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If you’re a consistant reader to my blog, then you’ll know that I love talking about things that I’ve been into – the TV shows I’m watching, books I’m reading or even movies that I just watched.

But for some reason the whole time I was editing this image, I kept on thinking about Game of Thrones. The weird part is that I’ve never seen it! I think I’ve just seen that one meme “Winter is Coming” one too many times. So I kinda edited this image with that kind of look in mind. The funny part is, I have no idea what “Winter is Coming” means. No clue. And based on what I know about the show from my brother and what friends have told me, I don’t think I will be able to figure it out unless I watched the show. Oh well…

Fall is Coming.

Did I do that right? 🙂 LOL

The camera settings for this image is 1/30th of a second at F/13 and ISO 100. I took this in Yosemite National Park in March 2011. It being March and my first time ever visiting Yosemite National Park, I was super surprised to see snow on the ground. I even remember not being able to go to some parts of the park because there was too much snow to get through. Either way, my first experience in Yosemite National Park was magical. I feel like everyone always says that about Yosemite National Park but it’s so true. It’s hard to describe unless you’re there. To this day, if anyone asks me which is my favorite national park, hands down is Yosemite. I know I’ll be back and I hope that when that time comes, it will be in the spring or fall. My two favorite seasons with so much to photograph.

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This is what I’m talking about!!!

Another image that I shot way back in 2011 in Great Falls Park and at the time I shot this, I don’t think I knew how to edit very well. Or maybe I was just scared to edit it because it would not turn out the way I wanted. Or who knows what the case was but I never edited this image. Isn’t that crazy? I could tell by the other images from this day that it was foggy! I dunno. I was probably intimidated.

But now that I’ve gained more skills and confidence in my photo editing, I am so glad I found this image again. I love it! It really embodies why I love fall colors so much. The red/warm tones are just so welcoming. I can’t wait for the crisp cool air to come. And pumpkin flavored everything in the grocery stores!

Back in 2011, I was strictly shooting and processing my images using high dynamic range (HDR) editing. It’s been at least 3 years since the last time I’ve done this. I’m not sure what you’d call my editing style now, but I definietly have developed a method to produce images that I’m really proud of. If you’d like to see more about how I edit my images, check out these videos.

So the camera settings for this image was 1.3 seconds at F/18 and ISO 800 on my Canon 5D Mark II. I can’t see on my metadata but I’m positive that I shot this on my tripod. Not only because it was more than a second exposure but because everything that I shot at this time was on a tripod. It could have been a super bright, sunshiny day and I would still shoot on my tripod. Even thinking about how much I’d shoot on my tripod makes me grateful for my photo process and see how much I’ve learned and grown from it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tripod and still shoot with it but only when it’s needed and it’s not needed for every single click.

 

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Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog. But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my Canon body and lenses sitting on the shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.

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It seems a little early, but I’m already thinking about pictures this year for fall foliage. Like I mentioned in my blog post last week, our trip to Acadia National Park is already booked.  I’m really looking forward to that adventure, but I want to  find more local places to take pictures. Great Falls Park has always been one of my favorite for this reason. The trees are beautiful and I love seeing the bright colors in contrast with the gigantic waterfall. I also really like it when you can see leaves falling on to the rocks. One of my favorite images from the past couple of years was one at sunset with the evening glow lighting up the Maryland side. Click here to see what I’m talking about. It’s not photoshopped. It was really that bright orange.

On a side note, I have also created this guide if you wanted to check out Great Falls Park yourself. You’ll love it. The guide and the park 🙂  If you’ve never been, the Virginia side is my personal favorite. The Maryland side doesn’t seem to have as many great viewpoints.

In more technical preparations for the fall color, I’ve invested in my first set of circular polarizers for my wide angle and zoom lenses. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try them out before our trip. But I’ll let you know how I like them when I get back. Here’s a really informative blog post by Digital Photography School that pushed me to actually get them.

The camera settings for this image is 0.4 seconds at F/14 at ISO 100. Shot with no filters on a tripod. My favorite part of this image is being able to see the color of the sky in the water. I think I could stare at that one little section for hours.

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I have to tell you something.

I have been working on 2018 Dynamic DC Calendar for the past few weeks and it’s going to be so awesome. I don’t know why but I’m so excited about this one. Next year’s calendar is going to be better than ever. Pre-sale announcement will be coming out soon. If you’re planning on getting one, I’d suggest to get it at that time. There is only a limited amount and they usually go pretty quickly. (Especially since my parents always order a whole bunch. Thanks mom and dad!!!) So be on the look out for that and make some space on your wall. It’s gonna be outstanding!

Unfortunately, this image is not in the calendar this year. I tried my best to get a variety of sunrise/sunset images but also colorful ones, night sky ones, etc. But maybe next year….

I love this fountain. It so beautiful and whenever I’m driving by or stopped to take pictures, there’s hardly anyone around. I have no idea why. It seems like such a cute little park with beautiful landscaping and flowers that everyone would want to hangout at. It sort of reminds me of being in France. Do you feel like that? Anyways, the sculptor who designed this is also known for designing the Statue of Liberty. Isn’t that so cool? I could definietly seem some similarities between the two. In case you were interested, the designer’s name is Fréderic Auguste Bartholdi. The fountain used to be in Philadelphia but I’m glad it found it’s way to DC’s US Botanical Garden.

The settings for this image is F/9 for 30 seconds at ISO 50. My favorite part of the image is seeing all the little swirls the water creates. It’s so interesting to follow the pattern all around the image.

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On the same day that I was looking down at times square, I was also looking up. I took this image about 30 minutes before that other one from the rooftop bar and I was actually on solid ground for this one. HAHA.

I’ve always wanted an image like this from times square. The buildings are just so massive all around you that I knew there was a way. For some reason, I’ve found it really difficult to capture in the past. I guess all I needed were just some dark cloudy skies and birds flying above me all at the right moment. Patiences is obviously key in photography. But I really like this image because it just feels like a big hug from the buildings. Everyone all at once, “awwwww”.

Without my 16-35mm wide angle lens, I would not have been able to capture all of it. But now that I’m looking at the image again, I wish I would have gotten lower to capture it. If I was kneeling down on the ground, I think I would have been able to capture much more of the buildings on the edges and maybe would have been able to fill in some of the spaces in between? Who knows. Either way, I’m happy with the way this one turned out. There was a fair amount of lens correcting that went into this. I also like how the cloudy skies give the buildings a mood of darkness. Usually when you visit times square, all you see are the lights. It’s like a totally different view.

Which makes me think, if I didn’t tell you that this was times square, would you have been able to guess the location?

My camera settings for this image are F/8 at 1/60th of a second ISO 400.