2017 | Bampton and Highclere Castle 

Bampton-in-the-Bush and Highclere Castle were both featured on the TV series Downton Abbey. As a fan of the show, I made sure to visit these locations while in the United Kingdom. We stayed for about an hour in Bampton, and just walked around the village looking for some of the locations used in the TV series. I spent most of my time taking photos of St. Mary the Virgin church and its graveyard.

Highclere Castle was used as the main setting for the TV drama, Downton Abbey. I was obsessed with the show. On the weekends that I worked, I remember rushing home on Monday mornings so I can watch the latest episode. It was also one of the few shows that both my parents and I liked. Photography is not allowed inside the castle, since it is still where the Earl of Carnarvon and his family lives. The castle tour took less than an hour, and we spent the rest of our visit roaming the castle grounds and gardens.

All photos taken with a Leica M6 with a Cosina Voigtlander Color-Skopar 35/2.5 on Arista Premium 400 (expired)

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Walking up to St. Mary the Virgin Church
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Church graveyard
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Church graveyard
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St. Mary the Virgin Church interior
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St. Mary the Virgin Church
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Highclere Castle
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Front door
Castle Tower
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A last look of the castle

2017 | Oxford, UK

We spent a few hours walking around Oxford on a gloomy Thursday morning. There is so much to see, but we only stayed for a short time. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to visit it again. Here’s some of favorite photos from that day.

All photos taken with a Leica M6 with CV Color-Skopar 35/2.5 on Arista Premium 400 (expired film)

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Starting the morning with a cup of coffee


Passed by this window everyday on the way to and back from the tube station
Earl’s Court Vespa
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Somewhere in Oxford
Somewhere in Oxford
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No Visitors at the Radcliffe Camera
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Radcliffe Camera
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Christ Church Meadow walk
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The Meadow Building at Christ Church College
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Oxford walls

2017 | Windsor, UK

We left London Paddington at around 10  in the morning and boarded a train bound for Windsor and Eton Central Station with a train change at Slough. As we were coming close to the castle, I noticed a long line of people trying to purchase tickets. From the admission center, the line went all the way down the Castle Hill and into High Street. We booked our tickets online weeks before our visit, and were directed to a much shorter queue. We spent over three hours going around the Castle and went to the Long Walk afterwards. We visited some shops and the St. John the Baptist Church along the way.

All photos taken with a Leica M6 with a CV Color-Skopar 35/2.5 PII on Arista Premium 400

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London Paddington
Train change at Slough
Admission Center at Windsor Castle
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Walking up to the Castle entrance
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Making our way to Queen Mary’s Dolls’ house
A last look of the Round Tower before making our way to the Lower Ward
One of the many shops in the castle
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The Windsor Guildhall
Walking down High Street
St. John the Baptist Church grounds
St. John the Baptist Church
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St. John the Baptist Church
Irish Guardsman Statue
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Finally made it to the Long Walk
At a shop in Peascod Street
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Windsor Royal Shopping
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Windsor Royal Shopping
At Slough, waiting for our train back to London
London Paddington

2017 | London, UK

We arrived in London on a sunny Tuesday morning and stayed in the neighborhood of Earl’s Court for the entire duration of our vacation. Since it was still too early to check-in at the hotel, we ended up walking around the area looking for a place to eat and decided to visit Kensington Palace after lunch.

We took the District Line to Kensington High Street, and explored the area for a little bit before making our way to Kensington Palace. It took us nearly 3 hours to go through the royal apartments and the Palace exhibitions. We made a quick stop at the gift shop and spent more time walking around the White Garden.

All photos taken with a Leica M6 with a CV Color-Skopar 35/2.5 PII on Arista Premium 400


The ride to Earl’s Court
Walking around Earl’s Court
Heading to Kensington Palace
Please keep to the path
Kensington Palace entrance
The Queen’s Apartment
Princess Diana exhibition
The White Garden
The walk back to the tube station
Waiting for the District Line
Heading back to the hotel
Nevern Square


2016 | December Neighborhood Walk

One of the things I most enjoy doing on a Saturday morning is a walk around the neighborhood. I usually carry a camera with me and take snapshots of some of the changes I noticed around the area.

Here are the December highlights:


All photos were taken with a Voigtlander Bessa-L/Voigtlander Heliar 15/4.5 on Arista Premium 400

2016 | Guillermo del Toro Exhibit at the LACMA

A few months ago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art held the Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters exhibition. The items on display included his notebooks, drawings, paintings, film stills, and maquettes. The exhibit ran for a few months, but I only went to see it on its last day. It was crowded but was still fun. I spent about 90 minutes going around the exhibition floor, exploring the the different themes (e.g. death and afterlife, magic, monsters) and learning about del Toro’s inspirations and creative process.

All photos were taken with a Leica M6 /Canon LTM 50/1.4  on Arista Premium 400 (pushed to 1600)



2016 | Israel Day#05 Highlights

We spent the entire day walking around the Old City of Jerusalem. It was a good day to be out, it was not raining and it was not too hot. We started the day early and we were  already in one of the gates by 8 AM. After going through security check, our first stop was the Western Wall. 

At the women’s section of the wall | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400

Our guide took us underground to the Western Wall Tunnels. It was once used as a reservoir and the smell of mildew and damp lingered in the air. People left prayer notes in the slits and cracks of the tunnel walls. 

Entrance Gate to the Temple Mount, Western Wall Tunnels | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400
Prayer notes left in the tunnel walls | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400

It took us a little over an hour to reach the other end of the tunnel. Our group then proceeded to a church (I can’t recall the name) for more sightseeing. My back hurt and my legs were sore so I decided to just sit in one the church pews and rest for a bit. There were two men who sat in a quiet corner by the church entrance. They were so focused on their readings and discussion that they did not seem to notice the people going in and out of the church. 

Two men at the church |Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400

Next up is Bethesda (house of mercy/grace). We spent most of our time walking around the pool ruins. St Anne’s Church is also located within the Bethesda compound. It is a well-preserved Crusader church and had good acoustics. The church was crowded and different groups took turn to sing as they made their way to the altar. 

Bethesda | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400
St. Anne’s Church, Bethesda | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400

We headed down to the Lion’s Gate and got ready to walk the Via Dolorosa. There are 14 stations starting at the Umariya Elementary School and ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

At the Lion’s Gate | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400
Station VI, Via Dolorosa | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400
Via Dolorosa | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400
Lamps hanging above the Stone of Unction, Holy Sepulchre | Canon Elan 7e/Arista Premium 400

It was midday when we reached the Chruch of the Holy Sepulchre.  We spent most of our time walking around and visiting the different chapels within the church. We had lunch in one of the cafes near the Holy Sepulchre.

Lunch Break | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400

After lunch, we headed out to the Upper Room and King David’s Tomb. We bought some dried fruits and nuts along the way.

Street vendor | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400
Advertising board outside the Old City of Jerusalem | Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400

The last stop of the day is the Palace of Caiaphas. A church now stands in the area believed to where Palace of Caiaphas was located. 

Stone paved street from the Second Temple period| Canon Elan 7E/Arista Premium 400