Which Historical Site Next?

Top Ten Historical Sites in the World

Do you have a bucket list?  And, if so, would you pick historical sites to visit?  I’m debating on what I should add to my travel list…  I’ve only been to one of the top ten historical sites so far, and there are a couple in the running for the very near future.

The List

Machu Picchu


Pyramids at Giza

Angkor Wat


Stonehenge (Been There)



Easter Island

Taj Mahal



Gallery Store Is Up!

The Gallery Store – It’s Up and Running! I

I finally have the Gallery Store up and running!  There several different galleries.  Be sure to check them all out!  All images are available in a couple different finishes.  The metal prints have the image directly infused into the aluminum, and have a float mount hanger attached to the back.  The Metallic prints are unframed with a glossy finish, and metallic appearance.  
Come on in!
  There are many images to choose from!  Come back often, I am always adding more!

Gallery Store, Panoramic Photographs, Surfers, Julie Plevak

Available in the Panoramic Gallery

Image Gallery, Store Gallery, Prints for Purchase, Julie Plevak

Available in the Image Gallery

Mandala Art, Mandala Gallery, Gallery Store, Julie Plevak

Available in the Mandala Gallery

Hiking and Camping – Sedona, AZ

Twisty Things & Other Stuff – Sedona, AZ

I recently returned from a camping trip in Sedona, AZ.  It’s one of my favorite places, and it had been far too long since my last visit.   After looking forward to this trip for several weeks, a wildfire broke out in Oak Creek Canyon on May 20, 2014.  Our campground was shut down, the road into the canyon was closed, and people were evacuated.   After much contemplation, my friend and I decided to go anyway.  We were able to find another campground that hadn’t been affected by the fire, and another route into Sedona, AZ.

It was a vacation of contrasts, to say the least…  It was one of the most peaceful I’ve had in a long time, and one that ended with a traumatic injury.  I slipped while hiking, tried to save my camera, and ended up plowing face first into a small boulder.  Thankfully nothing was broken, however, I did end up with a concussion.  It’s been three weeks since the fall, and a very slow recovery.

In the end, the fire was finally contained on June 4, 2014… 21,227 acres had burned.


We arrived at Lo Lo Mai Springs Campground and were happy to find a tent site right along Oak Creek.

Sedona, AZ, Oak Creek, Camping, Travel, Julie Plevak

Oak Creek Campsite

 After we set up camp, we headed into Sedona, AZ.  This quickly put things into perspective.  Signs of gratitude were everywhere.

Gratitude, Sedona, AZ, Sedona fireman, Travel, Julie Plevak

Thanks Hot Shots!

The next morning we woke up to the smell of a campfire…  Not a good sign since they had been banned countywide!  The wind had shifted, and smoke from the wildfire was hanging low over our campground.  Air quality was poor, so we went back into town to find some sort of air masks.  We ended up with bandanas and goggles!

Sedona, AZ, smoke inhalation protection, Bell Rock hike, Travel, Julie Plevak

Protection From The Smoke

















The smoke was so bad, we decided to go kayaking on the Verde River.  We met up with the Sedona Adventure Tours team for a three hour guided tour.  These guys are awesome, and the tour was tons of fun!

Verde River Kayaking, Sedona, AZ, Sedona Adventure Tours, Kayak, Travel, Julie Plevak

Kayaking on the Verde River

Thankfully the smoke shifted and we were able to go hiking. We chose the Bell Rock Path.

Sedona, AZ hiking, Bell Rock hikes, Travel, Julie Plevak

Which Way?

The higher you climb up on Bell Rock, the more twisted the juniper trees become from the vortex energy.

Juniper Tree, Sedona Vortex. Bell Rock hike, Sedona, AZ, Travel, Julie Plevak

Vortex Twist

The views in Sedona are phenomenal.

Sedona Red Rocks, Sedona, AZ, Hiking, Hikes, Travel, Julie Plevak

Red Rocks of Sedona

After a four hour hike at Bell Rock, we headed over to the Airport Mesa Vortex. We wanted to grab a couple more photos, and it was a quick hike to the top.

Airport Mesa Vortex, Sedona, AZ ,hiking, Julie Plevak, Travel

On Top of the World


















I was just about at the bottom, when I started sliding on some loose dirt. I landed face first into a small boulder, and had to take a trip to the ER in Sedona.

Broken glasses,black eye, Sedona, AZ, hike, hiking

The Aftermath of the Fall

Mixed Media Art

Mixed Media Art – A Fusion of Elements

This is a new project I’m working on.  It’s a fusion of photographs, organic elements & discarded scrap.  I’m planning on working with metal, stone, and glass.  The project is a collaboration with Christine Wetzel, a San Francisco Artist/Photographer.  She is creating photographs, incorporating what some might consider trash.  We will be hosting an Art Show in the Bay Area upon completion, and are currently seeking out a space.

