washington-DC

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Taken just 10 minutes before I captured this image. I had really high hopes of a colorful sky but it didn’t turn out as planned. It’s all good though. You win some and loose some. Although I wouldn’t actually call this loosing. The purple in the clouds was an unexpected surprise. The light bursts in the street lamps make this image twinkle and the subtle car light trails on the road makes your eye travel right along the image.

When I’m really happy with a shot, I usually take it a few times. Maybe like 2 or 3 times just to make sure I got everything in focus and exposed correctly before moving on. But for some reason, right after I was done shooting this I just kept it moving. I didn’t think it turned out the way I wanted at that moment in time. Looking at it again though, I enjoy it. I feel like I see a new twinkle of light or a new reflection along the statue with every glance. Or something like that. Bahh can you tell I’m having a love/hate relationship with this image. Let me know what you think of it. Do you like it or am I just going crazy?

For all you photographers out there who are interested, here are my camera settings: F/18 at 15 seconds ISO 50. Not sure why it was shot at F/18. I usually would set my camera to F/22 for images like this but I was still able to capture the image the way I wanted it. Definietly shot on a tripod for this 15 second exposure.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Not much planned for me except a girls night in with some of my closest girlfriends tonight. Other than that, I’ll be here and there like the wind. HAHA.

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Recently I was asked about my favorite place east of the US Capitol. First, I had to look on a map. LOL. Then found out that there were so many places that I could list – Union Station, the Arboretum, etc but it always came back to the US Capitol. Does that count? I don’t know what it is about the Capitol, but it’s such a beautiful building. My favorite is just walking around it. From all points of view its amazing. My favorite for sunrise is this spot right here. Right in front of the reflecting pool while watching the ducks swim past.

But have you ever been inside? It’s the best part, in my opinion. The Rotunda is stunning. As soon as you walk in you are overwhelmed with beauty. And then when you look up! OMG. Breath taking. So the only way to see the Rotunda is to take the Capitol tour. They’re free and highly recommended. I really should go back again soon. Last time I went was during the restoration and most of the dome was covered up. This may have sounded like a paid advertisement for the tour, but it’s not. LOL. Just a huge fan in the interior of this building.

In reality, I captured this sunrise a while ago. I think it was during cherry blossom season. I was just so consumed by the beautiful blooms that I didn’t have time to work on this image. My favorite part is definietly the sun burst coming out of the Capitol. I think it’s what really makes this image pop. The camera settings on this one was F22 for 1/13th of a second ISO 250. If I remember correctly, this was a handheld. I think it was the day after my ‘little’ tripod incident and wasn’t about risking it again.

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One of my favorite things to do is just to walk around and get lost while traveling. It’s so fun to just explore a new city with no real plans and a camera in hand while documenting the things that inspire you. I’ve never really thought about doing the same in the city that I live in. I don’t know. I feel like “oh I already know all the cool spots” or “whats more could I actually see?” So I tried it out last week. I parked my car and started wondering around Georgetown. I picked Georgetown because I’m used to going to the area with all the shops and restaurants. Oh and also the waterfront is my favorite part, but I’ve never really explored the surrounding neighborhood. I’ve always heard that it’s a great place to live so I wanted to see why.

Everybody’s right. What a cute little neighborhood to live in. I felt so happy just walking around and exploring. All the houses are painted in bright colors, a lot of them how flowers surrounding them. Everyone just seemed so happy walking their dogs. While walking I found Oak Hill Cemetery. It wasn’t opened while I was there but from the outside it looks like a beautiful cemetery. (is that weird to say about a cemetery?) Regardless, I’d love to shoot there before all the flowers wilt. Also on my list to shoot, Dumbarton Oaks. Another place I’ve never been that’s on the top of my list.

This image was taking in front of someone’s house! Can you imagine walking home and seeing this beauty crawl along your walls. I feel like I’d be in heaven everyday. So if you’ve never done it before, you should try to be a tourist in your own neighborhood. You may find something that you’ve never seen before and totally fall in love.

The camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/30th of a second ISO 160.

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It’s been a while since I’ve visited the Holocaust Museum in DC. The first and only time was when I was in elementary school. It wasn’t a school trip or anything but it was an experience that was hard to forget. I remember the hall of shoes and wanting to run out of that room as fast as I could. I also remember being so relieved once we were done with the museum because it was that emotional and heart-breaking. As a young girl, I don’t think I completely understood what I was looking at but even then I knew I didn’t like it.

So when the opportunity came up to visit the museum again, I was hesitant. I wasn’t sure if I was still ready to visit all those emotions again. However this time was different. I was asked to visit for a social media architectural tour in honor of the Holocaust Remembrance day at the museum. The concentration was on the building itself however my favorite part was listening to Holocaust survivor, Margit Meissner speak. Her story of escaping the Nazis were both heroic and inspiring. She wore a pin that said “What I do Matters” and I will carry that mantra with me for as long as I can.

This image is from the Tower of Faces. An overwhelming three-story hallway of portraits of families, children and people devoted to the Jewish community in Eisiskes, Lithuania. Just looking into the eyes and faces of these people was so powerful. In the middle of the image is my friend, Zack. I didn’t tell him to pose like that or anything. It’s was just his natural reaction to try to capture it all. I think we were both just totally blown away by this particular room because we both walked in saying “Wow”.

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You know, sometimes waking up for sunrise can be really tiring. Am I right?

Somehow I forgot about how little sleep I get, especially after the spring equinox, and I just keep going and going. It’s hard for me to remember to slow down sometimes. Well, I definietly felt the effects of that last week. I had woken up for sunrise 3 days in a row. I think out of all the days, 1 of them was really worth it. The day that I took this image at the Reflecting Pool right in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I was super excited to see that little bit of purple pop out of the deep blue sky. But by the end of the third day, I was EXHAUSTED. So, I’m really proud to say that on Saturday, April 22nd I slept in until 10a!!! That’s crazy! I don’t think I’ve slept that much in 10 years. I don’t know what got into me but it felt soooo good.

Ever since I got real serious about photography and ever since I’ve been waking up for sunrise, my natural body clock will wake me up about an hour after sunrise. That’s usually about 7 or 8a depending on what season we’re talking about. The most annoying part is that once I am up, I can’t fall back to sleep. If you had known me when I was in college, I would of thought that was the craziest, most ridiculous thing ever and it would never happen to me.  I purposely made it so I had all afternoon/night classes and I’d sleep in for as long as I’d want. Usually that mean waking up at 11a or 12p. To think about how much I used to sleep in really makes me jealous, but its all good. It’s all a part of growing up right? Becoming a real adult? or something like that.

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Sometimes finding a new point of view can be difficult. Especially if you’ve visited the same location multiple times. That’s always the problem that I have visiting the memorials. How can I make it look different from all the other times I’ve shot it. Sometimes I try to go at different times of day, other times I’ll make sure the sky is really unique or different. I’ll shoot high or I’ll shoot low. But I always try to make the memorials that I love so much different in each of my posts. So when I saw this puddle I was super excited. It was just this gigantic puddle in the middle of the grass/dirt. I got some crazy looks from people when I kneeled down to get closer to it, but I think it was all worth it in the end. There were people who even stopped next to me just to get down low to see what I was looking at. LOL. Some people may not get it but these puddle shots are quickly becoming some of my favorite to shoot.

The camera settings for this was F7.1 at 1/100th of a second at ISO 160. It was a pretty cloudy day. A storm was expected to hit a few hours later (and you know how I can’t resist shooting in storms). My main focus was to get everything even and symmetrical. I think my favorite part about this image is the tree leaning over. When you’re standing up you barely notice it, but I think with the reflection in the puddle the curvature is a little more exaggerated. It really acts as a leading line to bring you through the whole image.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend filled with fun, amazing light and beautiful views. We’re celebrating my brother and my grandma’s birthdays tonight with some Turkish food!