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NEW PHOTO EVERY WEEKDAY
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This is a good story. Or at least I think it is.

So at any given moment you can catch one of these brown pelicans hanging out on a rock in the ocean. They’re pretty cool to look at since we have nothing like them in the DC metro area. So my friend Sue and I decided to just sit down, watch the pelican and relax for a little bit. We actually copied this idea from another couple who were sitting fairly close to the pelican. But once they got up to leave, the pelican started acting funny.

At first Sue and I did not know what was going on, but then saw that he was actually spitting up something on to the rock. He had stored a whole bunch of little fish in his lower bill. So I guess when he thought the coast was clear he felt freedom to start eating them.

That’s when the seagull came.

And it was literally a fight for the fish. It was hilarious. Especially with Sue’s commentary in the background while I was taking the pics. She would be like “uh oh, get your own fish” “oh no, it’s a battle!” “*gasp* he fell into the water”. HAHAHA I actually got some of it on video because I was recording parts of it for my youtube video (coming soon) and that’s the only reason why I remember what she said. But I could not stop laughing in the moment and watching it back on video. It was literally like watching the nature channel in real life.

I don’t remember exactly what happened afterwards, but I do know the seagull ended up flying away after a while.

End story. HAHAHA

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/1600the of a second at ISO 160 with my Sony a7II and 70-200mm lens.

 

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This may sound crazy but a couple weeks ago I bought my very first pair of real hiking boots. For the amount of hiking that I’ve done with just plain ol’ sneakers, these definietly came at the right time. Don’t get me wrong or anything, I feel no aches or pains with my sneakers, I just think that I’ll be better supported with some proper footwear. They’ll definietly come in handy next month 😉

But for now, heres an image from my last hike. This was taken at the end of the trail at Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. Just steps away from the parking lot was this house covered by trees and bushes. It down poured on us at the end of our hike. By the time I reached this house it had already stopped raining but all the steam that came from the rain and the humidity mixing literally made everything glow. I just love how that one branch is pointing directly at the point of the roof to make everything so centered in this image. Even the trees surrounding the house almost look perfectly straight as if they were grown for this image. Everything is just so straight up and down, I love it!

Also, if you’re not busy tonight, you should definietly come out to the Community Collective show at Sospeso. This is the third time that my friend, Jarrett has put together a show to showcase so many creative people in the Washington DC area. It should be a great time. I even have a piece that will be featured and is for sale. So if you’re interested in seeing some great art work, click here to find out more information 🙂

The settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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While in Aruba, we stayed at the Renaissance Resort and Casino. I’d recommend it if you really want to go to Flamingo Beach and stay in Oranjestad. I liked it because the location was really convient to a lot of shopping, restaurants and bars. It made life so much easier when you could just walk across the street and get the best dutch pancakes on the island.

This image was taken on our first morning in Oranjestad, just like this one. Apparently Sue and I had a great photowalk because I got so many images that I am happy with including this one. This building is right by our hotel. We could actually see it from our balcony everyday. If I remember correctly, it was a church. But I just loved the vibrant yellow color with the black trimming on the windows. It made it a very unique looking building. The red sign was just the focal pointed need to make this even more interesting. It took a couple of frames for me to get it just right but I love the way it turned out.

I hope you’re liking these Aruba images because I still have a ton more to go through. I’ve literally just scratched the surface. I’ve been pretty busy lately working on a couple of projects here and there but hopefully I’ll have some time to work on those images soon as well as an Aruba vlog! I can’t wait to check out the gopro footage of when we went snorkeling in the ocean 🙂

One last reminder, if you’re not busy tonight, come join me, my friends Geoff and Focus on the Story International Photo Festival for an Evening with the Monuments. Click here for the details.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/1000th of a second at ISO 320 with my 70-200mm lens.

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I remember exactly how this moment happened. My friend Sue and I spent our first morning in Oranjestad walking around the city to explore. We’re both earlier risers so we were doing it to kill time until the rest of our friends woke up so we could all go to the beach together.

