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Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending the Artechouse‘s preview event for their latest installation called “Sakura Yume | Cherry Blossom Dream”. It definietly hyped me up for the real Cherry Blossoms blooming later this month!

One of my favorite things about visiting the Artechouse is the peaceful atmosphere it creates. The room is very dark, they have beautiful, calming music playing and everyone just seems to relax and enjoy the installation. This one in particular was very cool because 1. I love cherry blossoms and 2. it seemed like there were little surprises at every corner. For example in the main room, if you stood there and watched the wall for a while you’ll see a koi fish swim past or some Japanese lettering floating around. It was definietly a very cool experience.

However my favorite part was in the room where they are going to have their immersive food experience. It looks so cool. Basically everyone sits down on a cushion on the floor and you can ‘play’ with the table and watch all these colors and shapes appear right before you.

Here’s an image of what it looks like.

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I took this pic with my iphone. Between the tables are columns of these cherry blossom branches. It seemed like the perfect place to have a little photoshoot.

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So if you haven’t seen any of their other installations or if you’re a cherry blossom fan like me, definietly go and check it out. It’s probably one of my favorites that they’ve had there. If you’re interested, here’s are a few images from past visits.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 5000 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. Like I said before, this room is super dark and no tripods. I love this camera in low light situations!

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Like I said yesterday, I’ve been consuming so much information. However listening to audiobooks was something I’ve always done. I didn’t need to go on an instabreak to appreciate a good story. I love listening to books when I’m in the car or even on photoshoots. It’s a great way to get your mind off of things going around you and just focus on what you’re doing.

To be honest, I had never heard of Phil Knight. I think the first time I ever heard his name was in the song by Wale with Lady Gaga called, “Chillin” (as an added bonus, Wale is from Washington DC and the music video is filmed all around the city). But Andrew and I share an audible account and he had previously listened to Shoe Dog and was telling me so many great things about the book. We’re both huge fans of Nikes. So about a month ago I decided to download it and listen to it.

This book is all about taking risks, following your passion and not letting anything get in your way. I love how Nike did not start off with the goal to make billions of dollars. It started off by Phil Knight being a super passionate runner and basically just wanted to bring good footwear to athletes everywhere. To me, he didn’t seem like anyone special growing up. Just a regular guy who loved sports. But it was his determination, his will to make his company a success and overall love of running that made Nike what it is today.

The book was inspiring and at times an emotional roller coaster. I’m not afraid to admit that I cried at the end, twice. If you plan on reading it, I won’t ruin the ending for you but one time when something tragic happened and the second time was when he was summarizing his life and Nike as a company. I could not help but feel so proud and happy for him and I don’t even know the guy. 10 minutes ago was the first time I googled him just so I could see what he looks like. If you ask me, kinda like a Richard Branson looking guy. But he is definietly someone I look up to now. One of my favorite parts of the book was hearing about his personal relationships with the Nike athletes like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Steve Prefontaine. It just goes to show how much he cared for everyone who was around him. I wish I could give him a hug.

Overall, I highly recommend reading or listening to this book if you like learning about how people made it. 4.7 stars out of 5. I still think Steve Jobs is my favorite biography but this is a close second.

As for the image, this was taken at the National Art Gallery in Washington DC. My camera settings are F6.3 at 0.8 seconds at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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So it’s been one week since I decided to delete instagram off my phone. To be honest, I never expected all the kind comments and emails. I appreciate it sooo so much. You have no idea. Everyone has been extra supportive but I have decided that Ill download Instagram again for the Cherry Blossoms at the latest. Don’t get me wrong though out of the 7 sunrises that have happened since my instabreak, I’ve gone out to shoot 4 times. So even though I’m not documenting it all on social media, I’m still at it as much as I can.

What have I learned from the break? I spend entirely too much time staring at my phone! I don’t need to catch up with my friends by seeing what they’re doing on the internet. I can simply call them or text them and find out what’s been going on straight from the horse’s mouth and its so much better that way. I’ve also learned to be more present. At times I’ll be walking around and think to myself, what should my next instastory be? or this would be great for an instastory. This past weekend while I was walking around I thought, wow that tree is beautiful, I’m just going to take a picture of it because I like it. No one else has to see it, but me.

Now I’m not sure if this has any correlation or not, but I’m also taking the time to learn more too. I’ve been consuming so many youtube videos, listening to audiobooks and just reading in general. I’ve been learning a lot about mindset, wealth and photoshop tutorials. It’s been great!

Overall, I am so grateful for the break. It was definietly a recharge and I feel more inspired than ever. I do miss instagram and I’ll be honest, I have checked it out once or twice on my desktop computer which I justified by saying, it’s not really the same LOL. So this is just a thank you so much for all your support. I’ll be back soon and probably by the end of the week! As of now, I’m not in a rush. Instagram will always be there 🙂

PS that tree I was talking about was a cherry blossom tree in Alexandria, VA. They’re starting to pop up in different places and I’m so excited!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/8th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle len handheld.

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Taken back in December, somehow I missed the rising of the supermoon. I’m not sure how it happened since I marked in on my calendar but I wasn’t able to capture it. In my opinion, catching the moon rise is always better than the moon set. I think the moon appears to be much bigger or maybe that just depends where you are standing, but it’s always exciting to watch it come above the horizon. And if you miss the moon rise, the next best thing is moon set, right?

So I woke up super early in the morning. 3:30a to be exact. I met up with my friend, Larry, who seems to have no trouble waking up at that time since he does it on a regular basis. Not always to shoot, but I swear, this guy does not sleep. We wanted to try to capture the moon setting over the Lincoln Memorial but when you’re up that early, it’s still going to be a while. We decided to walk around the National Mall and find some cool compositions in the mean time.

I really like the way this one turned out. Although the warm red color is caused by light pollution, it’s a really cool effect that showcases the color transitions that I’m always talking about. You may not have noticed this but there are some cherry blossoms growing on those trees too! It’s weird because some of them actually start blooming in the beginning of winter. They die off pretty quick but you know me, if there are cherry blossoms, I will shoot them.

Speaking of which, they’re supposed to be peaking in two weeks! Can’t waittttttttt. First comes the magnolias which is like the pre-party. Then the main event! Holllllaaaaaaa

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 6 seconds at ISO 80 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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If I could go back anywhere in the US from our epic cross country road trip last year, it would have to be White Sands National Monument. Hands down, no questions asked. I need to spend more time in this place. We only had one night here. So we were able to shoot sunset and early morning. Park authorites were pretty strict about making sure that everyone left right as the sun was setting so I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked here. Plus they didn’t open at sunrise and I had to wait later in the day to get back in the next day. I didn’t go on any of the hikes or trails. We basically just parked our car, walked up to the highest sand dune and took a few pictures and sledded down the sand dunes. That was so much fun all on its on.

What first attracted me to visiting this place were all the beautiful lines that the wind created in the sand dunes. I thought they were so interesting and would be great for leading lines. But when I arrived, I quickly found out that you probably have to walk more than just the sand dune that was in front of your parking spot because those lines are probably covered by other people’s foot prints. LOL. To be honest, I photoshopped some of the footprints that are in this image because there are just sooo many of them. But the best part about this park is that shoes are pretty pointless. Unless you are wearing sneakers or something and plan on doing some serious hiking, it’s totally normal to be walking around barefoot. I love it!

My camera settings for this image is 1/40th of a second at F7.1 and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.