Virginia

All photos available for print and licensing >

I’ve lived in Northern Virginia my whole life. I was born in Fairfax hospital and only time I left was when I went to college in Richmond, VA. But I’m not sure how much that really counts because I was back in NoVA every weekend anyways. So I’ve basically lived here my entire life and I remember all the things that used to be here. Like, who remembers when there used to be that big Best store? or when there was no Mosaic District and it was just a huge Multiplex Movie Theater? So seeing all these new buildings pop out of no where and new transient stations being built is so crazy to me, especially in the Tyson’s Corner/McLean area. That place has changed so much, but I think it’s all for the better. I love how the new Silver Line on the Metro will go directly to Dulles Airport. It will make it so much more convient in the future.

So just for fun, I thought it’d be cool to see what it’d look like from the Greensboro Metro Station at sunset. I’ve never been on the Silver Line before but I knew this had to be a crazy, cool view. I was right!! How awesome is that? Shout out to the Wendy’s that’s right next to this metro station. That was the first place I drove to on my own once I got my drivers license. LOL!

But there’s still one view that I want to get. I think the BEST view is that from 495 from Maryland going into Virginia. How do I stand safely on the highway to capture that view? Or is there another way? If you’re from the area, you know what I’m talking about! Man, the skyline has changed soo much it’s crazyyy and it’s only going to change more as the years go on.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I remember shooting this last year. I was driving home from shooting the storm at the Washington Monument and was a little disappointed with how my pictures came out. There wasn’t one that I was extremely happy with or excited to work on but the rain had cut my photoshoot short. Sometimes it happens even on the worst weather days. And then as soon as I got to my car and start driving, the rain stopped. So I started filtering all the places I could go shoot on my way home when finally I realized the US Marine Corps War Memorial was perfect!

I drove up to the memorial and NO ONE was there. It was amazing! Usually there are bus loads of people here. But the rain must of scared them all away. So taking all the liberties I could, I parked my car right in front of the memorial. Yes, right along the drive path. Whatevs- no one was there anyways. I was only going to be there for 10 minutes tops. I didn’t even close my driver side door because I was so excited by the clouds. So I started shooting, shooting, shooting. No tripod, all hand held. The storm clouds were so dramatic and amazing. I was so grateful for this little break in the rain. My favorite part is seeing that little reflection of Iwo Jima in the puddle. I had to squat down real low for this one which also helped in making the storm clouds look even bigger.

My camera settings for this image was F5.6 at 1/15th of a second at ISO 640. Shooting handheld with such dark, dramatic skies, you have to put your ISO high to avoid any kind of motion blur. I also bracketed these shots so I could later choose which one turned out the best.

All photos available for print and licensing >

It’s been soooo long since I’ve been to Great Falls Park. If you have been following me for a while then you’ll know that I used to go to Great Falls Park a lot. Like more than I ever went to the National Mall. Which is a little crazy because everyone always assumes that I have a little bed right under Lincoln’s chair in the Lincoln Memorial. When in fact, I don’t! I sleep in my bed, in my bedroom, in my house in Fairfax, VA. LOL

But I love Great Falls Park. I have so many great memories there. Its the place I used to go to all the time to practice my photography skills that I learned in school. It’s also the place where my cousin got so sick she had to throw up in one of the bathrooms but later found out that she wasn’t sick at all. She was pregnant! It’s also the place where Andrew and I had one of our first dates together and the place where we’d take Frankie and our nephews to play soccer. So many great memories from this place.

I think what changed it all for me was that they started closing the gate at night. Before I felt like I could come in and out as I pleased. But there have been so many times where I tried to go at sunrise and the gates were closed. I was even there one time at sunset and was there for so long that they closed the gates on me. I had to call for someone to pick me up because there was no way to get my car out that day. So to say that this place is special to me would be an understatement. I love coming here and seeing beautiful views like this one.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Happy Monday! Can’t believe May is here! Did you guys check out the desktop and cell phone wallpapers? I do them every first of the month and love them.  Or if you haven’t yet, make sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll receive them straight into your inbox. What could be easier? If you use them, send me a screen shot. I have a folder on my desktop that’s called ‘happy’ and I put all of my favorite screenshots in there. If I’m ever feeling down or anything, I always look in that folder and feel uplifted. As you may have noticed I have tons of other folders on my desktop, maybe one day you’ll find out what they all are. Or if you’ve even be interested in that? It’s sort of the method behind all my madness. LOL.

This image was shot in 2013 when I was still using my Canon 5d Mark II. I recently found it on one of my old drives and been having a good time looking through some past images. I love this one with all the greens and different lines. I think my favorite part is the path leading off to the edge of the image. I still remember shooting this. It was on an early morning walk through the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was staying in a yert with some of my friends and a few of us decided to explore the surrounding area. I love how that foggy weather just lingers all morning in the mountains. Perfect mood lighting for a great, calm day.

My settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/20th of a second with ISO 200. I shot this with my 17-40mm wide angle lens on a tripod.

Wow that was a lot of links in just one blog post but in case you were wondering, I was a backstreet boys girl allllll the way. Still love you, Nick.

 

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 >

You know your day is going to be great when it starts off like this. Digging through the archives, I found this one from I trip I took the Shenandoah National Park in October. I love visiting the park in the autumn time. The leaves are beautiful and more often than not, I’ve seen amazing foggy mornings like this.