The Blessing of Technology (Urbana Through a Lens: Day 5 Part I)

(I’m pulling a Harry Potter Deathly Hallows and Mockingjay here. Part I and Part II for the last day, haha. I’ve been working on this post for like two days and there’s just so much.)

Technology can be such a hindrance in our lives, socially, physically, mentally, spiritually. While I certainly don’t believe social media, Netflix, video games, and the like are bad things- in fact, I love them. However, I can say for sure that I have personally failed many times when it comes to using them in moderation. I have used entertainment and social media as a way to escape reality, and squandered away time I could have used for anything else.

However, on Thursday, I was reminded through the failure of my physical body that technology is a wonderful gift from God, and that as a follower of Jesus, I should do all that I can to use it for Him.

I woke up on Thursday feeling terrible. I had been getting congested more and more every day since before Urbana, and the lack of quality rest must have made it worse. I missed breakfast for the first time during the trip, and slept all the way till about half an hour before the the main morning session at 11 PM.

I was in NO condition to go anywhere. I was tired, sick, and completely congested. I think the word “congested” is as detailed as I’ll go. However, instead of sneezing my way into the stadium, I was able to watch from my hotel room on my laptop, thanks to the online stream Urbana was providing.


Morning Session Part 1: Christine Taylor (from London)
-“Joseph of Arimathea used what influence he had to honor Christ’s body.”
-Advocacy includes speaking out to influence others, but it also incudes showing care to the hurt parts of the body… to pray.
-“Look to what you can do to help the hurting suffering body of Christ.”
-Bring a prayer warrior matters. Sometimes for missionaries, knowing they’re not forgotten changes everything.”
Morning Session Part 2: Allan Matamoros (from Costa Rica)- “The harvest in plentiful, but the workers are few.”
-Allan shared his experience in cross-cultural missions. His native tongue is Spanish, but he has learned English, and now also Arabic.
-He said that there are more Muslims that have come to Christ in the last couple decades than there have been in the 1000 years before. The mission has come to us.
Our purpose is to attract others to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”
-“The harvest in plentiful, but the workers are few.”
Morning Session Part 3:  Urbana director Tom Lin led us in a call to commitment. Here’s an numbers graphic from Urbana’s social squad regarding the responses to this call to commitment.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 6.34.24 PM
taken from the Instagram page of @UrbanaMissions

Hack4Missions Presentations:

Getting a real quick lunch at the restaurant downstairs, I quickly passed out again. However, I mustered enough enough energy to get up around 3 P.M. for my team’s Hack4Missions presentation. There were three awards: Best Technology, Most Impactful, and Crowd Favorite. Our team actually ended up winning Most Impactful! Our team was called #UrbanaRouterHack. There’s a brief summary about the project here: I’ll be posting about it later in a post dedicated to this my time in this track.


#UrbanaRouterHack team. Thanks to my friend George for taking the photo!
#UrbanaRouterHack prototype.

Here’s a video I made for our team’s presentation. I was given 45 seconds out of our 3 minute presentation and demonstration, so I tried my best to do what I could with that time!

Even though all these teams were in some sense competing against each other, there was a sense of unity among all of us participating in Hack4Missions. We were all putting our time, effort, and tech-experience together to further God’s kingdom. It’s technology that was bringing us together.

Technology is such a wonderful gift from God. But because of sin, humans take God’s gifts and use it for their own gain. Thursday afternoon I was thinking: How can I use technology for Christ? 


Blessed are the Persecuted. (Urbana Through a Lens: Day 3)

Day 3 at Urbana was a quick, busy day. Simple as that. No more rain though!

Morning Session Part 1: Dr. Patrick Fung on the parable of the 10 virgins.
No one can rely on someone else’s spirituality… Spirituality CANNOT be borrowed.” (Acts 13:36)
Let us be a community of God’s people, not burnt out but burning bright far and wide for him. The time will come to divide the ready from the unready.”
“Jesus’ coming will be (1) Unexpected, (2) sudden, (3) definitive, and (4) decisive.”

