Beijing China

On our way over to Seoul and Tokyo, Jason booked us a 20ish hour layover in Beijing both directions. I was skeptical, seemed like a lot of hassle to see part of such an intimidating (at least in my mind) city but oh how my expectations were shattered.  

 

The shoulder width alley to The Orchid Hotel at Night.  

The shoulder width alley to The Orchid Hotel at Night.  

We arrived around 8pm. Feeling brave we decided to take the airport express train and the metro to our hotel which meant navigating the Hutongs, alley way neighborhoods in Beijing, at night. we had about a 15 minute walk and then came upon the street! Luckily, it wasn't too hard to find the alley that would lead us to our lodging, The Orchid Hotel, an oasis in the heart of a big city. 

The alley in the morning, walking away from the hotel.  

The alley in the morning, walking away from the hotel.  

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Jason in front of our hotel room.  

 

The beautifully restored hotel.  

The beautifully restored hotel.  

Toast, the hotel's restaurant.  

Toast, the hotel's restaurant.  

Nothing like black tea to cure your jet lag.  

Nothing like black tea to cure your jet lag.  

And the award for best Jet Lagged Breafast of 2017 goes too...Jason and Toast restaurant!  

And the award for best Jet Lagged Breafast of 2017 goes too...Jason and Toast restaurant!  

After venturing out the night before eating a dinner of dumplings and then running to a Chinese Brewery, we crashed at about 10:30pm. Having been up since 7:30AM in California and only taking two quick naps on the plane it was definitely time to sleep, even if Jason thinks he could have stayed out longer! 

 

We we woke up and headed to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast. I can safely say I have never had food this delicious at any hotel in the States AND we didn't have to pay extra for it! This puts any continental breakfast to shame, even the hotels with the build your own omelette bar. I ate shakshuka with Chinese flat bread and Jason ate "The Chinglish", accompanied by unlimited green and black tea. I have to say the food even put to shame some of the best brunch spots I've been too. 

 

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The alley of the Orchid Hotel branches off this street. 

The alley of the Orchid Hotel branches off this street. 

Jason observing the many homemade/customized scooters, bicycles and vehicles. 

Jason observing the many homemade/customized scooters, bicycles and vehicles. 

We unfortunately didn't have much time to site see in Beijing, since we needed to head to the airport around 11am. Our hotel was located directly around the corner from the Drum Tower and Bell Tower and so we began our day there. It was definitely worth walking up the towers and we happened to catch the first Bell Tower performance.

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The stairs in both towers were incredibly steep!  

The stairs in both towers were incredibly steep!  

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Detail of a game in one of the parks near the Drum Tower. 

Detail of a game in one of the parks near the Drum Tower. 

After the towers we decided to wander around the Hutongs toward the Lama Temple and to the subway. We explored the streets and stumbled across some of the coolest little shops and cafes. As we were walking toward the subway we instantly regretted not staying in Beijing longer. From what we saw and experienced it is a beautiful city with wonderfully nice people and so much to explore. Needless to say I changed my mind am excited for our next layover in Beijing! 

 

View from the Drum Tower.  

View from the Drum Tower.  

Washington DC

In the midst of the mid-summer heat, I spent with my sister and her boyfriend Nick. Having been to our nation's capitol twice before, this was the first time I really saw the city and got to take advantage of the amazing activities it  has to offer.  

 

We utilized the city's Capital Bikeshare to get around the city.  

We utilized the city's Capital Bikeshare to get around the city.  

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While it was 100+ during the day, we decided to take a little midnight bike tour of the monuments. The national monument is open 24 hrs and good ol'Lincoln never seems to be alone.  

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Now if I could have only captured the amount of bugs swarming around us you could really grasp the magic of the monuments at night.  

Now if I could have only captured the amount of bugs swarming around us you could really grasp the magic of the monuments at night.  

Naturally we went into a plethora of museums, you can't go more than a few blocks without running into one!  

 

Good ol'Teddy Roosevelt's hands in the National portrait gallery.  

Good ol'Teddy Roosevelt's hands in the National portrait gallery.  

Perhaps my favorite Degas ever..."Woman Seated in an Armchair Wiping Her Left Armpit"  

Perhaps my favorite Degas ever..."Woman Seated in an Armchair Wiping Her Left Armpit"  

In summary I learned a few things whilst in DC, I should have packed bug spray, double check the time your bus leaves (at least I was too early not too late), bike everywhere if you can and never go to DC in July.  

Beach with the Family

This blog post is a little over due but these are some fun snaps of a family outing to the beach in West Marin, California! It was one of the first times my parents, sisters and boyfriends were in the same place at once! 

Moving Photographs

Jason (my boyfriend) sent this to me the other morning in a text message and I found it astoundingly beautiful. I love the idea of making old photographs come alive, because only the photographer really truly knows the context. We hold on to images, whether our own creations or others' because they are sentimental. This gif is a testament to the power of a photograph. 

