Photography Challenge #1: Joe Platko

Photography, Thoughts

Firstly – my apologies for the blog-posting-hiatus. Summer is the busiest month for my work..and any free time is mostly spent trying to catch up on sleep or working out. In saying that – I will try my hardest to post at least once a week for all you great readers from across the globe. I am crossing off a Bucket List item in a couple of weeks…stay tuned to find out which one it is 🙂

I am super excited to announce my first Photography Challenge today! Here is a summary of the Challenge:

1) Find a willing and excited photographer

2) Give the photographer a theme 

3) Have the photographer submit 3 photographs encompassing the theme

4) Showcase their 3 photographs on 

5) Then I will share a photograph of my own encompassing the theme

My first Photographer participant is one of my classmates from Cal State University Monterey Bay – Joe Platko. He is an amazing nature photographer – both on land and under the water. We both have an affinity for marine life 🙂 so we get along very nicely.

The theme I chose for Joe seemed fitting for the time being here in America :


At first Joe had a hard time with this theme..that is until he went on vacation in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Here’s what he said :

Hey, so now that I’m back from my “summer” trip to the big island, I thought I’d just give you three images that wrapped up the trip for me. This will likely be my last big family trip, as my youngest sister is now in college, so our family thought we’d go out with a bang. That is why I decided to give all three images for the Summer assignment, and tried to choose shots that epitomized what the trip was about, aside from the family togetherness. Hope you enjoy the shots, ALOHA!

Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The palm trees were taken in the parking lot of the beach for our resort.
Lol so that was cool, shooting something everyone else was just walking by.
And I was only aimed up because if I shot dead ahead you would have seen all the cars.
Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The reef scene was taken right off of the harbor, when I was diving with my dad.
Credit: Joe Platko

Credit: Joe Platko

The turtle photograph was taken on the last day I was there, after I was bummed about not getting a single shot of one while diving. And I was snorkeling with it just north of Kona.

Thank you so much Joe for these spectacular photos! I couldn’t think of a better place to take “Summer” photos than Hawaii… I have so many fantastic memories when my family vacationed in Maui. The photo I took for this particular challenge was on one of my favorite excursions : whale watching. Well, other than a couple of sea lions and pelicans…our luck out in the big blue was unsuccessful. No whales or dolphins in sight!

But, it was honestly one of the nicest boat rides I’ve ever been on – the weather was beautiful and warm & the sea was so very calm and BLUE. I also had some great company as well 🙂

The photo I snapped to represent “SUMMER” was of these playful sea lions we pulled up to alongside the boat. After working with sea lions, I have a whole new perspective about these pinnipeds. They are such intelligent and dynamic creatures. Hope you enjoyed my first Photography Challenge! Thanks Joe for being my first photographer 😀

If you would like to participate as a photographer – please comment below.
Credit: Chanel Hason

Credit: Chanel Hason

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Spider Photo Contest Entry


I entered another photo contest- this time the theme is LINES.

So I chose a photo of a spider in his pristine web that I took whilst vacationing in Hawaii (which turned out to go sour real quick after I got food poisoning the first night).

If you are diggin’ my picture, please go to this page:

and like the post! Cheers 🙂



Chanel Alexandra Hason
took this photo on a vacation to Maui, Hawaii.
She got horrible food poisoning the first day she went there!
At least she ended up with some gorgeous shots from the trip

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Spreading some “Ocean Love” for World Oceans Day on June 8th!

Photography, Science, Thoughts

World Oceans Day lands on Friday June 8th this year- a little less than a month away!

I feel like I haven’t shown much “ocean love” in a while…so today that’s going to change!

Here are some photos of different oceans/beaches that I am so lucky to have seen and explored 😀

Have you been to any of these places before??

Great Barrier Reef- Cairns, Australia

Mazatlan, Mexico

Byron Bay, Australia

Heron Island, Australia

Carmel Beach, California

Monterey Bay, California

Point Lobos, California

Napili Kai, Maui, Hawaii

Moorea, Tahiti

Bahia de Los Angeles, Gulf of Mexico

Santa Cruz, California

San Francisco, California

Elephant Seal Beach, Big Sur, California

Moss Landing, California

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Newport Beach, California

Pacific Grove, California

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Truth About Bottled Water.

Science, Thoughts

So on this lovely Saturday evening, I decided to stay home and keep it easy and pick out one of the many awesome documentaries on Netflix.

