Virginia

All photos available for print and licensing >

This is what I’m talking about!!!

Another image that I shot way back in 2011 in Great Falls Park and at the time I shot this, I don’t think I knew how to edit very well. Or maybe I was just scared to edit it because it would not turn out the way I wanted. Or who knows what the case was but I never edited this image. Isn’t that crazy? I could tell by the other images from this day that it was foggy! I dunno. I was probably intimidated.

But now that I’ve gained more skills and confidence in my photo editing, I am so glad I found this image again. I love it! It really embodies why I love fall colors so much. The red/warm tones are just so welcoming. I can’t wait for the crisp cool air to come. And pumpkin flavored everything in the grocery stores!

Back in 2011, I was strictly shooting and processing my images using high dynamic range (HDR) editing. It’s been at least 3 years since the last time I’ve done this. I’m not sure what you’d call my editing style now, but I definietly have developed a method to produce images that I’m really proud of. If you’d like to see more about how I edit my images, check out these videos.

So the camera settings for this image was 1.3 seconds at F/18 and ISO 800 on my Canon 5D Mark II. I can’t see on my metadata but I’m positive that I shot this on my tripod. Not only because it was more than a second exposure but because everything that I shot at this time was on a tripod. It could have been a super bright, sunshiny day and I would still shoot on my tripod. Even thinking about how much I’d shoot on my tripod makes me grateful for my photo process and see how much I’ve learned and grown from it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tripod and still shoot with it but only when it’s needed and it’s not needed for every single click.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

Not to say that I like one better than the other, but another favorite place to shoot fall colors is Shenandoah National Park. Just driving along sky line drive is so peaceful and relaxing. I never have a plan of what I’m going to shoot, I just go. And each time I go is so different.

What’s crazy is that I shot this in 2011! Lately I’ve been going through some older photos. Like way back. And I still remember shooting this. This particular morning was foggy. You know me and how excited I get with fog. But you can’t even tell that the leaves are changing or anything. I just love how the fog washed away all the details and all you see are blurred lines. It sort of reminds me of an abstract painting with an influence of Mark Rothko. The small hint of purple and pink in the middle of the image really draws my attention.

My camera settings for this image was F/18 at 1/20th of a second ISO 125 on my Canon 5D Mark II.

On a side note, I still get quite a few questions about my 5D Mark II. They’re mostly if I still use it and the answer is not really. The only time I really use it may be shooting fireworks. I just trust the camera remote on the 5D Mark II way more than the one on the Sony A7II. I feel like in that “high pressure” situation, (high pressure meaning, I can’t easily re-do it) I’d rather use that camera. Otherwise, it’s straight Sony equipment for me. I still have my Canon body and lenses sitting on the shelf. I may sell it in the future, but I’m not sure. We just have so many memories together that I don’t know if I’d want to give that away.

All photos available for print and licensing >

It seems a little early, but I’m already thinking about pictures this year for fall foliage. Like I mentioned in my blog post last week, our trip to Acadia National Park is already booked.  I’m really looking forward to that adventure, but I want to  find more local places to take pictures. Great Falls Park has always been one of my favorite for this reason. The trees are beautiful and I love seeing the bright colors in contrast with the gigantic waterfall. I also really like it when you can see leaves falling on to the rocks. One of my favorite images from the past couple of years was one at sunset with the evening glow lighting up the Maryland side. Click here to see what I’m talking about. It’s not photoshopped. It was really that bright orange.

On a side note, I have also created this guide if you wanted to check out Great Falls Park yourself. You’ll love it. The guide and the park 🙂  If you’ve never been, the Virginia side is my personal favorite. The Maryland side doesn’t seem to have as many great viewpoints.

In more technical preparations for the fall color, I’ve invested in my first set of circular polarizers for my wide angle and zoom lenses. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to try them out before our trip. But I’ll let you know how I like them when I get back. Here’s a really informative blog post by Digital Photography School that pushed me to actually get them.

