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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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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.

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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.