Morning Session Part 2: Evelyne Reisacher
-I have to say, this lady had the cutest french accent ever!
-Acronym: WWW – Welcome, Wisdom, and Wonder.

  • WelcomeI am afraid of scary Muslims as well as scary Christians, but I won’t be afraid of Muslims as a whole.”
  • Wisdom – we need Christians who can resolve conflict as peacemakers, in education and social work… to care for Muslims  where they are mistreated. It takes time to grow. It combines learning with prayer, submission to God and passion for service.
  • Wonder “Christians must rediscover that wonder is part of our mission.” A wonder of discovering more about science and  discovering more about people through relationships.

“Our goal should be a lifetime of relationships and conversation with Muslims.”
Jeremiah: “I have cried until the tears no longer come.”
-“We are ‘hostages of hope.’ We remember that Jesus is the Joy of the World.”
“It is the joy that brings me back to weakness, because I want to see more joy!” 

Lunch: My good friend Jon and I decided to take our lunch break and go to Kiener Plaza to see the famous St. Louis  Arch with the Old Courtyard building.


On the way back we ran into a food truck. I got a “Captain Obvious” sandwich, which is a BLT with avocado and an fried egg. I also got their self made chips.


Afternoon: Hack4Missions – I’ll blog about the project on another post. But here are a couple pictures I managed to take during Tuesday’s Hack4Missions activities.


Dinner with Grace and Will – One of my roommate’s friends mentioned that something to eat in St. Louis is toasted ravioli (essentially fried ravioli) at a restaurant named “Charlie Gitto’s.” I got to eat there with two friends in our church’s Young Adult Fellowship (YAF). Both are Rutgers graduates and former Intervarsity members. I talk to them all the time at church even though I’m not a part of YAF, and I love learning from them and spending time with them. I also teach a 4th grade Sunday School class with Grace! 🙂 Also, Will is volunteering this year for Intervarsity at Urbana. Food pictures coming up! The ravioli was pretty darn delicious. The ground-meat inside was on point, and it was fried so well. It’s like a different take on a chicken nugget… I love chicken nuggets.



After dinner, we also visited Kiener plaza (the same place I went during lunch with Jon) to see the same view of the St. Louis Arch at night.


Then we returned to the convention center for the night session. I stopped to take a long exposure shot.


Night Session – Prayer Meeting for the Persecuted
I won’t be going in much detail because for safety purposes.
“Today’s persecuted Christians know that the best response to persecution is to pray for the persecutors.”
-“When we align ourselves with God’s kingdom there is always a resurrection. Always. Always. Always.” 
– MaryKate Morse
-We sang: Father, let this cup pass from us; yet not as I will, but as you will. We bless those who persecute us, we pray and choose to bless.
-“Our call is to press in. (1) To read. (2) To watch. (3) To pray.”

Approximately 16,000 people prayed for the persecuted during this night session. At one point it was almost completely quiet. A crowded football dome… quiet. At another point many broke out singing “How He Loves,” and many other songs to follow.

There were electronic candles passed around to create a candlelight/bonfire type of setting. I’ve been part of candlelight services and bonfire prayer meetings before, but in this stadium, it was like no other.


Lastly, we were given different ways to pray for the persecuted. One way was to write down Bible verses and worship music lyrics on a card to send to others who may not have access to the Bible. This activity made me think: what would it be like if I didn’t have access to a Bible? I was given a renewed appreciation of the Bible verses I’ve memorized at church as a child. I was also encouraged to want to memorize more Scripture now in college.


Roommate Huddles: our room shared about our days. We also prayed for each other. We mainly discussed the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (from morning Bible study), trying to figure out how it applies to our lives. I think that the workers who complain represent many of us who struggle to commit our complete lives to God. If we only need salvation to go to heaven, why do I need to try hard to be a Jesus-follower now? If someone who accepts Jesus on his deathbed gets to go to heaven, why can’t I pursue a comfortable life?

