sights and sounds that make up the city of La Habana.

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Playacar Sunset

Over the last five years, I have lived on and off in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It’s one of my favorite places on earth and this has been my neighborhood the whole time. This quiet little beach is very tranquil and away from the crowds. Whenever I’m far away, I get pretty nostalgic and can’t wait to return. It’s my one place to go and get away from it all. This particular day, I was at the beach all day and was getting ready to leave when the sun was just about to set. As I admired the beautiful colors in the sky, I was wondering when I will get to witness it again. Hopefully soon. I took a photo and headed home. Not a bad way to end the day.

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Mama Bear and Flapjack

I love hiking. It’s healthy, adventurous, and you get to discover the wonderful sights found in nature. Like this place up in the Redwood forest. It is a little roadside attraction named the Trees of Mystery. As you drive along the 101 FWY near Klamath, you’ll see a gigantic 50 ft. statue of Paul Bunyan and his ox Babe. Inside you can hike throughout the forest and discover strange trees growing in all sorts of odd shapes and directions. Maybe the fact that they have been there for 1000+ years has something to do with it. Also, there is a tram ride up to an observation deck where you can enjoy a view of the Redwoods all the way out to the Pacific Ocean. But my favorite attractions were actually the many wood carvings scattered throughout the park. As I was winding down my hike, I came upon this Mama Bear and her cub. She had this look that said “Thanks for visiting. Do you have any scraps of food or should I just eat you instead?”

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El Castillo de Tulum

The most impressive of the ruins in Tulum has to be El Castillo (The Castle). This is where the Mayan king would hold court over the most important civil and religious ceremonies. It sits atop a cliff facing out to the Caribbean and looks very imposing from land and from sea. At one time this also served as a lighthouse for Mayan sailors and there used to be a continuous fire at the very top. But that was a long time ago. Now it’s a very popular tourist attraction with a lovely beach down below and cool looking iguanas crawling everywhere. I have been there many times and highly recommend a visit. I suggest you arrive early to avoid the crowds and also to avoid the hot sun. It can be brutal. You can tour the many ruins in about an hour and then go for a nice swim in the beautiful beach with El Castillo right above you.

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Marcia KirbyAugust 12, 2012 - 11:00 pm

Your photos are simply amazing! Thank you so much for capturing the essence of the Yucatan coast. Best regards!

Rafael BautistaAugust 12, 2012 - 11:11 pm

Thanks for the kind words, Marcia. I have many more photos from the Mayan Riviera on the site. And many more coming soon. Feel free to comment and share. Enjoy!

Marcia KirbyAugust 12, 2012 - 11:14 pm

Rafael! Your photos are just amazing. You are very, very talented. Thank you so much for kindly sharing your beautiful photos. So, you live in Playa? My family owns two homes in Akumal. I have spent 30 years exploring the coast.

Rafael BautistaAugust 12, 2012 - 11:17 pm

Marcia Kirby: I travel back and forth between Playa and California. I was just there in April and May. Hoping to return in September. Let’s keep in touch. You could probably recommend some great spots for my next photo adventure.

Marcia KirbyAugust 13, 2012 - 9:52 pm

I would be delighted to share a few of my secret spots with you. Please do stay in touch. My email is marcia@akumaldirect.com

[…] favorite beach there is in the town of Tulum. Most people are aware of Tulum for its famous Mayan ruins, but once they visit they keep coming back for the beach. I’ve been going for close to 20 […]

Impending Storm over Trinidad

I had just got off the bus in Trinidad, Cuba and the storm clouds were already starting to form. It’s such a quaint colonial town so I went out exploring before the rain fell. I was trying to get access to the rooftops of some of the buildings but most of them were undergoing repairs. Finally, I went into the Museo Romantico and asked the guard for permission to go up on the roof. He actually said yes even thought it was off limits. I climbed the creaky wooden steps up to the roof of this 250+ year old building hoping they wouldn’t collapse below me. From up there, I was able to admire the beautiful Trinidad landscape. The view was so enchanting I ended up staying for over an hour just as the sun was setting beyond the sea. Then the rain came poring down.

