washington-DC

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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 🙂

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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!

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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 🙂

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I know I’ve been posting a lot of the Tidal Basin recently, but thats where I’ve been going lately. Every time I go, I am hoping to see some cherry blossoms. More like wishing and praying. There are a few here and there that have bloomed but this particular morning that I went out the main attraction was definietly the cloudy sunrise. There was this amazing glow that was coming from the horizon that you just couldn’t ignore. However my favorite part of this image is being able to see the Jefferson statue right in the middle of the columns. I also really like the elongated reflection in the water.

Days like this one make me so happy to be a photographer living in the DC metro area. I feel really fortunate to be able to visit these monuments on a regular basis and to see the beauty in them in almost any kind of light. Not a lot of people have the same opportunities so I’m really grateful for mine. Even with all the early morning wake up calls and late nights, when I see a sunrise like this, it makes it completely worth it. But it’d be hard to pick which monument is my favorite monument to photograph. It’s like choosing which puppy is the cutest. They’re all so great and you love them all in such different ways. You can’t actually pick just one. (Was that a weird analogy? Comparing monuments to puppies?)

If you’re interested in knowing my settings on this image they were: f5.6 at 1/5 sec. I shot it on my Sony a7ii with my 16-35mm wide angle lens. If you’d like to know my settings for future images, just let me know in the comments below. If I remember, I’ll try to put them in my blog posts for you.

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Finally we got snow! After a super mild winter, I thought we weren’t going to get snow at all this year. The other day I said we were expecting at least 5″ but I think it only came out to be 2″. Then it turned into sleet. Man was it sleeting! That was definietly the worst part. It felt like mini ice cubes were attacking your face. At some points during the morning walk, I had to turn around and walk backwards. It was too much to handle. Then it made everything turn in to slush. Oh well. It was good while it lasted.

I shot this with my friend, Navin. Turns out the metro didn’t close down but they were just on a delayed schedule. Even still, I’m so happy I was able to get out there and shoot. I would of been so sad to have missed the opportunity. This time I took the Federal Triangle stop which is something I’ve never done before. Usually I’ll take Smithsonian or Foggy Bottom but I was feeling kinda adventurous 🙂 I’m glad I did because it forced me to walk a different way than I usually would have to the Washington Monument which then made me see it in a totally different way. If you’re interested, I was standing sort of close the National Museum of African American History and Culture but on the bottom of the hill. I love how the snow simplifies everything and it really just reduces the image down to the trees and the monument. The smaller trees in the background, close to the monument are cherry blossom trees. I also thought it was kind of cool how the flags perfectly align inside the two tree trunks.

I’m glad it snowed but I’d like to get on with spring now, please?

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Last Friday was a crazy weather day. It’s been a long time since I’d seen anything like it. All through out the day mother nature switched from cloudy to sunny, rain to snow and even sunny with snow! It was bananas just sitting in front of the window and watching it all happen. Especially since the changes would happen every 10 minutes. So around 4pm I looked out again and saw some amazing clouds. I was really hoping for a great sunset. Usually when we have crazy weather days like this, the skies really light up.

I met up with my friend, Zack, to shoot the sunset from the Tidal Basin. Half sunset shooting, half scouting the cherry blossoms. Unfortunately the skies didn’t light up like I was expecting but I had a great time shooting from a low point of view. When I say low, I mean so low that I wasn’t even able to see what I was shooting. It was really a guessing game but one that worked in my favor. The water in the tidal basin was so choppy, there was no way that I would of been able get a reflection from it. Then we found this amazing puddle. It made me see the skies and the clouds in a totally different way.

Most of the time I’m out shooting by myself. So it’s great to meet up with people who have some of the same interest as I do. I had complimented Zack on a similar picture he took of a puddle and he was kind enough to show me how he did it. It made me think about all the other amazing puddles that I could of gotten a great shot out of but just walked away because I didn’t try it. Oh well. At least now I know.