I’m finishing this at midnight after Day 4 (Wednesday) and I can say that Urbana is continuing to be ridiculously tiring, but such a blessing. Keep a look out for a Day 4 post- thanks for reading 🙂

Please pray for a more energy and good rest at night, and also the Hack4Missions presentations tomorrow (Thursday).





If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord AT all. (Urbana Through a Lens: Day 2)

My day 2 update is coming at the end of day 3. That goes to show how busy days 2 and 3 have been.

An evangelist standing in the rain.

It was another rainy day. Packing Timberland waterproof boots and umbrella really helped.

There is so much going on at Urbana right now. So much worship, learning, and fellowship. It’s almost overwhelming. One of the things that I’ve always had trouble in life is prioritizing. I want to do everything, and make the most of every hour that I have. Urbana is no different. There are people to meet up and catch up with, seminars, tracks, and people to fellowship… prioritizing time is so important. It’s peculiar that I’m struggling with something at this conference that I struggle with in routine life.

Morning session praise.

The morning session started with another message by Dr. Patrick Fung.
“Jesus led his disciples into the storm, and jesus saved his disciples from the storm, but Jesus never let his disciples avoid the storm.”
Following Jesus is: (1) Radical. (2) Risky. (3) Costly.
“If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.” -Hudson Taylor
“Are you willing to follow Jesus into the storm?”

The morning session continued with a message from Christena Cleveland. She talked about unity and division from a Social Psychology view. She mentioned “The Power of US“: When we are together and connected, we share each other’s resources, but we also share each other’s pain.
“Unity is powerful, but division is just as powerful.”
-“We create ‘us/them distinctions.’ Once we decide who our ‘us’ is, we perceive everyone else as ‘them.’ When we create ‘us/them distinctions,’ we have an inaccurate meta-perception.”
Christena defined meta-perception as: What we thing that they thing about us.
-We should step into others’ shoes.
“Who is part of your family? How will the world know?”

In the afternoon we had seminars go to, exhibits from different organizations to visit, and a bookstore to browse. There are also differnet tracks that students were able to sign up for. I signed up for the “Hack4Missions” track.

My Hack4Missions setup.


What is “Hack4Missions”? It’s essentially a hackathon here at Urbana.However, instead of a continuous all-nighter, it’s a designated time in the afternoon (1:30 PM – 5:30 PM) for three days (and one day for presentations). We were given 12 projects to join and help with. There are different things that we can contribute- from coding to web-development to project management to graphic design, and many other tasks. Read more about Hack4Missions here:





I’ll talk about the project I got to take part in later.

During our night session, we first had the privilege of hearing Francis Chan speak. He talked about “Living Under the Authority of Jesus.”
-He mentioned that there is such a pull to live a comfortable life, and a pull to make a name for one’s self.
A comfortable lifestyle “pales in comparison to following Jesus.”
Sometimes w
e just “discuss the Bible to death.” What does following really mean? “We make so many excuses to not do anything and not make an effort to tell others about Christ.”
Paul: Anyone who desires to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ will be persecuted.”
Chan asked: Do you want to know the will of God?” If God were to reveal his plan for me RIGHT now, would I even want to hear it??

One thing that really opened my eyes was Francis Chan’s description of the disciple Matthew’s calling to follow Jesus. He asked us: “What do you think Matthew thought when Jesus told him to follow Him?” From Matthew’s standpoint, Jesus just raised a paralyzed man, calmed the storm, drove out a demon. Chan said that Matthew must have been thinking: if every force of evil is under this guy’s power, what is there to fear? Matthew rose and followed him. Chan stated that the book of Matthew is obscure. Matthew knew he had to get up and start moving. It got me thinking- how am I responding to God’s call in my life?