I went along with the documentary entitled, “Tapped.”  It was about the bottled water industry in America. Sounded entertaining and insightful- so I pressed play.

Here are some important facts that I learned that I think is vital for everyone to know and understand.

  • Bottled Water Industry is worth an estimated 800 billion dollars (which is why big corporations want a part of it)
  • Nestle, Pepsi, and Coke-Cola are the three top bottled water companies in America
  • Pepsi’s “Aquafina” and Coke’s “Dasani” bottled water are actually made from normal TAP water- you’re paying for tap water when you could get it for FREE at home! Think twice before purchasing these two..or just don’t do it at all.
  • In the USA- only 20% of beverage containers getting recycled – and it’s been declining over the years
  • Bottled water is packaged in PET or PETE- the primary ingredient in PET is a clear liquid derived from crude oil- 80% of PET created in the USA is found in  Nestle ,Pepsi, or Coke beverage containers
  • PET water bottles contains Benzene-  which causes cancer – bottled water is not a healthy product!
  • Plastic water bottle manufacturing uses 714 MILLION gallons of oil – That is enough to fuel 100,000 CARS
  • People living near oil refineries who produce PET- have a higher rate of cancer, birth defects and other health risks from the pollutant exposure in their neighborhood from the refinery
  • Tap water is highly regulated / Bottled water is virtually unregulated
  • Municipal tap water has to be tested constantly every day: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water testing- Water is tested 300 times a month with a city over 1 million residents
  • You really don’t know what you are getting in bottled water…arsenic? Yes-it’s been found. Toluene as well- this chemical is found in gasoline and paint thinner and is obviously very harmful for your health
  • Styrene- a chemical found in bottled water tested after being in trunk of a car for a week-causes serious reproductive complications
  • BPA– a chemical found in plastic water bottles and 5 gallon jugs – linked to more human diseases increased in over the past 30 years
  • 80 million single-use bottles of water are consumed daily in America- 30 million end up in landfills (a lot ends up in the Pacific Ocean..and ends up deposited on some distant shore)

Kamilo Beach, Hawaii. Not appealing to lay out on, is it?

Sand? No, more like plastic.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: Purchase your own reusable water bottle (Klean Kanteen what I own- it’s BPA free and made from stainless steel!) and fill it for FREE everyday from your tap- or free water fountains found around every corner (practically). Tap water is tested WAY more often than bottle water has ever been-remember that. STOP USING/BUYING BOTTLED WATER! I know I’m going to personally reduce and hopefully end buying and drinking plastic bottled water…how about you?

“Slow yourself down, and you’ll see so much more”


I came across this video today, and it’s message is so pure and beautiful, I knew I needed to pass it along.

I’m not in the best mood today, and this made me smile and remember to breathe and love life.

It also makes me want to move to Hawaii (you’ll see why).

Enjoy and remember to live vicariously.

The ocean is the most powerful thing in the world.

In my mind it’s the fountain of youth.

That’s where you challenge yourself.

Day to life is the ocean, and the jungle.

You want to be as aware and in-tune as you possibly can.

To have to wait for something is what we all need,

slow yourself down and you’ll see so much more.

That’s what this whole life is about is

Passing on what you’ve learned

And hopefully create a better person by the end of the day.

Maui Wowie.

Photography, Thoughts

So I treated myself to a vacation in Maui using my American Airlines miles- which only cost me round trip $5.00 in taxes (not bad eh?!)- as a graduating gift to myself. My boyfriend’s family won (bought) a beach house at a silent auction- and invited me to join them. It was in Wailea, which I had never been to before. I usually go to Napili Kai, a great small place without huge high rise resorts.

Although my trip was interrupted by a stomach flu/food poisoning on my second night, the rest of my trip was me all weak and tired trying to recover. I tried to make the best of it..but when you are not feeling 100% it’s hard I tell you! On my last full day I ended up stepping on something at the beach that stung like crazy..and my foot is still swollen. Talk about bad luck right?! I was still able to share some fun memories with Jack and his family. We saw TONS of humpback whales everyday from our balcony. I even got a great video of a mom and baby right in front of our place!

Oh by the way…we were surrounded by famous people’s homes! Pierce Brosnan, Oprah, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Sharon Stone, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson…and the list goes on. How crazy huh?!

Well here are some of my favorite pictures I want to share with you 🙂