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So I stayed around a little longer to check out the sunset. I figured it was going to be good one after all the rain we got. Plus that epic double rainbow still had my shutter-clicking finger itchin’ for some more.

It was an interesting night. The west was fully covered with clouds. No chance of any light or color peaking through. The only color we got was coming from the east and it was so beautiful. This soft pastel-y kinda of pink invaded the lingering storm clouds. But I think my favorite part of this image is the US Capitol’s dome reflection. For the same exact reasons that I liked this one of the Washington Monument. The ducks swimming past just made it that much more interesting. Luckily these particular ducks just kept on swimming back and forth in front of my camera for some reason so I had plenty of opportunity to catch them at the right time. And the whole time I was trying to capture these ducks, there was an elementary school girl next to me taking a time lapse on her iPhone. Her friend kept on asking her to take instagram pictures of her but she explained that she couldn’t. She couldn’t stop taking the time lapse of the ducks and sunset because it was so “aesthetically pleasing”. She kept on repeating that phrase over and over again because she was just so proud of her time lapse. So the whole time I was taking this picture, I was definietly making a conscious effort to make sure my images were ‘aesthetically pleasing’ as well.

The settings for this image is F/8 at 1/250th of a second at ISO 1250. The light was dark and the ducks were going by fast. I had to make sure I got a clear image for the shot I had envisioned in my head.

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This is probably my third or forth time seeing a rainbow over the US Capitol. You can see one example here and another one here. But it wasn’t until this rainbow where I realized this is probably the best spot to catch rainbows in DC. 3 out of 4 times it will be directly over the dome and it’s just a beautiful sight to see. It will be slightly off center or totally off to the side at any of the other memorials. But now that I think of it, it might work from behind the Lincoln Memorial. So…. note to self. Check that out next time it rains 🙂

Anyways, I left my house a little early to make sure I had time to catch sunset. I figured with all the rain, traffic was going to be horrible and I was right! I came from a different direction than I usually do which meant that I parked my car on a totally different side of the street. I was way off to the right when I usually park in the middle. From the middle it was two perfect arches over the dome. But it worked out in my favor because I was able to get a totally different perspective of the rainbow and the dome. At first I was envisioning the rainbow pouring out of the dome but then I realized I could see the reflection of the rainbow in the street puddle, omg it was over. I was down, kneeling in the middle of the street for like 10 minutes. Luckily, its not a busy street. Luckily, all the nice people who wanted to drive on the street at least honked their horn at me instead of running me over. At one point, I was side by side next to that red tour bus you can see coming down the road. He didn’t flinch and neither did I. I’m just glad I didn’t get splashed. That would have been inconvenient.

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Speaking of adding a human element in your images... What about adding a puppy element? Dogs make the best models 🙂

We didn’t have much planned last weekend but all of us wanted to get out of the house. Including Frankie. So we ran a few errands and along the way stopped at James Madison Memorial Building. I have seen pictures of it on instagram, but never actually visited. Also, we didn’t get the chance to go inside because we had Frankie, but the outside was beautiful. I love all the repeating columns. They’re really different than the ones you’d see at the Jefferson Memorial or Lincoln Memorial because theres hardly any space in between them. It gives off a totally different effect. Plus these columns are a lot more straight and modern looking than the other memorials.

Frankie was the perfect model. You can’t see it but Andrew was standing just to the left of him in between the columns just to make sure nothing happened. But he just sat there and posed. It really wasn’t much effort at all to get him to sit like that. He didn’t even move until a group of people walked passed and all he wanted to do wag his tail and greet them as if they had walked into his home. To be honest, I did photoshop out his leash. It was just a long, red leash that totally didn’t go with the final image I was looking for. I love how he looks so tiny in this massive environment. I hope next time we’ll be able to go inside.

The day after I took this, I showed it to my nephews. They said that next time I should photograph Frankie on a throne. LOL. I think their dad has been watching a bit too much of Game of Thrones. LOL.

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Cherry Blossoms! On one hand I wish they would stick around longer than a week at a time. On the other, I think it’s what makes me appreciate them even more. They’re so delicate and beautiful. My favorite is when they look like kernels of popcorn jumping off the branch.

My trick with cherry blossoms is to photograph them off the tripod. That’s right, no tripod at all. Unless you’re shooting the sky at sunrise or sunset, I feel like the tripod can be restricting. Especially when you’re trying for new angles and points of view. I tend to put my camera as close as I can get to them and start composing from there. They make for great foreground elements as well a good way to frame and using the branches for line. I particularly like this image because the cherry blossoms are coming at you from every which way. Some may say the ones in the very front should be in focus, but I like the out of focus ones the most. It adds an extra element of depth that you wouldn’t get if they were in sharp.

This was shot early morning, right after sunrise. So my camera settings for this image was F/8 at 1/1000th of a second ISO 1000. Not sure why my ISO was so high. That must have been a mistake. If I were to do it again, it’d probably be in the 100 to 200 range. Results would be the same but I’m sure during post processing I had to denoise it to get rid of the small specks.

Here’s hoping we get a normal winter this year and the snow stops falling in February instead of March like it did this year! A lot of these suckers didn’t’ get to full term this year 🙁

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I’m currently in the middle of reading 5 books. This has never happened before. I’m more of the finish a book before you start another one type of person, but I’m super into all of these books. And the funniest part of it all is that I’ve never really read photography books either. The last time I read one must have been when I was in college or something taking photography as an elective. It’s funny because half of these books are about photo.

So if you want to get your summer reading on, check these books out:

  1. Ansel Adams: An Autobiography. More than anything, this book just makes me want to backpack around Yosemite for a year. However, this book starts from his early childhood and it’s super interesting how he has developed his creativity throughout his adult life.
  2. Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are.  All about finding unique compositions where you live. Seeing new things out of the mundane.
  3. The Business Idea Factory: A World-Class System for Creating Successful Business Ideas. If you ever feel like you’re in a rut, check out this book. Andrew originally recommended it to me and this may be my favorite out of the ones on this list.
  4. Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age.  It’s a really easy read with some inspiring stories of creatives from around the world. So far, my favorite part is about how the author, John Grisham and how he made his mark with ‘legal thrillers’.
  5. And I’m still waiting to finish listening to Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons. I started listening to it on our cross country road trip and I can’t wait to find out what happens 🙂

If you haven’t noticed, the books I like are self help, autobiography, non-fiction type books. LOL. Let me know if you’ve read any of these book or if you pick any of them up. What do you think, should we start a book club or something? I think that’d be so fun!

PS. the image is from sunset at White Sands National Monument <3