Next came Michelle Higgins. She is an activist for #BlackLivesMatter.
♪ hold on just a little longer. everything will be alright ♫
“I love you. Thus, you have dignity” – Deuteronomy
If you don’t know your history, you will repeat it.” (Japanese internment. Now refugee crisis).
We must tear down our idols. God wants to release you of the burden of being in control!”
We should say: I don’t want to bear this burden of being in control of defining justice, but I know the one who does.”
We hope for thing that are unseen. This hope becomes part of the unseen. A community of people committed to abiding love is evidence to things unseen.”
“We must commit ourselves to give control of our stories to the God who wrote them.”

I’m really grateful that Urbana is making an effort to address the current events happening around the world, and doing their best to provide us with a godly and mission-minded perspective in response to these events.

Finally, we had roommate huddles. My roommates George and Jeff are in the business track, and it’s nice to hear about what they’ve learned in their track. George echoed Francis Chan, describing how we know that life is not meant to be easy, but our college education is all about attaining a life of wealth, success, and comfort. Jeff mentioned that an important thing about being a Christian is to simply be the best we can be for God.

Urbana is getting more intense, and the days are getting longer. There is so much more to learn and experience.

Please pray for energy, passion, and a Christ-centered mindset.

Welcome to Urbana! (Urbana through a Lens 2015: Day 1)

Urbana Missions Conference is here. This year’s theme is “What STORY will you tell?”

I’ve been given a great privilege to be part of a Student Social Squad here at Urbana 15 to put out content into social media  describing the Urbana experience 🙂

However, this is still my photography blog, so I’m calling my posts this week “Urbana Through A Lens.”

EWR->STL: Departure 12:10 PM EST, Arrival: approx. 1:30 PM CT.

In both New Jersey and St. Louis, the weather was terrible- foggy, rainy, soaking wet. However, my flight had no delays or difficulties. That’s something to be thankful for. My prayers go out to those who are still waiting to get here. Stay Strong!


This chalkboard world map Urbana set up in the convention center gives an idea of the amount of diversity there is here at this conference.


Large Group: approximately 16,000 people filed into Edward Jones Dome (the St. Louis Rams play football here!!). Everyone gathered for one purpose: to learn more about God and our mission to tell His story.

Session 1 (speaker – Patrick Fung, M.D.):

  • The book of Matthew “starts with worship and ends with worship.”
  • Matthew chapter 2 – there are three stories: the story of the Magi, the story of Herod, and the story of Joseph. However, these three stories all point to Jesus’ story.
  • The story of the Magi: “Jesus’ coming is of cosmic significance.”
  • blogmetero-10
    “Jesus’ coming is of cosmic significance.” – Patrick Fung, M.D.
  • The story of Herod: “God’s story is always bigger than others. Man’s ambition can never circumvent God’s plan.”
  • The story of Joseph: “Jesus was born into a refugee family” as Joseph immediately obeyed God’s command to flee to Egypt. “The faith journey requires obedience… it is NOT a risk-free journey.”
  • “Our best gift to Jesus is to tell the world Immanuel – God is with us.”


A quick meet-up with members of our home church, Rutgers Community Christian Church in central Jersey.


Prayer with the church members.


Roommate huddle – time to bond and talk with our roommates about our first day at Urbana so far.

We are challenged this week to:

  1. Be a learner.
  2. Be a team player.
  3. Be a story teller.

I already get a chance to do all these things by sharing what I’m learning here as well as pictures that describe my first Urbana experience on this blog!

Day 2 has already begun as I post this, so I ask you to keep on praying for all of us here at Urbana, that God will continue to reach out to us! Also, I believe the main sessions are being streamed for free on Urbana’s website:, and follow Urbana on twitter and instagram @UrbanaMissions. Also, follow me on instagram for photos 🙂 @mattlau95.

I’ll be posting updates around noon during lunch break hopefully every day!









R8 Post-Joaquin Hiking @ Point Mountain – 10/10/15

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10/10/15 – Second hiking trip to Point Mountain, Washington in a month.