The camera settings for this image is 0.4 seconds at F/14 at ISO 100. Shot with no filters on a tripod. My favorite part of this image is being able to see the color of the sky in the water. I think I could stare at that one little section for hours.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Hey Hey Hey! Guess what today is?! It’s my birthday! Virgo baby! I’d be lying if I said I was one of those people who don’t make a big deal out of their birthdays because I DO! I love my birthday. What other time do you get to publicly declare how awesome you are without getting weird looks? Plus theres birthday cake. And I love birthday cake. Especially on a Tuesday. With extra frosting. And ice cream on the side 🙂 Hopefully there will be some french fries today too.

I’m also really proud of the fact that today is Michael Jackson’s birthday as well. Birthday twins! RIP. Two creative geniuses born on the same day. HAHA JK about me being a creative genius. See, I can say stuff like that because today is my birthday 🙂

Anyways… I took this shot a couple of years ago after a summer storm in the DC area. It was a crazy evening because the storm ended right around sunset. I wasn’t expecting much because I thought the sunset wouldn’t have had time to shine through but then the rainbow popped up. We were there just in time. The glow from the sun and the clouds made this an even more incredible scene. I just love the red/orangey hues contrasted with the blue skies. I feel lucky that I was able to even witness it, let alone photograph it. I just remember being really, really happy when it was all over. Just a few minutes later the storm clouds kept rolling in and another storm was hit the Marine Corps Memorial . I got wet but it was totally worth it. Nothing makes me happier than to see colorful skies like this.

My camera settings for this image was F/22 at 1 second ISO 64 on a tripod.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Last week, I published the video from our road trip. Did you see it? I’m super happy with the way that it turned out. If you haven’t already, click here to watch.

The most surprising comments and questions that I got was in response to the waterfalls in the very beginning of the video. It was surprising to me because it seemed like not a lot of people knew about it. To be honest, I didn’t know about either until I started researching the for the cross country road trip. There was tons of information about it on tripadvisor.com. I’m so glad we stopped here. It was the perfect rest stop for lunch and to stretch out our legs a bit from the drive.

So this waterfall is calling Falling Springs. It’s 80ft tall, so it’s pretty massive. My favorite part about it is that you can walk behind the waterfall and get some cool perspectives. We didn’t do it this time because I was afraid to get wet and then have to sit in the car all the way to Nashville, TN in wet clothes. I’ll be more prepared next time I visit. Second favorite part was the area above the waterfall. As you could see in the video, the water was super blue. Almost like we were in Puerto Rico or something but super surprising since we were only in Virginia. Next time I visit, you better believe I’ll be the first person on that rope swing!

I also go a few questions about trespassing. Apparently, people aren’t allowed to go near the waterfall and you could actually get tickets for jumping the gate. I did see a sign for trespassing while we were there, but it was kinda hidden behind branches and leaves. But the funny part was that the sign was right near the entrance to the waterfall and it was wide open. We didn’t really think much of it and just went right on through. There were plenty of other people enjoying the water too, so I don’t know…

If you plan on visiting, I’m sure you’d love it. But if you get in trouble for it, you don’t know me 🙂

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’m home! and I’m exhausted. Who knew driving over 3,000 miles would wear a girl out so fast. But in the past 10 days I created memories that would last a life time. So many great adventures and sights. In the end, looking back at all 7 states we drove through I could honestly say that I would not have changed a thing. I had a freakin’ B L A S T!

This image was from our very first stop in Covington, VA at Falling Springs Falls. Upon arrival, I didn’t know much about it. I just knew it was a huge waterfall really close to the road and on our way to Nashville, TN so it was the perfect pit stop to get out and stretch our legs. Little did I know that it was SO beautiful. My favorite part was being able to see the waterfall from the very top of it AND the very bottom. All you had to do was climb a couple of rocks and you were there! It kind of reminded me of Slijalandsfoos in Iceland because you can actually walk behind it too. Too bad we weren’t wearing our bathing suits or I would of wanted to jump in.

I definietly want to come back here on a hot summer day with Andrew and Frankie. It’s only 3 hours away from where we live. Frankie doesn’t like getting wet but I’m sure he’d enjoy the trail and hanging out outdoors with us.

I still can’t believe we drove all the way to California. There’s a lot to catch up on so be sure to check out the blog for the next few days and I’ll be uploading a youtube video as well. I don’t even remember half of what I filmed so that should be very interesting. HAHA!