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Mount Pilchuck

A few days ago Jason and I went on an amazing hike! It was quite the adventure, to say the least. Snow, rocks, rushing water, amazing views, bugs, the hike to the summit of Mount Pilchuck has it all. Who would have thought I'd be hiking through snow in the middle of July? The summit is amazing with a old fire lookout turned observation deck and a 360 view of the Cascades and surrounding area. 

If you have never been on this hike I strongly suggest it! Although if you aren't prepared for the snow, like me, it can be a little dangerous. Also bring bug spray! The mosquitoes were unbelievably terrible.  

View from the summit (see if you can find Jason!) 

 

spring break: coffee

I am obsessed with coffee, I could be considered an amateur snob. When I travel I love to find new and quality coffee shops around the world. I feel like you can really get to know a city by shipping those trips to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. I believe in taking a risk!  Try some coffee or tea shop that has some local roots! 

My boyfriend, Jason, and I took a little road trip up to Vancouver, B.C. for our Spring Break. We had a fantastic time biking around the city, enjoying the sunshine and eating tons of delicious food I'll post mark about it soon. The two best cups of coffee we had were from Revolver in Vancouver and Onyx Coffee Bar in Bellingham, WA. Both are third wave coffee shops, specializing in single origin coffee and a have a few similarities. 

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Revolver Coffee Shop, not only features fantastic coffee, but is a fantastic space. WIth a beautiful exposed brick wall, beautiful wood bar and a beautiful display of nerdy coffee equipment. One unique feature of this shop? Their rotating menu of coffee beans, featuring beans roasted from all over the world. If your in Vancouver, it is definitely worth a visit. From Cappuccinos to single origins their coffee is definitely made with care and will make your morning or afternoon! 

Their current coffees: Phil & Sebastian (Calgary), Sightglass (San Francisco), Heart (Portland), Matchstick (Vancouver), Handsome (Los Angeles), and Bows and Arrows (Victoria).

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Onyx Coffee Bar on the other hand is only open on Saturdays, but if you luckily find yourself in Bellingham while the little coffee bar is open it is definitely worth a visit. If you are looking for a good cup of speciality crafted coffee, this is your place but don't expect there to be milk or sugar or an espresso machine. Onyx is primarily a tasting and training lab, the owners source green coffee beans from primarily South America for a variety of different roasters and features those roasters coffees in their shop. 

On the day we happened to go in the coffee selection was all from Heart in Portland, OR. Jason and I decided to try two different coffees. I chose the Ethiopia Yukro and Jason the Colombia Perla del Sur. Two extremely different coffees but each was dialed in so perfectly, that each had amazing flavor profiles. Not to mention I'm in love with their coffee cups! Onyx coffee bar featured not only good coffee but a wonderful environment with great conversation and a laid back style. It is worth the venture off of I-5 on a Saturday. 

There's more to come on our Spring Break adventure in the next few days! 

a sneak peak into my b.f.a

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Here is a preview of my thesis show!

I am working on saint cards that are based off of my ancestors, and starring me. The show will open the end of May and I will be working on this project intensively for the next few months! Some of the images will change, new ones will be added, re-edits, reshoots and final touches will be put in place...and then they will all be framed and installed as altars in the gallery space.

From left to right: Grandmother, Grandma Helen, Grandpa Willard, and Grandma Joan.

Keep an eye out for new additions and updates in the upcoming weeks! 

Business Cards

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Every photographer needs business cards. So, I had some of mine printed up and I'm ready to start passing them out. New website, business cards, second to last quarter of college conquered? Things are looking up. 

Check out the mock-up before they were printed below. I'm planning on printing more soon to have some variety! 

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Update!

So as you may have noticed I am working on my new site! I'm building new galleries, re-editing old photos, and trying to organize myself. Although finals week just hit and so I feel a bit like this: 

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But I am almost done with finals! And what, might you ask will I be doing for Spring Break?

Going to Vancouver! 

But before I leave mid-next week I will be working on my website and BFA thesis project, which I will post a few previews of shortly.

Well, I am off now to finish my final for the Art of Counter-Reformation.

it's looking like spring.

Living in Seattle often means a long cold dark winter, with quite a bit of rain and not nearly enough sun for my California roots. So, when the sun starts shining I start getting more motivated and inspired to create, start and finish projects!

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My first project, in hopes that Spring will come just a bit faster, is a new bike (my first bike purchase since a Paul Frank beach cruiser that is still sitting in my parents backyard). I just purchased a new bike, a 1985 Trek 400, that has that awesome oh-so-80's trek logo. The past few weeks I have been cleaning up my new Craigslist purchase and have been learning about the workings and components of a road bike.

Launching a new website! Before I was trying to manipulate an already existing Wordpress theme and it was proving to being a very long and overly complicated venture. My older sister, Allison, just recently switched her website over to Squarespace (www.historyoftheheart.net) for her jewelry business and it looks so sleek! Plus building a website is so much easier! So, I found myself switching over. I will hopefully be up and running very soon!

I am looking forward to this spring and starting more photo projects, editing the past few years of my life and travels, and graduating!

And so, I invite you to keep checking back and follow me through my adventures and projects on this blog as I graduate from college and begin my life post-education!

© Candace Shankel Photography 2013