This time i went with my home church’s (Rutgers Community Christian Church) collegiate small group: R8. It’s named R8 after Romans 8, a chapter in the Bible. Our goal is love God, serve the church, and to impact the community with the good news of Jesus’ love.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? … No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” – Romans 8:35, 37, New Living Translation.

WARNING: Photography Jargon START

After dropping my 50mm f/1.8 prime lens off the cliff last month, I decided to invest in a refurbished lens (low budged). I went with a 30mm f/2.8 macro prime lens.

This 30mm macro lens has slower aperture than the 50mm prime, but it’s much better at close-up pictures because the macro lens has a minimum focus length of around 6 inches, compared to the 50mm prime lens, which focus length of 24 inches. This means that the “new” macro lens that I bought can focus on an object when I hold a much smaller distance than my other lenses. Do you know how when taking a picture even with your phone, once you get too close to an object it won’t focus? Exactly that. In other words, this “new” lens made look pretty funny when I was holding my camera super close to random small objects during the hike.

Being so close to an object makes it really hard to focus on a small object. Any tiny movement of the object, my camera, or my camera’s focus ring could make the image blurry. It takes a lot of patience and it takes many tries. However, when taking close-up pictures of nature, it’s so peaceful that the extended time doesn’t bother me. It does leave me far behind the rest of the hiking group though, haha!

Photography Jargon END

The following pictures were taken along the hike. I used mostly my “new” 30mm f/2.8 macro lens with my Sony a57, but I also used my 75-300mm zoom lens as well.

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I took a lot of pictures that beautiful Saturday. Here’s a gallery of all the photos I took:

Food-venture @ NYC (feat. Jon Lo) – 10/25/15

My friend Jon loves finding the best spots to fine-dine in New York City. And where else to find the most scrumptious food than in the greatest city in the world?! These spots aren’t easy to find all the time; some (probably most) of the best spots are usually in non-tourist spots of the city.

(Check out Jon’s instagram: @jonlolol)

I had an amazing time walking around NYC and eating good stuff. I’m glad I got to incorporate a bit of photography into the day as well! I used my Sony a57 camera with my 30mm f/2.8 prime macro lens.

I’m no food critic; it doesn’t take much to make me happy when it comes to food. I’m going to try to describe the food.. but to be honest it was ALL super delicious.


First, Jon took us to Motorino Pizza Napoletana in East Village. One pie was about $16. They used natural ingredients and everything tasted very “clean” and non-processed. The best way I can put it is that there was no layer of cheese that can peel off easily. My favorite part was the soppressata (pepperoni). It had some heat to it, and the meat was of very high quality.

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The Spot (also is East Village) was next. We ordered a “Chocolate Forest” cake with pistachio ice cream served with it. There was oozing molten chocolate in the center. There are so many items on the menu there and I wanna try all of them (I have a weakness for ice cream and good dessert!),

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My friend Jeff loves good coffee. We stopped by Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Greenwich Village. Coffee makes me wayyy too jittery and I crash real quick so I’m not much of a coffee drinker.

I didn’t end up taking a picture of the coffee cup because it’s just a simple white coffee cup with no words on it, haha! I guess it’s really all about the actual drink when it comes to gourmet coffee.

Jeff ended up grabbing one of these bags:

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Last, The Breslin “gastropub” inside the Ace Hotel, at16 W and 29th.

We had two appetizers: the Scotch Egg, and Crumpets.

The Scotch egg is a soft-boiled egg (boiled egg white, but the yolk still runny), inside sausage and deep fried with bread crumbs.

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Crumpets are chicken fingers, but with lamb meat. So lamb fingers..? It came with a vinegar sauce. I LOVE fried chicken (chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, popcorn chicken, fried chicken.. anything related). But I really like the taste of lamb meat. So you can tell that I loved this, haha!

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For the main course, Jon recommended the lamb burger, medium rare, with “thrice-cooked fries.” The fries came with “cumin mayo.” It sounds interesting.. but it was delicious.

