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Speaking of Tokyo… 🙂 Looking at this image makes me want to go back! I would love to go to Japan again although next time I would want to spend less time in Tokyo and spend more time in other parts of the country like Hokkiaido. One day I was looking at pictures and saw this amazing one of rows and rows of flowers just lining the country side. Man it was beautiful. Japanese people really know how to do it big over there! Lol.

This particular image was taken on my vertigo tour with Eyexplore. I’m a huge fan of signing up for these kind of photo tours while visiting other places. You can’t beat a local photographer’s knowledge of their area. They know all the best spots to take images and when, plus you can ask them about other travel related questions like what’s your favorite kitkat flavor? You know, important questions. LOL.

PS, if you’re ever in the DC area and looking for something similar, let me know!

Roof topping is amazing, but I think it’s especially different in Tokyo. There are so many buildings crammed into this little space. It’s really unbelievable if you think about it. Imagine one person occupying each of those windows. That’s a whole lot of people! And all the buildings look so different. I don’t know I think it’s so cool just to slowly move my eye around the picture. Not one spot looks like the other!

PS about 10 more days til the Cherry Blossom predicted peak and I’m so excited! Thank you again, Japan!

The settings for this image is F4.0 at  .8 seconds and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. The A7II was particularly great at this time because it’s so good in low light situations and I was not able to use my tripod because a lot of the time it wouldn’t even fit on those tiny rooftops.

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Taken around the same time as this image. I really love those moody, rainstorm clouds. I remember it had been raining on and off all day that day. This happened to be during one of those off periods. What had actually inspired me to take this image was that cartoon you see on the right hand side. In particular that one with the green background and cute little bunny screaming on it. I recognized those characters from our trip to Japan 2 years ago. I believe the cartoon is called ‘Line Town’ and I thought they were so kawaii. They even had their own store near Harajuku and I believe Andrew and I bought a couple of tshirts there for our nieces and nephews. I was so excited to see Line Town come to America that I had to take a cool reflection shot of it. Duhhh! I didn’t make it into the Times Square store but at least I’ll have more opportunities to go than I did when it was only in Japan.

So I started to set up my shot but then that guy who’s covering it saw me trying to look for my composition. I know I was taking taking my time but it may have been too long. Because when I first saw this scene, there was no one there! But that’s New York for you, there are people EVERYWHERE and at any given moment, one of them could walk right into you composition. Right when I was ready to click, there he was, in front of the green bunny. I could have waited to see if he would move but there were more people behind me on their way. Oh well. I still think it turned out pretty cool.

My settings for this image is F8 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens. At first I was surprised that the shutter speed was so fast at ISO 400 on such a gloomy day, but then I realized it’s times square. It’s always so bright there so you really don’t need a high ISO to shoot fast. LOL.

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I deleted Instagram off my phone on Tuesday night.

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it was. I’m going to be open and honest here because I just got done talking about this with my friend, Alejandra and I felt inspired to share the story…

I woke up Tuesday morning at 6a. Not an unusual time for me to wake up if I’m not shooting the sunrise. Usually I’d wake up around 4:30-5 if I were. So 6am is kinda like I’m sleeping in. Just like everyone else, one of the first things I do when I’m fully awake is go on my phone and check out what’s been going on social media. One of the first things I see is that there was this amazingly beautiful sunrise, pinks, purples, the whole 9 that morning. I took a look out my bedroom window (which is facing west) and noticed that the sky was so pink. From my experience I know that if the sky facing west is pink then it had to be an amazing sunrise. I immediately felt upset. I missed out on an opportunity to capture one of my favorite things in the whole world, a colorful sky.

So that’s how I started off my day. I spent the rest of the morning thinking about where I would have gone if I went out to take pictures, what my composition what have been like, etc etc etc. Basically just beating myself up about missing the sunrise. But I felt like there had to be underlying reason why I was upset. I was upset because I knew that my most popular images on Instagram are the ones with skies just like the one I had slept through. They are the ones with the most beautiful sunrises with a memorial or something iconic in the foreground and I had missed out. This winter has been so grey and foggy that I couldn’t believe I stayed in bed for this one! I was missing out on the likes. I was missing out on new followers. I was missing out on other people’s confirmations that they like me as an artist and in turn them liking me as a person.

How freaking crazy is that?

So obviously one thought lead to another and I ended up having a really hard mental day. Everything was getting on my nervous. I started getting really antsy and impatient about some projects that I’m working on and why it’s not all complete. Even though nothing had really changed as far as the progression, I just expect things to come sooner, better, and I could not get over it.

I realized at the end of the day I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, to create the type of images I was expected to, and to get as many ‘likes’ as I possibly could. What’s crazy is that I even have this magical number in my head that if I don’t hit it within the first hour of my posting, then it’s not a good image. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore and decided to delete instagram from my phone and take a little “instabreak”. I don’t know how long it’s going to last but I already feel like some pressure has been taken off.