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Gerardo MontelongoJune 30, 2012 - 8:20 pm

Very Impressive….

Rafael BautistaJune 30, 2012 - 9:24 pm

Thanks, @[827184372:2048:Gerardo]. Glad you liked it.

Cuba AbsolutelyMarch 29, 2013 - 5:16 am

Beautiful pictures

PixamundoMarch 31, 2013 - 1:02 am

Thanks for the kind words @[117958641550184:274:Cuba Absolutely].

Evening Twilight Over Los Angeles

I went out shooting with a group of photographers in downtown Los Angeles and they picked a great spot that I was unfamiliar with. Right on the corner of Olive and 8th is the 100+ year old Commercial Exchange Building which has some nice views of the downtown skyline. Also, I had never noticed the different colors of the LA streets down below. The building has been vacant for many years and nowadays the only people that visit it are photographers, taggers and the homeless. We ran into a couple of photographers filming from the rooftop and a homeless guy with a bicycle who claimed that he had set up booby traps to keep out intruders. I took this photo while leaning over a creaky fire escape that feels like it’s ready to come crashing down at any moment. Normally, I am not afraid of heights but this time I was happy to get back inside where the homeless guy was.

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Worshiping the Sun God

Turns out it’s not just the Mayans who worshipped the sun, so did the iguanas. They still do…but I don’t. On this day, I was avoiding it as much as possible. I was walking around the Mayan ruins in Tulum taking photos before the crowds showed up but it was brutally hot and humid. Even though I took this photo around 9 in the morning, the sun was already at full force. I had to keep wiping away the sweat that was dripping down my forehead and into my eyes. I couldn’t even see through the viewfinder of my camera. With my tongue hanging out of the side of my mouth, I labored on and then came upon this little guy resting on an ancient ruin and basking in the sun. He said to me “Yea, it’s friggin hot. So what? Just chill and enjoy the view man.” You know what? He was right. I took a couple photos and then proceeded to admire the beautiful Caribbean sea with my newfound friend. Ok, ok, so my brain might have been a little fried from the heat that suddenly I hear iguanas talking to me. But, hey, they are quite mellow and not too chatty. Those are the best friends to have.

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Nubia BalamJanuary 25, 2013 - 9:50 am

Que lujo de la iguana contemplando el mar de coba jejejeje! Buen momento me encanto! xoxox

PixamundoJanuary 25, 2013 - 10:03 am

Si, esa iguana sabe lo que es bueno.

Mirta Blasia TassiniJuly 27, 2014 - 10:27 pm

Que belleza…!! Es extraordinario el paisaje y la foto..Felicitaciones y Abrazos Querido Amigo..!!!

Classic Chevy Sleeping Dog

When I am out taking photos, I normally avoid shooting during the noon hours since the light is usually not the most ideal for good photography. But on this particular day, I ignored my own rules and was out shooting in the afternoon when I came upon this perfect photo opportunity. I had been walking all day in the hot, humid weather in Trinidad, Cuba when suddenly, from a block away, I saw a dog laying in the street next to this classic car. I quietly walked up on the opposite side of the street, leaned against the wall, crouched down and shot the first pic. As I was getting ready to make an adjustment to my camera, the dog looked up and must have disapproved of what I was doing cause he scattered off.  Man…who knew that dogs are so sensitive to having their photo taken. He must have thought I was from the canine paparazzi.

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Clarice DaFonJuly 1, 2012 - 1:21 am

This picture is awesome! The colors, the car, the dog…

Rafael BautistaJuly 5, 2012 - 12:33 pm

Thanks, @[711343215:2048:Clarice]. I lucked out on this one. It was a one shot deal. The dog would not cooperate for more.

Clarice DaFonJuly 5, 2012 - 3:12 pm

I guess Cuban dogs don’t like American tourists! LOL

Clarice DaFonJuly 5, 2012 - 10:13 pm

I guess Cuban dogs don’t like American tourists! LOL

dj münchenMarch 11, 2013 - 1:51 pm

…wonderful site ! I`ve been six times in Cuba – allover

If you are interested : my travel blog – http://djservicebayernreise.wordpress.com/

unfortunately in german

Greets
Rainer

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