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Lastly, on the way back to the path, we passed by the Broadway Bites food “area” by Urbanspace in Koreatown. There are lots of booths with different foods. Again, I loved fried chicken so I had to get it when I saw it on the menu. It was similar to any fried boneless chicken, but this vendor used thigh meat, which added a different texture to the chicken, which I liked a lot!

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It was a great night out for the boys (we all attend Rutgers Community Christian Church). Let me know if you have any questions regarding the locations we visited! Another thanks to Jon for bringing us along!

Spontaneous Hiking Trip (9/24/15)

Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Hiking at Point Mountain Reservation, Washington, NJ.

Last Thursday, I was able to go hiking at Point Mountain with my friends Jen and Dorothy. Jen and Dorothy were undergraduate seniors at Rutgers when I was a freshmen two years ago, and they’re both like older sisters to me. Jen would always invite people to go hiking, and she’s one of the reasons why hiking has become one of my favorite things to do on a nice day. I happen to have Thursday mornings and afternoons free every week this fall semester, while Jen and Dorothy both work jobs that have very sporadic schedules. Jen is a nurse at a hospital, while Dorothy tutors students in secondary education. Both happened to have Thursday off as well, and the weather was GREAT, so it all worked out perfectly!

QUICK HIKING SPOT REVIEW: It can be difficult to find nice overlooks when it comes to hiking in Central New Jersey. There are lots of nice forest areas to hike, but there just aren’t a lot of peaks to choose from. Only about a forty-five minute drive away from Rutgers New Brunswick, Point Mountain was a great surprise. This hiking spot is a part of the Musconetcong Reservation in Hunterdon County. The peak was beautiful and really high up, and the hiking trail involved lots of rock scrambling. Also, if you go on the right trail path(s), you’ll hike alongside the peaceful Musconetcong River (there’s just something peaceful about running water!). I would love to go back again soon. Jen and I both share a favorite hiking spot in NJ at Mount Tammany and Dunnfield Creek @ The Delaware Water Gap (, which is over an hour drive away from Rutgers. However, I think that Point Mountain, much closer to my Central NJ home, in comparison to Mt. Tammany was also really great location! Difficulty: 7/10 (lots of climbing and rocky paths), Overall Rating: 8/10.

Check out Point Mountain for yourself here!

(WARNING: Photography Jargon) I have gone hiking quite a lot the last two years, and most of the pictures I’ve taken have been focusing on the wide landscapes, such as a view on the top of a mountain, or a flowing river. However, early in the hike, I saw little stinkbugs crawling around. Most of the macro (close up) photography I take outside are usually pictures of flowers. I was able to find a couple insects and take macro shots of them during this hike!

Random fact about this hike: I had taken my Sony 50mm 1.8 prime lens out to take most of these macro pictures. It was my first time using it (I have used a 35mm or the past year). On the top of the mountain, I actually dropped my 50mm prime lens off the cliff (it went CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK as it bounced down each rock) at the end of the hike… so these pictures you see here are pretty much the ONLY pictures that were ever taken by that 50mm primes lens sitting and rotting somewhere in the forest at Washington NJ.

(WARNING: MORE Photography Jargon) Using my Sony A57 DSLR camera, I carried three lenses with me: my Sony 50mm f/1.8 prime lens (for portraits and macro shots), my Sony 75-300mm f/3.5-6.5 telephoto zoom lens (for far away shots), and my Samyang (Rokinon) 14mm f/2.8 ultra-wide angle lens (for landscapes).

FIrst, the macro shots:

The first two pictures are of a caterpillar species that I saw twice during the hike. These caterpillars look super white and fuzzy… searching it up, it’s called a Hickory Tussock Moth (Lophocampa caryae). According to the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, it has poison glands on the longer lashes that causes a burning and itchy rash. Glad I didn’t touch it, haha!

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50mm   f/2.8   1/80 sec   ISO 400

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50 mm   f/2.8   1/80 sec   ISO 200

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Stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys).  50mm   f/5.6   1/160 sec   ISO 800

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Here’s a picture of a daddy long leg (called the “Eastern Harvestman”Leiobunum vittatu). We saw a bunch of these on bench along the trail.