As an artist, I shouldn’t be so concerned with what other people think of my work. I should be concerned if I like the work. I should worry about if the image I created is a true representation of who I am as an artist and if it conveys the thoughts or emotions that I want said.

I don’t know. Those are just my quick thoughts about being an artist on social media now. Please let me know if I’m not the only crazy and if you feel the same way as well. I’ll be back on instagram eventually. Probably within the next week because I still love it for artistic inspiration and I’ve made some amazing friends from the app. I just need to take a little bit of time for myself. I’ll still be out there taking pics even if I’m not posting on instagram… I’ll be posting them on twitter now instead. LOL. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!!! I took this one this morning at the Iwo Jima Memorial 🙂 JK I love taking pictures and sharing them with everyone. I just felt like I was putting too much pressure on myself and don’t feel the same pressure from facebook, twitter, etc…

Other thoughts that passed through my head yesterday were not being my true self on the internet vs. real life and the need for everything to be perfect in my images before posting them. If you’re interested, let me know and I can write another long ass blog post about those topics and hopefully start a discussion.

And for those who are only here for my camera settings they are F10 at 20 seconds ISO 160 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Not every photo shoot turns out well. Sometimes I’ll go out and not even pull out my camera and just end up walking around aimlessly. Sometimes I’ll snap a few pics but know that they won’t be my favorites. Other times the images need a little creativity in post processing and I feel like thats what happened with this image.

I went out one morning last week hoping for a colorful sunrise but ended up with some very blue, cloudy skies. The good news is that I found a new puddle and I’m really looking forward to capturing this same scene during a nice sunrise. There are a lot of puddles all around the US Capitol. So many great reflections to be found but I think what makes this one so unique is the fact that you can still see the US Capitol and some car trails to go in front of it. Very cool, if you ask me.

It was a little difficult to capture. Luckily I carry all my extra batteries and memory cards in this cheap, Forever21 makeup bag that is made of entirely plastic. I emptied the entire contents into my backpack and placed it in the middle of the puddle so that I could use it as a resting place for my camera without it getting wet. The key to this image was to get as low as possible and that was basically sitting on top of the puddle.

I liked the way that the image turned out but I thought that rotating it made it look even cool. It sort of adds an interesting element to it and reminds me of those ink blot tests. What do you see actually see in this image?

My camera settings for this image is F11 at 6 seconds with ISO 125 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Going through some of my older images, I found this one. Man it’s been a long time since I’ve been to the United States Air Force Memorial. I think the last time I was there was almost 2 years ago when my friend, Navin and I were out capturing some lightning images. In my opinion it’s one of the harder monuments in the Washington DC area to photograph. I think I find it is so hard to capture because there isn’t a lot of space surrounding it. It’s hard to maneuver  your camera and tripod around in order to get the entire monument in one frame. The only way to capture was to I walk outside of the memorial grounds and stand on the sidewalk at Columbia Pike to get it all in one image. Obviously you can photograph it while in the grounds but it’s very difficult without cutting anything off.

My favorite part of the image is the light that’s hitting the bare trees. I think it looks really cool and interesting, especially the one on the right. I think it looks like it is made out of metal or something, right? Don’t get me wrong though. I still think that the United States Air Force Memorial is one of the coolest places to go to photograph a big sky. I love the hill the sits right outside of it. It’s a great place to sit with your camera and see interesting views of the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument and the US Capitol. The best time of day to shoot this memorial is probably sunset.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 2.5 seconds and ISO 500 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 24-105mm. LOL that’s how you know this is an older image. I shot it with my Canon. Ahhh memories.

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Theres honestly nothing better than sitting on the edge of the reflecting pool and watching the sky explode with so much color. It brings me so much peace and happiness. This is why I love waking up for sunrise.

I know this is random but earlier this week I was thinking about what it would be like if I had my own solo exhibition. What kind of mood and experience would I want to bring to the people who came to see the show. And honestly the only thing I could think of was sitting at the edge of sunrise. Whether it was at the edge of a reflecting pool or at the edge of a rock formation but sitting there and watching the sky. I would want people to know what that feels like. With the wind blowing in my hair, watching the trees sway a little from side to side, and just listening to nothing but nature. Man, just thinking about that makes me feel so happy. Who knows if that would really happen but if it did, I would be so honored.

When people first meet me, a lot of people will say that I’m a really calm person. One person told me that it feels like I have a lot of inner peace. And a lot of times when people really get to know me, they call me quiet. I don’t know, I’m comfortable with silence. I don’t alway feel like you have to say something or do anything extra. I just like to take my time to observe and be present.

Not sure what any of this has to do with the image. It just makes me smile to think of all the amazing possibilities.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/10th of a second and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.