Mixed Media Art

Mixed Media Buddha

















Mixed Media Art

Buddha Mixed Media


Mixed Media Art

Buddha Mantra Mixed Media


Lensbaby – Industrial Pieces

 Lensbaby Composer –  Double Glass Optic With Macro Converter

I brought out the Lensbaby Composer today, and am using the double glass optic combined with the macro converter…  I’ve been collecting some industrial “stuff” to use for art pieces.   This is one of my scrap finds… Not sure what I’m doing with it yet!  I’m hoping to use it in a mixed media art piece of some sort.  I just recently added the Lensbaby macro converter to my collection, and thought I’d see what kind of look it would give to this piece.  I’m actually pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I like the metal, rust, and texture of it.

Lensbaby Composer Double Optic Macro Converter

Industrial Piece & The Lensbaby

Lensbaby Macro Converter – Texture

Texture and the Macro Converter for Lensbaby

The Macro Converter for the Lensbaby was my choice again for week three of this project.  I was working with different textures, and the macro converter was the perfect choice here. This is a screen that is above my shower.  Normally, when the water and soap hit it, my first thought is not to grab my camera!  When I saw texture of the bubbles on the screen, I grabbed the Lensbaby!  I love the strange movement in it.   It’s almost as if it’s growing some weird alien matter.

Macro Converter for the Lensbaby

Lensbaby Macro Converter and Texture

Lensbaby Macro and Film Reels

More Lensbaby Macro and Film Reels…

Ok, I am obsessed with the Lensbaby Macro!  I’m literally looking for things I can get up close to and photograph.  For week four, I decided to bust out the film reels again.  I have a lot of them… And, there is so much you can do with them.   I had to experiment for awhile to get the look I was after.   I stacked the Macro onto the Double Optic, and discovered there is a bit of a learning curve to find the sweet spot.  There are just so many different ways to play with this lens.   I’m already wondering which Lensbaby to get next!  I am definitely feeling like a little kid in a toy store!  Give me more!

Lensbaby Macro

Lensbaby Macro and Film Reels

Lensbaby Macro Converter – 52 Week Project – Manipulated Reality

Week  two has been a lot of experimenting with Lensbaby Macro Converter, and learning it’s capabilities.  I really like some of the results I’m getting.  There really isn’t much not to like about any Lensbaby!  I’ve continued to work with some industrial pieces, and  it’s been more fun than I expected.  This one is from an old film reel.  I found it at a stored called  Art From Scrap in Santa Barbara, CA.  The store is a treasure chest of all kinds of scrap material!  I spend way to much money there, but it’s such a fun place!

lensbaby macro converter

Film Reel and The Lensbaby Macro Converter


Lensbaby Macro Converter – 52 Week Project – Manipulated Reality

Lensbaby Macro Converter – My New Toy!

I just added a Lensbaby macro converter to my Lensbaby composer.  Now it’s time to play! I’m part of a 52 Week Photo Project on Facebook.  Most of us are professional photographers, or very enthusiastic amateurs.  We all participated in a 365 Project the year before… One photo a day for the entire year.  Not many finished the entire year, myself included.  It was harder than we anticipated.  We’re going to try for one a week this year!  I’m attempting the entire project using the Lensbaby!   I’ll post some of my project Lensbaby photographs on the blog.  I’m starting  with the Lensbaby composer, and a double glass optic.

Lensbaby Composer, Boy On Beach, 52 Week Photo Project

Lensbaby Composer and A Boy on the Beach

Venice Beach Day Trip

Day Trip to Venice Beach, CA

When my friends suggested a day trip to Venice Beach, I couldn’t resist.  It had been several years since I had last been there, so I packed up the Lensbaby and headed out. Venice Beach is a visual paradise, with no shortage of characters.

We started our day on the boardwalk.  With so many shops, restaurants, and things to check out, you can wander for hours.  And, it’s definitely a great place to people watch!

Next it was time to hit the beach, and bust out the surfboards.  The waves weren’t huge, but they were big enough for the kids.

We finished our day with a Margherita Pizza and Beer at Danny’s on Windward Avenue.  Yum! What a perfect way to end a super fun day!

Travel, Venice Beach Day Trip, Day Trip from Santa Barbara, Venice Beach Artist

Venice Beach Artist

Venice Beach Day Trip, Venice Beach CA, travel California, Day trips from Santa Barbara, Venice Beach Art

Venice Beach Art Mural

Travel, Venice Beach boardwalk, Venice Beach Day Trip, Venice Beach Ca, Day trip from Santa Barbara California

Dancing with the Devil, Venice Beach

Venice Beach Day Trip, Travel, Venice Beach California, Lensbaby, Day Trips from Santa Barbara

Venice Beach Wall Graffiti Wall


Venice Beach Day Trip, Travel, Venice Beach California, Lensbaby, Day Trips from Santa Barbara, Surfer

Venice Beach Surfer