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Bees! Not sure what type this is. Some sunlight bokeh in the background. 50mm   f/4.5   1/1600 sec   ISO 400

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I believe this is a honeybee.  50mm   f/4.5   1/1600 sec   ISO 400

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I wasn’t able to find out what animal this is… please contact me or comment if you have any clue! This worm or caterpillar would burrow itself into the leaves/dirt to protect itself. When I removed the dirt to look at it longer, it would curl into a “fetal” defensive position.   50mm   f/4   1/100 sec   ISO 800

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50mm   f/4.5   1/125 sec   ISO 400

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50mm   f/3.5   1/200 sec   ISO 400

A couple of landscape/telephoto pictures:

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150mm   f/8   1/250 sec   ISO 200

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14mm   1/125 sec   ISO 100  (NOTE: the aperture is adjusted manually on the lens, so I don’t know what f-stop it ended up being!)

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Mini long exposure of running water.   50mm   f/13   0.4 sec  ISO 200

The 0.4 second exposure allowed the shot to have a silky water movement.

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14mm   1/80 sec   ISO 400

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Pre-sunset. 300mm   f/11   1/1000 sec   ISO 100

Lastly, a couple portrait/people shots:

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Direct sunlight allowed for some interesting bokeh here. Thanks to Jen for standing still for me, haha!   50mm   f/2.5   1/125 sec   ISO 800

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50mm   f/3.2   1/160 sec   ISO 800

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Dorothy overlooking the peak of Point Mountain.   50mm   f/11   1/250 sec  ISO 800

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Jen hopping on rocks in the middle of the river.   50mm   f/2.8   1/320 sec   ISO 800

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50mm   f/3.2   1/1000 sec   ISO 1600

LASTLY, a selfie with the three of us… (no selfie sticks were used here. Actually, no selfie sticks will EVER be used for this blog… unless it’s a blog post filled with pictures of tourists and people using selfie sticks!).

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14mm   1/125 sec   ISO 100

Thanks again for reading 🙂 If you like these pictures, please share this blog with your friends!

Follow me on instagram (@mattlau95)! Also, follow Jen (@jenwenlee) but I think she may have her account on private, haha!

Flowers at America’s Keswick

It’s been two weeks into the school year, and it’s so exciting. So many things to do and so many people to do things with!

However, I’m already missing the free time and solidarity that I had in the summer. Summer ended perfectly this year, when my church went on a retreat at America’s Keswick Retreat Center in Whiting, NJ. It was beautiful area, and one thing I really admired about their retreat site as their gardening. They had a lot of nice flowers, and they took really good care of them. I had a blast practicing some close-up macro shots that weekend. Look at them below 🙂

(WARNING: Photography Jargon Ahead!) All of these were taken with my Sony A57 DSLR, with my 35mm f/1.8 prime lens attached. It was really bright out, so I could use a low ISO and really fast shutter speed. I wanted to keep the f-stop (aperture) lower so only the flowers were in focus. Enjoy!EC Retreat 2015 Flowers Daytime (9 of 13)

35mm   f/4.5   1/250 sec   ISO 400

EC Retreat 2015 Flowers Daytime (8 of 13)

35mm   f/4.5   1/250 sec   ISO 400

EC Retreat 2015 Flowers Daytime (3 of 13)

35mm   f/2.8   1/320 sec   ISO 200

EC Retreat 2015 Flowers Daytime (7 of 13)

35mm   f/4.5   1/250    ISO 400

EC Retreat 2015 Flowers Daytime (10 of 13)

35mm   f/3.2   1/500 sec    ISO 400

EC Retreat 2015 Flowers Daytime (4 of 13)

35mm   f/2.8   1/3200 sec   ISO 200

EC Retreat 2015 Flowers Daytime (2 of 13)

35mm   f/5.6   1/125 sec   ISO 200