epic7travel Marielena & Jason

✈️World Explorers 🌎 65+countries | 7 continents 📷 Photographers: Travel | Wildlife | Underwater ✏️Storyteller 🐙 Scuba diver Blog ⬇️
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epic7travel: The topside Rock Island landscapes and diving in

The topside Rock Island landscapes and diving in Palau are spectacular and photogenic. Exploring the turquoise lagoons within them is such a treat as you see multicolored giant clams, juvenile sharks and my favorite, Mandarin fish. ___ We loved capturing this sunset and the delicate colors with the full moon rising behind our dive boat with our drone. Although we did this dive trip during full moon, we often try to avoid full moon as currents can be stronger and more unpredictable. We've had a couple crazy trips in other parts of the world during full moon that I'll write more about in future posts. ___ Speaking of looking back, I want to continue my week of gratitude and thank someone very special who has been a steadfast supporter for the past 20 years, my best friend, Mark. Good times have been shared studying and laughing hysterically together in undergrad, exploring Europe and meeting a woman during a train trip that would become our travel companion's future wife, and enjoying Bali's amazing culture and food. I can always count on Mark to lend an ear, make me laugh so hard I will cry and be the life of the party. A huge thank you for the encouragement, feedback and support you've given as I've pursued my journey with Epic 7 Travel, providing input on logo design, business logistics and marketing strategy.

54 3 Nov 22, 2017
epic7travel: My happy place involves being near the ocean

My happy place involves being near the ocean and listening to waves. Something about that sound is so relaxing to me. Interestingly, the ocean and its beautiful gradients were the inspiration for my Epic 7 Travel Logo. I wanted to create something that spoke to movement while also conveying a sense of calm. EPIC speaks to Empowering, Propelling, Igniting and Connecting. While the 7 speaks to my goal to inspire people to "Live the Unforgettable" by transporting them to all 7 continents with photography and storytelling. ____ I've always admired long exposure water photography, but until this year, I didn't know how to achieve that effect. Fortunately, my friend Deb introduced me to a variable neutral density filter when when we were shooting in Olympic National Park in June. I loved the effect she was achieving with her beautiful photos. Then, and Tony Rizzuto of Photographers Breakthrough taught me to use it during a California Coast workshop. The confluence of these two events allowed me to capture some of my all time favorite images in Iceland in July. ___ This image is a favorite captured during early morning on the California Coast. I loved the combination of the soft light, waves and water running off the rocks. This composition was inspired by my desire to achieve a watercolor like effect. ____ I admire and gorgeous long exposure photography.

149 27 Nov 21, 2017
epic7travel: Cuttlefish are one of my favorite underwater critters.

Cuttlefish are one of my favorite underwater critters. When we were diving in Papua New Guinea, I had a mishap with a Scopolamine patch, leading to dilated pupils for 12 hours! Yep, imagine that sensitivity you get after an eye exam and then think about it lasting all day. Not good-especially in the middle of the tropics. Sadly, this meant I couldn't read my gauges (unless I could have found a way to develop go-go gadget arms and hold them two feet away from me.) ____ Although I couldn't dive, Jason opted to go. After the dive, I asked him how it was and he gave me his usual shrug and said "it was ok." Well, other divers were about to bust his game wide open. They climbed aboard hooting and hollering about that being one of the best dives ever! ____ Swiveling my head back to Jason, I asked him if he had missed what they were talking about. Nope, he'd seen and photographed the mating cuttlefish, crazily displaying and changing colors. Admitting this was one of the coolest things he had ever seen, he wanted to save me the disappointment since I was stuck onboard. Now, that's a great husband! ___ Keeping with my week of gratitude, this close-up shot of a cuttlefish eye speaks to being "seen." I am so fortunate to have people in my life that see me and have provided so much support throughout this Epic 7 Travel launch journey. The biggest thank you goes to my husband, Jason, who encouraged me to resign from my medical device marketing career to chase this dream related to travel photography, writing and conservation. Major kudos to my in-laws, Neiko and Dave, who have been my steadfast editors, catching details I've missed with their eagle eyes. And, a huge shout out to Kavita and Allie, who have provided creative suggestions and feedback for developing the Epic 7 Travel brand during monthly brainstorming calls for our respective businesses.

