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NEW PHOTO EVERY WEEKDAY
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Flashback Friday to spring time in Washington DC. It is my favorite time to be in the city. The whole place just sparkles.

But to be honest, I’m not sure which one I like better, the Chinese saucer magnolias or the Japanese cherry blossoms. Both are beautiful in their own way and pop up everywhere around the city. The magnolias are just bigger and easier to see. They also fall like leaves when they’re ready and it makes for the most beautiful dusting of pink. But then there are the cherry blossoms… I’m gonna have to say that flowers in general make me so happy.

Now keeping them alive when they’re in my home… that’s a different story.

I captured this scene while exploring the Enid A Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall. I was walking out of the Moongate Garden and felt such an overwhelming amount of flowers and branches surrounding me. I knew I had to capture it with that early morning light. At first I was trying this composition out with no one in it. It was cool, but it needed to be better. Then a bus most have let people off or a metro just arrived because all of the sudden there were quite a few people walking past. Luckily, I had my camera ready and waiting for the perfect person to enter my frame. I really enjoy the way that this turned out. I showed it to my dad once and he said it looks like it was taken in Japan rather than Washington DC. I thought that was pretty cool for him to say that.

My camera settings for this image is F7.1 at 1/1000 of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens shot handheld.

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One of my favorite things to do after taking sunrise pictures is to just sit and enjoy the early morning light. Sometimes you can forget to enjoy the moment. Maybe you woke up late and you’re in a hurry to get to your location or you’re trying to find the perfect composition at the time the light is hitting you subject just right. There can be a number of things that cause you to stress so early in the morning which kinda sounds odd because photography is suppose to be a fun activity. But once all of that madness is done and you’re just left with the early morning light, it can be so peaceful to just sit and enjoy. Even for 10 minutes. It is the most relaxing and beautiful way to spend the morning. I love it. I just feel so happy and calm. Its a great way to just slow down. Rarely will I even have my cell phone out.

This was taken at Otter Cliff in Acadia National Park, Maine. Just looking at this image brings back those feelings of relaxation and peace. I remember sitting on those rocks after I captured this image and watching the sun for a good 20 minutes before doing anything else. That buoy in the distance was ringing a bell every time a wave rocked it over.  Sue and I were the only ones there and barely even said a word to each other. Is it weird to say that thinking about this image and what it took to capture it makes me look forward to waking up for my next sunrise? Yes. The answer is yes.

PS Where the otters at?

The camera settings for this image is F10 at 1/13th of a second with ISO 100 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I have this song playing in the background as I’m writing this blog post. Although I don’t share the same thoughts about rain with Missy Elliot, I do appreciate a catchy beat when I hear it. LOL. Oh, how I make myself laugh.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know how important music is to me. I love it. It just puts me in such a good mood. Whether I’m driving, taking pictures, editing pictures, whatever it is, there’s a song for any mood you are in. And watching music videos is something that I remember doing ever since the Total Request Days with Carson Daily. I’d come home from school, heat up a hot pocket, and spend the next hour mesmerized by song and dance. I think watching the visual representation of a song makes the song so much more enjoyable to me. I guess that means I am just a very visual person.

But about this image… This was taken right before a big storm was about to approach the Washington Monument. Luckily, it was around the same time as sunset and it made the sky turn this amazingly warm color in the sky. The coolest part is seeing the cloud formation right on top of that sun. I also enjoy looking at each individual flag and seeing how different they are blowing in the wind. Yea, that evening was something very special.

So unlike Missy Elliot, I love the rain. I love the pre-rain, post-rain, and rainbows. Actual rain, I’m sort of iffy about. As long as my camera gear doesn’t get damaged, then I’m all good 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/13th of a second ISO 100 on my Canon 5d Mark II with my 17-40mm wide angle lens.

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Normally I’m behind the camera. It’s where I feel the most comfortable and let’s be honest, the results are usually a whole lot better when I’m back there. LOL. But this time I could not resist stepping in front and throwing some leaves around. Especially when the fall colors are this amazing, how could you not? They’re gorgeoussss.

I took this in Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia. A great place to go when you want to capture some great open spaces. Obviously, this is not an open space.  I wasn’t even intending on taking an image like this when I arrived. I sort of did the same thing as I do when I’m in Washington, DC. I park my car and go. Either way, I think it still worked out, no?

My camera settings for this image is F3.5 at 1/40th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens. I had my camera on my tripod and set it on a 10 second timer in order to put myself in the image. It was a scramble to get in front of the lens and pick up a whole bunch of leaves to throw in the air in 10 seconds. It was fun scramble though. Wait, I just realized, does this mean I took a selfie? HAHA

On a totally different note, if you’re in the DC area, it will be worth your time to check out DC PhotoWeek that’s going on right now. I had the opportunity to check out some photo talks and the best of IGDC exhibit over the weekend and both were so great. I learned a lot and got to see some amazing images. There’s A LOT going on this week so take the time out to check it out. So worth it, trust me!

 

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Most of the time when I wake up for sunrise, I have no real plans of what I’m going to photograph. Especially now with daylight savings, I’ve been waking up earlier than my alarm and can’t fall back asleep. Theres really nothing else to do that early in the morning but to get ready and go take sunrise pictures.  I just figure out where I want to park my car and let my eyes be the guide. Most of the time that results in some of the best pics.

I took this image early last week. I spent most of the morning walking around Constitution Gardens. I always find myself going back there in the fall. I love the trees and reflections you can get from the water, but this day was a little rough. The sunrise wasn’t much to look at because it was so cloudy. The trees weren’t very colorful yet so I didn’t get much from the pond. Sometimes you win some, sometimes you loose some. I don’t get upset. It just happens.

So I decided to keep walking and I ended up by the Washington Monument. Luckily, there were some beautiful yellow trees along Constitution Ave. that I didn’t notice while I was driving. It was like the branches were reaching toward me screaming, “take my picture, take my picture”. I found a couple that perfectly framed the Washington Monument and played around with the composition. I think my favorite part of the image is seeing the branches themselves. I think it’s really interesting to follow each twist and turn and see where they end up.

What about you? I’d love to know what you like about the image.

My camera settings for this image is F4.5 at 1/400th of a second at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Last but not least, my personal favorite time to see reflections is during cherry blossom season in Washington DC.

I know it’s a little unfair since the Tidal Basin itself can be super reflective, but this was a special day. This was a super, super foggy day out where hardly anything was visible except for these amazing cherry trees. I remember capturing this around 9am. The tide was really high so the water was overflowing onto the sidewalks. Luckily, I was wearing my rain boots and was able to walk around in the puddles. This gave me a perspective that no one else was able to capture or if they did, they were not able to stay in the water for that long. If you look on the bottom right hand corner of the image, you can see a slight color variation on the cherry blossom branch in the reflection. That was the line divide of the sidewalk and the water itself. CRAZY right? Definietly the best day of cherry blossom photography ever in history of all the world.

The camera settings for this image was F6.3 at 1/40th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm. I remember purposely not using my wide angle for this image because I felt like it would have added way too much to the image. Either too many trees on the left or too much white space on the right. This was captured at 28mm and it worked out perfectly.

Let me know what you thought of this week’s reflection images. Did you like the series? Should I do more of them in the future with other themes?
In case you missed the past couple of days, here’s what you missed: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

Have a great weekend, everyone!