Travel

All photos available for print and licensing >

On my quest to take more cherry blossom images this year, I thought I’d leave this one for you for the weekend. This image was taken in 2012.  This is what the cherry blossoms should look like. Beautiful puffy white clouds along these delicate, windy branches. A glorious morning only shared by those who didn’t mind waking up before the sun. Ripples along the water created by a bird, a duck or slight gust of wind.

LOL I can’t keep a straight face anymore. I tried to be poetic. I’ll stop now.

Yea… So I took this in 2012, I have another version of this here but this one is a brand new one. I did not process it until now. The first time I processed the original image it was in HDR. For some reason it created all these unnecessary lines and colors along the branches called chromatic aberration. Trust me it is a pain in the B-U-T-T to get rid of. Man. I think it took me almost 3 days of fixing before I could get it just right for a client to print. So this version is vertical and it’s a little bit of a different point of view. The colors are definietly not as saturated but I much prefer this version. What about you? Which one do you prefer? Here’s the link again to the first one. 

If you’re wondering, I stopped processing my images using HDR a while ago. I just realized I was spending all this unnecessary time processing and editing that I didn’t have to be. I am really enjoying my workflow now which is only photoshop. Nothing else. If you’re interested in learning more about it, check out my video here.

Have a great weekend everyone. May the flowers be dancing above your head like the cherry blossoms in 2012 were. LOL.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I went out to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens earlier this week to check out the blossoms there. It’s one of my favorite places to go outside of the city to see some beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, I was too early. It hardly looked like anything was blossoming yet including the cherry blossoms. So I took the opportunity to just walk around an enjoy the afternoon sun.

In the center of the park is a large pond with a gazebo. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk through the park. I love walking on the bridge leading to the gazebo because there are always these large koi fish that come to greet you. I’m not sure how they know you’re there but they definietly know. If you just stand there for 2 minutes, you’ll see at least 10 of them come swimming towards you. There have been many times in my life where I wish I had a piece of bread with me. This was another one of those times. I would of loved to feed the fish, unfortunately I didn’t have anything with me but my camera.

I’m not giving up hope on Meadowlark yet though. I plan on being back there when the cherry blossoms in DC are over. I think that’d be the perfect time to go.

For this image, I shot it at f5.6 1/800th of a second ISO 250 with my 28-70mm lens. My overall vision for this image was to capture the motion of the fish. Not with a long exposure, but with the curvature in their bodies. I love watching them move so smoothly through the water, I felt like the twists and turns that they make would really capture motion. Plus I love that little splash the tail is creating from the fish on top of the image.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’d like to visit the tidal basin as much as I can this week. Cherry blossoms are no where near what they were like in previous years but regardless they’re still beautiful. With the cold weather, only about 50% have survived and will be peaking. As of right now, the flowers are almost there. Some trees are really beautiful and have some great blooms on them. Some are just completely dead. The others are half and half and it’s hard to tell which direction they’re going. I’d say if you were planning on a trip to go, I’d go towards the end of the week or even the weekend.  That is if you want to battle the craziness of the crowds and the actual cherry blossom festival.

This was taken yesterday morning around sunrise. The sunrise itself wasn’t too impressive since it was too cloudy but it made for the perfect backdrop for a moody cherry blossom shoot. I ran into my friend, Jarrett again. We always seem to run into each other during sunrise but especially during cherry blossom season. It’s sort of become a running joke with us. Regardless, he’s great company to walk around the basin with. We’ll talk about anything from photography to social media to creepin’ on other people’s engagement photoshoots. You’ll have to watch his instagram stories to understand. LOL.

My settings on this image was F8 at 1/80th of a second ISO 500 with my 28-70mm. I intentionally set my aperture around f/8 so I can get most things in focus. I definietly wanted the flowers to be seen and the Washington Monument. Another grey day means another high ISO image to make sure the wind wouldn’t make this image blurry.