165 43 Nov 20, 2017
epic7travel: Fushimi Inari is an iconic Kyoto location. To

Fushimi Inari is an iconic Kyoto location. To capture images without the hordes of people that descend upon it by 8AM, arriving at 5AM to experiment with compositions, preferred locations and lighting is key. I loved Fushimi Inari's serenity so much at this hour that we returned twice. ____ During the early morning, soft light dapples through, lighting the torii gates beautifully and casting interesting shadows. I preferred those areas where the gates are positioned closer together as it lends an infinite feeling to the image. I also strived to find locations where the end of the tunnel was lit, thereby drawing you through the gates. ____ Since I've spent the weekend crafting my inaugural Epic 7 Travel holiday gift newsletter, this image is a great representation of the numerous steps needed to achieve goals and how support helps us reach them. Given this is Thanksgiving week in the U.S, I want to dedicate this week to thanking those who have supported and inspired me. ____ Let's kick off with people who have helped me this past week for providing valuable feedback and tips for editing whale images. for teaching me how to do polls in IG stories. for encouraging me to apply for a global photo contest next year. And, for inspiring me with beautiful polar bear, arctic fox and wolf images from Churchill, Canada.

208 67 Nov 19, 2017
epic7travel: Golden hour light is always so magical. Even

Golden hour light is always so magical. Even more so when you have a gorgeous subject like this leopard that strikes the perfect poses. ______ So often, leopards are high in trees, shrouded by leaves. We were extremely fortunate that she posed on a dead tree, walked right next to our vehicle and then opted to relax at the perfect angles. I really liked the shadow she cast as well, which I felt complemented the image beautifully. ____ Nothing brings me more joy than watching wild animals in their element. I love wondering what they are thinking, watching them interact, and seeing them hunt. ____ I'm extremely saddened by the ruling to allow elephant trophy imports from Zambia and Zimbabwe. It's deplorable and heartbreaking given that they are already in a race against extinction as a result of poaching. I'm perplexed and baffled that people would prefer to hang trophies on their walls rather than images of beautiful creatures in their natural element.

196 65 Nov 18, 2017
epic7travel: Since it

Since it's a crisp fall day in San Francisco, I thought I'd share a throwback from the Sierra Nevadas last fall. I loved the variations in the leaf colors and the layers within the image. ____ This weekend I'm heading to the West Coast craft fair for holiday shopping. If you are interested in a curated list of travel and food related holiday gift ideas, head to Epic7Travel and sign up for the newsletter. I'll be sending unique ideas in the newsletter next week. ____ Have a great weekend!

194 40 Nov 17, 2017
epic7travel: Have you ever dreamt about a place and

Have you ever dreamt about a place and anticipated an experience for years? My dream has been swimming with humpback whales in Tonga, a Pacific island nation close to Fiji and Samoa. _____ While gorilla trekking in Rwanda in 2007, a couple raved about snorkeling with wild humpback whales. Sharing that I loved swimming with wild dolphins in New Zealand and Belize, they excitedly told me this would be exponentially more mind-blowing. Imagining gliding next to a school bus-sized cetacean sent my heart racing. ____ A guide described it perfectly. The week is comprised of incredibly memorable moments, which you piece together into an amazing mosaic.These are wild animals that choose to interact with you on their terms. Sometimes they are curious. Other times, they are disinterested or protective. ___ When humpback whales engage, it is absolutely marvelous. Knowing they have a huge ocean at their disposal, it’s incredible when they choose to stay in one location and spend time connecting with you. ___ For more images and videos from Tonga, check out the Tonga blog "Swimming with Humpback Whales Will Make You Believe in Magic" posted today on the Epic 7 Travel Blog (Link In Bio)

