camera settings

All photos available for print and licensing >

Flowers are my favorite. They make me so happy. Especially when you see a whole bunch of them growing like these sunflowers in southern Maryland. This image was taken last year and I’ve heard the ones this year are just couple weeks away from blooming. Can’t wait!

So if you’re in the DC metro area and interested in shooting these sunflowers, google or click this link for McKee Beshers. It’s hard to give an exact location to where they are but on their website, they’ll have a map of where the sunflowers are blooming. That will be your best bet.

If I can offer you any tips on shooting these sunflowers, it would be BRING BUG SPRAY. Not even joking. I’ve never had so many bug bites in my life. Two years ago, I went with my friend Ryan to go shooting and at one point we decided there were way too many mosquitos and we started running back to the car. Tell me how I swallowed 2 of them!!! It’s absolutely nuts how they just swarm you. I’ll never wear shorts out there. I rather be hot in long pants and a shirt before I even think about going there with too much exposed skin. If you haven’t noticed yet, these bugs are for real. Definietly take precautions. The mosquitos and I are not friends.

Other than that, sunset is probably your best time to go too. I’ve tried sunrise a few times but where these fields are located, sunset is definietly the time with the best light. I’ve seen people bring ladders and that’s probably a cool point of view as well. If you have any other questions about these sunflowers, don’t hesitate to ask 🙂 I know a lot of people were asking me about them on instagram so I think that answers the majority of them.

My settings for this image was F7.1 at 1/13th of a second ISO 125 shot at sunset while a storm was approaching.

All photos available for print and licensing >

H O M E!

Arrived into Dulles airport real late last night and went straight to bed. Today I plan on catching up on a lot of emails, laundry and image editing. Any image or place you want to see in particular? I’m taking requests. LOL. Can’t wait to start diving in to these photos. Only problem is that I took so many pictures that it’s hard to figure out where to start! Its a good problem I guess 🙂 More stories about our road trip as the blog posts start rolling out and there will be a youtube video!

But it feels so good to be home.

In general, many people ask me for my secret shooting location or favorite spot to shoot in DC. It’s hard to say. But what’s easy to say is my favorite parking spot. It’s 100% the paddle boat parking lot at the Tidal Basin, as seen on this map. It is by far the most centrally located parking space to all the monuments, but for some reason hardly anyone parks here. Theres always plenty of parking whenever I go. Plus it’s freeeee! The only down side to this parking lot is that it’s closed during Cherry Blossom season. 2 weeks out of the year? No big deal. I’ll take it!

Even if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to leave the parking lot, you get some beautiful views like this one. I love these new swan paddle boats. They make things so much more interesting.

I shot this with my fav, Ice Neutral Density Filter 10stop to get that silky smoother water. My camera settings for this image was F7.1 at 25 seconds at ISO 500 on a tripod on a super cloudy but beautiful evening.

Starting tomorrow will be images from our trip! Can’t wait to share with you! EEEKKKKKKKK.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Flying home today from our crazy road trip adventure. Everyday was jammed packed with excitement, food and sight seeing. I can’t wait to tell you all more about it. Over 2,600 miles under our belts, I can definietly say that it was a trip that’d be hard to forget. But I’m so glad we’re not driving back. Faster, airplane, faster! 🙂

I’ll definietly have a youtube video for you as soon as possible.

For now, heres an image I took earlier this year at the National Cherry Blossom festival in DC. I specifically remember thinking that I wanted that guy to get out of my shot but I figured that after 10 minutes of waiting, he wasn’t moving. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m taking pictures of something, that way people will think that they are in my shot and will want to move. Nope. Didn’t work for him. He was far more interested in what was down there than what I was doing. Oh well. At least I was able to line him up with the sun burst.

But even though I had the time of my life on this road trip, it feels good to be going back home. Looking at this image makes me think about how much I love living where I live and I’m super grateful. Theres no where else in the world like Washington DC. For the good and the bad. It’s always exciting.

