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NEW PHOTO EVERY WEEKDAY
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Sometimes its good to just wonder.

The other day I was out by the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial shooting the red tulips. They are so beautiful when they’re fully bloomed. Can you imagine just red on red flowers all lined up at sunrise? It’s like a dreammmm.

Typically when the sun has come up for a while, I’ll head back to my car. But on this day I was not ready. I didn’t want to go back. It was such a beautiful Sunday morning that I felt the need to go on a walk. So walking along the trail next to the George Washington Parkway, I found myself capturing the willow trees with the Washington Monument. I loved how linear everything was. I probably stopped at like 5 willow trees to use the branches as framing pieces. But then there was this one tree where the sun light was hitting it just right.

Wow, check out those leaves on top of the image. If that ain’t an image all on it’s own then I don’t know what is. But then mister bike guy came rolling past and made it even more perfect. I had no idea he was coming and once I saw him in my camera frame, I just kept on clicking, clicking, clicking.

LOL I waited a bit longer to see if I could recreate this moment with another biker. But I waited a good 10 minutes and no one showed up. I lady ran past but it just wasn’t the same. I don’t know what I was looking for with the other biker. I guess I just wanted options. Either way, it was the perfect Sunday morning walk.

My camera settings for this image is F/18 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7Ii and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I know that it is not healthy, but a lot of times when I get sad, I just bottle it in. It’s hard for me to truly express how I’m feeling so instead of trying to explain myself or avoid a super long conversation, I’ll keep it to myself. It’s awful, I know and I need to stop.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a little down and decided that I’d work on some images to hopefully make me forget about things. If I try to think back on it now, I have no idea what I was sad about. I just remember trying to evoke that emotion into this image I was working on. I did it by adding super dark tones into the shadows of this image but I knew the feeling would pass so I wanted to keep the cherry blossoms light. My FAVORITE part of the image is the little bit of light that’s hitting the front tree trunk. I think that glow is so special.

Well, I posted it on instagram and Vanessa suggested that my friend, Christopher and I should collab on this piece. If you’re not familiar with Christopher’s work he’s thehappiestswamponearth on instagram and he takes images and composites Disney characters in to them. You have to check it out if you like images that will make you smile.

We talked about it a little over dm and we both agreed that the image had a little bit of sadness in it. A couple of weeks later he sent me this!

OMG this image turned from sad to something so sweet and magical. I love, love, love the way that it turned out. Bambi and his mom look so precious in that little corner, I can’t even  express how happy this makes me. SEE I’m not good at expressing my feelings but I LOVE IT.

The camera settings for F5.0 at 1/30th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony a7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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One of my favorite places to go to shoot in Northern Virginia is Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. I actually learned about it through Andrew. The first time we went here was on one our first dates. I still remember thinking it was weird that he took me here because he gets bad allergies in the spring time but he knew it was a place that I’d enjoy so I really appreciated that about him. Some of my favorite cherry blossom images that I’ve ever taken were taken from here. For example this one and this one. I just love the variety of flowers that you can see here.

So when I got the opportunity to pick a workshop location for a recent one-on-one teach that I did, Meadowlark was the first place that popped in my head. It is beautiful but still quiet enough where we’d be able to walk and talk about cameras and settings without disturbing many other people. The National Mall is a good place too, but it can get pretty crowded and parking isn’t always the best situation. So a great alternative is Meadowlark.

This image was taken from across the lake facing the Korean Bell Garden. I love how the branches create a cool frame around the pagoda. If I didn’t know any better than I would have assumed this was taken somewhere in Asia.

Just in case you’re in the area, the gates will open at 6a on Saturday May, 19th when they typically open at 10a. I bet this would look really nice in the early morning light. And if you’re interested in my workshops, click here for more information. They’re one-on-one so I can cater the information based on whatever you’d like to learn. Plus you don’t have to live in the DC metro area, we could go over everything through google hangouts or skype 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/1250th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm handheld.

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What’s crazy is that I’m still not even close to done with all my cherry blossom images from this year! We had great bloom and I tried to go out as often as I could. You would say that I went pretty hard! Out of the two weeks, I think I only missed two sunrises. Even if it was really grey and windy, I still went out to see what I could find.

This was captured at the National Gallery of Art. The same time I took this image. But at this point the sun had already come up so there was a little more light available. If you’re not familiar with the gallery, then it may be a little difficult to see what’s really going on. The blue part is just the side of the building. The orange/warm part is the inside of a corner of the building. It goes in a little bit and it has it’s own special uplighting which is causing the warmer tones. I love how the cherry blossom branch just unifies everything in this image.  I have a couple more variations of this image that I still need to play around with but if you’ve been following my blog then you’ll know I love the contrast between warm and cool tones that this image is bringing. It would be really neat to see this as a series. So many ideas, so little time! One day.

And the cherry blossom vlog is coming! It’s been taking me a while because I finally downloaded Final Cut Pro X. I figured it was time to upgrade my video workflow as well. Thanks to my friend, Andy for the extra push! I love how creative you can get with the videos but it’s just taking me a while because I literally have to google every single thing that I want to do. It will be worth it though. Just taking time… apologies.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 1250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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I spent yesterday afternoon in Dumbarton Oaks photographing the wisteria there. Can I tell you that Wisteria Hysteria is a real thing? They are so beautiful in real life. I must have taken a million pics. Not really but I can not wait to look through those images. It was actually my second time there this season and I can’t get enough of that place. Ever since I visited last year with Andrew, I made a mental note that I had go in the spring. I bet fall is nice there too. Let me know if you’ve ever been in the autumn time. I wonder if there are a lot of colorful trees.

Well anyways, this image was from my first trip this season. I think my favorite part of the gardens at that time were these magnolias. They were so big and hardy (is that the right word to describe them?) that I don’t think I could hold one in one hand alone. *cat heart eye emoji* Obviously I didn’t want to touch them but I spent a significant amount of time staring up and circling these trees with my camera until I found the perfect sun flare. Love you, spring!

PS Happy Cinco de Mayo mañana. I usually don’t celebrate holidays unless it’s Thanksgiving or Mothers day or something like that, but I’ll be celebrating tomorrow. I had the best week ever! Thank you all so much for the positive feedback to Snap DC. I could not be more excited about it and I am even more excited for you to hold it in your hands! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! And yes, celebrations always include pizza 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F22 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 16-35 mm wide angle lens.