Washington DC

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Always on the hunt for new compositions around the National Mall, I found this one a while ago. However it was one of those things where I couldn’t get it right and wanted to try again until I came out with something I was happy with. Last week I was a bit early for sunrise so I thought I would take my time walking around Kutz bridge. It was about 6a (sunrise is close to 7:30a now!) so there were plenty of people driving around. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try some cool long exposures.

I started off on top of the grail. You can’t tell but you can get some pretty cool reflections off of it from the tail lights as the cars drive past. The reflections were cool but I still wasn’t happy with the composition. That image will probably be one of those that I go back to and try again. So I decided to get down a little lower and actually put my camera on the ground to capture the light trails. This turned out so much better. I love how the grail is dividing the image in to two parts but the way that the clouds have formed and the angle of the car lights make it all look like everything is pointing to the center of the image. It is such a yin yang type photo with the dark shadows on the left and bright light from the street lamp on the right.

One of my favorite things about the Sony cameras is that you can tilt up your LCD screen so it’s much easier to see what your camera is seeing without having to bend all the way over.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 6 seconds at ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I captured this image the same day I captured this one earlier this year in the summer. As a matter of fact, it’s probably the same exact bench just shot from a different angle. It was unreal how flooded the tidal basin was that day. It definietly makes for cool photos but it’s crazy to see in real life. The sad part is that it’s becoming more and more of a common occurrence. The silver lining is that I love the clouds in this image. It’s so subtle and really the only real color in the image that it makes it even more interesting to look at. Hope the cherry blossom trees will be ok in the long run!

Anyways, happy Friday everyone! Thank you all so much for all your positive feedback on the 2019 Dynamic DC Calendar. I’m so grateful for all your purchases and I can’t wait for you to see it in person. I CAN’T wait to see it in person. It’s funny because half the calendars that have been sold are from people not even in the Washington DC area. I love that!

And let me know if you have any plans for the weekend. I personally do not have any plans and I’m loving it. I feel like in the beginning of the year I was just keeping myself busy with all these events and meetups that it’s nice just doing nothing at all. Hopefully I’ll get some shooting time… with my film camera 🙂 If you need me, I’ll be one of those cool people with a camera on each shoulder. HAHA!

My camera settings for this image is F4.0 at 1/40 sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

PS I’m so ready for the leaves to start changing color. C’mon Fall! I feel ya. But don’t see ya! LOL

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From the other day when I was going through old photographs of the US Capitol, I ran across this one. This on the other hand, I do remember photographing. It was earlier this year, I don’t remember what season, but I do remember it being cold. I also remember that I was the only photographer out while there were severals runners all around me. Do you see that person in the blue? I think she kept on running by me to see what I was actually doing. She’s in several of my shots but decided to not really include her in the final image since I think the compass is the main focus here. I also remember just walking around the Capitol grounds and just having a great time listening to my earphones.

Sometimes I listen to music in my earphones but other times I’m listening to audiobooks. I just finished my latest earlier this week. It was Tiffany Haddish’s book, The Last Black Unicorn. It reminded me a lot of Kevin Hart’s book, I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons because it’s all about how Tiffany became a comedian. I love how she reads the book herself. I feel like it gives me a way better feeling of who she is in real life. I feel like if we met, I would be cracking up laughing the entire time.

The book is funny but I was not cracking up laughing the entire time. Tiffany has gone through some crazy stuff in her life that makes you realize how amazingly strong this woman is. She’s definietly a role model to someone who needs to look on the brighter side of things. A little warning: It does get a little raunchy at times but overall I’d recommend it to my friends if they’re looking for an interesting book to read/listen to.

If any of you have any other book recommendations, please let me know. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I read/listen to a lot of motivational, self improvement or biography type books. I love a good non-fiction story.

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/15 sec at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

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I can’t believe I’m saying this but the 2019 Dynamic DC Calendar is here! Above is the cover but if you want to see the rest of the calendar, click here.

I always try my best to avoid saying this because it’s so cliche but I can’t believe it’s already almost the end of 2018. It seriously flew by and quite possibly one of the best years ever! As I was curating and putting the 2019 Dynamic DC calendar together it brought back so many wonderful memories.

Like, do you remember the second day of spring and we finally got our first real snow fall in the Washington DC area? That’s the image for February 2019! Or those awesome lightning storms that we got in May? The ones that I captured at the US Capitol are some of my all time favorite lightning shots I’ve ever created. That’s the image for August 2019! By the way, August always has my favorite image of the year since it’s my birthday month. LOL. Or even hanging out with my friends, Jarrett and Brandon at the Tidal Basin in the fall and photographing the cherry blossom trees when the leaves had all changed colors. That’s the October 2019’s image.

So if you’re interested in picking up a calendar, they’re on discounted pre-sale now. The sale will only last til November and will go back to regular price after that. Click here to purchase. They will make great holiday gifts for anyone who lives or just loves Washington DC.

Special shout out to Leigh from Savage Design Co who helped me create the calendar and more importantly the cover this year. I love it!

Cheers to 2019!

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Just going through some older images of the US Capitol building, I ran across this one. Most of the time when I look at these images, I remember EXACTLY when I captured them, what I was feeling, etc. But for some reason, I don’t remember with this one. Did I even capture this images? LOL of course but I’m not sure what happened. Maybe I was just busy that day or something and didn’t have time to go through them all and eventually I just forgot about them? OR maybe I’ve just been to the US Capitol so much that all my memories are starting to mush together into one? I know it had to have been a sunrise. Either way, I’m glad found this image.

This is actually the original.

Dome, US Capitol Building, washington dc, tour, capitol building, interior, architecture, sunrise, capitol hill, NE DC, SE DC, pink

I really like the way that it came out but as I was waiting for my computer to save the image, I thought about what it would look like with a vertical crop. I tested it out. Which do you like better?

Either way, I love the two bright colors right next to each other. It’s so unexpected but very interesting to me. And the most unexpected part about the image is being able to see the inside of the dome! Look in the windows. You can see a little bit of the interior. So COOL!

PS. I’m still trying to get a tour of the interior of the US Capitol dome. Those shots would be AH-Mazing. I think I’ve written to my representative at least 3 times and still no answer. If anyone knows how I can get in, let me know the time and place and I’ll be there.

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/50 sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm zoom lens.

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I captured this image earlier in the summer. I remember being out taking pictures just because I wanted to, not because I knew it was going to be a good sunrise. In fact, I think I remember it raining a little bit after I created this image and being surprised that there was even any color at all. The whole mood was very dark and grey. I was grateful to have gotten this 10 minutes of color because it turned out AMAZING!

My favorite part of the image is that little cloudy-ness you see on the bottom of the image. I don’t remember what that’s from? Is it a hard core cloud reflection? Or some moldy-ness from the reflecting pool? I dunno. Either way, I think it looks really cool and I love how it’s breaking up the reflection to make it look a little different.

Also the birds! They’re so teeny tiny in the image. Can you even see them? At first I thought it was a whole bunch of dust spots that I would have to get rid of, but when I zoomed in on them it was actually it’s just a whole bunch of birds 🙂 A photo trip that lasted only 20 minutes but totally worth the early morning wake up call 🙂

My camera settings for this image is F4 at 1/125th sec at ISO 1600 with my Sony A7II 70-200mm zoom lens. I did not have my tripod with me this morning so the ISO had to be bumped up to help compensate. I’ve also noticed that shooting with a long lens may cause some extra shake. So just to be sure I can capture a super sharp image, I’ll usually bump up my ISO a lot. Plus it was super cloudy, so you know… Gotta do what you gotta do to get the shot!