My camera settings for this image was F/20 at 1/40th of a second at ISO 500. My aperture was super small so I was able to get the sun burst even bigger and sharper but the ISO was pumped up a little bit so I could shoot it fast. I also love that it smoothed out the water. Just don’t drop your tripod in there 😉

All photos available for print and licensing >

Today on our road trip we’re driving from Oklahoma City, OK to Roswell, New Mexico. Over the weekend we zipped past the east coast and most of the central time zone with only a few stops. This was intentional because Sue and I wanted to spend most of the time in the south west. The temperatures will be hot but the pictures will be too, amiright? *high five* Really looking forward to the rest of this adventure. Follow along on my instagram stories to see what we’ve been getting up to in real-time.

The image above was taken just a few weeks ago in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. I loved seeing these little cacti along the walking trails. Every time I saw one, I’d squeal. They’re just so cute. I bet if you were just walking, you wouldn’t even notice them. They aren’t very big and there weren’t very many of them but it’s little details like this that I love photographing. Things other might have passed by but if you really take your time and look around, they’re so fun to see. The sunrise lighting was perfect. Perfectly describes the mood I felt while I was there, happy and warm.

I did not have a macro lens with me on this trip, so I shot this with my 16-35mm wide angle. That was so I could make sure to get enough foreground and background in this shot. My camera settings for this image was f7.1 at 1/25th of a second at ISO 250. My favorite part is seeing the glow on all the plants in this image. Especially the tall purple flowers on the right hand side. Barely noticeable, but it’s there 🙂 And who knows who’s foot prints those are in the very front. They definietly were not mine.

 

All photos available for print and licensing >

We arrived in Estes Park, right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park around dinner time. So naturally, our first stop was to get some pizza. OMG you need to try this place called Antonio’s Real New York Pizza. The pizza was outstanding! And believe me, I’ve had a few slices in my day and I really liked this pizza. And to walk off all those calories we headed to Sprague lake right after dinner in Rocky Mountain National Park.

It’s a super easy walk around the lake thats about a mile long. It was perfect because each side of the lake provided some amazing views. Good thing I had my neutral density filter with me because the sunset wasn’t actually as vibrant as this image makes it look. The clouds were looking very nice but the longer exposure by the ND filter really brought out that extra umph of color that it really needed. It also helped that it was a very calm and peaceful evening with not a lot of wind to create ripples in the water. So if you’re a fan of reflection shots, Rocky Mountain National Park has tons of them. From all the lakes to puddles. Everything is just so reflective and beautiful. You would love it.

The settings for this image was F5/6 at 1.6 seconds at ISO 400. I used my 16-35mm wide angle lens to try to capture as much of the scene as I could. I didn’t have my tripod on this one but I managed to find a good ledge to balance this on. The key is to try to get your camera body and lens to stabilize on something to make sure theres no extra shake. If your lens isn’t leaning against something or supported somehow, it probably won’t work out as well.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Afraid of heights? Yea, me neither. I actually think heights can be fun. Sometimes.

This was taken looking down from a rooftop in Ginza, Tokyo during a fun photo tour I had with Eyexplore Tokyo. I joined them for one of their Vertigo tours and it was definietly a different view of the city than I was expecting. In this image, we were looking down at 3 or 4 different buildings. Hard to tell how many there really are because all them are so close to each other. But most of the time we were confined to really tight spaces on top of these buildings. So, I’m the one wearing black shoes and the tour leader, Axel is wearing the brown ones. Andrew was directly behind me so he didn’t make it into the shot but that was basically as much room we were given on this rooftop. Just goes to show you how smushed we really were and how super jammed pack the city is. There was definietly not enough room for tripods at all. Good thing the Sony a7ii is so great in low light situations. I was using the balcony for camera support during the longer exposure times.

The camera settings for this image was f/4 at .5 sec at ISO 500. The ISO definietly had to be bumped up to compensate for the lack of tripod. But I’m glad I was still able to capture the colors and angle so nicely. For sure a difficult shot and if I had the opportunity, I’d love to do something similar in DC. But I’m not sure how rooftop-hopping would go in these government secured buildings. LOL.

If you ever find yourself in Toyko, consider joining one of their tours. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot, like I did 🙂 Tell them Angela sent you.