Travel

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The end of 2017 is fast approaching and I can’t help but reflect on the amazing year it’s been. I think this whole week on the blog I’ll talk about all the fun photo adventures of the year. It started off with an awesome trip to Iceland. It was my second time there but definietly not my last. If you’ve never been to Iceland, it’s hard to describe. It’s just so amazingly beautiful and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

I took this image on one of the last days we were there. We had shot sunrise and was wondering around Höfn when we stumbled upon this group of horses. It was beautiful because the early morning light was hitting them perfectly. But if you look at this guy in the eye, you can totally tell how calm and relaxed they all are. The horses in Iceland are super chill and so great to pet… and hug… and basically obsess over.

Shout out to Peak Design for their awesome camera straps. I have the clutch, which is basically a camera strap for your hand. I love it! It makes it so easy to carry around and shoot from different angles. I was able to get this low perspective without having to bend down. I just had my arm straight out, pointed up, and I didn’t have to worry about dropping it at all. Its kinda fun to see what you end up with. It was not serious shooting but shooting for fun and if you get something that turns out cool, it’s even better!

Click here if you’d like to see more images from Iceland.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/100th of a second ISO 80 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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Its been a couple of years since it’s been built and guess what. I still haven’t been on the Capital Wheel. I should really put that on my to-do list. I bet the views from there are real nice. For some reason every time I’ve been to the National Harbor, it’s closed. But then again, I’m usually there just to eat and not really anything else. Have you had Grace’s Mandarin? OMG so good. LOL.

I captured this image about a year ago just by luck. I happened to be driving home from my friend’s house in Maryland and noticed how insanely foggy it was getting outside. But when I crossed over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, I noticed how the fog was effecting the colors of the ferris wheel. It was like something I had never seen before. It was sooo foggy that the fog was actually carrying the colors from the lights. I had to make a quick U-turn to check things out. Luckily I had my camera and tripod with me. Oh man, I would have been so upset if I didn’t. But as I got closer to the ferris wheel, the cooler it looked. The fog blocked everything else out and the only thing visible was the wheel. If I shot this without the fog, you would have probably seen so much many more lights from the National Harbor or even the roads leading up to it. I’m so grateful that I had my gear with me.

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 0.8 seconds at ISO 125 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm camera.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Can you believe it’s already December 15th? Luckily I finished all my holiday shopping earlier this week. Thank you Amazon! I’ve never been so prepared 🙂

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The White House is by far the most difficult landmark to photograph in Washington DC. It’s also the reason why I don’t have many images of it on my site. And in the past couple of years it’s gotten even harder. There have been so many restrictions on where you can walk around or even stand. Its kinda crazy compared to what it used to be.

Thankfully, my friend Christa has the hook up at her job and we were able to go to her work’s rooftop and capture it from there. But even there it was still a little sketchy. She let me know that we may get warnings from the White House just for having our tripods out… on the rooftop… a block away. But in the end, we had no troubles. Thank you Secret Service!

For this image, I used my 70-200mm lens to capture it all. It was the only lens I had on this whole rooftop adventure. I just love the way it compressed all the layers and what’s even more shocking is all the great details you can in the buildings in the very back. That’s Rosslyn, VA in case you were wondering. *shock face emoji* LOL.

What’s even better is that there are 5 american flags in this image. Can you find them all? The last two may be a little more difficult to find but I love seeing little surprises like that.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/60th of a second and ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II and 70-20mm zoom lens. I specifically remember thinking that I wanted to create a stop motion effect with the American flag in the foreground so that is why my ISO is so high. The sun was setting and the light was already pretty dark. It had to be a real quick shutter.

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I did not take this image this past snow that we got. I took it a couple of years ago but still really, really enjoy it and figured why not post it? Theres something so peaceful and serene about it. I especially like looking at that platform in the middle of the water and envisioning so much summer fun happening there with floaties and belly flops. Definietly not winter fun. Or at least that’s not my idea of winter fun LOL.

As I was editing this image in Photoshop, I was wondering if I should leave that little bit of yellowish colored grass showing on the right hand of the image. It’s not the most attractive looking grass but in the end, I decided to leave it. Its only a small amount but I love how it shows that this is actually a color image and not black and white. It’s a little detail that could be distracting but I think it tells so much more of the story of what it’s actually like being at this lake.

I also love seeing all the curves in the lake and if you look closely enough, you’ll even see a house or two. This is taken at a neighborhood lake in McLean, Virginia but if you asked me, it looks like it was taken straight out of a movie like Frozen or something. I dunno, I just can’t keep my eyes off of it. I love it so much. I could totally see myself sitting on that grass and staring at this scene for hours. It’d be awesome if I could fly my drone here too. Ohh the possibilities.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/160th of a second and ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle.

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After our first snow of the season, I knew I had to wake up early the next morning and capture the sunrise. Somehow I knew it was going to be a good one. We had 2 days of really grey days so I knew the clouds were going to have to break up and bring in some of the sun light.

But this was not the image I intended to capture. I had every intention of shooting at the Tidal Basin. I thought it would be cool to see how the water did in the snow. Did it freeze over? or was there any snow still on the cherry blossom trees? I dunno. I wasn’t able to drive over there since all the roads around the National Mall was blocked off. I’m not sure why, but I’m thinking it was for some kind of parade or marathon. I’ve tried googling it and still can’t find the answer. Oh well.

So I drove over to the Capitol and figured it would be just as nice. I spent the morning just walking all around the Capitol grounds, blasting my music with no headphones. LOL it was awesome. There was hardly anyone around and it felt like I had the whole Capitol to myself. I felt so free to just walk anywhere I wanted to and was so happy when I stumbled onto this compass. I’ve noticed it before but never saw how reflective it is. I guess the melting snow made for great puddles in here. Love finding hidden gems like this. One thing I didn’t notice while taking this picture was the guy walking in front of the Capitol building. I love how he adds some scale to the whole thing. Yea, the US Capitol building is hugeeee.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/80th of a second ISO 160 with my Sony A7II 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

We had our very first snow fall of the season over the weekend! It was perfect. It snowed all day Saturday, just one or two inches. Enough to stick on cars and the grass a bit but nothing on the roads. No mess to clean up, no fuss to worry about. Just the way I like it!

My friend, Larry and I went out to Great Falls Park to check it out. It’s been a while since I’ve photographed the park and was really looking forward to shooting it in the snow. It reminded me of my high school days when I first got interested in photo. At that time, I didn’t know how to drive so my sweet mom drove me in the snow so I could get the shots that I wanted. And wait for me in the cold to photograph the trees and water. It’s crazy how things come full circle. I remember being really proud of those Great Falls shots in high school. LOL how time flies. I bet if you asked her today, she’d still remember doing that. SHOUT OUT TO MY MOM! I LOVE YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU! Even though you know I blog every day but still don’t read them.

I am really looking to photographing more snow this season. I heard we’re going to get a lot this year. I was sort of looking at this Great Falls Park photoshoot as the prequel. So many possibilities to shoot. And I’m really hoping for some drone shots thrown in there too! Let me know, what’s your favorite weather to shoot? Mine is fog but snow could be a close second. Similar effects but more cold.

The settings for this image is F4.5 at 4 seconds and ISO 160 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm lens.