Virginia

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This may sound crazy but a couple weeks ago I bought my very first pair of real hiking boots. For the amount of hiking that I’ve done with just plain ol’ sneakers, these definietly came at the right time. Don’t get me wrong or anything, I feel no aches or pains with my sneakers, I just think that I’ll be better supported with some proper footwear. They’ll definietly come in handy next month 😉

But for now, heres an image from my last hike. This was taken at the end of the trail at Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. Just steps away from the parking lot was this house covered by trees and bushes. It down poured on us at the end of our hike. By the time I reached this house it had already stopped raining but all the steam that came from the rain and the humidity mixing literally made everything glow. I just love how that one branch is pointing directly at the point of the roof to make everything so centered in this image. Even the trees surrounding the house almost look perfectly straight as if they were grown for this image. Everything is just so straight up and down, I love it!

Also, if you’re not busy tonight, you should definietly come out to the Community Collective show at Sospeso. This is the third time that my friend, Jarrett has put together a show to showcase so many creative people in the Washington DC area. It should be a great time. I even have a piece that will be featured and is for sale. So if you’re interested in seeing some great art work, click here to find out more information 🙂

The settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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Honesty hour…

Lately I’ve been thinking about my style of photography. I think I’m most known for sunrise at the Washington DC monuments, but I want to be more than just that. I want to become a more well rounded photographer that can photograph much more than empty, open spaces. I want expand and push my creativity. I’ve started to photograph more street, lifestyle, and portrait work but haven’t really said anything about. I haven’t really said anything about it because it’s not what I’m known for. And is it really even that good? I dunno, but I am enjoying it and when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters, right?

So this is an example of the type of work that I’m leaning more towards. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my landscapes and sunrises but I’m expanding. This was taken memorial day weekend on the Old Rag trailhead in the Shenandoah Mountains. Typically I would have waited to bring out my camera until we got to the summit of the mountain and photographed the landscape but this time I wanted to capture the experience of what it was like to get to the top. This image is of my cousin, Mona, my sister-in-law, Audrey, Andrew and another hiker who just happened to be standing at the right spot at the right time. For me, it perfectly describes what it’s like. Cautious getting to the top while climbing over big ass boulders with amazing views along the way. My favorite part of the image is Mona’s body position and the way she’s getting around the rocks.

I have many more images that I took while on this hike. I’ve already sprinked a few here and there and theres more to come. So let me know what you think of these. I’d love to know!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/1000th of a second and ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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I’ve spent that last few weeks or so getting ready for my next trip. And by getting ready I mean getting new photo gear! How else would you prepare for travel? HAHA!

My girlfriends and I will be leaving for a few relaxing days in the Caribbean next week and I can’t wait! It’s been so long since I’ve had a proper beach vacation. My legs are as pale as a ghost and I’m not even exaggerating. So knowing that I’ll be in the water a lot, I got my hands on a GoPro Hero 5! Shoutout to my friend, Larry for gifting me his. He wasn’t using his and I casually mentioned how I was in the market for a GoPro so the next time I saw him he hooked it up! I appreciate it so much, Larry.

Since then, I’ve purchased all kinds of mounts for the tiny camera. One for my backpack strap, one that floats in the water when you’re using it, and looking into a couple more. I love versatility you have with the camera. I used to have the original GoPro which has basically just turned into my brothers camera now. He’s really into cars and sometimes on the weekends will go driving on racetracks. He has borrowed it a few times over the years but the last time he borrowed it, I never bothered asking for it back. He was using it way more than I was so its his now.

PS If you haven’t seen this already, Frankenstein made a GoPro video a couple of years ago! LOL.

This image was taken at Leesylvania State Park in Prince William County, Virginia at sunrise. My camera settings were F8 at 0.3 seconds ISO 200 with my Canon 5D Mark II and 17-40mm wide angle lens.

Man, I really need to update my gear list. Note to self!

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There’s always room for firsts and I had my first podcast experience a few weeks ago. Thanks so much to Jason Flakes and Mary Bailey for having me on PhotoStank. I had so much talking about photography, Snap DC and so much more. To be honest, I didn’t want the conversation to end. I was having so much fun. If you’re interested, click here to listen to the episode.

And if you have time, check out the episode’s challenge. I think it’s an interesting one. Use the hashtag #photostankchallenge so I can be sure to see what you have come up with.

Today’s image was taken a couple of weekends ago in Lake Anna, Virginia. It had just stopped raining and was still a bit too cold to go out on the boat for some water fun so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to fly the drone! I love practicing flying as much as I can. I’m still a bit nervous at it but I know the more flying time I get, the better it will be.This birds eye view of the world is such an interesting perspective. And my favorite part of this image is the way that you can see the reflections of the clouds in the water. The trees weren’t looking too bad after the rain either 🙂 I think I’ll be flying my drone a lot more often in the summer. Sunflower fields here I come!

Speaking of flying, my friend Andy just came out with a video about flying drones. If you have one, you should definietly check out this video. I learned so much! Just wish it came out before the trip to Lake Anna so I could have applied some new knowledge I learned.

My camera settings for this image is F2.2 at 1/220th of a second and ISO 100 on my DJI Mavic Pro.

 

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Last weekend was another adventure weekend. This time was at Lake Anna, Virginia. For the past 3 years, my family has rented a lake house and we would have tons of fun in the water. This past weekend was my first attempt at wake surfing and I had a blast! Mostly because I shocked myself and got up on my very first try. I know I had to have been standing for at least a minute. It was funny because I had spent so much time worrying about how I would get up that once I was up I had no idea what to do next. There is a video of it, but in true Andrew fashion, there’s a finger in the corner of the video!!! I mean, how does that even happen? I swear he must do it on purpose… Anyways I was able to go a few more times and I got better and better at it. Luckily there are no fingers in those videos.

This image is of my friend, Nando. He’s way better at wake surfing, snowboarding and all those kind of things than I am. It was fun to photograph this though. I never thought about the cool angles you could get from the back of the boat. It makes me want to go back again just so I can photograph more surf. This image was taken about 10 minutes before it started thunder storming. Man I wish that rain held off because it rained for the rest of our trip. I would have loved to fly the drone during these wake surfing sessions. I was able to get a little bit of fly time from land, but the boat would have been awesome. Next time, Lake Anna!

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/320th of a second at ISO 250 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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Like I said last week, the hike up old rag was strenuous. It was hot, humid and I was sweating all over the place. In total it took us about 6 hours to complete. You know you’re on top of the mountain when you have these huge rocks you have to climb. I had no idea that it would require so much upper body strength. Shout out to my cousin, Brian who I’ve been working out with 3-4 times a week. I feel like all that working out prepared me for this hike and this hike only. LOL. I had done the trail before but always needed assistance climbing up the rocks. This time I didn’t need any! I came home with a lot of bruises, but at least I didn’t need anyone’s hand to help pull me up 🙂

We were super lucky though. Right when we were done with the rock climbing part and we were about to reach the part where you just walk down the mountain, it started pouring. Like lightning, thunder, soaking wet! I can not imagine what it was like for the people who had to rock climb in all that rain because it was intense! But for us walking down it felt so good. I feel like it relieved us of the heat, all the steaminess of our sweat and humidity went away and it just felt so refreshing. Luckily, I packed a rain sleeve for my camera so all my electronics in my backpack was safe. I didn’t even think to bring one for myself. As long as my camera was ok, I’ll be ok.

We ended up walking a good 3-4 miles in non-stop rain. It wasn’t too bad but neither one of us wanted to stop for a break so it went by super quickly.

My camera settings for this image is F5.0 at 1/50th of a second at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.