240 63 Nov 16, 2017
epic7travel: After my girls getaway Tuscany trip last month,

After my girls getaway Tuscany trip last month, I've decided the fall is my new favorite time to visit Europe. Gorgeous colors, fewer crowds and lower prices is the perfect combination. ____ While staying at in the Chianti region of Tuscany, my friends I attempted to hike to Brolio Castle. However, the universe had other plans in mind. After numerous wrong turns and an unexpected escort, an adorable doggie named, Giussepina, we decided to retrieve our car and drive. ____ Arriving to the castle late in the day was perfect as we not only had the place to ourselves but also got beautiful late afternoon light. I loved the lush greens within the garden, gorgeous landscaping and rolling hills beyond. And, the entry ticket gives you a free tasting of Brolio wines-bonus! ___ What's your favorite time to visit Europe?

223 42 Nov 15, 2017
epic7travel: Palau is home to some cool WWII wrecks

Palau is home to some cool WWII wrecks since some significant battles took place there. One of my favorites is the Jake seaplane (that's me next to it). ____ The Japanese Navy plane crashed as a result of engine trouble after take-off. As a result of the way it landed, it's relatively unscathed and intact. While I've determined I don't like to penetrate wrecks (after getting a bit stuck in a tighter space in the Philippines 😬), I do really enjoy exploring the exteriors with all the beautiful coral growth and critters. ____ Where has been the most interesting place you've seen war relics?

244 58 Nov 14, 2017
epic7travel: Chile is a beautiful part of the world.

Chile is a beautiful part of the world. The stunning vistas of alpine lakes, mountains and reflections are constantly changing, as is the weather. While we didn't have a drone when we visited, this shot taken as we were flying over provides a representative perspective. ____ Our favorites for vistas like this include: South America - Patagonia; North America - Canadian Rockies; Asia - Annapurna & Everest Base Camp treks in Nepal. We are excited to check out Glacier National Park in Montana this coming summer and Bhutan for trekking sometime soon. ____ What is your favorite alpine vista location?

181 24 Nov 13, 2017
epic7travel: Icebergs are fascinating. The colors, striations, and shapes

Icebergs are fascinating. The colors, striations, and shapes are mesmerizing. Thinking about the fact that 90% of the iceberg resides below the surface makes you wonder about the immense masses of ice unseen to all those but the cheeky penguins, beautiful seals and brave scuba divers. In this image, you can see that this iceberg flipped somewhat recently based on the beautiful shelf on top, which was carved by water beneath the surface. ___ recently posted a stunning over/under image captured while diving scuba diving in Antarctica. Brrr, it's a whole new level of cold (28F/-2C). I just shivered thinking about those temperatures. I think hot chocolate might now be in order. ___ While snorkeling with Chris in Tonga, he shared we should be prepared for drysuit diving in Southern Australia to see the Leafy Sea Dragons, Giant Cuttlefish and Great White Sharks next year. Since Jason and I decided to end a dive after 15 minutes in 68F/20C water in Bali because our teeth were chattering, drysuits or 7MM wetsuits are definitely in our future. Especially after learning that the the Australian waters will be (60F/16C).

218 65 Nov 12, 2017
epic7travel: Seeing elephants in the wild is always special

Seeing elephants in the wild is always special for us. Such intelligent and sentient beings, we can watch their interactions for hours. Observing an old bull elephant like this one makes you imagine and wonder all that he's seen and experienced. Older bulls play an important role, teaching younger males where to find watering holes, how to behave and how to spar. ____ As you can see, this one has lost a tusk on one side, perhaps as a result of shaking a Marula tree to get its tasty fruits or leaves, a favorite elephant treat. Similar to human teeth, if broken at the root, an elephant tusk will not grow back. ____ I shared awhile back that I really loved reading two elephant related memoirs recently. "Love Life and Elephants" is Dame Daphne Sheldrick's remarkable story. She is the founder of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. If you love elephants, follow for adorable daily elephant images and videos. Sadly, these elephants are orphaned as a result of poaching or drought. DSWT does an admirable and incredible job of rehabilitating them and reintroducing them to the wild. "The Elephant Whisperer"is the story of the relationship one man developed with a group of rogue elephants that were relocated to his reserve.

210 37 Nov 11, 2017