Walking around the capital city made me realize just how peaceful, colorful and safe Aruba really is. We were walking around so early in the morning that none of the stores had opened and we looked like the only tourist around. No one bothered us or even said a word. I loved how there were so many locals hanging around just sitting on the benches, soaking in the sun. The only place that was open was The Pastechi House which had some amazingly fresh Pastechis. And when I say fresh, I mean they grew the spinach behind the store!

So after a quick breakfest, Sue and I continued to wonder. I had my 70-200mm lens on most of the time while I was shooting the colorful buildings when I saw this green one across the street from us. I was really drawn to it because I noticed how there were little plants growing out of the roof. I don’t think it was supposed to do that but I thought it made for an interesting play on color. I started photographing it when Sue told me there was someone over there waiting for me to finish taking pictures. I brought my camera down and waved my hand in the universal sign of “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you, you may pass.” LOL. But as I was giving him the hand signal I thought about how great it would be to include him in this image. So here he is rushing by so I could continue taking pictures. But I really like how everything lined up. My favorite is the reflection in the car window. It’s so subtle but I think it really adds the image.

After he passed he continued to walk slowly on his way 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/1000th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens.

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It’s that time of year again! Sunflower season!

If you haven’t seen them already, I’ve made two vlogs in the years past from McKee Beshers in Poolesville, Maryland. They’re linked here and here.

But this season is a little different. This year I have my drone! Muahaha. I ended up taking more drone pics and video than I did with my Sony camera. I think I was just excited about having a really beautiful place to go and legally being able to fly. It’s funny though because I wasn’t the only one who had this idea. There was at least 3 other drones flying around. One guy commented that he has never seen so many drones in one place before. It’s all good though. They’re just so much fun to fly.

And they make for the best selfie sticks! Here’s another pic of me with my friends Sue and Birch. The sunflower squad. No, we didn’t actually call ourselves that but it would have been funny if we did. LOL.

Summer, Sunflower Fields, marlyand, mckee beshers, sunset, sunflowers, yellow, selfie, drone, mavic pro, dji, mosquitos, flowers,

If you don’t have a drone, make sure to bring a step stool. The flowers are over 7′ tall this year. Way better than it was last year. It’s pretty overwhelming to try to capture it all so I highly recommend trying to get on a higher level. And as always, don’t forget your bug spray! I accidentally brought bug bite relief as opposed to repellant and my ankles got torn apart. I hope those mosquitos enjoyed the extra cooling sensation. *waves fist in the air*

My camera settings for my alone selfie is F2.2 at 1/13th of a second ISO 978 (?) with my DJI Mavic Pro.

That question mark is in reference to the weird ISO number. I’ve never seen anything wasn’t a multiple of 100 on any other camera or film. Weird…

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One of my most asked questions I receive is “where is your favorite place to shoot in DC?” My answer is almost always, the Lincoln Memorial. I just say the memorial because it’s such a great starting point. Not only do you have the reflecting pool right in front, but to either side you have the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. So when you’re not feeling inspired by one, it’s so easy to go to the next. I love how easy and convient the Lincoln Memorial is. It is also a great place to photograph sunrise, mid-day or sunset. You really can’t go wrong!

But my absolute favorite time to photograph the memorial is definietly early morning. Not necessarily sunrise like you may think. I love when the sun has come up over the horizon for a little bit and it’s shining on the president himself. The glow, the shadows, omg everything is so perfect. There really is nothing better.

So if you’re interested in learning more about photographing Washington DC, all my tips and tricks, check my recently published book, Snap DC. All the knowledge and experience I’ve built up over the years, all in one easy to read book.

But if that’s not good enough, I have one last reminder about next Wednesday, July 18th. Geoff Livingston, Focus on the Story International Photo Festival and I will be hosting an evening workshop. We’ll be photographing the sunset at the Reflecting Pool and then practicing some street photography and monument photography at night. It will be a great time! Click here for more info.

Have a great weekend everyone! And a lucky Friday the 13th!

My camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/15th of a second ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.