But there will be more of these updates throughout this week and maybe even next week. Please let me know if you like them because I like posting them 🙂

All photos available for print and licensing >

So funny story. Remember how yesterday I said that the cherry blossom won’t be peaking this year? I was wrong. I wrote that post way to soon because guess what?! Only half the cherry blossoms were really effected by the snow last week. It’s like a huge sigh of relief. I really look forward to this time of year every year and I really didn’t want to miss out on it this time. So for the last 50% of the cherry blossoms remaining, they’re expected peak date is now March 22-25th which is only a few days from now!!!

I went out Sunday morning to meet up with a local instagram group called, Walk with Locals. I had been to some of their events before but this was their one year birthday so I had to go. I hate missin’ out on a good time. Even though it was wet, rainy, and snowing, there was an impressive amount of people who showed up at sunrise. We walked around the tidal basin but I kind of stayed in the back of the crowd. Eventually I was the only one walking by myself when I saw this duck.

Its not uncommon to see ducks in DC, especially around the water. But this one was actually on the sidewalk. So I approached him slowly and calmly and he didn’t seem to mind me at all. We then started having our own little photoshoot. I intentionally got low so I could try to get the “cherry blossoms”, Washington Monument, and duck all in one frame. My settings were  F6.3 1/100th of a second ISO 400 with my 16-35mm wide angle lens. I had to bump up my ISO high even though we were outdoors because I didn’t want any motion from the duck. It was so very grey and dark, it was difficult to get a fast enough shutter speed to make sure everything was sharp.

Anyways, Happy Birthday Walk with Locals! You guys are awesome.

And you know what else is awesome? Cherry Blossoms! I’ll be out there shooting. And if you are too, come say hi!

All photos available for print and licensing >

Now that the snow has fallen, it’s crazy cold outside and it’s official that the cherry blossoms will not peak this year, it made me think about our trip to Japan around this time last year. Unfortunately while we were on our trip, I missed the peak bloom of blossoms in DC. Double unfortunate that we also missed the peak in Tokyo. We did see some cherry blossoms, but if we really wanted to see it, we should of stayed for a week longer. Oh well. I still loved our visit and was still able to see some beautiful flowers including this one. Do any of you guys know what this one is called? I have no clue and would not even know where to beginning to find out.

I took it in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The perfect place to go if you want to catch any kind of blooms. When you walk through the park, you almost forget you are in a major city. You don’t hear any honking horns or busy streets. You’re in your own little world, walking down paths of diverse garden areas and scenic views. If I had the opportunity, I would of loved to spend sunrise walking around by myself like I do in DC. The best part is that people come here not just to walk around and enjoy the flowers, but they will bring a blanket with a picnic baskets and hangout for a couple of hours. Kinda like what they do at the tidal basin for the cherry blossoms but it’s definietly not as crowded. I feel like when you can sit down and relax like that, you’ll get the full experience of the beautiful sakuras and these unnamed flower I photographed 🙂

By the way, if you missed it, I made a Tokyo guide. Click here if you’d like to see it.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Shot on the same puddle as this image. Even on a super cold, windy day there will always be people running around the tidal basin. I don’t know how they do it, especially in shorts. Anyways, I saw him running from 100 ft away. I immediately got into position where I thought I could get him and the Washington Monument in the same shot, squatted down low and hoped that it would work out. Luckily it did. This was probably about 20 minutes after the first image was shot though. Thats why this one is way more moodier and darker than the other one. I really like how the guy is almost silhouetted.

In other news, Andrew and I have booked our next trip! We’re going to be flying into Denver and road tripping it to Moab, UT and Rocky Mountain National Park. If you’ve been there, please let me know if you have any recommendations. Hotel, food, photography, whatever. Neither of us have ever been and I’m super excited to explore the mile high city and for our road trip. I know its going to be amazingly beautiful. One of my friends just came back from there and he was telling me that the altitude sickness is real while in Denver. After a quick amazon search, I’m not sure which medicine would be the best for us. So if you have any experience with that, please let me know as well. I never thought I’d get motion sickness but recently there have been times when I’m on a boat and will get pretty ill. I’d like to prevent anything like that from happening on our trip so I can maximize my photography time. Oh YEA!

This is going to be an awesome experience. I’ve always felt like I’ve only been to the coasts and edges of the United States but never anywhere in the middle. Really looking forward to the adventure 🙂